Is Cedarwood Oil Safe for Dogs?

Is cedarwood oil safe for dogs? Great question, because not only is it wonderfully calming and soothing, it is a tremendous insect repellent. Cedarwood essential oils can be safely be used topically to condition your pets skin and fur and to repel fleas. Cedarwood oils are gentle, soothing and usually safe to use on both cats and dogs. 

Reasons to use Cedarwood

Fraidy cats…who are actually dogs! 

Incessant Borkers

Aggressive Dogs 

Scurf and skin conditions

Fleas and Ticks

Understanding The Term Cedarwood Oils 

Since the times of antiquity, Cedarwood Atlas has been one of the most prized woods, for medicines, incense and construction. Its lovely, straight wood is not only water resistant and very straight, but also acts as a pest deterrent, meaning buildings are protected against termites, for example. 

Consequently, at the beginning of this century, sadly, cedarwood atlas was classified as being endangered. Nowadays we use several different oils, from cedars and junipers, all of which come under the term cedarwood oils, in a bid to allow cedarwood atlas a chance of re-establishing itself. Since a tree takes around 60 years to mature, this will take some time. Thus, when we ask “Is cedarwood oil safe for dogs and cats”, in the context of this article, the properties of all cedarwood oils are similar and interchangeable. 

Fraidy Cats and Dogs 

4th July, you know the deal. Fireworks going off everywhere. It wouldn’t be so bad if people didn’t start setting them off three weeks before would it? The incessant banging can really affect some pets. (I have bees and they REALLY don’t like it. Luckily for them, they live in a cedarwood hive) 

Cedarwood seems to take the edge off fear somehow. It has a way that switches off negative thoughts. A great way to use the oil is to make your pet a cedarwood tent. Find a quiet place where they can no longer see the flashes. Behind the sofa works really well. Make a den just like you did when you were a child. Fill it with cushions, and blankets for you dog to root right into and make a nest. 

Pop a couple of drops of cedarwood onto a tissue and bury it amongst the pillows. 

Dogs have really profound senses of smell and so sometimes essential oils can smell too much. Leave the tissue far enough away from their bed that they can turn around and get away from the smell if they want to. 

Is Cedarwood Oil Safe For Dogs That Don't Know When To Quit? 

I have one of these dogs. So does my daughter and my two next door neighbors. Some days the borking never ends. The news goes back and forth until they have recruited every canine this side of the Atlantic. They’re not being naughty. They’re just chatting. But there comes a point when the hoomums need to decide it’s enough. 

For pets that don’t know when to quit (or indeed, ones who are continually stressed by life) dilute one drop of cedarwood essential oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil, then massage a very small amount into the stuff of their neck. 

If you really want to knock them out for a bit of peace, you could add an extra drop of valerian. 

Angry Dogs 

Our dog underwent a massive personality change during lockdown. First the weather was unseasonably hot, but presumably because we were all at home, and perhaps she sensed everyone’s tension, she became hyper protective. 

The shops were closed, of course, and so if we needed anything for homeschooling we needed to have it delivered by courier. Would she let them in? Absolutely not. No-one was allowed near us and she became an absolute menace. 

I felt dreadful reprimanding her, because it was clear she was being maternal, but I became quite frightened about the future of our mail man. Eventually, the post office came to agree with my concerns and disrupted our lives somewhat by stopping our mail! 

Cedarwood and chamomile became a great help for her. We found it wasn’t quite strong enough on the scruff of her neck, so I began massaging the blend onto her stomach and the insides of her legs several times a day. Rubbing it onto her femoral artery gave the oil plenty of good access to her blood stream. Slowly and very surely she started to relax. I think in this case the question is more is the mailman safe from cedarwood, rather than is cedarwood oil safe for dogs. She is a good deal calmer, but she’s certainly not entirely remedied.

Scurf and Skin Conditions

Another reason to use cedarwood oil is if your pooch suffers from skin conditions, in particular scurf (which is like doggy dandruff) or any skin conditions derived from flea allergies. 

Whilst cedarwood essential oils might not be the first choices for eczema or psoriasis, they can be fabulous. Especially consider blending them with roman chamomile essential oil to help with the itching and a tiny drop of myrrh if they have scratched it and the skin has broken. 

Cedarwood is also wonderful here, because not only is cedarwood oil safe for dogs skins, but it will also encourage hair to grow back if they are balding. 

Fleas and Ticks 

Research shows that not only does cedarwood repel ticks, but it actively kills them. Interestingly, Eller, et al (2014)  tested a different cedarwood, Juniperus virginiana, which was found to repel 100% of the ticks. The active constituent was found to be cedrol, which is one of the defining chemicals that allows an oil to be termed cedarwood. In other words, all cedarwood oils would repel ticks, but how effectively they did that would depend on how high the relative amount of cedrol contained in the oil. 

A couple of tips for using cedarwood oil for fleas. Most certainly add some drops of the oil into the animal's shampoo. Be careful to really massage the skin, so as to remove as much dead skin as possible, that provides nourishment for the larvae. 

You might also add a drop or two to some ethanol, then pour onto their collar. Finally, it makes sense to put a couple of drops of the solution onto their brush, to apply it daily to their coats. This is particularly helpful if you plan to take the dog amongst brushlands where wild animals may have left fleas. 

How Long is Cedarwood Safe For Dogs? 

Use the oil little and often, rather than trying to use the sledgehammer approach. As long as you keep your dilutions low, it will be safe to use the cedarwood oil ongoing. 

Trials show that the efficacy of the repellent fades over time, which makes sense because essential oils are supposed to evaporate,  of course. 

Replace the solution on the collar weekly. 

Is Cedarwood Safe for Dogs and Cats if I use it in a Shampoo? 

Absolutely, go for it. 

Is Cedarwood Oil Safe for Dogs and Cats if I use it my Diffuser 

Great question and excellent ownership, in my opinion. Yes, it is lovely and soothing for them, and fine. 

Is Cedarwood Safe for Dogs and Cats if I put it neat onto their Skin

Woah! Slow down there cowboy!!!


Always follow the golden rule and dilute essential oils into carrier oils

The most you would really want to use is 1 drop of cedarwood oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil on your pet. 


Is cedarwood oil safe for dogs? It is, and we would heartily recommend that, providing your animal likes the smell of it, you use it. 

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