Diffusing Essential Oils at Home With Pets

Learn how to safely diffuse essential oils at home with pets without harming them. Keep your pets happy and your home fresh with these vet-approved tips.

Best Home Aroma
By Best Home Aroma

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Diffusing essential oils at home with pets can be an excellent way to create a soothing and aromatic ambiance for both owner and pets. However, if you have furry friends sharing your living space, it’s crucial to be mindful of their well-being.

Choosing essential oils that are safe for pets when you’re planning to use a diffuser at home is crucial. While some oils are safe to use, others can be toxic to our beloved cats, dogs, and other pets at home.

Before using any essential oil, it’s important to conduct thorough research to confirm its safety. Look out for oils that can potentially cause harm to your pets, and avoid using them.

By choosing your essential oils and diffuser placement carefully, you can make a space that is good for you and your pets.

While essential oils can be safe to diffuse around pets in small amounts, it is important to exercise caution. Tea tree, eucalyptus, and cinnamon oils can harm dogs and cats if inhaled, applied to the skin, or ingested.

Diffusing potentially toxic essential oils around pets can be dangerous.

Inhaling Toxic Oils

Inhaling concentrated essential oils, especially for long periods, may cause respiratory irritation in pets. Cats are especially sensitive to inhaled essential oils due to their unique physiology.

Diffusing eucalyptus, peppermint, or citrus oils for too long could lead to mucous membrane irritation and central nervous system depression in felines. Always follow the usage guidelines and dilute properly.

Skin Sensitivity

Essential oils can also irritate a pet’s skin. Oils with phenols like oregano or cinnamon can burn the skin, especially if pets often touch the diffuser. Place diffusers in areas pets cannot access and immediately clean up spilled oils to avoid skin contact.

Digestive Tract Issues

Some essential oils may cause digestive tract issues if ingested by pets, especially in large amounts. Be careful when diffusing oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, or citrus around pets to avoid too much exposure. Secure diffusers so pets cannot knock them over, and properly ventilate the area.

Caution and moderation is key to safely diffusing essential oils around pets. Please conduct research on which types of oils can be toxic to pets. Also, learn to dilute them before using them with dogs and cats in a home.

Use essential oils safely around pets, follow guidelines, secure diffusers, and avoid too much exposure.

Potential Dangers of Diffusing Essential Oils With Pets at Home

Diffusing essential oils in your home when you have pets requires caution. While essential oils can benefit humans, some oils and diffusion methods may be dangerous or toxic for animals.

Before using essential oils around your pets, knowing the potential dangers of a responsible pet owner is crucial.

Essential oils dispersed in the air can accumulate in a pet’s fur and be absorbed into the skin. Concentrated essential oils (100% pure) may lead to toxicity if ingested by pets during grooming.


Some essential oils like eucalyptus, pine, citrus, pennyroyal, and tea tree oil are toxic to dogs and cats in high concentrations. Diffusing these oils in small spaces or for long periods increases the chance of toxicity.

Essential oils can hurt a cat’s breathing, nervous, and liver systems if cats are exposed to too much of the oils. Because of their unique bodies and cleaning habits, cats are especially sensitive to essential oils. It is best to avoid diffusing essential oils altogether in spaces shared with cats.

Some essential oils are safer in moderation for dog owners, but you should always exercise caution. Certain oils, like lavender or chamomile, can naturally calm. When diluted and used occasionally in a well-ventilated space, they are less likely to cause problems.

However, if your dog shows symptoms of the following essential oil toxicity, contact your vet immediately.

    • Lethargy (is a condition of feeling tired, sluggish, and lacking energy.)
    • Excessive salivation or drooling
    • Skin irritation

If you want to essential oils, take note of these instructions:

    • Place the diffuser in an area unreachable to pets.
    • Use oils proven safe for animals in properly diluted solutions.
    • Use the diffuser in intervals, and monitor your pets closely for adverse reactions.

Essential Oils to Avoid for Pet Safety

Some essential oils can harm pets, even in small amounts, so be careful and take necessary precautions. When diffusing essential oils in a home with dogs or cats, it is critical to avoid the following essential oils:

Tea Tree Oil


Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, can be dangerous if ingested or inhaled by pets. It may cause serious issues such as depression of the central nervous system, tremors, ataxia, and vomiting. Even small amounts of tea tree oil can lead to toxicity in dogs and cats.

