Cedarwood Oil for Dogs

Is cedarwood oil safe for dogs? The best answer is—it depends. Using cedarwood oil for dogs may potentially help reduce the presence of fleas and other pesky insects. It may also help anxious pets relax and rest easier. However, there is limited research on using essential oils for pets, which means it's important to do your due diligence before considering their use. For example, there are multiple types of cedar oil. When we talk about cedarwood essential oil for dogs, we are referring to cedarwood atlas essential oil. Some of the other types of cedar oil can be highly toxic to dogs, which is why we stress the importance of conferring with a vet before using oils. It is also almost important to note that essential oils should never be ingested, which we will discuss in more detail further on. 

So, Is Cedarwood Oil Safe for Cats?

If you have a feline friend, you may be wondering if you can use cedarwood oil around your cat. Many essential oils are extremely toxic to cats because their livers cannot break down phenol, an organic compound found in plants. Some essential oils are higher in phenol than others. Cedarwood oil is considered relatively safe for cats, but there is a lack of evidence. Ensure your cat is unable to ingest or come in direct contact with the oil. Also be sure to strongly dilute it, as pets will most likely be uncomfortable with strong scents.

Cedarwood Oil for Dogs: Benefits

Cedarwood Oil for Dogs

Moth and Flea Repellent

One of the most common issues that affect dogs is pests. Flies, moths, and fleas are just a few of the annoyances our four-legged friends face on a regular basis. Research on the use of cedarwood essential oil for dogs shows some promise of it acting as a deterrent to these insects. However, while scratching and itching can indicate your dog has fleas, these can also be symptoms of many other issues. It is important to consult with a vet to ensure you aren’t overlooking something more serious. Using cedarwood oil for dogs can include aromatherapy, as well as topical use, both of which we will discuss further on.   

Calming Effect

Many things can contribute to your dog's mood, including health, travel, diet, and quality of life. The smell of cedarwood essential oil is reminiscent of the outdoors, which your pet may enjoy. However, it is important to remember your dog’s nose is a lot more efficient than yours! This means smells will seem much stronger to your pet than to you. When using cedarwood essential oil for dogs, you need to dilute it as much as possible to ensure that it won’t cause discomfort. 

Cedarwood Oil for Sleep

Like humans, pets can occasionally suffer from insomnia. In the case of dogs, insomnia usually results from an underlying issue, which is another reason why we recommend consulting with a veterinarian. However, occasionally your dog may simply have trouble adjusting to a new place or relaxing after a particularly exciting day. In these cases, using cedarwood essential oil for dogs may offer them some comfort. 

Studies completed on pets are extremely limited, though we do know cedarwood oil contains a component called cedrol, which has sedating properties. Studies on humans indicate using cedarwood oil in aromatherapy may help improve sleep cycles. This means it is possible it can offer your pet the same effect, though it is important to take into account how strong your pet’s sense of smell is.

Immune Booster

Just like humans, dogs have immune systems! While each species works in slightly different ways, the goal is the same—to keep the body healthy. Studies show cedarwood oil may contain some anti-inflammatory properties. Using a passive method of diffusing, such as reeds, may prove beneficial to your dog’s overall health and well-being. Just be sure to keep it out of reach from your pet, so there is no opportunity for them to accidentally ingest or come into contact with the oil. Though cedar oil is considered safe, ingesting any essential oil can be toxic to pets. 

Behavioral Concerns

If your dog sits and howls at the door when you leave, you’re not alone. Dogs can show their anxiety in many different ways, including both timidness and aggression. If your dog seems to react badly around other animals or when left alone, using essential oils may be able to help. As we have stressed, it is important to remember how dogs are different from us when considering how best to use oils around them. 

How to Use Cedarwood Oil for Dogs

When using cedarwood essential oil for dogs, the method of application is very important. As you know, dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans do. Animals also have no way to verbally let us know when they don’t like something. Always consult with a vet, and pay close attention to your pet when introducing new things to his or her environment. 


Aromatherapy is probably the safest way to use cedarwood oil for dogs. There are also many different methods, and some are better options than others when it comes to your pet. 

In the practice of aromatherapy, there are two different types of diffusion: passive diffusion and active diffusion. Active diffusers actually put particles of the oil into the air, which can have a negative effect on your dog's respiratory system. We want to make sure we are using cedarwood oil for dogs safely. This means using a passive method of aromatherapy. Passive infusers include methods such as reeds, which soak up the oil, or candles/warmers which heat up the oil thus mildly diffusing the scent around the room. 

Topical Application

Before using essential oils topically on your pet always consult with a vet. This will help to ensure you are not inadvertently using a product that could harm your beloved four-legged friend. Also remember that for cedarwood oil to be safe for dogs, it should never be ingested. This means avoiding application to areas such as legs or paws where your pet could lick at it. It is also crucial to understand these oils have to be diluted first. Do this with a carrier oil you know is safe for using externally on pets, always referring to a professional with any questions. 

Wrapping Up

As far as essential oils go, cedarwood oil for dogs can be one of the safer options. That being said, it is still important to consult with a veterinarian before use. If you do decide to use essential oils on your pet, carefully watch them for the following signs:

  • Watery eyes
  • Itching/scratching
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Abnormal Behavior

These are just a few of the signs and symptoms that may indicate something is not reacting well with your pet. Pay close attention, and know that while cedarwood oil for dogs may be a safe option, every pet is different!

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