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Certain Essential Oils Are Toxic to Pets

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are currently all the craze — for people and their pets alike, but some essential oils can acually be toxic and very dangerous to animals. For all you Yoga Pet Moms out there, the following guide on essential oils is about how they can be toxic to your pet. Here we will take a look at the essential oils that are safe for pets and which are dangerous.

Essential oils are oils typically extracted from certain volatile compounds within a plant.

Essential oils are definitely having their moment right now as they have multiple uses as remedies for cleaning, relaxation, and health so they are they go to for people seeking alternatives to other pet-cleaning or pampering products. 

Unfortunately, while many of these essential oils are beneficial for humans, they can also often be harmful to pets. This also applies to oils that you aren’t placing directly on your pet. For instance, people frequently use essential oils with diffusers, but even using an oil in a diffuser or a warmer can potentially make your animal very ill.

What Is the Problem with Essential Oils and Animals?

If nothing else, essential oils can have a powerful smell, but more importantly their molecules tend to be highly reactive with the compounds in our own bodies, and in pets’ bodies as well which is what makes essential oils useful. They would obiviously have no benefit otherwise. But at the same time humans and dogs and cats react differently to different substances and essential oils can be toxic to their natural body chemistry. With that noted, it is important to distinguish which oils can make your cat or dog sick.

Which Essential Oils Are Dangerous for Pets?

There are numerous ways that essential oils and animals can interact without you realizing it.

Some essential oils are harmless, especially in small quantities. So it’s not like you can never have essential oils and pets at the same time. There may even be some essential oils for pets that are safe in very small amounts, but the purpose of this post is to share insight into the harmful ones so without further ado for all you karens out there. 

Pet Safe Essential Oils for Diffuser:

Using essential oils in diffusers can be a great way to naturally fragrance your home, but it’s imperative to choose pet-safe oils. Carrot seed and frankincense essential oils are known for their gentle properties and can be diffused without posing risks to cats and dogs. Another excellent option is sweet marjoram, which emits a warm, woody scent and is safe for pets. However, even with pet-safe essential oils, always ensure the room is well-ventilated, and consider placing the diffuser in an area less frequented by your pets. Remember, moderation is key, and it’s always a good practice to observe your pets for any changes in behavior when introducing a new essential oil into the environment.

Pet Safe Essential Oils for Candles:

If you’re a fan of scented candles and also a pet owner, it’s crucial to choose those infused with pet-safe essential oils. Chamomile and lavender are two such oils that are generally safe for pets and can be found in many candles. They emit a calming and soothing fragrance which can even help to reduce anxiety in pets. Another option is cardamom essential oil, which emits a sweet, spicy aroma without endangering pets. When purchasing candles, always ensure they’re free from other toxic ingredients and opt for ones specifically labeled as pet-friendly.

Pet Safe Essential Oils for Cleaning:

While some essential oils can be harmful to pets, there are others that are safe and can be effectively used for cleaning purposes. For example, diluted lemon essential oil can act as a natural disinfectant, offering a fresh scent without exposing your pets to harmful chemicals. Similarly, eucalyptus oil, when used in moderate amounts, can offer antimicrobial properties without posing a threat. However, always ensure you use these oils in well-ventilated areas and allow cleaned spaces to air out before letting your pets roam freely. Combining these oils with other natural cleaning agents like baking soda or vinegar can offer a pet-friendly, environmentally conscious cleaning alternative.

Best Essential Oil for Pet Odor:

Dealing with pet odors is a common challenge for pet owners. While many essential oils can mask the smell, certain oils are particularly effective at neutralizing pet odors. Lemongrass essential oil, for instance, not only has a fresh, citrusy scent but also boasts antimicrobial properties that can help combat the bacteria causing the odor. Another great option is cedarwood essential oil, which has a pleasant, woodsy aroma and acts as a natural deodorizer. These oils can be diluted in water and used as a spray, but always test a small area first to ensure no discoloration or residue.

Essential Oils Harmful to Cats

Oils that are harmful to cats include, but are not limited to:

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pine
  • Ylang ylang
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Lavender
  • Essential Oils Harmful to Dogs
  • Oils that are harmful to dogs include, but are not limited to:
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Juniper
  • Yarrow
  • Garlic

How totell your pet is having a bad reaction to essential oils?

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking or stumbling
  • Muscle tremors
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Redness or burns on their lips, tongue, skin or gums
  • Vomiting

What Should I Do If My Pet Shows These Symptoms?

Seek medical treatment immediately. Call your veterinarian, or contact the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680.  If you can’t reach your vet or their office is closed, bring your cat or dog to an animal emergency medical center. The sooner the better. 

Pro Tip

If the oil is on your pet’s fur or skin, wash it off immediately. Don’t give your pet any treatments without a vet’s approval. Take the oil with you to the vet so they know what they’re dealing with.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe

Peeva doesn’t recommend using any essential oils for pets, especially when it comes to direct application to an animal’s body, or diffusing the oils into the air. And if you do wish to use some, only do so with a vet’s approval. Our view on essential oils is that they’re likely to do more harm than good, so better to error on the side of caution.

Keep these oils out of reach of your pets. Store them in secure containers that your dog or cat cannot get to. And, again, ask your vet before you use ANY kind of oil in any capacity.

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