When you think of artificial scents you don’t often think of candles, air fresheners, or laundry products, but they are some of the biggest offenders. As you move throughout your day, you may light a candle or spray an air freshener to make your home smell “clean” and desirable, and you may wash your laundry in a citrus scent because it reminds you of your childhood. Scents are nostalgic and they are tied to memories, but they may be making your pet sick.
The Vet Set wants to arm you with the leading pet care information so you can keep your loved, furry best friends healthy and safe! Learn more about how common artificial scents subject your pet to an illness.
Don’t let “natural” scents deceive you.
A majority of your household cleaning products are not natural and can actually cause more harm than good. Take a look at your products right now, what do you see? There is probably a long list of chemicals and the word “fragrance” will likely appear. Little do you know, that the “fragrance” added is not regulated nor tested by any agency and can contain any synthetic scent.
The National Academy of Sciences also supports the risks of artificial fragrances in these facts:
95 percent of fragrances are from petroleum – This includes derivatives of benzene, aldehydes, and toluene — all which are linked to cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, and central nervous system issues.
Our favorite and nostalgic scents are found in our health and beauty products and cleaning products.
Being infiltrated with these scents are harmful to humans, so it is understood that they are also harmful to our pets.
A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group tested 43 household chemicals, and discovered that pets have higher levels of the chemicals in their bodies than humans! So how does this happen — pets don’t shower or use cleaning products on a daily basis?
There are two pathways in which pets absorb fragrance.
Pets come into contact with these harmful chemicals through inhalation and rubbing against people’s clothing or skin.
When your pet inhales these scents, it is absorbed into their bloodstream and once it is there, it touches every organ in their body.
The physical exchange of pets rubbing against you or your clothing, bed sheets, towels, etc, allow the particles to attach to their coat after a nice belly rub and scratches behind their ears — in addition to absorbing the scent through smell when they are nearby.
Just think of the items you are using — you wouldn’t just smell a dryer sheet or spray air freshener right in front of your face because it is pungent and strong — used to coat your laundry or your house in a specific smell.
When your pet is repeatedly exposed to these smells and chemicals, there are more likely to get irritated skin or allergies. Keep in mind, you wouldn’t readily allow your pet to ingest these products, but it is essentially the same thing when they inhale it.
What are the symptoms of a fragrance reaction?
When pets come into contact with synthetic fragrances and chemicals, their bodies will begin to react with increased sneezing and eye and nasal discharge. Long-term exposure can also affect their immune and digestive system, in addition to musculoskeletal concerns. It is not uncommon for pets to develop cancer or organ failure as a result of an overexposure to toxic fragrances in their environment.
To avoid synthetic fragrances that cause harm your pet, you may want to ditch all of your conventional products to items that are indeed all-natural. You can always go for the fragrance-free variety, or the best way to spot natural ingredients is to look for products scented with essential oils and avoid those with the verbiage “fragrance.” Making your own cleaning products is also beneficial because you know exactly what is being put into them and you can use superstar natural cleaning agents such as baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar.
Keep your house a toxic-free zone and improve the health of your pet by switching to natural or home-made cleaning products.