Expert Warns Of The Hidden Dangers Of Using Essential Oils On Pets
Essential Oils Considered Beneficial for Humans May Be Deadly for Cats and Dogs
Dogs, and especially cats, are much more sensitive to some essential oils than are people. The scientific studies Ms. Johnson refers to have been published in respected peer-review journals and report a variety of toxic effects, some immediately and others over a long period of exposure. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on the use of tea tree oil in dogs and cats found that undiluted Tea Tree Oil can be used on the skin of most people without problems. But the safe concentration of veterinary preparations of that essential oil for treating skin ailments in pets is 100 to 1000 times less.
Cats are especially sensitive to the components of many essential oils because cats lack the liver enzyme necessary to break down the hydrocarbons and terpenoids in these oils. Occasional, short term exposure may not result in illness. But over time or with high concentrations, these chemicals build up in the liver resulting in toxicity and liver damage.
Pet products containing citrus, cinnamon, clove, d-limonene, geranium, tea tree, lavender, linalool, bay, eucalyptus and rue oils should be used with caution because they can cause allergic reactions in cats and dogs. Any flea repellant or tick product containing pennyroyal oil should be avoided entirely as it can cause seizures, coma, and even death.
Commercial blends that contain cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, and rosemary may be considered safe for use on most pets. Other ingredients in these preparations may cause problems, however, prompting many pet owners to mix their own formulas with known ingredients and at-home quality control.
"Tea Tree Oil is often added to pet shampoos to help with dandruff and even acne," Ms. Johnson explains. "With proper application, Tea Tree Oil is very effective for skin and coat problems. But we recommend that our customers add Tea Tree Oil to their favorite pet products rather than buying a commercial preparation. This allows the pet owner to control the amount of essential oil being used on their pet."
All essential oils must be diluted before using on pets. Size and physiology make pets more sensitive to the effects of essential oils because pets have a greater sense of smell, they generally have a low body weight, and cats have thinner skin that allows products to be absorbed more easily. Experts recommend diluting essential oils to less than 25% of that for a human formula. Oils should not be used on small breeds under 10 weeks of age or medium to large breeds under 8 weeks.
Many naturopathic veterinarians believe most problems using essential oils on pets begin with the quality of the oil itself or the lack of knowledge on how to use the oil safely. Negative outcomes from essential oil application can usually be traced back to a synthetic oil, a poor grade oil, or misuse by the customer. Proper dilution and careful application is critical when using essential oils on pets.
When selecting essential oils for pet or human application, Ms. Johnson recommends choosing the purest oil available. Essential oils should not be "oily" or leave a greasy residue. Labels should include the Latin name of the plant source, the country of origin, and distillation method. The best oils carry the words "100% pure essential oil" and include contact information for the company in case of questions.
"Price is often the best indication of quality," says Ms. Johnson. "Some essential oils are quite expensive to manufacture while others can be made more affordably. Yet, a bargain essential oil is rarely the quality you want to use on your pet."
About BluePearlz Botanicals
BluePearlz Botanicals is a Texas-based, woman-owned company dedicated to bringing premium natural products to the online marketplace. To ensure customers receive the only highest quality, BluePearlz Botanicals sources only pure, undiluted, therapeutic grade products from growers and suppliers around the world. Focusing on exceptional customer satisfaction, BluePearlz Botanicals offers a better than money back guarantee.
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