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Lavender for Pets

By: Larry D. McCaskill, DVM, CTCVMP, doTERRA Scientific and Medical Education Committee

CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade® doTERRA Lavender is one of my favorite essential oils. I routinely use it both for myself and in my veterinary practice. The wonderful aroma and topical benefits have been enjoyed by many cultures for centuries.

A bottle of doTERRA Lavender essential oil on a conter top

Lavender soothes minor skin irritations and is especially popular for its beautiful calming aroma. While there’s plentiful information on using Lavender essential oil for people, its effect on pets is less researched.

One of the first questions pet owners ask is if Lavender is safe for their furry friends. From both literature and clinical use, I’ve found Lavender to be safe. In my six years of using it in veterinary practice, I’ve never seen an adverse reaction. While there are dos and don’ts for using essential oils on pets, Lavender is considered one of the safer essential oils.

However, this oil is also among the most adulterated products on the market. It’s frequently mixed with over-the-counter products like soaps, shampoos, and candles. These products can be toxic for your furry friends. Only use pure Lavender essential oil to prevent any adverse reactions.

I routinely recommend Lavender to treat minor skin irritations and cultivate calming environments for pets. Mix one drop with five drops of Fractionated Coconut Oil and apply it to the affected area twice daily until the skin returns to normal. Lavender soothes itchiness and has been tolerated well by the dogs and cats I’ve treated. Plus, Lavender is safe for internal use, so pets can lick any Lavender you apply without getting sick.

The calming aroma of Lavender essential oil has been helpful in my specialty veterinary acupuncture and integrative medicine practices. Most of my patients are referrals who’ve previously been treated by one or more veterinarians. Visits to the vet can frighten animals, so I cultivate a calming environment for them with Lavender.

A diffuser is always running in my exam rooms, filling the air with its relaxing aroma. I also rub two to four drops on pets’ paw pads, which helps soothe my stressed patients before checkups or acupuncture. You can use my Lavender methods to soothe your furry friends during other stress-inducing events, like automobile travel, thunderstorms, and fireworks. Diffuse it a few hours before (or during) anticipated stressful events or apply it every 30 minutes to two hours.

Each patient’s response may be different, but using these general guidelines can soothe troubled pets and treat minor skin irritations, helping ensure your furry friends are happy and healthy.

A woman laying on a bed with a cat.


  • doTERRA Lavender essential oil is safe for pets.
  • It soothes minor skin irritations.
  • It cultivates a calming environment for stressed animals.

Always consult with an educated veterinarian if you ever have questions about using essential oils, including Lavender, on your pets.

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