There are numerous food items that dogs can safely ingest that include nutritional benefits to supplement their diet. For example, if you have a canine pet that continuously battles bad breath, you may wonder, can dogs eat mint? Consequently, several mint items are acceptable for your dog to eat, while others are not.
Knowing which mint products are safe will keep your dog healthy and avoid any disastrous or fatal outcomes. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that they have a proper, well-rounded diet and minimize the chances of any accidents that could cause harm, including food items. (Read Is Scotts Turf Builder Safe For Pets)
Is Mint Bad for Dogs?
The answer to this question depends on the type of mint. Many varieties are completely harmless, while others are highly toxic. You will find several products in your local pet store that contain mint to help combat bad breath in your dog.
Mint also has a host of health benefits for your family pet, including:
- Vitamin A and C
- Dietary fiber
- Antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties
- Essential minerals like copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and more
Mint can also help relieve gastrointestinal upset and bloating, minimize nausea and vomiting, and reduce gas. In addition, some dogs get relief from seasonal allergies when offered fresh mint, while others have a reduction in side effects from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Although mint is not a miracle fix for health issues, it can provide some relief for your animal.
What Types of Mint Can Dogs Have?
You must recognize the varieties of mint that you can offer to your dog while avoiding toxic ones. Consequently, there are approximately 20 species of mint, so it can be confusing when trying to distinguish which varieties you can give your pet. (Find the Best Pet Safe Weed and Feed)
You must not let your dog eat any mint you find in the wild. Unfortunately, it can be hard to determine the toxic variety from safe ones, so instead, seek out fresh mint at your local grocery store or market to be sure.
Generally, you can include these mint types for your dog in moderation:
This type can help ease nausea and stomach upset when given in small quantities. However, if your pet consumes too much, it can cause kidney and liver problems.
Spearmint is found in many pet products to help reduce bad breath. It is also a natural way to help repel fleas. That said, in large quantities, this variety can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
This variety contains a host of nutrients and antioxidants that can keep your dog healthy and boost its immune system in small amounts.
Although catmint is not part of the Mentha genus, it still resides in the Lamiaceae plant family and is safe for dogs and cats. Depending on your pet’s size, it can have a relaxing and calming effect. (Read Are Peace Lilies Toxic To Cats)
Is Mint Poisonous to Dogs?
While your four-legged friend can have many varieties of mint as a dietary supplement, there is one type that is highly poisonous, and you should avoid it. English Pennyroyal is a non-culinary variety that is toxic to humans and animals. You can find this type in many areas around the United States, although it is not hardy enough for cold climate regions.
Another popular mint variety in Asian cuisine is Perilla mint. Although this type is fine for humans, it is toxic for your pet and should not be part of their diet.
Avoid walking your dog in grounds or forests in which these mints grow.
You should not give English Pennyroyal or Perilla mint in any amounts to your pet. If they consume these varieties, you should contact your veterinarian immediately for emergency treatment and care. Without intervention, your dog may suffer liver damage or even failure.
Some side effects from mint poisoning may include:
- Muscle weakness
If you have any concerns about the amount of mint your dog ingests or if they accidentally found some Pennyroyal, seek vet treatment as soon as possible.
Avoid Artificial Mint Products and Oils
One consideration for pet owners is artificial mint products and essential oils. Your dog should never consume manufactured mint products, such as gum or breath mints. Many of these items contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic for dogs.
Many essential oils, including peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen, can harm your pet. Keep all oil products away from your pet’s reach, and do not offer them to your dog in any amount. (Read Tetherball For Dogs)
Can Dogs Eat Mint Leaves?
You can offer your dog mint to supplement their diet in various ways. The vital element you should be aware of is the amount you give your pet. You do not want to offer them too much and monitor their consumption closely.
Stick to only two or three mint leaves per day to ensure that your pet is not consuming too many at once. Remember that mint is only a dietary supplement and not a regular dog food staple.
Some ways you can introduce mint into your dog’s diet are:
- Mint leaves in their water dish
- Minced leaves in homemade treats or their food dish
- Approved store-brand mint pet products
Always choose mint leaves and products from a reputable supplier or local store. You do not want your dog to accidentally ingest toxic mint in the wild that can cause any adverse side effects.
Adding mint to your dog’s diet as a supplementary item can provide several benefits for their health. Pet owners should be aware of the many varieties of mint to ensure that their pet does not consume a toxic type.
Keep the total amounts to a minimum so you do not risk offering your dog too many at once. Large quantities of mint can create liver problems, and your pet will need veterinarian care as soon as possible. (Learn How To Grow Mint Indoors)
Monitor your dog’s consumption and never leave them alone in a room with mint oil or artificial mint products that are toxic when ingested.