Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?

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Peppermint oil (essential oil of peppermint) is a common ingredient in many household items, including pet health supplements. You may have wondered, “Is peppermint oil safe for dogs?” Like anything you give your pet, understanding what it is, how it works, and how to safely use it is critical so that we can use it correctly with our pets, and reap the benefits of this multimodal plant.

What is Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint or Mentha Piperita is a wonderful plant full of medicinal uses for all species. It’s part of the mint family and contains high levels of menthol. Menthol is the compound that gives peppermint its refreshing and cooling properties and is what aids many in pain relief and decongestion. Peppermint oil is an essential oil (concentration) made by steam distilling the peppermint plant. This results in a highly concentrated form of peppermint, where a little goes a very long way.

What are the Benefits of Peppermint Oil for Dogs?

Peppermint essential oil can be quite useful for many conditions. It is a powerful analgesic, meaning it helps to relieve pain, and does so without drugs. In a study done to test peppermint’s pain-relieving power, it was shown to be just as powerful as acetaminophen (Tylenol) when used on patients suffering from tension headaches. 

remedy cbd salve for dogs with eucalyptus peppermint oil for dogs Peppermint is also widely used to relieve pruritis (itchiness) and relieve inflammation on the skin. It makes a great salve for skin issues like rashes, hives, and hot spots. Peppermint oil even speeds up the healing of wounds due to its antimicrobial properties. These are some of the reasons we chose peppermint oil to be in our CBD salve for dogs, Remedy, which is great for soreness, tumors and infections

Peppermint also has anti-spasmodic qualities that make it ideal for alleviating IBS symptoms like cramping and bloating and is great for relieving nausea and vomiting issues. Many digestive aid supplements contain peppermint due to these helpful properties. 

The scent of peppermint is uplifting and refreshing, making it useful not only in times of stress but also when you’re sick or congested. The menthol contained in peppermint oil is a powerful decongestant. Peppermint awakens the senses and is energizing, which is great for older, depressed, or stressed animals. 

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Is Peppermint Essential Oil Safe for my Dog?

Safety concerns about peppermint oil for dogs loom all over the internet. Unfortunately, just like a lot of natural health information on the internet these days, much of what you’ll find is either grossly exaggerated or simply false. 

Like many other essential oils deemed “unsafe” for pets, the accounts used to validate this “danger” are based on gross misuse or poor quality oils being used. When diluted properly, and sourced and formulated thoughtfully, peppermint oil for dogs is quite safe and has countless benefits. When shopping for essential oils for you or your pet, you should always be keeping in mind a few things. If your peppermint essential oil passes these tests, then it can be safely used with your pets, as long as it’s properly diluted. 

How it is Labeled

  • Each bottle should display a batch number or some way to trace the product back to its manufactured date.
  • Country of origin for where the oil was produced. Ideally, the EO should be blended and bottled domestically. If not, ensure there is independent third-party testing to verify the oil is legitimately what it says, and is tested for mold or contaminants. This is different from knowing where the plant material was sourced. Many oils are made from plants that can’t be grown in the US, like Frankincense, which comes from the Boswellia tree and is only found in countries like Africa and India.

Real vs Synthetic Essential Oil

  • Companies with real, unadulterated oils will be transparent about this. If you can’t figure out whether your peppermint oil has synthetic ingredients, uses additives, or is adulterated, then it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid it. 
  • Companies that go above and beyond will talk about their growing conditions, soil conditions, harvest techniques, sanitation, and distillation techniques. 

Can Dogs Have PepperMint Oil?

Peppermint is not only safe for dogs when used correctly, but it can also offer various health benefits. The key lies in understanding how to use it appropriately. Pure peppermint oil, when used in its essential oil form, should always be diluted to prevent any adverse reactions. High-quality peppermint oil, that is properly diluted and used safely, can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and provide relief from digestive issues like nausea and cramping.

However, it’s crucial to source your peppermint oil from reputable companies that ensure purity and quality, avoiding synthetic or adulterated oils. Always dilute peppermint oil and consult with a holistic veterinarian, especially when considering internal use.

