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:
A perspective by Gertie Lombardo
Hey Guys! It’s your resident blogger, Gertie Lombardo. You may remember me from my blog about Chihuahua Appreciation Day. Today, I am here to talk to you about pet obesity. It’s no surprise when I tell you that human obesity rates are higher than ever. I suppose you may have heard the notion that pets often resemble their owners and that is reflected in the following statistics: 53% of adult dogs and 55% of adult cats are overweight or obese. How can your owner tell if you are a healthy weight? Your owner should be able to feel your ribs easily when they gently press your sides. Being overweight comes with a host of other health issues.
As with our owners, being overweight can affect a pet’s health in many ways. Obesity can result in arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain cancers, as well as heart and respiratory disease. Obesity can take two years of your four legged friend’s life- that’s like 14-18 human years! I know I would like to live with my owner for as long as I possibly can! She feels the same way and that’s why she had to make some serious decisions last year when Dr. Montgomery recommended that I slim down a bit. I don’t actually eat that much so my mom was hesitant to cut back on my food for fear of malnourishment over time. I was put on a scientifically formulated diet that helps me with safe weight reduction and I didn’t have to cut back on the amount of food I eat!
If you suspect that your pet may be overweight, then it’s time to have a discussion with your veterinarian. In addition to specially formulated diets, some other things that your pet parent can do to help you lose weight include the following: measure meals appropriately, establish a feeding schedule, limit snacks (I know this is a hard one!), choose low calorie treats, and most importantly, get moving! You might even help your owner drop a few pounds and get healthy like you! As for my weight loss journey, I was told to lose three pounds (hey, that’s a lot for a little Chihuahua) and I am down two. It’s always that pesky last pound that is the hardest to lose! I even got into my old bikini this past summer. Gotta go- time to grab the leash and take my mom for a walk!