Essential Oils

Lately, a common question posed to the doctors at State Street Animal Hospital has been about the use of essential oil in our pets. Essential oils, which are concentrated oils extracted or cold pressed from plants, are used for many purposes in humans including as skin and digestive remedies.  People use these oils in aromatherapy and sometimes in direct application to their skin. So, if people find these products useful, why not use them to benefit our pets?

While there may be some benefits to using essential oils in veterinary care, it is important to remember 2 things:

  1. “All Natural” does not mean safe!  Many natural agents such as snake venom and arsenic are highly toxic. Many essential oils, likewise, are irritating, toxic, or may even cause cancer, while others are more safe to use.
  2. Animals have a much better sense of smell than humans – anywhere from 40 to 100 times more acute. A pleasant odor to us may be overwhelming and unpleasant to our pets.

What does this all mean?  Certain essential oils may be a great addition to your pet’s care. Please consult with your veterinarian to discuss any concerns or questions you have to help pick the right oil for your pet.

About Stephen Gardner
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