Is Lavender Air Freshener Safe for Pets? – Expert Analysis

Is Lavender Safe for Dogs? Scents That Are Safe to Use Around Cats and Dogs

As pet parents, we all want our furry friends to feel comfortable and happy in our homes. We often use air fresheners, such as Febreze, to eliminate odors and keep our homes smelling fresh. However, it’s important to consider whether the essential oils used in these products are safe for pets. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult with vets who can advise you on which scents are safe for your furry friends. Specifically, is lavender air freshener safe for pets?

Unfortunately, essential oils such as lavender can be toxic to dogs and cats, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. While lavender may be safe for humans, it’s important to remember that animals have different sensitivities and compounds in scents that are safe for people may not be safe for pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested lavender or any potpourri containing essential oils, it’s important to contact your vets immediately to check for toxicity.

So what scents are safe for your dog or cat? Vets recommend using unscented cleaning products or pet-safe air fresheners. These natural alternatives will keep your home smelling fresh without harming your furry friends. Essential oils should be avoided around cats as they can be toxic to them.

It’s also important to note that not all air fresheners marketed as “pet-friendly” are actually safe for pets. Always check the ingredients list before using any new product around your animals, especially those containing scents, essential oils, febreze, or potpourri.

In addition to avoiding lavender air fresheners, it’s important to be cautious with essential oils and scents around cats. Consider using natural alternatives to keep your home smelling fresh, but make sure they are safe for your pets. Keep all cleaning products out of reach of cats to prevent accidental ingestion of harmful substances.

If you’re wondering whether specific products are safe for your dog or cats, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide guidance on which natural alternatives and essential oils are safest for your particular pet.

Benefits and Risks of Lavender Oil for Dogs: Therapeutic Uses of Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil is a popular essential oil that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and improve sleep quality. It is also commonly used in aromatherapy to soothe the mind and body. But are lavender scents, potpourri, and diffusers safe for pets who may be sensitive to certain oils?

What is Lavender Essential Oil?

Lavender essential oil, one of the most popular oils, is obtained from the flowers of the lavender plant through steam distillation. It contains compounds such as linalool and linalyl acetate that give it its characteristic scent and therapeutic properties. Its pleasing smell makes it a favorite addition to potpourri blends.

How to Use Lavender for Dogs

Lavender essential oil can be used topically or diffused in the air with diffusers to provide therapeutic benefits for dogs. However, it should always be diluted before use on pets as it can cause skin irritation and other adverse reactions when used undiluted. Scents from lavender oil can also be added to potpourri for a calming effect.

Topical Use

Diluted lavender essential oil can be applied topically to soothe skin irritations, insect bites, and minor cuts. Pet parents can use lavender oil on their dogs to help calm them with its natural scents. Additionally, diffusers can be used to spread the calming scent of lavender throughout the home.

  1. Dilute 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. This will create a pleasant smell that can calm your dog. Experiment with different oils to find the scents that your dog responds to best.
  2. Apply a small amount of the diluted mixture with diffused lavender oil and essential oils to the affected area. You can also use lavender air fresheners to enjoy the calming smell.
  3. Repeat as needed.


Diffusing lavender essential oils in the air can help calm dogs during car rides or thunderstorms by filling the environment with a soothing smell. To use lavender oil aromatically, diffuse the oils into the air.

  1. Add 3-5 drops of diluted lavender essential oil and other oils to a diffuser for your dog.
  2. Place the diffuser with diffused lavender oil or lavender air fresheners in a room where your dog spends most of their time. Essential oils can help create a calming atmosphere for your furry friend.
  3. Turn on the essential oil diffuser and let your dog enjoy the calming effects of lavender.

Therapeutic Uses of Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil can have several therapeutic benefits for dogs. Here are some of the ways lavender essential oil can be used to promote your dog’s health and well-being:

Reducing Anxiety and Stress

Lavender essential oil can be used as a natural alternative to treat anxiety and stress in dogs. The scent of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.

