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Essential Oils That Are Toxic to Pets

August 15, 2019

Essential oils have become very popular, and with good reason. They smell wonderful, and can be helpful for both cosmetic and medicinal purposes. They are also often utilized for aromatherapy and in personal care products, like soaps and lotions. However, what is good for us isn’t always good for our animal companions. In fact, some essential oils are dangerous for pets. Here, a vet offers information to help keep your pets safe.

Cats

Cats have very sensitive skin, which tends to absorb things very quickly. They are also extremely sensitive to toxins. This is because Fluffy doesn’t have essential liver enzymes that allow her to metabolize toxins. Essential oils are particularly dangerous because they are distilled, and are therefore much more potent than the plants they are derived from. Kitties are also at risk through inhaling oils via diffusers or sprays.

Never use peppermint, wintergreen, citrus oils, tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal, or tea tree on or near cats or their belongings.

Dogs

Many essential oils are also unsafe for dogs. The list includes cinnamon, tea tree oil, citrus oils, pennyroyal, peppermint, wintergreen, ylang ylang, pine, and sweet birch. Clove, garlic, anise, thyme, wintergreen, juniper, and horseradish are also unsafe.

It doesn’t matter whether your pooch eats the oil or gets it on his skin. Keep in mind that Fido has a very, very sensitive nose. What may smell wonderful to you can be overpowering to pets.

Tips

Since the above oils are not safe for pets, it’s best to stick with safer oils, such as lavender, frankincense, and vanilla.

However, if you do use oils that are toxic to pets, exercise caution when using them. Keep them away from your furry friend, and store them out of paws’ reach. If you want to burn oil in a diffuser, keep your pet in a separate area. Also, be sure to wash your hands after using these oils. That way, you won’t accidentally transfer any to your pet’s skin. It’s also worth noting that each pet is different. One dog may immediately react to an oil, while another may not be affected at all. Individual allergies can also play a role in whether your pet reacts to a certain oil or not.

Please contact us, your vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet’s care. We’re here to help!


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