Written by: Erika Lombardo
As the use of essential oils gains popularity, it is important to be aware of safety precautions surrounding their use around pets. Animal lovers always want what is best for their pets and often will search the internet for answers but it is important to note that not everything seen on blogs and social media is necessarily true. When trying to evaluate which essential oils are ok for use with your pet, please consult with a certified aromatherapist with additional training in animal aromatherapy. In addition, consult with your veterinarian if your pet has any health problems, as some essential oils are not appropriate for pets with certain health conditions.
Avoid using essential oils around the following:
- Cats (more on this later)
- pregnant or nursing animals
- fish, reptiles, or amphibians (due to pH levels and their aquatic environments)
- Pocket pets such as rabbits, ferrets, and small rodents
Why are certain essential oils not good for our furry friends? It is not just about the fragrances! There are chemical compounds that make up each essential oil. Cats especially have problems with essential oils because they have a very sensitive metabolic system. Cats lack a detoxification enzyme called glucuronosyltransferase which mean that their liver and kidneys can’t break down certain substances. If you suspect that your pet might be having an adverse reaction to an exposure to essential oils, please call your veterinary office or contact Pet Poison Helpline at (855)764-7661.
Some symptoms of exposure include (but are not limited to):
- excessive drooling
- lack of coordination/stumbling/temporary paralysis
- dermal/mucous membrane irritation or inflammation at the site of improperly used essential oils (i.e. topical application or internal use)
When using essential oils, take the following safety precautions:
- always dilute essential oils when using on pets
- some oils should absolutely not be used in pets such as tea tree oil. As little as 7 drops can cause severe poisoning and 10-20 drops could potentially result in death.
- Diffuse oils for short periods of time (5-10 minutes)
Keep in mind that when using essential oils, less is best. More of a good thing is not necessarily better!
For more information, check out the following links:
Written by: Erika Lombardo
Summertime brings along with it lots of fun and places to go. Unfortunately, the things that we humans find fun can be scary or even deadly to our pets. We love our four legged family members and we want to include them in the things we do as a family. Most of the time, it would be safer to leave your pet in the comfort of their home.
The first summer hazard is an oh-so-obvious one yet the problem continues across the country. Do not leave your pet in a hot car! It is fun to have your buddy with you while running errands, but a quick run into the store could be detrimental to your pets health. Even on a 70° day, the temperature in your car could quickly get up to 90°. Your dog will be more comfortable at home than panting in a hot car with the windows cracked.
Next up is dog parks. Many dogs love to go to the dog park and play with the other pups but some dogs don’t do well in the company of others. Hopefully, you will know which category your dog falls in. If it is the latter, it’s best to stay away from the dog park. If you plan to attend a park, make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccines as well as flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. Always keep an eye on your dog and be aware of the behaviors of the other dogs in the park. Sometimes a fun day at the park can turn into a vet visit if a scuffle happens between pets.
The third summer hazard is loud noises such as thunder and fireworks. While you can’t very well avoid a thunderstorm, there are ways to help your pet deal with the anxiety. Conversely, it’s important to keep your pet at home when you go out to see those 4th of July fireworks. Pets can become easily spooked and have been known to bolt. It is important to have a game plan when your pet is home and there are storms rolling in or the neighbors decided to set off some rockets. Designate a safe space for your pet to retreat. Don’t make a big deal about the storm. This reinforces the anxiety. Play some music or turn the TV up a bit to drown out the sound. If these ideas don’t help, there are a few non-pharmaceutical options that you can try. Thundershirts can be helpful as well as calming collars. These collars contain pheromones that can help ease anxiety. Finally, your vet could prescribe something if all else fails.
If you follow these tips, you can help your pet have a safe and happy summer! Please contact your veterinarian if you have any questions regarding summer safety!
Want to do something special for your dog this weekend? Here in Ardmore, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia) we are having what feels like endless rain showers. We were trying to think of fun indoor activities and we came up with something that your dog will really enjoy! Homemade dog biscuits! What better way to spoil your fur baby than with a treat made from the heart. The dogs of our marketing specialist, Erika, love the following recipe!
Cheesy Dog Treats
• Prep time: 10 minutes
• Cook time: 30 minutes
• Servings: 24 treats
• 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
• 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 cup water
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• In a large bowl, mix cheeses with oil. Stir in flour, dry milk, and salt until blended. Add water and knead until dough comes together. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out treats using a cookie cutter. Repeat until all dough is used. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until treats are golden brown. Allow to cool thoroughly before serving to your four-legged friend.
• Note: You can substitute whole wheat flour for the all-purpose to make an even healthier treat for your dog.