Dogs are one of man’s best friends. So, of course, you probably want your pup to have the best of everything. But can dogs eat mint? Yes and No!
Mint comes in different varieties of products. Humans love minty plants/leaves or products because they aid digestion. Mint also freshen your breath or clears your throat. But should your dog eat mint?
Different varieties of minty products are safe for your dog’s consumption. But some mint leaves or foods could make your dog vomit and suffer from diarrhea. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause weakness in your dog. So if they must eat mint, then it should be only in small proportions per day.
What are Mints?
What comes to mind at first? Mint leaves, tea, sweets, peppermint, and essential oils. Well, that’s not all.
Mint refers to an aromatic herb plant, also known in Spanish as menta. One of the intriguing things about the minty plant is the cool sensation in your mouth. That and other health benefit is why you find minty flavors in foods and drinks.
Gardeners plant mint because it grows fast. More so, it doesn’t require much to maintain a mint plant. You can also grow them in a small container or on the ground. But they tend to grow without control on the ground.
You will find mint plants on all continents. That’s because they do well in almost any climate. Well, no mints are growing in Antarctica.
Different Types of Mints
The two most common mints available are Spearmint and peppermint. You also have the water mint, wild mint, lavender mint, apple, and pineapple mint. The scientific name for the wild mint is Menthe Arvensis. There are at least 13 to 24 species of minty plants.
However, there are so many more hybrid mint species. Thus, it becomes even more challenging to differentiate between the mint plants. Or even more difficult to answer the question, can dogs eat mint.
The general family name for the mint is the Lamiaceae, with the mentha and monarda as sub-family. Therefore, you have other mints like stone mint, horsemint, and catmint. But most of these mints are great for making essential oils, tea, brews, and foods for dogs.
Products with Mint include
- Chewing gum
- Breath mints
- Foods/ Edibles
Foods and drinks consumed by humans include
- Lamb dishes
- Mojito cocktails
- Mint chocolate chip
- Mint ice cream
- Alcoholic drinks
You can use mint for essential oils for killings:
- Other insects
Mints offer scintillating effects when used as a room deodorant. Aromatherapy makes use of mint essential oil instead of the leaves.
The leaves of the mint plant can serve as herbs for treating different ailments. They include irritable bowel syndrome, stomach aches, and chest pains. However, please note that there is no clinical research supporting these treatments.
What are the Compositions of Mint?
Does mint have any nutritional value? Yes, it does! Pups can derive enough nutritional value from consuming mint, just like humans. But you must administer the proper dosage in your dog’s food.
Mint serves as an antibiotic that fights against free radicals in the dog’s blood cells. It also protects against oxidation damage to keep your dog healthy.
The leaves also serve as a dietary fiber to aid in quick digestion. That’s why mint can give your dog relief from stomach upset or indigestion. Other potential mint-related comforts include diarrhea, digestive system disorder, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Mint also has anti-inflammatory properties, plus it repels fleas from the dog.
Vitamins and Minerals
Mints contain a lot of healthy vitamins and minerals good for your dog. For example, the Vitamin A and C present in mint will help boost your dog’s immune system. In addition, they can develop healthy bones, vision, and skins from consuming mint. All these properties will help keep your dog healthy and fit always.
The available minerals in mint include magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, potassium, calcium, folate, and more.
Mint plant or leave has a rich supply of antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. These properties are responsible for giving humans and even your dog fresh breath. That’s why gums, toothpaste, and candies contain mint for fresh breath. It also kills the oral bacteria responsible for smelly breath in dogs.
The menthol property helps decongest the nasal passage to clear mucus and thick phlegm.
Relief from Allergies
You sometimes take your pups to the veterinary doctor for allergy shots. Dogs suffer from common allergies like Benadryl, hives, skin allergies, and more. Mints contain properties called rosmarinic acid and menthol. And they are known to provide relief (natural congestion) for some of these allergies.
Harmful Content in Mint
Xylitol in higher concentrations could be harmful to your dog. But, on the other hand, the wrong dosage could either poison or kill your dog. And you will find Xylitol in mint.
Is it Good for Dogs to Eat mint?
We most times use human rations to judge what’s safe for our dogs to eat. But it doesn’t always apply. So, some foods may not be safe for dog consumptions always.
Therefore, should dogs eat mint? There are so many foods that are safe for your dog to consume. You will also find products with mint as ingredients for dog foods. Those are safe for your dog’s consumption. But when it comes to eating mint leaves, you may want to slow it down.
Differentiating between mint plants may be difficult. But when you can, only give your dog mint in small portions occasionally.
Is Peppermint Good for Dogs?
Everyone loves peppermint-rich products because of the minty taste or coolness. The scientific name for peppermint is mentha balsmea. Of all mints, peppermint is the most dog-friendly.
Peppermint is an excellent plant for promoting healthy bowel movement in your dog. In addition, it is perfect for dealing with stomach upsets and nauseating feelings in your dogs.
But remember to give only small rations of mint (one teaspoon) should be given to your dogs? One or two leaves of peppermint are the appropriate dosage. Yes! Bigger quotas of peppermint can cause kidney or liver problems in your dogs.
Can My Dog Eat Spearmint?
The scientific name for Spearmint is Mentha spicata. Spearmint contains aromatic properties that help to freshen your pups’ breath. They also help in driving fleas from the dog’s body. Now, isn’t that exciting!
So, it is okay to feed your dog with small portions of Spearmint per day. In addition, you could choose to make it an occasional meal to avoid complications. However, please note that more amounts of Spearmint can result in vomiting or diarrhea. Therefore, giving your dog appropriate portions of mint is crucial.
Can My Dog Eat Other Mint Product?
