Air Diffusion of Essential Oils: Cats & Dogs:

Posted on March 09 2020

Pets: Diffusion of Essential Oils

I want to address some concerns regarding AIR DIFFUSION of Essential Oils in the presence of Cats & Dogs.

In my opinion, essential Oils can be used safely in your home via air diffusion in the presence of your cats and dogs in an open area where the dog or cat and freely leave that space and where there is good cross-ventilation. No animal or small child should be confined to a small room or enclosed in a room while diffusing essential oils.

Humans have been scenting their bodies and the spaces where they live since the beginning of time.  Why?  Because humans like nice smelling aromas and humans stink.  Hence, why we use fragrant soap, lotions, shampoo, deodorants, laundry detergents, candles, perfumes etc.

However, over the last one hundred years many folks have developed sensitivities to synthetic perfumes and to petrochemical derivatives in cosmetics and so that's why essential oils have become so popular and are now being used in commercial brand products.

Best health practices indicate that adopting healthy lifestyle habits and reducing our exposure to toxic ingredients will benefit our planet and our bodies.

There are numerous books on the subject of Aromatherapy and piles of references on the internet directing folks to use essential oils either topically or internally to treat, cure, or prevent various conditions. However, making such exaggerated and unjustifiable claims in my opinion is sheer negligence. Many of these anecdotal claims are being made by companies and individuals who have construed the scientific research, merely to garner sales and boost their marketing pitch. As well, many of the fears purported by individuals who sell essential oils are done so in a manner that represents that only their oils are the purest and safest - which again is nonsense.

There is however, empirical research indicating that essential oils contain some constituents that are anti-microbial, some are anti-inflammatory and many possess insecticidal properties. Some essential oils may provide topical relief related to musculoskeletal disorders, due to their cooling and/or warming properties, and some essential oils may benefit skin conditions.  However, essential oils should never be used on the skin undiluted and it is imperative to know which essential oils should be used in lessor dilutions and realize that many can cause dermal irritation especially those that oxidize quickly. There is also verifiable science indicating that from a psychological perspective that an odour, be it natural or synthetic, be it pleasant or obnoxious – will light-up various centres of the brain and elicit positive or negative mood states.

In the meantime, back to the purpose of this post:

Your house stinks because you just cooked fish for dinner, you have trouble falling asleep at night, you're writing a blog or studying for exams and want to stay focussed. Maybe you find comfort in the aroma of eucalyptus when you have a cold or the flu. These are just a few reasons for diffusing essential oils and when you do, you should only do so for a short period of time, say 30 minutes max two hours.

Cat Warning: Cats lack an enzyme in their liver to break down essential oils if they were to ingest oils. Because cats spend a great deal of time grooming and licking—no essential oil product should be applied to the skin or fir of a cat. 

I have yet to see any of my pets (cats or dogs) standing on the counter hovering over the diffuser and sniffing the vapours!

Consider this: There are many commercial detergent soap companies that are now adding essential oils to their products, If there was an alarming concern then by law the company would have to post a disclaimer statement on their label indicating not to allow a pet to lie on a blanket or article of clothing that was washed with their their product.

Nonetheless, if you are concerned about using essential oils in the presence of your pets, then my advice is - don't use them - share this article with your vet and ask for their advice.

Sharing Truths - Not Nonsense.
Sandra Topper, has been a Certified Aromatherapist in Canada since 1993 and is  registered with the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy as a Clinical Aromatherapist & Aromachologist.

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or by Health Canada. This information and/or these statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be relied upon when making important medical decisions.

Note:  Aromatherapy, like any other natural therapy is intended to complement not replace traditional medicine.

When in doubt about any medical condition, always seek medical advice.
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