Wondering if it’s safe to give your pup mint? You’re not alone!
A lot of people are curious about whether or not it’s safe to give their dog mint. After all, it’s a common flavor in human food and breath mints. But is it okay for dogs? What do you need to know about the risks associated with giving your pup mint?
You’ll be relieved to know that, in most cases, giving your pup a little bit of mint is perfectly safe. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before doing so.
So please read on for more information about how to safely give your furry friend some minty goodness.
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What is Mint?
Mint is a perennial herb that is a member of the Lamiaceae family. There are many different types of mint, but the most common type is peppermint (Mentha piperita).
Mint has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is thought to be helpful in treating a variety of ailments, including nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and headaches. It is also a popular flavoring agent and can be found in a variety of products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and chewing gum.
Can Dogs Eat Mint?
The answer to this question is a little bit nuanced. It depends on the type of mint, how it is ingested, and your dog’s individual sensitivities.
What Types of Mint are Safe for Dogs?
Most types of mint are safe for dogs to eat, but there are a few you should avoid. These include spearmint (Mentha spicata) and pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium).
The most commonly used type of mint is peppermint (Mentha piperita), which is generally safe for dogs to eat. However, you should always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any new food.
Which Types of Mint are Bad for Dogs?
In the genus Mentha, the only species of mint considered toxic to dogs is English pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium). Dogs should never be given any amount of English pennyroyal mint.
Pennyroyal mint is also toxic for humans when consumed, so it is unlikely that it will be sold anywhere you would be purchasing mint to eat. But it’s always wise to verify what kind of mint you are purchasing before giving it to your dog.
Perilla mint (Perilla frutescens) is another member of the mint family (not in the genus Mentha) that is also considered toxic to dogs.
What are the Benefits of Mint?
Mint has a variety of benefits for dogs. Some of the most notable include:
- Freshens up their breath
- Helps to calm an upset stomach
- Aids in digestion
- Reduces gas
- May provide relief from allergies
- May help to reduce inflammation
How Much Mint Can I Give My Dog?
Dogs should be limited to 1 to 2 fresh mint leaves a day. Dried mint, while also safe for dogs to eat, needs to be given in much smaller quantities as it is much more potent than fresh mint.
The Risks of Giving Your Dog Too Much Mint
Like with any other food, you should always exercise caution when giving your dog mint. Too much of anything can be bad for them.
The biggest risk with giving dogs too much mint is gastrointestinal upset.
If your dog suffers vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness after eating even a small amount of mint, call your vet right away. They may have eaten pennyroyal mint which is toxic to dogs.
Are Breath Mints Bad for Dogs?
Breath mints made for humans are not necessarily bad for dogs, but they definitely aren’t good for dogs.
Many are made with sugar, which can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities. And many also contain artificial additives and flavors that can be harmful or even toxic to dogs.
Another thing to be concerned about with breath mints is that they are meant to be sucked on, dissolving in your mouth but dogs won’t do that. Dogs will either try to chew it or more likely just swallow it whole. This can lead to an obstruction in the dog’s digestive system.
It’s always best to stick with minty treats made specifically for dogs, which are usually available at pet stores. Merrick Fresh Kisses, Greenies, and Dentastix Mint Flavor are a few options for store-bought mint dog treats.
How to Give Your Dog Mint
There are a few different ways you can give your dog mint. You can give your dog raw, fresh leaves. Be sure to wash them first and only give healthy looking leaves, tossing any brown or wilted leaves.
You can chop the mint leaf up and sprinkle it over your dog’s food once or twice a day, making sure to not give more than a couple leaves total per day.
You can also make some homemade dog treats that use mint and give those to your dog.
Homemade Mint Treats for Your Dog
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own mint dog treats at home. Just be sure to use safe ingredients and avoid any ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like pennyroyal mint.
Frozen Fresh Breath Dog Treats are made with mint, parsley, and Greek yogurt for a refreshing treat for your pup.
Fresh Breath Dog Biscuits are made with old-fashioned oats, all-purpose flour, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, Italian parsley, and mint for a fresh-breath boosting baked treat.
FAQs About Giving Dogs Mint
Here are some FAQs about mint for dogs. Some of these may be covered in greater detail above.
Can I Give My Dog Mint Leaves?
Yes, you can give your dog mint leaves. But be sure to only give them fresh, healthy leaves and not any that are wilted or brown. Limit your dog to 1 to 2 leaves per day.
Can I Give My Dog a Minty Breath Treat?
Yes, you can give your dog a minty breath treat. But be sure to choose a treat made specifically for dogs and avoid any treats made for humans. Make sure to avoid any ingredients that are toxic to dogs.
Can I Give My Dog Minty Toothpaste?
No, you should not give your dog minty toothpaste. Any toothpaste made for humans should not be given to your dog.
Can I Give My Dog Mint Extract?
You can, but it’s not recommended. Mint extract is much more concentrated than what your dog would get with fresh leaves. Its higher concentration makes it easier to be consumed at unsafe levels.
Can I Give My Dog Peppermint Tea?
Yes, you can give your dog peppermint tea, but only if it is decaffeinated and in moderation. Too much peppermint tea can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs and caffeine is toxic to dogs.
Can I Put Mint Extract in My Dog’s Water Bowl?
It is best to not put mint in your dog’s water bowl. It’s harder to monitor how much they are consuming. Also, not all dogs like the taste of mint and it may make them decide not to drink from their water dish.
Can I Put Mint Leaves in My Dog’s Water
You can but it’s probably easier to just give the leaf to your dog or add it to their food.
If you really want to put it in their water you should chop the leaves up first. This will make it easier for your dog to eat and also help them avoid swallowing any leaves whole which could cause an obstruction.
Also, be sure to monitor how many leaves your dog is eating. Limit them to 1 or 2 leaves per day.
Is Peppermint Toxic to Dogs?
No, peppermint leaves are not toxic to dogs. But too much can cause gastrointestinal upset so it’s best to limit your dog to 1 or 2 leaves per day. Also, be sure to avoid any peppermint extract as it is more concentrated and easier to consume at unsafe levels.
Are Breath Mints Good for Dogs?
No, breath mints made for humans are not good for dogs. They can contain sugar which is harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities and many also contain artificial additives and flavors that can be harmful or even toxic to dogs.
It’s best to stick with minty treats made specifically for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Peppermints?
Just like breath mints (which includes peppermints), dogs shouldn’t have peppermints. They are usually high in sugar or may contain other ingredients that aren’t good for dogs. Plus, peppermints are a hard candy that could become a choking hazard for dogs or even a digestive tract obstruction.
Can Dogs Have Mint Essential Oil?
No, you should not give your dog mint essential oil. Like many essential oils, mint essential oil is toxic to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Mint Ice Cream?
No, dogs should not eat mint ice cream. It’s made with ingredients that are harmful or even toxic to dogs.
So, is it safe to give your pup mint? In short, yes—but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First of all, make sure that the mint you’re giving your dog is actually safe for them to eat. Not all types of mint are canine-friendly!
Secondly, don’t overdo it; too much mint can cause stomach upset in dogs.
Finally, if your dog experiences any adverse reactions after eating mint (such as vomiting or diarrhea), consult with your veterinarian immediately.
As long as you exercise caution and stick with dog-safe mint treats, your pup will be able to enjoy the benefits of this fragrant herb!