Eucalyptus Oil


Eucalyptus oil may lead to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in pets if ingested. Skin exposure can also cause irritation and inflammation. The pungent smell may also be unpleasant or overpowering for many animals.

Cinnamon Oil


Cinnamon oil contains high amounts of “cinnamaldehyde“, which can be irritating and toxic to pets, especially in concentrated forms. Ingestion may lead to digestive tract issues, liver damage, and central nervous system depression.

Citrus Oils


Citrus oils like lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit have substances that can harm or irritate pets. Oral exposure can lead to digestive discomfort; dermal exposure may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some animals.

Pennyroyal and Peppermint Oil


Pennyroyal and peppermint oil can be highly toxic to pets, even in small amounts. When ingested, they may cause serious issues such as liver and organ damage, seizures, coma, and death. Topical exposure can also lead to skin irritation and adverse effects.

Avoid using these essential oils in diffusers or any other way to keep pets safe and healthy at home. Safer alternatives include lavender, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, or frankincense, which can be calming for many animals.

To enjoy aromatherapy without harming pets, avoid using irritating or toxic essential oils and choose pet-friendly options.

Pet Safe Essential Oils for Diffusers: Our Top Picks

When diffusing essential oils in a home with pets, it is crucial to consider their safety. Some essential oils can be irritating or even toxic to animals, especially in concentrated forms.

Some essential oils are safe for pets which you can use for your essential oil diffusers.

Lavender Essential Oils

Plant Therapy Organic Lavender Essential Oil 100% Pure

USDA Certified Organic, Undiluted, Natural Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Grade 10 mL (1/3 oz)


Siva Lavender Essential Oil 4 Fl Oz with Premium Glass Dropper 

100% Pure, Natural, Undiluted & Therapeutic Grade, Amazing for Skin & Hair Care, Diffuser


Lavender oil is safe for pets and has a calming effect when diluted. The soothing scent of lavender can help reduce anxiety and stress in humans and animals. Diffusing lavender oil may help calm nervous or excitable dogs and cats.

Myrrh Essential Oils

MAJESTIC PURE Myrrh Oil Premium Quality, 4 Fl Oz

Majestic Pure Myrrh Oil; mixture of isolated compounds; Smoky, sweet or bitter smell.


EUQEE Myrrh Essential Oil 118mL/4oz Nature & Premium Plant Essential Oil

EUQEE Myrrh essential oil extracts from nature plant, with no adulterants or dilution.


Myrrh essential oil possesses natural antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Diffusing myrrh oil can help clean up inflamed skin spots in dogs and soothe minor skin irritations. The earthy, musky aroma of myrrh oil is pleasant for most humans and pets.

Frankincense Essential Oils

Handcraft Frankincense Essential Oil – 100% Pure & Natural

Premium Therapeutic Grade with Premium Glass Dropper – Huge 4 fl. Oz


Cliganic USDA Organic Frankincense Essential Oil, 1oz

Boswellia Serrata, 100% Pure Natural Undiluted, for Aromatherapy | Non-GMO Verified


Frankincense essential oil has a warm, spicy aroma with calming properties. Diffusing frankincense oil in small amounts can help reduce stress and anxiety in people and pets. The resinous scent also acts as an air purifier, absorbing and dispersing odors in the home.

Chamomile Essential Oils

Brooklyn Botany Chamomile Essential Oil 100% Pure – 0.33 Fl Oz

Natural Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil – Chamomile Oil for Aromatherapy and Diffuser


SVA Chamomile Essential Oil 1/3 Oz (10 ml) Premium Essential Oil

SVA Chamomile is an essential oil and is obtained by steam distillation of Anthemis Nobilis flowers.


Chamomile essential oil, especially Roman chamomile, is another safe, natural oil for pets. It has soothing, anxiety-reducing effects and a refreshing herbal aroma. Both dogs and cats tend to tolerate chamomile oil well in proper dilutions.

Marjoram Essential Oil

doTERRA – Marjoram Essential Oil

Valued for its calming properties and positive effect on the nervous system.


Marjoram essential oil is safe for use in homes with pets and provides a woodsy, citrus-like scent. For cats, marjoram oil may help relieve anxiety and stress. It can also support healthy digestion when diluted in carrier oil in dogs and cats.

Other pet-friendly essential oils

A few more essential oils are safe to diffuse in homes with pets.

    • Cedarwood (safe for dogs and cats)
    • Geranium (safe for dogs but not for cats)
    • Chamomile (safe for dogs and cats)
    • Clary Sage (safe for dogs and cats)
    • Lemongrass (safe for dogs and cats)
    • Sweet Orange (safe for dogs but not for cats)

When diffusing essential oil around pets, always start with a very low concentration and monitor them for adverse reactions. It is best to consult a veterinarian before using essential oils on or around animals.

Use pet-friendly essential oils and be cautious to enjoy aromatherapy diffusion at home with pets safely.

Diffuser Placement Tips When You Have Pets

When diffusing essential oils in a home with pets, the placement of the diffuser is critical for their health and safety. An oil diffuser spreads plant extracts in the air. Think about your pet’s access to the area.


The following tips can help ensure safe diffuser use with pets:

Keep the Diffuser Out of Reach

Place the diffuser in an area unreachable to your pets to prevent spills or messes. Pets might want to hit or play with the diffuser, which could damage it or cause essential oil to leak out.

Keeping the diffuser on a high shelf or cabinet prevents pets from accessing the device and any spilled oils.

Avoid Diffusing Near Pet Bedding or Food Bowls

Do not place the diffuser near areas where your pet eats, drinks, or sleeps. Essential oils can contaminate pet food, water, and bedding, and the strong scents may deter your pet from using these areas.

Consider Your Pet's Health Conditions

If your pet has any health conditions, avoid diffusing essential oils or do so cautiously under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Strong scents from essential oils can irritate airways or exacerbate specific medical issues in pets. For pets with allergies or asthma, essential oil diffusers may trigger symptoms.

Ventilate the Area Well

Keep doors or windows open in the area where you are diffusing to allow for proper ventilation. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can overwhelm a small space.

Allowing outside airflow into the diffused area prevents the buildup of essential oils. It helps maintain a comfortable environment for pets and owners.

While many essential oils are pet-friendly in proper dilutions, individual animals may have sensitivities or allergies.

Look for signs of irritation in your pet, like coughing, sneezing, or skin issues. Stop using the oil if your pet reacts. With close monitoring, many owners find safe, pet-friendly options for home diffusing.

Top 5 Myths About Diffusing Essential Oils at Home With Pets

There are several common myths surrounding diffusing essential oils pets that are important to clarify.


1. Essential oils are natural, so they must be safe.

Although essential oils come from plants, being “natural” does not always make them safe. Many essential oils contain compounds that can be irritating or even toxic to pets, especially in high concentrations. It is best to research specific oils before diffusing them around pets.

2. I can diffuse any oil if I keep the diffuser in a separate room.

Diffused essential oils can still reach adjacent rooms through ventilation systems and under doorways. Avoid using strong oils like thyme, oregano, clove, wintergreen, and mountain savory if you have pets at home.

3. My pet does not seem bothered, so the oils must not irritate them.

It is not always possible for your pet to communicate discomfort or illness resulting from irritation. Diffusing essential oils can lead to breathing difficulties, nausea, and other issues in pets, even without obvious symptoms. It is safest to avoid diffusing oils altogether or choose pet-safe alternatives.

4. I can diffuse citrus oils since they are natural flea repellents.

While some citrus oils may have flea-repelling properties, diffusing them can still be irritating and toxic to pets. There are pet-safe alternatives for flea prevention that do not put pets at risk.

5. My veterinarian says essential oil diffusion is fine as long as I'm careful.

Some veterinarians may need to know the risks associated with essential oil diffusion around pets. According to veterinary toxicologists, the safest approach is to avoid diffusing essential oils when your pet is around or choose essential oils that are safe for pets. When in doubt, it is best to avoid diffusing.

The risks to pets outweigh any benefits of diffusing essential oils in homes with pets. The safest choice is to avoid diffusing oils altogether or choose pet-safe alternatives for aromatherapy.

Safe Alternatives to Essential Oils for Pets

It’s necessary to exercise caution and be aware of alternative solutions safe for animals when diffusing essential oils in a home with pets.

Pet owners should conduct research before using essential oils because some of them have the potential to sicken or otherwise harm cats and dogs.


Potted Fragrant Live Plants

Potted fragrant live plants can be an excellent alternative to diffusing essential oils in a home with pets. They not only provide your home with a beautiful natural scent but also create a welcoming area for your pets.

When choosing potted plants, it’s important to consider the types that are safe for pets. Some fragrant plants, like lavender, rosemary, and mint, can create a relaxing environment without harming your pets.

These plants emit a delightful scent and offer various health benefits for humans and pets.

Pet-safe room sprays are another secure alternative to diffusing essential oils in a home with pets and potted, scented living plants.

These sprays were created to offer a pleasant scent without harming your pets.

When choosing a pet-safe room spray, looking for products specifically labeled as safe for pets is important. These sprays are usually made with natural ingredients to ensure they are non-toxic and non-irritating to animals.

Pet-formulated Diffusers

Diffusers formulated specifically for use around pets disperse natural fragrances that are non-toxic and calming for animals.

These pet-friendly formulated diffusers utilize distilled botanical extracts and natural essential oils that have been properly diluted and are safe for pets.

The oils are highly diffused, so pets inhale only a negligible amount of the natural fragrances. Unlike essential oil diffusers, pet diffusers do not contain concentrated essential oils that may be irritating.

WEALLIN Cat Calming Diffuser Kit – Cat Pheromones Calming Diffuser

Relieve Anxiety & Stress – 5-in-1 Cat Pheromone Diffuser Kit with 1 Diffuser + 4 Refill 48ml Vial-4 Months of Comfort and Relaxation


Instead of diffusing essential oils, pet owners can opt for natural beeswax or soy candles. These clean-burning candles produce a subtle scent without the use of essential oils. The flame and scent of candles may still disturb some pets, so you should take proper precautions.

Pet owners can try several pet-friendly alternatives to diffusing essential oils. With proper research and precautions, essential oil diffusers can still be safe to use in homes with pets.

The key is to be well-informed, start with small amounts, and monitor pets for adverse reactions.

FAQs: Common Questions About Diffusing Essential Oils at Home with Pets Answered

As a pet owner, you likely have questions about diffusing essential oils in a home with animals. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding essential oil diffusion safety for pets:

Some essential oils can be safe to diffuse around pets in dilute concentrations. Still, many oils are toxic to animals, especially in concentrated form.


Only use 100% pure essential oils that are safe for pets and never fragrance oils. Always exercise caution and monitor your pet for adverse reactions.

Essential oils derived from lavender, chamomile, frankincense, and citrus peels (such as orange or lemon) are typically considered safe for pets in small amounts and when properly diluted. However, any essential oil can be irritating, so use them minimally and cautiously.

To reduce risks to pets when diffusing essential oils, place the diffuser in an area that is well-ventilated and not confined. Only run the diffuser intermittently in short periods, such as 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off.


Use the lowest heat and fan settings possible. Dilute oils heavily, with 1-2 drops of essential oil for every 4 ounces of water. Provide pets access to fresh air and the ability to leave the room.

Be on alert for adverse reactions in pets after diffusing essential oils, including:

  • Excessive drooling, nausea, or vomiting
  • Skin irritation such as redness, rashes, or itching
  • Respiratory issues like coughing, sneezing or wheezing
  • Behavioral changes or lethargy

If your pet shows these or any negative symptoms after oil diffusion, discontinue use immediately and contact your vet. It is always better to err on the side of caution concerning pet wellness.

Regarding essential oil safety and pets, education and moderation are critical. By following proper guidelines cautions and watching pets closely, you can safely enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy diffusion in a home with animals.

However, if you have any concerns, it is best to avoid diffusing oils altogether or check with your vet. The health of your pets should be the top priority.

Final Thoughts about Diffusing Essential Oils at Home with Pets

You now know to safely use essential oils in your home diffusers while keeping your pets healthy and happy. Following the guidelines around proper dilution, ventilation, and avoiding potentially toxic oils, you can fill your home with natural fragrance without worry.

However, it’s always best to start slowly by introducing one new oil at a time in case of any adverse reactions. Monitor your pets to ensure they do not show any signs of respiratory distress or other negative effects. Their comfort and well-being should be a top priority.


With care and common sense, essential oils, and pets can coexist harmoniously. Do your research, choose high-quality oils from reputable brands, and be alert for any changes in your pet’s behavior or health.

By taking these recommended precautions, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing you’re creating a healthy environment for your whole family – pets included.

The natural benefits of essential oils can uplift your mood and refresh your home when used properly and responsibly. Follow these guidelines to diffuse essential oils confidently and worry-free at home with your beloved pets.

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