This guest post is written by Ashley for madewithoils.com.
We love our pets. We consider them a member of the family, and we go to great lengths to keep them healthy and happy. Sometimes we treat them as we would a family member. Loving your pet is a good thing. But, you must remember that they are not a human member of the family. They are animals, and their bodies are unique to them.
We know that we should feed our animals a diet that supports their needs. We know we must train them by using their behavior patterns born in them. But, we rarely think about the products that we use around the house.
Essential oils are very popular. They are used to diffuse oils and scents into the air. As we inhale, the oils affect our bodies. They calm us or allow us to focus better. They relieve aches and pains and keep us mentally balanced.
Dogs and cats have a stronger sense of smell. Their bodies cannot break down the oils like we do, and over time their liver can become damaged. Some essential oils are also toxic to animals.
If your pets are birds, rodents, or reptiles, they have a very sensitive respiratory system and certain oils are deadly.
Can you use essential oils at all?
Yes. If your pet is a dog or cat, you should make sure they are not in the room when you are using your diffuser. You must keep all of the oils in a place where pets can’t get to them. If you wear essential oils on your skin, do not let them lick you or sit on your lap when you first apply them.
Never put essential oils directly on your pet. There are oils (like peppermint) that repel insects. But peppermint oil is toxic to your pets.
It is important to have full knowledge of the oils you choose to use in your home or on your person. Speak to professionals that will help you begin your essential oil journey and talk to your vet about it before using essential oils.
Oils that are harmful to cats and dogs
To help you begin, see the list below. These are great oils for humans, but you must not let your pet experience their effects.
- Peppermint oil
- Citrus oil
- Tea tree
- Eucalyptus oil
- Sweet birch
- Ylang ylang
It’s important to know that this list is not exhaustive, and every pet can react differently to certain essential oils.
Essential oils that are considered safe around cats and dogs
- Lavender (for dogs)
- Clary sage
Use these essential oils around cats and dogs in low dilutions and know that your pet is unique and might still react to certain essential oils.
Signs That Your Pet Needs Help
If your dog or cat seems to be ill or not themselves, be sure they are not in an area where the scent of the oils is high.
Here are the symptoms that your pet may have had contact with a toxic oil. Be sure to educate the entire family on what to watch for if your pet begins behaving strangely. Common symptoms are:
- Unusual panting
- Excessive drooling
- Pawing at the face
If your pet is showing any or all of these symptoms, seek emergency care.
Pet Poison Control Center Hotline
If you are concerned about your pet and suspect that he may have been exposed to essential oils, call the Pet Poison Hotline. Their number is (855) 764-7661. Keep this number close and make sure every member of the family has the number stored in their phones.
You can enjoy the benefits of essential oils without causing your pet discomfort by practicing safe use of the oils. Your pet is a valuable member of the family. His health is in your hands, so use caution and be safe.