Safe Essential Oil Recipes for Homes with Pets

Author: Dr. Beth Turner

Published: June 9, 2021

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essential oil diffuser recipes-PixMemories are a very significant part of our lives. They can be triggered by sights, sounds, and smells. For me, smell is the most powerful memory trigger. Perhaps this is because scents are one of the only sensations that travel on a direct path to the memory and emotional centers of the brain. All other senses must go through a more tangled relay process.

In the brain, the areas that process smells, memories, and emotions are very closely intertwined. Smells not only trigger memories but can lift our mood and generate a flood of feel-good emotions. Studies show that when we have a positive mindset, we are indeed healthier.

You are likely wondering why I am discussing smells and their ‘feel-good’ and health benefits for humans in an article about pets. On a quest to feel better and improve my health, I turned to the benefits of essential oils. Besides the many ways that I found they could improve my health, I found the many smells to be uplifting and cheerful. I wanted to share that with family and friends. But being a veterinarian, almost everyone I knew had pets. This made it important to find recipes that we all could use that would benefit our lifestyles and not harm our dogs and cats.

I wanted to share some recipes with those who wish to diffuse their essential oils without fear of harming their cats or dogs. I personally use oils from Young Living Essential Oils. The recipes I've included below are based on their products and I can only vouch for these specific oils. I've included Young Living Oils recommended to be safe by a holistic veterinarian who extensively tested and used these oils themselves.

Another Preventive Vet team member uses Piping Rock. Neither myself nor Preventive Vet receives any commission from recommending either Young Living Essential Oils or Piping Rock. Wherever you purchase your oils, be sure to carefully examine the source, ingredients, and quality before using them in your home around your pets.

Before we dive in, I must point out some crucial precautions.

Diffusing Essential Oils Safely Around Dogs and Cats

  1. Only use 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils and never fragrance oils.
  2. The term, ‘Essence oil,’ does NOT mean pure essential oil. Instead, it is a premixed blend of essential oil and a base carrier, such as vegetable or coconut oil. Do not use essence oils.
  3. Never diffuse poor-grade oils, especially around cats. High-grade oils list the Latin name of the plant species the oil is derived from as well as the part of the plant.
  4. All the recipes listed below are based on the use of 100% pure essential oil. While these recipes can be water diffused in a well-ventilated room. Never confine your pet to a small room while diffusing essential oils.
  5. Do not apply to your pet’s skin or let them ingest them without speaking to a veterinarian trained in the use of essential oils with pets.
  6. Many sites will recommend avoiding citrus essential oils as well as peppermint oils around cats. Used by a trained veterinary professional they are used often and safely.1 As with any oil, but especially these oils, never let your cat lick it or apply directly to the skin.
  7. Since there are many other options, avoid using Melaleuca oil around cats.
  8. Pets' sense of smell is significantly greater than our own. Additionally, just like certain smells bother us, they can bother our pets. Also, pets can have an aversion to a certain oil due to an illness they may have. Essential oils are concentrated and a single drop goes a long way. Never apply more than the recommended number of drops. Also, when starting out, you can use fewer drops until you know how you and your pet will react to the smell. Be sure the room is large and open and your pets can leave if they choose to.

Signs and Symptoms of Adverse Reactions to Essential Oils

The severity of reactions is associated with the pet’s weight, age, and species. Cats are more sensitive to essential oils compared to dogs due to the fact that they lack certain enzymes in their liver that prevents them from metabolizing them and ridding their bodies of certain toxins. Additionally, some essential oils contain phenols and phenolic compounds which cats are highly sensitive to.

Watch for any of the following symptoms in your pet that may indicate an adverse reaction to essential oils:

      • Vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Wobbliness
      • Drooling
      • Lethargy
      • Depression
      • Weakness
      • Tremors

Essential Oils Recipes for Diffusing Safely Around Pets

essential oils safe around pets-Pix

Happiness Blends

Recipe 1:

4 drops Lemon
3 drops Lavender
3 drops Cypress

Recipe 2:

3 drops Valor
3 drops Orange
2 drops Cedarwood
1 drop Vanilla
1 drop Cinnamon Bark (or plain cinnamon)

Note: Cinnamon can be controversial with cats. One drop, water diffused has been used safely. It would never be used directly as a single oil.

