How Artificial Fragrances Can Adversely Affect Your Pet’s Health


artificial fragrancesMany people love to use artificial fragrances throughout their homes in order to keep every room smelling great. From carpet deodorizers to scented candles, plug-in air fresheners, and air fresheners that you spray right into the air, there are a variety of products to choose from and the industry that provides these products is huge and profitable.

But could these artificial fragrances be causing harm to your pet’s health? Could that carpet deodorizer be too much for your dog or cat, who lies down on the floor and has her face near the floor all the time? Or could that air freshener you just sprayed into the air actually be bad for your bird? And can your favorite perfume have an adverse affect on your dog?

How Chemicals Get Into Your Pet’s Body

Many chemicals get into your pet’s body through inhalation, which is why artificial air fresheners can be extremely detrimental. But artificial fragrances can also get into your pet’s body through the skin, which is why products like carpet deodorizers, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets can cause problems as your pet rubs up against your carpeting and your clothing.

Whether the chemicals are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, though, they’ll make their way into your pet’s blood and, from there, to all the tissues and organs throughout the body. And because these artificial fragrances have been linked to serious health problems, such as cancer, in humans, they can do the same to your pets.

The Inability to Detoxify

The human body is able to detoxify differently than animals can. There are certain harmful substances that the human body can effectively eliminate, but the same cannot be said for your pets. And you should also keep in mind that your pets’ bodies, which are much smaller than yours, will have a much more difficult time detoxifying the same amount of toxins that your body is burdened with. So while it may be fine for you to inhale a bit of artificial fragrance every day, your small cat’s liver may be overburdened by the toxicity and find it difficult to remove the toxins effectively. This can lead to both short-term problems, such as skin allergies, and long-term chronic health issues, such as respiratory problems and cancer.

Also, if you own birds, it’s imperative that you avoid the use of artificial fragrances around them, as their tiny respiratory systems are very sensitive to fumes and odors. Strong fragrances can be very irritating to the little body of a pet bird, and this can lead to stress and serious health problems.

Alternatives to Artificial Fragrances

If you want to keep your home smelling fresh and clean, consider natural alternatives. Use cleaning agents that are made using natural, biodegradable ingredients. And instead of lighting scented candles or spraying air fresheners throughout the home, you can try using 100% pure essential oils. But, again, don’t overdo it, as the burning and spraying of essential oils can also be detrimental to your pet’s health, especially if you don’t provide adequate ventilation throughout the home.


  1. Hi Lisa, I enjoyed reading your article, but I do have one concern, Essential oils that are bought at the big box stores & health food stores or even on line can and will be harmful to pets, but Young Living Essential oils can not be harmful to any pets. I have used them for the past 4 years now, I have used them around by dogs and on my dogs skin and helping them support their digestion system or any other system. If you don’t know where your oil comes from or can’t visit the farm, don’t buy or use the oil.
    Cathy H.

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