If mints are your favourite and you want to share them with your canine friend, the first question that would come to your mind is, ‘Can dogs eat mint?’. It has no one-word answer. Can dogs eat mint or not depends on the variety of mints and the products which mints are in. While for us humans, mints are excellent for lousy breath, mints also freshen dogs’ breath.
For most people, mint is only a flavour used in various food products such as ice cream, milkshakes, pie dishes, etc. Mint is used as dog treats combined with different food items such as pumpkins, eggs, flour, apples, parsley, etc. Is mint safe for dogs? Before looking at all the aspects of mints that answer this question, you might need to gather more information on mints to be more specific when feeding mints to dogs.
What is mint?
Mints belong to a flowering plant family called Lamiaceae. It is a fast-growing aromatic herb that is suitable for growing in gardens. Mints have many varieties. Each variety of mints has versatile properties generally differing from each other. Some are used for culinary purposes, some for medicinal purposes, and some are even used for their aromatic properties.
Some of the most common mints are peppermint, spearmint, basil mint, pineapple mint, apple mint, ginger mint, calamint, field mint, pennyroyal mint, etc. Only one type of mint is toxic to dogs, which is pennyroyal mint. However, almost all other mints are safe for dogs to eat. Mints have many beneficial properties that help a dog’s health.
Nutritional components of mints
Can dogs eat mint leaves? It depends on the nutritional value that mint holds. Mints indeed contain some necessary dietary contents, but we always have to remember that a dog’s diet is not completed just with mint as they need a full meal consisting of protein, fat, carbs, and essential vitamins and minerals to meet the daily requirements of nutrition in a dog’s body.
However, as a side dish or toppings, mints provide some extra nutrients to dogs while acting as a natural flavour. A 2-tablespoon serving of mints holds 2.24 calories, of which proteins are 0.12 grams, carbohydrates are 0.48 grams, fats are 0.03 grams, fibres are 0.26 grams. Mints are also traced with magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Feeding process of mints for dogs
Is mint bad for dogs? Generally, no. You can feed mint to your pup without worrying much. And mints can be served to dogs through various methods. You can serve mint leaves as parts of fruit or veggie salads to your dog, and you can also sprinkle mint in powdered form on fruits and veggies and serve them to your dog. Mint can also be used as an additional flavour in existing dog treats or supplements.
Mint can also be cooked and served to your dog, and you can easily find various readymade recipes based on mint on online dog food cooking websites.
Benefits of mints for dogs
Can dogs have mint? As previously stated, mints have different benefits when it comes to dogs. They are as follows –
- Mints have traces of vitamin A and C which boost the immune system in digs and maintain a healthy and shiny coat and itchiness-free skin. They also help in healthy bone and joint structure in dogs, thus promoting overall health in dogs.
- Mint leaves are a great source of dietary fibre, promoting a healthy digestion system and preventing several stomach disruptions, constipation, and other stomach disorders in dogs.
- Mint leaves work as an antioxidant and protect the oxidation of cells by the formation of free radicals, thus protecting dogs from damages caused by free radicals. Some antioxidants present in mint are polyphenols and flavonoids.
- Mints work as digestion tonics by preventing gas formation in dogs, maintaining a regular bowel movement, and reducing the symptoms of inflammations in the digestive tract. It also helps in sound liver health.
- Mints have reduced the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments in dogs, thus making cancer treatment easier on dogs.
- Mints are often used in ointments for dogs to heal injuries, burns, and itchiness, redness, or rashes on the dogs’ skin.
- Mints have natural antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and are used in making different bacterial, viral, fungal, microbial medicines for dogs.
- Mints soothe stomach pain and help reduce vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea in dogs.
- Minerals present in mints such as potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and zinc all play a vital role in keeping the balanced nutrition ratio and helps in the overall growth of the body for dogs, especially in the pup stage.
- Mint works as a decongestant that can help break mucus and phlegm from the lungs of dogs while also relieving the respiratory elements of their blockage.
- Mints also help in conditions like “bad-breath” in dogs by freshening their mouth with antibacterial properties.
A cautionary warning part in this article may induce you to ask, is mint bad for dogs? Mints have many beneficial properties for dogs, but some caution must be exercised when you introduce a new food in your dog’s diet. Let us look at some of the warnings that need to be exercised when you feed mint to your dog –
It would be best if you never substituted dog breath mints with human breath mints as human breath mints contain xylitol which is highly toxic for dogs.
Consumption of mints in excess amounts can be harmful to dogs as it can lead to conditions like vomiting and bloating in dogs.
Pennyroyal mints should never be served to your dogs as pennyroyal mints can be highly toxic to dogs and can lead to mint poisoning in dogs which can be visible from uncontrollable nose bleeding, lethargic tendencies, diarrhoea, difficulties in breathing, and vomiting in dogs.
Flea powders and deodorizing sprays made of pennyroyal mints should be kept out of reach of dogs as direct contact with your dog’s skin can lead to really fatal poisoning in dogs and sometimes even death.
Is mint good for dogs? Mint is a plant beneficial to dogs in many ways with little to no side effects for dogs induced by them. Serve mint as a salad, sprinkle them on your dog’s meals, or cook them to give your dog a delicious treat.