Essential oils have been used for centuries and for many different reasons. Beneficial for enhancing performance, relaxation, lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety, the oils can deeply impact your senses. You can purchase essential oils in their pure form and in a raft of household and beauty products but are they safe for your animals?
Essential oils don’t come cheap. It can take a huge amount of raw materials to produce just one small bottle of oil but a little generally goes a long way. The oils should always be diluted and contact with the skin should be avoided in most cases. Each oil is different and there are some oils which are known to be toxic to pets.
Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano has been used to treat everything from the common cold and influenza to acne breakouts and psoriasis. However, it is not safe for animals and can be fatal to cats.
Tea Tree Oil
While the chemicals in tea tree oil may kill bacteria and fungus, it is not a safe substance to use around pets. Hundreds of pet owners have reported nasty side effects including increased salivation, depression, hypothermia, dehydration, ataxia, and even tremoring. Tea tree oil is a common feature of shampoos, conditioners and other beauty products.
Not to be confused with the spice that is used in cooking, cinnamon oil a potent substance which features different compounds to the ground spice. Pet owners are advised to steer clear of this oil and also oil of thyme.
Safe Essential Oils for Pets
Experts agree that lavender essential oil is safe to use around pets. It has proved effective for relieving anxiety in people and animals but shouldn’t be used if pets are suffering from respiratory issues. Spearmint, peppermint, chamomile, cedarwood and lemongrass are also safe essential oils to use around pets.
Storing Essential Oils
It is important to secure all essential oils in a cabinet. The tops should be firmly screwed on and oils should be stored in an elevated position which is out of reach of the animals, just in case! Basically, essential oils should be treated in the same way as medicines. If you clean with essential oils, be careful to avoid using them on surfaces from where pets could later ingest them. Take special care when cleaning around food bowls.
Oils should always be diluted before use and any instructions as to dosage must be carefully followed. If you are in any doubt about the potential impact on your pet, consult your vet before using the oils, regardless of the concentration.
It is incredible how many seemingly benign substances around the house could be harmful to pets. Just because something is beneficial to your health, it doesn’t mean that it will help your pets and it could have the opposite effect! Essential oils have largely been researched with regard to their effects on people. More research is needed to establish which oils are safe for animals.
Have you experienced problems with essential oils? Let us know if you pets have reacted badly to oils that you have used.