Written by Vet Tech

20 Essential Oils For Dogs: Uses And Benefits

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
You heard amazing things about essential oil and dogs, but you are not sure which are safe to use and which are toxic? Read on and discover which essential oils can safely boost your dog's health.

Essential oils have taken the holistic health world by storm, so there’s no wonder they made their way into our pet’s health care routine.

Though there are known benefits of implementing some essential oils into your dog’s life, there are some tips and safety precautions that you should be aware of in order to keep your furry friend safe.

In this article, we’ll discuss the safety measures you should take when introducing your dog to essential oils, and which oils are considered safe for canines.

Are Essential Oils Safe For Dogs?

Essential oils are a more natural approach to common ailments and conditions that our dogs may face. As the use of essential oils is beginning to be more common in routine human health, their benefits are beginning to be explored in the world of animal health as well.

Though some oils that we will discuss in the article have been shown to bring relief to some common conditions, there are oils that can be incredibly harmful to your pup.

So how do you which oils are safe for animal use, and how to safely administer them? Below are a few tips you should always follow when it comes to the use of essential oils with our pups.

1. Think About Safety

If you are ever unsure about the safety of a specific oil or if it is toxic to dogs, ALWAYS ask your veterinarian before administering the oil or defusing it in your home. When in doubt, do not use it until you are certain it will not have a harmful effect on your dog.

2. Is It Medically Approved?

Never use an essential oil unless you are certain it is from a quality and medically approved brand. Some cheaper essential oil alternatives have been known to contain harmful ingredients, so you should always do your research before purchasing.

3. Dosage Matters

Always remember that a little goes a long way and that dilution is your friend when using oils for pet care. Essential oils can be extremely concentrated, and it is RARE that a recipe will ever ask you to directly apply the oils or diffuse the oil without diluting it.

Dogs are more sensitive to smells and topical treatments than we are, so it’s important to remember to always dilute these substances before using them on or around our pets.

4. Apply It Properly

It’s a general rule to make sure your dog does not ingest any essential oil. While they are recommended for skin application and diffusing, oils can result in gastrointestinal upset or hypersalivation when ingested.

If a recipe is instructing you to add an oil to their food or to apply in their mouth, ask your veterinarian first.

Are There Essential Oils You Should Avoid For Use In Dogs?

Now that you’re beginning to explore the use of essential oils for your furry friend, it’s best that you educate yourself on the oils to avoid for use in dogs. These oils below are known to be toxic to our furry friends:

  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang

With the internet being so vast and filled with reviews from non-veterinary professionals, you are bound to run across a recipe that contains one of these ingredients that claims to be safe for use in dogs.

You are always welcome to do your own research, just keep in mind that each of these essential oils above has been linked to serious complications such as neurological behaviors, seizures, respiratory distress, and more.

If you are ever conflicted about a recommended recipe that you find online, always contact your veterinarian before administering the oil or diffusing it in your home. It is always better to be safe when you’re dealing with potentially toxic substances.

20 Essential Oils That Are Safe For Use In Dogs

  • Lavender: Just like in humans, Lavender is known to have a number of soothing effects in dogs. Lavender can be used for calming, itching, mild skin irritation, sedation, and even mild inflammation.
  • Copaiba: This oil has made its way into the pet health realm with its incredible ability to soothe joint pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Sweet orange: Sweet orange is known for its ability to uplift us and bring cheerfulness, and it does the same for our pups. Because of its ability to bring happiness, it’s used in dogs who experience separation anxiety or sadness.
  • Ginger: Ginger is known as the magic cure for nausea and motion sickness, and it can have the same incredible effect on our dogs. Ginger issued for motion sickness, nausea, mild gastrointestinal upset, and even inflammation and pain relief.
  • Rose: Rose is known for its calming and soothing abilities.This oil is used for mild stress relief, calming, and soothing mild skin irritation.
  • Cedarwood atlas: This essential oil is commonly found in natural flea and tick protection, as the scent is known to deter insects.
  • Valerian: The mild and calming tones of this oil are known for creating a soothing effect and helping to relieve mild separation anxiety in dogs.
  • Geranium: This well-rounded oil is known to have multiple effects. It is antifungal, can have a cooling effect on a hot day, and even has the ability to deter fleas and insects that can cause your pet harm.
  • Clary sage: This oil has a similar effect as lavender, as it’s known for its calming and soothing effects on dogs. This is also another oil that can have a cooling effect on a hot day.
  • Eucalyptus Radiata: This essential oil can help relieve mild respiratory symptoms and congestion associated with respiratory illness and infection. Though it won’t cure the illness, it can provide relief during their round of antibiotic treatment.
  • Carrot seed: This essential oil is known to have a soothing effect on the skin and can help provide inflammatory relief and even help reduce scarring.
  • German Chamomile: This is yet another oil that is packed with healing properties for the skin. It can be used on minor skin injuries such as skin irritation, swelling, and other inflammatory processes.
  • Roman Chamomile: Aside from it’s wound healing abilities like the German Chamomile, it has also been known to relieve minor pain.
  • Clary sage: This essential oil is known to have a calming effect. It can result in gentle sedation and soothing of minor anxieties.
  • Green mandarin: this is yet another oil that is known to soothe stress and create a calming sensation in anxious dogs.
  • Frankincense: Frankincense is possibly the most impressive oil on this list, as it’s linked to impressive inflammation control and scar reducing capabilities.
  • Marjoram: This is another oil that you may find in flea and tick protection, as it can help to repel insects. It also has antibacterial properties.
  • Vetiver: Vetiver is known for its ability to ground its users, meaning it can provide a soothing and calming effect.
  • Myrrh: This oil can create a calming sense for dogs, as well as provide relief for minor skin irritation.
  • Jojoba: Jojoba oil is known to help minor skin irritation, and possibly help to repel insects and fleas.

Remember that each oil should be diluted before administering directly to the skin or defusing throughout your home. Any oil in large or undiluted amounts can result in irritation for your furry friend, so make sure you are following dilution recommendations for each oil.

Important Tips To Remember About Dogs & Essential Oils

When used correctly, essential oils can bring great benefits to your favorite furry friend. Though they are a great addition to holistic pet health, it’s important to remember to follow all recommended safety tips for their use. Some tips to remember include:

  • If your pet has a medical condition, ALWAYS contact your veterinarian before the use of any essential oil.
  • When using essential oils on yourself that are toxic to dogs, make sure the oils are washed off your skin or completely absorbed before handling your dog.
  • Never apply essential oils to your dog’s eyes, inside their ears, in their mouth, or anywhere they can lick. Only diffuse in your home or apply to areas they cannot reach with their mouths. ( Or cover the areas apply the oils too)
  • Never apply essential oil to an open wound, as this can cause burning and irritation.
  • If your dog shows any sign of allergic reaction to an essential oil contact your vet immediately.
  • Always dilute essential oil before use in dogs, whether it’s used topically or diffused.
  • When in doubt about the safety of a specific oil or recipe, always contact your vet before use.
  • Keep your oils out of reach from your dogs, as any oil can be extremely toxic when ingested orally or in large amounts.


Essential oils are a beneficial tool to add to your dog’s regular health routine when their uses are understood.

Make sure to research each oil and the company that produces it, and your dog can be on their way to a more natural approach to healing.