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Albuquerque VetCo

 / Pet Health  / What Essential Oils are Ok for my Dog or Cat?

What Essential Oils are Ok for my Dog or Cat?

essential oil for cats
Image by Erin Stone from Pixabay

Essential oils are no longer a trend, they are here to stay. They do everything from help you relax to energize you to heal you. But not all essential oils are ok to ingest and ones that are ok for humans to ingest are not necessarily ok for dogs to ingest. You need to check with your vet about any essential oil before giving it to your dog. Different size dogs will need different dosages and certain medical issues may be exacerbated by using oils.

What Essential Oils are Safe

Chamomile is wonderful for reducing stress. We love to drink camomile tea to help us unwind at night. It can have the same calming effect on dogs. Your dog doesn’t need the tea but you can give them a drop of chamomile oil to create a similar calming effect. It can be great to use with a hyper dog or one that is stressing out about going to the dog park.

Frankincense smells so good! Frankincense oil helps boost immunity and supports digestion. This can be a good oil to use if your dog is going to dog day care for an immuno bust or if they have a stress tummy to help support healthy digestion.

Ginger is great to use to clear out respiratory tracts and to soothe stomachs. It can also help with some joint pain.

Lavender is great for calming and relaxation but it can only be used topically. You can put it on their ears or collar and the smell will create a calming effect that is especially good for anxious dogs. It is also good to help ease car sickness.

Myrrh is good for skin irritations. It has an antiseptic and astringent quality. This makes it good for cleaning skin abrasions and irritated skin.

Peppermint is good for seasonal allergies. It supports a healthy and clear respiratory system. It is also good for joints. However, this should only be used through a diffuser. This means your dog should not ingest this and it should not be applied topically. It can be toxic if eaten.

If you are giving your pet essential oil you should know the signs of toxicity. Here are symptoms to look out for:

  • Drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Difficulty walking or stumbling
  • Muscle tremors
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Redness or burns on skin or gums
  • Vomiting

If you are worried your pet is getting sick from an essential oil you will want to go to an emergency vet immediately. Try to bring the essential oil with you so the vet can see it. You can also call the Pet Poison Helpline at 877.309.1406 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 855.299.2177.

Essential Oils Toxic to Cats

Essential Oils Harmful to Cats

Oils that are harmful to cats include, but are not limited to:

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pine
  • Ylang ylang
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Lavender

Essential Oils Toxic to Dogs

  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Juniper
  • Yarrow
  • Garlic

Don’t forget that some essential oils are ok to administer one way but not another. Diffusing might be ok but ingesting could be toxic. Always check with your vet on if it is ok to give them an essential oil, how to give it to them, and in what dosage.