Can dogs eat Mint?

Updated 29 May 2024
Read time: 5 mins
article author
Written by Corinne Homer
article author
Reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon
Team Vet

Yes - dogs can eat fresh mint leaves, it’s a great natural breath freshener and also has some healthy benefits.

Humans mostly eat spearmint and peppermint leaves, which are both safe for dogs. However, other kinds of mint aren’t an advisable choice for a dog’s diet. 

Read on to learn which kinds of mint dogs can eat, and whether mint can even be healthy for dogs.

Is mint good for dogs?

Yes, fresh mint has some health benefits for pooches when fed in moderation - it’s low in fat and completely natural, as it’s a plant. This is why it can be considered good for dogs: 

What are the health benefits?

  • Natural breath freshener. Mint has a cooling effect on the tongue, and is great at cancelling out harsh flavours and smells. We all know dog breath isn’t the freshest at the best of times - a mint leaf or two could help with that. 
  • Good for digestion. Mint is widely used for aiding digestion, which is why a lot of people drink mint tea after eating. 
  • Anti-inflammatory properties in mint means it has some uses in fighting off inflammation in the body.
  • It’s full of antioxidants, meaning it helps fight off free radicals that cause illness or infections. 

Can puppies eat mint?

Puppies can have a fresh mint leaf or two alongside their regular puppy food, it won’t cause them any harm. Just be sure it’s spearmint or peppermint leaf - not an English Pennyroyal as these leaves are toxic to dogs. If your puppy reacts badly to the mint, of course don’t feed it to them again until they’re older.

When is mint unsafe for dogs?

Fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves are safe for dogs - however, English Pennyroyal mint should be avoided as this could make your dog very sick. It contains a compound called pulegone which is relatively toxic for both dogs and humans.

Can dogs be allergic to mint?

Some dogs might have a mint allergy. If they munch on some fresh mint and they have an adverse reaction, showing any of the following symptoms, don’t feed it to them in future. 

  • Reddening, itching, rash of the skin
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea 
  • Bloating, pain in stomach
  • Breathing difficulties or wheezing 
  • Lethargy, change in behaviour

Can mint make dogs sick?

Fresh mint is generally very safe, but yes, mint can make dogs sick for a few different reasons. Be sure to avoid the following scenarios:

  • Feeding mint sweets. Dogs should eat fresh mint as a plant, not sweets or mint chews. These are far too sweet, have no nutritional value and if they contain Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) it could have fatal effects on your pooch.  
  • Too much fresh mint could make your dog sick and cause a tummy upset. Only feed them a fresh leaf or two at one time.
  • Pennyroyal mint is toxic for dogs, so avoid this plant. 
  • If your dog has an allergy or intolerance to fresh mint, it might cause them to be sick if they eat it.

How to safely give mint to your dog?

You should only give your dog a couple of fresh mint leaves, no more than that. It’s fine to serve it raw alongside their regular dog food, just be sure it is clean and fresh. Avoid mint sweets, and don’t give your dog a whole bunch of mint to eat. 

How much is safe to give your dog?

As with all foods, mint is only safe when fed in moderation. Give your pooch a mint leaf or two as a garnish to their regular food, or after their food (if you’re trying to help their digestion or freshen their breath). Don’t let them have a bunch of mint as this could wreak havoc with their delicate tums.

What kinds of mint can dogs eat?

Now that we’ve covered your pooch can munch on some fresh mint, let’s go over the other kinds of mint that aren’t quite as straightforward. 

Can dogs eat mint sauce?

No - mint sauce is made almost entirely of vinegar, which isn’t number one on a menu of dream foods for dogs. Don’t give your pooch any mint sauce as a side to their lamb dinner, leave that for people's plates. 

Can dogs eat mint jelly?

No, mint jelly is also likely to have lots of extra ingredients alongside mint which aren’t safe for dogs to eat, such as a lot of sugar. A sprig of mint on some food is healthy for a dog’s meal, but not mint jelly. 

Can dogs eat mint ice cream?

No, don’t feed mint ice cream to your pooch (even if they appear to like it!). Lots of mint ice cream contains chocolate chips, and as we all know, chocolate is toxic to dogs and should always be avoided. Alongside this, ice cream is packed full of sugar and cream, which has little nutritional value to a dog and is likely to cause a nasty stomach upset. 

Can dogs eat mint sweets like imperials?

No, sweets aren’t safe for a dog’s diet. They could cause a choking hazard for a start, as they’re too small for a dog to really munch on. They also come with high amounts of sugar, and most importantly could contain Xylitol - an artificial sweetener that is known to cause liver failure in dogs.

Can dogs eat peppermint?

Peppermint is a strain of mint plant, and it’s safe for dogs to eat just like spearmint. Fresh mint leaves in spearmint and peppermint are a great natural breath freshener for dogs and can aid in digestion - just make sure you only give your pooch a couple of fresh leaves and no more to avoid a stomach upset.


  • Fresh mint is a safe food for dogs - you can give them a leaf or two after food to munch on, or if you want to be fancy, serve it as a garnish to their meal. It’s a natural breath freshener and can aid digestion. 
  • Don’t overfeed mint to your dogs however as it can have the opposite effect and cause stomach issues. 
  • Also, stick to fresh mint - avoid mint-flavoured sweet, mint sauce or ice cream.

What other foods can dogs safely eat?

If you want to feed mint to your dogs but want to try an alternative, why not try the following: 

Superfood dental sticks for dogs with mint and spirulina, for your dog’s fresh breath and clean teeth.

Take a look at our range of nutritious treats for dogs or our tasty dental sticks to give your dog a boost to their breath, as well as their overall health and wellbeing.

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