With a tempting scent and a tangy taste, mint leaves might seem like a delicious snack to your dog. If your dog walks through your herb garden and takes a nip here and there, don't worry. Most types of mint leaves are not bad for dogs. In fact, certain kinds of fresh mint can actually have benefits for your pup.
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What types of mint are bad for dogs?
While overindulgence can cause GI upset, most fresh mint leaves are not bad for dogs. Actually, the opposite is true, as fresh mint has a lot of benefits. It is a natural flea repellent and gives doggy breath a fresher smell.
However, keep in mind that there are several different types of mint. Wild mint, spearmint, and peppermint are nontoxic to dogs. Don't worry if your dog eats these kinds of mint. However, English pennyroyal is toxic. It can cause liver damage and organ failure if it is ingested in large amounts. Your dog should never eat English pennyroyal.
While fresh mint leaves are generally safe for dogs in small amounts, mint essential oil is not safe. It is extremely toxic to dogs.
Symptoms of mint poisoning
If your dog ingests mint essential oil, he could get mint poisoning. This is also true even if the oil is simply applied to your dog's skin. If your dog has come into contact with mint essential oil, wash it off using a detergent soap and immediately take your dog to the vet.
Symptoms of mint poisoning from essential oil include lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Your vet will diagnose the severity of the situation by examining your dog and doing bloodwork. When it comes to mint poisoning in dogs, liver failure is a concern, and bloodwork will help show the condition of your dog's organs.
Mint poisoning treatment depends on your dog's specific case. Often, however, IV fluids are given to flush out the toxin and replenish fluids that were lost from vomiting or diarrhea. If your dog ingested the essential oil, your vet might try to get your dog to vomit it back up. At home, you will keep an eye on your dog and make sure she drinks plenty of water.
Benefits of fresh mint for dogs
Stay safe by keeping mint essential oil far away from your dog and focusing on fresh mint leaves instead. Too much fresh mint might upset your dog's stomach, but in moderation, most types of mint leaves are safe.
Mint can improve a dog's bad breath. It is also a natural flea repellent. This is why many dog treats on the market include mint as a key ingredient.
Remember not to let your dog overdo it with eating fresh mint. A few leaves here and there are plenty. Keeping your dog's mint intake in check will help him stay healthy and safe. If you are not sure what types of mint are planted in your yard, have an expert identify them so you can ensure that your dog never eats English pennyroyal.