Essential oils and Dogs – A Beginners Guide

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Welcome to my beginners guide to Essential oils and Dogs!

Whether you are experienced with oils or just starting out, this guide will help you with the basics for using oils on and around your canine family members.

If you’re interested in Essential oils and Cats check out my other post here.


Say hello to my two girls, Freya (pit mix) and Juno (pug mix).

They are my protectors and general shadows around the farm and rarely leave my side.  Both are huge cuddle bugs and let the cats call the shots. They both get essential oils from time to time for different reasons.

Juno began getting so timid that she would pee when approached by anyone but me, so after some research I began putting Valor on her ears and paw pads to help  boost her confidence and began implementing training modification to help her. Her nervous peeing never returned.

The first time Freya got essential oils tailored to her was because of a skin issue.  Long story short the poor baby had to wear a cone of shame and get the site cleaned twice daily. I whipped up some coconut oil with Clary Sage, Lemongrass, and Mountain Savory  to apply after the site was cleaned. It healed beautifully and she wasn’t as itchy after it’s application.

I also have a spray bottle  with some essential oils to spray on them and their bedding to help keep fleas away and I clean their things using the Thieves product line. I love knowing that they aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals and are reaping the benefits of the oils (flea deterrent as well as helping their coats shine).

As with anything  to do with Essential oils please do your research before you use them.  Below are some general guidelines and tips for using essential oils with your dogs.

  • Start Slowly. There are 220 million olfactory receptors in a dogs nose (as opposed to only 400 in humans), their sense of smell is crazy strong. Introduce 1 oil at a time, starting slowly  will help keep your dog from getting overwhelmed. Your dog will let you know if they like or are drawn to the oil by their reaction.


  • Application methods vary depending on your dogs tolerance, the oil, and the intended purpose. Common application methods are petting the oil into their fur (neat or diluted), Ingesting (via water, food, inside a treat or directly into their mouth), misted via a spray bottle or diffused.


  • When diffusing an oil always allow the dog the ability to leave the area.  Especially if the dog is showing agitation, which could mean the oil is too strong,  they are having a negative reaction to that particular oil, or they simply don’t need that oil.


  • If adding essential oil to their drinking water always have a second option of plain water. Allowing the dog to choose will avoid possible dehydration. Also always use ceramic or steel containers for holding water and essential oils – some oils can breakdown the plastic and leech into the water, yuck.


  • Each dog has a unique body chemistry and may react differently to each essential oil. Start slowly and watch your dogs response, this will help you gauge how much and how often to give oils or if your dog needs a different oil. Dogs tend to be drawn towards oils that they need and avoid those that they don’t. Watching your dogs reaction to an oil will help you greatly.


  • Always avoid getting oils in the eyes, ears*, and nose. These are highly sensitive and even highly diluted oils can cause irritation in these areas. * The outside of an animals ear may have diluted oil applied to it, just take care that oil does not fall into the ear canal.


  • Find a vet that is experienced with oils and can give you accurate advice and guidance on oils to use with your dog, especially if wanting to use oils for health concerns.


  • Use high quality therapeutic grade Essential oils. Essential oils are not regulated by federal agencies so find a company that offers tested therapeutic grade oils. I love Young Living and their Seed to Seal promise (I’ve also been to one of their farms!)  . Do your research and find  one you trust. If you want to know more about  Young Living and why I chose them please click here.

Now that you’ve ready some safety guidelines check out my top 6 oils to use with dogs ↓↓↓

Top 6 oils to use with dogs

  1. Copaiba – Copaiba oil helps create a relaxing atmosphere when diffused or applied topically.
  2. Frankincense – Creates a safe and comforting environment when you diffuse or inhale this empowering oil.
  3. Helichrysum –  Helichrysum oil provides many benefits for the skin.
  4. Valor –  Valor’s powerful yet calming scent is versatile, it can help instill a positive attitude and create a relaxed environment.
  5. Stress Away – Stress Away  has a soothing aroma when diffused or applied topically.
  6. Thieves –  The benefits of Thieves oil including cleaning power and an irresistibly spicy scent,  Diffuse it for a fresh, clean aroma around the house or apply it topically for its cleansing properties.


I list basic and compliant information on how to use these oils, though these oils have many other possible uses, talk with your veterinarian to find the oils that will work the best for you and your pets.

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Alycia Louise
Alycia has worked in the food industry for over 10 years. She lives in the PNW with her husband and three dogs. Her likes include coffee, rainy days and horror movies.
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