Essential oils are trending; not only can you find many different varieties of essential oils in malls and online, they are often present in cool mist humidifiers in many homes and businesses. Many of these essential oils are touted to have benefits for humans such as relaxation, pain relief, as well as promoting skin and respiratory health. Other common uses for essential oils include insect repellents and odour control.
But what about our pets? In recent news, much debate has surrounded the use of essential oils for pets. This blog post will address concerns surrounding the use of essential oils in our homes and around our pets. The information from this blog is taken from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommendations for the use of essential oils around pets.
Is it safe to use essential oils around my pets?
As most essential oils are available in 100% pure, concentrated solutions, these solutions can be dangerous to your pets. While pets can be exposed to essential oils by walking through the mist produced by diffusers, most commonly intoxication occurs when these concentrated solutions are applied directly to the pet’s skin, fur or collar. From these locations, pets can accidentally ingest portions of these essential oils, which can be toxic due to their high concentration levels. Pets can also accidentally knock over active diffusers and become exposed to essential oils in this manner.
What can happen to my pets if they are exposed to essential oils?
While levels of toxicity vary depending on both the concentration of the essential oil product and the pet that has come into contact with the product, signs that your pet may have been exposed to high levels of essential oils include the following: depression, unsteadiness on feet and in severe cases, lowered body temperature. Pets may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. One of our previous blog posts directly addresses concerns about one of the more toxic essential oils: tea tree oil. The blog post about tea tree oil can be accessed at: https://beattiepethospitalhamilton.com/2017/02/06/teatreeoil/.
Should I stop using my diffuser?
Not necessarily, but essential oils should only be diffused with caution. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that diffusers be operated in rooms that pets do not access. If you have a pet with breathing issues or sensitivities, it is recommended to avoid using diffusers due to potential irritation from the aerosolized essential oils. In general, always consult a veterinarian before using essential oil products near your pets.