This technique is well tolerated by almost every form of animal. The technique can be modified for small rodents, amphibians, or animals that may be difficult to handle, simply by having the oils absorbed into your hands, and then "cupping" and holding the animal within your hands - as pictured above.
Even the largest horse or even elephant, will benefit from this method of application. The larger the animal, the more film of essential oil is allowed to remain on our hands prior to petting. Remember, that just because an animal is very large, it may still require a diluted oil or light application of essential oil. This is very much an individual variation, and if you are ever in question with how to proceed, start with either a diluted oil or less oil, see how the animal does, then use more later if needed. Often, you will be pleasantly surprised at how little you need to evoke an effect. And, we are continually amazed at the simple fact that essential oils that are "more diluted" are becoming more effective for our animal friends!
This very simple method of applying essential oils to animals can be used with either neat or diluted essential oils. The method called Petting, involves applying the essential oil single or blend to your hands. Your hands are then rubbed together, and a varying amount of essential oil is allowed to remain on your palms. This amount may vary from completely absorbed for a smaller animals (for say Gerbils) to an obvious coating of oil spread out over your hands. Your hands are then used to pet the animal in question. This technique can be used "all over" the body, or concentrate on specific locations - such as the knee of a dog.