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Pets and Essential Oils – Find Out Which Oils To Avoid

Here we’ll take a look at some essential oils and there effect on our beloved pets.  I’ll focus more on dogs and cats because they are the most popular. 

I am not a medical professional.  This is for informational purposes only and you should always consult a professional healthcare provider before the administration of any medicine including essential oils.

There is a lot of information going around the internet warning you about the dangers of using essential oils around pets.  It’s great that there is lots of information and that is raising consciousness about their well being.  Essential oils are somewhat similar to their pharmaceutical counterparts in that they can easily be broken down into their chemical components.  As a matter of fact you can find the same chemicals in many medications.  The big advantage of essential oils is that they are all natural so they don’t include any chemical additives like the ones from big pharma.

Essential oils have quantifiable chemical constituents, so the question becomes, how do these chemicals interact with our pets metabolisms.  in the same way that each species’ digestive system is tailored to different foods, the same is true for the absorption of essential oils.  It stands to reason that some oils that are beneficial for us are detrimental to our four legged friends.  Here is a list of some of those oils:

Avoid these oils

Dogs:

  • Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Clove
  • Wintergreen
  • Birch
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Cats:

  • Citrus oils (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, petitgrain)

    Really?? Again?? Ahh come on!!
  • Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Peppermint
  • Roman chamomile
  • Cypress
  • Clove
  • Wintergreen
  • Birch
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Vetiver

There are exceptions to this.  oils such as clove and oregano can be used specifically to treat certain conditions.  This should be under a professionals advice.

Sorry about the downer with all of the amazing oils we need to be careful with.  The good news is, there are lots of oils still available for us to use and enjoy with our pets, and some even have a profound effect on them.  Whether it be behavioral or physical issues, the oils work wonders.

A cold mist diffuser is one of the best ways to deliver the therapeutic benefits to your pets.  Please keep in mind they have a more acute sense of smell and smaller portions should be used.  Also make sure your pets have an oil free area they can go to if they feel overwhelmed.  Try and be aware if they are wanting to get away from the oil or if their are any allergic reactions.

These are very general guidelines and we must remember that just as each of us are different, so are our pets.  One oil may be good for your pet but that doesn’t mean that mine will like it.

Now for the fun part, let,s go to Club Med! Did you read Club Med cause I meant Pubmed.  Pubmed is an awesome resource that contains some of the most objective information out there.  It is the US Government library of medicine, and it is the world’s largest database of published medical studies.  We have a link to it on our website here   This is a great place to learn about essential oils.  This link talks about different studies related to lavender and dogs:.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lavender+dogs

I have many customers that use essential oils in their daily practice of treating pets.  Here is a list of some conditions that can be treated with essential oils:

Treatable conditions for your pets

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis pain
  • Asthma and breathing issues
  • Urinary tract issues
  • Bleeding and skin lesions
  • Bacterial infection
  • Burns
  • Cancer
  • Cysts
  • Digestive disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Ear infection
  • Anxiety
  • Fever
  • Fleas and ticks
  • Fungal infection
  • Heart issues
  • Hot spots
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Mange
  • Nausea
  • Gum disease
  • Parasites
  • Parvovirus
  • Seizures
  • Sinus infections

As for other pets there is limited clinical evidence available.  I know that birds are very susceptible to oils and diffusion is not recommended near them.  I know of customers that actively use oils on horses.  Whatever your pet, you owe it to them to investigate thoroughly before any administration.

I know this all seems like a lot to take in.  Keep in mind that we unknowingly expose our pets to artificial chemical based perfumes, candles and incense without even contemplating the potentially toxic effect these are having on them.  I personally prefer natural plants which occur naturally in their habitat over chemical compositions made in a laboratory.

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