Essential Oils and pets

Essential Oils and pets

A question that comes back frequently is : is is safe to use essential oils around our pets, in particular cats and dogs. Our little friends have indeed a very powerful sense of smell and smell is hugely important in their lives; so making sure we are not damaging their unique faculty is important.

It's important to state first that different pets will react differently to scents so it is a good idea to do a bit of research on your own animal and breed. Here are some general cautious measures:

1) Avoid certain oils around dogs especially : clove, tea tree, armoise, thyme, hyssop, clove, cinnamon are all very powerful and can have adverse effects.

2) Do not apply the oils pure near/on a pet (this apply to humans as well by the way). When sprayed in the air, up to 3-5% of essential oils would be OK but for topical applications, 1% is enough.

3) test how they react to the smell of a particular oil : you can do a sniff test by adding 5 drops of oil in a glass of water for instance. 

And remember it's not a good idea to use a strong scent in a close environment. But if used only lightly in a room mist or a diffuser, essential oils will be fine. There are many more odours in their environment that could be more harmful. Just have a sensible approach to it. 

And here are by the way several applications where oils are commonly used around pets:

1) to repel fleas: a lot of product on the pet market contain peppermint oil. I have often seen cedar atlas as well. But again, do not use pure, these are very diluted.
2) for calming/anti anxiety: lavender oil would be recommended here
3) to clear bad odours: lavender, orange, rosemary
4) to promote healthy hair or skin: rosemary, cedar, helichrysum, frankincense
Simple recipes such as water sprays, shampoos, massage oils can be created at home by you and pet owners.
We haven't done our own research on this but this is what we could gather from the American Kennel Club and other resources. Doing your own research or talking to a vet maybe is also a good idea.
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