A Guide to Using Essential Oils Around Your Pets

Every day, more households are making an effort to go natural. Essential oils have become a must-have tool for families trying to eliminate chemicals from their home and taking a DIY approach to life.

However, natural doesn’t always mean safe, at least where your furry friends are concerned. Here are some helpful tips for using essential oils when pets are around.

Don’t Apply Oils to Your Pets

Essential oils aficionados know that some oils are best diluted with a carrier oil. Whether you choose a pure carrier oil from the Argan Oil Shop or blend them into creative concoctions, being careful matters.

With pets, it’s not only the volatile or hot essential oils that are a concern. Even the calming oils can hurt a pet. Small mammals process things differently. For example, chocolate is a delicious treat for humans that can be detrimental to Fido. The same concept applies to oils.

Essential oils can cause liver damage leading to failure and death in cats, even the purest, most beneficial oils. So, refrain from applying the oils directly to your animal; keep them for yourself instead.

Keep Them Out of Reach

Cats and dogs have a way of making a mess sometimes. Dogs, in their excitement, can easily bump into something and knock it over or catch an unfixed object with their tail. Cats sometimes knock things over to remind you who really runs the household.

It’s important to store your essential oils out of reach of pets to avoid potentially dangerous spills. The same applies to the use of a diffuser: put it somewhere safe, where it’s not at risk of being bothered by a pet. The adage “curiosity killed the cat” is one that’s best left unproven.

Use in a Well-Ventilated Area

Diffusers are a lovely way to distribute essential oils throughout the home. Another common way to use essential oils is to create cleaning products that leave the house smelling amazing. As long as you’re cautious about the oils you use, these methods are fine when you have pets.

The caveat, however, is to use them in a well-ventilated area. If you have a diffuser in your bedroom, be sure that your pet can’t be stuck in the room with the door closed. Even if the diffuser is out of reach, the oils could potentially overwhelm their system.

If you clean your floors or counters, turn on a fan or open a window. If that’s not possible, keep your pet in another area of the house for an hour following use.

Head to the Vet Right Away

If your pet starts acting out of character, don’t hesitate to rush them to the vet. Accidents happen, even when people take precautions against them.

Some common signs of essential oil toxicity in pets include:

  • lethargy
  • vomiting and diarrhea
  • excessive drooling
  • whining for no apparent reason
  • irregular breathing
  • shaking or shivering
  • disorientation or difficulty walking

Being proactive can save your pet’s life.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let this post scare you. There are a lot of pet lovers who use essential oils around their animals without a problem. However, the horror stories should give you pause. Be mindful about your essential oil use around animals and your entire family can stay healthy and chemical-free.

P/S This is a collaborative blog post with the Argan Oil Shop.



  1. nigel hunter
    September 11, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    That was interesting to know. About chocolate. Yes it is dangerous but you can by CAROB chocolate from pet shops and I expect health food stores so doggies do not have to miss out.I guess if there are Carob infusions these should be safe but it would need checking.

    • ambitiousmamas
      September 23, 2019 / 7:50 pm

      HI Nigel,
      Good to hear from you. Carob for doggies. Wow! Thanks for enlightening me.

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