Oil diffusers have recently become pretty popular. Aromatherapy is very relaxing, and diffusers can be used to ease stress or as an aid to help fall asleep at night. I got a diffuser for Christmas, along with several scented oils. The scents ranged from lavender to tea tree to even cinnamon.

However, I began getting nervous when this tweet surfaced, cautioning users that essential oils can be extremely dangerous to household pets.

After doing some more research, it turns out certain oils are, in fact, toxic to cats and/or dogs. While essential oils are relaxing and pleasing to humans, it can have the exact opposite effect on our pets. It can cause sickness and in some cases, exposure to certain oils can be deadly.

If you have a cat, stay away from oils such as cinnamon, tea tree, birch, wintergreen (along with other mint-based scents), and any other oils that contain polyphenols. These can cause major damage to a cat’s livers. Below is a helpful chart of all known harmful oils to cats:

Credit: Pinterest

As for dogs, you shouldn’t use oils like clove, tea tree, thyme and others. These can mess with their body functions and cause unwanted allergies.

If you still want to diffuse oils even with pets in the house, it’s important to be careful. Keep them out of the room while you diffuse and open a window afterward to air the room out. It’s so vital to be mindful while doing this in order to keep your pets safe and healthy. Animals have a much stronger sense of smell than humans do, so keep that in mind if you choose to diffuse potentially toxic oils.

There are, however, several oils that are safe for animals to be around. Organic Aromas provides a whole list and even includes the benefits for your pet. Lavender helps me sleep, but for pets, it can help relieve stress from separation.  The list also includes chamomile, sage and plenty more that are safe to diffuse (and benefit both you and your pet.)

Although diffusing oils is fun and relaxing, please know what harmful effects it can have on our furry friends. It’s important to spread awareness about this, especially to people who use diffusers regularly and own pets. Keep in mind what’s safe and what’s not. Buy new oils, and rid of the ones that are dangerous to your pet. Aromatherapy may be great, but it’s not worth losing your pet for it.

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