Essential oils are extracted from plants and play a great role in ensuring holistic health. They have a powerful fragrance, and their molecules tend to react highly with the compounds in our or our pets’ bodies. While most essential oils are beneficial for humans, the same cannot be said for dogs. These natural oils are strong, and animals’ increased sensitivity means they’re prone to adverse effects is they’re not used properly for or even around them. So, it’s necessary to consult a veterinarian before using them for your canine friend. Here are five toxic essential oils for dogs that you should keep locked up if you have a pet:
- Tea tree
It’s also known as melaleuca oil and is extracted from the Australian tea tree plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. It’s a powerful healing oil that contains antifungal and antibacterial properties with anti-inflammatory and antiparasitic effects. This oil is available in high concentrations that should not be used on dogs and other pets. Even a few drops of tea tree oil can result in severe poisoning in dogs, and application of over 20mls can prove fatal. It’s recommended to use concentrations not more than 2% to avoid low body temperature, weakness, tremors, live enzymes, and other serious complications in your dog.
This is one of the most toxic essential oils for dogs. Extracted from the wintergreen plant’s leaves, the production involves fermentation and distillation of the plant’s essence to get a pure product. The oil contains rich amounts of methyl salicylate, which can lead to toxin buildup in dogs, leading to asthma, digestion problems, liver and renal failure, ulcers, and other serious ailments.
- Ylang ylang
This essential oil is extracted from Cananga odorata genuina herbs and is used to promote relaxation. It also enhances libido in humans, kills bacteria, and lowers blood pressure. This oil is often used as a spray to kill ticks and fleas on dogs, and it also helps promote calmness in dogs and other pets. However, its toxic effects on dogs include difficulty breathing, vomiting, unstable walking, and excessive tiredness.
- Sweet birch
Birch leaves and dried bark are the sources of one of the toxic essential oils for dogs. This natural oil has a sharp and sweet scent and is highly concentrated. The oil is obtained by steam distilling the sweet birch bark, and it is used to treat skin, muscle, and joint issues. While it soothes inflammation and cleanses and purifies the skin, it can cause severe gastrointestinal ulcers, kidney failure, seizures, and even prove fatal for dogs.
This oil is extracted from the Pennyroyal plant and is used to treat common cold and pneumonia. It’s an excellent insect repellant, so it is used as a flea repellant for dogs and cats. However, it causes lethargy in dogs and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, with blood, due to liver failure. In extreme cases, Pennyroyal essential oil can even cause death in dogs.