Essential oils are the “life blood” of plants, and ancient practice and modern science confirm that they offer many health benefits for people and for animals. Mary Beth Mount, an educator and distributor for Young Living products, hosted a presentation at Barbee Library this week on “Natural Pet Care with Essential Oils.”

Despite living an apparent life of luxury free from predators, parasites, adverse weather, and hunger, our household pets still feel stress. For example, they can’t seem to understand why, since we were always home during the pandemic, we now disappear for hours or even days. They cower during thunderstorms and fireworks and go berserk when visitors arrive. They share our stress of living – and aging – in the modern world.

Fortunately, essential oils can help ease their anxiety, repel pests, soothe their digestion, and offer immune support. Mary Beth showed examples of pet-friendly essential oils and oil blends. Given dogs’ heightened sense of smell compared to our own, it’s best to dilute essential oils with a “carrier” oil such as coconut oil before applying to them to a dog’s skin or fur. It’s also best to apply only to areas that the dog cannot lick. Another great option (for humans and animals) is diffusing essential oils into the air.

Cats are… different. Their biology differs from that of dogs, and their livers cannot metabolize some elements of essential oils. Cats are generally resistant to having anything applied to their skin or fur or introduced into their diet. Diffusing essential oils into the air may be the best way to change their surroundings for the better.

If you missed this wonderful presentation and would like more information on how you or your pet might benefit from essential oils, please contact Mary Beth at and she will be happy to speak with you.