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Essential Oils and Pets

First, a little bit about myself. I LOVE animals. I adore my (human) family, but my pets are a close second. I’ve got a B.Sc. in Environmental Biology (from McGill/Macdonald) and am passionate about the animals in our world, both wild and domestic. I am also passionate about teaching the benefits of plant-based products and essential oils for health and wellness, and am currently pursuing my Aromatherapy Certification.
I’ve been married for 18 years, and we have 3 children and 2 dogs (we lost our 16-year-old shepherd mix last summer) and I use Young Living’s natural products on all of them.

Perry the Pug when he was tiny!
Our sweet Ginger, she was a second mother to our kids
My princess Lucy, constant and loyal companion



Where do I get my information from?

In addition to personal experience, I use the Animal Desk Reference (by veterinarian Melissa Shelton) and the Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference (by Life Science Publishing).

I also recently attended a phenomenal workshop by Chérie Ross and Sherry LaMarche on using Essential Oils for Animal Wellness. Their qualifications:
Chérie Ross has worked personally and professionally with essential oils for more than 35 years, teaching of their benefits all over the world. She is a certified animal communicator, Karuna Reiki master, and medical intuitive. She is also a sought-after educator in the area of natural health, having been interviewed on a variety of TV and radio shows, including being a featured natural health editor on the radio show Waking Up In America for five years.
Sherry LaMarche is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist. She is also certified in Equine Massage, Canine Myotherapy, Japanese Acupressure, and a Reiki Master. She is co-owner of Tenaya Farms, an Equine Rehab Facility in Walworth, Wisconsin.



Did you know Young Living has a Veterinary Advisory Council?

YL doesn’t take any chances with oil safety and animals. They consult the experts to ensure that their products are not only safe for animals, but beneficial for them too.

This council provides valuable insight into the development of YL’s pioneering essential oils and oil-infused products.

Young Living also hosts an entire conference every year specifically for oil use and animals. This weekend-long event is definitely on my bucket list!

You can read more about the Veterinary Advisory Council HERE


Natural, plant-based products and essential oils are an extremely effective way of taking care of the health of our loved ones. But what are they?
Simply put, they are the concentrated essence of a plant. They each contain hundreds of chemical constituents that benefit our health and wellness.
Young Living is the only brand of essential oils I recommend. You will see the same recommendation from DVM Melissa Shelton, Chérie Ross and Sherry LaMarche (mentioned above). Click on these two graphics for some information on different grades of essential oil, and how Young Living ensures the purity and authenticity of its therapeutic-grade oil with its Seed to Seal Process.

You can read more about Young Living’s industry-leading Seed to Seal Process HERE



Different ways to use essential oils: aromatically, topically and internally.

* the FDA approves of the internal use of therapeutic-grade essential oils. Health Canada does not.



For animals, like people — start slow. Essential oils are very powerful, and have potent scents. You know how sensitive a dog’s sense of smell is. You don’t want to overwhelm your pet and turn him/her off the oils simply because you started too strong. Give your pet a chance to adjust.
If you are going to be applying the oil to your pet, always dilute it significantly with a carrier oil and see how your pet reacts (liquid coconut oil and grapeseed oil are great choices). Putting the oils on your hands and then running your hands down your pet is a nice way to apply it to them.
When diffusing, start with just one drop of essential oil in the diffuser. And make sure your pet has the ability to leave the room if they desire. Start slow and build up to stronger concentration over time.
Same thing if you are adding an oil to their water or food — start with just one drop.
You can learn more about essential oil safety here:




The reason we need to take a little extra caution using oils with cats is because their livers don’t have the enzymes needed to metabolize the oils in the same way as the rest of us do.

So oils to avoid or use with caution for cats are those with high levels of phenols. Using too much of these oils can cause a build-up of these metabolites in the cat and cause toxicity in the cat’s body. The photo shows a list of those oils.

Does this mean you can never diffuse Thieves (which contains cinnamon and clove oils) in your home? No, of course not. Just use some common sense. Don’t diffuse that oil every single day, and make sure your cat has a way to leave the room where the diffuser is.

It’s all about moderation and concentration. The way I look at it is this — the same way I would probably go into toxic shock if I ate McDonald’s all day every day, but I’m fine to eat it once in a while. And I would never eat 12 Big Macs all at once. So moderation (not too often) and concentration (not too much).

As an example: if you’ve got a cold and want to use Thieves and Oregano to help you get better faster, a wise choice for cat owners would be to apply these oils directly to your body instead of diffusing it for a long time.

Other oils to use with caution around cats are citrus oils, because the Limonene converts to Phenols in the cat’s body. Again, no need to remove our beloved Lemon, Grapefruit and Orange oils from our repertoire. Just don’t subject your cat to steady diffusing of it.


And now onto the oils!
Lavender is the most well-known of essential oils, and has many behavioral uses such as calming, decreasing fear and stress, decreasing jumpiness / spooking, decreasing sensitivity to sound. Using a diffuser is very effective, or applying it directly to the dog.
It is also great for skin health and can be applied neat (undiluted) to your pet. It’s great on hot spots and skin cuts and abrasions — it decreases pain, speeds healing and is anti-infectious. When one of our dogs was licking her paws a lot (I’m assuming it was an allergic reaction to something), I applied lavender to her paws. It soothed the itch and she stopped licking.



