Furry Fresh: Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?


Closeup of peppermint for dogs

People praise peppermint for keeping our breath fresh. And with countless dental chews for dogs made with peppermint as a key ingredient, we all assume that the ingredient has the same benefits for our pups. But is peppermint safe for dogs to consume? Can dogs and cats eat peppermint? Are all forms of peppermint created equal?

Is peppermint oil safe for dogs?

Let’s start with the most notable form of peppermint in dog dental products: peppermint oil. There are a few factors that determine whether or not peppermint oil is safe for dogs: 


Pay attention to how many treats they eat per day; always follow the directions on packaging to see how many treats are safe for them to consume each day. 


The amount of peppermint within one serving of a dental treat affects its potency. Not to worry! Pet companies carefully decide how much is safe based on the purpose of the product and serving size. 


Pure essential oils should never be given to your pet––not to freshen breath, soothe tummy troubles, or for any other purpose. Only give peppermint to your pet in pre-made products or, ask your vet how many peppermint leaves are safe for them to consume.

Benefits of peppermint for dogs

Peppermint has two notable benefits that can promote your pet’s best health: 

Fresh breath is one of the best-known benefits of peppermint! Not just for people but pets, too. Dogs can have small amounts of peppermint in store-bought dog treats and dental chews. It’s also safe for dog toothpaste and tooth gels that can help freshen breath by target the bacteria and debris that cause bad breath.

People have been using peppermint for digestive support for centuries, and the same benefits can be passed on to our pets! While peppermint isn’t the first ingredient you should grab for your pet’s digestion, it can be given in small amounts to soothe an upset stomach. Ginger, digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics are usually the first ingredients your veterinarian will recommend if your dog needs digestive support. 

How to give peppermint to dogs

Instead of giving your dog peppermint on its own–and being unsure of how much is safe–choose products made specifically for pets. 

Dental chews

Soft chew treats, doggie breath mints, and other dental dog treats are made with peppermint and can be given daily to your dog. Follow the packaging instructions to determine the best amount for your pet!

Dental stick

Similar to dental chews, dental sticks freshen the breath, but they have the added benefit of providing an abrasive surface for your dog to chew on. They’re useful for removing stubborn plaque buildup and tartar. 

Tooth gels

Tooth gels are used in lieu of toothpaste for dogs. They can be used alone, applied with a dental mitt, or applied directly to the teeth or gums using clean fingers. 

Peppermint leaves

Is peppermint growing in your garden? Your dog can have a few peppermint leaves per day to support digestive health––or fresher breath. 

Can dogs have peppermint essential oil?

Is peppermint bad for dogs? That depends on what you feed them. Feeding your dog undiluted peppermint oil can be toxic to your pet, since the concentration of the ingredient is so high. The same can be said for other natural essential oils like lavender, citrus, and cinnamon. 

Signs of peppermint oil toxicity include familiar signs of digestive upset like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Other symptoms can include redness around the face, skin irritation, and general muscle weakness. Ingesting straight, undiluted essential oils like peppermint, lavender, and citrus can even cause liver damage in dogs with preexisting liver disease.

So is peppermint essential oil safe for dogs at all? Yes! In fact, it’s one of the most commonly used ingredients in dog dental treats––but that’s because these products have been carefully formulated to be safe for your pet in the quantities recommended on the packaging. Just avoid giving this ingredient to your pet on its own!

My dog ate a peppermint candy––what should I do?! Peppermint in ‘people’ foods like mint candies, ice cream, chewing gum, and mint sauces is very concentrated and should never be given to your pet. If your dog has ingested peppermint in a concentrated form, contact your veterinarian immediately to get direction on next steps to keep your pet safe.

This blog exists to provide general information and education about veterinary health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or in any linked materials is not intended as and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions, or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you suspect that your pet has a medical concern, you should consult with your veterinary health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website, or in any linked materials.

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Dr. James Bascharon set out on a mission ten years ago to create a pet supplement company unlike any other. After realizing there was no solution for pets with anal gland issues, Dr. Bascharon set out on a research mission to create a supplement specifically for this problem. After years of research, multiple patents, and collaboration with top industry professionals, Glandex® is now a veterinary-renowned solution for pets with anal gland issues. This journey proved that with the correct nutritional supplementation, pets could lead healthier and happier lives. Vetnique Labs® continues with an innovative veterinary mindset and approach to help make a long-lasting impact on the health and well-being of millions of pets.

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