The use of essential oils like peppermint oil has risen in popularity recently. But is peppermint essential oil safe to use on or around our canine companions?
As dog owners, it’s our responsibility to educate ourselves before exposing our pups to any new substances.
In this post, we’ll explore the risks and benefits of using peppermint oil for dogs.
Toxicity and Risks of Peppermint Oil
When used improperly or ingested in quantity, peppermint oil carries toxicity risks for dogs. Peppermint oil poisoning can negatively impact liver function, so dogs with pre-existing liver disease are especially vulnerable. Even small amounts applied topically could cause skin irritation.
Signs your dog may have absorbed too much peppermint oil include:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Audible wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Redness or swelling around mouth/eyes
- Generalized lethargy or weakness
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after potential contact with concentrated peppermint oil, get them to a vet immediately. essence oil poisoning can be fatal if left untreated.
Using Peppermint Oil on Dogs
Some dog owners use diluted peppermint oil topically or diffused into the air for its fresh scent. However, no research supports peppermint oil as an effective flea or tick deterrent. Harsh side effects are possible even when following product label directions.
Only very diluted forms of peppermint oil, such as some dental treats and stomach remedies, are appropriate for dogs. Work closely with your vet before using. Potential benefits include:
- Fresher “doggie breath”
- Relief for mildly upset stomach
Diffusers, allowing your dog to come and go from the scent freely, are the safest diffusion method. Never apply peppermint oil directly onto your dog’s fur or skin without vet guidance. Doing so risks dangerous toxicity.
What To Do If Your Dog Ingests Peppermint Oil
If you believe your dog has ingested peppermint oil, either by directly consuming it or through extensive skin contact, get them veterinary treatment immediately. Do not attempt to induce vomiting at home.
Your vet will likely administer intravenous (IV) fluids to support hydration and allow your dog’s system to gradually flush out the toxin. If a large quantity was ingested, your dog made need a feeding tube temporarily. Chemical burns around the mouth may also require specialized wound treatment.
Duration of treatment and recovery time will vary based on the type and amount of peppermint oil absorbed. Sadly though, in some cases peppermint oil toxicity proves fatal even with swift vet intervention. Always keep essential oils safely out of pups’ reach!
- Peppermint oil can be highly toxic for dogs, especially if ingested
- Never use on dogs without vet approval and guidance
- Seek emergency vet assistance if poisoning occurs
- Very limited benefits possible from extremely diluted products
- Carefully monitor all dog products containing peppermint oil
While the scent of peppermint oil appeals to humans, it generally carries more risks than benefits for our furry companions. Never administer any concentrated essential oil to your dog without speaking to your vet first.
Together, you can weigh any potential therapeutic use against the dangers of toxicity. When in doubt, it’s best to keep pups far away from these potent plant compounds.