When using essential oils around your pets, it is important to take a few precautions to keep them safe.
Animals are generally more sensitive due to their molecular makeup and size, including a better sense of smell than humans. Cats generally have a higher sensitivity compared to dogs, as they lack important liver enzymes required to metabolize many essential oil constituents. Never use essential oils around birds.
When diffusing essential oils, make sure to do the following:
- Start with a lesser amount of essential oil.
- Robert Tisserand, a well-respected aromatherapist and known expert for essential oil safety urges, “You can diffuse essential oils around [pets] safely, so long as there’s good ventilation… …A few parts per million of aromatic vapor in the air is not likely to be harmful...”.
- A Cleveland Veterinarian advises to also be sure your pet can escape to another room if they’re irritated by the smell.
If you have a cat, the safest essential oil to start with is peppermint, as it is in the same family as Catnip.
Pay close attention to your animal as you begin to introduce essential oil aromatherapy into their environment. Symptoms can be depression, diarrhea, or loss of coordination.
If you notice any signs or think your pet may have consumed or had contact with essential oils, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888-426-4435 and contact your veterinarian.
It is important to recognize signs as early as possible in order to stop exposure.