Aromatherapy is very popular these days, not only for humans, but for pets too. Many companies sell and even produce these little powerful remedies. doTERRA is one of the most popular ones. If you’re interested in using doTERRA essential oils for pets, this article should help you start.
In this post, you’ll be learning about:
- The way aromatic oils can help keep your pet in top shape and good health.
- The best ways of using aroma oils on your pet in a safe manner.
- Animal care guides for each category: dogs, cats, horses, birds and rodents among others. Find out important things about the use of essential oils for each of them.
- Safety precautions to be taken while using oils around a pet, whatever it may be.
doTERRA Essential Oils for Pets (Animal Care Guides) & How to Use Them
doTERRA’s been on the market of essential oils for 10 years. It has slowly gained millions of wellness advocates and fans all around the world. I am not surprised that so many people ask me about their products.
From the start, I can tell you that their oils are just like all the other high-quality essential oils. Whether they’re from Europe or the USA, essential oils are all extracted the same way. The difference in quality is made by:
- The time of harvest,
- The geographical area,
- Method of harvest,
- The way the oils are processed,
- The tools used,
- The storage recipient and storage of the product, in general,
- Even the transportation method matters.
doTERRA created their own quality standard called CPTG. It stands for Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. This is a testing process that ensures all their oils are 100% pure and unadulterated.
The better the quality of an essential oil, the most efficient it is for therapeutic use. Because of this verification process, one may use doTERRA oils for pets and animals.
Of course, you also have the option of asking for the GC/MS report of an essence. That will help you see more details about the product (extraction method, chemotype, etc.)
The company should give this access to you, for free, no questions asked. It’s your right to know these things, which should be posted online anyway.
Why would you want to use doTERRA essential oils for pets? There are many reasons for that. If they’re high quality and steam-distilled or CO2 extracted, essential oils can:
- Disinfect the air and protect the pet from viral infections.
- Kill some of the parasites the pet brings inside.
- Soothe some ailments like joint pain or a slow/bad digestion.
- Speed up wound healing.
- Calm the pet down and help it sleep.
- Strengthen the animal’s immune system.
- Help you correct some of its bad behaviors (separation anxiety, hyperactivity, etc.)
It’s not usually how I do things, but the structure of this article makes me approach things a bit differently. Before getting into the actual care guides for pets, I will tell you a few things about how they can be used.
How to Use Essential Oils for Pets
Two of the most important things to remember are:
- Never apply undiluted essential oils to the skin of the animal.
- Never use it around or inside the nose, eyes, mouth, ears, and genitals of your pet.
From here on, there are quite a few other “rules” and ideas on how to use your doTERRA oils for dogs, cats, and other pets. Here they are, in order of importance:
Through diffusion/inhalation, the animal can inhale as much as 70% of the oil molecules. This is the best way of enjoying as many of the oil’s benefits as possible.
It can be done directly, from a cotton pad or your hands. Or it can be done with the help of an essential oil diffuser or a mist spray.
To safely diffuse essential oils for pets, it needs to be done in a well-ventilated room. The door must be kept open at all times. You should never confine an animal where you’re actively diffusing Aromatherapy oils.
Small bursts of 10 – 15 minutes per diffusion session is a good starting point. I don’t recommend diffusing oils daily. Especially because they can linger in the air for quite a while, even if there’s fresh air circulating.
This application method needs dilution with carrier (vegetable) oils. This way, the oils will enter the bloodstream of the pet through the pores and hair shafts.
Some of the most common places to apply an Aromatherapy blend are:
- Along the spine,
- On the skin between the paws
- And the tips of the ears. If the animal has long ears, then it’s not a good place. The tips of the ears may touch the eyes and the oils can cause irritation and burns.
I don’t really recommend applying essential oils on your pet’s place of rest either. The oils will stay there for a very long time and can overwork the animal’s sense of smell.
Other ways to introduce doTERRA essential oils in your pet’s routine are DIY products like shampoos or repellents.
Next, I’ll talk about caring for your pets with doTERRA essential oils.
Care Guide for Dogs with Essential Oils
Dogs are easy to care for with essential oils. They have no problems in metabolizing the oil molecules. It can be done in a matter of hours, just like humans do. Dogs are a lot more tolerant than cats.
There are lots of dog breeds. Each of them has its own physiology, thus they react differently to essential oils. Some dogs like most oils, while others can barely stand them. It’s pretty much like we behave around them too.
This is one of the reasons for which you should never force an oil to a dog. You might think it’ll do good, but it won’t. If the dog doesn’t like the oil it’s because it instinctively knows what it needs.
