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Essential Oils & Your Pet

March 16, 2018

What are essential oils?

The use of oils for medical and non-medical purposes has a long history dating all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians. During the Dark Ages fragrant oils were used as an alternative to bathing. Luckily essential oils are no longer used as a shower replacement but instead the most common use of these oils today, are as aromatherapy treatments.


Can essential oils benefit my pet?

This alternative form of medicine has had limited to no clinical studies performed particularly in regards to pet health. The studies that have been completed show mixed result. We strongly suggest consulting with your veterinarian prior to the use of any essential oils along with always knowing the ingredients of these oils.


Here at University Veterinary Care Center we use the term complementary medicine instead of alternative; we phrase it this way due to the fact that our doctors pair them with traditional diagnostics and treatments. For example, a dog who has torn their cruciate ligament may undergo a surgical repair of the knee in addition to receiving stem cell treatments for the torn ligament. This is how we suggest using aromatherapies as well, by combining them with other proven methods of medical treatments and not as the single, primary treatment.


Are there any aromatherapies that the doctors at UVCC recommend?

Yes. Here are the aromatherapies that are UVCC approved:


Adaptil for dogs - this product is a synthetic pheromone created to mimic the pheromones produced by a mother dog. We recommend the use of diffusers for dogs of all ages, who are suffering from some anxiety, both acute or chronic.   


Feliway for cats - this is also a synthetic pheromone product specifically designed for cats. It can be used to help reduce multiple behavioral issues in cats and reduce anxiety.


What are the risks?

Again, essential oils should never be used as the sole treatment option but even more important you should always know the possible toxicity of the oils ingredients before giving them to your pets.

Here is a short list of ingredients that should be avoided:


For dogs:


Tea Tree


For cats:










Tea Tree



Want to learn more?

Learn more about essential oils and how they can affect your pet’s health.

The Science Behind Cats and Essential Oils




Carrozza, A. (2018, January 12). Are Essential Oils Harmful to Cats and Dogs? [Web log

post]. Retrieved February 02, 2018, from http://www.vmdtoday.com/news/are-essential-oils-harmful-to-cats-and-dogs

Wismer, T., DVM. (2016, May 26). Do Essential Oils Pose a Risk to Pets? [Web log

post]. Retrieved February 02, 2018, from http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/do-essential-oils-pose-a-risk-to-pets



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