Peppermint is amazing for really hot days. You can add a drop to your pet’s water to help cool them down as they drink, or even add a few drops to a play pool for dogs, to make their water play even more refreshing.
It can also be massaged into sore muscles or painful areas, in conjunction with PanAway and Copaiba (more on these oils later).



I’m sure your dog’s never eaten anything he/she shouldn’t, but our Ginger was a very naughty dog. I wish we would have had Digize when she had been younger! It’s amazing for indigestion and all digestive issues (vomiting, constipation, diarrhea). It is also good for parasites.

You can add Digize to their water or food, or even rub it on their tummies. You can rub it on your cat’s tummy once a week for hair balls. It’s a good idea to give it to your pets when you are transitioning them to a new food. You can even use it (coupled with Peppermint) for motion sickness.



Lemon is an amazingly effective and versatile oil. It stimulates the immune system and increases white blood cells. It is antibacterial and good for digestion. Diffused, it cleanses the air and reduces anxiety. It also detoxes — a drop or two in your pet’s water is effective.

Another use I like — it gets sticky sap and gunk off a dog’s coat



Panaway is a blend of essential oils for reducing pain and inflammation, increasing circulation, and accelerating healing. This oil is helpful after your pet has exerted his/herself playing and running, or when an aging dog is having a hard time getting around. Always dilute Panaway, it is quite strong. It can be massaged into the dog’s muscles or joints, and is most effective when followed with Copaiba and Peppermint.



Purification does exactly what it says — it purifies the air and rids the pet’s environment of odors and germs. I diffuse this one often to keep the house smelling fresh. You can diffuse it or spray it onto your pet’s bedding. Add it to your pet’s shampoo to eliminate skunk smell and doggie odor. It’s also a key ingredient in flea and tick sprays.
You can put a drop or two on a cotton ball and wipe the dog’s ears (never put oils inside the ear) to maintain healthy ears,  or apply it to cuts, bites and abrasions to support healing.
And did I mention, it gets rid of odors?? I don’t want people walking into my house and thinking “Wow, this family must have pets.”



Thieves is a blend of 5 different essential oils which support your pet’s immune system and keep everyone healthy. Diffusing it is a great way to benefit the household (you can diffuse it with Purification and Lemon for extra effectiveness). You can add a drop to your dog’s food to support his/her immunity. Or you can apply it directly to your pet (diluted).
It is good to give your pet Thieves when you are traveling, or any other situation where he/she may come into contact with unfamiliar germs.
Thieves is such an effective oil blend that Young Living has created an entire line of products around it — household cleaner, laundry soap, toothpaste to name a few. These products are safe for use around your children and pets (it’s the only cleaning product we use, so I feel comfortable having my kids help with the cleaning!) It is also comforting to know that my pets can lie down on the kitchen floor after I’ve mopped it, and they won’t come into contact with chemicals.



NingXia Red is a “liquid superfood infusion that supports many of the body’s systems and supports normal carbohydrate conversion to energy.”
In my own words: NingXia Red is an antioxidant beverage that tastes amazing and gives your body everything it needs to function at its best. I drink it twice a day, and so do our kids, because that way I know they are getting the nutrition they need even when life gets crazy. It is Young Living’s best selling product.
BUT: did you know, Mitch Seavey, winner of the 2013 Iditarod dogsled race, gives his sled dogs NingXia Red every day.
And the World Agility Champion (border collie) also gets NingXia Red every day.
So I think I’m in good company



Stress Away is one of my favorite oils (never leave home without it!), but it’s good for your pets too! Our pets feel stress and anxiety the same way humans do. You can apply this oil directly to your pet, or diffuse it, to achieve: a reduction in stress, improved mental response, lowering of hypertension, promoting relaxation, and a reduction in tension.

You can combine it with Lavender too — that’s what I do during times our dogs will be highly stressed (such as fireworks, or when new people are visiting).


I saved the best for last  Frankincense is one of the most important and well-used oils in the animal world. It is considered a “life force oil” and is beneficial for most major health issues for our pets, from abnormal cellular growth to brain issues. It is an immune system booster and all over health rejuvenator.

One common way to use Frankincense is in an anti-itch / hot spot spray.



I hope after reading all the amazing ways you can use pure, authentic therapeutic-grade essential oils to benefit our furry friends (and ourselves!), you would like to give them a try. Kicking unnecessary chemicals to the curb is so important, to keep ourselves and our pets as healthy as possible.

Good news, Young Living makes it quick and easy to get started  
These 11 amazingly versatile foundational oils, plus a diffuser, plus some NingXia Red packets, are all bundled together in our Premium Starter Kit. It’s valued at twice the price, but YL offers it for $160 ($199 in Canada). Simple as that. Everything we talked about for ourselves and our pets, in one package!

Plus I will teach you everything you need to know to take care of your home, family and pets with all-natural, plant-based wellness!

Who’s ready to get started? Click here to get yours!

** the Canadian kit comes with Northern Lights Black Spruce instead of StressAway. It’s used for the same purposes, but grown in Canada