Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs? 10 Facts You Can’t Deny

Pet owners’ use of essential oils in the care of their animals is on the rise. Oils and essences are more concentrated than the aromatic plants from which they are derived. This is because they are extracted from the plant’s seeds, roots, leaves, resin, bark, or flowers.

They can be quickly absorbed by the body through the lungs or the skin. A lot of people are worried that essential oils aren’t safe for canines, though.

Peppermint oil is widely used because of its therapeutic effects on humans. Is peppermint oil, though, dangerous for canines? This piece addresses the question of whether or not peppermint oil is safe for canine consumption and provides owners with helpful information about how to proceed.

What Is Peppermint Oil?

The Mentha piperita plant, a perennial herb, yields the essential oil commonly known as peppermint. Other members of the mint family include spearmint and field mint, in addition to peppermint.

The peppermint plant’s leaves, stems, and flower buds are used to produce this essential oil via steam distillation.

Peppermint has a lot of menthol in it. When you chew on peppermint or rub it into your skin, you’re experiencing the cooling effects of menthol.

Peppermint, which contains more menthol than spearmint, is more effective at relieving muscle pain and inflammation.

Peppermint oil applied topically had the same analgesic effect as 1000 mg of acetaminophen, according to a human study. Within 15 minutes of application, the headache’s intensity had been significantly lessened, and this effect lasted for more than an hour.

In addition, peppermint oil is often used for its digestive benefits. Because of its antispasmodic properties, menthol can be used to ease muscle cramps and associated discomfort. The anti-nausea effects of peppermint oil contribute to the oil’s widespread use in IBS treatment.

Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?

peppermint essential oil

Are Essential Oils Safe For Dogs?

Large doses of any essential oil are toxic to pets, so none can be considered completely safe.

However, depending on the application, some essential oils may be safer for pets than others. For instance, lavender is an essential oil that is generally considered safe for dogs, especially when used in a diffuser and kept out of reach.

You should never apply any essential oil topically to your dog because of the risk of serious skin irritation or even burns due to the oil’s potency.

There is no reason to put your pet’s health and safety at risk for products when there are safer alternatives, even though any pet products containing essential oils are diluted and may be safe for them.

Which fragrant oils should be avoided around canines? Some common essential oils can be harmful to dogs.

  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Eucalyptus
  • Garlic
  • Juniper
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • A Sweet Birch
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • To use ylang ylang1

Never use these around your dog because of their toxic properties. Even though using a diffuser is one of the safer methods of using essential oils around pets, you should still avoid using the oils on this list just to be safe.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of essential oils that should be avoided around pets. Before using essential oils for your pet or around the house, it is important to learn more about them and discuss your options with a veterinarian.

How to Use Peppermint Oil for Dogs

Since peppermint oil is so potent, using a small amount goes a long way. The safest way to use peppermint essential oil around a dog is to diffuse a single drop of a high-quality product in a room where the dog is free to roam.

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It is critical to dilute essential oils for dogs at a rate of 0.5%-2% (1 drop in 1-2 tsp of carrier oil or in a diffuser) to prevent any unwanted side effects. Olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil are all examples of safe carrier oils.

The next strongest way to use essential oils is to apply them topically, but you shouldn’t do that unless you’re working with a trained animal aromatherapist or integrative veterinarian who is familiar with using essential oils safely.

Do not administer peppermint oil orally unless it has been heavily diluted, and only then under the guidance of your veterinarian, due to the potency of peppermint essential oil and the cooling sensation from menthol.

In cases where using essential oils causes worry, dried or fresh peppermint herb can be offered to the dog in small amounts (less than 1 teaspoon per day) because it is less concentrated than essential oils and is always safe.

Peppermint Oil for Dogs: Risks and Side Effects

peppermint plant

If you apply peppermint oil topically, inhale it, or swallow it, it will be absorbed quickly through your skin. Adverse reactions can happen if the wrong dosage is used or if a low-quality company and product is used.

Peppermint oil can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Furthermore, mucous membranes, eyes, and easily irritated skin can all be aggravated by direct contact with pure peppermint essential oil. Should this occur, refrain from using water to remove the oil.

