Essential Oils and Animals

Can I use essential oils & aroma oils around my pets?

I am often asked this question – and I always put safety before all else when it comes to working with natural products!

Firstly, it’s important to be aware that animals have a hugely more sensitive sense of smell to humans, so whatever you are diffusing will be strong for them.

Make sure your pet can escape the area where the scent is.

The rule of thumb is to use your essential oils and aroma oils in a well-ventilated space – you will still enjoy the full benefit of the therapeutic properties, but you won’t end up with overwhelm for animals (or small people). If you use ammonia-based cleaning products in your home, you will find that pets move away from them.

The same is true of pets and essential oils that are too strong for the animals. Just make sure your pets can escape if they need to.


Animals will move away from anything they find uncomfortable. Just observe their behaviour when you first place your drops in the diffuser – and make sure they are able to move away. Cats, in particular, are scent sensitive and will almost always vacate the area.

The question however is will essential oils or aroma oils cause harm to animals.

Avoid using ‘hot’ essential oils around animals.

These are mainly those derived from spice – clover, cinnamon, black pepper.

Strong smelling oils like peppermint, rosemary (great for human brains but a bit overpowering for animals, tea tree & eucalyptus can also be sometimes overpowering, but not more than strong cleaners using ammonia that we clean floors with.

I had a call recently from someone who wanted to rub essential oils on a horse to stop mosquitoes landing on the horse – while there are commercial products around for insect deterrent – and deterrent of unwanted mobile insects is the very basis of essential oil, those products are highly diluted and I do not recommend topical application of essential oils to animals without the advice from a vet with experience in natural therapies for animals.

None of the Aroma Oils that we stock have adverse effects on animals and they smell great!

Our diffusers are perfectly fine and safe around animals and small children as they produce no heat at all – the cold vapour is absolutely harmless (and in fact contributes well to a healthy home by producing negative ions.)

Animals have relatively short lives, so the likelihood of causing serious or significant harm to them by diffusing essential oils or aroma oils is not high, use common sense and enjoy your home!