Can Dogs Have Peppermint? (+Vets’ Comments Included)

Peppermint is refreshing, exhilarating and calming. It can soothe an upset stomach and relieve a sore throat. People appreciate this herb added in meals, candies, tea, and other beverages,  but how about our pets?

So, can dogs eat peppermint?

Yes, dogs can have a peppermint safely. And it’s actually one of the popular ingredients to use by professionals in their dog treats, and dental chews mint flavored formulas and pups appear to like it.

For example, as some buyers of peppermint dog biscuits reported those are delicious, works well for picky eaters and even for pups with allergies and sensitive bellies.

Peppermint not only tastes great for dogs, but it’s also loaded with a bunch of healthy nutrients including:

  • Antioxidants,
  • Vitamins A and C,
  • Protein,
  • Rosmarinic acid, known to relieve seasonal allergies,
  • Fiber,
  • Minerals, including copper, iron, calcium, folate, magnesium, folate, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, manganese, zinc, and riboflavin.

Peppermint also includes menthol, that breaks up phlegm and mucus both in humans and dogs.

You may also have overheard that peppermint can be a strong fighter in the battle against things like bloating and gas in humans. But this rule doesn’t apply to dogs.

“While some people believe that peppermint may help a dog’s digestive system or decrease joint inflammation, there isn’t enough scientific study to prove that claim,” – thinks Jerry Klein, DVM, from American Kennel Club.

Is peppermint bad for dogs?

Peppermint is fine for dogs to eat in moderation. But don’t forget: just like for us, humans, too many out of the ordinary menu treats (including peppermint) can lead to unwanted weight gain,  gastrointestinal issues, and other health problems.

Another thing to remember: one type of peppermint is toxic to both dogs and humans. It’s called Pennyroyal and can lead to liver failure. So if you have any sorts of peppermints in your backyard where your pup is jumping around deliberately, you have to double check that it’s not Pennyroyal.

Is peppermint safe for dogs?

The biggest reputational problem with peppermint isn’t the herb itself, but rather mint flavored foods containing many other ingredients, including artificial sweeteners, like Xylitol, that is extremely toxic for dogs and in some severe cases can even cause pup’s death.  

The general rule of thumb is to avoid giving your dog mint flavored products that contain any of the following ingredients:  

  • Cane sugar
  • Xylitol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spicy pepper

If you decided to treat your dog with mint, let it be a plain peppermint. But only if your dog is really passionate about this herb and its taste at all.

“It’s always tempting, especially around the holidays, for dog owners to share a special treat with their pets,” states Jerry Klein, DVM, from American Kennel Club. “However, unlike humans, most dogs don’t crave a wide variety of tastes in their food. In fact, sudden changes to a dog’s diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.”

Peppermint and dogs. Summary

So all in all, peppermint isn’t poisonous to dogs, but it’s essential to let your dog have just a small serving of it at a time.

Never permit your dog to bite those peppermint leaves right from the plant in your yard, as it will lead to overeating easily.  And too much of the herb can drive the digestive upset. Double check that no toxic Pennyroyal plants are growing in your garden. If you prefer to give your pooch mint-flavored treats instead, those are also fine in moderation.

Credits: thanks for the cover photo to PommeGrenade from Pixabay