I have been interested in Aromatherapy for close to 30 years, I thought I might share some of my knowledge with others.

Essential Oils and pets, can I use them?

You might have heard Eucalyptus Globulus is perfect for congestion; I need some relief. It smells great, I am going to use it in my diffuser.

Yes, Eucalyptus is great for congestion, but not so great for dogs or cats. Why?

This is a matter of Olfaction; your sense of smell. Your olfactory membrane is about .8 square inches, just a bit larger than a postage stamp. Smell is arguably a humans greatest sense and is the only sense directly connected to the cerebral cortex in the brain. Your olfactory membrane (remember it is a little larger than a postage stamp) has about 5 million receptors in it and can detect 2000-4000 different chemical stimuli (molecules). Amazing? Not when you think about your dog or your cat. Your loveable canine has an olfactory membrane about 72 times larger than yours and can detect about 200 million smell receptors. While your loveable feline has 45 to 80 million smell receptors.

The wonderful smell of your Eucalyptus smells great to you, but think about magnifying it 9 to 20 times in your nose. It would get stuck and you could not get it out. If you are diffusing an oil and your dog or cat starts sneezing turn it OFF ASAP. If you need to diffuse something for you congestion keep it in one room and close the room off. You are still going to have some of the oil drift into the other parts of the house but they should be diluted enough in the air the animal can handle the smell. (You can also make an inhaler with your Eucalyptus Oil and only you can smell it. When you are not using it put it up in a safe place. Dogs chew on everything, and cats climb on everything.)

FYI: While I am not Eucalyptus, DO NOT use it on babies or very small children, and always dilute it on larger children. For babies or small children use Cedarwood and dilute.

So what oils can you use on your dog or cat?

If you live with a Cat Citrus oils will not agree with them. A short list of unfriendly oils for cats:

  • Citrus
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Birch
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen

If you live with a dog I would advise you stay away from these oils:

  • Garlic
  • Horseradish
  • Clove
  • Wintergreen
  • Thyme
  • Juniper
  • Anise

Now here comes the real question, what oils can I use on my cat or dog? First, think light fragrances, then think clam oils. Only use 1-2 drops in a diffuser, NEVER APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS TOPICALLY ON YOUR PET. Leave a room open so the pet can get away if oil irritates them.

  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint (I would start with 1 drop)
  • Ginger

This is not a conclusive list there are others you can use as I am sure there are others not to use, please use caution and watch your pet for reactions. Remember each animal is unique one oil may not affect one and another cannot tolerate it at all. (Let us know if you find an oil your pet can tolerate or cannot)

Most important, pets are like children, you have to protect them. Put your oils where they cannot get to them, please.

At this time I have not done any research on other pets, i. e. Hamsters, Guine Pigs, Lizards, Birds, please use caution when using oils around them. Watch them for any reactions, positive and negative.




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