HERRIN, Ill. (WSIL) — Aromatherapy can help people with many issues including insomnia, anxiety and pain. But some essential oils can be toxic for pets

“Essential oils are basically just concentrated oils of various natural plant products. They can be found in potpourri, they can be found in other smelling things that are put in diffusers. They can even be found in some over the counter flea and tick products,” explains Dr. Jeffery Parton, Veterinarian at Quality Care Animal Hospital.

Parton says when it comes to toxic oils and pets quantity is the key. “The amount and concentration comes into play more than anything else. I would not be concerned with most of your aerosol diffusers for the most part, except for birds.”

Parton says that a common oil that can have negative impacts on dogs and cats is Tea Tree Oil. “Tea Tree Oil is also known as Melaleuca and it can cause some depression, some weakness, some disorientation, some vomiting.”

Parton says to also keep cats away from incense sticks and use the oils properly. “The biggest issue with essential oils is don’t misuse them. Don’t over do it. Don’t put it on the animal if you can avoid it and certainly don’t let them eat it if you can avoid it.”

More than anything else Parton says they see misuse of flea and tick products which can be deadly. “We’ve seen deaths from those and we’ve seen some really severe neurological problems from those. The biggest problem that we see is people that have taken products that say for dog use only, for flea and tick control, and they put it on a cat. That can kill a cat.”

Parton says that if you notice your pet has gotten into essential oils immediately wash them with Dawn Dish Soap and call your veterinarian.

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