I'm going to get straight to the point here- we take care of ourselves right? Avoid toxic chemicals, read labels for allergens, etc.
And on our paths to being more natural, and using things like essential oils in our daily lives, sometimes we forget about our furry friends and the negative affect some things can have on them.
Recently I read a post (shared on Facebook) about someone exposing their dog, and unknowingly, causing toxic harm, because tea tree oil can be extremely harmful to dogs! Unbeknownst to them they were causing psychological and physical effects to their pup. This made me reach out to people who I know actively use essential oils, and have an animal friend (or two, or three... or... you get it) in their home.
My sister in law has a super loveable dog named Jema, my doggy niece, and my first instinct was to make sure she was not being exposed to, what would be to her, toxic essential oils. And then another quick text to my Artisanal Booty pal Beki to double check she was keeping the harmful essential oils away from her quirky pup Ruby, who hates me sometimes? Just kidding, she's the best! If you ever feel like throwing a ball around, she's your pup-gal! Luckily neither of them were using any "toxic" essential oils around their fur-babies.
So the question is, are you keeping your animals safe? Keep in mind, dogs aren't the only animals who can reap the harmful nature of essential oils, but also cats and other household pets.
There are many products and uses we have with essential oils. If you're a DIY'er or someone who purchases natural based products, always check the labels for ingredients. Products like home air fresheners & fragrances, cleaning products, perfumes, and aromatherapy oils or candles, can contain essential oils. Even the smallest amount on skin, or even a couple licks, can be harmful. Ingestion or skin exposure can both have harmful consequences.
Signs & Symptoms
Some things to look out for if you think your pet may have been exposed to essential oils toxic to them; unusual scent of fragrance coming from their breath or body, difficult breathing or walking, drooling or pawing at the mouth or face, vomiting, abnormal tiredness or weakness, muscle tremors, or redness and burns on skin.
If you are going to use essential oils, make sure you definitely avoid the following around, on, or near your pet; cinnamon, tea tree, thyme, birch, wintergreen, clove, oregano, anise, garlic, horseradish, juniper, & yarrow.
Use (with caution)
We say with caution because you always want to check with your vet before using essential oils on your pet, but here are some essential oils that can have positive benefits for your furry friend; cedar wood, chamomile, lavender, myrrh, clary sage, geranium, peppermint, carrot seed, ginger, helichrysum, & marjoram.
When Using With Pets
Always remember animals are more sensitive to scents, and have a stronger sense of smell then humans do. When you are using essential oils around pets, use sparingly so your pet isn't overwhelmed with strong aromas. Never ever EVER, use essential oils undiluted on animals. And again, please remember to always consult your vet before using any essential oils on your pet. We are not doctors or vets so these lists are only a suggestion to follow, but always do your own research and make sure, once again I will say, to talk to your veterinarian. Just like humans and their allergies, pets can all respond differently to certain things, even the natural ones, so what works for Jema might not work for Ruby!
I hope this helps to make sure that any of you with animals are looking out before thinking even a natural product couldn't be harmful to an animal, because it turns out it can! And don't forget if you use essential oils on your skin, if your dog likes to give you kisses, make sure they're safe.
Hug your fur babies tight tonight!
Here are a couple links you can peruse with more information and tips: