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Essential Oils and Your Pet

Essential Oils are a great, all natural tool that have been found to benefit not just humans, but pets as well. For example, Lavender is a great essential oil that can be used for its calming and anxiety reducing benefits in both humans and pets. Although it's normal to think of natural products as being always safe, unfortunately, that's not the case. Certain oils can actually be harmful to your pet. Every pet is different and may have different reactions to different essential oils. However, there are certain oils to be aware of when using them around pets, whether using them directly or in a diffuser.

Cats are particularly sensitive to essential oils that contain polyphenolic compounds because they interfere with their liver detoxification processes. Oils that are NOT recommended to use around cats are cinnamon, tea tree, thyme, birch, wintergreen, clove, and oregano. Oils that are NOT recommended to use for or around dogs include anise, clove, garlic, horseradish, juniper, thyme, wintergreen, and yarrow. These essential oils can trigger a range of issues from allergies and skin sensitivities to interference in their natural body processes. Even if the oils you use were not listed above, exercise caution before using certain oils. Though tea tree oil isn't on this list for dogs specifically, according to a 2014 study (See Study Here: Tea Tree Oil Toxicosis), undiluted, human grade tea tree oil reportedly caused depression, paresis, ataxia, or tremors within hours of exposure in dogs. However, there are pet-grade and pet specific tea tree oils that are often diluted enough to be safe for dogs (not cats). It's best to ask your vet before using a new product on or around your dog to be safe.

Essential Oils That Are Great For Pets:

  • Cedarwood - Helps repel pests and promote healthy skin and coat
  • Chamomile: Promotes relaxation and sleep and also support healthy digestion
  • Lavender: Relieves anxiety from separation or during long trips
  • Myrrh: Can help fight allergies and promote healthy skin and coat
  • Clary Sage: Calms nervousness and excitability
  • Geranium: Great for repelling pests and as a treatment for ear infections
  • Peppermint: Soothes pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia and repels pests
  • Carrot Seed: Supports healthy skin as a topical treatment for dryness
  • Ginger: Relieves pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia and supports healthy digestion
  • Helichrysum: Used topically can help with pain relief and skin issues
  • Marjoram: Repels pests and helps treat skin infections and irritiations
These are just some of the essential oils that can be used, if unsure about other oils, talk with your veterinarian.

To ensure safe use of essential oils around pets, remember that they have a stronger sense of smell than we do so be sure not to use too much essential oil. Also be sure to use high quality, therapeutic grade essential oils. Other, lesser-quality essential oils are made with additives or are stretched with carrier oils that may trigger pet sensitivities. They may also be a blend of oils that include other botanicals or absolutes that resemble the smell but potentially contain solvents that could be unhealthy for your pet. 


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