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Are essential oils safe for pets?

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. If you’re a pet parent and choose to use essential oils in your home, you should have some sense of knowledge on the ways to use essential oils in order to avoid complications. Essential oils definitely can be dangerous for pets if used completely raw and undiluted. On the other hand and aside from the potential risks, essential oils can also have many benefits if used correctly, like reducing anxiety, getting rid of ticks and fleas, and reducing inflammation.

We’ve encountered stories in the media about pets who accidentally ingested essential oils and experienced vomiting, diarrhea, and even depression. But, what’s all the bad hype? Most of the time, it is easy to confuse natural with safe. Essential oils are highly potent substances that can have adverse effects on pets as opposed to humans if inhaled or applied topically, like difficulty breathing, muscle tremors and uncomfortable burning sensations. First and foremost, most household pets like cats and dogs are known for having a strong sense of smell, so inhaling certain aromas can either help calm them or cause further stress.

The American Kennel Club, one of the leading dog research organizations, says that like human use of essential oils, applying oils topically can irritate your dog’s skin. Pets most often experience essential oil poisoning when it touches their skin. This is because the chemicals found in essential oils are easily absorbed into their systems and broken down by the liver, which can negatively impact puppies and dogs struggling with liver disease. Likewise, if your dog licks essential oils off of its coat, it can cause intense gastrointestinal issues. If your dog swallows essential oils, the immediate thing thing to do is contact a veterinarian.

When it comes to diffusing essential oils, you can ensure your pet’s safety and health by diffusing for shorter periods of time and in rooms where your pets are least likely to enter. Many veterinarians suggest that dog and cat parents avoid Tea Tree oil because it can be toxic to their bodies and cause them to feel very ill.

Check out our selection of essential oils that are safe to use with pets.

Have you ever used essential oils on your pet? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments below!


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