Lipophilic substances, such as essential oils, bind readily to other oils or high-fat liquids (such as milk). Carrier oils, such as olive oil or jojoba oil, contain no essential oils and can be applied to the skin to help soothe it while also attracting the essential oil to the surface.

It is possible that younger dogs are more vulnerable to the effects of inhaling the oil, which can cause breathing difficulties.

Turn off the diffuser (if that’s what was being used), open the windows, and take your dog outside on a leash for 10 minutes if you notice any breathing problems, excessive salivation, squinting, or rubbing of the eyes. This amount of time usually suffices to allow them to resume normal functioning.

When in doubt, consult your vet or the nearest emergency animal hospital.

There is a risk of death if a large amount of low-quality peppermint essential oil is ingested. Consult your dog’s vet before giving him any peppermint essential oil.

Signs Of Essential Oil Poisoning In Pets

Dogs with liver disease may be more sensitive to essential oils because they are absorbed through the skin and metabolized in the liver.

Tea tree oil, which affects the nervous system, is particularly dangerous, though any essential oil can cause mild gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea.

When a pet absorbs essential oil through its skin or eats it, it can become poisoned. Accidental contact with the skin or unwitting application by a pet parent are both possible causes. These are some of the signs of essential oil poisoning:

If you can smell it on them

Because of the potent nature of essential oils, you’ll likely be able to detect them if your dog has been using them. Sniffing your dog’s mouth can tell you if he or she has licked or chewed on essential oils. Essential oils can be detected in the odor of a dog’s vomit.

Due to the potent aromas produced by essential oils, it may be difficult to determine precisely where the oils have been applied to your dog. If you smell it on your dog, though, you know he or she got into the oils somehow and needs medical attention right away.

Difficulty breathing or wheezing

Essential oils have such a potent scent that they may make it difficult for your dog to breathe.

Think back to the last time you passed someone who had just sprayed perfume or cologne into the air; you probably had a hard time breathing and may have even started coughing or wheezing. Dogs are not immune to this reaction when confronted with overpowering odors.

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Essential oils can cause severe distress and discomfort in dogs, including wheezing and trouble breathing. Asthmatic dogs and other dogs with respiratory issues should never be exposed to essential oils.

Essential oils can impede a dog’s ability to breathe, so they shouldn’t be used on dogs with respiratory issues or those with short muzzles.


When a dog eats something poisonous, like chocolate or wild mushrooms, their body’s natural reaction is to make them vomit. However, not all canines will throw up after ingesting a poison.

If you think your dog has accidentally ingested essential oils, take them to the vet immediately so they can induce vomiting and flush the dog’s system of the poison.

Depending on how the dog’s body reacts to the essential oils, it could cause either diarrhea or vomiting. Oils, which include essential oils, can cause diarrhea in dogs. Dehydration can be avoided by giving dogs experiencing vomiting and diarrhea plenty of water.

If your dog has been vomiting or diarrhea for more than a few hours, or if they are still vomiting and are obviously in distress, you should take them to the emergency vet clinic in your area immediately.


When dogs vomit up poison, their salivary glands may produce more saliva than usual. Drooling and foaming at the mouth are both signs of a medical emergency that require prompt veterinary attention.


Essential oils can make dogs sick, which can lead to lethargy. Similarly to how humans would, a dog may try to get more shut-eye in order to speed up the recovery process after an injury. When a dog is sick, it tends to sleep more as its body tries to heal from the ordeal of vomiting and diarrhea.

Intoxication can cause varying degrees of lethargy. Take your dog to the vet if you notice that it is shivering, losing strength, or sleeping more than usual.

Diffuser for essential oils

Redness around the face

When applied directly to the skin, undiluted essential oils can be very irritating. When a dog licks or ingests essential oils, it can lead to poisoning, which can cause irritation in the mouth and face.

A red and swollen face is a symptom of an allergic reaction to essential oils that some dogs may have.2

If you detect any essential oils on your pet, whether on their fur or breath, it is imperative that you take them to an emergency vet immediately.

What To Do If You Think Your Pet Has Ingested Peppermint Oil

If your pet ingests any essential oil, it could be harmful to their health. Bring your dog to the emergency vet immediately if you suspect they have ingested peppermint oil.

