Safe Essential Oils for Dogs and Horses

By Jeanie McDuffee, certified aromatherapist

Did you know dogs and horses can benefit from essential oil use? It is considered a natural way to treat common issues. However, only use essential oils with your pets when you need to address a concern and not to prevent a health issue. Avoid using essential oils with puppies under ten weeks of age. Please note that cats should not be directly exposed to essential oils as they are considered poisonous to them. They are unable to process the oils and they will eventually go into liver failure.

Essential oils for dogs and horses can be used topically for spot applications on skin and paws. Inhalation therapy can also be used. Just apply oils to your palms and keep your hands around their nose, or you can use spray bottles to mist the air around them. Always dilute essential oils before applying to your pet. See recipes below for dilution guidelines. Using essential oils on your dogs is similar to using them on children. Highly dilute oils to be safe.

Here is a list of essential oils and some common uses. Always dilute your essential oils with any vegetable oil before applying on your pet. I suggest coconut or olive oil.

  • Lavender: Very safe and gentle, antibacterial, anti-itch, and nerve-calming. Good for many common animal ailments, e.g. skin irritations, first aid.
  • Chamomile: Antispasmodic, analgesic, and nerve-calming. Good for soothing the central nervous system. Effective for relief of muscle pains. Calming for dogs with car ride anxiety.
  • Eucalyptus: Antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and an expectorant. Good for relief of chest congestion. Also, effective in repelling fleas.
  • Peppermint: Antispasmodic, stimulates circulation, and insect-repelling. Good for arthritis, dysplasia, sprains and strains. Works well with ginger to treat motion sickness.
  • Geranium: Gentle and safe. Antifungal. Good for skin irritations or ear infections. Helps to stop bleeding. Effective in repelling ticks.
  • Ginger: Non-toxic, non-irritating and safe to use in small amounts when properly diluted. Good for motion sickness, aids digestion. Effective for pain relief caused by arthritis, dysplasia, strains and sprains.
  • Tea Tree: Anti-microbial so it’s great for wounds.

Treating Kennel Cough

Mix 5 drops of lavender and 5 drops of eucalyptus with one ounce of a carrier oil. Coconut or olive oil are commonly used as a carrier oil. Add chamomile for a soothing effect. If using a diffuser omit the carrier oil.

Recipe For Flea And Tick Control

PETA approved. Please note that essential oils may stain fabrics.

  • 8 oz Spray bottle
  • 7 oz distilled water
  • 1 oz distilled alcohol (rubbing alcohol or vodka)

Mix with peppermint, tea tree and lavender:

  • 5 drops each essential oil for dogs up to 30lbs
  • 7 drops each for dogs 30- 75 lbs
  • 10 drops each for dogs over 75 pounds
  • 15 drops each for horses

Shake before every use as the oils will not blend with the water. You may spray directly onto dogs and horses, apply to their bedding or mist into the air. This is a very universal spray. May be used as a wound cleaner. You could even use this recipe on horses as a cooling spray and to deter flies. This spray will also work on mattresses for bedbugs.

There are many other ways to treat your pets, please do your own due diligence and research specifically what you would like to treat. I was able to find a great resource. I am not affiliated with this website.

Jeanie McDuffee is a certified aromatherapist and owner of Simply Lavender LLC. She makes custom aromatherapy blends. She works from home, just give her a call (607) 345-1474 or find her webpage and online store at Look for her classes at NPC College in Show Low.