As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases but at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
For several years, essential oils have been a popular home remedy for a wide range of maladies, including skin conditions, nasal congestion, sore muscles, and anxiety among others. But did you know that the use of some types of essential oils is dangerous to pets? That’s right: That your favorite holistic remedy may be toxic to your dog! We’ve put together a guide on one of the most common essential oils—thieves oil—so that you can keep your canine companion happy and healthy.
Is Thieves Oil Safe For Dogs?
Technically, thieves oil is a blend of multiple oils, including clove, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus Radiata. The blend is inspired by a long-told historic tale about 1413 French grave robbers who formulated the essential oil to protect themselves from the Bubonic Plague (or the Black Death). It is spicy and earthy (smells like fresh-cooked cookies) and has potent anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. The most common commercially available thieves essential oil products are:
Some of the oils that make up thieves oil should not be used on animals. For instance, according to Coralville Animal Hospital and VCA Hospitals, essential oils such as pine, cinnamon, tea tree, pennyroyal, clove, peppermint, wintergreen, sweet birch, Citrus (d-limonene), thyme, eucalyptus oil, anise, yarrow, ylang-ylang, and juniper among others may be toxic to dogs. So, thieves oil is not safe for dogs.
Is Thieves Oil Safe To Diffuse Around Dogs?
Diffusing any type of essential oil may be dangerous to dogs and should be done with caution. This is because dogs are anatomically and physiologically different from human beings. Their metabolism and mechanism of eliminating undesirable substances from their bodies are very different as well. When you actively diffuse essential oils around your dog, he is likely to inhale tiny little oil droplets, which goes to his lungs. The effects of these tiny droplets are similar to the effects of secondhand smoke in dogs. The droplets also hang out in your dog’s fatty tissues like the brain and may cause a wide range of health conditions.
Besides, dogs have over 220 million smell receptors compared to human beings who have about 5 million receptors. This means that by the time you are content with the level of scent from your diffuser, your canine companion may be over it. So, if you are not careful, you may be causing your dog to experience allergies, skin irritations, and other unwanted body reactions while you are diffusing essential oils around him.
Put simply, dogs require lower exposure to essential oils because of their differing anatomy makeup. Diffusing any kind of essential oil, therefore, could be harmful to your dog, depending on how much he is exposed to and type. Diffusing essential oils that aren’t safe to dogs like thieves oil and other variants that we have listed above can cause even more detrimental health effects on dogs. The most common symptoms of dogs that have been exposed to high levels of diffused essential oils are vomiting, sneezing, and coughing. Diffusing essential oils can even be fatal to dogs with asthma and other respiratory problems.
Precautions to Take When Diffusing Essential Oils around Dogs
You can still have and use a diffuser in your home but you need to take the necessary precautions to minimize your dog’s exposure to these oils:
- When diffusing, ensure that your home or room is well ventilated and that your dog can exit the room if they want to.
- Discontinue diffusing the oils if your dog shows any discomfort or adverse reactions.
- Operate your diffuser away from areas where your pet relaxes, plays, eat or sleeps. And after using the diffuser, keep it in a tall shelf, kitchen counter or in a place where your dog cannot knock it over and potentially expose himself to the oils.
- If your dog is on any medication or has an ongoing medical condition, speak to your vet before using or diffusing any kind of essential oil in their environment.
- Never leave a running essential oil diffuser and your dog unattended. Only diffuse oils when you or another responsible family member is present.
It is true that thieves oil and other essential oils may have medicinal or relaxing properties but you should understand that by the time you are enjoying the scent of these oils, they might be overpowering or nauseating your dog. If you have to diffuse essential oils around your dog, be selective, cautious, and always consult your vet with any questions or concerns.