To use lavender oil to reduce anxiety in dogs:

  1. Dilute 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 tablespoon of carrier oil for use on dogs. This is a great way to incorporate oils into your dog’s routine.
  2. Apply a small amount of the diluted mixture of essential oils to the back of your dog’s neck or chest. You can also use lavender air fresheners to enhance the experience.
  3. Alternatively, diffuse diluted lavender essential oil in a room where your dog spends most of their time.

Soothing Skin Irritations

Diluted lavender essential oil can be used topically on dogs to soothe skin irritations such as insect bites and minor cuts. Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and redness, while its antibacterial properties help prevent infection in dogs.

Promoting Relaxation and Sleep

Using lavender essential oil to diffuse in the air can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality in dogs.

Causes and Symptoms of Lavender Poisoning in Pets

Lavender is a popular scent used in many air fresheners, essential oils, and household products. However, it can be toxic to pets, especially dogs, if ingested or exposed to it for extended periods.

What is Lavender Poisoning?

Lavender contains linalool and linalyl acetate that can cause toxicity in pets, including dogs. These compounds are found in the flowers, leaves, stems, and oils of the lavender plant. When ingested or absorbed through the skin or respiratory system, these compounds can cause irritation and poisoning in dogs.

Symptoms of Lavender Poisoning

The symptoms of lavender poisoning in dogs may vary depending on the type of exposure and the amount ingested by your pet. Common symptoms include essential oils.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling excessively
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Skin irritation
  • Eye irritation

Symptoms may not appear immediately after exposure to essential oils, but can take several hours or days to show up in your dog. If you notice any signs of lavender poisoning in your pet, seek veterinary care immediately. Remember to use essential oils for your dog with caution.

How Does Lavender Cause Irritation?

When dogs inhale essential oils such as lavender oil or come into contact with it through their skin or eyes, it can cause irritation. The compounds found in essential oils can damage cell membranes and disrupt normal biological functions leading to tissue damage.

Ingesting lavender essential oil or air fresheners containing it can also lead to gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. It may also affect the central nervous system causing difficulty breathing. Therefore, caution should be exercised when using essential oils around dogs.

What Should You Do If Your Pet Gets Exposed?

If you suspect your dog has been exposed to lavender air freshener or oil, do not use it again.

  1. Remove your dog from the area where they were exposed. Use caution.
  2. Contact your veterinarian immediately.
  3. Bring the dog product label or container to your vet for identification of the ingredients. Ensure the use of the product is safe for your furry friend.
  4. Follow all instructions given by your vet.

Your vet may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins in your dog’s stomach. They may also provide supportive care such as IV fluids and oxygen therapy to help with breathing difficulties.

Conclusion: Is Lavender Air Freshener Safe for Pets?

In conclusion, while lavender essential oil has therapeutic benefits for dogs and cats, it can also pose risks if not used properly. The use of lavender air fresheners around pets should be approached with caution.

To ensure the safety of your furry friends, including dogs, it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian before using any new products in your home. Always read the labels and instructions carefully before using any air fresheners or essential oils around pets.

Overall, while lavender oil can have positive effects on pets when used correctly, it is important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions to keep your pets safe.


Q: Can I use lavender air fresheners around my pet bird?

A: No, birds are highly sensitive to airborne toxins and fragrances. It is best to avoid using any type of air freshener or essential oil around pet birds.

Q: Are there any other essential oils that are safe for pets?

A: Yes, some essential oils such as chamomile and frankincense have been found to be safe for pets when used in moderation and under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Q: What should I do if my pet ingests lavender oil?

A: If you suspect that your pet has ingested lavender oil or is experiencing symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea after exposure, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Q: Can I apply lavender essential oil directly on my pet’s skin?

A: No, undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritation in pets. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying them topically on your pet’s skin.

Q: Are there any alternatives to using air fresheners around my pets?

A: Yes, natural alternatives such as opening windows for ventilation or using baking soda to absorb odors can be effective at keeping your home smelling fresh without posing risks to your pets.