Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial herb in the mint family, native to the Mediterranean. The leaves, stems and flowers may be used, but flowers are the typical choice for therapeutic and medicinal use on pets. The most common forms are dry, (heavily diluted) essential oil, ‘tea’, or Bach Flower Remedies. Lavender may be used externally or environmentally. It is considered to be safe for horses and dogs.

Lavender is a favorite of holistic veterinarians and pet product manufacturers for natural properties that include:

  • Antibacterial / Antibiotic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Astringent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Analgesic (pain killer)
  • Antipruritic (reduces itching)
  • Regenerative
  • Calming and antidepressive
  • Tick repellent
  • Digestive aid

The healing benefits of Lavender may be applied to natural pet remedies for dogs and horses to treat conditions of the joints, respiratory system, nervous system, digestive system or skin. It is also effective in treating stress-based conditions and may reduce aggression through aromatherapy.

Notes of Caution

  • Lavender and most other essential oils should not be used around cats.
  • All essential oils used on any pet should be heavily diluted.
  • Lavender essential oil should not be taken internally. Ingestion may cause liver or kidney damage.
  • Lavender essential oil should not be used on pregnant or nursing dogs.
  • Only Lavandula angustifolia should be used. Lavender hybrid (Lavandin) oils are more harsh and other species may have different effects.
  • Lavender blends containing Linalyl acetate should not be used on pets.

Organic Availability

Lavender is one of the most common herbs and is easily found. The concern is the level of quality, as only high quality herbs and essential oils are safe and effective. We purchase organic dried Lavender flowers and organic Lavender essential oil from Starwest Botanicals.

??? We’d love to hear about your experience with Lavender for pets, please share in the comments below.

Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Herbal Healing 2012.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.
Bell, Kristen Leigh. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals. 2002.

You may also be interested in reading:
The Dangers of Tea Tree Oil for Pets
Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to Dogs, Cats, Birds & Other Pets
30+ Natural Supplements to Treat and Prevent Arthritis in Dogs


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14 thoughts on “Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Herb For Pets ©

  1. OH my house smells HEAVENLY!!!!!
    I think lavender is good for people and pets but even if it isn’t the scent is a gentle touch like a warm summer day.

  2. My cat loves the smell of lavender for some reason but she’s always been a weird cat. She’ll lay on the dropped flowers in our yard and if she smells it anywhere else she’s all over it. I keep sachets around the house and if she finds one it’s hers.

  3. I loved lavender before I knew it had medicinal uses! It’s great that it’s safe for pets and it makes them smell nice.

  4. I have made cloth bags and put lavender buds, hops, uncooked rice and flax seed in it. I keep several in my freezer in case of injury for animals as well as humans. They can be microwaved for 1 -2 minutes for a heat pack and are very soothing as well as medicinal. I have used them on my dogs for years and they love them….helps with pain and is very relaxing.

  5. We use a lot of lavender around here for the smell and as medicine. We use aloe plants often too.

  6. Good morning! I believe in the powers of lavender and it’s a good morning because I use a lavender sachet in my pillow due to chronic insomnia. I’m sure it would be just as relaxing for animals.

  7. I hope you’ll write more herbal profiles from the pet POV, it’s hard to know what is safe.

  8. I planted one lavender plant many years ago and now I have a field of it. The smell is heavenly. I haven’t used it medicinally but you’ve inspired me to try, thanks.

  9. Lavender is my favorite essential oil to use and I’ve used it on my dogs, no problem. I agree that cats shouldn’t be exposed to essential oils because all them are sensitive and some are even MORE sensitive.

  10. Lavender is such a pleasure to grow and use because it smells so lovely and works so well. Medication always stinks but nature gives us lovely scents when it heals.

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