Safely Using Essential Oils for Dogs

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Many people enjoy using essential oils on themselves and to replace products in their homes to ensure there are no issues with hidden toxic ingredients. But did you know they can also benefit your dog??

We thoroughly love how versatile these little oil bottles are! Even our dogs love them! They often lounge near the diffuser, and are right at our side when we open our oils case.​ But have you ever wondered exactly how you can use your oils on your dogs?

Most of the same oils you use on yourself, you can use on your dog…

But a few warnings to start off this post:

Please introduce essential oils to your dog slowly… they are much more sensitive than we are. Just as when we begin using essential oils, we think “less is more” – the same goes for your dogs! Less is more, little bits at a time, and with what they are comfortable with.

Size does matter, so please make sure you dilute more for smaller dogs. We have 2 dogs that weigh about 100 lbs. When I put oils together for them I tend to dilute about 2-5 drops per 5ml. For smaller dogs I recommend diluting more. Basically, I tend to treat dogs like children when it comes to safety and dilutions.

Dogs are much more sensitive than we are. It is ok to diffuse around them, but make sure they have access to leave the room if the aroma is too much. They will know when they’ve had enough and when they need more. Sometimes my dogs lounge next to the table our diffuser is on in the living room, sometimes they hang out on the opposite side of the room, and sometimes they leave the room… the important part is they are given a choice.

There are a few essential oils, you may want to avoid:

** Please note this is for using the oils individually. If you choose to use them as individual oils, please consult with a holistic veterinarian knowledgable in essential oils. At the minimum make sure you have and use a quality animal essential oils reference guide. Using some of these oils in blends may be ok because of the dilution rates.

Some of these oils are ok around dogs when highly diluted with other oils and carrier oils. The warning is more so for the oils by themselves. Please do your research before using any of the oils mentioned above.


Some dogs may excel with oil-infused supplements to boost their nutrition.​

If your dog doesn’t have sensitivities to night shades, Ningxia Red is an excellent superfood that can provide whole-body support. We don’t give more than half and ounce a day. If your dog does have sensitivities to night shades, you may want to hold off. While studies have shown Ningxia Red’s wolf berries do not cause inflammation the way typical night shades do, I do stress caution until you know how your dog responds.

  • Agilease is a supplement specifically to help with bones, joints, and movement.
  • OmegaGize ​supports normal brain, eye, heart, joint, and immune functioning.
  • Animal Reference Guide and talking with a holistic vet.

>> Get $20 credit to use Rover pet sitting, walking, or grooming services

Most essential oils and blends can also be used on dogs!

I love how versatile those oils are! The same popular ones you can use on yourself that can conveniently be used on your dog too!

One thing about the brand of oils we use, Young Living, that I love is how dedicated they are to simplifying everything about using oils… including oils for pets. They actually have a personal care product line and collection of essential oils just for animals! Though, of course, they can be used on people too. ​

​The AnimalScents essential oils are pre-diluted for larger animals. If you have a smaller dog or decide to use them on your cat, please further dilute them. Even with my dogs being 100 lbs, I still add a little more carrier oil to the oils I use on them.

essential oil blends specially formulated for dogs, cats, horses, livestock, animals

DIY Recipes for Supporting Dogs

Using your oils, you can make an unlimited amount of different things to help support a healthy dog and home.

DEET and other bug sprays can be harmful to your health, and your dog’s health. Instead, there are a few essential oils that can make being outside not so annoying, especially with having citronella essential oil around! Here is one of our favorite outdoor sprays to help with annoying bugs:

Cleaning ears is so important! But have you stopped and looked at the ingredients at the products in most pet supply stores? Ingredients like DMDM Hydrantoin really cause concern putting it on our furry family members, especially when making ear wipes is so easy to do.

I don’t know about your house, but sometimes our dogs get into something or just end up with that doggie odor at the worst time possible for a bath (like post-neuter surgery… 10 mins before needing to get in the car… moments before a guest arrives… or during early months of my latest pregnancy when smells were just too much to handle)… we made some of this “doggie cologne” and it made life so much more enjoyable!

** quick tip… if your dog has short fur, you may want to add 1/4 cup witchazel with 3/4 cup water and shake before you spray, just in case some gets down by the skin. Both my dogs have long, double coats, so we aren’t as worried about that as long as the spray is kept away from their faces and bellies. ​

Make a DIY dog spray to refresh the smell of your dog's coat without the toxins

If you don’t have Purification or use a different brand, lemongrass by itself is a good replacement, just reduce the drops to 10.

I really hope you enjoy the recipes and information in this post! If you don’t have Young Living oils yet, I would love to show you how to get started and show you where you can find a 24% discount, plus ways to earn essential oils for FREE!​

Learn More About Essential Oils

Don’t forget to sign up for our free email class, all about essential oils and how to use them!

Nicole Graber, team leader, author, and editor to EssentialOils.Life and blog websites.

Did this post help you? What questions or experiences do you have? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!


P.S. To receive more tips, tricks, recipes, and other essential oil fun, be sure to scroll down and sign up for our free oily email community.