How to Safely Use Peppermint Oil for Dogs 

Dilution is key! Using undiluted peppermint oil can be very harsh on the skin and mucous membranes, so always dilute your peppermint oil.

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For topical applications, peppermint oil should be diluted in a carrier oil by a ratio of 0.5%-2% oil and 98-99.5% carrier oil. In a diffuser, only use 1-2 drops, and make sure your pet has the ability to freely exit the room with the diffuser. If they don’t want to be in the room with the oil, do not force them to stay exposed. Your dog’s nose is much more sensitive than yours, so rest assured they will still get the benefits even from a distance, even if you don’t smell the oil. 

If your pet comes into contact with a large amount of oil or undiluted oil, do not use water to rinse their skin, eyes, or mucous membranes. Use another carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil to dilute. Using water will only further distribute the oil and cause further irritation. 

Due to the very powerful properties of peppermint oil, it’s best not to use it internally (given orally or otherwise) unless under the strict supervision of a veterinarian trained in aromatherapy. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Peppermint for Dogs

Do Dogs Like Peppermint?

Many dogs are attracted to the fresh, minty scent of peppermint, while others might be indifferent or even averse to it. It’s essential to observe your dog’s reaction and ensure they are comfortable with the scent before using peppermint oil for dogs or products containing peppermint for dogs.

How Much Peppermint is Toxic for Dogs?

Peppermint oil is potent, and even small amounts can be harmful if used incorrectly. A safe dilution rate for topical application is 0.5%-2% peppermint oil mixed with a safe carrier oil for pets. Always avoid using undiluted peppermint oil directly on or near your dog.

Can Dogs Have Peppermint Tea?

Peppermint tea, when cooled and given in moderation, can be safe for dogs. It can aid in digestion and soothe stomach issues. However, ensure the tea is plain, without added sugar or artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Peppermint Candy?

Peppermint candy is not recommended for dogs. Most peppermint candies contain sugar, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, and other ingredients that can be harmful to your pet. Stick to natural, dog-safe alternatives like diluted peppermint oil for therapeutic benefits.

Is Peppermint Safe for Puppies?

Peppermint oil should be used with caution around puppies. Their skin and mucous membranes are more sensitive than those of adult dogs. Always consult with a holistic veterinarian before using any essential oils on puppies and ensure proper dilution and application methods are followed.

What Should I Do if My Dog Ingests Undiluted Peppermint Oil?

If your dog ingests undiluted peppermint oil, it can cause significant irritation or toxicity. Contact your veterinarian immediately for advice. If any product is on the skin or fur, quickly wash it off. Put the product packaging in a sealed container and take it with you to the veterinary clinic. Remember to always keep essential oils out of reach of dogs and pets, and never apply a concentrated essential oil directly on your pet!

Can Peppermint Oil Be Used for Flea Control in Dogs?

Peppermint oil has natural repellent properties that can help in controlling fleas. However, it should always be diluted properly and used cautiously. For a safe and effective flea control regimen, consider combining peppermint oil with other natural oils like cedarwood or lavender, and consult with a holistic veterinarian.

Can I Use Peppermint Oil in a Diffuser Around My Dog?

Yes, you can use peppermint oil in a diffuser around your dog, but make sure the area is well-ventilated and your dog can leave the room if they choose. Use only 1-2 drops of oil and monitor your dog for any signs of discomfort or adverse reactions.

By addressing these common questions, you can ensure the safe and effective use of peppermint and peppermint oil for your dog, maximizing its benefits while minimizing risks. Always prioritize high-quality, pure essential oils and consult with a veterinarian for the best outcomes.

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Peppermint oil has a huge array of therapeutic benefits for your dog. Finding a well-sourced and formulated brand can be tricky, but there are many trustworthy brands to choose from in the US.

When properly diluted, peppermint oil can serve your dog in many ways. With the right approach, peppermint oil can be a powerful addition to your dog’s wellness routine, providing natural relief and support. Our favorite way to use peppermint oil is topically, through the use of our Remedy Salve for dogs