Are diffusers safe to use around pets?

by | General Pet Care |

We’ve posted about essential oils before, but as the popularity of oil diffusers in homes continues to increase, we want to clear up common misconceptions about essential oils and furry friends.

High concentrations of the oils can be dangerous for animals, but did you know that even if those oils are diluted or diffused, they may still be dangerous for furry friends?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says there is no straight answer to the question of whether all essential oils are harmful to all animals, although it’s clear they are dangerous for birds. If you have a bird, you should avoid using an essential oil diffuser in your home.

The ASPCA says essential oils and cats are not friends. This is because cats are especially susceptible to toxicity build up as their livers do not contain an enzyme needed to break down the oils. Instead, essential oils can build up in the cat’s system and lead to poisoning.

As a result, concentrated essential oils should never be directly applied to cats. Essential oils can be harmful for dogs too. You can review effects and dangers of specific essential oils on the ASPCA’s toxic and poisonous plants list.

While we wait for more research on essential oils and animals, as a rule of thumb, we recommend you avoid using diffusers if your animal has breathing problems, is confined to a small space or a lot of oil needs to be used. Speak to your veterinarian before bringing essential oils into your home or using a diffuser.