Merritt Milam | December 31, 2020

Happy New Year! While we all hope for a better, calmer, and stronger year ahead, we want to make sure your pets start 2021 safely. Here is a list of potentially dangerous household and pet items you should avoid in order to keep your pet safe.

Essential Oils

Are essential oils dangerous to your pet? It really depends on the specific oil type and concentration level. Oils that are in their concentrated form (100%) can be a danger to pets…If your pet has walked through, gotten some on his/her coat, or had essential oils put on them they could develop health issues.

Symptoms include:
– Unsteadiness on their feet
– Depression
– Low body temperature (in severe cases)

If your pet should ingest the oils you may see vomiting and diarrhea, as well.

Some oils can be more dangerous to pets than others based on the variability in concentration, formulation and quality of essential oils. It’s important to keep them out of your pets reach. Using a diffuser should not cause problems for your pet unless they have breathing or respiratory issues. Remember, pets have a much better sense of smell than people do, so odors that are light to us may be stronger to your pet.

The following is a list of the most common essential oil toxicities:

Tea tree oil–In high concentrations. Tea tree essential oil (aka melaleuca) can cause adverse effects; however, shampoos containing low concentrations are okay.
Pennyroyal (aka squawmint)–This oil is sometimes used in products to treat fleas.
Wintergreen Oil–This oil contains methyl salicylates, also commonly known as aspirin.
Pine Oils–These oils are sometimes used in cleaning products.

Additional essential oils that are unsafe for dogs:
Citrus–includes lemon and orange oils
Sweet Birch
Ylang Ylang

Sources: Pet Poison HotlineAmerican Kennel Club

Chew Toys

Raise your hand if you gave your dog a chew toy for Christmas. Dogs love a good chew toy. They are great diversions for active pets (and they can keep them from chewing on your good shoes).

So, when is a good chew toy a dangerous chew toy? Here are a few popular products to avoid.

What dog doesn’t love a good bone? But how many pet parents have also experienced fishing-out a jagged bone lodged in the pet’s month? Bones can additionally splinter and cause serious irritation and punctures to a dog’s digestive system. Some can also be too hard for dogs, causing damage to their teeth.

Elk antlers and cow hooves can cause similar problems.

Rawhide Chews
Like bones, rawhide chews are a dog favorite. While they have had some bad press lately due to the possibility of harmful chemicals used in the manufacturing process, the real danger is when a dog ingests them. Ingesting these chews can cause severe blockage and intestinal problems. This usually happens when pets eat them too fast or they unravel, allowing large pieces to be easily swallowed.

Important: If you give your pet any of these chew toys, you should carefully monitor their use and NEVER leave them alone with these products.

We hope this information is helpful and will keep your pet happy and safe in 2021 – as well as far beyond.