Can I use essential oils on my dog, is what I hear most often. Using doTERRA oils on dogs is possible and beneficial, but it depends on many things. The dose of aromatic oils, for example, depends mostly on its size and weight. Age and health condition also matter.
Usually, the smaller the dog, the less amount you’ll have to use. The smaller the dog, the trickier it gets to treat it with Aromatherapy oils. You should always keep in touch with the vet, especially when you want to use essential oils.
A safe dilution for a small-sized dog (15 lbs./6.80 kg) would be a drop of essential oil per tbsp. carrier oil. For larger dogs (<15 lbs.), 1 – 3 drops per Oz. of carrier oil should be safe. Again, the dose should be chosen together with a vet.
doTERRA essential oils for dog anxiety:
- Sweet Orange
- Ylang Ylang
There aren’t many studies on dogs available, we know this. But the ones I found, had positive results with herbs and their extracts. You can read more about dog anxiety and essential oils here.
doTERRA essential oils for dog arthritis:
- Rose Geranium
Dog arthritis is a degenerative disease that can be managed with natural remedies. Anti-inflammatory oils work best. Other oils that stimulate tissue repair are also effective. They’re also a good alternative to NSAIDs, which are known to pose serious health threats.
doTERRA essential oils for dog wounds:
There are many useful oils for wounds. All of them are antibacterial and to some extent, they’re also anti-inflammatory. They can speed up tissue healing and strengthen the protective skin barrier.
doTERRA essential oils for dogs in heat:
This aspect is a bit tricky. Many dog breeders and aromatherapists don’t recommend using essential oils for dogs in heat. First, it is not a disease and it’ll keep happening with regularity.
Second, many sources agree that essential oils would not mask the estrus odor. They would only add a different scent to the bitch. Dogs have a very, very fine-tuned sense of smell.
They have about 200 million smell receptors, as opposed to 5 – 6 million receptors in humans. They also inhale and exhale through different orifices in the nose. That way, the air that comes in is never diluted.
The scent of hormones of a dog in heat can be smelled as far as 3 miles (~5 km). You may get good results at keeping male dogs away by diffusing essential oils around the house.
You have better chances to just protect the dog in heat, by any means possible. Overwhelming the dog’s sense of smell won’t do much good.
doTERRA essential oils for dog’s bad breath
Bad breath in dogs is caused by a bad digestion and mouth infections. There are hundreds of bacteria thriving in their mouths. When the balance of bacteria in the gut is disrupted, bad breath happens. It is usually caused by your dog’s diet.
To combat bad breath in dogs, I suggest using hydrosols or floral waters. They contain only trace amounts of essential oil molecules. That is possible because they’re byproducts of the steam distillation of essential oils.
Hydrosols are very gentle and safe for all pets. They can be anything you find available. If you still want to add a drop of essential oils for your dog’s bad breath, you can go with:
- Rose Geranium
Make a spritz spray and then use it on your dog’s teeth and mouth, once or twice a day. Don’t do so on a long term. If the oils and hydrosols don’t help, you should take the dog to the vet.
Care Guide for Horses with Essential Oils
Horses are just as resilient and receptive to essential oils as dogs are. The best part about it is that horses can choose the oil they like depending on what they need. Dogs can do that too but to a lesser extent.
Horses know instinctively what their body needs. Thus, they’ll pick the oil that corresponds to those needs.
Considering how potent aromatic oils are, horses and pets in general, need to be taken slowly. You can read more about essential oils and horses here. You’ll also find some tips to help you get your horse used to oil scents. The same doTERRA essential oils for pets in general can be used on horses too.
doTERRA essential oils for horses:
- Tea Tree
The list can continue, but you should do a good research in advance. And of course, talk to the vet first!
Being large animals, horses usually need a larger amount of essential oils. The correct and sufficient dosage for horses though can be established with the vet. Otherwise, depending on the size and age of the horse, 2 – 6 drops of EO/Oz. carrier should do the trick.
It’s easier to apply essential oils on horses because they’re not as athletic as dogs or cats. Your aromatic blend can be placed between the horse’s ears, along with the spine and chest. The hooves are also a good place to put some diluted oils on.
Care Guide for Cats with Essential Oils
Of all the popular pets, cats are the most sensitive to essential oils. The reason is that they lack a liver enzyme called glucuronyltransferase. This enzyme would normally help metabolize various volatile compounds like phenols and ketones.
What essential oils are high in phenols? They are:
- Tea Tree
D-limonene from citrus oils appears to cause toxicity too. But only when large doses are used. As you can see, cats are very sensitive and susceptible to toxicity. Many essential oils (and insecticides) can contribute to this problem.
However, toxicity is a matter of exposure and dose. Essential oils can be very dangerous and even deadly, but only when used in excess. Daily use of a certain essence, for example, would definitely harm your kitty’s health in the long run.
