Peppermint is one of the most popular fragrances and flavorings in foods and beverages, especially around the holidays. It is also used medicinally in alternative medicine around the world. But can dogs eat peppermint? Let’s find out!
Can dogs eat peppermint?
Yes, dogs can eat the fresh (or dried) herb peppermint, as well as peppermint tea and natural peppermint oil. Adding the herb or tea to your dog’s diet is not only a tasty treat, but also has many benefits. However, they cannot have peppermint candies or synthetic essential oils.
Related: Candy Cane Shaped Dog Treats Without Artificial Dyes!
Benefits of Peppermint for Dogs
Fresh mint is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as iron, which support healthy bones, skin, blood and vision, as well as immune health. The leaves are also a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and weight, and is known to soothe stomach upset.
In addition, peppermint has powerful antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it can be used as an adjunct to veterinary treatments for some diseases and infections, and can even help relieve arthritic pain in older dogs.
Finally, in true minty fashion, the most common reason people want to give their dogs mint is because it’s a great way to freshen stinky breath.
How to give your dog peppermint and how much to give him
If you want to give your pup fresh peppermint, limit it to a few leaves or it may upset their stomach. You can give them a few leaves daily if they suffer from bad breath, and to make it more appealing if they aren’t fans, chop them up and mix them into your dog’s food. Alternatively, you can purchase dried peppermint prepared in small pieces.
You can also add chopped peppermint leaves to homemade dog treats if your pet desperately needs some breath freshening!
Can Puppies Eat Peppermint?
The fresh herb is completely harmless to puppies over 12 weeks of age and can be given to puppies in very small quantities as an occasional treat in addition to a balanced diet.
Can dogs have peppermint tea?
Peppermint tea is a nice treat to give your dog and, like the leaves, can help digestive problems, soothe nausea during illness and freshen breath. It is free of caffeine and can even help soothe stress and anxiety. Make sure it has cooled before giving it to your dog!
If your dog is a big fan of the flavor and is in desperate need of some breath freshening, consider getting creative and making him a peppermint popsicle by freezing some peppermint tea in the freezer.
Is peppermint dangerous for dogs?
The herb peppermint is not dangerous for dogs, but can cause vomiting and diarrhea if consumed in large quantities or in dogs with a sensitive stomach. We therefore do not recommend giving it to dogs with a particularly sensitive stomach.
Will peppermint candy hurt dogs?
Although the herb is harmless, you should not give your dog peppermint treats, candy canes, or ice cream. Not only does it contain too much sugar for dogs, which can cause sugar spikes and stomach complaints in the short term, but also tooth decay, weight gain and diabetes in the long term.
Most peppermint candies also contain the sweetener xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs. Even small amounts xylitol can cause liver failure in our four-legged family members, so this is an absolute no-no! Some peppermint candies also contain chocolate, which is equally toxic in slightly higher doses.
Hard treats can also damage your dog’s teeth, cause a choking hazard, and scratch or get stuck in your dog’s digestive tract if not chewed properly, which can be life-threatening. The plastic packaging of peppermint treats is also a choking hazard and a hazard to your dog’s insides.
Can I use peppermint oil on my dog?
Peppermint oil is an essential oil derived from the flowers and leaves of the peppermint plant. It has been used medicinally for centuries and can provide some of the same benefits we’ve already mentioned, but not all essential oils are the same.
If you are going to use essential oils on your dog, they should be of high quality; completely natural, diluted and specifically labeled as made for dogs to ensure there are no unsafe or synthetic ingredients in the oil. Many of these types of oils are even used in small amounts in dog treats and products such as dog toothpaste.
However, lower quality synthetic essential oils can contain toxic ingredients that are extremely harmful to your dog, and the natural but ruffled ingredients are far too strong.
There are certain things you should also never do with essential oils when it comes to your dog, regardless of the quality of the oil.
Can I diffuse peppermint oil for my dog?
No, your dog’s sense of smell is much, much stronger than yours, and it can make him feel nauseous or even have an upset stomach. Inhaling it can also be potentially dangerous, and if enough droplets dry on their fur and they lick it off, they can poison themselves or even become poisoned by absorption through the skin.
Can I use peppermint oil on my dog’s skin?
No, you should never apply essential oils to your pup’s skin as it can cause irritation or even chemical burns depending on the oil.
Owners should also be aware of the dangers of giving peppermint oil to dogs with certain health problems, such as liver disease or kidney disease. Peppermint oil can affect these organs and worsen these health problems.
Signs of Essential Oil Poisoning in Dogs
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing or wheezing
- Difficulty walking
- Paws on the mouth or face
- Redness of the mouth/skin or burns
If your dog shows signs of poisoning, take him to the nearest vet as soon as possible or call the Pet Poison Helpline if you’re not sure.
Do dogs like the taste of mint?
Just like people, every dog is different. Mint is an acquired taste and its smell and taste can be loved or hated by dogs.
Can dogs be allergic to peppermint?
Dogs can be allergic to almost anything, including peppermint, but it is a fairly rare allergy. Signs of food allergies in dogs include coat changes, low energy and abdominal pain.
If you think your dog may be allergic to peppermint, don’t give it to him and look for alternatives when looking for a breath freshener.
Alternatives to peppermint
Whether you want to give your dog an herbal treat or something to freshen their breath, let’s look at some helpful alternatives.
Regular mint leaves are a safe and tasty alternative to peppermint leaves. And yes, there is one difference between mint and peppermint.
Parsley is also a brilliant herbal breath freshener for dogs. Use it sparingly, as we did in our Homemade Fresh Breath Dog Treat Recipe.
Brush your dog’s teeth
If you really want to freshen your dog’s breath, consider brushing his teeth with a dog toothbrush, but make sure you also use dog toothpaste as most human toothpastes contain xylitol, which, as we mentioned earlier, is highly toxic to dogs.
Dental treats for dogs are designed to scrape plaque from teeth, improve your dog’s oral hygiene and freshen his breath. If you don’t want to give your dog a commercial toothpick, try a frozen carrot.
Chew toys are another great way to clean your dog’s teeth. They are designed to promote saliva production and scrape plaque from your dog’s teeth, naturally cleaning teeth and freshening breath.
Dental powders and potions
If your dog doesn’t like brushing their teeth, try a tooth powder that is made to be mixed into the daily meal, or a dental drink that can be added to the daily water bowl to freshen breath.
Does your dog like peppermint leaves? Let us know in the comments below. If you are going to give your dog peppermint, make sure to limit it to the leaves or the tea, and do your research about using essential oils.