Safely Using Essential Oils with Pets


This is a collection of our info about Safe Dogs, Safe Cats and other general pet info. Please click through to the appropriate pages for full details.


Is it Safe to Use Essential Oils With Dogs?

No…Cats simply are unable to metabolize essential oils due to the lack of glucuronyl transferase, a liver enzyme.

Is it Safe to Use Essential Oils With Cats?


  • No essential oils should be used *around* any other small animals, such as bird, fish, rabbits, hamsters or any other small animals that live in a cage or tank.  Please note *around* means no diffusing any oils in the same room with an animal that is in a cage or tank.  If you are using EOs in a cleaning spray it would be best to remove the cage (or the animal from a cage) to another room for a time so the scent of the oils can dissipate.

Do you have issues with fleas?  Here is a great recipe from Lea which can help.  If you have issues with fleas in the home, please see our Pests info here.

The Question of Tea Tree and Dogs from Lea

This question comes up often, because in my post about dogs ( I have Tea Tree listed as safe for use with dogs when used appropriately. This was after consulting two popular books about aromatherapy and animals, and taking a highly respected course on animal aromatherapy.
But some people believe it is NOT safe at all based on another group’s info (run by a woman I respect). I checked out (again) that particular info and here are my comments and why I take the stance that Tea Tree is NOT toxic to dogs if used appropriately:
The group has a file which states: “There are certain essential oils that should not be used with animals: one in particular is tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), which for some pets can cause poisoning and other serious health concerns [2, 3, 4]. ”

2 is a link to this page:
Which states: “As little as 7 drops of 100% oil has resulted in severe poisoning, and applications of 10-20 mls of 100% oil have resulted in poisoning and death in both dogs and cats. Products containing tea tree oil concentrations less than 1-2% are generally considered non-toxic if used according to labeled directions.”

I think we can all agree using THAT much of ANY essential oil is not cool! And it DOES state here 1-2% dilution IS NON-TOXIC. And I only recommend 0.25% topical use.
3 is a link to this page:
Which states: “Tea tree oil and pets: Veterinary toxicologists have reported that large amounts of tea tree oil applied to the skin of cats and dogs caused poisoning. Symptoms have included muscle tremors, weakness, difficulty in walking, low body temperature, and excessive salivation. With pets, as with people, following label instructions is essential.”
4 is a link to here:
Which discusses that it is unsafe around cats (I agree).
This all said, if you disagree, and want to avoid using Tea Tree around dogs – go for it 🙂

Lea Harris is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist Scholar's Program graduate from Aromahead Institute. This website, and its sister website, LearningAboutEOs, is home to educational advice and information about using essential oils safely. Lea founded and runs the Using Essential Oils Safely facebook group, with hundreds of new members joining each week. Lea is the author of The TRUTH About Essential Oil Safety, and the creator of Safe Essential Oil Labels and the UEOS App. You can find FREE classes here: Free Essential Oil Classes.

Lea received her herbalist certification through The Herbal Academy of New England. Lea is a contributing writer for Natural Herbal Living magazine, and blogs about herbs and natural living on her website, Nourishing Treasures.

Lea is Professional level member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.

Businesses, groups, and individuals can hire Lea to consult on safety, product formulation, and more on her website Lea Harris CCA.



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