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Eucalyptus Oil: Is it Safe for Dogs? (Topical / Aromatized)


Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs

We all know that a lot of remedies from human medicine are slowly becoming trends in veterinary medicine. And that is totally okay as long as it is safe for our furry buddies. 

Eucalyptus oil is a natural remedy that was first used by Australian aboriginals for thousands of years. Slowly, it became popular in the West, and now it is something that we all use daily. 

But is eucalyptus oil safe for dogs? What does the science say about it? 

Stay with us and let’s resolve all your concerns about eucalyptus oil!

What is Eucalyptus Oil?

Eucalyptus is a tree (also known as blue gum tree) that originates from Australia and Tasmania. It is very used in the:

  • Pulp industry
  • Perfumery 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Aromatherapy
  • Phytotherapy
What is Eucalyptus Oil

The active ingredient of eucalyptus is eucalyptol (cineole), which is extracted from the leaves. It has amazing antimicrobial, decongestant, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

It has a woodsy-sweet scent and provides many health benefits. Many pet parents use it to detoxify the air in their homes. But does being natural also mean being safe for our pets? Let’s find out. 

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs?

The answer to this question is very complicated. There are some circumstances when eucalyptus oil is okay, but sometimes using eucalyptus can lead to life-threatening conditions. 

According to ASPCA, eucalyptus is a toxic plant to dogs because of its active compound – eucalyptol. In fact, eucalyptus oil can lead to severe kidney and liver damage. 

The fact that essential oils are very concentrated could pose a serious threat to your dog. Concentrated products mean more potent and more dangerous poisoning outcomes. 

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs

Side Effects of Eucalyptol Oil in Dogs

As with any other poisoning, eucalyptus oil poisoning leads to the following symptoms: 

Side Effects of Eucalyptol Oil in Dogs

You should be especially careful if you have a small puppy. Even small doses can lead to terrible consequences. 

Dogs can also absorb the eucalyptus through their skin. Even in these cases, the poisoning signs exist. Therefore, it is best if you don’t diffuse or use eucalyptus oil near your dog. 

Just like tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil is very toxic to dogs. It has a pungent odor, and dogs don’t like to be near this smell. 

What Could Eucalyptus Oil Help Dogs With? 

Since there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence that eucalyptus oil is safe, we advise you to think twice before giving your dog some. However, there are a few studies that confirm the benefit of eucalyptus oil in dogs. But, if you compare the benefits and side effects of eucalyptus oil in dogs, the side effects outweigh the benefits. 

The oil of lemon eucalyptus has been proven effective repellent against mosquito bites. More specifically, lemon eucalyptus has been proven as a great preventative method against mosquitos that spread the West Nile virus. This disease is zoonotic and can affect both dogs and humans. The virus is very serious and results in the following symptoms: 

Potential Benefits Of Eucalyptus Oil

Other Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil in Animal Studies 

Animal studies on mice prove that eucalyptus oil can be a powerful remedy for gout arthritis. This health issue can affect any species, and it is a very painful condition. It is a buildup of uric acid that leads to many side effects. Usually in dogs, it is treated with therapeutic diets, but eucalyptus oil is something to consider. 

If your dog suffers from gout arthritis (which, in reality, is very rare), you should consult with your holistic vet before applying because not all dogs are good candidates for eucalyptus usage. 

Other Dog-Friendly Essential Oils for Diffusing

If basil isn’t your favorite smell, why not give these dog-friendly essential oils that work well for diffusion a chance? They are also more widely regarded as safe.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil decreases the anxiety and stress in dogs, especially the travel-induced stress in dogs. 


Frankincense Oil

This essential oil is a great preventative and prophylactic herb in both humans and dogs. It has amazing antimicrobial properties and it is a great immune booster. There are some studies that show frankincense oil as a bladder cancer treatment. 

Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is a great herb for otitis externa treatment. It can also help with other bacterial infections. But chamomile oil should always be given in combination with other drugs. 


Cardamom Oil

Cardamom oil is another safe essential oil for dogs. Animal studies show that it has a great effect in reducing gastric ulcers. 


Ginger Oil

Ginger oil has the potential to cure serious diseases like Dirofilaria immitis. It can significantly reduce the microfilariae concentrations. 

Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Diffusing Essential Oils

It is okay if you diffuse essential oils in your home. But you should be careful which oils you are using. For example, eucalyptus and tea tree oil are highly toxic to dogs and can lead to some serious consequences. Therefore, you should pick some pet-friendly essential oil to diffuse around your dog. 

Like we said in the beginning, being natural does not always mean safe for dogs. Even the best natural remedy can lead to some serious consequences in both dogs and humans. 

Before diffusing, make sure to open the windows and doors so you can give your dog some space to move around. This way, if the dog doesn’t like the smell, it will leave the room. And this should be a great sign for you to stop or minimize the essential oil diffusing. 

Tips to Minimize Side Effects

  • Ensure to consult with a holistic vet before applying any essential oil
  • Pick a good brand of essential oil (preferably some pet-friendly labeled oil)
  • Use a carrier pet-friendly essential oil for diluting
  • Gradually expose them to higher dosages
  • Observe your dog
  • Be prepared for anything to react fast if your dog shows some side effects

Determination of the Essential Oil Dosage 

The dose significantly depends on the dog’s size, weight, age, and current health status. After a detailed exam from your vet or holistic vet, you will get a recommendation about the dose. That’s why it is very important to visit a vet before applying any essential oils. 

Also, you should definitely avoid essential oil usage in small puppies as long as your vet doesn’t recommend otherwise.  

Wrapping it Up: Eucalyptus and Your Dog

Eucalyptus is definitely not a safe essential oil for your dog. There are many other pet-friendly alternatives from which your dog can benefit a lot. If your dog has been exposed to eucalyptus essential oil, make sure to visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Written by

Dr. Sandra
In addition to her current work as a veterinary student and researcher, Dr. Sandra Tashkovska brings six years of experience in writing to the table, making her a valuable addition to any team focused on animal welfare and related fields.
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