Once limited to specialty shops and natural food stores, essential oils can be found just about everywhere these days. The popularity of these natural plant-derived oils has skyrocketed in recent years, thanks largely to their pleasing scents and the benefits attributed to them. Not only do essential oils make our homes smell delightful, but proponents also claim the soothing scents can potentially improve our health and help us feel more centered, too.
However, if you have pets, you might feel confused about essential oils when it comes to your pets. So are there any pet-safe essential oils?
The answer is Yes. Today, this article is written to talk about pet-safe essential oils. You can learn how to choose pet-safe essential oils for your dogs or cats from this post. Please read on.
Why Do We Need Pet-Safe Essential Oils？
Using essential oils to improve pet health remains a controversial topic. While some holistic veterinarians and alternative medicine practitioners may recommend certain pet-safe essential oils, most veterinary professionals urge pet parents to steer clear of them.
At best, the benefits of essential oils remain unproven in pets. At worst, some essential oils can put your pet's health at serious risk.
Unfortunately, products labeled "all-natural" or "organic" are not always safe for dogs and cats because our pets often can't metabolize substances the way we do. This makes it difficult for them to eliminate certain toxins from their bodies, including some essential oils. These can be very dangerous to pets if ingested, inhaled, or applied topically – especially in highly-concentrated forms.
Therefore, pet parents must be cautious when using essential oils around pets. Make sure you understand how to use essential oils safely and which essential oils should be avoided altogether. Not only are dogs and cats at risk, but rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other pets can also be harmed by essential oils. Birds are especially susceptible to the toxic effects of inhaled oils.
You know your pet's sense of smell is an inherent part of how they explore the world. Just think about your dog's "meet and greet" behavior or how your cat sniffs the new food before tasting it.
Animals have a substantial part of their nasal passages and brain anatomy dedicated to olfactory (smell) functions, so it makes sense that aromatherapy can be useful in addressing their medical needs.
Yet, we can overdo it by accident without guidelines, as our pets' sense of smell is exceptionally stronger than ours.
If we can smell it, imagine 20x more for that animal. As humans, we get nose blind. We'll diffuse for longer and longer amounts of time, and it's overwhelming for the animal and can make them sick.
Additionally, research shows that cats are much better at differentiating between scents than dogs. So in a way, their sense of smell is more powerful than your pup's.
Besides diffusing essential oils for too long, we can also diffuse ones that can be toxic to our animals because we just don't know. Citrus oils, for example, are dangerous for cats because they lack an enzyme to break them down.
Above all shows how important the pet-safe oil essentials for pet. That's why pet-safe essential oils are win popularity among pet parents.
Types of Pet-Safe Essential Oils
Pet-Safe Essential Oils for Dogs
Known for its calming effect, lavender oil is one of the most commonly used pet-safe essential oils for humans. It turns out, this plant might help your pet to relax and reduce your dog's anxiety.
You can use this pet safe essential oil on a regular basis if your dog tends to struggle with anxiety. You can also use it for certain situations that would stress out any dog, such as a trip to the vet or moving your dog to a new home.
Lavender oil might also be useful for treating skin problems caused by allergies, as well as burns and wounds.
And as an added bonus, lavender's pleasing fragrance will make your home smell wonderful. This should get you excited if you don't care for doggy odors.
This pet-safe essential oil may have the capacity to fight against cancer in humans and dogs, making frankincense oil a powerful natural remedy for this deadly disease.
It is antimicrobial, which means it can also keep your dog healthy by giving your pup's immune system a helpful boost.
If your dog is suffering from irritated skin, a burn, a wound, ulcers, or eczema, you should consider using chamomile oil to treat your furry friend. And just like lavender, it can ease your dog's anxiety and stress.
This pet-safe essential oil can be utilized as a natural flea repellent, which is a major plus if you dread the thought of using chemicals to prevent fleas. It is antifungal, antibacterial, and has a pleasant scent that produces a calm environment.
Dogs aren't the only animals who benefit from pet-safe essential oils. Cats can too! If used safely, cats can greatly benefit from pet-safe essential oils. You can use essential oils in and around your home, so you and your furry feline are both able to benefit from the natural healing and relaxation benefits of essential oils. If you are ready to find out which essential oils are safe for cat care and your kitty, keep reading because we are sharing some of the best pet-safe essential oils to use for your cat.
