A blog dedicated to promoting the healing power of essential oils and aromatherapy

Discover essential oil profiles, aromatherapy practice, essential oil safety, aromatherapy training,essential oil uses, aromatherapy talk and many more aromatherapy notes - all from a unique UK/USA perspective....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Essential Oils for Pets

A few people have asked me about the use of essential oil for dogs and cats; I have no experience or training in this area, and for the inexperienced, it can be a case of 'trial and error' because cats and dogs (and other animals) react differently to humans in the use of essential oils.  This is partly due to their various sizes, different PH levels and other anomalies.

Horses have long been known to respond positively to all types of alternative healing - including aromatherapy.  I don't personally own a horse, so I can't verify that absolutely but it is common knowledge.

However, I do own a dog and recently I have been looking for an alternative treatment to the veterinary endorsed flea and pest medications; althought these medications kept the fleas and other insects off my dog, he didn't really like them.  Every time I went to apply the medication, he ran away and hid or struggled all the time I was applying it.  He was also sick a couple of times after the application which made me think that he wasn't actually responding that well to the chemicals it was made up of.  They say animals tend to know what is good for them (sometimes!) so....

I finally looked to essential oils for an answer.  My dog is not a big dog - he is a cavalier king charles spaniel who weighs approximately 21 lbs (at best guess, its a while since he was actually weighed!).  After researching Valerie Ann Worwood's book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, in which she has a chapter on using essential oils for pets, I narrowed my choice down to either citronella essential oil or lemongrass essential oil.

I chose to use citronella essential oil and applied a single drop to my dog's neck, after first letting him sniff it.  Although he wasn't keen at the actual application (he actually doesn't like anything being put on him!), he wasn't opposed to the aroma and didn't react to it as negatively as the chemical medication - and so far it appears to have worked.

Every dog is different, so if you are using essential oils for pets I would advise doing a patch test first, know your dog, and let him 'choose' the essential oil.  Take extra care in using essential oils for pets, particularly if you have little or no experience or knowledge of using essential oils.

Valerie Ann Worwood's book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, is available in my Amazon book store for purchase.

If you have any thoughts on using "Essential Oils for Pets" please post a comment below!


  1. Please don't use them on cats!! http://www.thelavendercat.com/3201/index.html

  2. Thanks for that insight Kim - I have no experience of using essential oils for cats, so that was why I concentrated on my own personal experience with my dog in this blog post. But animals are sensitive creatures - so please don't expermiment if you don't know what you are doing!