Are Essential Oils Toxic to Pets? | Healthybud Blog
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Are Essential Oils Toxic to Pets?

The Healthybud Team

The Healthybud Team Fri Jan 08 2021

3 min read
Dog Coronavirus health & wellness

Essential oils are more popular than ever in the human health space these days, so it’s no surprise that pet parents are curious about their effects on animals too. But did you know that many oils can be harmful to our four-legged friends?  Keep reading to find out which essential oils are considered safe, and most importantly, which are not…

Oils that are harmful to dogs include (but are not limited to)

  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Juniper
  • Yarrow
  • Garlic

Oils that are harmful to cats include (but are not limited to)

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pine
  • Ylang ylang
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Lavender

Symptoms of essential oil poisoning include

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking or stumbling
  • Muscle tremors
  • Pawing at the mouth or face
  • Redness or burns on their lips, tongue, skin or gums
  • Vomiting

If you believe your furry friend has come into contact with a harmful essential oil (topically or orally), the key is to act fast. Call your veterinarian, or contact the Pet Poison Helpline at (800) 213-6680.

* Keep in mind that cats and dogs are much more sensitive to scents – a dog’s sense of smell is somewhere between 1,000-10,000 times better than ours! What we may think is a mild scent is most likely overpowering to our companion animals. Even though the essential oil you’re using may not be toxic to a pet, it could definitely be overwhelming for them.

Some science behind the oils

Essential oils are typically extracted from plants. They carry a powerful fragrance (or “essence”) of that plant. The oil’s molecules are highly reactive with the compounds in our own bodies, and in pets’ bodies as well. (If they didn’t react with our bodies, they wouldn’t have any therapeutic effect.) This is also why many essential oils and animals do not mix because their powerful reactions can mess up a pet’s natural body chemistry. Essential oils are typically advertised as natural remedies or even alternatives to traditional medicine, treating everything from skin conditions to anxiety. But remember that ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean safe. Also, essential oils are commonly included in natural cleaning products, so make sure to always read the labels before bringing products into your home that your bud can come into contact with!

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The Healthybud Team

Meet The Healthybud Team

The #healthygang

As new pet parents, we were overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting opinions surrounding pet health, and we figured we surely weren't alone. So we decided to take matters into our own hands, do the research ourselves, onboarded an incredible team of vets, and launched the healthybud platform to help pet parents like us 🐾 We're so excited to bring you as much relevant, current pet care and pet parenting information as possible!

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