Air Fresheners and Pets

Are Car Air Fresheners Bad For Dogs?

If you’re a pet owner, you’ll know that ‘dog smell’ can linger in your vehicle for a surprisingly long time. High-quality car air fresheners are ideal for eliminating unwanted odours and keeping your car smelling great.

But is car air freshener bad for dogs? When used correctly and for short periods of time, car air fresheners should not pose a problem for most dogs. However, air freshener can be toxic if swallowed, and some dogs may be allergic to certain fragrances.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the risks of using car fresheners around dogs, and how to spot an allergic reaction. We’ll also share the most safe air fresheners for dogs.

Is Car Air Freshener Dangerous For Dogs?

As a conscientious pet owner, you may wonder whether car air freshener’s safe for dogs. After all, their powerful noses are sensitive to even the faintest smells. So, can air fresheners make dogs sick?Air fresheners can be poisonous to dogs if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. However, the question of whether their aroma can be harmful when inhaled is more complicated.It largely depends on how frequently your dog is exposed to the scent, and for how long. Also, no two dogs are the same – some are more sensitive than others.

What Are The Symptoms Of Air Freshener Poisoning In Dogs?

Air freshener poisoning is uncommon when dogs are exposed to small amounts of air freshener for short periods of time. However, it can be risky for dogs to breathe in VOCs (volatile organic compounds) too often, for too long, or in poorly ventilated spaces.Essential oils, such as citrus, peppermint and cinnamon, can be particularly dangerous. In 2019, a dog was poisoned after inhaling tea tree oil fumes, according to press.

Car Cologne diffusers do not contain essential oils. Nevertheless, certain other ingredients – such as ethanol – can also be toxic if inhaled in large quantities. Air freshener poisoning symptoms in dogs may include:

Respiratory problems e.g. coughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathing

Gastrointestinal problems e.g. vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, lack of appetite

Neurological problems e.g. muscle tremors, weakness, dizziness, lethargy, aggression or confusion

Poisoning can also occur when car air freshener is ingested or absorbed through the skin. If your dog is showing signs of air freshener poisoning, take them to a vet as soon as possible.

Can Dogs Be Allergic To Air Fresheners?

Allergies occur when the immune system mistakes an ordinarily harmless substance for something dangerous. Not all dogs are allergic to car air fresheners, but some are. If your dog is sensitive to fragrances, even a small amount of dog-friendly car air freshener could trigger a reaction.

Symptoms of car air freshener allergies in dogs may include sneezing, coughing and discharge from the eyes or nose. You may also notice skin problems such as excessive scratching, redness, swelling or hives. Fortunately, not all fragrances will necessarily set off an allergic reaction. If you have any concerns, stop using the air freshener and ventilate the area.

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