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Dos and Dont's with Essential Oils and Pets

As a natural store owner, you may have been asked by customers about pets and essential oils.

House pets, (like children) are smaller bodied individuals that can be more sensitive to the properties of essential oils, whether applied onto their bodies or into their environment. Follow these pet safety tips when cleaning or using essentials oils on/around pets:

Do

...treat your pets with the same loving care as you treat your children - With small animals at home, any direct usage of essential oils should be handled with the same general care and consideration that goes into usage of oils by children.

…Limit essential oil diffusion times to a maximum of 15 minutes and observe your pet for any reactions or changes in their behavior after cleaning and deodorizing the room with essential oils.

...pay attention to how your animals respond when you use oils in the home - If they clear out of a room when you are diffusing or using oils, they are telling you that they don’t like the oil or it is too much for them to handle. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, and will likely disappear when you overdo it.

... stick to oils that are gentle-acting and have unobtrusive, sweet and fresh aromas such as: lavender, peppermint, geranium, bergamot BF and lemon.

...seek qualified research from pet experts – There are now several great resources, both printed and online, written by holistic vets who have been working with pets and essential oils.

Don't

...assume animals will respond to essential oils the same way humans do - Not all oils are companionable to all animals. There are large differences within species of animals and the two pets commonly found in homes – dogs and cats – are vastly different. Cats can have very negative reactions to certain common essential oils like rosemary, clove, tea tree and oregano and should avoid any exposure to these oils unless otherwise advised by a qualified practitioner.

...leave essential oils where animals can get into them – Animals are curious and love to explore. Keep essential oils out of reach and out of areas they can inadvertently ingest them.

...keep animals in enclosed areas with essential oils – We sometimes hear of pet owners adding essential oils in kennels and crates to keep pets calm. Animals cannot speak to us to let us know when they are overwhelmed with an aroma, so the best approach is to leave essential oils out of small, contained spaces with pets.

...assume that fur dilutes the essential oil – Dilution is when the oil is added to another medium to reduce the strength and potency of the oil. Fur is not a diluting agent and applying essential oils to fur is still direct application.

For further questions or advice, we recommend consulting with a knowledgeable veterinarian.