Wow! It’s always exciting when you see or purchase those minty products. More so, minty products are not only tasty but aid digestion in humans. But fresh mint like the pennyroyal mint could be harmful to your dogs.
Most minty products contain Xylitol which you would find in processed foods. Xylitol serves as a sweetener or alternative sugar, but it is toxic to dogs. So, it could make your pups fall ill.
There are mint candies, chocolate chip mint with ice cream, and mint ice cream. But it is not safe to feed your dog with any of these products. And that’s because they usually contain preservatives and processed sugar.
For example, mint candy contains sugar which could lead to high blood sugar levels in dogs. In addition, sugar could cause decaying teeth and obesity in your dog. Of course, it’s not wrong to give your dog these foods, but a lot could go wrong. So, why take the risk with your dog’s health?
If they are dog foods and not for human consumption, then that’s perfect. Some foods promote better or fresh breath in dogs. And they have fewer or no side effects.
Chocolate chip ice cream with mint contains toxins. Experts warn against feeding dogs chocolate because it contains poisonous theobromine. And your dog’s system cannot metabolize theobromine present in chocolates. So that makes two unhealthy properties for your dog – mint and chocolate.
Vanilla is another toxic product you must not allow your dog to eat. And mint ice creams usually contain vanilla. In addition, ice cream and mint extract can cause gastrointestinal issues. Don’t also forget ice cream contains processed sugar which is harmful to your dog.
Can My Pups Eat Dog Foods Products Containing Mint?
Yes! Eating dog food product containing mint is not unsafe for your dogs. Minty substance in foods helps to promote fresh breath and clear the system. So, it’s okay if the list of ingredients on the dog food product includes mints. No worries!
Dog food products with mint have gone through proper processing to ensure the dog’s safety. Besides, the manufacturers usually select the appropriate mint plant for your dog’s meal.
Can Dogs Eat Mint Leaves or Plants?
Mint leaves come as fresh or dried mint for making teas, drinks, or meals. However, you may want to tread with caution when it concerns mint leaves. That is because some mint leaves contain toxins. Ingesting such toxic leaves can cause vomiting or diarrhea in your dog.
For example, the English Pennyroyal mint leaf contains traces of the toxin. That makes it unsafe for dogs to ingest. Pennyroyal mint is also known as the European Mint but is different from the American Pennyroyal. American pennyroyal does not belong to the minty family.
Unfortunately, the Pennyroyal mint leaf grows all across the United States of America. Well, that excludes the icy regions of the US. So, it would help if you threaded with caution about feeding your dog mint leaves. You sure don’t want to poison your dog accidentally, or do you?
However, studies show that English Pennyroyal mint is unsafe. Although, pennyroyal leaf and tea extracts consumption have no side effects in humans. But Pennyroyal oils contain a high toxin.
Consuming even one teaspoon of pennyroyal can result in severe health issues. The ailments include acute liver injury, seizure, syncope, and coma. Other conditions include renal insufficiency, multi-organ failure, and cardiopulmonary collapse.
The challenge lies in your ability to differentiate between the over 600 mint leaves. I don’t think it is worth the risk. If you must, then give your pets a few mint plants or leaves a day.
Do you grow the mint leaves in your garden? Then it could be safe to say your dog can eat mint. But not eating mint won’t hurt your pup in any way.
Can My Dog Eat Wintergreen Mint?
Wintergreen plant is not an actual mint but an evergreen plant oil. It belongs to the Gaultheria-genus and not the Genus Menthe, which is the common mint. Wintergreen is usually confused for natural mint because it has a strong minty flavor and aroma.
Manufacturers make use of wintergreen for fresh breath in gums and breath mints too. However, please do not give your dog wintergreen because it is poisonous. In addition, it can cause allergic reactions with symptoms like asthma. Hence, it would be best if you were careful about giving processed products for humans to dogs.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Mint?
If they stray into your garden to eat mint plants, then you should observe them closely. First, you should try to find out the type of mint your dog ate. Next, look out for irritation, weakness, vomiting, and other symptoms.
If anything is out of place, your dog may experience gastrointestinal irritation. For example, harmful mints like the pennyroyal contain Pulegone. It could result in liver failure or death if not appropriately managed. Quickly take the dog to your vet for assessment and possibly treatment.
For dog foods containing mint they may not develop allergic reactions. But I recommend one or two leaves of mint only per day.
Severe or Acute Symptoms of Mint consumption include
- Liver damage
- Respiratory distress
Tips to Working with Mint at Home
Yes, you love mints for tea and due to the aroma. They serve several other benefits at home, but that does not include your dog. So, how do you prevent your puppy from eating mint?
- Place fresh mint leaves inside the refrigerator to keep them fresh and away from your dogs.
- If the mint is in the garden or pot, then barricade that area from the dog’s reach.
- It would help if you relocated or fence off the mint plant.
- You may also try using a stern warning to keep your dog away from the mint plant.
- Inspect products to be sure it does not have a mint before giving it to your dog.
- Always look for products explicitly meant for dogs if it is a mint product.
So, can dogs eat mint? It all depends on if you are sure of the source of the mint leaves. Mint has several nutritional benefits. But it would be best if you only feed your dog with what you know. In general, I will recommend staying away from mints for your dog.
If you grow mint plants in your garden, there may be little reason to worry. Your dog may love eating mint, but you should restrict their access to the plant. You don’t want them overeating mint.
Say no to mint products for humans as they could hurt your dog due to Xylitol. As for the general types of mint, it’s okay if your dog eats them occasionally. A little peppermint, wild mint, or Spearmint will freshen up your dog’s breath and organs. However, mint products for dogs are safe because they only contain small amounts of mint.