Don't Put your Pets as Risk with Essential Oils

Many of us use essential oils to massage away the day’s stress, or the aches and pains of physical activity. We may place a few drops in a diffuser to perfume the air so we can create a certain ambiance. We have come to associate certain scents with particular times of the year, such as cinnamon or cloves for the Christmas holidays. In Spring, we almost expect the lighter touch of lavender. We even take some of these internally to supplement nutrition or treat health conditions.

The aromatherapy industry has grown from a small, insignificant part of the global market to a projected 2.35 billion by 2025. As people take more responsibility for their own health, they view essential oils as a way to supplement traditional medicine or to supplant it entirely. After all, natural is better than man-made meds. Isn't it? And if it’s good for me, it’s good for my pet. Isn't it? Not always.

While human use trends upward, use for pets has also grown. We can use some oils like lavender, cardamom, fennel, helichrysum, frankicense, and spearmint very safely with our pets. They can help treat a variety of conditions from skin ulcers to heart problems. Certain oils can create problems that can seriously damage your pet. In addition, cats and dogs react differently to particular oils, so veterinarians suggest two different lists.

For cats, some of the most harmful Essential Oils

·   Cassia - Is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.

· Clove - Antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, and stimulating properties. This oil is used for treating a variety of health issues.

·  Eucalyptus are well-known and wide-ranging, and its properties include being an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial.

·  LemonDisinfectant: Since Lemon oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, Lemon is a good cleaner! It is used for cleansing the body, metal surfaces, dishes, and clothes.

·  LavenderMost commonly known for its relaxing effects on the body, therapeutic-grade lavender has been highly regarded for the skin. It may be used to cleanse cuts, bruises and skin irritations.

·   Peppermint Peppermint essential oil gives a cooling sensation and has a calming effect on the body, which can relieve sore muscles when used topically. 

· Spruce - Has potent antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, antiseptic, disinfectant.

·   Tea Tree Benefits for skin and cleansing properties.
For dogs, some of the most harmful Essential Oils

·    Garlic - support healthy skin and a healthy respiratory system

·    Tea Tree -  Benefits for skin and cleansing properties.

·     Juniper - Used as an antiseptic, stomachic, astringent.

·   RosemaryImprove memory, soothes digestive, relieves muscle aches and pains.

·  Thymeis used in aromatherapy, cooking, potpourri, mouthwashes and elixirs, as well as in ointments.

·    Wintergreen(pain reducer), antiarthritic, antiseptic and astringent. 

· Clove - Antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, and stimulating properties. This oil is used for treating a variety of health issues.
These lists are not all inclusive, but they do contain the worst offenders. Some oils can cause chemical burns if not diluted with water and applied directly to the skin. They may cause our furry friends to squint, drool excessively, itch and scratch, increase breathing rate, and feel lethargic. They may even react adversely to added ingredients. These oils are dangerous when a pet may inhale it directly or injest them. They are not directly affected if you are adding a few drops to your diffuser.

Remember, our pets have a much keener sense of smell, so what may seem a pleasant fragrance to us, may feel like someone has just sprayed a whole bottle of cheap perfume in their face. They absorb substances through their skin differently. They metabolize substances differently. Their systems react to substances differently. So while we can take advantage of the wonderful variety of essential oils for ourselves, please keep in mind not all of them may prove so advantageous for our pets. I personally love my essential oils, I do however make sure all of them are far from where any child or pet can see or touch.