Using Essential Oils with Horses  (And pets & other livestock)

  • For an online tutorial or live, in-person class, please contact me! Sometimes the first couple of times that we’re trying something new, it’s MUCH easier if someone shows us how.

These recommendations apply only to the doTERRA Essential because they are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade – 100% natural. The CPTG logo on the label guarantees that all oils have been tested by independent labs to confirm each batch is free of any synthetics, pesticides, herbicides, etc. and has therapeutic potency.

Notice that doTERRA has several oils that are labeled with a supplement fact. These are approved oils for consumption. Please NEVER use an oil that is labeled “not for internal use” internally!  The recommendations here are NOT for any oil that may not be 100% pure, but also for oils that may not have the same potency that doTERRA oils have. When in doubt, compare tests. Need help? Ask me.

There are several oils on the market these days that are labeled as pure essential oils, but they are not. You have to see the tests to know…  Please don’t use any “Essential Oils” that are from the grocery store, random gift packs, or even the health food store on your animals (or yourself) without seeing the test results for those oils.


Horses are sensitive despite their size; use the same dosage for a horse as for an adult human. Less for pregnant mares and smaller breeds. (Normal application for adult humans is 1-2 drops)

Follow the directions in your reference book, I recommend purchasing the Modern Essentials Guide at  If you would like to see my copy before purchasing one, let me know.

The oils do not build up in the systems like drugs do; re-apply the oils as needed.

Avoid getting oils in the eyes, flush eyes with milk if needed.

Horses in the wild naturally seek out plants for their well-being. If given the chance, they will often choose the oils and herbs that they need for certain health concerns. When offering oils to horses, loosen the cap and hold the bottle up to the horse’s nose. Allow them to turn away- this usually means they do not want to select the oil. If they smell it with one nostril more than the other, it is likely working with different parts of their brain & body. The left nostril connects with the part of their brain that deals with emotions and the right nostril connects with the area of the brain dealing with physical issues.

If you are helping a horse with emotional issues, diluting the oil and applying to the poll or between the eyes on the forehead (careful not to get into the eyes).

For dealing with physical injuries and issues, dilute and apply the oil to the area affected & the coronet band or along the spine.

For all issues, if the oil you are using is approved for consumption (has a supplement fact label) allow the horse to lick any additional oil off of your hands or add a drop to your palm and offer it to the horse.

You may also use oils such as DigestZen internally by adding a drop to a small amount of pelleted feed or beet pulp shreds prior to soaking.

When treating digestive issues, another point of application besides belly and internal are the flanks.

Using Essential Oils with Animals Safely

For Horses, Cattle, and Goats:

  • Only use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.
  • Know your horse’s health status and the medications and supplements they are currently taking.
  • Do NOT use oils on or near eyes, ears, nose, or genitals of your horse.
  • Use Caution with topical application of “hot” oils such as Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cassia, and Cinnamon – dilution may be needed for these oils.
  • Do NOT use water to dilute an essential oil that you’ve already applied. Rather, dilute with a carrier oil, like vegetable oil or fractionated coconut oil.
  • Do not apply oils after bathing while the horse is still wet.
  • Do not use essential oils at the same time as another topical medication, including dermal patches.
  • Do not panic if your horse has skin irritation or an adverse reaction. Immediately dilute the area with a carrier oil – most of these resolve within a few hours with dilution.
  • Do NOT apply oils to the saddle area prior to riding.
  • Caution should be used around animals that are pregnant, nursing, young, or on certain medications.
  • Oils to avoid during pregnancy: Arborvitae, Basil, Birch, Cassia, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Thyme, Wintergreen.
  • Observe your horse’s behavior when using or applying essential oils.
  • In the event of an adverse reaction, dilute with a carrier oil – skin irritation is the most common, and most reactions resolve within 24–48 hours after oil exposure.

For Dogs and Cats:

  • Dilute for topical use.
  • Know your pet’s health status.
  • Do NOT use oils on or near eyes, ears, nose, or genitals of your pet.
  • Use a water diffuser for aromatic use and allow your pet to roam freely with an open door to the room.
  • Caution should be used around animals that are pregnant, nursing, young, or on certain medications.
  • Do not use oils topically on your pet if using a topical medication or dermal patch – this includes topical flea/ tick preventatives.
  • Do not give any of the products containing xylitol (toothpaste, beadlets, etc.) to your pet.
  • Only use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils.
  • Observe your pet’s behavior.
  • In the event of an adverse reaction, dilute with a carrier oil – skin irritation is the most common, and most reactions resolve within 24–48 hours after oil exposure. Discontinue use of an oil if your pet shows signs of distress, drooling, squinting, rubbing their face, vocalization, shaking, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Dilute Your Oils!

This is EXTREMELY important for dogs, cats and other small animals!!!

When introducing Essential Oils topically, dilute more than you normally would with your pet.

You can use carrier oils such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil, etc. to dilute your essential oil.

Increase the concentration if the desired effect is not reached. Remember, each animal is an individual and your pet may be more or less sensitive than others. Observe their behavior and keep notes when possible, to monitor the way each oil affects them.

Oils to Avoid with Cats

Oils to avoid topically and internally with cats: Basil, Citrus Oils (Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Tangerine), Birch, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Fennel, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, Spearmint, and Wintergreen.

Oils to Avoid with Dogs

Oils to avoid topically and internally with dogs: Birch, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), and Wintergreen. Use caution with hot oils such as Oregano, Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary, and Thyme.

FDA Disclaimer:  The information, advice, and statements made about the essential oils, blends, and products mentioned on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The information provided online, in print, in classes/workshops and the products listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor are they intended to replace proper veterinary care. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or veterinarian before starting any regimen with essential oils.