You’ve brought an essential oil diffuser home with you, and you’re excited to get it set up! Your home will smell wonderful, and you will reap the benefits of aromatherapy essential oils. However, you might be wondering if oil diffusers and dogs can coexist in the same house. Basically, are essential oil diffusers bad for dogs?
Essential oils can be harmful to dogs if used incorrectly, so use caution when using them. Continue reading to find out how to get the most out of your new essential oil diffuser while also keeping your dog safe and healthy.
Essential Oils Explained
Let’s start with a definition of essential oils before we get into whether or not they’re safe for dogs. The term “essential” alludes to these oils being the distilled essence of whatever they’re extracted from. It does not mean that they are necessary for your or your dog’s wellness.
Essential oils can be extracted from plants in a variety of ways, including distillation and pressing. The resultant oil is strong, fragrant, and extremely concentrated. Essential oils must be diluted in some way once they have been concentrated in this way before they may be used on humans or animals safely.
Potential Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils are thought to have a variety of advantages, which vary depending on the oil. Aromatherapy is one of the most important benefits essential oils may bring. In the middle of the day, peppermint oil can give you a surge of energy, while lavender oil can help you relax when you’re stressed.
Tea tree oil, according to some, can help improve your immune response and fight infections. Lemon and peppermint oil may help with digestion, and jasmine oil is claimed to help with anxiety and poor libido. Some people believe that bergamot oil can help with skin diseases such as eczema.
Dogs, Humans and Undiluted Essential Oils
You must not use undiluted essential oils on yourself or your dog, regardless of what type of essential oil you plan to use. On their own, essential oils are extremely strong and can cause chemical burns. Essential oils that have not been diluted can be extremely harmful or even toxic to your dog.
You should never put essential oils directly on your dog, even if they are diluted in a carrier oil. Although diluting these oils helps, they are still far too powerful to be used safely. Furthermore, low-quality essential oils may contain additional substances that are harmful to your dog.
Dogs and Essential Oil Scents
As you have purchased – or will be purchasing an essential oil diffuser and don’t intend to use oils topically but make use of aromatherapy instead, everything should be fine, right? Not quite, if you are a dog parent.
The powerful aroma of essential oils is one of the major drawbacks of using them around dogs. Dogs’ noses contain fifty times the number of olfactory receptors as ours, and their brains devote forty times the amount of space to their sense of smell as ours. Whereas most of us process information largely through sight, dogs process information mostly through smell.
When you put essential oils near a dog, it can completely change their perception of the world. When your dog is navigating without their primary sense, they may become agitated. It’d be like someone placing a large piece of fabric over your face and telling you to go about your business as usual while trying to see through it.
This isn’t to say you can’t use your new essential oil diffuser in the same house or room as your pup, just that you need to keep their enhanced sense of smell in mind when placing your oil diffuser and choosing the essential oils you make use of.
Essential Oils That Pose a Particular Threat to Dogs
Not all essential oils are dangerous to dogs in the same way. Certain oils are more harmful to dogs than others. These oils should be avoided if you plan to utilize an essential oil diffuser in your house.
Tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, and citrus oil are all known to cause vomiting, skin irritation, and other unpleasant effects in dogs. Pennyroyal and wintergreen are both known to cause liver failure in dogs, while ylang-ylang oil can make it difficult for them to breathe. Pine and sweet birch are likewise highly toxic, causing anything from nervous system damage to seizure and death.
Fortunately, certain essential oils are relatively safe to use around dogs. Again, never apply these or any other essential oils directly to their coats, paws, or noses. If you have a dog in the house, however, some oils are fine to use in an oil diffuser.
Copaiba oil can assist boost their immune and nervous systems, while lavender oil can help soothe dogs as well as humans. Frankincense has been shown to enhance your dog’s immune system and digestion. Petitgrain oil may help to soothe agitated dogs, while peppermint oil can make it easier for them to breathe.
Making Use of an Essential Oil Diffuser Around Your Dog Safely
If your dog has any breathing problems, such as asthma, you should avoid using an oil diffuser near them. Some brachiocephalic dog breeds, such as pugs, bulldogs, and Boston terriers, may be more susceptible to breathing problems. Even minor scent changes can make getting enough oxygen difficult for a dog who already has breathing problems.
Make sure your diffuser is out of reach of your pets, regardless of the type of diffuser you’re using. If you plan to use tea tree oil or any of the more toxic oils, keep it in a closed room where your dog won’t be able to get to it. Always measure the amount of oil you apply to avoid overpowering your dog’s sense of smell.
Cleaning your diffuser on a regular basis is also an important component of using it safely. Mold, mildew, and germs can thrive in diffusers that aren’t cleaned regularly. If you then blast this into the room, it could be harmful to both you and your pet’s health.
When you’re done with your diffuser, empty it and wipe it down with a clean rag. Take the bowl out of your diffuser every week or so and give it a gentle clean with dish soap and water. Before reassembling your diffuser, make sure it’s absolutely dry and well rinsed.