YES! Dogs can eat mint. Dogs are bound to derive several benefits from eating mint (from freshening their breath to improving digestion). However, dogs shouldn’t eat all mint varieties. Some mint varieties aren’t safe for dogs. Also, dogs shouldn’t eat a lot of mint. A few leaves daily is more than enough.
Excessive consumption of mint or eating the wrong kind of mint is linked to health problems like vomiting, weakness, and diarrhea. Dogs should keep off a mint variety known as Pennyroyal as this mint is proven to be toxic to dogs.
The form of the mint also matters. Mint products like candies and gums packed with artificial or chemical additives pose some risks. You should give your dog fresh and natural mint without sugar and chemical preservatives that can introduce digestive system problems, among other health problems.
What Type of Mint Should I Give My Dog?
We know you shouldn't give your dog pennyroyal mint. However, which type of mint plants should you give your dog?
Peppermint is a popular type of the mint family native to the Middle East and Europe. It is a hybrid between spearmint and watermint but is currently grown globally including the United States. The mint is safe and beneficial for dogs in the same way it helps humans.
This mint is good for your dog’s breath and repelling fleas. The benefits and safety is proven for dogs.
3. Wild Mint
You can also give your dog wild mint, which has antioxidants that boost your dog’s immunity.
Other mint varieties in the Lamiaceae family (like catmint) are also safe and beneficial to dogs.
Dogs shouldn't eat mint and anything else for the sake of it. Dog food and dog treats should be healthy. Mint has some notable benefits derived from vitamins (A & C), mineral composition (iron, calcium, folate, and calcium), and fiber.
1. Vitamin Benefits
Vitamins A & C are known antioxidants with antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral benefits. The vitamins will prevent as well as fight common diseases affecting dogs.
2. Oral Health Benefits
Mint has known oral benefits that dogs can benefit from. Mint can freshen a dog’s breath as well as kill oral bacteria.
3. Respiratory Health Benefits
Mint contains menthol, which deals with nasal congestion problems by getting rid of mucus and phlegm.
4. Digestive Health Benefits
Mint is also proven to aid digestion, treats stomach upsets, gas, stomach noises, and other related problems.
5. Flea Repellant
Fleas, among other insects that thrive inside a dog's fur, can be repelled by mint.
Mint has many other benefits to dogs. However, the most notable benefits are discussed above.
As stated above, not all mint is good for dogs. Pennyroyal is an example of a toxic mint that will affect dogs negatively. Dog owners should identify this mint and avoid it. While Pennyroyal is planted in many gardens as a pest repellent, dogs can easily eat it. The mint derives its toxicity from a chemical compound known as pulegone, linked to liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea, and death in extreme cases i.e., when overconsumed.
Call a vet immediately if you suspect your dog has taken pennyroyal mint or is exhibiting the above symptoms after nibbling on plants in the garden. Pennyroyal grows in many places in the US and beyond. The mint is not only toxic to dogs but humans. While it may have some apparent insect repellant benefits, the risks outweigh the pros.
Even if you are feeding your dog a safe mint variety, there are risks associated with how humans prepare mint. Mint sauces aren't safe for dogs because they contain salt, sugar, wine vinegar, and other additives that aren't good for dogs. To give your dog mint without exposing him/her to health risks, avoid sauces with chemical additives. Also, dogs should eat mint in very small quantities.
If you feed your dog small quantities of the right mint and he/she develops some worrying symptoms, consult a vet immediately. There’s always a risk when feeding your dog something that isn’t typical dog food.
Is Mint Poisonous To Dogs?
It depends! Pennyroyal mint has been proven to be toxic to dogs. The mint variety is linked to many deadly symptoms when consumed by dogs. These symptoms include but aren't limited to vomiting, diarrhea, coughing blood, bloody nose, difficulty breathing, coma, seizures, lethargy, and death in extreme cases.
