Peppermint is a widely used herb that has been brewed into a delicious tea for some millennia. It is an irreplaceable natural remedy, an aromatherapy, for a number of common problems.
At some point, while taking a sip out of your freshly brewed hot cup of peppermint tea, you may have wondered if your dog can also have a taste. You are not alone, as many owners give their dogs small doses of tea from time to time. So, can dogs have peppermint tea?
The short answer to the question is yes, dogs can have peppermint tea without going overboard. Peppermint tea, like other kinds of tea, may contain caffeine, which can be harmful in large doses as pet nutritionists argue. However, this harmful effect does not appear before they take at least five cups of tea every day, even for small breeds.
First, let us inspect the contents of peppermint tea and see what effects it has on our canine friends.
Peppermint tea is rich in antioxidants, which essentially improve the immunity system. It has been observed that antioxidants can increase the efficiency of food absorption and lower liver inflammation in dogs. They are especially beneficial for dogs with hepatitis.
In addition to antioxidants, peppermint also contains some potassium and vitamin B, which are essential for the body to function healthily.
Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant, but unfortunately, our furry friends do not share the same enthusiasm. Most pets are extremely sensitive to the effects of caffeine, and it is definitely toxic for dogs.
Luckily, peppermint itself does not contain caffeine. It is a naturally caffeine-free kind of tea. However, you should always be aware of the ingredients if you plan to give your dog a taste of peppermint tea. Check the product first to make sure there is no added caffeine, or go for the decaffeinated types altogether.
Peppermint tea is an excellent source of menthol as well. The menthol present in peppermint oil is famous for being an effective muscle relaxant. It has many benefits, such as improving the airflow perception in the nasal cavity, making breathing easier, and breath fresher.
Methanol also increases the blood flow and provides a cooling sensation, and it can help to ease pain, soothing the stomach and relieving the digestion process.
Is Peppermint Tea Safe for Dogs?
A cup of hot tea, whether it be peppermint tea or black tea, offers many health benefits to humans. As can be seen from above, there are many beneficial compounds present in peppermint tea.
Nevertheless, there are still no sufficient studies conducted on dogs, so while peppermint tea does wonders for humans, it cannot be said for certain that it carries the same benefits for our four-legged babies as well. Tea can upset stomachs of some dogs, so care must be taken.
However, even if peppermint tea is not as beneficial to dogs as it is to humans, it still offers some health benefits.
First of all, peppermint tea is a bronchodilator, meaning that it dilates the bronchi in the respiratory system, allowing the dog to breathe easier.
Another remedy peppermint tea offers is that it can be applied on the irritated skin of dogs (after it cools down) to soothe the irritated and inflamed skin, thanks to the mint in it. This prevents the dog from clawing itself, losing a lot of fur in the process.
For a small dog, the tea itself may not be the best thing to use. While both black and green tea are considered harmless to dogs, this is still a controversial issue for pet nutritionists.
So, in the end, natural peppermint tea without caffeine is safe for dogs to consume in small doses. Giving dogs any tea in large volumes, especially on an empty stomach, may cause health issues.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Have Peppermint Tea?
It can be said that drinking tea once in a while will not cause any permanent effects on your furry friend. However, if you notice signs of toxicity, you should call your local poison control pet center or contact a veterinarian.
Peppermint oil may contain some artificial sweetener, which can be dangerous for dogs. Sadly, even if the tea is tagged as herbal on the market, it may still contain ingredients with caffeine-like effects. Therefore, you should take extra care in the ingredients to be able to give some tea to your canine companion.
There are also mixed opinions on how much tea you should give your dog. Some people argue that giving a cup of the twice a day is healthy, while others say that giving them tea once in two weeks is more than enough. Whatever you do, do not give your dog large doses of any tea. Do not also give your dog hot tea, as it has the chance to upset its stomach. Wait until the tea has cooled down a bit, then pour some into the dogs’ water dish.
To summarize, dogs can have small doses of peppermint tea with no harmful effects. It can furthermore enhance their breathing ability and freshen up their breath. However, you should be on the look-out for ingredients similar to caffeine if you plan to give your dog a taste of peppermint tea.