Learn how to safely diffuse essential oils in a dog-friendly home.
With essential oils rising in popularity as natural supplements for human use, it’s not a far leap to think that they could be used as a form of pet medication as well. However, remember that dog’s noses are much more powerful than ours — even a few drops on a dog bed can overwhelm and nauseate your pet. Below is a guide to understanding the connection between essential oils and pets.
As a general rule of thumb, do not use any essential oils as natural pet medication until you have talked to your veterinarian. The vet will most likely tell you to stay away from cinnamon, lemon, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree, ylang-ylang, anise, clove, thyme, and juniper essential oils as these can be particularly dangerous.
If you want to diffuse oils safely in your house, talk to your vet about any safety measures you should take. Make sure to keep them out of reach so that your dog does not accidentally knock one over and try to lick the oil. This can cause devastating effects on their intestinal tract. If you plan to practice yoga and want to place a diffuser close to your mat, close the door so that your dog cannot come in and try to lap up the oils. This will also help create distraction-free yoga practice! It doesn’t help your concentration to have your dog wiggle his way in or around your yoga pose.
If your dog does come into contact with your essential oils, they’ll start to express symptoms. First, you may notice that your dog’s fur and breath smells strongly of your fragrance. Then, you may notice some symptoms of essential oil poisoning, such as trouble breathing, excessive drooling, weakness, stumbling, muscle tremors, pawing at the mouth, redness or burns on the mouth, and vomiting.
If you have identified the above symptoms of essential oil poisoning, don’t waste any time. Wash off any oil from their fur, paws, and mouth. Then call your vet and ask for next steps. The severity of the case will depend on how much your dog has ingested, but it is important to call your vet regardless.
Ask your vet about giving your dog any pet medication before doing so and take the essential oils with you to the appointment so the doctor can quickly evaluate the situation and bring your pet back to normal health.