A class action lawsuit states that the essential oils present in Sentry Natural Defense flea and tick repellent are toxic to pets. The Sentry class action lawsuit was filed by Ramona Penikila who says she purchased Sentry Natural Defense for her dog in August 2019 at a Petco in California. Allegedly, she relied on the advertisement that the product was safe for pets. Penikila claims she read and followed the instruction for use of the product, and applied it to her dog. However, she says that after application, her dog suffered serious hair loss along with abnormal skin irritation and itching. The plaintiff states that she then scrubbed the area where the product was applied, and her dog eventually returned to normal. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Farron Cousins:                  As we have said multiple times on this program, pets are just like family. For a lot of people they may be their only family and that’s why we want to take as good of care of them as humanly possible. And in some instances that means going with a different kind of flea and tick medicine that might not be filled with those harmful chemicals whose names you can’t even pronounce. But unfortunately, according to a new class action lawsuit, some of those all natural flea remedies might actually be causing more harm to your pet.

Joining me now to talk about this is Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions. Scott, this is the Sentry Natural Defense flea and tick repellent that we’re starting to see some problems with. There’s this new class action lawsuit saying that, yeah, okay, maybe it repels fleas and ticks. It’s also toxic though for my pet. Lay this one out for us.

Scott Hardy:                          Sure. So we, you know, as you’ve mentioned here before the, the we try to be healthy, we try to give our kids natural organic foods. So it makes sense that for our pets we’re trying to find healthy natural alternatives than all the chemicals because we want them to live as long as, and healthy life as possible. So you had Ramona who went and picked up that Sentry Natural Defense flea and tick repellent, put it on her dog, exactly as instructed, followed the instructions. But just within a few minutes the dog started scratching.

It was irritating the skin, dog actually lost hair where she was applying it. And she finds out that the ingredients, the essential oils within this Sentry product are poisonous to pets. And the Veterinary Centers of America website advises pet owners to never apply concentrated essential oil because even a small amount can be harmful. And so you have Sentry, which is selling this essential oils to try to help out pet owners, may actually be harming them according to this class action.

Farron Cousins:                  And what people have to understand too is that, you know, the, the bodies of our pets are really, even though we have, you know, essentially the same organs, they’re really not at all like us at all. There are things that are great for humans, garlic, onions, those can kill our pets. You know, so these essential oils that have peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, clove oil and thyme oil, sure, those might smell great. You know, we put them in our little oil diffusers. It makes the house smell amazing. Sometimes we put them on our skin, you know, to clear up blemishes. Just because it works on us doesn’t mean that it’s okay to put it on your dog, to put it in your dog, have it in a spot where they could lick it off. This stuff can be toxic, you know, pets do not have the same kind of tolerance for these things that people do.

And I, I kind of feel, maybe it’s not the case, but I kind of feel like Sentry may have jumped on this essential oil craze that has taken the nation by storm, and said, you know what, we know that certain insects are repelled by these scents, which is true. Peppermint oil is great for keeping away insects. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to put it on your pet and have it essentially start burning their skin and irritating it to the point of losing their hair. So, you know, this isn’t a simple case of, oh, maybe the pet was allergic to it, which we see that’s not what this is. This is you’re putting something on your animal that cannot go on an animal.

Scott Hardy:                          Yeah. You would think that Sentry, which is a well-respected pet, pet product manufacturer would be doing their research and finding out which essential oils may actually be okay for a pet and which aren’t. As you said, there’s plenty of research out there that says that these oils are harmful and can hurt these pets. So if you have Sentry Natural Defense flea and tick repellent, I would highly advise you return it. Take it to your pet store, don’t put it on. You know, see if you can get a refund from Sentry because if it really is toxic, you, you absolutely don’t want to hurt your animal. Hopefully Sentry will come out there and proactively work with their customers and if they’re, if you had a pet that was harmed, we want to know about it.

Make sure to leave a comment on this article so that way you can be informed. If you took your dog to the vet, you may very well be able to get those expenses reimbursed for you. So that’s one of the reasons that these class actions are filed is to not just try to get a new formulation put in place that isn’t harmful to pets, but for those pets that were harmed, make sure that the owners are able to get reimbursed for any veterinary expenses that were incurred due to this problem.

Farron Cousins:                  And, you know, I, I do want to kind of touch back on something you said there. You know, Sentry is a good company. It’s a well respected company. I use Sentry products on all of my animals, my dogs, my cats. But not this particular one. So Sentry is good. They, they’re, they’re good at what they do. This product, however, is not good. So, I don’t want people to think that I’m saying Sentry is just a horrible company. They have some wonderful products out there that I would highly recommend. This isn’t one of them.

And as Scott mentioned, if you have used this product, if you know somebody who has used this product, the link is in the description of this video. Head over to Top Class Actions, get all the information you need. And of course, while you’re there, make sure you sign up for their weekly newsletter. Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions. Thank you very much for telling us this story today.

Scott Hardy:                          You’re welcome. Thanks for your time, Farron.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced