Christmas is coming and there will be a lot of candy lying around the house. Like children, too much candy at one time can cause some stomach issues and a trip to the dentist (No Thanks)!
What about dogs? What I am asking is your best friend allowed to have this special treat? As a dog owner, we must ask ourselves, can dogs eat peppermint candy?
Let’s find out…
Origin And Composition Of Peppermint
No one really knows who invented peppermint candy. Its history is lost through the passing of time although peppermint has been used in some form and fashion from long ago.
Altoids were first invented in the 18th century while candy canes have been said to have been handed out in Germany in the 17th century.
Life Savers brought out their peppermint flavor prior to the First World War.
The peppermint flavor has been used for thousands of years in different forms to help calm the stomach as well as for other medicinal purposes.
Peppermint is 100% natural and grows in a plant that likes moist weather. When made into candy it has lots of sugar, Arabic gum, and other ingredients. mixed in with its oil.
Is Peppermint Safe For My Dog?
If the peppermint is made with sugar and a few other ingredients the most that will happen to your dog is that he will get an upset stomach. Just like little kids do they can eat too much candy over the Christmas season or during Halloween.
Some people claim that letting their dog eat peppermint helps their stomachs but there is no real scientific data or studies to support this thought.
The problem that arises is if the makers of peppermint candies and candy cane add in an artificial sweetener called Xylitol.
This chemical compound is not safe for dogs to digest.
What Are The Health Benefits If Any?
Despite the lack of peer review scientific studies on the issues, many people claim that a little peppermint goes a long way in keeping their dog healthy.
They say that the peppermint helps their pet fight its allergies as well as help smooth out their digestion.
Because dogs have sensitive stomachs, it is not a wise choice to give them a large amount of peppermint candy.
Your pet may not be used to the candy and they can experience vomiting, gastrointestinal issues, and possibly diarrhea.
The other problem is the type of ingredients put into the candy and if the maker puts too much of specific ingredients, those amounts may be too much for your pet, even if they are used to eating it.
Can Dogs Eat Peppermint Star Brites?
The best that can be said here is that it is possible. According to Brach’s candy company, the ingredients of this product contain corn syrup, sugar, Titanium Dioxide, and peppermint oil along with red, blue, and yellow color dye.
The question as to how healthy the Titanium Dioxide is for your dog is up to your veterinarian to answer.
It is not the same as Xylitol but it can be harmful if taken in large amounts.
Be careful if the star brites are manufactured by another candy company as their ingredients may be different than Brachs.
The best thing to do is err on the side of caution and do not give your dog any peppermint star brites.
Can Dogs Eat Soft Peppermint Puffs?
If you are making these candy treats at home the ingredients to watch out for would be the peppermint and vanilla extracts.
Too much or the former is not healthy for your pet and they need to receive it in moderation.
If the peppermint puff has a large amount of this extract then do not let your dog have a taste. The same will hold true if you buy your peppermint puffs at your local supermarket or mall.
Can Dogs Have Peppermint Oil?
It seems that dogs are allowed to eat peppermint oil. But, it will depend on the amount you give him or her if they will have stomach issues or not.
Again, some of those issues are diarrhea, gas, bloating, and vomiting, to name a few.
Everything in moderation applies to dogs, their food, and their snacks as it does humans. If you want a healthy dog, limit the amount of peppermint oil you give them as well as the frequency.
Use peppermint oil in your diffuser and your dog starts to sneeze, stop using peppermint oil.
If your dog liked the taste of the water in your diffuser and drank some, watch for some mouth and throat irritations.
Can Dogs Eat Candy Canes?
This will depend on whether or not your dog ate the plastic wrapper around the candy cane or if he or she simply ate the candy portion.
Plastic wrappers will be hard on your pet and they should never get a hold of plastic even to chew on.
If the candy cane is made with Xylitol, then the answer would be a firm NO. Too much Xylitol can induce comas and even death so check the ingredients before you buy that package of candy canes to spice up the holiday season.
Without the Xylitol, your dog may only experience stomach issues if they eat too much.
Safe Peppermint Dog Treat Recipe With Instructions
If you are seeking out a safe homemade option, here are the ingredients and instructions for one peppermint dog treat that is healthy for your pet.
3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. water
1 tsp. molasses
2 tbs. peanut butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. peppermint extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Use a large bowl and mix all the ingredients at the same time
3) Knead the flour mixture and use your rolling pin to flatten the mixture to 1/4 inch thickness
3) Use cookie cutters to create different shapes
4) Bake for 30 minutes.
5) After baking cool on a wire rack Store in a sealed container in your fridge or feed them fresh to your pet
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Peppermint?
The first thing to do is to monitor your pet’s behavior and check the ingredients on the peppermint packaging.
If there is no Xylitol in the peppermint then your pet may only get an upset stomach.
Also, the size and weight of your dog will influence how the peppermint will affect him or her. Regardless, if your dog is showing abnormal behavior you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, gas may seem usual to you but those are some of the key signs to be aware of.
Peppermint candy or peppermint treats on a daily basis is not a good idea for you and me because of the high sugar content.
Additionally, offering peppermint candy to your dog is not the best option and if you do much caution is needed.
Be alert for unusual reactions and always contact your veterinarian for additional advice when considering giving peppermint candy to your best friend.
Feel free to leave any comments below.