Both the ASPCA and their Poison Control Center take calls from people who have pets that have ingested something toxic. Although, unlike other essential oils, peppermint oil can be extremely toxic to dogs, so you may not want to wait for help to arrive.

As an alternative, you should take swift action and take your dog to the emergency vet as soon as possible so that he or she can be examined and treated.

Never force yourself to throw up; doing so can be dangerous. Instead, make arrangements for your dog to see a vet.

After you bring your dog to the vet, he or she will ask you questions about the essential oils you’ve been using and conduct an examination to determine what kind of treatment is best.

Your veterinarian will do what they can to detoxify your dog and find out if his liver or kidneys have been damaged.

Your dog will likely be treated with intravenous fluids to keep it hydrated and aid its elimination of the toxins. They may also have a feeding tube or need treatment for chemical burns, depending on their condition. Vets may choose to induce vomiting and administer liver-protective medication in mild cases.

Recuperation time varies according to the essential oil and the amount consumed because some oils, like peppermint oil, are more toxic. Essential oil poisoning is extremely dangerous and can even be fatal if treated.

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Essential oils can be toxic to dogs, so it’s important for pet owners to keep them away from their pets and avoid using them in the home or on their pets.

Curious canine mouths may accidentally open essential oil bottles, resulting in mild to severe symptoms. Talk to your vet before trying essential oils as a treatment for your pet.

Pet Products That Contain Peppermint Oil

Dog eating dental chew

Peppermint oil is used in many dog treats and other pet products for its pleasant aroma and flavor. Canine dental sticks, shampoos, water additives, and even toothpaste are all in widespread use; some products even feature insect repellent or allergy relief.

The use of synthetic peppermint oil, which is used by many manufacturers, can increase the likelihood of side effects.

If a product contains peppermint oil, it must state so on the packaging. Call the manufacturer and inquire as to the product’s organic status, the essential oil’s point of origin, the product’s peppermint oil concentration, and whether or not a certificate of analysis exists to attest to the oil’s safety.

These companies use peppermint oil not only because it has a pleasant aroma, as is typical of dental products, but also because it has anti-inflammatory and flea-repellent properties when used in its purest form.

Peppermint oil added to a product can be beneficial to a dog’s health if it comes from a reputable source.

Should I Use Peppermint Oil For Flea Treatment?

Mosquitoes, flies, and fleas can all be repelled with the help of peppermint oil. If you want to keep your dog flea-free, you shouldn’t use this.

Concentrated peppermint oil’s strong aromas drive away insects and rodents. Keep in mind that your dog has an acute sense of smell, making peppermint oil potentially dangerous because it could lead to respiratory distress.

To add to this, canines also gain knowledge through their sense of smell and taste. If a dog doesn’t like the way something smells or feels on its skin, it may try to lick it off, and if it succeeds in doing so, it may swallow the oils contained therein and become ill rapidly.

While peppermint oil has been shown to reduce insect infestations, it is not a foolproof solution. Although peppermint oil is effective at killing fleas, not all of them will be eliminated even if you use an essential oil or a spray containing essential oil.

In contrast, you run the risk of causing irritation to your dog’s respiratory system and skin, which can lead to a burning sensation and other skin infections.

Consult your veterinarian before applying any essential oils, including peppermint oil, to your dog for the treatment or prevention of flea infestations.

Can Peppermint Oil Be Used for Fleas on Dogs?

Due to its ability to repel insects, peppermint oil is frequently included in all-natural flea repellent formulas for dogs. Nonetheless, a single application of peppermint oil will not eliminate or prevent a flea infestation.

There are products available that use all-natural ingredients and are safe for canine and feline companions. You can choose from options like the Project Sudz Shampoo Bar or the Kin Kind Flea and Tick Repel Spray.

Final Thought

The fact that essential oils come from natural sources doesn’t automatically make them safe for canines. Dogs should avoid essential oils like peppermint oil. Even if your dog is acting fine, you should get them to the vet immediately if they ingest any essential oils.

Essential oils have the potential to help in some ways, but incorrect application could actually do more harm than good.

Essential oils may seem like a quick and easy fix for everything from fleas to anxiety, but before you try them out, you should always talk to your vet. If you speak Dutch, you’ll have an easier time locating veterinary care for your pet. It’s not fair to risk your dog’s life for any reason.

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