The occasional topical use or diffusion of Aromatherapy should not pose significant health risks. Just make sure the cat can leave the room anytime and keep it well-ventilated. The cat can protect itself from too much exposure.
Sometimes, even a single drop may be too much. It depends on her mood and needs, just like with humans, dogs, and horses.
For more details, you can also check out this other, more in-depth article of mine:
What scents are calming to cats, right? There aren’t many options here. Whether they are doTERRA or not, essential oils should be used very cautiously. It’s best to have a chat with the vet first and decide upon the oils you can use and in what amount.
Some of the doTERRA essential oils for cats you could use are:
However, it must be done in small quantities and short periods of time. The best alternative to essential oils for cats is hydrosols. Like I said, they’re very gentle and better tolerated by the cats.
But Lavender is such a popular oil… Is Lavender oil poisonous to cats? One study found that linalool, one of the oil’s main constituents, can also cause toxicity.
Again, small amounts of Lavender oil should not be poisonous to the cat. If you’re not sure about using it, talk to the vet.
Usually, the dose of oil that can be used on a cat is 0.25% – 1%. When deciding upon Aromatherapy treatments, the size, age, and health of the cat should also be considered.
If you want to know what doTERRA essential oils are toxic to cats, the answer is pretty obvious. Almost all essential oils can be toxic to cats if they’re improperly used.
Avoid using aromatic oils to deworm a cat or to soothe respiratory issues without medical advice.
Care Guide for Other Pets and Animals with Essential Oils
Generally speaking, large animals can use moderate amounts of doTERRA essential oils. By large animals I mean horses, pigs, sheep, cattle, etc. Most cats and dogs are small animals that require more attention.
But what about other pets like fish, birds, rabbits and guinea pigs?
There’s a consensus about how sensitive to aromatic oils birds are. The bird should tell you exactly what it feels like when you diffuse or spray an oil around it. An abnormal and sudden behavior of the bird should be a clear sign it doesn’t like the smell.
Small animals like rabbits or guinea pigs and chinchillas have a very sensitive digestive flora. It’s mainly because of their plant-based diets. Using essential oils around these pets should be done with medical advice only.
Aromatherapy Blends for Pets and Safety Words
With all the theory explained, it’s time to get to more pleasant things. Mixing oils and hydrosols for the well-being of your pet is a fun experience. Choose any of the following blends to try with your pet.
Make sure you pay attention to their behavior for a while, especially if the blend is new. And as a rule, always start with small amounts.
Hooves Care doTERRA Essential Oil Recipe
- Thyme essential oil: 2 drops
- Cinnamon essential oil: 2 drops
- Olive oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
Apply on the affected area of the hoof a few times a day, for about a week. If the problem continues, take the animal to the vet. A deeper infection might cause serious health problems.
Dog Anxiety doTERRA Essential Oil Recipe
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: 10 drops
- Valerian essential oil: 10 drops
- Empty glass bottle
Mix the oils together and use 2 – 3 drops in an aromatherapy diffuser.
Calming doTERRA Essential Oil Blend for Cats
- Roman Chamomile hydrosol: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Valerian essential oil: 1 drop
- Spray bottle
Give the blend a good shake before each use. Spray this mixture inside one or more rooms, as high above the ground as possible. Leave the doors open and a few windows ajar. Here is a doTERRA family kit for all the common essential oils you’d need.
Aromatherapy and Pets! General Safety Tips
The article would not be complete without a few general safety tips. We all want our pets to enjoy a better life. That means we must get as much knowledge possible on all potential risks and problems.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you use doTERRA essential oils for pets:
- If the animal suffers from seizures or asthma, avoid all oils before talking to a vet first.
- Pregnant and nursing females should be also protected from Aromatic oils.
- Test for allergic reactions each new oil bottle you buy. Chances are it comes from a different batch. This means it’ll have a slightly different chemical profile. The time of harvest and the geographical area play an important role in the properties of the final product.
- Any other disorder the pet might suffer from is a reason to seek medical advice before using Aromatherapy.
- Stop using an oil or blend as soon as you notice signs of poisoning. They can be drooling, panting, whining, lack of movement coordination, etc. Take the pet out to fresh air immediately and then to the vet.
- Avoid spraying or touching their faces with essential oils.
- Use special care and attention with newborn animals, pups, young and old pets.
There are lots to be said and known about the safety of pets and Aromatherapy. Experience and in-depth research are usually the best tools to ensure that safety.
As you can see, doTERRA essential oils for pets can be used just like all the others. Just make sure you always keep in touch with the vet and avoid using an essence if you’re not sure. It’s best to be overcautious and prevent unnecessary complications.