Many pet parents love candles and essential oils to keep their house smelling fresh. But did you know that a lot of these scents are toxic to our pets?

Most of us love nice smelling scents during the holidays, especially when you’re preparing to have guests over or want to feel warm and cozy by the fire. But did you know that scented candles, incense, essential oils, and diffusers can sometimes be dangerous to our pets? It's true. Some scents can cause all sorts of health issues in our animals. But the good news is you can still use plenty of aromas once you know which scents are pet safe and which ones to stay away from.

How Can Scents Affect Animals?

Believe it or not, essential oils and various scents are in all types of products we use in our everyday lives. This includes, aromatherapy, cleaning products, drink flavoring, perfumes, personal care products, liquid potpourris, air fresheners, diffusers, candles, and more. Around the holidays, we elevate the pine and cinnamon aroma. Many pet owners are not aware that some scents are toxic to animals until after that terrifying trip to the vet with an ill pet.

Our pets can become sick from essential oils due to a compound called phenols. Phenols are naturally found in plants and are heavily concentrated in essential oils. Phenols are easily absorbed through the skin, the nose and mouth. For humans, phenols are metabolized by the liver, reducing the toxic effects. However, for animals, cats in particular, are at risk as they have fewer liver enzymes. This means they cannot metabolize all of the different chemicals as well as humans. These oils and scents can also burn our animal's skin and mouth after coming into contact with it.

If your pet has essential oil poisoning, certain symptoms will arise, such as:

  • Pawing at their eyes or mouth
  • Redness on their lips, tongue, or skin
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fragrance on their breath or skin
  • Muscle tremors
  • Drooling
  • Loss of balance
  • Watery nose and eyes

If your cat is experiencing any of the above symptoms, they might be poisoned. Call your vet immediately and take them in for emergency treatment. If you are ever faced with these issues, don’t worry about the cost! Your Wagmo pet wellness plan can cover minor routine vet exams, while a pet insurance plan will cover the costs of any emergency procedures and medications.

Not only can these essential oils and liquid potpourris affect our cats, but it can affect our dogs as well. Sometimes these oils can lead to behavioral problems or changes with our dogs. Certain scents begin to have adverse central nervous system effects and respiratory issues. Ingesting these oils can also be dangerous to our dog's digestive tract, especially tea tree oil. Mistakes happen, and luckily with the right dog wellness plan and pet insurance, your dog is covered if they need an emergency trip to the vet or some different diagnostics done.

What Scents Are Dangerous To Our Pets?

It is still possible to enjoy nice-smelling oils and different fragrances during the holiday, as long as we select ones that won't hurt our animals and to use with care, and not leave the aroma’s on for the entire day.

Often passive diffusers are safer for our animals as they are not being pumped into the air the same way active diffusers will. You must ensure the diffuser is somewhere your dog or cat can't get to it, or knock it over. If you use an active diffuser, make sure the oil you use is safe for your animals. If in doubt, always check with your veterinarian first.

Here is a list of toxic scents and essential oils to avoid:

  • Tea Tree
  • Clove
  • Citrus
  • Cinnamon
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Pine
  • Eucalyptus
  • Wintergreen
  • Pennyroyal

Here is a list of non-toxic scents and pet safe essential oils for dogs and cats :

Pet Safe Essential Oils For Dogs Include:

  • Myrrh
  • Frankincense
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary

Pet Safe Essential Oils For Cats Include:

  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Copaiba
  • Helichrysum
  • Chamomile

Just because you have pets does not mean you need to cut out your favorite scents. You just need to do some research and speak to your veterinarian, ensuring that your animals won't become ill. With a pet wellness plan, you can book routine checkups to ensure your pet's health, including regular exams like bloodwork and urinalysis.

If your pet is ever showing signs of being poisoned, you must take them to the vet right away. A pet insurance plan can ensure you have coverage for pet ambulances, hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, and more. With Wagmo you can rest easy knowing that you and your pet will be covered in an emergency.

Get your Wagmo quote today and build your perfect pet insurance and pet wellness plan that won't break the bank. Wagmo, worry less!