Skip to Content

Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Dogs, Cats & Other Animals?

As aromatherapy is getting more and more popular throughout the world, many people include different essential oils in their daily lives. There are numerous ways of using and utilizing essential oil. 

People are now expanding the spectrum of essential oil by using them for their pets as well.

As the use of essential oil on animals still lacks adequate research and studies, it is normal to question this trend of introducing essential oil to pets. 

If you own a dog or a cat, you might be wondering whether it’s alright to use an essential oil like lavender oil for cats, dogs, and other pets or not. 

Is lavender essential oil safe for dogs?

Lavender essential oil is safe for dogs, but it needs to be used with caution. Lavender essential oil is a very potent oil that can’t be used undiluted for dogs. Also, you must use therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil for your dog’s utmost safety. 

Lavender oil is known for its beautiful scent and stress-relieving properties. Humans have been benefiting from essential oils like lavender oil for a long time. It is no surprise that people are now showing interest in using essential oils for their pets as well. 

While they are highly beneficial to mankind for their amazing properties and versatility, it can come as a surprise to many to find out about their use for pets as well. Lavender essential oil is excessively potent. 

Just like any other essential oil, it needs to be handled with care and caution, even for humans.

Lavender essential oil is a highly concentrated extract derived from lavender spikes. It can’t be used undiluted. It is recommended to dilute it more if your dog is small in size as you wouldn’t want to cause any irritation to your pets. 

It is also okay to diffuse lavender oil around your dogs. It can leave a calming effect on your dog and help to relax. Two things that you should always make sure of are that you are using pure grade, therapeutic oil and that the oil is always diluted before use. 

Essential oil can’t be a replacement for professional veterinary assistance. Before you go on with using any essential oil for your pets, it is imperative to run regular medical checkups. 

Can dogs smell, inhale, or lick lavender essential oil? Are dogs allergic to lavender oil?

As we have stated earlier, with proper caution using lavender oil is not harmful for your beloved pet. Let’s find out the consequences in detail.

Help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression:

Dogs love to spend their time resting and sometimes playing. Your dog needs to rest well to be healthy and happy. Aromatherapy can be a great way of helping your dog relax. A dog can breathe lavender oil. 

It promotes a calming effect on your dog that will help relieve stress, anxiety, and even depression. 

You can put a very little amount of lavender oil on your dog’s collar or its resting area. You can also use a diffuser to help it inhale easily. 

If you notice your dog dealing with stress and anxiety more often than regular, you should consider visiting a veteran to rule out serious health problems. 

Lavender poisoning in dogs:

Lavender poisoning in dogs is a thing but it rarely happens as dogs need to ingest a large amount of lavender oil for it to happen. It is rare for a dog to ingest so much lavender oil. Also, it is not wise to feed your dog lavender oil without discussing it with a veteran first. 

Dogs can lick lavender oil from their fur when you topically apply the oil to their skin. However, if you find your dog suddenly vomiting, having trouble defecating, or with a swollen abdomen, it can be a sign of lavender poisoning. 

Your dog may also face loss of appetite and fever. 

Allergic reactions in dogs:

Some dogs can be allergic to lavender oil. To be safe, you can try putting some diluted oil on a small area of its skin to look for allergic reactions. If you see any discomfort, refrain from applying more and take help from a veterinary expert. 

Allergic reactions from lavender oil can cause inflamed or itchy skin, infections, and respiratory irritation or difficulty. 

What to do if your dog eats lavender essential oil?

Licking lavender oil off the furs is not considered unsafe for dogs as they can’t eat that much oil like this. Also, topical application of lavender oil can only be done after dilution, and that too, in a very little amount. 

You are not supposed to let your dog ingest lavender essential oil as there is not enough evidence to prove that it’s safe for them.

However, if your dog accidentally ends up eating lavender oil, it shouldn’t be an issue if it’s in a small amount. But, if a dog eats too much lavender oil, it can face lavender poisoning. 

This is why, no matter the amount, if your dog accidentally eats lavender oil, you should immediately seek veterinarian assistance. The treatment may include using antihistamines, intravenous fluids, and supplemental oxygen. 

Is lavender essential oil safe for cats?

Lavender essential oil is considered unsafe for cats. These precious fur babies are sensitive to potent oil like lavender oil. It can be quite toxic for cats. If a cat is exposed to lavender oil or even the plant for a long time, it can face respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. 

You should not use a lavender oil diffuser around cats. Cats have a sensitive respiratory system that gets irritated easily. This is exactly why aerosolized products should not be used around cats. They can irritate their respiratory systems and even cause asthma. 

Also, you should never apply lavender oil, diluted or undiluted, on cats. Essential oils get absorbed quickly and can cause a chemical burn in cats. They can lick the oil while grooming their furs and end up ingesting some that can upset their gastrointestinal tracts. 

Lavender poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in cats.

Can you use lavender essential oil for fleas and ticks on dogs & cats?

You can use lavender essential oil for fleas and ticks on dogs. But you should never apply lavender oil to cats. Lavender oil is excessively toxic for cats and they can face both respiratory and gastrointestinal issues. 

The topical application of lavender oil is considered safe for dogs but dilution is mandatory. Undiluted lavender oil is unsafe for even humans since it is a very strong oil whereas pets are more sensitive. 

You can put some diluted lavender oil on your dog’s coats to help get rid of fleas and ticks.

Is lavender essential oil safe for other animals or pets?

Bear with us to find out if lavender essential oil is safe for other animals or pets.


Lavender essential oil is considered safe for birds. This concept lacks studies and research, therefore, you should be careful while using any essential oil for your birds. Also, you should not use excessively potent oil like any hot oil, tea tree, peppermint, citronella, and such.

Only floral and citrus oils can be safe to use for your pet birds, but with caution. 

Like for any other animals, you should only use diluted lavender oil. Feeding this oil to your bird should be avoided since you’re not an expert. 

Birds are very sensitive to toxic scents, so if you wish to diffuse lavender oil, make sure to get your hands on only the pure grade lavender oil. Also, the diffuser should perform without heat.


Lavender oil is considered safe for rabbits. Yet again, the lack of research forbids us to suggest you use any essential oil on these little animals on a large scale. 

But since lavender is a floral oil that portrays great medicinal benefits and calming effects, you can try using lavender oil for rabbits but in moderation and with caution.

You must dilute an essential oil properly before applying it to animals. Lavender oil needs to be diluted well since it’s a very potent oil. Some other oils that are considered safe for rabbits are orange, peppermint, eucalyptus, fennel, and lemon essential oil. 

You should avoid using the following oil for rabbits – tea tree, clove, wintergreen, anise, and oregano oil.


Lavender oil can be safe for horses. It is amazing to know that horses can benefit from the calming effects of lavender oil. Lavender oil is known to regulate stress levels in horses to help them relax. Aromatherapy is the best way to use lavender oil for horses. 

Topical application is safe too but the oil needs to be diluted properly.

The topical application of lavender oil is known to help get rid of muscle pain and spasm in horses. You should check for an allergic reaction first and if you find any, stop the application immediately and seek professional help. 

You can also use a diffuser to help your horse inhale the scent and relax. 

Final thoughts

Lavender oil is safe for dogs and some other animals but it is unsafe for cats. The oil is excessively potent so it needs to be used carefully and after diluting with a carrier oil. Aromatherapy with lavender oil can also benefit your dog to relax. You must keep lavender oil away from cats.