Lowcountry vet warns some essential oils can harm pets

Essential oils (WCIV)

The use of "essential" oils is trending throughout the country, but those oils could be deadly for pets.

Dr. Angele Bice with the Charleston Animal Society says animals can have allergic reactions, just like people. And some oils people are using could cause severe reactions, including gastrointestinal tract issues that could cause stomach ulcers, vomiting and diarrhea.

Monica Pelletier is an independent essential oils distributor. She uses the oils on her two dogs, Kayla and Tanner.

Pelletier says the oils help her dogs, especially Tanner, who is afraid of loud noises. Whenever Tanner is around loud sounds like thunder, Pelletier says she uses an oil blend called T-Away, which helps Tanner to calm down in those noisy situations.

Pelletier says when using the oils around he dogs, she makes sure there is a low concentration that is not harmful to them, and that they have a way out of the room if they do not care for the scent.

Researchers say toxicity from the oils generally occurs when oil is not diluted and is applied to the animal's skin.

Pelletier says that would be like giving a child an adult dosage of aspirin, instead a children's aspirin. Diluting the oils for pets is the safe option, Pelletier says.

Dr. Bice also said along with making sure the concentration is low, it is important you stick with the brands that have been tested, especially because not all oil diffusers have been regulated by another company.

Bice also recommends consulting with your vet before using oils in your home, and to be especially careful when using tea tree oil. Tea tree oil in particular can be deadly to dogs.

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