Dog owners shouldn't worry about most mint apart from Pennyroyal. Small quantities of peppermint, spearmint, and wild mint will freshen your dog's breath and offer several health benefits without causing any harm. However, even recommendable mint varieties can be toxic to your dog when consumed in large quantities.
Can I Give My Dog Mint Leaves?
YES! A few leaves of recommendable mint varieties is good. However, the mint leaves should be fresh. What's more, they should be cleaned thoroughly to free them from pesticides, herbicides among other chemicals that can cause negative side effects in dogs. Dog treats can be prepared from crushed or whole mint leaves. Rubbing your dog's teeth with mint leaves will also freshen their breath and offer other oral benefits.
How Much Mint Can My Dog Eat?
There's no reason for dogs to overeat mint leaves. A few leaves per day is enough! Dogs shouldn't be overeating vegetables and herbs since their digestive system wasn't meant for such foods. While mint may be rich in essential vitamins and minerals, the same minerals can be found in dog food.
Excessive feeding will cause digestive system problems. Even if your dog becomes overly interested in dog treats containing mint, serve sparingly. A few leaves are enough to freshen their breath and offer any other desirable benefits. Anything more will result in negative side effects that can be lethal, as discussed above.
How To Serve Or Use Mint
There are several ways to serve or give mint to your dog. Mint can be used in dog treats. The aromatic, sweet flavor and cool after-taste makes mint a good ingredient for making anything from dog biscuits to jellies, beverages, and more. However, remember to avoid ingredients like salt, sugar, and other additives that are potentially harmful to dogs.
Mint can also work as an insecticide to keep off common bugs that affect dogs. Mint oil can be applied to a dog's fur, kennel, or sleeping mat to keep bugs away.
Mint can also be used as a medicine. Mixing some freshly squeezed mint leaves in your dog’s water will provide digestive system benefits discussed above.
You can also use mint as a room deodorizer to help your dog derive aromatherapy benefits. Mint oil can offer respiratory health benefits linked to menthol.
Why Does My Dog Eat Mint Leaves?
Dogs find mint irresistible. Their heightened sense of smell makes them drawn to mint common in gardens. Your dog will munch on mint leaves because he/she can smell them and also because mint leaves are sweet.
He could also be overly interested in mint leaves, among other vegetation, because of nutritional deficiency. There is research linking many unusual habits exhibited by dogs, like chewing on everything, including grass and herbs, to nutritional deficiency. If your dog eats mint leaves in your garden occasionally, there’s no cause for alarm. However, if he is overly obsessive, he may be nutritionally deficient. Visit a vet immediately.
Can I Put Mint In My Dog's Water?
Yes! It is safe to add mint to your dog’s water. However, do so sparingly. Crashing the leaves will also derive more benefit.
Can I Give My Dog Mint Tea?
Yes! However, do not add additives like sugar, salt, etc., that can harm your dog.
Can Dogs Have Mint Gravy?
Yes! Dogs aren't supposed to be fed everything humans eat. However, it must be made using ingredients that are 100% safe for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Mint Candy?
No, it is best to avoid peppermint or any other mint sweets as they usually contain artificial sweeteners that are toxic to dogs.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Mint? Can Dogs Eat Mint Leaves?
Yes! However, there is good and bad mint for dogs. As discussed above, dogs shouldn't be given pennyroyal mint since it contains pulegone which is toxic to dogs. Stick to peppermint, spearmint, and wild mint. Also, dogs should eat a few leaves daily. Excessive consumption of safe mint varieties can cause negative side effects.
How you give mint to your dog also matters. Mint should be fresh and free of harmful additives like pesticides that can harm dogs. Lastly, mint should be given to dogs as a treat as opposed to a dog food substitute. While mint contains essential vitamins and minerals, it can never replace well-balanced dog food. What's more, dogs were never meant to eat vegetables and spices. If you must give mint to your dog, do so occasionally and sparingly.
If you follow every precaution and your dog develops negative side effects from eating mint, call a vet. Some dogs can develop allergies, among other health problems, from eating the right variety of mint.