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What Essential Oils Are Toxic To Bearded Dragons?

Essential oils can be a great way of eliminating odors and allowing you to enjoy the scents in your home. However, it’s important to keep in mind the scents safe to use and the ones to avoid

Many oils can be toxic to your dragon and potentially even kill them if you aren’t careful. In addition, any oils used around them should be completely natural, including the ones safe to use around your dragon.

When using essential oils around your bearded dragon, it’s best to dilute them when using any around your home, including for both cleaning and oil diffusers. Keep any oil diffusers away from your dragon and in a separate room with plenty of ventilation.

Read on for more information on toxic essential oils to use around your dragon and a few that are safe in moderation.

Essential oils to avoid using around your dragon

These oils can be toxic to your dragon and potentially cause permanent health issues. 

If your bearded dragon has had health issues in the past, especially any respiratory problems, avoid using any essential oils around your dragon.

If you don’t see the particular essential oil on this list that you would like to use around your dragon, it may be best to avoid using it at all. 

Tea tree oil, Eucalyptus, Clove, and other based wood oils

The use of these oils can result in skin irritation and respiratory problems. Eucalyptus is also often used as a natural lizard repellent. 

Black pepper

This oil is also toxic and is even often used as a pesticide and insecticide. Your dragon shouldn’t inhale or ingest black pepper. 


Cinnamon is another example of a toxic oil that is used to repel lizards. This includes all forms of the spice. Ingesting or inhaling it in any way can make your dragon sick.


In tiny amounts, coriander isn’t dangerous for bearded dragons. Unfortunately, it can be toxic to your dragon in larger amounts and give them stomach problems.

Some people still provide minimal amounts in the food, though it is unnecessary for their diets and can pose too much of a risk if not measured properly.


This plant can be considered not as toxic as the rest but will still cause moderate to severe problems with your dragon’s digestive system. 

Many symptoms are similar or the same as if your bearded dragon was poisoned. While it contains many benefits for humans, bearded dragons were not granted the same luxury. 

Safe essential oils to use around your dragon

Safe essential oils to use around your dragon

Remember to always use a low concentration of essential oils around bearded dragons or any pets. 

Remember, bearded dragons have a significantly better sense of smell than humans. Therefore, just because you don’t think a smell is that strong doesn’t mean your beardie feels the same way. 

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This essential oil can be calm and relaxing for your beardie. Many owners consider this to be the safest essential oil to be used around them.

Some owners also use a small amount for bathing their dragons, though it is not recommended to do so. 

Lemon and orange (as long as they’re natural oils)

Great for using while diluted with water for cleaning. You can also take orange or lemon peels and boil them in water to create a pleasant aroma in your home. 


Another excellent cleaning option but safe in low concentrations. Like the above, grapefruit peels can be boiled for a nice aroma. 


Similar to Lavender, this oil can also be relaxing to your dragon. 

Important note: Always use natural oils to avoid causing respiratory problems. Unnatural Citrus oils can be considered toxic. 

Be careful when using citrus around your dragon. If you’re unsure about a product, don’t use it. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

In addition, these oils should never come into contact with their skin, nor should they ever be ingested.

Can I use an oil diffuser?

You can use oil diffusers around your bearded dragon as long as they aren’t in the same room as the diffuser. Too much exposure can cause respiratory issues, even if it’s on the safe list above.

Make sure there’s enough airflow around your home when using your diffuser. This will prevent the smell from being too overwhelming for your dragon, including if it’s in a nearby room. 

In addition, using a diffuser too often around your dragon can lead to respiratory problems. Though your dragon shouldn’t have any issues as long as you aren’t using it daily and you have enough airflow in your home.

Having a large home with plenty of ventilation likely won’t interfere with your bearded dragon. Although, if you do notice your dragon showing any signs of respiratory issues, contact a vet right away.

Can I use essential oils on my bearded dragon?

Can I use essential oils on my bearded dragon

It’s not recommended to use essential oils directly on your bearded dragon. They can be harmful to your bearded dragon’s skin and are not necessary for cleaning your bearded dragon. 

Unfortunately, your bearded dragon can put off unwanted odors, as many pets do. Always keep the enclosure clean and bathe your dragon a couple of times a week in warm water.

Some people swear by using Lavender to bathe their bearded dragon, though there isn’t currently any scientific evidence that it’s safe.

You’ll rather err on the side of caution.

While the bearded dragon community is generally split between whether or not essential oils are safe for their pets, there isn’t enough research showing the potential benefits. In fact, there is more evidence that these chemicals can be harmful.

You can also find many products online that include fragrances and oils, but again there isn’t much evidence proving that it’s beneficial. 

On the other hand, you can use the safe oils above to clean a room their enclosure is in as long as the oils are diluted with water. You’ll want the scent to be as faint as possible. 

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Your bearded dragon had a much stronger sense of smell than you do. Even if the smell doesn’t seem too strong for you, add more water until the scent is practically unnoticeable. 

If you’re feeling uncertain about using any oils to clean the enclosure, a great alternative and safe option is one part vinegar and one part water (do not use this on their skin). 

This will also get rid of unwanted odors, and the vinegar smell will fade over a couple of days at most. 

Avoid using essential oils around your dragon regularly

You shouldn't use essential oils around your dragon regularly

Too much exposure to essential oils can be toxic 

Use essential oils in your home in moderation to avoid overexposure. Remember, your pet is more sensitive to these natural oils than you are, and it can be challenging to know how much your dragon can tolerate. 

If you want to use safe oils around your home more often, dilute them and only use them in specific areas. 

If you’re unsure about a scent, it may be best to avoid using it unless it’s in a room far away from your dragon’s enclosure where they won’t be breathing it in.

Always take your beardie’s health into account before using a strong scent. Also, know that sometimes you have to make sacrifices for your pet. 

If you can hear your dragon breathing unusual or strange noises coming from their throat, they may be having respiratory issues. 

Signs of poisoning 

Abnormal behaviors such as drooling, secretions from orifices, wheezing or other respiratory issues, and fatigue are common signs that your pet is poisoned. 

Their feces may also look more runny and unusual. While this isn’t always a sign of poisoning, it’s still a sign to look for if you think you may have exposed your dragon to something toxic.

Their eyes may appear to be wet and bulging from their sockets. Their skin may appear swollen, puffy, or discolored. 

Your dragon may also appear stressed and alert, fatigued, or nonresponsive. 

These signs can also take place at any time. This means that it could be a few hours to a few days later before you begin to see symptoms. Sometimes by the time you notice these symptoms, it’s too late.

Contact a vet as soon as you notice any symptoms or exposure. You’ll want to act quickly but with the guidance of a professional. 

Final Thoughts 

You can use certain essential oils around your bearded dragon, but you should only do so in moderation and make sure it is heavily diluted. 

You’ll also want to avoid letting these oils come into contact with your dragon to prevent any skin or respiratory issues.

Some oils, such as natural Citrus oils, can be used to clean a room. Dragons can be smelly, and owners are limited to what cleaning products they can use around their dragons. 

Therefore, the use of Citrus oils can minimize odors without causing harm to your dragon but should only be used sparingly and while diluted with water.