Essential oils are a common way to take advantage of the many benefits of aromatherapy. While essential oils have seen a rise in popularity in recent years, aromatic oils have been used since the time of Ancient Egyptians in 4500 BC.
If you incorporate essential oils into your day-to-day routine, you may wonder whether they’re safe for your furry friends to enjoy, too. Is peppermint oil safe for dogs?
This guide breaks down whether or not peppermint oil is safe for dogs, the potential risks involved, and everything else you need to know.
Can My Dog Have Peppermint Oil?
The short answer is no.
Peppermint oil presents a wide range of risks for dogs and can be toxic to our furry friends.
Many other essential oils also pose a severe risk to most furry friends. If you use a diffuser in your home or use essential oils on your skin, it’s important to be aware of the risks and which oils are safe.
Let’s take a closer look at the serious risks peppermint oil poses for your pup.
One of the most common risks of giving your dog peppermint oil is skin irritation. Whether you’re using an essential oil diffuser or applying peppermint oil to your dog’s skin, it is likely to cause skin irritation.
You may notice a rash, discomfort, watery eyes, runny nose, skin redness, redness of the lips or gums, or excessive itching and scratching.
Many dog parents who use essential oils also use peppermint oil as a natural flea and tick repellent. Some sources claim peppermint oil helps fight fleas and ticks, but the truth is these methods are both ineffective and dangerous for our dogs.
Peppermint oil doesn’t work to repel insects. The pungent odor can be misleading in this way, but the scent actually leads to the complete opposite result and may even attract some insects.
It’s best to avoid flea treatments with peppermint oil and avoid applying this on your pup’s skin altogether.
An excellent alternative to peppermint oil is to use rosemary oil as a natural bug repellent! This oil is not only safe but also effective.
Liver Damage and Failure
When peppermint oil absorbs into your dog’s system, it can be harmful to their liver. In fact, all essential oils can lead to liver problems in dogs. Peppermint oil can even lead to liver failure in dogs with preexisting liver problems.
The liver lacks an enzyme that helps break down essential oils. The most notable oils associated with liver failure are peppermint oil, mint oils, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil.
Peppermint can also lead to gastrointestinal upset when ingested by your pup. If your dog finds peppermint oil on the ground and laps it up or licks it off their skin, it can cause serious tummy troubles.
You may notice vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, lethargy, and fatigue, which are all signs that you should take your pup to the vet.
Peppermint oil is toxic for dogs. Whether you’re using an oil diffuser, applying it to their skin, or adding oil to their food, it’s unfortunately harmful to our four-legged friends.
What About Using Peppermint Oil in a Diffuser?
When considering the risks of exposing our dogs to peppermint oil, it’s important to know what type of exposure to avoid. Can you use peppermint oil in your diffuser?
Unfortunately, diffusing peppermint oil is just as dangerous as giving your dog peppermint oil as a skin treatment. It’s critical to separate your dog from any rooms where you’re diffusing peppermint oil or avoid this oil altogether.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil can lead to serious health risks for your pup. What should you do if your dog gets into your peppermint oil or comes into contact with it? The answer depends on how your dog encountered the oil.
If your dog only has peppermint oil on their skin only and hasn’t ingested it, the first step is to wash them off thoroughly using a gentle cleansing soap. Peppermint oil contains chemicals that soak into the skin quickly. In other words, the longer peppermint oil sits on their skin, the more harm it can incur.
After giving them a thorough bath, it’s crucial to closely monitor their behavior and watch for symptoms of essential oil poisoning. If you notice signs of discomfort, itching, burning, rash, or skin redness, be sure to contact your veterinarian. If you notice vomiting, diarrhea, changes in behavior, difficulty walking, or lethargy, take your pup to the veterinarian right away.
It’s safe to say that a trip to the vet is always the best course of action after contact with peppermint oil. That said, if you aren’t sure whether your dog ingested the oil, you can wait until your dog shows symptoms of consumption.
Your veterinarian will perform tests to determine how much peppermint oil your dog came in contact with, the extent of damage, and how much oil remains in the blood. These results will help your vet monitor the dog’s liver and determine the best course of action.
How Can I Use Essential Oils Safely?
In many cases, essential oils are not safe for our furry BFFs, like spearmint, cinnamon, wintergreen, and citrus oils. However, this doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your aromatherapy collection and favorite scents.
Below are a few safe ways to use essential oils in a canine-friendly home. Here’s what you need to know.
Keep Your Oils Out of Reach
The most obvious solution to using essential oils safely in your home is to keep them out of reach of your dog. If you’re looking forward to diffusing peppermint oil and relaxing in a hot bath, make sure your furry friend is in another room.
If you like to diffuse essential oils in your home office while you work, make sure your dog doesn't enter the room while you’re diffusing them.
Keeping your essential oils out of reach of your pup is also helpful. Dogs are known for getting into foods and substances they’re not supposed to, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Dogs’ sense of smell is powerful, so make sure your oils cannot be accessed, even if your dog can still smell them. Consider setting your diffuser out of reach and keeping your oils in a dog-safe container when you’re not there to monitor.
By keeping your oils out of reach, you can minimize the risk of exposure and toxicity for your pup.
Dilute Your Essential Oils with Carrier Oils
You can also dilute your essential oils with carrier oils. Chamomile, rosemary, and lavender are just a few dog-safe essential oils, and carrier oils like coconut oil and sweet almond oil are great, low-risk options.
You can also discuss the safe usage of essential oils with your veterinarian if you have further concerns. Your vet will be able to advise you on how to dilute your oils, what proportions to use, and everything else you need to know.
Check Ingredient Lists
Many natural shampoos, soaps, and skin products use essential oils as substitutes for harsh chemicals. If you tend to buy these products for your pup, be sure to check the ingredient list to make sure there are no essential oils. If you’re in doubt, talk to your veterinarian about the ingredients and product.
Are Any Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?
If you love essential oils, don’t panic — some oils are relatively safe for dogs. Some oils like lavender, frankincense, fennel, and chamomile may be safe for dogs. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before using these oils around your dog.
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy with Sundays
Essential oils bring a wide range of benefits to humans. From mental health benefits like stress relief and relaxation to physical health benefits, it’s common for dog parents to want to share these benefits with their furry friends.
However, exposing your dog to peppermint oil can be dangerous.
How can you support your dog’s nutrition and health in safer ways? Look no further than Sundays.
The dog food industry has significantly different standards concerning how food can be processed and manufactured. Here’s how we’re different: all of our dog food is human grade. Human grade simply means our dog food is manufactured based on the same standards that human food is manufactured. We think your dog deserves to eat high-quality food, just like you.
We also use real ingredients. While peppermint oil can provide a range of benefits, so can many other foods that are actually safe for your pup. With strawberries, pumpkin, USDA-grade beef, blueberries, carrots, apples, tomatoes, broccoli, and more, your dog will receive a variety of nutritional benefits.
There’s no shortage of reasons to feed your dog Sundays — just scoop and serve for a happy and healthy pup, no peppermint oil needed..