Essential Oils Use in Animals
Essential oils are not a new thing, and in today’s age of trying to treat minor ailments as naturally as possible, they are becoming more and more popular. We have started to get questions about their use in or on animals. Questions have been asked as to the risks of exposing a pet to diffused essential oils as well. We have also been alerted to webpages regarding stories of essential oils poisoning cats. So, are essential oils safe, or actually toxic, to animals?
From the research that we have found, unfortunately there is not a straightforward answer. We know that cats, in general, are more susceptible to toxins than some other species as they metabolize things differently. Birds are also very sensitive to aromas and inhalants as they have vastly different respiratory systems than other species.
We have recently seen a story going around Facebook and a reference to an article on Snopes.com which reports a family cat becoming very sick when exposed to diffused essential oils. The article links references to the ASPCAs website detailing that several essential oils (eucalyptus, lemon, orange, etc.) may actually be toxic to cats.
We recommended that if you are using essential oils in a diffuser to do your research. Read product inserts and check out the ASPCA’s website at https://www.aspca.org/search/node?search=essential%20oils.
We also recommend not using diffusers in enclosed spaces and making sure your cat or dog has an escape from the immediate area (or can stay away from it all together). Use extreme caution when diffusing around pets with cardiac or respiratory issues. Using essential oils for topical or oral use should only be done when directed by a certified aromatherapist with experience using oils in/on animals, or by an experienced licensed veterinarian.
Bottom line is that we would recommend being very cautious when using essential oils near your pets unless you have gotten recommendations from an experienced source!