Dogs love to explore and sniff around our homes, and we keep certain things away from them for safety. But who knew that the lovely diffuser making your home smell fresh could be dangerous? Marianne Whyte from New Zealand shared a scary story on social media about how her dog got sick because of an oil diffuser.
Her Facebook post from 2019 spread like wildfire, with many thanking her for the heads-up. Marianne claimed: “Saturday night I got home late and my dog didn’t recognise me. Being a nanny, I thought I woke him up and he was having a night terror.”
“Sunday he was still acting weird. I realised that I had been running my new diffuser and decided to turn it off. Sunday afternoon he was feeling better.”
But then, the next day, the dog wouldn’t come out from under the bed. When Marianne got home, her dog acted like he didn’t know her again.
She added: “I took him to the emergency vet. It turns out that the tea tree oil I was using in the diffuser is toxic for dogs. Thankfully the test showed that his liver was ok, but we weren’t out of the woods yet. He was given fluids under his skin to get the toxins out.”
“The vet and the poison control are saying that they see these cases often now that the popularity of essential oil is growing. Please make sure that the essential oils you are burning are not toxic for your pets.”
Marianne went on to share a long list of the oils dog owners should avoid.
Her post was quickly shared over 99,000 times and more than 13,000 people have commented. Many thanked her for sharing and said they had no idea they shouldn’t be using the oils. One person wrote: “Thanks for sharing Marianne. I had no idea about this.”
“Thanks for making me aware, I didn’t think about this danger,” commented another. Someone else pointed out that some of the oils could cause issues for humans as well.
They said: “Some of these oils are quite toxic to humans too. They should only be used and administered by a qualified aromatherapist. It is disturbing that such diffusers are being sold cheaply in some budget stores without adequate warnings in place.”
Vet Zoe Costigan from pet wellbeing specialist firm Itchpet.com seconded Marianne’s warning.
She warned: “We need to be cautious when it comes to keeping essential oils in our homes as many oils could be potentially toxic to our pets. Essential oils as well as being used in room diffusers are found in many products such as shampoos, air fresheners, insect repellents and may be accidentally ingested, absorbed across the skin or inhaled by animals.”
“Signs of toxicity are variable depending on the type of oil, the concentration of the oil and how the pet has been exposed. Common initial signs of a problem may be irritation to the face, paws or area of application, hair loss, inflamed skin, hypersalivation, retching or coughing. In more severe cases animals may experience behavioural changes, ataxia, depression, tremors, seizures and difficulty breathing.”