Top 20 Essential Oils for Dogs

The following essential oils are recommended by canine aromatherapist Kristen Leigh Bell.

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[Updated July 16, 2018]

1. Carrot Seed (Daucus carota). Skin care, first aid, healing, scarring, skin conditions. Super gentle.

2. Cedarwood, Atlas (Cedrus atlantica). Improves circulation, helps deter fleas. Skin care.

3. Chamomile, German (Matricaria recutita). Also called blue chamomile. Skin-soothing anti-inflammatory. Burns, allergic reactions, skin irritations.

4. Chamomile, Roman (Anthemis nobilis). Intensely calming and antispasmodic. Wound care, teething pain.

5. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea). Different from common garden sage. Gentle, sedating, calming.

6. Eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus radiata). The gentlest, best tolerated, most versatile eucalyptus (there are many). Anti-inflammatory, antiviral, expectorant. Diffuse as room air cleaner, deodorizer, flea repellent.

7. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Tonic, antifungal. For skin ailments, yeast overgrowth, fungal ear infections. Ticks dislike all rose fragrances, including this one.

8. Ginger (Zingiber officinale). Fresh, warm, spicy (don’t settle for ginger that smells stale, musty, or rank). Motion sickness, indigestion (see Peppermint), useful in massage oils for sprains, strains, dysplasia, arthritis.

9. Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum). Horrible smelling, incredibly effective essential oil (some people and dogs do like it). Also called Immortelle or Everlasting. Heals skin conditions, cuts, abrasions, wounds, injuries. Relieves pain.

10. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Used by the makers of pet aromatherapy products more than any other essential oil. Gentle, antibacterial, antipruritic (anti-itch), stimulates rapid healing, acts as a central nervous system sedative, very relaxing, deodorizing.

11. Mandarin, Green (Citrus reticulata). The sweetest essential oil, very relaxing. For fear, anxiety, stress. Avoid red mandarin, which is not the same, and use only organic green mandarin. This is not a distilled oil but is pressed from the rind of the fruit.

12. Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum marjorana). Pleasing, smooth herbal fragrance, calming, antispasmodic effects, strongly antibacterial. A recommended replacement for tea tree oil in blends for pets. Bacterial skin infections, wound care. Repels insects. Reduces undesirable behaviors of intact males.

13. Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha). Ancient resin with deep, warm, earthy fragrance. Anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Puppy teething pain, irritated skin. Boosts immune system. Opoponax myrrh (Commiphora erythraea) has similar properties and repels ticks.

14. Orange, Sweet (Citrus sinensis). Popular, uplifting, pleasant. Calms, deodorizes, repels fleas, treats skin conditions. Use organic sweet orange oil to avoid pesticide residues. Pressed, not distilled.

15. Peppermint (Mentha piperita). Digestive aid; stimulates circulation for injuries, sprains, strains, arthritis, dysplasia. Insect repellent. Relieves pain and itching. To prevent nausea and motion sickness, mix one tablespoon vegetable oil, seven drops ginger, and eight drops peppermint; give three drops orally.

16. Ravensare aromatica (Cinnamonum camphora). Gentle, antiviral, antibacterial.

17. Rose (Rosa damascena). Expensive, wonderful, makes any shampoo, spray, or grooming product luxurious. Stabilizes central nervous system. Calming. Add one to two drops to blends for itchy, irritated, or dry skin.

18. Thyme linalol (Thyme vulgaris, chemotype linalol). Common garden thyme has six known chemotypes, or chemical profiles. Thyme linalol is the most gentle and useful. Relaxing, antibacterial, antifungal without the harsh skin irritation associated with common thyme. Balancing tonic.

19. Thyme thujanol (Thyme vulgaris, chemotype thujanol). Like thyme linalol plus immune system stimulant, liver detoxifier, antiviral. Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, founder of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, recommends applying thyme thujanol immediately after a tick or tick bite is discovered in order to help prevent Lyme disease. For immune-boosting blends or when a powerful antibacterial is needed without caustic, skin-irritating effects.

20. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Relaxing, helpful for separation anxiety or fear of loud noises, storms, fireworks, new situations.

A RECIPE FOR “CALM DOG MIST”

When she manufactured pet products, Bell’s best-seller was Calm Dog Mist. To make it yourself, place one teaspoon vegetable glycerin, one tablespoon grain alcohol or vodka, one teaspoon sulfated castor oil, and 10 drops grapefruit seed extract in an 8-ounce cobalt blue, green, or opaque spritzer bottle. Add three drops valerian, two drops vetiver, four drops petitgrain, three drops sweet marjoram, and two drops sweet orange essential oil. Add seven ounces spring or distilled water (fill to top).

