A new trend in our home is the oil diffuser, but did you know it could be toxic to our dogs and cats?

I bet you never asked yourself if your new oil diffuser can harm your pets? The answer is yes, ingesting the oil can be harmful, but they can also be poisoned by the smell.

Dr. Michael Rickwald tells Spectrum News: "Dogs’ sense of smell are about 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than ours, so something that might smell very pleasant to us might be overwhelming for your dog." Toxicity depends on several factors,

"It really is dose dependent with essential oils, it also matters what the grade is, how pure they are and the route how they're exposed to the pet. Is it inhaled, it is ingested is it topical?"...

What are the signs of essential oil poisoning?
Symptoms may include:

      • Fragrance or scent on hair coat, skin, or breath or in vomit
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Difficulty walking or uncoordinated gait
      • Drooling
      • Lethargy or weakness
      • Muscle tremors
      • Pawing at the mouth or face
      • Redness or burns on the lips, gums, tongue, or skin
      • Vomiting

VCA says rapid diagnosis and treatment are imperative. If you believe that your dog has ingested or come in contact with essential oils or liquid potpourri, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680) immediately. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the prognosis and outcome for your dog.

Spruce Pets reports that years ago, certain essential oils were considered to be safe for cats and were recommended for such uses as treating ear mite infestations, upper respiratory problems and for stress relief. Now studies show essential oils can be toxic to cats, whether taken internally, applied to the skin or simply inhaled. The liver is most often the organ which is affected by essential oils.

Cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang-ylang, are poisonous to dogs and cats and both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.

[Information from Spectrum News and VACHospitals.com and TheSprucePets.com]

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