Essential Oils – Care, Safety & Storage

Safety tips for all pets:

  • Dilute for topical use – see instructions below
  • Know your pet’s health status
  • Do NOT use oils on or near eyes, ears, nose, or genitals of your pet.
  • Use a water diffuser for aromatic use and allow your pet to roam freely with an open door to the room.
  • Caution should be used around animals that are pregnant, nursing, young, or on certain medications.
  • Do not use oils topically on your pet if using a topical medication or dermal patch – this includes topical flea/ tick preventatives.
  • Do not give any products containing xylitol (toothpaste, beadlets, etc.) to your pet.
  • Only use 100% Pure Essential Oils
  • Observe your pet’s behaviour

Safety Precautions When Diffusing Essential Oils Around Dogs

While diffusing oils can benefit not only ourselves but also our dogs, we need to take extra care when using a diffuser around our dogs.

Dogs have more a sensitive sense of smell, and can easily get overwhelmed if the oils are too strong, or are being diffused around the clock.

Here are some safety precautions that we should pay attention to:

  1. Do not diffuse unsafe oils for dogs. It sounds like a no brainer but some dog parents think that diffusing unsafe oils will not harm their dogs because they are not actually putting the oils on the dog’s body! That of course is not true. Unsafe oils can still get inside the dog through inhalation.
  2. Diffuse only gentle essential oils around dogs. Do not diffuse “hot”, spicy and strong oils (e.g. black pepper, ginger, clove, nutmeg, etc.)
  3. Do not diffuse oils for hours on end. It’s not good for both people and dogs. The best way is to diffuse oils for a period of around 30 minutes, and turn it off for at least 30 minutes. Do this several times throughout the day and that should be enough.
  4. Whenever you are diffusing essential oils, make sure there is some air exchange (e.g. leave the door or window open a bit.)
  5. Always give your dog a way out. For example, keep the door open so your dog can leave the room if she “has had enough”.
  6. Observe your dog closely especially when you are diffusing new oils for the first time. If your dog shows signs of discomfort or stress (e.g. panting, sneezing repeatedly, pacing, etc.), remove your dog from the room immediately and get her out for some fresh air.
  7. There are anecdotal reports that inhaling essential oils may trigger asthma attacks in some people. To be safe, assume the same thing may happen to dogs with asthma – avoid diffusing essential oils around your dog if she has a respiratory issue such as asthma.
  8. Avoid diffusing essential oils around epileptic dogs.
  9. Some essential oils are not safe for pregnant dogs and should not be diffused around them. In fact, due to the heightened sense of smell in pregnant dogs, I would refrain from diffusing oils altogether around them in order not to overwhelm them.
  10. Keep diffusers and all essential oils out of the reach of dogs.

Dilute, Dilute, Dilute

  • This is VERY important for dogs and small animals!!!  Click here for Dilution Guide:
  • Start out with your oils MORE diluted when introducing Essential Oils topically to your pet.
  • You can use carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil, etc. to dilute your essential oil.
  • You can always increase the concentration if the desired effect is not reached, but it is difficult to remove an Essential Oil once it has already been absorbed.
  • Remember, each animal is an individual and your pet may be more or less sensitive than others. Observe their behaviour – they will tell you!

Did I mention… Dilute!!!

Source: Essential Oils for Dogs, Dr Janet Roark DVM;;

Storing Your Essential Oils:

  • Keep caps tightly closed when not in use.
  • Do not store in direct sunlight.
  • Avoid exposure to high heat and light for prolonged periods.
  • Store at normal room temperature.
  • Take a periodic (now is good) inventory of your oils and rotate and use what is getting older.
  • Use your oils don’t let them go to waste.