Most air fresheners are made with strong scents that can be toxic to dogs. When they inhale or ingest the liquid, they can develop symptoms of air freshener poisoning in dogs like vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. The symptoms vary depending on how much liquid they ingested and their size.
Symptoms of Air Freshener Poisoning in Dogs
If your dog has been exposed to an air freshener, it is important to take them to a veterinarian immediately. The following list provides a few symptoms that may indicate that your dog has ingested or inhaled an air freshener:
Air Freshener Dangers
Air fresheners come in many forms and flavors. Some are liquids sprayed into the air, while others are solid blocks of gel that dissolve when exposed to air. Both types have been known to cause illness in dogs.
The most common type of air freshener is a spray that releases chemicals when you press a button or twist the top. These sprays often contain alcohols or other chemicals that evaporate quickly, leaving behind a fresh scent. Other types of sprays contain natural ingredients like essential oils for fragrance.
The second most common type of air freshener is a gel that looks like soap and smells like vanilla, fruit, or flowers. These gels typically contain fragrance oils, which can irritate your dog’s nose or cause respiratory distress if inhaled too much or over time.
What Is Air Freshener Poisoning?
The term “air freshener” is somewhat misleading because it doesn’t refer just to scented sprays or oils that you use around your home — it also includes plug-in diffusers and other products that release fragrance into the air. The most common air fresheners contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which evaporate into the air to mask odors or create pleasant ones. But VOCs can trigger adverse reactions in some dogs and cats when ingested or inhaled in large enough quantities over time.
Some air fresheners contain chemicals that can sicken or even kill your dog. These chemicals include:
- Methylene chloride
Here are some natural alternatives to air fresheners for dogs:
Citrus oils are great to use in your home because they’re not only pleasant smelling, but they also have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Citrus oils can be used to spray on furniture and carpets, or you can mix them with water and wipe down your dog’s crate or kennel.
Essential oils of lavender and rosemary are also good choices for your home. Lavender has been shown to relieve anxiety and stress in animals, so it can help calm them down when they’re stressed or anxious. Rosemary has antibacterial properties that make it good for treating skin infections in dogs. You can use the essential oils by mixing them with water in a spray bottle, or placing a few drops on a cotton ball and placing it in the areas where your dog sleeps or spends a lot of time.
If you’re looking for something more natural than chemical-based products, try making your own air freshener with baking soda! Baking soda is great at absorbing odors — whether they’re human (like cooking smells) or animal (like pet odors). Pour some baking soda into an open container that has a lid (like an empty plastic container).
If you’re concerned about pet odors, there are pet-specific fresheners including:
- Envirogroom Odor Blaster Pet Deodorizing Spray: Envirogroom Odor Blaster pet deodorizing spray is a powerful, ready-to-use formula that is tough enough to handle the toughest doggy odors! Ingredients include odor neutralizers with aloe and vitamin E.
- Natures Miracle Advanced Severe Mess Enzymatic Stain and Odor Remover: Natures Miracle Advanced Severe Mess Enzymatic Stain and Odor Remover deeply cleans to remove the odor of cat urine and other messes. This bacteria-based formula produces cleaning enzymes when it comes in contact with bio-based messes including urine, diarrhea, vomit, and blood. The enzymatic cleaner will continue working as long as the food source is present.
Even if your pup is not experiencing an immediate reaction to air fresheners in the home, long-term exposure to harsh toxins could be detrimental over time.