Are Essential Oil Diffusers Safe for Dogs?

Essential oils are all the craze right now. If you are a dog owner, introducing new scents and products into the home can be scary because of the potential to harm your pet. Are essential oils harmful to dogs? Overall an essential oil diffuser in the home is safe for dogs, but some oils can be dangerous for dogs. It is important to know which oils are dangerous for dogs and which can be used in your essential oil diffuser.

Essential Oils Harmful to Dogs

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is the most common essential oil to be found in the home and poison pets. It has antiseptic properties and is very dangerous for both cats and dogs. It’s important to not have this essential oil to be ingested or rubbed onto the fur. It can cause paralysis and skin irritation.

Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon is a powerful antigen and can be dangerous for dogs. It can cause skin irritation, blisters, vomiting, liver disease, and low heart rate.

Citrus Oil

Citrus oil is extracted from citrus fruit skin. They can cause vomiting, lethargy, and seizures. Dogs with liver disease have a stronger sensitivity to citrus oil.


Pine Oil is a turpentine derivative made from pine straw, needles, and cones. Its commonly use for cleaners and air fresheners. It can be dangerous for dogs for skin and stomach irritation. It can cause vomiting, liver damage, and damage to the central nervous system.

Sweet Birch

Sweet Birch oil is derived from tree bark and is used in aromatherapy for pain relief, muscle strain, and sore throats. In dogs, it can cause ulcers, seizures, and possibly death.

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil is derived from the steam distillation process of the leaves of the Thymus vulgaris plant. It is used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. It is dangerous for dogs if ingested or touched. It can cause skin irritations and respiratory issues.

Wintergreen Oil

Wintergreen oil is derived from Wintergreen leaves and is used for headache relief, fever, and gas. In dogs, it can cause vomiting, stomach ulcers, and liver failure.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang oil is made from the Cananga tree that originated in India. In humans, its use from memory skills to relaxation, and lowering blood pressure. Ylang Ylang is dangerous for dogs because it can cause weakness, lethargy, and vomiting.

Essential Oils Safe for Dogs

Lavender Oil

Lavender is known to have a calming and comforting effect on humans and dogs are no different! Made from the flower buds at end of lavender flowers, lavender is used in everything from perfumes to skin care products. If you have a rambunctious doggy that needs some calming aromatherapy in its life then lavender oil may be the perfect solution. You can put a drop of lavender oil on skin irritation or as an insect repellent. Be sure to use a diluted amount of lavender if used topically. Also, it can be sued in an oil diffuser. Use one or two drops and run the diffuser for ten minutes to achieve calming effects for your dog.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is considered safe for dogs and is used for wound care and antibacterial properties in dogs.

Cedar Oil

Fleas and ticks are a constant worry for dog owners and harmful chemicals may want to be avoided in the home. Cedar oil is a good option when diluted to treat fleas and ticks.

Lemongrass Oil

In humans, lemongrass is used to treat digestion issues and high blood pressure. For dogs, its most common use is as an insect repellant. The best way to apply lemongrass oil safely to your pet is to use a spray bottle of water and add only one to two drops of Lemongrass oil topically. Be sure to avoid the eyes and ears.

How to use Essential Oil for Dogs

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell so less is more when adding scents to your oil diffuser for your dog. Add only a drop or two of the safe essential oil for your dog into the diffuser. Only run the diffuser for ten minutes. Because dogs have powerful sniffers, their noses are incredibly sensitive so only a few minutes are needed for dogs to reap the benefits of the oil. Ingestion of the oil can be dangerous for dogs, so be sure the diffuser is out of reach of your dog. Also place the diffuser on the opposite side of the room where your dog typically lays, like where their dog bed is located.

Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning in Dogs

Even though some essential oils are safe for dogs, it is still important to know and recognize the signs of potential essential oil poisoning.

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness or unsteady on their feet
  • Watery nose or eyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling muscle tremors

If your dog shows any of these symptoms be sure to call or visit their veterinarian!

Keep in mind that every dog is different so consider your dog’s age, allergies, medical history, and type of dog. Essential oil diffusers can be safe for dogs when they are used responsibly!