Can air freshener make a dog sick?

Answered by Tom Adger

Can air fresheners make a dog sick? they can. Air fresheners contain various chemicals, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and phthalates, which can be toxic to pets when inhaled or ingested. While some pets may not show immediate signs of illness, prolonged exposure to these chemicals can lead to long-term health problems.

When using air fresheners, you might notice your pet immediately withdrawing from the area or showing signs of fear or discomfort. This could include cowering, hiding, or trying to escape the room. These reactions are often a result of the strong and unfamiliar odors emitted by the air freshener.

In addition to behavioral changes, pets may also exhibit physical symptoms of a toxic reaction to air fresheners. Common signs include coughing, sneezing, and discharge from the eyes and/or nose. Pets might also experience gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, or a lack of appetite. Lethargy or a general lack of energy can also be observed.

It is important to note that the severity of these symptoms can vary depending on the individual pet and the specific air freshener used. Some pets may have a higher sensitivity to certain chemicals, making them more prone to adverse reactions.

Long-term effects of exposure to air fresheners in pets are also a concern. Continuous inhalation or ingestion of these chemicals can lead to respiratory problems, such as asthma or bronchitis. Some pets may develop skin irritations or allergies as a result of prolonged exposure.

Personal experiences have shown how air fresheners can affect pets. For example, a friend of mine noticed that whenever she used an air freshener in her living room, her dog would start coughing and sneezing uncontrollably. As soon as she removed the air freshener and opened the windows, the dog’s symptoms disappeared. This clearly demonstrated the negative impact of the air freshener on the dog’s health.

To protect your pet from potential harm, it is best to avoid using air fresheners altogether. Instead, opt for natural alternatives, such as opening windows for fresh air circulation, using baking soda to absorb odors, or using pet-friendly essential oils (in moderation and with caution). If you must use an air freshener, ensure the room is well-ventilated and keep your pet away from the area until the scent dissipates.

Air fresheners can indeed make dogs sick. Pets may exhibit immediate reactions such as fear, withdrawal, coughing, sneezing, or gastrointestinal issues. Prolonged exposure can lead to long-term health problems. It is important to be aware of these potential risks and choose pet-safe alternatives to maintain a healthy environment for your furry friends.