By D. Gary Young, N.D.,
Aromatologist, President, Young Living Essential Oils, 1997
I have raised animals all my life and presently have several miniature horses, as well as four teams of draft horses. I also have pygmy goats, Barbados sheep and llamas at my ranch where I reside. On my 1,300-acre herb farm at Whispering Springs in Mona, Utah, I have an animal petting zoo with Bactrian camels, zeeboos from Africa (miniature Bramas), Watusi cows and bulls, Walleroos (miniature kangaroos), llamas, buffalo, miniature donkeys, as well as horses and goats. As you can see, we have a wide variety of animals.
We have used the oils extensively on many of the animals and are continually making discoveries. The animals respond extremely well and we feel they have benefited greatly. In my experience, I have found that animals respond to essential oils much the same as humans. Animals are not as sensitive to the phenol and sesquiterpene constituents, so they can be applied neat (or full strength). One needs only to determine which oils are applicable to the situation and then apply a few drops 3-4 times daily.
The amount for small animals like cats and dogs is like the application for a child: 1-3 drops each time applied. For larger animals like large dogs, apply 6-7 drops. For horses, apply 15-20 drops. After applying the oils, I have found it beneficial to cover the open wound with Gentle Care Rose Ointment, which keeps the skin soft and helps promote the healing.
I have applied the oils in the following ways: Apply on their paws where the absorption is very fast. On cloven hoofed animals, put on the auricular points of the ears and/or spine – or both. Underneath the top lip on the gums and on the tongue. Sprinkle a few drops on the spine and then massage into skin, just like with humans.
For various problems, I have experimented with the following oils:
Strangle in horses, I used a combination of the oil blends Exodus II and Melrose together (4 parts Exodus II to 1 part Melrose).
Ear mites in cats and dogs – Purification and Peppermint.
Ticks, fleas and flies- Tansy and Tansy Floral water.
Tumors (all animals) – Frankincense and Lavender mixed together, Frankincense and Clove mixed together.
Worms/parasites (all animals) – PanAway and Di-Gize.
Open wounds (all animals) – Melrose, Helichrysum and Gentle Care Rose Ointment.
Trauma (all animals) -Trauma Life, Valor, Peace and Calming, Melissa, Rosewood, Lavender, Valerian and Chamomile.
Bones (all animals) – PanAway, Birch, Lemongrass, and Spruce.
Nervous anxiety with horses – Valor, Trauma Life, Geranium, Lavender, and Valerian.
Saddle sores – Melrose and Gentle Care Rose Ointment.
Mineral deficiencies -Mineral Essence (liquid tincture taken internally) may help meet the animal’s needs, and when met they quit chewing on the furniture and other undesirable things.
Melrose for tissue repair and healing, directly on wound. Helichrysum may help with pain and stop bleeding.
Healing of wounds and abrasions – Gentle Care Rose Ointment.
Young Living Essential Oils and Animals Veterinary Medicine
Essential oils have been used very successfully on many different kinds of animals from kittens to 2,000 pound draft horses. Animals generally respond to essential oils in much the same way as humans do.
How Much Should I Use?
Most animals are even more sensitive to the effects of the oils than humans. They often seem to have a natural affinity to the healing influence of the oils. Adjust dosage proportionately, based on body weight. If the protocol for a human being (at about 160 lbs.) calls for 3-5 drops, then a horse (at 1600 lbs or more) could use as much as 10 times that amount, while a dog (at 16 lbs) would use as little as one tenth that amount. Generally speaking, if you have never put oils on an animal before, you should start carefully, applying them only to the feet, paws or hooves (on the frog and cornet bands) at first.
In the cases of cats and small dogs, essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted before applying, because they are actually MORE sensitive to the biochemicals in the oils than humans. Be careful to avoid high phenol oils, such as Oregano, Clove, Thyme, cinnamon, Mountain Savory, Tarragon, on cats because they can be extremely sensitive to these stronger oils. They should only be used in high rates of dilution (90%) and the diluted oil should only be applied to the paws.
For small animals: (cats and small dogs) Apply 3-5 drops DILUTED (80-90%) oil mixture per application.
For larger animals: (large dogs) Apply 3-5 drops NEAT (undiluted or straight from the bottle) per application.
For large animals: (cattle and horses) Apply 20-30 drops NEAT per application.
How to Administer Essential Oils Internally
For internal use (ingestion), essential oils can be put into a capsule and mixed with the feed.
On large animals, the animal’s bottom lip can be pulled out and (for example, in the case of a horse) 10 or 15 drops of oil put in. The animal
will feel the effect quickly because capillaries in the lip will carry the oil into the bloodstream immediately. For a large dog, 1 to 3 drops is
When treating animals with essential oils internally, make certain the oils are pure and free of chemicals, solvents and adulterants. Always seek the
advice of a qualified veterinarian before allowing the animals to ingest essential oils.
Other Helpful Tips:
When treating large animals for viral or bacterial infection, arthritis, or bone injury, generally use the same oils and protocol recommended for
For applying to large open wounds or hard-to-reach areas, it helps to put the oils in a spray bottle and spray them directly on location.
After an oil application to an open would, cover the wound with Animals Scents Ointment to seal it and protect it from further infection. The
ointment will also prevent the essential oils from evaporating into the air.
There is no right or wrong way to apply essential oils. Every animal is different. Use common sense and good judgment as you experiment with
different methods. Observe carefully how the animal responds to the treatment.
Take special care not to get essential oils in the animal’s eyes.
Make sure the animal is drinking pure water. Chlorinated water will suppress thyroid and immune function in animals even quicker than in humans,
and when that happens, you will suppress the healing process of that animal whether it is a dog, a horse or a cat.
Quality protein is vitally important to promote healing, which makes the use of organic feed essential. Unfortunately, many commercial feeds contain
bovine byproducts that have high risk for BSE disease and make them unfit for animal care. Avoid these at all costs. Enzymes are also essential to
maximize digestion and protein assimilation.
Where to Apply Essential Oils to Animals
For non-ungulate animals (not having hooves) such as dogs or cats, oils (neat or diluted) can be applied to the paws for faster absorption. For
hoofed animals, sprinkle a few drops on the spine or flanks and massage them in. Also apply on the gums, tongue or underneath the top lip; also apply on
the frog and cornet bands of the hooves. These are all good locations for oils to be applied to cows, horses, etc…, all animals with hooves. Oils
can also be applied to auricular points of the ears.
When the Animal is Jittery and Resists
If you have a high-spirited, jittery animal that won’t be still to receive the application, apply Peace & Calming and/or Valor on yourself first. As
you approach the animal, it will react it perceives the aroma. Kneel down or squat beside the animal and remain still for several minutes, so that it
can become accustomed to the smell. As the animal breathes in the fragrances, it will become calmer and easier to manage.