I frequently get asked if it’s safe to use essential oils on your pets, so I thought I’d make my life simpler by blogging about it.
I also have to confess a very recent near miss with our new little kitty, randomly deciding to scoop her into the bath one evening to see if she had a taste for it rather than just wanting to hang around the sides poking us all. In that moment I forgot that I’d put lavender oil into the bath as well, albeit low quantities and not my super potent doTERRA stuff, but a much cheaper alternative. She unsurprisingly leapt out again in horror and we dried her off, not thinking much more of it…. Until she stopped really eating, she’s a piggy, for around 3 days and lost a stack of weight. The small penny did kind of smash through my conscience at that point, though she didn’t have any signs of toxic poisoning other than the loss of appetite, and I knew we had to scarper off to the vets rapido. Yep, I was looked at and severely judged for my stupidity, in my defence I’d just undergone a deep medium session so was on another plane of consciousness. AND, she is totally fine and back to her chunky little self, turns out she just had a sore throat!
So, what can I tell you that will be of use…. Firstly, I am going to restrict this blog to cats and dogs, being that they are the most popular household pet more than anything else. Given that even they differ in the impact essential oils have on them, demonstrates that you need to research before you use essential oils on any animal. Plus, the information out there varies greatly, so be informed before you take this oily path. Plenty have and do very successfully…
Cats, for instance, lack an essential enzyme in their liver, which means they can’t metabolise and eliminate certain toxins. They are also super sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, which can be found in some essential oils, the purer the oil the bigger the problem! Some essential oils are therefore deadly to cats, basil, oregano, wintergreen, sweet birch, citrus oils (d-limonene), pine, YlangYlang, peppermint, cinnamon, pennyroyal, clove, eucalyptus and melaleuca/tea tree. Given that I am a purveyor of 100% pure essential oils and make my own oily cleaning products, my poor kitty cats apparently live in highly risky circumstances!
Thought, to be fair, I’d know if they’d been spiked because toxic poisoning looks drooling, vomiting, tremors, ataxia (wobbliness), respiratory distress, low heart rate, low body temperature and liver failure. They’re wise enough to keep clear of the dangerous smells, fortuitously essential oils are by their very nature highly fragranced, and I keep the areas in question well ventilated so nobody gets gassed.
There are some essential oils that work well with les chats, usage involves gently diffusing the oils in an opened space, escape routes a plenty. To chill your cat out you can diffuse lemon grass, cedar wood, chamomile, clary sage or marjoram. Other oils that are safer to use/diffuse around them are lavender, copaiba, helichrysum, and frankincense. I would never recommend direct application to their fur or skin, unless you had done a shit load of research into their P450 cytochrome metabolic pathway.
Les chiens, are seemingly different because they don’t experience the same metabolising problem. You can make up a nice anti-flee spray using rosemary oil or lavender. You can use the doTERRA On Guard blend if they have teeth or gum problems. You can add a drop of peppermint oil to their drinking water for bad dog breath and as a natural antibacterial for their guts. They too like a little lemon grass diffused for anxiety or stress, if you want an alternative to lavender, cedar wood or chamomile. And, you can also use frankincense and helichrysum on them for wound care and liver issues, given the price of these special oils I’d be wary but I know some of you love to spend, spend, spend on your beloved pet. Oh, hang on, veterinary medicine costs a small island in the Pacific, this will feel cheap at half the price!
Thus, I conclude using essential oils on pets can be a great natural alternative to pharmaceutical medicine and I certainly know there is a lot of people across the world using doTERRA oils successfully on their pets…. There is a whole Facebook group for it. Indeed, this mass usage means there is a lot of information around on what works etc that’s worth delving into. If you favour healing yourself naturally, why not your pet! But it is really down to personal choice…. I absolve all responsibility.
I found this site, which looks very comprehensive: