DISCLAIMER: Always do your own research and consult your doctor or veterinarian if you have any concerns about the use of essential oils in your home, particularly if you have young children and pets, and if anyone in your household suffers from respiratory issues. All animals are made up differently and may react to oils that others don't. Quality various greatly, so once again, please carefully to your own research to find a reputable brand that only produces high quality pure essential oils (where I buy mine).
I love having a nice smelling home, and especially love diffusing essential oils for varying needs such as relaxing, energising, purifying the air, and helping to reduce symptoms when I'm sick. There are so many incredible benefits from smelling essential oils. However, it is important to know that when using essential oils, not all are suitable for our furry friends, or even scaly friends.
In this blog you will find the following information:
What are essential oils
How and why essential oils affect pets
Essential oils to avoid around both cats and dogs
General rules for using essential oils around pets
Warning signs your pet has been affected by essential oils
Safe essential oils for pets
Other helpful websites
If you are ever uncertain of what is safe for your animal, or are concerned they have been affected, always contact your veterinarian.
1. WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils are plant extracts from leaves, flowers, bark and stems and they are highly concentrated. The oils are usually extracted by using steam or pressing.
They have large range of benefits including being antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral. Essential oils have been proven to help with a range of needs such as promoting a restful sleep, helping to reduce sympto
ms of colds and flus, purifying the air from toxins and pollutants, improving energy levels, alleviating skin conditions and many more.
Naturally derived and highly concentrated, they are to be used with caution for both humans and pets.
2. HOW AND WHY ESSENTIAL OILS AFFECT PETS
Essential oils are very powerful and concentrated, and our pets are more sensitive to smells than we are. Dogs noses can smell up to 40 times better than our human noses! Pretty incredible.
As well as having a heightened sense of small, the livers of both cats and dogs are not able to metabolise some of the compounds in essential oils. Cats especially are lacking in a particular enzyme in their liver which is necessary to processing and eliminating toxic, making them even more sensitive.
Other animals which can also show sensitivity to essential oils include:
• pregnant animals
• old animals
• baby animals
• sick animals
• guinea pigs
• other small animals
3. ESSENTIAL OILS TO AVOID
In general, essential oils considered "hot" are to be avoided for use around pets, as well as most citrus oils. These oils are considered high-phenol oils. There are some oils that some say are safe, whilst others say are not, such as spearmint. Therefore, I have not included controversial oils in this list to avoid any confusion and potential issues. It is suggested to avoid the following specific essential oils if you have cats and dogs at home, as well as a list of other oils to avoid that are not just specific to cats and dogs:
4. GENERAL RULES FOR USING ESSENTIAL OILS AROUND PETS
Here are some suggested ways to help create a safe environment for your pets when using essential oils:
It is ok to put them outside for a while, or even in another part of your home if possible when you are diffusing.
It is suggested that you introduce animals to an essential oil by letting them sniff the closed bottle first, then progress to presenting diluted essential oil on your hand.
Allow your pet time to get used to essential oils being diffused by starting off with only a very small amount when diffusing and gradually increasing it to a safe amount.
Don't use the same essential oils for extended periods of time.
Always use the purest essential oils you can as the additives in less pure oils can cause issues in pets rather than the essential oil itself.
Only diffuse oils in a well ventilated space.
Always wash your hands after using essential oils to avoid getting it on your pets, especially avoid any contact with the eyes, nose and mouth.
You can use direct on skin if diluted. The general ratio for essential oil to carrier oil is 1 drop to 1/5 tablespoon.
5. WARNING SIGNS YOUR PET HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY ESSENTIAL OILS
If you notice any unusual behaviour in your pet or any of the following symptoms, seek advice from your veterinarian:
unstable on feet
shaking / muscle tremors
6. SAFE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR PETS
The following is just a guide to some essential oils that have been deemed safe for most animals, but not an extensive list. Remember to still use with caution, slowly introduce to your animal, and use heavily diluted to begin with, especially if using topically.
7. OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES