Essential Oils and pets

Are essential oils harmful for pets?

We all love our oil burners, diffusers and smelly scents.  Cute dog and cat image

What could be better on an evening, after a hard day's work. Choose your favourite fragrance, add some water to the bowl, a few drops of oil, light the tea light and relax...but what about our pets?! 

Whatever method you use to diffuse the oils into your home - reed diffusers, oil burners (and other heat diffusers), evaporation (such as the pad necklaces and bracelets) or mechanical (fan driven air through an infused pad), your cat or dog may not be as delighted or relaxed as you are, when the scents enter their systems.

Animals metabolisms are different from humans, and their sense of smell and sensitivity to some oils can cause serious issues once the oil vapour enters their systems.

As a responsible retailer, we felt we should make you aware that some essential oils can be harmful to pets.  We are not vets, so please ensure you do speak to a qualified vet if you have any concerns or queries.  We have collated this information from veterinarian advice and linked beneath each table where the advice came from.

Here is a table of essential oils which could be having potentially harmful effects on your precious pets:-

Essential Oils and pets

  • Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
  • Birch (Betula)
  • Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis)
  • Boldo (Peumus boldus)
  • Calamus (Acorus calamus)
  • Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
  • Cassia (Cassia fistula)
  • Chenopodium (Chenopodium album)
  • Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale)
  • Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens)
  • Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry)
  • Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
  • Mustard (Brassica juncea)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Pennyroyal (Menthapulegium)
  • Red or White Thyme
  • Rue (Ruta graveolens)
  • Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
  • Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
  • Savory (Satureja)
  • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
  • Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina)
  • Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Oregano
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang

Information source -

What to look out for when burning essential oils.

The lists above are not exhaustive, so keep a close eye on your pets when diffusing essential oils.  It is true, that some oils do help pets relax, in the same way they can help us, but please ensure you speak to your vet for professional advice if you are unsure.

Signs and symptoms that your pet may be struggling with essential oils may include:-

Signs and symptoms to look out for

  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Depression
  • Diarrhoea
  • Drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Wobbliness
  • Ataxia (wobbliness)
  • Drooling
  • Liver failure
  • Low heart rate
  • Low body temperature
  • Respiratory distress
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

The first sign of essential oil poisoning may be that your pet doesn't seem to recognise you.  Symptoms can vary from animal to animal, and will, of course, also depend on how they have come into contact with the oils (inhalation, ingestion or spread on the skin).

We hope this advice is helpful. Look after those pets, and stay safe. :-) 




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