Essential Oils and Pets: Do’s and Don’ts

Essential oils are extremely popular right now and there are a ton of GREAT benefits for people when used appropriately. Unfortunately, our pets aren’t so lucky! Some of the seemingly innocent essential oils that we use can actually cause a ton of harm to our pets! So, how do we use these without harming our fur babies?

We’re going to focus on aromatherapy usage of essential oils since currently, we cannot recommend that any essential oils be used topically on your pet. We will also be focusing on dogs and cats as household pets. We at Pippin Tails teamed up with Rocky Mountain Essential Oils (RMO) to do three things in this article;

1. What essential oils can you not use if you have dogs? What essential oils can you not use if your cats? Why?!

2. What oils can you use in a multi-pet household that are enjoyable for aromatherapy AND safe for use?

3. Why we only use Rocky Mountain Essential Oils in our home, and why we recommend you do too!

Alright, let’s dive in so that you can diffuse those beautiful oils and keep Fido the dog and Frisky the cat safe!

Okay, so let’s talk about the first question I always get when I talk to people about this – Well, I’m just diffusing it so how does that hurt them? So let’s start with talking about the two types of diffusing. In previous years many people burned candles, used plug-ins or reed diffusers. These are passive diffusers which means they give off a scent but there is no distribution of oils. The type of diffusing that essential oils users prefer is active diffusing which mixes essential oils with water in a diffuser and then those particles are steamed into the air.

Okay, but I spray stuff in the air at my house? How is this different? Well, it’s different because since this is a continuous diffuser the particles will actually “settle” and get into the coat and hair of your pets. So we all know dogs and cats lick themselves so now we’ve gone from dermal reactions to oral ingestion. This is how toxicity happens. Scary right?! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

Let us start with the most important information first! What oils can you NOT use?!

If you have dogs you should never diffuse these oils in the vicinity of your pets:

Essential Oils Dogs

The Pet Poison Helpline states that the top three oils that are dangerous for dogs are Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil), Pennyroyal, Wintergreen, and Pine oils. These oils have severe effects and are the most commonly involved in canine toxicity.

Cats have the most problems with essential oils and the side effects for them can be fatal. If you have cats you should never diffuse these oils in the vicinity of your pets:

Essential Oils Cats

The Pet Poison Helpline expands on why cats struggle so much with essential oils due to the lack of an enzyme in their livers that impact their ability to break down and eliminate toxins such as essential oils.

*NOTE; These lists are not exhaustive but a good guideline. Please consult your vet if you have a specific question. Also, it’s not the scent that your pet will acknowledge as harmful but it is actually the effects. Some scents are too strong for pets and they will prefer to not be in the room. If respiratory distress occurs discontinue oils of any kind. Please do not think if your pet doesn’t like it they will leave the room. They may not dislike the scent but it could cause internal damages.*

Now, what CAN we use?! Tons of stuff! Here are a few of our favorites that we use and blend! Each one has a property that helps us and our pets so we will talk a little bit about each one! So, let’s explore the ability to use essential oils for wellness in our homes with pets including our cats and dogs.

Geranium Essential Oil – I love this oil because of the beautiful flowery and rosy scent and its huge range of benefits! It’s known for its ability to provide emotional support when used in aromatherapy.

Jasmine Essential Oil: This oil is known for relieving stress and depression with a fragrant scent. This is a go-to oil for relaxation!

Patchouli Essential Oil: This oil is known for its grounding powers. It has a strong scent and honestly, I love it for rainy days when the dogs come in smelling a bit like wet mops! This is a great base scent for some of the emotional and relaxation oils!

Rose Essential Oil: This is perhaps the most beautiful scent that there is! This oil, similar to the other floral oils, reduces anxiety and improves depression.

Spruce Essential Oil: With the holidays approaching we all love that winter scent! Since pine and wintergreen are toxic to pets, spruce is a great alternative! This is another great grounding oil and also has calming effects as well.

Lavender Essential Oil: This is the oil that lives in the bedroom most of the time due to its ability to help improve sleep. This oil acts as a soothing and beautifully smelling sedative. I’ve noticed that the dogs even seem to reap the benefits of this oil as well.


Sandalwood Essential Oil: On a personal level, this has always been one of my favorite scents in the world! When used in aromatherapy it has the ability to help with relieving tension and is a great compliment to the floral scents.

Sage Essential Oil: Sage is one of the items that we use in our house frequently. Though I love to burn sage, I also love to diffuse it as well. Of all the oils, this is the only one that is labeled a stimulant. This is one of my go-to oils when I need to wake up my brain from fatigue and also help me feel positive!

These are just a few of the possible oils that pet parents can use in their homes with dogs and cats! We hope to bring you more options of oils you CAN use in the future! One thing to note, you will see there are a lot of floral and earthy tones since that is the trend of what is safe for pets. Because of that, we have put together some Pippin Tails Essential Oil Blend recommendations!

Essential Oil Blends by Pippin Tails

As you will see, all of our oils come from Rocky Mountain Essential Oils and we are thankful that they stepped up and wanted to sponsor this article and support pet parents in utilizing essential oils safely! Rocky Mountain Essential Oils was chosen as the Pippin Tails preferred (and our household brand) due to their strong standards and commitment to excellence. Their S.A.A.F.E. promise is the guarantee that their products are 100% pure with GC/MS testing and free of adulterants.

We hope that this helps you as a pet parent be able to safely use essential oils for aromatherapy for both you and your pets!



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