Do you have a pharmacy of essential oils at home but are not sure which ones are safe to use around your animals?

We regularly use essential oils when treating patients, and the power in just one drop can be life-changing.

Why do we use Essential Oils?

Their power to effect physical and emotional change is tremendous, and in many cases can be more rapid than anything else.  After studying the science behind their use and witnessing the deep way they act in the body, it becomes clear that these little bottles of aromatic liquids are more potent than they seem.

Dr Natalie - DoTerra Essential Oils for Pets Workshop Sunshine Coast

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the aromatic liquid extracts from plants. Plants use the oils to serve as both protection and communication. They have a small molecular structure, which allows them to pass into cells, and the biochemical effect can bring about physical and emotional healing.

How can you use Essential Oils?

There are many ways they can be effectively and safely utilised for the benefit of your pets:

  • Diffusing oils in a pet’s environment can effect their emotions, helping to calm stressed or anxious animals, and also have physical effects (they purify the air after an anal gland expression for example!)
  • Petting applications, where a few drops of selected oils are rubbed between your palms and then applied to the animal by petting, stroking the ears, or a during massage session
  • Using them topically, in solutions or ointments prepared specifically for your pet (view our range of products in our online store)
  • Internally, by adding to drinking water, food, administering directly into the mouth, or in capsules (NOT WITHOUT VETERINARY DIRECTION)

Common oils we use include lavender, melaleuca, helichrysum and frankincense, as well as some doTERRA blends – Purify and On Guard are clinic favourites, as well as the emotional blends – Balance for calming, and Console during a euthanasia goodbye.

We prefer to allow animals to SELF-SELECT oils wherever possible, meaning we will offer different bottles of oils and monitor the pet’s response to determine which oils are accepted and likely to be beneficial for that pet.

Essential Oil Safety

Not all essential oils are safe to use in animals.  Some oils can cause harm, especially when incorrectly prescribed, administered by inappropriate routes, or if poor quality oils are used.

Certain oils are more likely to cause reactions, for example oregano and cinnamon oil and some citrus oils.

We use only certified therapeutic grade essential oils in our practice and encourage anyone wanting to use essential oils on their pets to seek veterinary advice first from a vet experienced in their application. Therapeutic grade oils are very potent and have immense power to heal, but depending on concentration, quality, selection and application method also have the potential to harm.

There are no organisations that regulate or certify ‘therapeutic grade’ oils, and so when using oils that are marketed as therapeutic grade, it is up to the consumer to check that internal and third-party testing as well as independent audits are being carried out.  With doTERRA we have found that they achieve what they have set out to do – produce the best quality oils in the world for health and wellness outcomes.  It is important that oils chosen for pets are of the highest grade and purity as contaminants can potentially be highly toxic.

Our Holistic Vets have experience prescribing essential oils for specific conditions and can advise you how to safely use essential oils in your home and on your pet for optimal health and well-being.  We base much of our work on that of Dr Melissa Shelton DVM, who has been using essential oils in practice for many years and continues to perform numerous studies proving their efficacy and safety when used appropriately.

Online Educational Video

If you would like to learn more, we have created an educational video showing you how to get started using essential oils on your pets, safely.  Here is a preview with Dr Natalie:

‘Introduction to Essential Oil Use in Pets’ is a 21 minute long educational online video that you can watch whenever you like, wherever you are, without having to convince your pet that a trip to the vet sounds like a fun adventure!  This educational video is available to purchase now from our online store:

You will learn:
* Why quality oils are important
* The three main methods of administration
* The five magic rules for safe exposure
* Our favourite safe oils to get started with, and
* How to access quality oils at wholesale prices.


We regularly host interactive workshops on various essential oil related topics at our Forest Glen clinic.  See what workshops we are currently holding by visiting our online store:

As pet guardians become experienced with using oils it offers them one of the best first aid kits for home use. That’s what is so exciting about essential oils, they are Nature’s pharmacy in a bottle. Always remember though how potent these oils can be, and the power of just one drop.

Further Reading

You can also read more about what oils are safe to use around animals within the education section of our website:

P.S. Certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils are SAFE to diffuse around your pets as long as they can move away from the oil diffuser if they choose. Don’t diffuse them right next to a captive pet such as a bird or reptile as they cannot move away.