Using Essential Oils in Your Home with Pets

There is a growing trend to using essential oils in the home and an interest in the health benefits for our pets. Here we discuss the application of essential oils in aromatherapy and in cleaning, and ways in which to be mindful when using essential oils in your home with pets.

Essential Oils and Pets


Aromatherapy is the art of using the therapeutic benefits of essential oils to enhance all aspects of health and well being. The methods for using essential oils are wide ranging and include diffusers, sprays, inhalation, topical application, baths and massage to name a few.

Aromatherapy and Pets:

The therapeutic benefits of essential oils to improve health and mood have been used by humans for centuries and there is a growing interest in applying these methods for the health and wellbeing of our pets too. There are however some notable differences between humans and pets to consider when thinking of using essential oils:

  • Pets are much smaller.

  • Pets have a different metabolism to humans.

  • Pets have more sensitive eyes and noses to humans.

Should you wish to apply aromatherapy to your pet you should first consult a qualified holistic veterinarian for advice.

Cleaning and Pets:

There is not a great deal of research on how the use of essential oils in cleaning might affect your pet. When essential oils are used in your cleaning routine or present in cleaning products they are at very dilute ratios compared with applying essential oils as an aromatherapy treatment.

Nonetheless, dogs and cats in particular are very susceptible to scent and odour particles due to their abundance of olfactory receptors so it is wise to be aware of the following considerations when using essential oils with pets in your home.

General Considerations: 

  • Ensure that your essential oils are 100% pure and not synthetic or fragrance oils as these will contain other unknown chemical compounds that your pet may react with.

  • In the presence of pets, essential oils should be used heavily diluted such as in a spray bottle or diffuser.

  • The room should be well ventilated and pets should be easily able to leave the room if needed.

  • Keep essential oils away from your pets nose, mouth, face and eyes.

  • Store essential oils securely and out of reach in a cool, dark cupboard.

  • Do not use essential oils around puppies or kittens under 10 weeks old.

  • Watch for any adverse symptoms in your pet such as irritation, distress or leaving the room.

  • Do not leave essential oils in dishes of water where your pet may ingest them.

  • Avoid using any essential oils in the first trimester of pet pregnancy.

The considerations above for using essential oils in a home with pets can also be applied to other household products with a strong scent or odour such as store bought cleaning products, washing detergents, scented candles, perfumes, etc. 

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