Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to Dogs, Cats, Birds & Other Pets ©

Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to Dogs, Cats, Birds and Other Pets

Due to recent viral social media posts, many pet parents are wondering, “Are essential oils used in diffusers toxic to pets?” The answer is complicated by the varying tolerance levels of each species. Some essential oils are toxic to all pets, or only some dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, aquarium fish and other small animals.

We don’t recommend using an essential oil diffuser with cats, rabbits, birds, fish and other small animals close by. Extreme caution should be used when infusing the air using oil-based aromatherapy diffusers, candles, etc., no matter what animal is in the room. If you choose to try it, use tiny, heavily diluted aromatherapy recipes, and use only for a few minutes at a time (without animals in the same room). Closely observe any animals in the home for signs of a negative reaction or symptoms of toxicity.

Pets that are most sensitive to diffused essential oils

  • Birds
  • Cats
  • Rabbits
  • Small dogs
  • Pregnant animals
  • Animals that haven’t reached maturity (Juveniles)
  • Breeds with respiratory challenges, such as “flat-faced” breeds
  • Aquarium fish

Phenols (a chemical group in oils such as those derived from Thyme & Oregano), Monoterpene Hydrocarbons (such as Pine), Phenylpropanes (such as Basil & Cinnamon), and many essential oils in the Ketone group (such as Pennyroyal and Wormwood), should not be used around or on pets. We must also consider age, illness (such as epilepsy), medication, and pregnancy when administering essential oils to any pet.

Low-quality essential oils used in diffusers may contain chemicals or unidentified oils that will harm pets, even if the purchased essential oil itself is safe. For safety and effectiveness, therapeutic-grade essential oils must be obtained from a reliable store that is committed to using only premium suppliers. We rely on Starwest Botanicals for our essential oils. As a general rule, if you find an oil at a price that is considerably lower than other suppliers, it’s probably a lower grade or at least diluted.

However, the harm isn’t always in WHAT you put in your diffuser, but how much, how long, and proximity. Even the most tolerant pets should only be exposed to diffused essentials oils for a few minutes, preferably in a different room. The oils should be heavily diluted to avoid concentrations that are toxic.

Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to
Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Birds, Fish, Reptiles and Small Pets

This is not a comprehensive list of all essential oils that may be toxic to pets, but it does cover some of the most popular diffuser oils.

Tea Tree Oil
Penny Royal
Citrus (including orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
Ylang Ylang

For more information, read 30 Essential Oils That May Not Be Safe For Pets.

Is it worth the risk, even if it’s a small one? Unless you’re certain that your diffuser oil isn’t at all toxic to your particular pet, we suggest you don’t use them. When I say “certain”, I mean a veterinarian or recognized expert verifies it for you. Many people sell essential oils or are otherwise biased or misinformed, so please do thorough research and only trust information from reputable, unbiased sources. You can learn about the safety of essential oils for pets from respected authors like Kristen Leigh Bell, who wrote Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals.

Please keep all essential oils and your diffuser safely out of reach of pets and children!

Natural Pet Care Blog CommentsHave you noticed your pet doesn’t like it when you diffuse essential oils? Or do they seem OK with it? Please share your experience in the comments below.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Dangerous Natural Tick Remedies (Infographic)
Is Tea Tree Oil Safe for Pets?
Protect Your Pets From the West Nile Virus Naturally


© All Natural Pet Care BlogContent on this website (all or in part) may NOT be used elsewhere without expressed permission. Content theft will result in legal action. Thank you for respecting the effort that we have put into our original content. If you would like to have quality content created for you, please contact our writer directly.

DISCLOSURE: We may receive compensation for links to products on this website.

DISCLAIMER: Statements on this website may not have been evaluated by the FDA, Health Canada nor any other government regulator. The information and products provided by are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, nor prevent any disease and are intended for educational purposes only. READ MORE…

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED – Legitimate comments will be published after a short delay. Spam, trolling and brand bashing will not be published.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to Dogs, Cats, Birds & Other Pets ©”

  1. Vasha says:

    I heard EO could be dangerous but nobody knows which ones or how much it takes to be a problem. Very helpful thank you!

  2. charlene says:

    I wonder why it’s taken so long for this to come out? I guess essential oil is more popular now and maybe stronger too. Everyone thinks it’s OK for pets if it’s OK for humans until we learn better. We all should research more and stop listening to people trying to sell us stuff. Our babies depend on us!

  3. Troy says:

    Our dogs and cat have been fine with lavender but I haven’t tried anything else. I think I’ll stick to that now.


    OMG!!! I stopped using my diffuser because my cat freaked out everytime I tried. I had a feeling it might be making her feel bad although she didn’t show anything other than avoiding the room. I’m glad I stopped…poor thing!

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: All Premium Themes | Thanks to wordpress themes free, Best Free WordPress Themes and Free WordPress Themes