Peppermint oil is one of the most popular essential oils used for various purposes, such as aroma therapy. It has many benefits and has risen in popularity over the years. While it can be beneficial for you, is it safe for dogs?
We will look at the oil and its uses and answer the question about its safety for your furry friend.
What is Peppermint Oil?
It is a herbal extract that comes from peppermint leaves. Peppermint is a spearmint and water mint hybrid native to the Middle East and Europe. Peppermint oil can be extracted from the leaves through steam distillation, soxhlet, and solvent extraction.
Thanks to its many health benefits, the oil is commonly used for cooking, aroma therapy, and as a dietary supplement. Moreover, peppermint oil has menthol as an active ingredient and, in some cultures, is used as alternative medicine.
For pets, the oil can be mixed with their shampoo and used as a pest repellant and fragrance to keep them clean and smelling nice at all times.
Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
Though the oil has many uses and benefits, it is best not to use it on your furry friend. It has many risks and can be toxic to dogs. Other than peppermint, other essential oils can be similarly toxic, and it is important to be aware of the dangers and risks involved when using them.
Peppermint Oil Poisoning in Dogs
Peppermint oil contains concentrated chemicals of the plant that are not dog friendly. Your dog can absorb the toxic chemical through the skin or orally.
The toxic chemicals are metabolized by the liver and are to be excreted as waste, but in most cases, they overwhelm the organ because of their toxicity. The effects of the harmful chemicals can be fatal to canines suffering from liver and kidney diseases.
Moreover, peppermint oil contains potpourri in liquid form, which causes gastrointestinal issues in dogs. It can also irritate your dog’s mouth and skin.
Young dogs and dogs from small breeds are more vulnerable to the toxicity of peppermint oil. The negative health effects of peppermint oil are also worse for canines with health issues and can cause liver failure and problems in their nervous system.
Signs of Peppermint Oil Poisoning in Dogs
- Difficulty in walking
- Pawing at their face
- Burns in your dog’s tongue, skin, lips, and gums
What to Do if a Dog is Exposed to Peppermint Oil Poisoning
Rapid diagnosis and treatment are paramount to saving your furry friend’s life. If you believe your dog has accidentally been exposed to peppermint oil, contact your vet as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can call the Pet Poison Hotline (800-213-6680) to seek guidance on how to assist your dog.
It is important that you:
- Don’t induce vomiting, or try homemade remedies such as giving your pooch-activated charcoal to absorb the poison. These techniques can worsen your canine condition.
- Wash off any peppermint oil product on your dog’s skin or fur with a hand wash or dishwashing detergent.
- Place the exact peppermint oil product in a sealed container and take it with you when visiting a vet. This will assist them in making a proper diagnosis when treating your dog.
Peppermint Oil Poisoning Treatment
The quicker you get to a vet, the better for your dog. The vet will apply an immediate and aggressive treatment plan for your dog to help them quickly recover from the toxic effects of peppermint oil.
The treatment can be different for each dog exposed to peppermint oil poisoning. Your vet will determine the best diagnosis for your dog based on the various symptoms your canine has.
A common treatment plan involves blood work to determine if your dog’s kidney or liver has been affected by peppermint oil. Your vet may also administer IV fluids to keep your fur baby hydrated, and a feeding tube can be necessary if there are burns in their mouth.
Other common treatment procedures include:
- Pain medication
- Anti-vomiting medication
- Stomach protection
- Medication to protect the dog’s kidney and liver
Different brands of peppermint oils have different levels of toxic substances. The recovery process for your dog will, therefore, depend on the exposure to peppermint oil and the brand. There is no standardized treatment plan or antidote to peppermint oil poisoning; your pooch can recover through quick intervention.
Preventing Peppermint Oil Poisoning
Dogs are curious like their feline counterparts and will love to sniff around your house. The peppermint oil’s aroma will attract them, and they can ingest it if in an open container. The best way to keep your furry friend safe from the toxicity of peppermint oil is by keeping it out of their reach at all times.
Are the Theories on its Benefits True?
You might have heard that peppermint essential oil is a great remedy for dogs infested with ticks and fleas. But, is it?
It is, but it doesn’t always work. While various brands available in the market can claim to be all-natural, this does not mean they are all safe. Not all peppermint oil concoctions can treat and repel ticks and fleas.
If you are interested in any form of treatment containing peppermint oil, it will be better for your dog if you consult a vet first.
Peppermint oil must be diluted before using it near your pet as it can be potent in its pure form. Dogs contain about 50 times more olfactory receptors in their noses than humans, so the oil can be too much for them to handle.
If you acquire a product that contains peppermint oil, ensure that you follow the instruction for use and don’t give more than the recommended amount.
Note that not all dogs might like the scent of peppermint oil. You should stop using it immediately if you see any negative reactions from your dog when using it in a diffuser.
Is Peppermint Dog Safe?
The Peppermint plant is less toxic to dogs than its essential oil variety. Your dog can eat snacks and treats that contain the ingredient in small amounts. If they overindulge in the treats, they may develop gastrointestinal issues.
Is there any Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
While essential oils benefit people, there is no safe variety for dogs. The general rule for pets is to keep essential oils away from them, especially in their undiluted form.
Using essential oils in diffusers can lead to tiny droplets of essential oils in the air, which can cause respiratory issues in dogs when inhaled. If you need a diffuser in your house, ensure it is the part or rooms in your home your pooch has no access to. It is worse for your dog if they have underlying breathing conditions.
Examples of essential oils that are equally toxic to dogs include:
- Ylang ylang
- Tea tree oil
- Sweet birch
Peppermint oil has so many benefits, but they all apply to humans. For your dog’s safety, do not use the oil; keep it far away from them if you have any in your house.
You should always consult your vet before introducing a product that contains any essential oil to your furry friend, even if it is mild.