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Is Spearmint Oil Safe for Dogs, Cats & Other Animals?

There are hundreds of essential oils that have great benefits. Spearmint oil calms our muscles and gives us relief. It also reduces fever and headache. Though it’s beneficial for humans but  may not always be great for animals. 

Many animals even highly mourn if inhaled or ingested a little amount of it. 

Is spearmint oil safe for dogs?

Due to its negative effects on dogs, spearmint oil is not safe for dogs for both inhaling and ingesting. The active ingredient menthol is not safe for their health and ingesting too much can cause gastro-intestinal discomfort, liver and kidney damage. It also causes skin irritation to dogs. 

Spearmint oil contains the active component menthol, which is harmful to dogs. When dogs eat it by accident, the menthol in it interacts with their gastrointestinal tract and hepatic cells, causing diarrhea and vomiting. Long-term eating can lead to stomach carcinoma. 

In addition, spearmint oils include irritating ingredients that, when applied to a dog’s skin, might cause a rash and redness. It has been reported that spearmint oil can interact with liver isoenzymes. 

These isoenzymes are necessary for dogs to produce energy, but the interaction of spearmint oil with these isoenzymes puts dogs’ lives in danger. 

Because dogs are such sensitive animals and can readily be harmed by the harmful content of spearmint oil, dogs and other pets should avoid using spearmint oil diffusers. 

The negative effects of spearmint diffusers are similar to those of using spearmint oil orally, but they may not be as severe. 

When the spearmint oil diffusers are sprayed, the tiny molecules can move through the air and into the dogs’ noses, and dogs are excessively sensitive to strong odors. 

The menthol in spearmint, which is the main cause of toxicity when it enters a dog’s nose and mouth, can irritate or cause a bouncing sensation in the dog’s nose, throat, and mouth. As a result, because highly smelling oils irritate their skin, dogs tend to avoid them. 

Furthermore, dogs will experience gastrointestinal distress if they lick the spearmint oil diffusers in any way. Moreover, diffusing spearmint oil is also toxic to dogs, thus they should be avoided.

Can dogs smell spearmint oil? Are dogs allergic to spearmint oil? 

Dogs are sensitive to menthol, and spearmint oil contains 46% menthol. When the smell of spearmint enters a dog’s nose, it activates other receptor sites in the brain, creating irritation. 

However, if the active molecules enter the dog’s mouth or breath, they may cause throat and oral irritation, and if they enter the lungs, they may have difficulties breathing, resulting in dyspnea. 

They also avoid regions where the scent of menthol in spearmint oil is present since it may be too strong for them to inhale. 

Not only does the odor bother dogs, but it also causes allergic reactions in the form of skin sores and redness when it comes into contact with them. Spearmint oils cause allergies in dogs. The acid in spearmint oil reacts with dogs’ skin, causing itching and a rash all over their bodies.

The allergic reaction of spearmint oil might cause swelling in the dog’s eyes and nose. If the allergens in spearmint oil have a high concentration of menthol, they will attach to the membrane of the dog’s nose, causing constant sneezing and a runny nose. 

In any case, it should not be eaten by dogs because eating is more dangerous than inhaling. More severe health distress it may cause in body: 

Gastro-intestinal discomfort: 

When dogs consume spearmint oil, it is not metabolized by their sensitive stomach, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and esophagitis. After eating, dogs may become drowsy, and if consumed in large quantities, the dog’s life may be threatened. 


Not only it harms the liver and kidneys over time, but also causes stomach inflammation which can lead to carcinoma of the stomach.

What to do if your dog eats spearmint oil? 

The treatment actually depends on how much the dog has eaten the spearmint oil. He may start vomiting and the heartbeat may increase. Vomiting can help to get rid of the amount of oil he has consumed in its stomach. 

However, take your dog to an open area to have some fresh air so they don’t experience shortness of breath. Have him a bath with mild detergent if oil is still in his fur. If the dog is experiencing essential oil poisoning it’s better to immediately consult with a veterinarian. 

Antiemetic is normally given by the doctor if the puppy is vomiting continuously. However, if the dog has not vomited and it passed a long time, the activated charcoal may work to neutralize the toxin in its stomach and give relief. 

If the dog is mourning a lot, he has to give fluid therapy with vitamin B supplement to prevent dehydration and boost the immune system to recover quickly. 

Is spearmint oil safe for cats?

The active components of spearmint, the menthol and salicylates both are toxic for cats. Inhaling and consuming both are harmful for cats. Inhaling the smell can cause shortness of breath and consuming spearmint oil can hamper their central nervous and respiratory system. 

Spearmint oil is very harmful for cats. Any essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, tree tea oil, pennyroyal etc. carry a great distress for cats. When cats consume spearmint oil, it is not metabolized by their sensitive stomach, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and esophagitis. 

After eating, cats may become drowsy, and if consumed in large quantities, their central nervous and respiratory system can be hampered and the cat’s life may be threatened. 

Eating spearmint oil can harm the liver and kidneys over time, as well as cause stomach inflammation. It has the toxic component salicylates that works similar to aspirin and makes cats fall sick. 

Moreover, not only consuming spearmint oil harms the cats but also inhaling the scent of this essential oil makes their nose irritate and increases their heart beat. The kitty is so little to take the overpowering high concentrated scent of menthol and have difficulties breathing. 

In fact, their fur and skin is very delicate and sensitive and essential oils like spearmint will irritate their skin and cause allergic reactions, redness and rashes. They can feel a burning sensation and mourn a lot. 

Even using a spearmint oil diffuser around cats is dangerous because even a miniscule amount of diffused oil on a cat’s body and fur can harm them as their skin absorbs any liquid very quickly. 

Moreover, there’s a great possibility of licking and ingesting the diffuse oil from their body as they always lick their body. 

Can you use spearmint oil for fleas and ticks on dogs & cats? 

Spearmint oil can be used on dogs and cats to prevent the spread of fleas and ticks, but not directly on them because this can cause skin irritation. Make sure to dilute the spearmint oil before applying it. 

It can be sprayed in areas where dogs and cats are likely to congregate, such as the carpet or the corners of the house, but it should not be injected or applied directly to the skin, as the menthol component has an unfavorable effect on dogs and cats, producing skin sores and redness. 

When fleas and ticks infect dogs and cats, spearmint oils can be used as a natural treatment by diluting them with water and lowering the concentration. 

Pepper mint’s flavonoids component contains anti-flea and anti-tick activity and can protect dogs and cats against fleas and ticks, but it should not be used frequently. Fleas and ticks are commonly found in garden areas, and their bites cause itching and irritation in dogs and cats. 

Using spearmint oil in a low concentration can be an effective method, as long as it does not cause any skin problems.

Is spearmint oil safe for other animals or pets? 

Typically, spearmint oil is not safe for pets or small animals mostly for mammals like pigs, hamsters, dogs, cats and other animals. 

Some can inhale the aroma of spearmint oil but ingesting even a small amount, can cause great harm. It can even cause severe health diseases. However, birds can digest spearmint oil and the potential negative effects are also low.


Birds don’t have an advanced sense of taste and their digestive system is negligible. They can inhale the smell as well as they have a keen sense of smell. A minimum amount of oil can be absorbed by them without having any negative effects. 


Rabbits have intense smelling power and they avoid an overpowering smell like spearmint oil and for the smell, they normally refuse to eat it. 

Final thoughts

The overpowering smell of menthol in spearmint oil causes difficulties to breathe to both cats and dogs. Ingesting it can cause a more severe reaction from allergy to kidney or liver disease depending on the amount. It’s better to take precautions and not keep this oil around them.