Essential oils for dogs: Pawsome tips for your furry friend

Man’s best friend. Doggo. Pupper. Colonel Princess Fluffernugget. Whatever you call your canine companion, your dog is an important member of the family. It makes total sense that you’d want to share your favorite essential oils with your four-legged friend.

How do I apply essential oils to my dog? Is diffusing oils safe for dogs? What essential oils are good for dogs’ itchy skin? What essential oils can I use with my dog? If these questions sound familiar, you’re barking up the right tree!

Grab your furry BFF and get comfy—we’re about to share the ultimate guide on essential oils for dogs.

How do I apply essential oils to my dog?

First and most important: Dogs are highly sensitive to essential oils. What smells like the faintest hint of Lavender to you might smell like 100 acres of lavender botanicals to little Beethoven. Gradually introduce oils by using them on yourself first. Acting as a human diffuser keeps all those new scents from overpowering your pup.

If you’re the proud owner of a new puppy, patience is a virtue. Fur reals. Avoid using topical oils on newborn dogs. For medium- or large-breed puppies, wait until they’re over 8 weeks old. For toy or small-breed puppies, wait until they are over 10 weeks old.

Once you start applying essential oils, pay close attention to Lulu’s behavior. Remember, she wants to be near you and will stay by your side even if she’s feeling uncomfortable. Contrary to popular animated films, pets can’t tell us if something is working or not. Please exercise caution—use oils on that loveable lapdog safely and responsibly.

Should I consult a vet?

YES. Note the caps—we’re super serious about this one. If your dog is pregnant, nursing, or has a medical condition, consult a vet knowledgeable in essential oils prior to use. The following are general recommendations for use. If your pet has a known health issue, please consult your veterinarian before administering essential oils. If your vet suggests other usages, defer to those recommendations. Even if your dog is healthy as a horse, please consult a vet to ensure that there aren’t any underlying issues.

Topical application:

When you’re ready to give Teddy some essential oil TLC, topical application is the way to go. But before you apply, dilute those drops! And remember size matters. Dilute 1 drop of essential oil to 4 drops of V-6™ for small to medium dogs; 1 drop of oil to 3 drops V-6 for large dogs.

Speaking of dilution, did you know that our Animal Scents® oils come prediluted? Even though they’re not as potent, you’ll want to ease into using them by adding 1 drop of the Animal Scents oil to 1 drop of carrier oil. If your dog tolerates it well, you can try it without diluting it.

When you’re ready to give it a try, rub the oil and carrier oil between your palms until your hands are no longer shiny. Rub over your pet’s back, on the belly, and behind the ears. Take extra care to avoid the eyes!

Here are a few more ideas for topical application:

Animal Scents - Ointment

Is diffusing safe for dogs?

Yes! You’ll want to diffuse in small doses—small amounts of oil for shorter periods of time—to help your darling Daisy get used to the scent. Again, pay close attention to how your dog acts with the new aroma. If she seems uncomfortable, use fewer drops or do away with the diffusing entirely.

What essential oils can I use with my dog?

Animal lovers, rejoice! We created Young Living’s Animal Scents line with your pets in mind. The oils in this collection are prediluted and formulated without synthetic perfumes, dyes, and artificial colors and fragrances. Because they’re paws-itively perfect, you can feel confident using them on and around your animal sidekicks.

You can also feel all kinds of warm fuzzies when using Animal Scents products on your fluffy friends. A portion of the proceeds from the line supports Vital Ground, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the habitat of grizzly bears and other wide-roaming wildlife.