Pet-Safe Essential Oils for Cats
As already mentioned in the previous section, frankincense oil can help fight against cancer. This oil can also increase the brain's supply of blood.
However, frankincense oil has the potential to increase blood pressure. If your cat tends to have high blood pressure, this oil might not be safe for your four-legged friend.
This oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal, and because of helichrysum's antioxidant content, it may reduce inflammation. It's also good for your cat's skin, nervous system, and heart health.
Furthermore, helichrysum oil can even slow down bleeding, making it an excellent oil to have on hand in case of emergencies.
If you love the smell of licorice, you will love this essential oil! But its health benefits are even better than its scent.
Fennel oil can help cats who are suffering from health issues involving the pituitary, thyroid, and pineal glands. And by breaking up toxins that have accumulated in your cat's tissues, this oil can also aid in detoxification.
Based on their numerous benefits, essential oils make a great addition to your pet's natural healthcare routine. Just be sure to choose pet-safe oils and apply them correctly.
Essential Oils That Are Toxic to Pets
When it comes to essential oils, assuming something safe for pet parents is a bad idea for pet safety. Due to metabolic differences, we can enjoy the same oil, without adverse effects, that can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, chemical burns in the mouth or esophagus, and respiratory, nerve, and liver damage in pets. In severe cases, it can lead to death.
As follows are essential oils that are toxic to pets:
Dogs - anise, clove, juniper, thyme, wintergreen. Garlic and horseradish essential oils can also cause a range of allergic reactions.
Cats - clove, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, wintergreen, sweet birch oil, lavender, citrus, peppermint, pennyroyal oil, eucalyptus, and tea tree.
Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning
The following symptoms are signs your pet has been exposed to poison or a toxic essential oil: watery nose or eyes, difficulty breathing (coughing, panting, or wheezing), drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, low body temperature, or a low heart rate, or central nervous system issues such as lethargy, weakness, difficulties walking, trembling, tremors, or sudden stumbling.
Even with pet-safe essential oil use, it's important to watch your pets around your diffusers and cleaning products. Never allow your pet to ingest essential oil at any dilution, and do not add it to their food. Always consult your veterinarian before adding even safe essential oils to your pet's bath or grooming products.
Some Tips to Use Essential Oils Safely
If you want to use pet-safe essential oils at home, here are a few tips to keep your pet safe:
- Always store your oils in a closed cabinet or drawer out of harm's way.
- Never touch your pet after handling or applying essential oils to your skin. If there is any residual oil on your hands, it can easily be transferred onto their fur, which will lead to skin absorption or them ingesting it when cleaning themselves. Always be cautious and wash your hands after handling essential oils.
- When you use essential oils as cleaners, a residue is left on the surface. If your pet rubs against this surface or licks it, it can easily end up ingesting some of the toxic oil. Use essential oil cleaning products that don't contain high concentrations of pet toxic oils and ensure that they are safely diluted.
- When oil is diffused into the air, it's likely that your pet will inhale the vapors and the toxic components of the oil will be able to make their way into your pet's body very easily. Use essential oils that are pet-friendly and always diffuse in a well-ventilated room with easy egress for your pet so they can leave if they don't like it.
- Very few essential oils are safe for humans to use neat, so they're not going to be good for your pet either. It's always advisable to use essential oils as diluted as possible for them to still be effective. This way, accidental exposure of your pet to the oil is less likely to be enough to cause a toxic buildup.
We love our pets, and we also love a home that looks and smells beautiful, but these two do not always go hand in hand. From the dirt, saliva, hair, and dander, your furry friends can cause a real stink! Regularly washing bedding, cushions, and throws and bathing your pet is recommended, but sometimes we have to go the extra mile to keep the house smelling fresh. Using fragrant products throughout the home can cause harm to beloved pets, affecting their skin and causing allergies.
So in order to keep them safe and healthy, many pet owners choose to use pet-safe essential oils.
Pet-safe essential oils can keep your pets safe and make your home smells fresh at the same time. Therefore, why not have a try?