Aromatherapy can be very beneficial for pets, when used safety, correctly and responsibly. The 2 main factors are to use essential oils in a safe dilution ratio and short frequency of time in a well-ventilated area. Certain essential oils will be safer than others. When using aromatherapy with your pet, I highly recommend knowing and understanding safety precautions, guidelines, contraindications, and sensitivities so that you know when your pet is responding or if they are reacting.
Safe essential oils for animals
I do find certain scent categories of essential oils to be more gentle than others. For example, citrus, floral, woods and some herbals will be more beneficial and safe. Spices, camphors and some herbaceous need to be used sparingly, Such as cinnamon, oregano, sage and thyme.
Scent categories for animals
- Citrus & fruity: Uplifting, energizing and mood supporting
- Floral: great for scan, emotional balance, territorial, and feeling nurtured
- Green & herbal: immune supporting
- Euphoric: depression, grief, PTSD
- Camphor: respiratory and circulatory issues
- Spices: digestive issues, feeling safe
- Woods: hyperactive, obedience, anxious, fear
- When using topically, always combine essential oils in a carrier first to avoid contraindications, skin sensitivities, skin burning and over toxicity.
- Use essential oils in a carrier around a wound, but never in it.
- When diffusing essential oils, keep a well-ventilated area so your pet can leave the room easily.
- Use less than a 2% dilution ratio. With smaller animals, under 20 pounds, use a .5% dilution ratio.
- You can review other safety guidelines here
For more detailed information, resources & recipes to use aromatherapy with pets, we have an Aromatherapy for Pets Guide by Clinical Aromatherapist & Herbalist, Jennifer Pressimone.
Interview with Jennifer Pressimone with the Biotone EduTalk Author Series about what inspired her to write the book, all the goodies inside of the book, and how it can help you use aromatherapy with your pets.