PuriClean™ is the first step in our three-part system: PuriClean, Infect Away™, and Mendwell™. PuriClean starts off the system with an impressive list of pet-lovin’ benefits:

  • Soothes and moisturizes dry, flaky, irritated skin
  • Helps clean minor scrapes and scratches
  • Promotes feelings of health and wellness with its warm, comforting aroma
  • Refreshes and prepares the skin for the next step
Animal Scents - Puriclean

Infect Away

Infect Away is the second stage in our three-part system and offers just as many perks for your pet as PuriClean and Mendwell. Here’s what you and your pupper will find behind this bottle’s bright green label:

  • Healthy recovery from minor scrapes and scratches
  • Support for your pet’s natural defense system
  • Protection against harmful contaminants
  • Prep for the final step of our terrific trio
Animal Scents - Infect Away


Mendwell wraps up our three-part system. Use it after PuriClean and Infect Away for a trifecta that packs a powerful pooch!

PUNCH. We meant punch.

Here are the perks you’ll find inside every drop of this essential oil blend:

  • Soothes and moisturizes dry, sensitive, distressed skin and improves the appearance of healthy-looking coats
  • Creates an uplifting environment with its inspiring aroma
  • Aids in healing minor scrapes and scratches as part of the three-part system
  • Contains powerful essential oils that support your pet’s natural healing process

YL tip: When Roxy’s had a ruff day, try this DIY paw balm. Made with the oils from our three-part system, it’s sure to keep you buddies fur life!

Animal Scents - Mendwell


Love the smell of Peppermint but prefer something super safe for your pet? Try ParaGize™! This essential oil blend:

  • Supports your pet’s natural cleansing system
  • Offers a calms and quieting blend you can gently massage on your pet’s belly
  • Helps release feelings of discomfort when diffused
Animal Scents - ParaGize


T-Away™ is one of our most popular essential oils for pets, thanks to a combination of Trauma Life™, Harmony™, and Peace & Calming™ essential oil blends. The citrusy, slightly spicy scent supports a new level of emotional freedom and joy in pets, making it ideal for shelters and rescues. It also:

  • Promotes a calming and peaceful environment
  • Encourages relaxation and emotional balance
  • Supports pets during times of emotional stress, anxiety, and trauma
Animal Scents - T-Away

Are any other essential oils Fido friendly?

Feel like trying something outside the Animal Scents line? The following list of essential oils are safe for your pet.* After ensuring your mini Marley is acclimated to these oils, dilute as needed, rub into your hands, and gently massage into your dog’s fur. Rub her back and belly and scratch behind the ears.

You should prepare yourself for an extra dose of doggy kisses. All that attention’s gonna get you a whole lot of extra love!

Frankincense essential oil
Stress Away essential oil blend
Geranium essential oil

YL tip: Sometimes Max will miss the mark—literally. When your good ol’ boy makes a good ol’ mistake, try this DIY pet stain and odor remover. It’ll have you and Max odor-free couch cuddling in no time!

Which essential oils should you be extra careful using on dogs?

Dogs seem to be sensitive to the high levels and/or combination of certain constituents in the following oils, so we highly caution their use. Dilute these oils heavily and watch your dog for a reaction (please note they are safe but can be warm- Low and Slow is your best friend when you start oiling up your BFF):

  • Camphor
  • Cassia
  • Clove
  • Mountain Savory
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
My note to the above from the YL Blog : Many of the above are in the raindrop. We LOVE raindrop (see triggers blog) for our animals.....start w the "hand dilution" method and use your V6 to allow for slower absorption.  Msg me for more details.

Raindrop for Trigger

How we do Raindrop in our home.
If it's not simple, we probably won't do it. Let's be honest!
"The Raindrop Technique® is a unique blending of ancient traditions, intuitive wisdom, and pure essential oils that has helped thousands along their journey."  I was introduced to this practice many years ago and it was a very involved  step by step way to apply select YL essential oils. OH, before I continue, I must mention this is only to be done with Young Living Essential oils....I have no idea what will happen with any other brand. Please go to the people who represent your brand for that info.

Let me tell you, that first time was a bit intimidating and I knew that if I was going to use all these oils I had to simplify it (for me, my world, my life, my animals). Someone told me "to be honest, it's most important to get the oils ON".  The Raindrop purists say the technique is also VERY important (and I agree) but I know my life and if I HAD to do it the formally trained way, it would never get I designed my own way (for us).