Recipe 3:

3 drops Geranium
3 drops of Lemon
2 drops Orange

Recipe 4:

3 drops Geranium
3 drops Lavender
4 drops Lime

Recipe 5:

4 drops Joy
2 drops Grapefruit

Recipe 6:

4 drops Tangerine
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Lime

happiness essential oils-UN

Rest and Relaxation

Recipe 1:

3 drops Peace & Calming
2 drops Frankincense

Recipe 2:

3 drops Gentle Baby
2 drops Stress Away
1 drop Lavender

Recipe 3:

4 drops Stress Away
5 drops Frankincense
3 drops Copaiba

Recipe 4:

5 drops Lavender
3 drops Cedarwood
3 drops Rosemary
2 drops Eucalyptus

Recipe 5:

3 drops Frankincense
3 drops Lavender
3 drops Cypress

Recipe 6:

4 drops Clary Sage
3 drops Bergamot
2 drops Lavender

Stress Release

2 drops Bergamot
2 drops Frankincense

immunity booster essential oils

Immunity Booster

2 drops Wild Orange (or regular Orange)
1 drop Rosemary
1 drop Eucalyptus
1 drop Cinnamon Bark

Inner peace essential oils

Inner Peace Blend

3 drops Stress Away
3 drops Cedarwood

fresh scents essential oils-UN

Fresh Scents

Recipe 1:

4 drops Lemon
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Rosemary

Recipe 2:

3 drops Vetiver
3 drops Lemon

Recipe 3:

3 drops Lavender
3 drops Orange

Recipe 4:

5 drops Lavender
4 drops Tea Tree
3 drops Lemon

Tea tree oil — if used correctly — can be safe and beneficial, but it is the most controversial oil in regards to cats. When you water diffuse essential oils, if they are pure and of good quality, it is safe in a ventilated and open room. Ingestion and topical applications of tea tree oil on cats is more likely to cause issues. Do not allow your cat to ingest tea tree oil and do not apply it to their skin.

Recipe 5:

4 drops Cedarwood
3 drops Lemon
2 drops Rosemary

Recipe 6:

4 drops Joy
3 drops Geranium
2 drops Cinnamon

Recipe 7:

3 drops Rosemary
3 drops Lemon
3 drops Joy

Recipe 8:

2 drops Lavender
2 drops Lemon
1 drop Rosemary
1 drop Grapefruit

feel the love essential oils

Feel the Love Blends

Recipe 1:

5 drops Geranium
3 drops Lime
2 drops Oregano

Recipe 2:

4 drops Orange
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Patchouli
2 drops Ylang Ylang

Recipe 3:

3 drops Juniper
2 drops Clary Sage
1 drop Grapefruit

Recipe 4:

3 drops Black Pepper
3 drops Cinnamon
2 drops Citrus Fresh
1 drop Patchouli

germ blaster essential oils

Germ Blaster

4 drops Thieves
3 drops Tea Tree
3 drops Lemon

Tea tree oil — if used correctly — can be safe and beneficial, but it is the most controversial oil in regards to cats. When you water diffuse essential oils, if they are pure and of good quality, it is safe in a ventilated and open room. Ingestion and topical applications of tea tree oil on cats is more likely to cause issues. Do not allow your cat to ingest tea tree oil and do not apply it to their skin.

focus essential oils

Focus Blend

3 drops Black Pepper
3 drops Rosemary

energy essential oils

Get Moving

2 drops Ginger
3 drops Lemon
3 drops Lime

clarity essential oils

Let’s Do This!

3 drops Clarity
2 drops En-R-Gee

brain fog essential oils

Banish Brain Fog

Recipe 1:

1 drop Basil
2 drops Rosemary
2 drops Cypress

Bergamot essential oils

Stink Be Gone

5 drops Purification
4 drops Lemon
3 drops Bergamot

fresh scents essential oil-UN

Spring Time Air Freshener

2 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint
2 drops Lemon
1 drop Copaiba

NOTE: There is a lot of controversy about using peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen with cats. I have avoided putting any recipes with it until this one. If using 100% pure essential oils in the proper manner, there is significant data that they can be used safely. HOWEVER, if you have a cat and are uneasy about using peppermint or if your cat is very sensitive to things, you can just omit the peppermint from the ingredient list.

If you want to learn more about essential oils and pets, here are two helpful links:

Essential Oil Vet

Oily Vet

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. Smell well and best wishes!

About the author

Profile picture for Dr. Beth Turner

Dr. Beth Turner

Beth Turner is a veterinarian with over 20 years of experience. She graduated from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine and following graduation, she began her career as an associate veterinarian and worked closely with the local shelter.

In 2007 she accomplished her dream of practice ownership, designing and building her own clinic. Another meaningful role, while running her clinic, was serving as her county's shelter veterinarian. This gave her the opportunity to help improve the lives of many animals in her community as well as work with the rescue she loved. She sold her practice in 2019 to move across the country.

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