Whenever you feel like relaxing and reducing your stress, peppermint is a good way to do so. Its aroma is soothing and it warms your body up. However, for dogs, peppermint makes a different appeal and you would find them far away from you since the scent unbearable for them. Likeable Pets can help you regarding on your pets problem.
But, before you remove peppermint oil off your shopping list, there is a growing debate regarding peppermint oil and its benefits for dogs.
What exactly are the facts and should you really use peppermint oil on your dogs?
Truths About Natural Remedies
Many people often believe that natural remedies, like essential oils, are safer than those made by factories since it does not have a lot of chemicals. However, this idea should not be taken seriously for several different reasons.
First and foremost, there are a wide variety of plants and essential oils that are actually toxic for either human or animal use. Sadly, these plants and oils are not properly regulated and tested by government authorities like the FDA. As a result, there is no guarantee that these natural remedies or supplements really work and if they have no side-effects whatsoever.
Of course, one should not immediately disregard these natural remedies because some of them may provide comfort and relief if you know how to use it properly. Doing a little research can show you which products have positive reviews from pet owners and vets alike.
The Debate in Using Peppermint Oil on Dogs
In recent years, peppermint oil has been growing in popularity due to some pet owners and holistic veterinarians recommending it as a supplementary to a dog’s anti-flea and tick routine. This idea has some merit because peppermint has long been used as an ingredient for insect repellent and it is still used today. Nowadays, peppermint oil is combined with other essential oils to be more effective.
Sadly, peppermint oil cannot kill fleas unless it is combined with stronger ingredients like citrus extracts and sodium lauryl sulfate. Once it is combined with these ingredients, peppermint oil will not be a major contributor to killing fleas.
Currently, the effectiveness of peppermint oil to help repel and kill fleas and other insects for dogs remains disputed by various parties. Studies are also being done to determine how much peppermint oil can be used before it can help get rid of fleas.
Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?
While there are some evidences that peppermint oil can be a good anti-flea and tick supplement, it is actually not very safe for dogs or any other pets to use.
For dogs, there are several reasons why it is not very safe for them. First and foremost, dogs would find peppermint’s scent overwhelming due to the 300 million nose receptors it has to help them smell better. If for humans the scent is not that strong, it is actually way stronger for dogs by several times.
Peppermint oil also presents several complications aside from overwhelming a dog’s senses. Once it comes into contact to skin, it can cause skin irritation and if it is added to flea-related complications, it can trigger infections and anemia. If dogs ingest the oils, it can trigger vomiting and sluggishness.
How About Peppermint Leaves?
If the oils are not safe, what about the leaves?
In cooking, peppermint leaves have a lot of great applications. Its scent alone would help drive out pests in your garden when you have it planted and taken care of.
Fortunately, while peppermint is considered toxic to dogs, you can still use peppermint products but in regulated quantities. However, before you do use any product with peppermint, ask your dog’s veterinarian which items you can use safely and how to apply them without harming your dogs.
What to do When You Want to Use Peppermint Oils?
When your dog’s vet gives a go signal on you using peppermint oil and other products with peppermint, here are some things you can do to lessen the impact on your pets:
- Dilute the peppermint oils with water or carrier oil before use. While you dilute the oils, monitor how your dogs will react. If they suddenly scratch, whine or sniffle, you will need to bring your pet out of the room while you work.
- Make sure that you wash your hands after using peppermint oils or leaves. Remember, if dogs come into contact with peppermint oils or leaves in anyway, it can trigger complications.
- After every use of peppermint oils or other products with peppermint, make sure to put them in hard to reach places to ensure your dog doesn’t accidentally digest it.
- If you find yourself locating a “dog-friendly” peppermint oil, ask your vet first before you use them. Your vet will determine your dog’s capacity to handle the oil and warn you as to the side-effects of using these oils.
- When you do use them to treat your dogs, only apply them in affected areas. Do not put them on sensitive areas like their eyes, nose, or genitals.
- Do not use oils on puppies, toy breeds, sick and pregnant dogs. For puppies and toy breeds, you can use hydrosols to get rid of their fleas and ticks. Pregnant and sick dogs will require smaller amounts as compared to healthy dogs.
- Ask your vet if they can recommend other products which your pet can use for their health ailment. They may be able to tell you which products are good alternatives and how you can apply it safely on your pet.
For any pet owners, it is a nightmare to get rid of fleas and ticks since it can cause havoc not just on your pet but also for the entire family. However, if you are considering of using natural remedies like using essential oils, you must double check if it is safe for your pets. Always ask your pet’s veterinarian before you use them to protect your pets.