Ah, peppermint. For humans, it’s a refreshing and invigorating scent. But is peppermint oil safe for dogs? Pet parents who are thinking about using this essential oil on or around their dogs would do well to fully understand the risks. In this article, you’ll learn about peppermint oil, how it affects dogs, and safe alternatives to this substance.
Table of Contents
- What is Peppermint Oil?
- Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
- Risks and Side Effects of Peppermint Oil in Dogs
- Safer Alternatives to Peppermint Oil for Dogs
- Unsafe Essential Oils for Dogs
- Summary – Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
- Related Posts
What is Peppermint Oil?
What exactly is peppermint oil? Peppermint oil comes from the perennial shrub Mentha piperita. It’s part of the mint family. Now, the “essential oil” part comes from the plant’s stems, flower buds, and leaves. As an essential oil, peppermint has become incredibly popular. Many people believe that diffusing this oil helps with mental clarity, stress reduction, and treating coughs or colds.
Do you know that cooling sensation on your skin when peppermint is applied? That comes from menthol. And peppermint oil has a high menthol content – around forty percent! For humans, peppermint oil has been proven to help with muscle aches and pains. However, as you’ll learn next, you should not use it for dogs.
Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
No, peppermint oil is not safe to feed to dogs or put on their skin. This concentrated substance can pose risks to dogs and even make it difficult for them to breathe. Consuming peppermint oil can make our furry friends very sick. Now that you know the basic answer to this question, let’s explore the risks and effects of dogs ingesting or coming into contact with peppermint oil
Risks and Side Effects of Peppermint Oil in Dogs
It sure smells nice, but peppermint oil poses many threats to canines. It’s potent and, as mentioned, high in menthol. This concentrated menthol is what causes many of the unwanted symptoms. Let’s explore these symptoms and risks below.
A short-term risk of applying peppermint oil to a dog’s skin is irritation. While some say peppermint oil can be applied as a flea treatment or perfume, it can really bother your buddy’s skin. You may see redness or even blisters. Plus, canines might get itchy and scratch excessively at the affected area. Nonstop scratching can cause cuts and cause the peppermint oil to wreak even more havoc on your dog’s skin.
Let’s say your dog has peppermint oil on their fur and starts licking it. Or perhaps he gets into an essential oil diffuser with peppermint. What will happen? Ingesting peppermint oil is hard on a dog’s stomach, and high amounts become toxic.
It can cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Of course, as a watchful pet parent, you should catch these early. However, if the symptoms go unchecked, they may lead to dehydration. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening.
Like other toxic substances, peppermint oil may cause disruptions in a dog’s neurological centers. Basically, he could lose his balance or become highly fatigued. In the worst cases, dogs may even experience seizures or tremors. This risk should only occur if huge doses are consumed or applied to the skin, but be careful! It’s best to avoid peppermint oil and steer clear of unwanted emergencies.
The peppermint scent might invigorate our senses, but imagine how it smells for dogs’ extra-sensitive noses! A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 or more times as strong as a human’s. So, strong scents like peppermint could be more than overpowering to dogs. There’s a risk that if dogs inhale diffused peppermint oil, they could begin struggling to breathe. This risk is even higher in brachycephalic breeds like pugs or bulldogs.
Did you know that eucalyptus oil is not safe for dogs either?
Safer Alternatives to Peppermint Oil for Dogs
Thankfully, if you’re looking for essential oils for your pooch, you have options! Check out these safe alternatives to peppermint oil.
Chamomile Oil – Chamomile is known for its calming scent. It’s a mild fragrance that may promote relaxation.
Lavender Oil – Here’s another relaxing fragrance! Lavender is a gentle smell and, when diluted and diffused, may ease stress and anxiety in dogs.
Cardamom Oil – This lovely scent is a safe alternative to peppermint oil. Cardamom is a spice with a warm, soothing aroma that is completely natural and non-toxic to dogs.
Frankincense Oil – Frankincense has a rich, woodsy fragrance that’s not overwhelming. It’s safe for pups, but as with other essential oils, simply diffuse it rather than applying it to your pup’s skin or letting him lick it.
Do you feel up to the task of diffusing some of these dog-safe essential oils? Just keep in mind that not all dogs react the same way to essential oils. If your pooch seems uncomfortable with a new scent, simply put it to rest. And remember: no peppermint!
Unsafe Essential Oils for Dogs
Along with peppermint, several other oils have scary side effects for dogs. Below is a list of oils to avoid.
- Sweet Birch
- Tea Tree Oil
- Ylang Ylang
Note that this list isn’t exhaustive. If you have cats in your household, you should also avoid citrus oils. And for your beloved pooch, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian with any specific questions about what’s safe.
Summary – Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
To sum it up, peppermint oil may be pleasant for humans, but it’s risky for dogs. Pet parents should avoid allowing their dogs to come into contact with peppermint oil. It’s the best option to keep our furry friends safe and healthy!
Has your dog come into contact with peppermint oil? What happened? Please tell me about your experiences with peppermint oils or ask a question in the comment section at the end of this page.
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