Dog Tips

Can My Dog Eat Mint?

You immediately look for a mint right before kissing your partner, but have you ever thought if your dog might also want to freshen its breath before licking you or other dogs? 

Okay, we are kidding. Dogs don’t worry so much about their breath before showing affection to you. But you may sometimes feel like feeding mint to your dog before it licks you. If you do, here’s a good news for you. Mint is safe for your dog and can even provide some health benefits to them. But not all mints are safe. Continue reading below to learn from Spot Pet Insurance!

What is Mint?

Mint is an aromatic herb with hundreds of its varieties growing worldwide. Native spearmint, peppermint, Scotch peppermint, apple mint, wild mint, etc. are some examples of it. As we know, it is the primary ingredient in breath fresheners like chewing gums, mouth rinse and toothpaste. Apart from its freshening properties, it comes with several other benefits. These include – 

  • Promotes digestion

  • Relieves irritable bowel syndrome

  • Clears stuffed nose and relieves chest congestion

  • Improves brain power 

  • Boosts immunity

  • Helps cope with stress and depression

  • Helps in weight loss

  • Promotes healthy hairs

  • Can act as a cleanser, toner, astringent and moisturizer for the skin

  • And the best one is that it also helps with curing hangovers

But dogs don’t drink so maybe this benefit does not apply so much to them. But what about the other benefits?

Benefits of Mint for Dogs

The benefits of mint for dogs may not be the same as those for us humans. But there are plenty of other benefits that our four-legged buddies can derive from this plant. 

  • Anti-oxidants – Mint is anti-oxidant rich and hence helps protect your dog against cell oxidation and free radical damage that contribute to cancer.

  • Vitamins – Vitamins A and C found in mint can support healthy bones, skin, and vision as well as immunity.

  • Digestion – These leaves are a natural source of dietary fiber which can promote healthy digestion. They can also relieve symptoms of IBS and reduce gas

  • Allergies – The rosmarinic acid found in them has been shown to relieve symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. 

  • Fresh breath – And the biggest benefit that humans derive from it is applicable for dogs too. The antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal benefits can all help freshen your dog’s breath. 

Well if mint leaves are so good for dogs, we should be feeding them to our canine pets day-in and day-out right? Wrong. There are some risks associated with feeding mint leaves to dogs.

Risks of Mint for Dogs

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort – Overconsumption of any kind of mint can cause problems in the stomach leading to vomiting and diarrhea. 

  • Mint oils – Essential oils made up of mint can be extremely toxic for your dog. Even topical application can be risky as it stands a chance of ingestion due to licking. It can cause excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even cause seizures and liver failure. 

  • Diffusers – Mint-flavored aroma diffusers are often used in aroma therapy for humans. But these are not safe for dogs. They disperse fine particles of oil into the air. Over-inhalation of these can cause wheezing, coughing or breathing difficulties, particularly if they have asthma. 

  • Wintergreen – Often marketed as mint, it is actually not one and is toxic to dogs. It contains an aspirin-like chemical called methyl salicylate that can cause problems ranging from vomiting and confusion to kidney issues and liver failure in dogs. 

The next question that you would naturally have is – 

How Do I Feed Mint Safely to my Dog?

  • Made for dogs - Choose mint products made only for dogs. Avoid giving them any kind of human mints like candies and cookies.

  • Verify – Wherever you’re buying your mint from, ensure that your chosen mint plant is neither the English pennyroyal nor a wintergreen plant mistaken for mint.

  • Wash – Wash the mint leaves thoroughly before feeding them directly to your dog to avoid ingestion of any kind of pesticide.

  • Moderation – Feed only 1-2 verified mint leaves that too occasionally to avoid any stomach distress.

  • Monitor – While introducing any new food to your dog, make sure you monitor them for any signs of discomfort.  

The easiest way to add mint to your dog’s diet is to sprinkle a little fresh or dried mint over his food. Remember not to overdo it though. 

Can My Dog Eat Candy Mints?

Candy mints in any kind or form and any proportion can be harmful to your pet. They contain high amounts of sugar which is very unhealthy for dogs. And if you’re thinking of sugar-free ones, there are not any better ones. They contain artificial sweeteners which aren’t good for your dog and could even put their life in danger. Xylitol, one of the most common artificial sweeteners, is highly toxic to dogs and eating a small amount can cause liver failure and may prove lethal. The peppermint oil in these candies is also toxic to your dog and can cause gastrointestinal distress. 

Can My Dog Eat Fresh Peppermint Leaves?

Yes, your dog can eat a couple of fresh peppermint leaves. They can help relieve your dog’s upset stomach. Dried leaves are stronger than the fresh ones. They can even be used to cure car sickness for your dog. Having said that, do not try to feed peppermint-flavored candies or sweets to your dog. The artificial sweeteners can be very harmful to your dog. They can also choke on the candy resulting in intestinal blockage. Peppermint extracts are also not recommended for dogs. The concentration level can be very high causing an upset stomach. 

My Dog Ate a Peppermint - What Do I Do?

If your dog ends up ingesting a peppermint candy, unless they show signs of discomfort, they should be fine given the quantity is not much. But if the candy was a sugar-free one, it may require immediate action from your side. You should be calling your vet right away. The Xylitol in them can cause a toxic injury to their liver. It is best to keep all kinds of candies made for humans away from them. 

More about Spot Pet Insurance

Having a pet comes with risks of them ending up ingesting or inhaling things that they are not supposed to causing health problems for them. Sometimes the effects can be very severe. 

Dog Insurance can help provide financial assistance for eligible veterinary care in case of unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Our plans can help pet parents manage the eligible costs of covered veterinary care and help ensure that their pets can receive the best treatment possible. Here are some ways that Spot pet insurance plans can help:

  • Covers Unexpected Veterinary Costs: Spot pet insurance plans cover the eligible costs of unexpected veterinary treatments, such as emergency surgeries, X-rays, and prescription medications for covered conditions.

  • Customizable Plans: Choose your annual limit, reimbursement rate, and deductible from a range of options, and create the plan that will fit the needs of your pet and your budget. 

  • Peace of Mind: With Spot pet insurance plans, pet parents can know that they can provide the best care for their pet with less worry about the cost.

Related Readings

Pet Dental Insurance: Does My Plan Cover Cleanings & Extractions?

How to Submit a Pet Insurance Claim

Sources

1. Mrcvs, A. M., & Food, P. P. (n.d.). Can dogs eat mint? Pure Pet Food. https://www.purepetfood.com/help/can-dogs-eat-mint

2. The Farmer’s Dog. (2020, May 27). Superfoods in your kitchen: Mint for Dogs - the Farmer’s dog. https://www.thefarmersdog.com/digest/superfoods-kitchen-mint-dogs/

3. Maxvets, I., Maxvets, I., & Maxvets, I. (2023, January 7). What if your dog ate peppermint accidentally? What To Do? Max Vets - Best Veterinary Hospital in New Friends Colony, Greater Kailash & Pitampura. https://www.maxvets.com/what-if-your-dog-ate-peppermint-accidentally-what-to-do/

4. MasterClass. (n.d.). Can dogs eat mint? Benefits and risks - 2024 - MasterClass. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/can-dogs-eat-mint

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