Aromatherapy in animals – Arth-Vet

Use essential oils on dogs, horses and other large and small animals – animal aromatherapy

ARTH-VET ( AR oma TH erapie – VET erinär) is a specialist group of ARTHES. The aim is to promote the safe and effective use of essential oils, hydrolates and fatty oils in animals.

Become an ARTHES member and join the Arth-Vet specialist group. Here you can find the membership types.

Linda Flückiger at work.

Carrying out a scent test on the animal – the first step

You should not choose more than 3-4 fragrances per fragrance test. It also depends on the animal, but it is better to spread it over several days if possible. A well-ventilated room during the test also makes it easier for the animal to always concentrate on the current scent.

Essential oils, hydrosols and also fatty oils can be tested with it. The following measures are used:

  1. Put a small amount of oil or hydrosol on a small piece of paper towel or use a scented strip.
  2. Then you slowly approach the nose of the animal, it is best for the animal to actively approach the scent. So please don’t just press your nose.
  3. The animal should always have enough space around it so that it can get away from the scent if it finds it unpleasant.
  4. Now the reaction of the animal must be observed:

Yes: The animal deals extensively with the scent, is very interested, nibbles or licks the scent. It also returns to the scent if it has been distracted.

No: The animal backs away, turns its head away, does not want to stay with the scent, does not return to the scent when distracted.

  • As an alternative to the scent strip, the lid of the oil or even the closed bottle can be held out. You can also put the closed bottles on the floor and let the animal smell them if you want to make a selection from several (the animal then actively walks through the scent sources and searches for its scent).
  • If you are not sure whether a yes or no, then add 1 drop of the essential oil to approx. 5ml of neutral oil (almond, sunflower) and then offer it again. Possibly the pure scent is just too strong and the chosen plant would still fit.

Here is an example of a scent test on a horse and a dog .

Books and blogs related to pet aromatherapy

There is a very recommendable Facebook group on animal aromatherapy under the leadership of Sabine Möbius, Sandra Ananda and Corina Schleiss. There is also all sorts of things to explore in the files.

The blog by Sabine Möbius and Sereina Binggeli should be mentioned.

Aroma-Forum International has dedicated Aromareport 22 “Aroma care and aromatherapy for animals” to the topic. The trade journal can either be ordered here directly or from us.
ARTHES members have the opportunity to receive the aroma report at membership conditions. We would be happy to order a copy for you with your next bulk order. Register at info[at]

German-language books

Essential oils for animals, Nayana Morag
Aromatherapy for horses, Sylvia Preuss-Giesen
Aromatherapy for dogs, Kerstin Ruhsam

English language books

Animal Self-Medication, Ingraham Caroline
Help your dog heal itself, Ingraham Caroline

Your experience and opinion is important

How do you use essential oils on your animal? Where do you still see potential? What kind of training and further education would you like to complete?

We would be happy to hear your opinions, views and questions: info[at]