Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs

Estimated read time 5 min read

Peppermint oil isn’t safe for dogs. Like many essential oils, it is toxic.

Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the leaves of a peppermint plant, which is a wintergreen mint and herb naturally found in North America and Europe. It can also be considered a mix of spearmint oil and water mint. Peppermint oil’s main chemical constituents are menthol (the taste and smell) and menthone (the chemical component that gives it its coolness).

Peppermint oil has been proven to be beneficial for humans. It can aid in digestion, relieve muscle pain and itching, as well as alleviate headaches. Some studies have demonstrated that peppermint oil is effective against certain bacteria due to its mild antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

Your dog will not enjoy the same benefits, as peppermint oil is toxic to pets.

If it’s toxic for pets, why does peppermint oil show up in so many products?

Some pet owners claim it is an effective treatment for a variety of health conditions. Your veterinarian is the best source of information for any pet product.

These are some claimed benefits that peppermint oil has for furry friends. You can talk to your vet about them. We don’t believe any of these are a good deal because peppermint oil is toxic to your dog.


  • Muscle pain relief. A balm or salve containing peppermint oil may have a cooling effect on the muscles, such as IcyHot(r).
  • Allergy relief. Peppermint oil can be used in essential oil diffusers to help with pain relief Seasonal allergy symptoms. You’ll also notice a minty, fresh scent in your home!
  • Ticks and fleas this is a popular claim made by dog owners, but the peppermint oil is not effective in repelling fleas or killing them. Traditional flea medicine is safer and more efficient to have your pet prescribed by a veterinarian.
  • Antiseptic. Although some people claim peppermint oil is antiseptic, there isn’t much evidence to support this. Essential oils can cause burns or worsen problems, so avoid using them on any cuts or wounds.


In addition to smelling nice, there is evidence that peppermint oil can help ward off harmful microbes, though not specifically on dogs. These properties don’t negate the possibility that peppermint oil could cause harm to your dog. According to some studies, peppermint oil has the following properties:

  • Antibacterial properties
  • Antifungal properties


Its toxicity is the biggest drawback. However, it is not known how much peppermint oil can cause death in dogs. Side effects such as skin irritation and difficulty breathing are less severe. We don’t know if it has antimicrobial properties. It’s safe to assume that there are more side effects than benefits.

We believe peppermint oil is dangerous for dogs, and we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Uses of essential oils

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts, which are often made by distillation. Essential oils are mainly used for aromatherapy but can also be used medicinally.

Essential oils have been gaining popularity worldwide in recent years as natural remedies. In 2018, the global essential oils market size was valued at $7.03 billion, according to Fortune Business Insights. It is expected to reach $14.6 million by 2026.

One of the most well-known essential oils is peppermint oil. It has many benefits, including the pleasant scent of mint and its ability to increase energy, relieve muscle pain, and calm digestive problems. You’re not the only one wondering if peppermint oil could help your dog in similar ways. We recommend that you avoid peppermint oil as it can be toxic to dogs.

Is essential oil safe for dogs?

Essential oils can be toxic to dogs if they are ingested or used topically. Tea tree oil, ylang-ylang, cinnamon oil and peppermint oils are all canine-toxic essential oils.

Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin of your dog or yours. Essential oils are so concentrated that they can cause skin irritation and damage. That’s why they always need to be used with a carrier oil, like coconut oil.

Essential oils can cause severe allergic reactions in dogs, even if they are being diffused. Dogs sense smell is stronger than humans. Our vet, Dr Erica Irish DVM, has witnessed pets rushed to the ER with respiratory distress due to inhaled essential oils.

The liver metabolizes substances after they are consumed or applied topically. High-potency substances, such as essential oils can cause strain and damage. The potency of these oils also makes them especially dangerous to dogs with lower functioning livers, including puppies, older dogs, and dogs with liver disease.

Claims of essential oils’ health benefits for dogs are not yet scientifically backed as fact. Some dog owners swear to essential oils. Chamomile oil is effective in preventing worms. Lavender oil can ease anxiety, and lemongrass is said to repel mosquitoes. These claims should be considered personal testimony and not facts.

Essential oils are best avoided as DIY for your dog’s safety. Your dog can become ill from even the products you make yourself.

Talk to your veterinarian if you are interested in trying one. They will help you choose a high-quality, expertly-formulated product that contains plenty of carrier oils to reduce the potency.

Questions frequently asked

Is peppermint oil safe for cats?

Peppermint oil isn’t safe for cats. Peppermint oil applied topically to cats can cause damage to their livers and seep into their skin and fur. The smell can also be used aromatically and cause problems with their breathing.

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