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Episode 28: Using Essential Oils with Animals

This episode Dr. Janet Roark, a licensed veterinarian, will discuss using essential oils with the animals in your life. She'll answer questions like: Are essential oils beneficial to animals? What essential oils and applications methods are best for animals? and Are there any oils that I shouldn't use with animals?


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Hi friends. It's me, Dr. Janet Roark, the essential oil vet coming to you from Austin, Texas. I own Hill Country Mobile Veterinary Service here in Austin and I get to talk to you today about two of my favorite things in the whole wide world, essential oils and animals. So, it's kinda good that I'm the essential oil vet, right? So, there's a few things we're gonna talk about today. Limited in time to 15 minutes. So, any of you who have been to my live classes, you know I tend to be a little long winded so I'm gonna have to cram as much information in here as possible for y'all. And let's get started.

Can I use essential oils with animals?

So, the first thing I want to address is are essential oils beneficial to animals? Yes of course. Why would I use them if they weren't? But yes and no. So, this is one of those yes, but questions. So yes, you can use essential oils with animals. But, it really matters which ones you're gonna be using.

Essential Oil Brand Matters

And when it comes to essential oils, brand super-duper really, really important, it matters, right? So, of course, we're talking about doTERRA essential oils and that's what I use in my practice. And the reason is because other brands of essential oils just don't cut it. I actually had somebody contact me today and told me that when she was diffusing another brand of lavender, her cat actually had problems. Had some health problems. But she diffuses doTERRA lavender all the time now and her cat does wonderful. Zero health problems. So that's just kinda one example of yes the brand matters. You want to make sure you're getting CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade™ oils.

DigestZen Essential Oil

And some of the essential oils that, and doTERRA products that I use a lot are things like DigestZen for digestive health. Digestive health is really huge in the animal world when we're talking about, whether we're talking about dogs or cats or horses or cattle, all of them. We really need them to have a super healthy digestive tract. So, when we're talking about all things digestive, DigestZen is my favorite. So, whether things are moving along a little too quickly or maybe not fast enough, you can definitely reach for the DigestZen.

Essential Oil Dilution for Animals

Just remember that for dogs and cats and small animals, the smaller they are, the more you want to dilute it. We typically use a one to 2% dilution for dogs. And cats that means one drop of essential oil to 100 drops of carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil. And I love doTERRA's Fractionated Coconut Oil because it's not as greasy as some of the other products out there.

DigestZen TerraZyme Digestive Enzyme Complex

Other things that really help with digestion is our TerraZyme. TerraZyme from doTERRA is one of the best digestive enzymes on the market. And this does include the pet specific digestive enzymes that are out there on the market. So, if you have a dog and they are under 25 pounds you can actually break open that capsule and sprinkle half of it on their food twice a day. And then if the dog is over 25 pounds, they can have a full capsule. And just sprinkle it on their food. It helps with digestion, keeps things moving the way it's supposed to. Especially if you're feeding something like a cooked or a kibble type diet. They definitely need that added support.

Copaiba Essential Oil

One of the other oils that I really love and I use every single day in my practice is Copaiba. So, Copaiba is a wonderful oil that supports the cardiovascular system. It supports the neurologic system. It's so amazing. It supports the liver and the kidneys and the urinary tract. Oh my gosh it's so good for everything. I don't know why everybody doesn't use it. Actually, after this video probably all of you will use it. So, Copaiba's a really great one to use.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is another one that I use quite commonly to help with animals that maybe they get a little afraid during thunderstorms or if the wind is blowing too hard. Or perhaps they get a little nervous when new people come over. Or if their owners are away at work. You can diffuse it, help 'em calm down and it's absolutely wonderful for overall calming benefits. So, we talked a little bit about diffusing. We talked a little bit about you know, DigestZen and how to use TerraZyme and sprinkle it on their food. So, there's different ways that you can use it. I just want to make sure that this is really clear.

Application Methods for Animals

So, there's three different ways you can use essential oils with pets and animals in general. Just like with people you can use it aromatically, topically, and internally. And we typically use essential oils diffused or topically with animals.

Diffusing Oils with Animals

And so, an example of diffusing an essential oil, you can diffuse three to four drops of Peace or Serenity in your Lumo diffuser, put it on a 10-hour setting, which is a really great setting. 'Cause it's five minutes on, five minutes off and it can go all day. It's perfect if you have pets in the house. And just three to four drops. Put it in an area that's in an open room with the doors open so the animal can leave if they want, and it will totally calm your animal down. Similar to lavender. So, Peace and Serenity are really great choices for diffusing.

Balance Essential Oil

Topically I use Balance quite frequently topically. Balance is already diluted. So, what I typically do is just put a drop of Balance on my hands, rub my hands together, and then pet my animal along the spine. And I use this in almost every essential oil application that I use topically with animals. And this can be used with every single species. I use it with cats. I use it with dogs, horses, cattle, goats. They absolutely love it as well. Balance my number one favorite oil for animals. Especially for topical use.

Cardamom Essential Oil

Another oil I use topically pretty regularly is Cardamom. It's one that a lot of people don't think about but I love this oil. It's related to ginger. And it is so gentle so you can use it topically with cats and with dogs to help support their digestive system like we talked about already with DigestZen, but also to support their respiratory tract. So, I really like this one to support the respiratory system. So, this is a really great one to use topically.

Internal Use with Animals

Internally I typically don't use oils internally unless we're dealing with a specific issue. But oils that maybe don't smell as good or are a little bit spicier like On Guard or Turmeric are really good choices to use internally. Turmeric supports the nervous system. It's another really good one for overall health. And On Guard of course is our immune supporting blend. Very good for situations if maybe you're gonna be traveling or your animal needs to be boarded at a kennel. It's a really great one to use three to four days before they go in, and then three to four days after they return home to make sure that they stay nice and healthy and have a really supported immune system.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Animals?

So, that being said, one of the most common questions I get asked is about safety. So, are there any essential oils that we shouldn't use with animals? I see crazy stuff on the internet and I really don't want to hurt my animal. Oh my gosh, of course we don't want to hurt our animals, right? So, there are some oils that you do want to stay away from with dogs and cats. In particular with dogs, Melaleuca, Birch, and Wintergreen are a little bit too much for them. And the way they metabolize oils, they just metabolize these ones very slowly. And it can cause some problems. So, we do stay away from those oils, particularly topically and certainly internally with dogs.

With cats, those three oils as well, Melaleuca, Birch, and Wintergreen. And we also see some problems with respiratory symptoms with certain cats with Peppermint and Spearmint. And then of course you always want to be careful with your hot oils in general with those little bitty guys. So hot oils meaning oregano, thyme, On Guard, cinnamon. Some of those really, really spicy oils. So, you want to just be a little bit more careful with those ones.

Work with Your Veterinarian

And that is all the information I have for you today. I hope I did well as far as keeping it under 15 minutes. If any of you guys have any questions or you want to follow me on Facebook, I'm the Essential Oil Vet on Facebook and on Instagram. Feel free to follow me. I do go live in there weekly and answer questions if you have anything. Always work with your veterinarian. Particularly when you are using essential oils if for any particular reason with your animals. And I'll see you next time. Bye.

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