Essential Oils

While essential oils can be beneficial to people for a wide variety of reasons, cinnamon, peppermint, pine and a number of other common oils can be harmful to indoor pets.

According to the American Kennel Club and Michelson Found Animals, certain essential oils, a common household trend, could be harmful to pets if used on or near them.

Essential oils have become a trendy solution to several problems in people’s daily lives, but studies have shown certain essential oil scents can be toxic to pets, depending on the pet and depending on the oil or how much is used.

According to Michelson Found Animals, essential oils are extracted from plants and have a powerful fragrance. They are not like other oils that are made up of fatty acids, like olive oil, but are derived from volatile compounds within a plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency explains volatile compounds are organic chemical compounds with a composition capable of evaporating under normal indoor atmospheric conditions of temperature and pressure.

According to the American Kennel Club’s website, essential oils are highly concentrated substances. This can be beneficial in some cases, but in others it can be dangerous. Since essential oils are so potent they can cause problems for a multitude of pets.

Wendy Combs, the shelter manager of New Nodaway Humane Society, said that some essential oils can be toxic to pets.

According to the Michelson Found Animals Foundation cinnamon, citrus (d-limonene), pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, ylang ylang, clove and thyme essential oils can be harmful to pets.

She said if a pet gets sick and the owner suspects that it is from any essential oils the pet may have been exposed to, then the owner should take the pet to a veterinarian right away.

In a small town such as Maryville, pet emergency resources are limited. Combs recommends to contact a veterinary clinic or an emergency clinic if a household pet shows unusual symptoms, especially if they have been exposed to essential oils.

Combs also said most of the veterinary clinics in Maryville have emergency numbers pet owners can call if needed. Combs said Nodaway Vet Clinic, which is the clinic the New Nodaway Humane Society uses, has a 24-hour emergency call line. She also said that South Paws Veterinary Clinic also has a 24-hour emergency call line.

Pet owners can call emergency lines at veterinary clinics for any concerns that they may have about their pets if they have been exposed to not only essential oils, but also other aerosols that their pets could be exposed to.

“People just need to think about it before — and you know, that could even be like Pine Sol or anything like that,” Combs said. “It’s not just essential oils you’ve got to think about if you have pets in the household … because certain things can be toxic.”

According to the American Kennel Club, there is a safe way for pet owners to use essential oils on their pets. Pet owners should talk with their veterinarian and figure out which oils are safe for their pets. They should also ask what dosages are safe for their furry friends as well. Too much of certain essential oils can make pets sick if they come in contact with it.

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