If you're like me, you love anything that makes your house smell like a field of lavender (or any other organic scent!) However, the way you make your house smell like your home, can affect the health of your furry friend. Have you ever wondered about the potential harmful affects you expose your pets to on a daily basis? You'd think that since they're available to purchase in-store, that they must match certain guidelines. This is true to an extent.
I love everything from coconut-scented candles, air fresheners, burning incense, to simple diffusers! Call me crazy, but I started wondering if maybe I should narrow down my technique on adding that Zen-feel to my home. I just love feeling relaxed and at home! Unfortunately, my lovely fur-babies probably don't feel the same way, and it hadn't even occurred to me!
After some research, I was shocked to discover one of my favorites--incense--was a huge "no-no" to refreshing one's home! There are a few other products that you should educate yourself on, that could potentially affect both you, and your fuzzy companion! Before you start spiraling into a pit of worry, keep reading!
In my apartment, I have a small collection of incense that I like to regularly burn when lounging in my room. However, as it burned, I noticed that my cat, Kitten J. Gabitten, dashed out of the room as soon as she recognized the smoke. This reaction made me question how healthy incense (and other home fresheners) are to our love bugs, and I was surprised by my findings.
Studies show that burning incense--a classic method of adding a certain aroma to one's home--can be extremely harmful. According to a study by Chen and Ho, "Prenatal incense burning was associated with lower birth weight for boys and smaller head circumference for boys and girls." Some people even claim that incense could be worse than cigarette smoke! However, others have rebutted that claim, since once does not inhale incense smoke in the same way one would smoke a cigarette. According to Dr. Jason Nicholas from Preventative Vet, certain room sprays can actually TRIGGER asthma attacks in some pets! He even claims that it could CAUSE asthma in pets if they don't already have it. Nicholas continues on to mention that even though incense brings Zen to one's home, its harmful effects can cause respiratory problems, specifically in cats. There were warnings about candles, as well, about being a fire hazard. So, if they're lit, make sure to be careful and watch your animals!
What are some alternative in helping your home smell wonderful, and your animal feel fine? According to Nicholas, Febreze was reviewed by the ASPCA and was approved as a safe alternative to traditional pine sols. Furthermore, diffusors are a good-smelling alternative to the harsh smoke burned by incense. Diffusors remove the issue of smoke being accidentally inhaled by your loved ones! Diffusors only need water and essential oil; it even adds a less intrusive feel than the strong sprays and incense.
So, the next time you go to light an incense, or spray an air freshener, take a pause. Does the air freshener contain aerosols? Will the fumes affect your furry friend? Be mindful with what you allow into your homes, hug your furry friend(s), and do not forget to breathe!
Chen, Le-Yu, and Christine Ho. "Incense Burning during Pregnancy and Birth Weight and Head Circumference among Term Births: The Taiwan Birth Cohort Study." National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sept. 2016, https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-09922/.
Nicholas, Dr. Jason. "Scents That Could Be Harmful to Your Pet." Preventative Vet, 10 Apr. 2016, https://www.preventativevet.com/cats/scents-that-are-harmful-to-your-pets.