Let's cut to the chase and keep this going forward. Our youngest dog Trigger had an accident Early March 2020. ( Just before the world went to hell in a handbasket). He ran after a rabbit and must have moved wrong and within 24hrs he was unable to walk right (at least thats how I remember it..maybe it was a few more hrs).  He went to the acupuncturist for a treatment very soon after. Trigger went downhill faster than an Olympic bobsledder. Soon he was bedridden and we had to express his bladder for him. He didnt even know when he pooped.  Trigger had just turned 5 when this all happened. X-rays showed it was Degenerative Disk Disease (he came from bad breeding aka puppy mill dog). I recently found out that he probably ruptured a disk in this accident.... Im so glad I didn't know that in March.

We had to dive into our tools and get as many modalities on him as we could. Crystals, Oils, Healing Touch for Animals, reiki, Chinese herbs, special harness/wheelchairs, Assisi Loop, Equitonic 9 was purchased, Tensor Field Rings and lots of healers from across the USA. We even had an energy consultation with a friend in Tx and completely changed his food and some other things with him. As the world went crazy we could not bring him to the vet for his appts (he is super nervous and the acupuncture would not help unless we were with him...he is a very sensitive  pup).

We relied on our YL Essential Oils to get us thru the restore and recovery process. LOTS OF OILS for us and him.  He spent most of his time on the couch being served his food and beverages. He was embarrassed and depressed. He was not the same dog....he had no use of his back legs...NONE!!!! Thankful I worked from home and could be there for him during all this.

So, what did we do with our oils to make the Raindrop easy and fast for him? Let's take that journey with some pictures. When we started this journey Trigger had these sessions EVERYDAY...........

First we start with Valor for courage and grounding. We wanted him to connect to earth energy. Valor was also great for his ego and self worth at the time. It smells amazing and energizes the body in a special way. I put a few drops in my hands and rub them together. Then rub UP his spine and massage into his little body. I also hold my hands over his rump and between shoulder blades to help his body connect back together (energetically). Sometimes he loves to smell the oils, other times he doesn't so I would let him smell if he wanted to. He helped with the process. Every day with started with valor and often times we used many drops during the day. It really aligns with the spine.
I found this selenite point that I could use for application to help deliver the oils to certain meridians. It took me a while to find this but I'm happy I finally did. I dip the point into the oil and apply to the body. You can do many things with this tool and crystal.

