Can dogs be poisoned by diffusers?

Many essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, wintergreen, and ylang ylang are straight up toxic to pets. These are toxic whether they are applied to the skin, used in diffusers or licked up in the case of a spill.

Natural. Organic. Healthy. When one hears the term “essential oils,” these are some of the ideas that may come to mind. Even though essential oils come from natural sources, their use in our homes can present a toxic risk because they are not always safe for dogs and cats.

Essential oils are extracted or distilled directly from plants and can be found in almost all parts of a plant. Essential oil use has grown significantly recently, and they are now present in a wide range of products made for a variety of uses, including aromatherapy, cleaning products, pest repellants, liquid potpourris, herbal remedies, and personal care products.

As a result, well-intentioned pet owners may purposefully or accidentally use an essential oil without understanding the dangers or potential effects on their pet. The stomach, skin, and lungs can easily and quickly absorb essential oils. Using oils to treat or prevent flea and tick infestations in dogs or cats, or to try and treat different skin conditions, can be harmful to the animals.

Even when applied topically, essential oils can still enter the body and have a variety of negative effects. The higher the concentration of the essential oil (e. g. 15%, 100%), the greater the risk to the animal. Never apply concentrated essential oils directly to cats or dogs.

Cats are especially at risk from essential oils. It is challenging for them to metabolize and eliminate essential oils because their livers are deficient in a crucial enzyme. Additionally, the way they naturally groom themselves puts them at risk for oral and dermal exposures. Dogs can still be at risk from essential oil exposure even though they don’t have the same enzyme deficiency as cats.

The type of oil and its concentration at the time of exposure determine the symptoms that appear in dogs and cats. Drooling, vomiting, trembling, ataxia (wobbliness), respiratory distress, low blood pressure, GI ulcers, low heart rate, low body temperature, seizures, rear limb paralysis, skin rash, and liver +/- kidney failure are among the common symptoms.

Wintergreen, sweet birch, citrus oil (limonene), pine, Ylang Ylang, peppermint, cinnamon, pennyroyal, clove, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil (also known as melaleuca oil) are among the essential oils that have been known to poison cats. Wintergreen oil, sweet birch oil, pine oil, cinnamon oil, pennyroyal oil, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil (also known as melaleuca oil) are among the essential oils that have been known to poison dogs.

No actual oil droplets are released by passive diffusers (e.g. g. reed diffuser, candle). Unless oil in a passive diffuser comes into contact with an animal’s skin or is consumed somehow (e.g. g. The main risk from passive diffusers for cats and dogs is respiratory irritation (e.g., if the diffuser topples over onto or close to the pet).

Some dogs and cats may experience watery eyes, a burning sensation in their nose or throat, nausea that results in drooling and/or vomiting, and trouble breathing that includes coughing or wheezing after inhaling strong odors or fragrances.

Coughing is more obvious in dogs than in cats. In fact, owners may believe their cat is trying to throw up a hairball when it coughs. However, the cat coughs low to the ground and exhibits minimal to no abdominal movement, which is more indicative of vomiting. No hairball is produced. Pets with respiratory problems must be moved into fresh air right away, and if their symptoms do not subside quickly, they must receive emergency veterinary care. Animals who already have chronic bronchitis, feline asthma, airborne allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or who have been exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop severe respiratory irritation than animals who don’t already have these conditions.

With active essential oil diffusers (e. g. The air is actually emitted with actual microdroplets or oil particles by nebulizing or ultrasonic diffusers. In addition to the risk of inhalation exposure, these diffusers are particularly dangerous for cats. If a pet is in the same room as an active diffuser, the microdroplets of oil that are released by the diffuser may gather on the pet’s fur. When the animal licks or grooms itself or other exposed animals in the same household, the oil can either be absorbed directly through the skin or consumed. The after-effects exhibit the same symptoms as those mentioned in the section above on oral and dermal exposure.

Animals and essential oils really don’t mix, just like oil and water. To safeguard their dog or cat from a toxic risk, owners should exercise caution when using essential oils, products containing essential oils, and essential oil diffusers at home. Prevention is the best medicine in limiting essential oil toxicities.

Concerned pet owners or veterinarians are advised to contact Pet Poison Helpline if a cat or dog has ingested an essential oil.

Are All Essential Oils Poisonous to Pets?

Certain oils have a higher level of toxicity than others naturally, and the concentration varies from one product to another. Knowing what the concentration is diluted with is also crucial. Only seven or eight drops of the melaleuca tree’s tea tree oil may cause discomfort; however, lemongrass oil may be more tolerable. Dogs are typically poisoned by cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, wintergreen, and ylang-ylang, while cats are also sensitive to those, as well as clove oil and eucalyptus oil.

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Why are some essential oils toxic to dogs?

Canine bodies do not process some foods in the same way that humans do. Dogs can develop terrible internal problems, such as kidney failure or gastrointestinal issues, from things like grapes and onions. It can be extremely harmful for a dog to consume or breathe in a toxin that has been concentrated.

“Our canine companions have much more sensitive snouts than humans,” says Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM and veterinary expert for Pumpkin Pet Insurance. “It is very important to remember this if you plan to diffuse essential oils in your domicile.”

Beyond their sense of smell and sensitive tummies, a dog’s skin can also react negatively to essential oils. Essential oils are lipophilic, which means they can easily soak into skin and make their way to the bloodstream. A dog absorbing toxins this way is almost worse than a dog eating them. Inhaling essential oils—diluted or not—is generally thought to be less harmful to canines than if they ingest the oil or get it on their skin or coat.

What Signs Should You Look For?

Since pets can’t tell us when they don’t feel well, there are signs to watch for if you think your pet has been exposed. As any veterinarian will tell you, essential oils are most dangerous in their concentrated form. When a dog or cat walks through oils or gets them on their coat in their undiluted form, they can experience symptoms right away. For others, breathing the oil-infused mist from a diffuser can trigger asthma attacks or breathing issues. What should you look for if you believe your pet has been over-exposed to essential oils? Symptoms include lethargy, unsteadiness, or even a low body temperature in the most severe cases. If essential oils are ingested, you might also see drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. Remember, skin absorption or ingestion is more dangerous than inhalation in most cases.

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Can dogs get sick from smelling essential oils?

Dogs should never be left alone with liquid potpourri or essential oils, such as oils of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.

What diffusers are not safe for dogs?

Pet Safe Essential Oils for Diffuser: Dogs
  • Myrrh.
  • Frankincense.
  • Chamomile.
  • Lavender oil.
  • Ginger.
  • Rosemary.