A calico cat sniffing an essential oil burner

There’s no question that plants impact our lives. Whether we eat them, grow them on windowsills, or offer them as gifts, plants and people are closely entwined. But unfortunately, plants and pets don’t always mix.

This is true for the flowering plants in garden beds, or blooms that fill bouquets, but it’s equally important to learn about the use of essential oils around pets.

The Essence of Plants

Volatile aromatic compounds are responsible for creating the unique fragrances of specific fruits, plants or flowers. Beyond simply smelling good, these scents are generated by plants to ensure their growth or survival. These scents can protect the plants from pests, attract animals to spread their seeds, and can even stimulate healing from an infection or injury.

Leave Nothing Behind

Directly distilled from a botanical specimen, essential oils potently highlight the fragrances created by petals, resin, rind, or leaves. Essential oils may be beneficial to people through internal, topical, or aromatic means, but their use in and around pets can be hazardous.

The Means

The use of essential oils around pets can present certain risks if applied directly to their skin or coat, fed to them, or even if they walk beneath a diffuser and pick up droplets on their fur. 

Symptoms may be vague or subtle, but they can also include vomiting, diarrhea, unsteadiness, lethargy, depression, and low body temperature.

Of course, concentrated essential oils around pets may trigger more severe symptoms, whereas diluted oils may not. The bottom line is to keep all essential oils out of your pet’s reach, and only use them in a part of the house your pet cannot access. 

Sensitive Systems

Pets have highly sensitive respiration systems. Birds especially may suffer symptoms triggered by essential oils, but all pets are at risk. As mentioned, you can still use your diffuser with diluted essential oils, but not in a place where your pet hangs out. Likewise, only apply personal skin products, like body oil or lotion containing essential oils, when you’re not around your pet.

Wellness Products

You may have seen the active oil diffusers on display at wellness grocery stores. Nebulizers, ultrasonic products, and diffusers can send microscopic droplets into the air and onto your pet’s fur or skin. They can also be easily inhaled.

Wash your pet’s fur and skin, or move them outdoors where they can breathe easier. If your pet shows further worrisome signs, call us at Mobile Vet MD. Depending on the product, they could be minutes away from a bona fide pet emergency

All Things Considered

If you decide to use some essential oils around pets, please do not include the following ones as they are known to be toxic to cats and dogs:

  • Tea tree
  • Peppermint
  • Wintergreen
  • Pennyroyal
  • Pine
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Oils of sweet birch
  • Ylang ylang

Essential Oils Around Pets

Every pet is different, and every essential oil product is potentially unique. This means that your pet may never show signs of illness, or it could be that they become highly susceptible to the risks. When it comes to using essential oils around pets, it’s best to be on the safe side.

As always, please let us know how we can help you keep your beloved pet healthy and happy.