Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs? Safe and Toxic EO List

Essential oils are more and more common in many households. We’re always on the hunt for natural, safer and chemical free alternatives in our homes. However, are essential oils safe for dogs? We’ll be looking at different essential oils – which ones are safe, and which ones are toxic. Also, we’ll discuss how you can use essential oils safely around your Doodle.

are essential oils safe for dogs
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?

Even if your body can handle whatever you put in it, your Doodle’s body might not be able to process the same things. All bodies are complex systems built with many different enzymes. Thus, dogs can’t metabolize everything the same way as we do. 

Take a look at our article on foods that are harmful for dogs. This really does emphasize that your Doodle cannot enjoy everything that you can.

It’s even more important to note that if your dog has any underlying health issues – especially kidney or liver problems – you should be extremely cautious with essential oils.

If you’ve ever had any contact with essential oils, you know that even a few drops pack a punch. Essential oils are extremely concentrated and can cause harm if not handled properly. 

Not only can essential oils cause harm if your dog ingests it, but they can also do harm if applied topically on the skin or fur. But, even just a few drops in a diffuser can be poisonous for your Doodle. Dogs are extremely sensitive to smells, so be careful about which compounds your dog may inhale.

Never leave a bottle of essential oil lying around the house and do not apply anything on your Doodle’s skin. If you handle essential oils, always carefully wash your hands afterwards.

Which Essential Oils Are Toxic to Dogs?

Let’s have a look at the essential oils that are not safe for dogs: 

  • Tea tree oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine oils
  • Ylang ylang
  • Eucalyptus
  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Garlic
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow
  • Spruce
  • Orange
  • Oregano
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit

There are many other essential oils that are not safe for dogs, so before you expose them to any new smells, do extensive research and contact your vet. Of course, there are essential oils safe for dogs, if used in diffusers for a short time.

Keep in mind the symptoms of toxicity, which include weakness, depression, vomiting, excessive drooling, diarrhea, difficulty walking, and low body temperature or even paralysis in severe cases.

If you notice any unusual signs in your dog’s behavior, go to the vet immediately!

What Oils Should You NOT Diffuse Around Dogs?

Are essential oils safe for dogs if you add them in your diffuser? As we briefly mentioned above, even when your Doodle inhales essential oils from the air, the droplets will still enter his bloodstream. 

A good rule of thumb is to avoid diffusing any essential oils that have a cooling or heating effect. You should not diffuse these oils around your dog:

  • Cinnamon
  • Tea tree oil
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Ylang ylang
  • Wintergrass

Which Essential Oils are Safe for Dogs?

It is only natural that you’d be looking for natural alternatives to enhance your pup’s wellbeing. But as we know, even natural things can be poisonous. So, are essential oils safe for dogs?

The safest way to use essential oils is by diffusing them. It is best not to use them topically or let your Doodle ingest them. If you are using an essential oil topically (only if your vet allows it!), always use a safe carrier oil to dilute the essential oil to a minimum.

What Essential Oils are Safe to Diffuse Around Pets?

Here are essential oils safe for dogs:

  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Cardamom
  • Clary sage

For your Doodle’s health, the general recommendation is that you only let the air diffuser run for about 10 minutes and use an extremely small amount of the essential oil. As we already mentioned, essential oils are very potent and even a few drops is more than enough. 

are essential oils safe for dogs
Photo by Drew L on Unsplash

Furthermore, only diffuse essential oils in a well-ventilated area. You should also leave the door open, so your Doodle can leave the room any time they want. 

If you’re using essential oils in an air diffuser for your own benefit, keep the diffuser in another room where your pet can’t reach it.

Moreover, do not use any essential oils in a diffuser before you’ve discussed this with your vet. If you have a puppy or an elderly dog, your Doodle is pregnant or nursing, or if they have any respiratory health issues or kidney or liver problems, it is likely that you should avoid all essential oils in your home.

Of course, there are more essential oils safe for dogs. Nevertheless, do your research and discuss them with your vet. Veterinary professionals have seen it all and probably have heard and witnessed how dogs react to different essential oils.

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs?

You should not use eucalyptus essential oil around or on your Doodle. While some dogs may not have any problems when inhaling a small amount of eucalyptus oil, others may show signs like pacing, wrinkled nose and tail tucking. 

Symptoms of toxicity include excess drooling, weakness, depression, vomiting and diarrhea. All of these symptoms can lead to severe dehydration and electrolyte loss.

Additionally, eucalyptus essential oil is toxic to cats.

Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?

Some essential oil enthusiasts claim that peppermint can be beneficial for skin itchiness, allergies and for overall respiratory health benefits. In contrast, the American Kennel Club advises against it. (Source)

For skin issues and allergies, some pet owners use peppermint oil topically. Unfortunately, this can cause adverse side effects like more itchiness. And if a Doodle gets itchy, they scratch. Therefore, if the skin breaks, it can cause more harm like infections and possibly a bigger risk of toxicity.

If, for some reason you do use peppermint oil in your home, it should be used in very small amounts and only in a diffuser. And most importantly, discuss diffusing peppermint oil with your veterinarian first. 

Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

In very small dosages, diffusing lavender essential oil can have a calming effect on dogs. Some pet owners advise placing a few drops on your dog’s bedding. However, we rather recommend that you diffuse it in a well-ventilated area in small amounts. 

Is Lemon Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

Trusted pet veterinary sources say that lemon and citrus essential oils should be avoided if you have a dog. While some people claim that lemon essential oils can boost a Doodle’s immune system, we do recommend that you avoid it. 

Is Lemon Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Is Orange Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

Similarly, because orange is a part of the citrus family, we do not recommend exposing your Doodle to orange essential oil. 

Essential Oils for Dog Anxiety

Lavender, chamomile, and peppermint oils can have a calming, anti-anxiety effect on your dog. However, we recommend you stick with lavender and chamomile, as these are the safest options. 

Essential Oils for Dog Fleas

The most common essential oils for dog fleas are usually tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil. Nevertheless, these are also some of the most toxic essential oils for dogs. Above all, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support the claims that these essential oils help fight fleas. Instead, opt for your vet approved flea control medications.

Essential Oils for Dog Allergies (Skin)

For dog allergies, lavender, myrrh, chamomile, and peppermint may be helpful. But again, when applying essential oils topically, it can cause skin irritation. 

It is wise to discuss your Doodle’s skin issues and allergies with a veterinarian. Above all, you should want to get to the root of the issue – not just relieve the symptoms.

Essential Oils for Dog Odor

If you browse around the internet, you may find many different spray recipes to deal with doggy odor. But if you look closely, many of those include oils like clove, oregano, thyme, or citrus, which you should avoid. Instead, ensure good hygiene and wash your Doodle regularly. 

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In summary, most of us enjoy the refreshing or calming aroma of essential oils. There are essential oils safe for dogs. However, it’s important that you keep in mind that some essential oils can be extremely toxic for your furry little friend.

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The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.

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