Whilst our furry friends can benefit from essential oils just as we humans can, it's important to recognise they are far more sensitive to essential oils than we are.
There are a few general rules of thumb when it comes to diffusing with pets around.
* Never lock an animal in a room with a diffuser on. Always ensure they can leave.
* If you have indoor pets, ensure you only diffuse for a short period of time (around 30 minutes) and allow fresh air into your home.
* Keep an eye on your pets (and anyone in the home for that matter). If you notice a change in behaviour - things like loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhoea stop using essential oils immediately and seek help from a Vet if needed.
Whilst it's quite possible for us to say "I diffuse with my pets around all the time and they're fine", the danger lies in what can not be seen. The risk to our cats & dogs comes from toxicity. Essentially, this is a build up of chemicals they are unable to process in their body. The scary part is it happens slowly over time. They may be fine one day and not the next.
There are definitely some oils that are bad for dogs and should be avoided altogether, these include:
Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Copaiba, Fir Needle, Spanish & Spike Lavender, Oregano, Black Spruce, Blue Tansy & Wintergreen.
Our Cats are even more sensitive, it's generally not considered safe to use essential oils around cats. If you still choose to, these oils are ones you should definitely avoid:
Bergamot, Clove, Eucalyptus, Fir, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Spike Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Spearmint, Tangerine, Tea Tree.
There may be times when you specifically look to use essential oils topically to support your pets. For dogs this can be ok. For cats, we recommend never doing so, as they really can't metabolise essential oils.
The occasions when you may consider this would only ever be to support an issue they have, never for preventative measures. So if you're looking to help heal an infection, relieve arthritic pain or control fleas feel free to try essential oils, using the following guidelines.
* Always dilute well, never more than 1% (approx 3 drops essential oil per 10ml of carrier).
* Never apply essential oils where your pet may be able to lick them. If you do apply to an area they can get to, ensure you cover it with a bandage.
* Never apply essential oils to broken skin.
* Only use for a short period of time. Once the issue has been resolved, discontinue use.
* Never use essential oils on or around puppies under 10 weeks of ago.
For many of us, pets are an integral part of our family. Be sure to keep them safe when using your essential oil xx