Next up Oregano : which is high in phenols that have been known to cleanse receptor sites when used topically on the body. I apply this the same way...2 drops in my hands, rub them together and pet from the rear to the base of the head. Then massage over the body and asked Trigger if he wanted to smell it...... In the beginning we would apply some Ortho Ease Massage oils with the Oregano so it would absorb slower into the body. Feel free to do this. We choose NOT to drip oils on him bc it seemed to bother him and after massaging them vs dripping, we liked his reactions better. So we continue this method of application and use on other dogs when first diving into oils (its just more comforting at first).
Thyme is up next. We label each bottle top with a number so we can easily (and quickly) go thru the bottles for application.  Thyme contains large amounts of thymol, which is used to energize mind and bring clarity of direction.  We are still looking to charge that body and reconnect his brain to all the parts that have slowed in movement. Yes he can now walk (with his own swagger), but he is not fully in control of his actions.While massaging in the oils I will often go over his knees and muscles on his inner legs. They seem to get tight and that can't be very comfortable. All my hand placements are guided by intuition and how I saw him move that day. This has been a journey for sure. When he was NOT moving on his own we did ALOT of massages to help his body reconnect to itself. The videos wont upload (sorry).
Basil is next. I was using this bottle of Vitality bc the topical bottle was empty. Did you know the vitality line is our ingestable oils but it's the exact same oil as the topical/diffusion oils....same oils diff applications (cool huh)? Basil can smooth muscles especially ones that are tired, fatigued or just not working optimally.  So rub in and work those muscles that need some TLC and offer a sniff to help the brain become alive and connect the parts that may need some assistance.
Cypress comes next and I had to take a picture of his little rear end. We focus alot of attention to the lower spine, around the tail and down the legs. Circulation can often be a problem for us and animals with mobility issues. Finding ways to help stimulate the blood, muscles, nerves and tendons to all function properly together is a priority.  As we massage the oils and focus on areas that need more attention than others, I often reapply oils to my hands and massage these areas more intently. Often times saying things like..."My body is connected and rejuvenated so I can walk properly with no assistance." Again I alway let him smell the oil and when he turns his nose away, I remove my hands from his sniffer areas. I don't force it to his face but ask if he wants a sniff...and see what happens.  
One thing I teach is NEVER apply Essential Oils to a dogs pads of his feet....its super sensitive and often causes them to be "hot". In triggers case he did not have feeling in the feet at all. Over a month after his accident and repetitive work with oils (even on his feet) we saw a foot move..kick...flinch. We knew we were getting those nerves to react. We made the decision to apply oils to his feet to try and get the most benefit. ( We started with Copaiba a very very gentle but tough essential oil) He now Kicks and flinches sooo good and we often catch him flipping a foot that may be flipped upside down when standing or swaggering along.Wintergreen is a very warm and tingly oil so we choose to apply it with Ortho Sport, I mix in my hand and massage in. Wintegren is beneficial in massage for soothing muscle tension after exercise (or over use). It is 85-99% of methyl salicylate. This oil is often advised against for animals, but i'm here to tell you ive used TONS on this 17lb dog with no issues. Do your own homework on this, the quality of YL makes this oil amazing in the raindrop technique.

Marjoram often relaxes tense muscles after exercise, and is supportive of the nervous tension. Even when he was not active, his muscles were trying to recover. These days he is very active and often just "powers up" to make up for the slower movement of his back half. Emotionally, it is the plant of love and longevity and this injury has majorly impacted his mental game so we support that as much as we can. When an essential oil works on the physical and emotional, im super happy to use it over and over.  Again I massage and offer a sniff...Peppermint is the last oil in the technique.  It has been known to energize the body/brain and promote mental clarity. This too is a warmer oil and I only use one drop plus some OrthoSport combined in my palm. I then massage it in. The massage oil helps it all absorb in slowly and helps it not smell so strong. I don't usually offer him to smell this one bc he almost always is asleep. He started to dozzzze off early in todays applications. He has been very active but very "off" the last 2-3 days. This "off" often happens and then we see some great strides in this healing journey. Thats why I did his oils today, to help his body move forward.

To watch an application of oils check out my video on Facebook. This is a demo with Gonzo. Click Here.
Today we added some CBD to his spine and down his legs and massaged in. He may have licked a few drops and there...its ok..he licks/eats worse things. When you use CBD products, your body’s endocannabinoid system is affected.  What is this smart spectrum CBD line that YL has? click here.  This is not a pet line but a human line that we choose to use around Trigger. Again do your own homework to see if it aligns with your journey.

As we roll thru this application he gets more and more relaxed. I worked on some areas that I saw his chiropractor work on last week. I saw lots of muscle twitches and lots of leg kicking. Trigger didn't want to smell a lot of oils today (other days he def wants to smell them) but I don't worry about it. Just get those oils on.  

Feel free to research RainDrop Technique on animals and even people. The technique is fascinating but I don't have 45mintues to oil him up.. Trigger appreciates the fast application he can enjoy his snoozing.

I hope this finds a place in your education for essential oils. Remember, quality is #1 reason why we can use these products with our animals (and us).  We learn as we grow. Please remember to reach out to anyone who needs a boost, these oils can change their life. Who knew we would get the amount of response that we did from mid march to end of May without any vet care bc of our world situation.

I also welcome rescues and shelters to reach out, there are so many options to help the animals in your care. I am here to help. Lets connect. Getting started is simple and easy- 

Get started with Young here and then click order now.
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Triggers Big smile- He knows his journey is helping others