Essential oils are becoming more and more popular for home & personal use, and for good reason. These potent extracts from plants, nuts and seeds contain active healing compounds to remedy a variety of ailments. They may be in your personal care or home cleaning products, maybe you use them in a diffuser or as a topical remedy for things like migraines, skin irritation, or sleep aid. But are essential oils safe for your pet?
Essential oils can be beneficial for furry family members, but just because they’re of natural origin doesn’t mean ALL of them are pet friendly. They’re very potent and could potentially be toxic when used incorrectly, while some should be avoided altogether. According to the American Kennel Club, “Oils used improperly can also lead to changes in behavior, adverse central nervous system effects, and respiratory problems — all of which can be serious."
To ensure safety for you, your dog, cat or other pets when using essential oils, here's a quick guide. When in doubt, always check with your trusted veterinarian!
Essential oils to avoid for use on or around dogs or cats:
Cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang. These oils are toxic if ingested by mouth or spread on the skin.
Tips on Using Essential Oils Safely
- All essential oils are volatile compounds and can be toxic when ingested or absorbed through skin in undiluted excess. In general, they should always be handled and stored with care by keeping caps tightly closed, out of reach to pets or children, and out of direct sunlight.
- Follow directions closely on safely diluting them for the desired use.
- If you’re using essential oils on your skin, be mindful of what your pet may potentially ingest when they give you kisses (i.e. licking).
- If using them in a diffuser, make sure your pet has access to a ventilated area, such as being able to leave the room where oils are being diffused - even if it's an oil on the safe list.
- If you're considering using essential oils as a treatment for your pet's condition or have questions on which ones are safe to use around them, consult your veterinarian.
To view a list of the essential oils and other ingredients we use in our self care products check them out here.