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Can Dogs Eat Mint Leaves? Are They Bad For Them?

If you’ve got some fresh herbs growing out in the garden, or even on the kitchen window sill, then mint may be one of those plants.

You may even wonder if it’s okay for your dog to eat some of those mint leaves.

The answer is yes, dogs can eat mint leaves in moderation, but large quantities of mint leaves are toxic to dogs.

Small amounts are usually okay, but large amounts are bad for dogs.

This is one plant that is considered to be toxic to dogs by the ASCPA, specifically the oils.

Keep reading to learning more about mint leaves and dogs.

Are Mint Leaves Safe For Dogs? Will It Kill Your Dog?

If you have a dog, then you already know that those pesky little rascals will get into anything – especially things you try to keep them out of.

So, what if your dog eats some mint leaves before you have a chance to stop him?

Well, mint leaves are not safe for dogs in large amounts.

In fact, the ASCPA lists the garden mint plant as toxic for dogs.

And if your dog manages to eat enough mint leaves, then he may start to vomit and have diarrhea.

Definitely keep an eye on your pup if he manages to ingest mint leaves, and prepare to take him to the animal hospital or your vet if he starts to show the signs of toxicity.

Keep in mind that a couple of mint leaves a day can actually be beneficial to your dog’s health, but quantities higher than that are toxic.

What About Spearmint Leaves?

The same thing applies here.

In small doses, spearmint likely won’t harm your dog. In fact, it’s often an ingredient in breath mints for pups.

Spearmint also has the benefit of repelling fleas!

Just remember, large amounts of spearmint leaves can cause diarrhea or vomiting for the doggo.

What About Dog Breath Mints?

No doubt you’ve likely seen some of those dog breath mints that have mint as an ingredient.

How are they not toxic?

Well, the amount of mint in them is so small that it shouldn’t be toxic to your dog and may even offer up some health benefits.

So, if you want to give your pup some of these doggie breath mints, then do so sparingly and make sure he doesn’t get into the package and consume too many of them.

Can Dogs Eat Mint Candy?

It’s probably not a good idea for you to share your mint candies with your dog.

Why? Because of all the other ingredients in mint candy.

In addition to excess sugar, which your dog doesn’t need, mint candy may also have xylitol as an ingredient.

And xylitol is very toxic to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Wintergreen?

Though wintergreen is often associated with mints, the truth is that wintergreen is not a mint at all.

Wintergreen comes from an evergreen plant oil and should never be given to your dogs.

Wintergreen is poisonous to dogs.

Facts About The Mint Plant

Here’s what the ASCPA has to say about the mint plant:

  • Additional Common Names: Garden Mint
  • Scientific Name: Mentha sp.
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses
  • Toxic Principles: Essential Oils
  • Clinical Signs: Vomiting and diarrhea with large ingestions

Final Word

As you can see, mint leaves are not safe for your dog to eat because they can be toxic to doggos in large quantities.

The only real difference here is if you have some of those breath mints for dog that contain trace amounts of mint.

Keep in mind that if your dog eats too many mint leaves, then you will likely need to take him to your local animal hospital or your vet.

Better safe than sorry is my motto when we’re talking about our dogs, so I recommend that you consult your vet before giving your dog anything to eat that has mint leaves as an ingredient.

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National Canine Research Association of America