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Tea Tree Oil Toxicity in Dogs

September 12, 2020


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Tea Tree Toxicity….. It’s not Fake News


People ask me all the time “ Why don’t you use Tea Tree oil in your pet products”  “All the other natural pet products use Tea Tree”  My answer is always the same…. It’s toxic for animals. PERIOD.  


This blog is not about bashing companies that do use Tea Tree oil in their pet products, only to perhaps educate and bring awareness to manufacturers and stop the manufacturing of products that contain Tea Tree oil.  While I LOVE this oil for myself, it really can be lethal for dogs.  Essential oils that are recommended for humans are not necessarily meant for animals.


Tea Tree essential oil is mass produced on such a huge scale. Many different company brands of Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) are sold in health food stores and large department stores, and a large percentage are simply not ‘pure’ Tea Tree oil. Tea Tree is also a component of numerous ‘natural-care’products for both people and pets.

Makes you wonder how some companies mass-produce that large amount of oil (or synthetics) for hundreds or thousands of products to be available on commercial basis.  Tea Tree oxidizes quickly leaving it to‘turn’; wasting your money and even putting you and your animal’s skin at risk. Tea Tree can cause allergic reactions in both people and their pets, and unfortunately for some pets, severe reactions (see below list). It is widely used in so many ‘all natural’ products that when used too often or on a regular basis can contribute to some individuals developing sensitization issues, and with some pets; in particular:cats and dogs can suffer from: Tea Tree poisoning.


Tea Tree Reaction and Poisoning Symptoms:

•breathing difficulties

•crying, whining, panting, drooling, rubbing body on the floor

•skin irritation: rash, welts, itching, scratching

•inability to walk (stumbling, stupor type reaction)

•muscle weakness, body tremors

•low body temperature

•elevated liver enzymes


•loss of consciousness, seizures, or coma


If an animal experiences any of the above, please call poison control and take the animal to the emergency veterinarian. Whether you decide to use Tea Tree essential oil or not, is up to you and the client/caregiver(and ultimately up to your animal friend), however please keep in mind if the animal has a negative reaction to it, please discontinue use immediately.  Remember, we are working with ‘animals’ and not ‘humans’, so hence a different way of thinking and using aromatherapy. The best option is ‘when in doubt...don’t’.   There have even been allergic reactions to Tea Tree reported to the National Animal Poison Control.  There are better, safer options to use.


 Poison Control Contact information: ASPCA:

National Capital Poison Center:

Pet Poison Help-Line:


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