Are essential oils actually hurting your dog? How to properly use them

Kristin ClarkGeneral Health2 Comments

Essential Oils copyright Duskbabe

Essential Oils copyright DuskbabeThe use and application of essential oils has experienced a dramatic increase in popularity over the last few years. Contrary to their name, essential oils aren’t really oils at all; they’re concentrated plant constituents that contain both medicinal and cosmetic qualities. Transmitted through aromatherapy, these oils have incredible healing and soothing potentials. Since they are plant derivatives, they are a complementary, all-natural compound that are increasingly sought after by health-conscious, vegan, and organic individuals.

People pursuing healthy, essential-oil-filled lives have begun to explore the benefits of these plant derivatives and what they can offer pets, most notably dogs, today.

If you want to safely introduce your dogs to essential oils, here are 5 things you need to know:


Depending on the oil and what you’re trying to achieve, you can diffuse the oils, let your pet smell them, or apply them directly on your pet. Until you know how your pet will respond to topical application, it’s a good idea to dilute the oils if they are “hot” oils. Even for very mild oils, it’s a good idea to keep a bottle of organic vegetable oil or fractionated coconut oil on hand for dilution if needed. If the oil causes your dog discomfort, always dilute with a carrier oil instead of trying to rinse it off with water (which actually intensifies the oil’s effects).

Quality Oils:

Since essential oils have experienced such a drastic uptick in usage, there are a lot of distributors out there claiming to have quality essential oil products. Unfortunately, not all of them are telling the truth, and one of the most dangerous things you can do is administer faulty oil to your dogs.

Trusted brands, like Young Living, are verified for quality and safety.

Avoid Eyes and Ears:

Dogs can’t take the same amount of aromatherapy that you can. They are highly sensitive, sense-based creatures that will not take well to oils in their eyes and ears. It won’t make sense to them, and not only will it irritate their orifices, it could also send them into panic.

Instead, rub the oil on your palms, and massage it into your pup’s fur and spine during a quick doggy massage. For a detailed explanation of how to rub in essential oils, Young Living’s step-by-step guide can be found here.

Start Small:

Like anything, your dog can build up a tolerance to essential oils over time. However, you need to supply them with time to adjust to the oils and their effects. It’s best to start with very small, diluted applications at first and gradually add to it as time goes on.

Sunburns and Seizures:

Some oils contain compounds that are phototoxic. It’s best to apply these oils at night so they don’t cause sunburn. These oils include Angelica, Anise, Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Cumin, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Lime.

Additionally, if your dog is prone to seizures, don’t use Fennel, Hyssop, or wild Tansy essential oils with them.

Essential Oils and Dogs

Essential oils present a plethora of benefits for dogs today. Whether it’s for an anxiety spell or comfort following a traumatic experience, consider using quality oils to help them naturally.


Have you used essential oils with your dog? Let us know your faves in the comments below!

2 Comments on “Are essential oils actually hurting your dog? How to properly use them”

  1. Ive been using Young Living’s sacred frankincense, frankincense, and copaiba on my 11yr old greyhound topically, aromatically, and internally since she was diagnosed a couple months ago with osteosarcoma. I just recently found a lot lf research articles and videos on the metabolic disease theory of cancer and how ketosis may inhibit the cancer cells. She’s been on a grain free diet for several months, we actually started it before her diagnosis, but it seems that’s not enough and a raw diet may be the way to go. I’m just not sure where to start or the best/easiest way to implement this since I dont know anyone personally who feeds a rae diet and I’m kind of freaked out by the idea of handling the raw meat properly, especially when we travel. Any suggestions on the best place to start and what to do when we go on trips would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m sorry to hear that your Greyhound was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I would absolutely agree that a raw diet is the best way to go. There are a few options you might want to explore further, especially given that your dog has been diagnosed with cancer. Thomas Sandberg of Long Living Pets ( is an incredible resource when it comes to helping owners whose dogs have cancer. He offers several different consultation options (, and if it were me, I would definitely get in touch with him as soon as possible. The people at KetoPet Sanctuary, particularly Daniel Orrego, are also incredibly knowledgeable and may be able to help you. You can find them at I would reach out to both of them and see what they have to say. I can help you transition your dog to raw, but they have a lot more experience than I do in terms of helping dogs that have cancer get everything they need to live their best lives. Feel free to email me at if you have other questions or if you can’t reach either of them. And most of all, don’t lose hope. There are a lot of great resources out there that can help, and I’m happy to help you however I can to get to those resources. I hope this helps!

      PS I’m a vegetarian but feed all my dogs raw. I get not wanting to handle the raw meat, but if you wash your hands thoroughly and clean all the counters and surfaces (just like you would if you were handling raw meat you were going to cook for a human), you’ll be just fine.

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