Essential Oil Diffusers and Your Pets

Essential oil diffusers might seem like a harmless way to make your home smell nice while using natural products. However, a number of essential oils can be toxic to your pet, whether diffused, applied topically or ingested by mouth. A number of essential oils should never be sprayed or diffused in your home due to risk of toxicity and health risks for your pets. Here is what you need to know about essential oil diffusers and your pets.

Essential Oils Toxic to Your Pet

There are several essential oils that are toxic for your pet. Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Lots of things grow in our natural world that are not safe for us or our pets to consume or inhale. Here is a list of the most common toxic essential oils for your pet:

  • Clove Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Citrus Oils
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Tea Tree/Melaleuca Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Pennyroyal Oil
  • Pine Oils
  • Sweet Birch Oil
  • Wintergreen Oil
  • Ylang Ylang Oil

Please note this list includes the most commonly used oils that are toxic to pets and is not a complete list of all toxic oils. When in doubt or have a question about a particular oil, it is best to consult your veterinarian before diffusing or otherwise using that oil in your home.

Effects of Toxic Essential Oils

Diffusing essential oils sends tiny droplets of the oil out into the air via air vapor. Inhaling diffused oils, applying them topically or licking up spilled oils can all make your pet very ill. Exposure can lead to negative respiratory effects including respiratory failure, liver damage, liver failure, adverse central nervous system effects, seizures and death. Cats are known for being more sensitive to essential oils, however, your dog can also be seriously sickened by toxic essential oils. If your pet has respiratory issues, asthma or allergies, it is best to avoid diffusing essential oils at all. Inhaling essential oils can be life-threatening for respiratory-compromised pets.

Are all essential oils toxic to pets? No. However, there are a great number of them that are toxic to pets and can make them very ill. It’s important to clear any essential oil you plan to use in your home with your vet first. It’s much better to avoid a potential exposure than to have to treat an exposure.