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Which Essential Oils Are Toxic to Pets?

How to know which essential oils are toxic to pets

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Essential oils are huge right now – for people and for pets. But did you know that some are dangerous to animals? That’s right, your favorite holistic remedies might be toxic for your dog or cat. We put this guide together so you can keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy!

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are oils extracted from plants. They’re definitely having their moment right now and families all over the country are trading in their chemical-heavy household products for them. Essential oil enthusiasts use these remedies for cleaning, relaxation, health and other reasons.

People use oils straight out of the bottle or with diffusers. Unfortunately, while many of these oils are beneficial for humans, they’re harmful to pets, even if you just use them in a diffuser. When using any kind of essential oil, it’s important to distinguish which ones are strictly for people and could make your cat or dog sick. This also applies to oils that you aren’t placing directly on your pet. Even using an oil in a diffuser or warmer can make your animal sick!

Which Essential Oils Are Dangerous for Pets?

If contemplating using ANY essential oils in your home, contact your veterinarian first. Pets in general might have a strong reaction since they have a more acute sense of smell than humans. Problems can also be airborne. So if you’re using a diffuser or warming device, you might be impacting your pets and not even know it.

Also some oils might be harmless. But always, always, always ask your veterinarian for approval before you use oils. 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

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

What Are the Symptoms of Poisoning in Pets?

There are several different symptoms of poisoning in pets. A good rule of thumb as a pet owner is to stay alert if you see any changes of behavior in your cat or dog. Here are some other symptoms to watch out for:

  • The smell of essential oils on the fur, skin, breath or vomit
  • 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?

Just like poisoning in humans, the key to reacting to poisoning in your pet is to act FAST. Don’t delay contacting a professional. Call your veterinarian or the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680). Seek medical treatment immediately. 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. Acting fast will improve your pet’s prognosis!

Be sure to also follow these tips:

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

Safety Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe

Obviously to avoid poisoning, keep 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 kind of capacity. Folks use essential oils for a variety of reasons including cleaning. Instead of using oils, we recommend using a pet-friendly cleaner like Mrs. Myers. Essential oils are also commonly used as calming aids. An animal-friendly alternative is Canna-Pet. This company offers soothers in several forms, including capsules, treats and liquids. These are helpful whenever your pet might be particularly stressed out, such as during fireworks, travel or trips to the vet.

Next Article Is Housekeeping Making Your Pet Sick?