If desired, add several drops of flower essences such as Rescue Remedy or gemstone essences such as rose quartz. Shake well before using. Calm Dog Mist can be spritzed into your hands and massaged into the dog’s neck and chest, sprayed on bedding, or misted into the air.

12 COMMENTS

  1. My little girl is having some unrelenting coughing and it continues. What oil is good for putting in a diffuser that will help coughing? I need it to stop and the vet says nnothing more than she needs to lose weight. Is there an oil that i can give her orally too?

  2. I would try Eucalyptus radiata: Soothing to the respiratory system and supportive to antiviral function, Eucalyptus may be diffused around your pooch when they seem to have come down with a cold. I would also use lavender to calm and relax her muscles.

    • I am confused, in another article they mention that peppermint is toxic to dogs yet here they say it can be used internally! What the heck?! I wonder if there is a dosing issue? Ie: tea tree oil is also toxic, however, when diluted it can be used topically just fine.

    • Many essential oils can be toxic to animals if not diluted properly. I have a dog and cat. I clean my hardwood floors with a homemade laminate floor cleaner that has peppermint. It doesn’t bother either my cat or dog.

  3. I use a spray for flea and tick on my dog’s and the first ingredient is peppermint oil and they’ve had no issues. I’ve been using it for a bit.

  4. My 6 year old Maltese has had seizures for 5 years. My holistic vet has been treating her with a seizure formula he makes plus two drops of frankincense rubbed on her belly twice a day. She has not had a seizure in over a year since changing to this vet. Do you sell frankincense ?

  5. Please do your research and be sure to use ONLY pure unadulterated therapeutic-grade essential oils. The majority of essential oils sold over the counter at drug stores, big box stores, and chains are adulterated and harmful to pets (and humans). Full disclosure, I am a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, but I am not replying here to sell you doTERRA. I am first and foremost an animal lover and an animal advocate, and a loving dog mama, so once I was introduced to essential oils I researched and questioned and talked to a lot of experts in the fields of animals and essential oils. I currently have 3 go-to books that we recommended to me, for all things pets and essential oils. And Joy Smith on Facebook is incredibly knowledgeable and has an amazing training video.Joy is my go-to human for all things pets and essential oils. Joy is a vet tech and energy healer, and an amazing human being. I think there is a charge but it’s nominal and totally worth it! My tried and true reference books: SpOil Your Pet by Mia Frezzo DVM and Jan Jeremiah, MSc,; Holistic Aromatherapy for Pets by Kristen Leigh Bell; and my absolute favorite: Animal Desk Reference, Essential Oils for Animals by Melissa Shelton DVM, Holistic Veterinarian.
    Hope this helps!
    PS, I use doTERRA peppermint oil with my pets,, because I am 100% certain of the purity and lack of pesticides etc. I use a diluted mix of peppermint, lavender, and lemon oils to treat seasonal discomfort. Peppermint is strong so a little goes a long way even with humans. There was talk about using Melaleuca or Tea Tree oil, this one must be used sparingly and ALL oils must always be diluted with pets, even doTERRA or any pure unadulterated oil, this oil lingers in their liver longer and therefore can be harmful. It might be on the do not use list for cats. I’d have to look that one up. I have two dogs. We use the doTERRA oils with them for everything from anxiety to ticks and fleas to wound care.
    Cats and dogs have different oils on the don’t use or use sparingly lists, it’s vital to do your research and educate yourself or talk to a holistic veterinarians or YOUR veterinarian before using any oils with pets as animals are much more sensitive to the oils and respond differently than humans.
    AromaTools.com has some excellent resources on all things animals/pets and essential oils. I think Youroiltools.com has some decent resources as well.
    One last thing: diffuser use with pets. When using a diffuser with pets, please make sure that room is well ventilated, and it is critical that the pet has room to roam, they must be able to leave the room with the diffuser, never lock a pet in a room with a diffuser going. If a pet does not like or is bothered by certain smells they must be able to go to a different room. ♥️🐾

    • Thank you for this information Elaine. I also use doTERRA oils. Could you please list the oils to definitely NOT use in the diffuser and also any that you definietly would recommend to use please and thanks again for info 🙂

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