Essential oils are popular in many households since they offer a therapeutic effect, calming the body and mind. While humans enjoy the scents from essential oils, some may be unsafe for our pets. Before buying them, consider their effect on your canine and feline companions.
If you have pets in your home, here are six safety practices when using essential oils around pets:
1. Dilute Essential Oils Before Diffusing
It comprises powerful compounds from carefully selected herbs and plants. Many suppliers extract concentrates and package them as is, allowing customers a stronger experience. Animals are more sensitive to concentrated essential oils, so diluting can help ease irritation. Heavily diluted essential oils diffuse better, allowing you and your pet to enjoy a calming experience.
Use safe substances like water or an unscented lotion when diluting essential oils. Avoid diluting with alcohol since it may break down the oils unevenly, altering your experience. Another common way to dilute essential oils is with carrier oil. These are plain oils that do not interfere with the effects of the oils but help tone down their potency.
Test the diluted essential oils in less-occupied areas of your home before using them within high-traffic rooms. Gradually introduce them to the areas your animal goes. Check your pet’s behavior or reaction when diffusing the diluted oils, and stop diffusing if they seem uncomfortable. Testing one or two oils at a time helps judge reactions for a more accurate test.
2. Opt for Pet-friendly Essential Oils
While many organic essential oils are safe for human use, others may be toxic to pets. Pets, like cats, are sensitive to polyphenolic compounds since they can cause liver and kidney toxicity. Use pet-friendly essential oils to prevent toxins from interfering with your pet’s health.
They are processed further to eliminate potentially hazardous components for animals. Using them will prevent potential skin sensitivities and allergies. Withdrawn compounds are replaced with helpful essential oils, like citronella and lemongrass, to offer pest protection against ticks and fleas.
While not all of them are labeled “pet-friendly”, there are some that are labeled with warnings to not be used around animals. Companies always have representatives available to answer questions about oils too. Reach out if you have any questions or concerns about the use of oils around different animals. Not all types of pets will react the same way to oils. Always read the warning labels before bringing essential oils into your home around your pets.
3. Diffuse Essential Oils in Well-ventilated Areas
A common mistake homeowners make is shutting off windows and doors when diffusing essential oils. While this may help them experience an optimal therapeutic effect, it does not bode well for their furry friends. Pets have heightened smelling senses, so they may feel bombarded with aromatic essences. Such an effect can cause cats and dogs discomfort.
Using it in well-ventilated spaces reduces the aroma in the air to levels that your pet can enjoy. Your furry friends will enjoy better comfort and improved effects in rooms with proper aeration. Opening doors and windows will allow your pet to leave at will if they feel uncomfortable.
If leaving windows open is not ideal for your pet situation, pay close attention to body language. Animals will communicate their discomfort with fidgeting, acting out of character, and having aggressive behaviors. Never leave your animal alone in these types of areas.
4. Avoid Combining Cleaning Products With Oils
Mixing cleaning products and essential oils allows homeowners to make their spaces smell fresh after cleaning. This practice is ideal for people who do not enjoy diffusing essential oils, but it can be unsafe for pets. Such cleaning practices leave essential oil residue on surfaces that stick to the paws of cats and dogs. Pets ingest the toxins on their paws when cleaning themselves, which may lead to indigestion.
Diffusing essential oils is a better alternative to mixing them in cleaning products when you own a pet. If you must mix them in, only use those cleaning agents in areas of your house that pets cannot reach. Be careful to not mix essential oils with hazardous chemicals. Check all labels on cleaning products for the best information.
5. Store Essential Oils Correctly
Pets can easily ingest essential oil concentrates in the event of a spill near food sources. This can expose them to different toxins that may affect their health, causing indigestion and other gut issues. Just as with other cleaning products, they can damage the skin, eyes, and open wounds when exposed.
Animals can also get into cleaning products that are left in open containers. You can avoid these problems by properly storing essential oils in secluded locations, away from the reach of children and pets. Keep them in a cool, dry place and in an air-tight container to prevent oxidation and evaporation.
6. Wash Up After Handling Essential Oils
Along with toxins in the air they inhale, pets can also be affected by toxins in their fur. Touching pets after handling essential oils leaves some residue in their fur. This can cause skin irritation.
Washing off your hands after handling essential oils can help prevent toxin transfer to your pets. When washing your hands, use mild soap and running water to remove residue from the oil. Scrub under the fingernails and in between the fingers, then rinse thoroughly.
Wash your hands every time you handle oils to prevent transferring them to your pet.
Buy the Best Essential Oils Wholesale
They are therapeutic and calming but can harm pets if used improperly. Adhering to the right safety practices when using essential oils around pets may help prevent health issues.
Before buying essential oils wholesale, verify that they are pet-friendly. If you are unable to get a clear answer on if they are pet friendly or not, follow the steps above to keep your pets safe.