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14 thoughts on “Safely Using Essential Oils for Dogs”

  1. A concerned person just sent me your graphic about 30 oils to keep away from dogs and unfortunately some of it is not accurate. I wanted to let you know because it’s being used against those of us who teach about oils for pets for Young Living. I am an animal protection attorney who works with a lot of YL veterinarians. I teach for YL on oils for pets and I’ve written a book called The Oily Pet. When it comes to Young Living, our oils are safe for pets. Other brands in their entirety are toxic (even a “safe” oil like Lavender). YL Clove is not toxic to dogs because it’s in Thieves and is safely being used in veterinary clinics. Tea Tree is in the Animal Scents Oinment and Animal Scents PuriClean. Oregano is in the Animal Scents InfectAway. Anise and Juniper is in Animal Scents ParaGize. Rue and Hyssop in Animal Scents T-Away. So I wanted to let you know so that you can adjust your graphic. There’s so much misinformation online about oils for pets, a group of us are doing our best to make sure that the information is accurate and that the toxicity of other brands is not being related to Young Living. Thank you!

    1. Hi Allie, Thank you for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out. I totally agree with you about the toxicity in many other brands, which is why I wrote a post dedicated to finding quality essential oils. And you’re right, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. I love referring people to a few of our favorite animal reference guides because of that. I would like to share a different perspective for you to consider. Instead of assuming clove is safe because it is in Thieves, and Thieves is used with great results (my dogs included), consider that clove oil is safe because it is in Thieves… because the constituents we need to be careful of with dogs are diluted more in blends that are diluted than they are if using clove oil by itself. Tea Tree is in Animal Scents Ointment and PuriClean, which are safe to use because the Tea Tree constituents are more diluted than if using tea tree by itself. I personally take a more conservative view on using essential oils than most people who use Young Living products and share info based on what I find with my research. Both above and below the graphic I clearly state that my graphic for essential oils to avoid are for single oils only and may not apply to a blend. It is when those constituents may exceed over 40% that they become an issue. I’m always on the look out for new research and will update as I come across new information, as I always do. I wish you the best of luck with your mission helping animals with essential oils. What you’re doing is very much needed.

    2. Hi Allie, thank you for reading our article and commenting. I am not a vet, and do not give out medical advice, so I won’t be much help. I have found a lot of help with our animals sharing our natural health lifestyle. We use a holistic vet for everything we need, even when we are traveling, to help with our Newfoundland’s severe allergy and skin issues (they also do long distance phone consults). To find a good natural minded vet near you, I encourage you to search on the Holistic Vet Finder page: I hope that helps!

    1. Hi Leslie, I’m sorry to hear your pup is having difficulty with licking and chewing his paws. We have that issue a lot with my Newfie. I highly recommend talking with a holistic vet to find and treat the underlying cause. For us it was an allergy and anxiety issue. Diluting lavender essential oil and using the LavaDerm Spray really helped my Newfie while we were waiting to find and treat the underlying cause. I hope that helps! Best of luck to your and your pup.

  2. lemmens - de beir

    ik heb twee Yorkshire -Terriërs van 14 en 13 jaar en hun tanden zijn zo aan getast met kalk nu is mijn vraag wat is het best om dat op een natuurlijk wijzen wegen te krijgen want de dierenarts is bang als ze in slaap word gedaan dat ze niet meer wakker worden wat kan ik er aan doen en ook onze Casper van 14 jaar is ook zo zenuwachtig als hij met auto mee rijd vriendelijk groeten van Lemmens – de beir

    1. Hi Lemmens, thank you for your comment. I’d strongly suggest looking for a holistic vet in your area to help you. I’m not a medical professional, but I do most of the care for our dogs naturally at home using resources like the Animal Desk Reference. This book has many different options available. I’ll send you an email in a few minutes too, to make sure you receive it.

  3. Hi Nicole
    I rescued a very abused American Eskimo dog.

    When I took him to the Vet he that he had heartworms. Is there any kind of an essential oil I can use I this little guy? I want to know even for a short time that he was loved

    1. Hi Sue, thank you for commenting! I’m so thrilled to hear you’re loving a rescue! I would strongly suggest emotional supporting oils, like Valor and Peace and Calming… Lavender would be great for him, as would the the Raindrop Technique, if you’re using Young Living. The Animal Desk Reference is super helpful too (the first version is Young Living specific, the second is not brand-affiliated). An animal chiropractor might be able to help keep him comfortable… I know mine LOVE seeing one.

  4. Hi Nicole!

    Thanks for creating this great website and all the great tips and useful information on essential oils, especially regarding dogs! Have you ever made dog treats using YL essential oils or supplement products? If so, do you any recipes that you would be willing to share? Thanks in advance and may you be blessed abundantly!

    1. Hi Aimee, I don’t currently have a dog treat recipe that I use essential oils in. I do make our own dog biscuits, often adding pumpkin to them. When we have some time, I’ll play with some recipes this fall after we move and see what they like and post here. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for updates!

  5. Animal Scents Ointment from Young Living contains Tea Tree oil. Tea Tree oil is not safe for dogs at any dilution. You didn’t mention it in your blog, but it is important that dog owners know not to use it on their dogs.

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