The Dangers of Essential Oils and Pets

Written by: Tabitha Schmidt, Client Care Supervisor


With essential oils becoming more popular in health, natural cleaning products, and relaxation it is good to know how this affects your furry house mates. Essential oils are the extracted organic components of plants that give them their characteristic fragrance or taste. They are popularly used for aromatherapy by inhalation (candles, incense, diffusers) or rubbing into the skin (perfumes and oils). They are also found in many insecticides, personal care products (e.g., antibacterials), flavorings, herbal remedies, and liquid potpourri.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of essential oils that are harmful to your cats and dogs, whether it be by diffusing machine or the oil itself. Our pets have a stronger reaction to these products than we do. Many essential oils are toxic to pets and may cause severe respiratory irritation, GI upset, liver failure, paralysis, and other life-threatening symptoms listed below.

Essential Oils Which are Poisonous to Dogs

According to the Pet Poison Helpline

  • Tea tree oil (Melaleuca oil)
  • European Pennyroyal/squaw mint
  • Oil of Wintergreen
  • Pine Oils

Essential Oils Which are Poisonous to Cats

According to the Pet Poison Helpline

  • Oil of Wintergreen
  • Oil of Sweet Birch
  • Citrus oil (d-limonene)
  • Pine oils
  • Ylang Ylang oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Clove oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil

Symptoms to Watch Out For

A few red flags that we should be looking for are:

  • Behavior changes (depression, fatigue, weakness)
  • Difficulty breathing (labored breathing, fast breathing, coughing, wheezing)
  • Drooling and/or vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia (difficulty walking, stumbling, wobbling)
  • Redness or burns around the mouth or nose
  • Paralysis of the rear legs

Precautions to Take

Prevention is key. The precautions you can use are pretty simple. Keep these essential oils out of reach of children and your pets in a secure container and ask your primary veterinarian what you can use and what could be harmful to your pet. There are also alternative products that you can use that are calming and not harmful for you pet in a stressful situation that are available in treats, capsules, or liquids.

If you think your pet may have been exposed to an essential oil, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or bring your pet to the nearest emergency veterinarian. You may also consider calling the 24/7 Pet Poison Hotline with questions or for advice.

Western Reserve Partners Advises Ethos Veterinary Health

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Western Reserve Partners Advises Ethos Veterinary Health in its Growth Equity Recapitalization

CLEVELAND, OH (December 18, 2018)Western Reserve Partners, a division of Citizens Capital Markets, Inc., is pleased to announce that it served as the exclusive financial advisor to Ethos Veterinary Health, LLC (“Ethos” or the “Company”) in its recapitalization by Brown Brothers Harriman Capital Partners (“BBHCP”). Through the recapitalization, Ethos remains independently owned by its veterinarian professionals and, under the leadership of founding CEO Ames Prentiss, is well capitalized to further accelerate its acquisition-focused growth strategy.

Headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, Ethos is a leading provider of specialty veterinary health services with over 300 doctors of veterinary medicine throughout the United States. The Company’s unique integrated clinical model includes 21 specialty & emergency hospitals and a suite of complementary reference laboratory, compounding pharmacy and SaaS-based training services. The Company, formed in 2015 through the merger of four veterinary hospital systems, has since acquired six additional hospital systems and also earned a national reputation among veterinary professionals for providing exceptional quality-of-care, world-class professional development and a veterinarian-first culture. Through this minority equity recapitalization with Brown Brothers Harriman, Ethos has provided liquidity to its owners, gained a partner with significant experience scaling multi-unit healthcare businesses and positioned itself for future organic and acquisitive growth.

[Read More]

About Western Reserve Partners

Western Reserve Partners, a division of Citizens Capital Markets, Inc., provides M&A, capital raising and other financial advisory services to middle market companies across a focused set of industry verticals. We deliver thoughtful advice, keen market insight and superior execution to our clients, both nationally and internationally, and our managing directors average nearly 30 years of experience and have directly executed more than 700 transactions throughout their careers.

Western Reserve Partners is a part of Citizens Financial Group, one of the oldest and largest financial institutions in the U.S. Also, as a member of Oaklins, the world’s most experienced mid-market M&A advisory organization, Western Reserve Partners has unparalleled access to global companies and investors.

Pet Car Safety and Canine Seat Belts

Written by: Lucas Daly, Veterinary Technician


Most of us drive with our pets regularly, whether it is to the dog park, a vet appointment, or just running some errands around town. In most states it is required by law that people use vehicle safety devices (aka seat belts) to reduce the risk of serious bodily harm in the event of a collision or vehicular accident. The CDC states that “seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.” This is great news and practice for us while on the road, but what about our canine companions that travel with us in the car?

With winter upon us here in New England, there is an increased risk of accidents and collisions due to winter travel conditions. While there are no seat belt laws for dogs, there is an increasing awareness and use of canine safety belt harnesses and restraints while traveling in the car.

What is a Canine Seat Belt?

Dog seat belts are more commonly known as dog car harnesses, which attach a full-body harness to the seat belt system in the back seat of the car. Dogs are safely and easily clipped in with a short leash. Most are customizable to the dog’s size and comfort.

Benefits of Dog Car Harnesses


First and foremost, dog car harnesses keep your dog safe. In the event of an accident, the harness and leash would minimize force on the dog’s neck, significantly reducing the risk of injury to both the dog and the driver. They also prevent dogs from falling or jumping out of the window which can cause serious injuries.

Most safety harness are crash-tested and DOT-approved, so your dog can have the same safety and security as you do with your seat belt.

A source of comfort for your dog

By securing your dog to one place with a dog car harness, your dog may feel less anxious and more secure while driving with you. It may also help with car sickness since they won’t be rocking and shifting around so much.

Minimize distracted driving

Many dogs tend to move around, fall over, or try to climb into the front seat with you while driving. This can be dangerous for the driver if it takes their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel. By having your dog strapped in with a harness, the driver can focus on the road and not the antsy dog in the back seat.

Other Car Safety Options for Your Dog

  • Crate: A travel specific crate designed to be sturdy and padded, and sometimes strapped to the floor of the trunk of rear seat for added stability.
  • Back Seat Barrier: This barrier blocks the space between the front and back seats which prevents dogs from climbing into the front seat or tumbling forward in a crash.
  • Leash & Zip Line: Attaching to the car’s cargo hooks, this will provide security while allowing your dog to move around in the back seat.
  • Pet Car Seat: For smaller dogs or cats, a car seat designed especially for pets can keep your pet in place while still allowing them to see all the wonders racing by out the window.

The American Kennel Club has some suggestions on what to look for in both Safety Harnesses and Travel Crates. Additionally, the Center for Pet Safety has published crash test results and recommendations on safety harnesses.

Whichever method you choose, we fully support increasing safety for our clients and patients, and encourage anyone who travels by car with their pets to consider safety options for the coming winter months and beyond.

We wish you many more wonderful and safe adventures with your pets!