Hello Lu's Labs family. I just want to address something that went viral recently and I know that a lot of our Rescue community saw it. It was a viral post (that has since been taken down) about a woman upset about poisoning her cat with essential oils. However, many more exist out there so it’s important to understand safety and your pets when using essential oils. (Whether in your home for your family, or directly for your pets.)
The original post caused a lot of buzz on the internet for many reasons. And as someone who has taught Essential Oil classes (about animals and people) and recently taught a class specifically for Lu’s Labs on Facebook, and donated Oils (and an Animal Desk Reference) to our auction - I just want to put up an educational post for us all. First and foremost, safety in purchasing and using essential oils is key. I have used essential oils for the past 3 years around my 3 cats, and my dogs.
I attach a medical disclaimer to all classes I do online about oils, and always recommend that people know what they are doing and consult professional holistic vets when in doubt.
****My medical disclaimer. I am not a doctor nor a vet. I am not able to, nor have I ever prescribed oils for animal conditions (or people) or diagnosed illnesses. Please consult a holistic vet or a professional.
When my dog Rio had cancer, I consulted a holistic vet and got the approval with my cancer specialist to use Young Living oils side by side with her treatment.
I only use Young Living oils and when I run my classes I am only talking about uses for Young Living oils. Young Living is the only large company out there that sources their oils from Seed to Seal on their own farms and partner farms. They are involved in the process from growing the oils to distilling them, detailed testing of them and bottling them. They add nothing else. They are also the only company that I know of that has a veterinary advisory board. Does this mean this is the only company you should use? No. Of course not. And this is not a sales post, so please put that out of your mind.
It is important however that you research the quality of the oils you do decide to use. Know what it is in it. 95% of the oils out there are being sourced through oil brokers which means that the companies are simply re-bottlers. They are not involved in the growing or distillation process. No matter what you use, please use reputable sources when researching anything that you are going to use around your pets. Life Science Publishing has an excellent publication called Animal Desk Reference, this book addresses animal safety. Dilution ratios, and so much more.
It is true that cats cannot process essential oils the way humans and dogs can. Their livers are very sensitive and pick up on toxins and have a different way of metabolizing oils.
It is for this reason that around cats, (though why not around humans and dogs??) the quality of an oil is very important. This is in no way saying you must only use one oil company, but it is upon you, if you are going to use anything around your pets, whether it be everyday cleaning supplies or essential oils, to research the heck out of them. And please don’t take one frantic post from a questionable source and use that to determined that all essential oil is poisonous to your pets. It’s simply not the case.
Unfortunately, there is no regulation in the US in regard to labeling of oils. That is why it is so important to find a brand you can trust. And not just buy the cheapest stuff off Amazon. Even reputable brands purchased off Amazon can be altered and adulterated. It is very easy to remove a reducer from a bottle and change the contents within. It happens all the time with beauty products as well. (Again, do your research.)
There are plenty of natural and organic things that are harmful to our pets. And don’t come with warning labels. Dogs can be poisoned by onions, chocolate, and other food items. Cats can be poisoned by lilies of many varieties. Here’s a blog post we published around the holidays to help you steer clear of things that can harm your pets.
Just because something is not labeled toxic to animals (think of sugar free peanut butter sweetened with xylitol which could kill our dogs and cats) doesn’t mean we don’t have to do our research and use it in the right way.
Please know that I have 3 cats and have used essential oils around them for 3 years with zero health issues to them. I thoroughly researched them. I started low and slow diffusing 1-2 drops for 30 minutes once every other day and slowly allowed the cats to build up their tolerance. I never close them in a room with a diffuser. I never use oils topically or internally with them.
There are plenty of toxic things we have in our homes that can be harmful to our cats. (And our dogs) Just think about all the air fresheners, plug ins, candles etc. that have synthetic toxins.
I know we all love our fur babies. Oils, in and of themselves, are not going to poison our animals if we are responsible pet owners who research and use them properly and consult professional vets/holistic vets when in doubt, and make sure we use reputable sources for purchasing our oils. I always recommend seeking out a holistic vet that uses essential oils. I mean you wouldn’t ask an Ear Nose and Throat doctor about your feet, you’d talk to a podiatrist. So why would you talk with a vet that doesn’t use oils in their practice about oils?
Remember. Don’t trust everything you read on the internet. That woman in that post googled a bunch of stuff and came up with some misleading stuff. It doesn't mean you should ever feel compelled to use a product. But make your choices based on informed research from reputable sources.
I hope this post has been helpful to you all. I would never want anyone to use oils in a way that would harm their pets.
***About the author. While Leah Fellows writes and researches all of our blogs, they are usually written in 3rd person. This is a very personal issue near and dear to her heart and she would never want to see anyone do something harmful to their pets in the name of Essential Oil use. This is in no way a sales post. It is not about any single brand, but making sure you do your research and know what you are doing when using anything new or potentially harmful around your pets. This goes for cleaning supplies, dog toys, foods, snacks. And so much more! The goal of the author is to make sure people are responsible pet owners with a jumping off point to do their own research on Essential Oils.