Essential oils are great for your health and the health of your home. However, they can be toxic to pets if they ingest them. Essential oils are aromatic compounds with medicinal properties extracted from plants. Several essential oils can harm your pet, so it’s important to know which ones you should keep away from pets so they don’t get sick or even die from exposure.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural products derived from plants. They can be extracted by distillation or expression when the plant matter is heated and then separated into its essential oils. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, cosmetics, medicine and more!

In general, essential oils that do not contain toxic components don’t pose any risk to your pet’s health if they come into contact with them on their own (i.e., accidentally) because they’re not meant for consumption or direct application onto the skin like other types of fragrances would be; however, some may irritate so you should always check with your vet before trying any new products on your pet.

Are essential oils safe for dogs?

If you’re looking for safe essential oils for your dog, you’re in luck. As long as the oil is natural and pure, it’s safe to use. There are several ways that essential oils can help with dogs’ health. They can treat various ailments, from anxiety, stress and depression to skin conditions like dryness or allergies.

Are essential oils safe for cats?

If you have a cat, it’s important to know that essential oils can harm your pet. Cats are more sensitive than dogs and humans regarding the effects of essential oils. Some cats may experience liver damage or even death when exposed to certain scents like citrus, lavender and eucalyptus.

If your pet has ingested an essential oil in any way (for example, through licking), seek medical attention immediately!

What essential oils are dangerous for pets?

You must first see your veterinarian if you intend to use any essential oils in your house. There are several ways in which essential oils and animals might interact without your knowledge.

Some essential oils are innocuous, mainly when consumed in tiny amounts. So it’s not as though essential oils and pets are mutually exclusive. There may even be essential oils for pets that are safe in minute quantities. However, you should always, always, always consult your veterinarian before using oils.

The following essential oils and toxic scents for cats that are dangerous for cats:

  • Ylang ylang
  • Wintergreen
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Thyme
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pine
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Lavender

Some essential oils and toxic scents for dogs that are harmful, including but not limited to:

  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • PineThyme
  • JuniperCinnamon
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang
  • Yarrow
  • Garlic

What plants are dangerous for pets?

The following plants are toxic to dogs:

  • Azaleas
  • Cherries
  • Daffodil
  • Black Locust
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Elderberry
  • Elephant Ear
  • Foxglove
  • Golden Chain
  • Hyacinth
  • Jasmine
  • Laurels
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Mistletoe
  • Narcissus
  • Oak trees
  • Wisteria
  • Wandering Jew
  • Yew

For cats, poisonous plants include:

  • Lilies
  • Aglaonema
  • Aloe Vera
  • Asparagus fern
  • Birds of Paradise
  • Daffodil
  • Gladiola
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Morning Tongue
  • Nightshade
  • Plumosa Fern
  • Tulips

Lillies are very toxic to cats and can induce acute renal failure, which can be fatal. In this circumstance, you may see that your cat appears listless and unhappy. They may be throwing up, and their drinking habits may have changed.

House plants that are dangerous for pets

You might have a plant in your home that you’re not sure about. It’s probably harmless but could also be toxic to your pets. Here are some plants that are toxic to pets:

  • Aloe vera
  • Devil’s ivy
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Tomato plant
  • Chives
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Dracaena
  • Asparagus fern
  • Mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Peace lily
  • Rubber tree plant
  • Hydrangea
  • Cyclamen

What oils are dangerous for pets

  • Essential oils that are toxic to cats:
  • Chamomile and lavender
  • Essential oils that are toxic to dogs:
  • Anise, bay leaf, cedarwood, catnip and clove buds. The rest aren’t toxic but may cause an allergic reaction in your pet.
  • Essential oils that are toxic to cats and dogs: Lavender (for cats) & Tea Tree Oil (for dogs). This can be avoided by diluting the oil with water before applying it on their skin or pet toys.

What are the symptoms of poisoning in dogs

If your dog is exposed to essential oil, it will experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea and drooling. These symptoms can be caused by ingesting a toxin in the plant itself or through contact with it through skin rashes or mucous membranes.

The most common type of poisoning that dogs experience is called hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) due to ingesting citrus fruits like oranges or lemons. This type of poisoning causes symptoms such as depression, loss of appetite and increased heartbeat rate while also causing irregular urination, muscle tremors; seizures and excessive salivation from mouth bleeding into eyes due to damage done during the digestion process within the stomach lining

What are the symptoms of poisoning in cats

Symptoms of poisoning in cats

  • Vomiting, diarrhea and excessive salivation (drooling)
  • Muscle tremors and twitching of the limbs or face
  • Hyperactivity, restlessness or lethargy
  • Seizures or convulsions

If you suspect your cat has been poisoned with a toxic plant or essential oil, get veterinary help immediately!


To help pet owners and prevent any potential accidents, we compiled a list of essential oils that are most toxic to pets and the most sensitive animals. The key here is always to be careful and sparing when using oils near you or your pet.

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