Intro to Essential Oils and Animals

I’m sure most of you have tried using essential oils for yourself and your family.  But have you ever tried them for your animals?  Like us our animals can also benefit from the use of essential oils.  There are many different ways for you to use essential oils with your animals.  This blog will go over the different ways you can use essential oils with animals.

Methods of Application

  1. Diffusion
    1. Mechanical Diffusion Types
      1. Water-Based Diffusion – Water is added to a machine along with varying drops of essential oils.
      2. Air-Style Diffusion – Machine ejects “neat” essential oils.
      3. Spritzer Bottle
    2. Passive Diffusion – Placement of essential oils on cotton balls, tissues, cage papers, and even humans.
  2. Adding Oils To Drinking Water – Whenever considering adding essential oils to an animal’s water several considerations must be made.
    1. Oil Selection – Some oils are more friendly for use in drinking water than others.  Adding “hot” oils like Oregano would obviously not be as appetizing as Citrus Fresh.
    2. Water Containers & Storage
    3. Exposure of the Animal – Care must also be taken in how the animal may interact with its water.  Snakes often soak in their water and birds often bathe in their water.
    4. Ensuring Adequate Water Intake – Always have a bowl of plain water available.
    5. Concentrations – It is wise to start with small amounts of oil added to high quality water.
  3. Mixing Oils Into Foods – Some species do very well with this method of using essential oils.
  4. Oral Administration – This method is generally used in debilitated animals or in more severe situations.
    1. Via Capsules – Oils can be added to empty gel capsules
    2. Via Buccal Route – The buccal route refers to absorption of the essential oil throught the mucous membranes of the cheek or lip area of an animal.
    3. Via Oral Drops – With this method, little care is placed as to where the oil drop lands, just getting it into the mouth is the main goal.
    4. Via Gums – A light coating of oil is placed on the fingers, then rubbed onto the gums.
    5. Via Grooming – “Petting” small amounts of oil on the animals your hands, rubbing hands together then petting the animal.
    6. Via a Carrier – Essential oils can be mixed into Agave, Honey, Coconut Oil, NingXia Red, and other carriers and offered orally.
  5. Topical Application.
    1. Direct Application – Applying drops of oil directly to the skin or fur of an animal.
    2. Petting Application – Applying essential oils
    3. Tipping the ears – Applying essential oil to your fingertips and stroking the animal’s ears.
    4. Applying to Pads & Feet – There is varying thoughts on this method from it being useless to it being the safest.
    5. Water Misting Applications – Diluting an essential oil, shaking well, and spritzing the mixture onto the animal.
    6. Swimming Pools, Ponds, Soaking Water, and Aquariums – The animal entering water containing essential oils will absorb the oils topically.
    7. Shampoos, Ointments, & Other Products – It is very convenient to add essential oils to the products we routinely use for our animals.
    8. Oil Misting – Similar to water misting, however in place of the water V-6 Enhanced Vegetable Oil Complex is used.
    9. Diffusion – Animals absorb oils through their hair follicles
    10. Indirect Applications – Rubbing essential oils onto a perch or onto your hands and allowing the animal to come into contact with it.
  6. Raindrop Technique

(Like humans each animal is different.  What works for one may not work for the other.  It is always best to monitor your animals while using essential oils.)


The Animal Desk Reference – Essential Oils for Animals; Melissa Shelton DVM, Holistic Veterinarian

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