Is Peppermint Essential Oil Safe For Dogs? (The Facts)

Essential oil and its use for treating everything and anything are becoming popular. Besides humans, essential oil use is also spreading to include using peppermint oils to treat dogs. However, although the essential oils are mostly safe for humans, we cannot say the same for our furry friends. So, is peppermint essential oil safe for dogs? Or are online forums giving you the wrong advice?

Is peppermint essential oil safe for dogs?

Peppermint oil is not safe for dogs. Not just dogs, but this essential oil is not safe for any pet. Peppermint in any form is toxic for dogs. As a result, contact with the oil can cause severe or life-threatening symptoms. This can include skin reactions, irritation, and discomfort. In extreme cases, it can cause liver failure. The major drawback of peppermint oil is its toxicity. Apart from this, it is not clear what amount is fatal to dogs but there is clear evidence that it is harmful dogs.

A bottle of peppermint essential oil next to mint leaves
Peppermint essential oil smells amazing but did you know that using it in your home could harm your dog?

Peppermint essential oils are extremely concentrated. Because dogs have a stronger sense of smell, the smell of peppermint can be overwhelmingly irritating. To prevent this, most people dilute or blend their peppermint oil with milder oil to prevent irritation.

Is peppermint essential oil toxic to dogs?

Yes, peppermint essential oil is toxic to dogs. Concentrated peppermint oil can even cause liver failure or death in rare cases. In essence, the effect on your dog depends largely on the concentration, amount used, and condition of your dog.

Peppermint is a herb that can make a refreshing and tasty treat. The oil extracted from the leaves can also offer aromatherapy and health benefits. Peppermint also contains a high concentration of menthol that gives it a distinctive odor. However, the ASPCA has flagged peppermint and other mint plants on the toxic plant list. Not only for dogs but for horses and cats.

Peppermint oil can cause diarrhea and vomiting if it is ingested. It can also cause skin irritation and breathing difficulties. After absorbing peppermint essential oil through the skin, it passes into the system and is processed by the liver. This is not good news for dogs with liver disease, senior dogs, and young dogs.

What symptoms and illnesses can peppermint essential oil cause in dogs

The signs and symptoms of peppermint poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Wobbliness
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Tremors
  • Liver failure
  • Walking difficulty
  • Redness of the skin, face, and tongue
  • Dermatitis and low blood pressure 

Is a small amount of peppermint essential oil safe for dogs to be around?

A small amount of diluted peppermint oil may be okay in some cases. Pet companies sometimes use a small amount of peppermint essential oil in their product. However, it is never in a concentrated form. If you want it for your dog, speak to your veterinarian about it.

Is diffused peppermint oil safe for dogs?

Diffused peppermint essential oil is also not safe for dogs. When you diffuse the oil, dogs will eventually breathe in tiny droplets. Curious pets can also knock over the diffuser and lick the content. Plus, droplets in the air can coat the dog’s fur, and your pet will ingest them while they groom. Therefore, don’t use peppermint essential oil in a diffuser when your dog is around.

How is peppermint essential oil made?

As stated earlier, you should not use peppermint for your dog.

However, peppermint essential oil offers various benefits for the human body. So, if you want to make one for yourself, read how to make it below.

  •  Gather good-quality peppermint leaves to produce the desired amount of oil. Make sure the leaves are fresh from the source or garden and without brown spots. Choose large dark-green leaves early in the morning or before the plant begins to flower while the plant oils are at their strongest. Since peppermint oil is an infusion, your carrier oil will determine the quantity you will ultimately end up with.
  •  Wash your peppermint with clean running water in a mesh strainer or colander. This is to rinse the debris, dirt, and dust. Alternatively, you can soak the peppermint in a bowl for about 10 minutes. Inspect the leaves while you wash and discard the damaged ones.
  •  After washing, let your peppermint air dry and shake the leaves to remove excess water. You can smoothen the leaves to prevent folding and curling. Alternatively, set the leaves on a layer of folded paper towel or ordinary towel to soak up moisture. You can begin the extraction when it is completely dry.
  •  Gently crush the peppermint oil with mortar, pestle, or mallet to release the oil. Apply even pressure to prevent damaging the leaves or grinding the leaves too much and making them bitter. If you want, you can tear and squeeze the leaves by hand. 
  • Scooped the crushed leaves and transfer them to another jar or container. Select a jar with a lid to create an air-tight seal. Then, pour enough carrier oil to cover the peppermint. You can use coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, or olive oil – mildly scented or unscented oil.
  •  Leave the sealed jar in a dry place out of direct sunlight for about 48 hours.
  •  Strain the infused oil by pouring it through a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth. Let the oil pour into a glass container while the leaves remain in the strainer. Then, store the sealed jar of peppermint oil in a cool, dark place. You can seal and store peppermint essential oil for up to 6 months.


Avoid giving your dog any undiluted essential oil. Although it may benefit people, human-safe does not mean animal-safe. True, some essential oils are safe for dogs. However, you still shouldn’t use any essential oil without approval from your veterinarian. Keep peppermint essential oil away from senior dogs, sick dogs, and young dogs. And if an accident happens, reach out to your veterinarian and don’t try to treat your furry friend on your own.

Andrew Scents and Aroma