Dangers of using essential oils around pets


DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Many essential oils are used as medicine, but those oils can be lethal to pets.

"I don’t recommend any essential oils around cats,” says Larry Baker a Veterinarian with North Gate Pet Clinic in Decatur. “They may be safe if diluted, but I don't recommend it."

Many people think that the essential oils only affect cats, but that’s not always the case.  

"It irritates their respiratory track, cats can drool from it,” added Larry.  “Even horses have died from smelling essential oils, it's rare but it can happen."

While essential oils can be deadly to cats, veterinarians say that dogs are sensitive as well.

"If your cat or dog is showing symptoms then it's obvious they are having a problem,” added Larry. “Vomiting, drooling things like that can result from cats and dogs being exposed. “I think though, it could be irritating them, and you may not even know it."

Essential oils are highly concentrated, and experts say you must be careful with how often you use them.  Michael king has been distributing essential oils for over 10 years. And he says you should always be aware of the fragrances you are using around your furry friends.

 "There are compounds called phenolics which are very anti-pathogenic, and the phenolics are very high in like an oregano or and oregano oil they are higher than a lot of compounds,” says Michael Kind the President and owner of Mari-Mann Herb Co. Incorporated.  “Anything that would be a sensitizer like cinnamon that would burn your skin or anything you want to be very careful with that especially if you have a sensitive pet.”

Using a diffuser in some cases is a safer way of enjoying essential oils around animals, but it can still be hazardous. 

"I looked at a bottle yesterday it was an essential oil and it said lavender mixed with some other things and it said other essential oils,” added Larry.  “So, you don't know what is in some of them, so I think they can be risky regardless.

There are some essential oils that are safe to use around dogs, for a list of those click here. However, if you are a cat owner vets recommend not using them around your feline. If you do use them, makes sure your cat is in a different part of your house before you do. 

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