Diffusing Essential Oils Around Dogs and Cats: Is it Safe?

essential oils for dogsAre you a pet owner? Yes? Then you must be concerned about the unwanted pet odors in your home. Right? Tried different ways to avoid the smells like air fresheners, scented candles, etc.? Are all of these ineffective? Why not opt for the more efficacious method – essential oil diffusers.

Chosen? Now another big issue arises, and that is the safety of oil diffusers for pets. Are essential oil dangerous to pets? To know about the safety of essential oils safe and protect your furry babies, keep reading this blog post.

Essential oils 

Essential oils are the highly concentrated extracts of plants. Manufacturers obtain unique plant extract either through distillation or mechanical methods like cold pressing. Then the scented compounds are diluted with carrier oils to reach the desired consistency.

Are essential oils safe for pets? 

Most of the essential oils are highly harmful to pets. They contain highly concentrated compounds that, when they touch the skin, cause chemical burns. The highly toxic essential oils for pets are tea tree oil, peppermint oil, wintergreen oil, citrus oil, ylang-ylang, and sweet birch. These are straight-up toxic for your furry friend whether used in a diffuser, licked up, or topically applied on the skin.

Are diffusing essential oils safe for pets?

Diffusing the essential oils emits a highly pleasing aroma that may seem refreshing but can cause harm to the pets. Since the small oil droplets diffuse out into the air, when pets inhale such diffused oils for an extended time, they negatively affect their respiratory system. The common respiratory issues that may occur after the inhalation of oil droplets are pneumonia or aspiration.

According to the studies, dogs have great senses of smell. They can sense smell 1000 to 10,000 times better than humans. That mild scent of wintergreen oil coming out of the diffuser may incredibly overwhelm your canine companion.

The best way to prevent contact between the pet and diffusers is to place them out of their reach. However, if your cat has pre-existing breathing issues such as reverse sneezing or asthma, this technique won’t work.

Different ways to expose pets with essential oils

The ways of exposure to the oils are also critical to cause oil poisoning. Here are some of the common ways.

1.     Orally ingesting the oils. 

The oral ingestion of essential oils is prohibited. These contain the chemical compounds that cause chemical burns within the oral cavity or esophagus. From there, the toxicity may spread to the entire body.

2.     Inhaling essential oils 

The inhalation of the oils can cause the entry of small airborne particles into the respiratory system, leading to respiratory problems like bronchitis, asthma, etc.

Additionally, the pets become lethargic if exposed to diffusing essential oils in the enclosed spaces for a long time.

3.     Direct contact on the skin 

Applying even a few drops of the essential oils on the pet’s skin directly can cause irritation or chemical burns. The direct application may also raise the likelihood of licking off or ingesting the oil, resulting in death.

Symptoms of essential oil poisoning in cats and dogs 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Drunken walk
  • Seizes or collapse
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Depression
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Excessive dribbling

These signs and symptoms are associated with the species of pet, their age, and their weight.

Pets and the essential oils 

Essential oils are nature’s gifts. These are the holistic aids that soothe the pain and improve the immunity of our beloved companions. Here are some of the great essential oils that are good for dogs and cats

Safe Essential oils for dog skin allergies 

       i.          Lavender oil 

Lavender oil possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antihistamine properties. It is a non-antioxidant compound that remains useful even if kept for a long time.

     ii.          Myrrh 

Myrrh is noted to be a great alternative for dogs having skin allergies. It has astringent and antiseptic properties that help to clear up the irritated part of the skin.

    iii.          Peppermint oil 

Just like humans, dogs are also highly prone to seasonal allergies. If your pup sneezes even once, notice it immediately. Although peppermint oil is toxic for pets, its mild amount can clear breathing and support the respiratory systems. Peppermint can also help ease joint pain and aches.

Note: use a small amount of the oil in the diffuser. It can cause harm if ingested orally.

    iv.          Oregano oil 

This oil supports the immune system, which helps to prevent allergic reactions. You can use oregano oil either topically or in the diffuser.

Safe Essential oils for cats 

Humans are tolerant of phenols and salicylates, but they are not safe for your cats. Here are a few essential oils are work best for your cats.

1.     Lemongrass oil

Lemongrass oil is the purely non-alcoholic oil obtained from steam distillation. Diffusing the oil at a low concentration is safe for your furry friend. However, ingestion or topical application can cause harm.

2.     Rosemary oil 

Boil water in a pot with a twig of rosemary and dilute it with a container of water. Use the mixture as a flea repellent from your cat.

Causes of essential oils poisoning in pets 

There are several causes of essential oil poisoning in pets. Carefully address the factors given below and avoid the harmful effects of oils.

Use high-grade essential oils: the low therapeutic grade essential oils may contain solvents and chemicals that can be toxic to your furry friend.

Identify contamination: you must know the drugs that your pet is currently taking because they may interact with essential oils.

Dilute the oil: essential oils are concentrated, and the pets are usually sensitive to them. Dilution is the best option to prevent harmful effects.

Final verdict 

Essential oils are not only fragrances; they are more than that. They possess the relaxing properties that trigger pleasant memories. But by the time you relax by their soothing scent, your pet might feel nauseous.

Some of the components in the essential oils are carcinogenic or toxic for your pet. So be cautious while exposing your dear friend to oils.

The best thing is to seek the advice of a knowledgeable veterinarian before using them on your pet.