Are The Latest Home Trends Harmful to Your Pets?

Today’s culture is abuzz with wellness and holistic healing trends. At the helm of this movement are two things that you might be familiar with: aromatherapy diffusers and Himalayan salt lamps.

Both are touted for the ways that it can boost physical and mental health while providing a space that feels relaxing and safe. But while you bask in the smell of lavender or marvel at how your salt lamp pulls the aesthetics of your room together, what about Fido and Felix?

We may pride ourselves on making the health of our pets our top priority, but we may not realize that what’s good for us may not be for them. In this article, we’ll explore the safety precautions that fur parents like you need to take in order to mitigate the risk of these wellness trends on our beloved pets.

Aromatherapy diffusers: Harmful to pets or not?

At some level, aromatherapy may not cause our pets to be sick right away. However, we need to consider the potency of the smell and the type of essential oils that are being used before we pass judgment on whether they pose a danger or not to our beloved fur kids.

When it comes to aromatherapy, here are two important factors that may be threats to our pets’ safety:

The potency of the smell

Just think about it: our cats and dogs have particularly strong scent receptors. What smells good for us may be overwhelmingly strong for them. Your aroma may be calming to you, but this may send your fur kids reeling in its strong and potentially toxic scent to them.

Cats have over 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their button noses. Dogs, on the other hand, have 220 million of these. This means that whatever might be mildly aromatic for us, may overload their strong and sensitive noses.

The best plan of action: there’s no need to completely swear off of aromatherapy diffusers. All you have to do is to make sure that you dilute your essential oils for your pets. Mild and barely noticeable--that’s the sweet spot when it comes to diffusing aromatherapy in the room where your pets are.

The Type of Essential Oils

Sure, at its pure form, essential oils are naturally derived from plants. And just as our pets react negatively to some plants, their body chemistry will not mix well with some essential oils too.

Some essential oils that you may want to avoid include pine, ylang-ylang, peppermint, cinnamon, lavender, tea tree, and other things. For a full list, you may refer to this page from Michelson Found Animals.

Essential oils that are considered light and safe for pets are chamomile, marjoram, and sage.

Looking for a robust list of safe aromas for your pets? Check out this great resource.

Exposure to too strong or possibly toxic essential oils may render your pets with the following symptoms:

  • Depression

  • Drop in body temperature, and

  • Lethargy

Himalayan Salt Lamps: Harmful to Pets or Not?

The jury is out: vets don’t recommend Himalayan salt lamps to pet owners. The Dodo chronicles the story of Ruby, a pet cat that had unhealthy amounts of sodium chloride in her little body. Some of Ruby’s exhibited symptoms included:

  • Extreme lethargy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Loss of basic senses and abilities

All these are a result of her taking an interest and licking on the sodium-rich lamp at her home.

Now let’s not discount Himalayan lamps as complete antagonists here. According to Mindbodygreen, these clean up the air and prevent the spread of negative ions in the room. Overall, it’s a lamp that everyone can benefit from--with the only exception of pets.

When left unsupervised, the appeal of licking these sodium-rich lamps may be too hard to resist for your fur buddies. And naturally, we can’t always look out for them at all the hours of the day. This means that there’s a huge possibility of them ingesting the salt poison and exhibiting signs such as:

  • Indigestion

  • Diarrhea, and

  • Seizures

Of course, typically, dogs and cats are allowed to have levels of sodium in their bodies. The issue here is that it has to be taken in moderation.

The verdict on These Wellness Trends

Toxicity from the salt lamp and aromatherapies can cause potential danger to your fur babies. While these may seem beneficial to you, exposure to these may cost you your pet’s health as well as thousands of bucks on vet bills.

If you want to enjoy the health benefits of these holistic trends without harming your pet, we recommend that you enjoy these things somewhere your pet will not be able to take a whiff at or lick. Your room, for example, could be off-limits to them as you enjoy the benefits that these wellness items have to offer.


Tara O'Doherty is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of voxie. She's a global award-winning strategist, marketer, designer, author, speaker and educator who lives in Toronto, Canada with her two fat dogs. She is best known for her SickKids VS digital work which resulted in numerous global awards and helped secure over $700 million dollars in donations for the hospital. She is also the former co-Founder and CPO of JADEO and x-VP of Experience Strategy at Cossette Communications, and currently the VP of Design and UX at Akendi.


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