Does Peppermint Oil Kill Fleas on Dogs

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Dog owners are always looking for safer ways to care for their pups.

This is why so many people have been asking: Does peppermint oil kill fleas on dogs?

The quick answer is no, peppermint oil cannot kill adult fleas.

However, it could be part of an overall flea treatment strategy.

It’s important to keep in mind that too much exposure to peppermint oil can be toxic for your dog.

Here’s all the details for using peppermint oil to kill fleas on dogs. 

Related: Does Tea Tree Oil Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Does Peppermint Oil Kill Fleas?

When it comes to answering “does peppermint oil kill fleas on dogs,” the answer is no. Peppermint oil can not kill fleas, but it can repel them

Research has shown that peppermint oil can only kill fleas in doses that are far too high to be safe1 for using with your dog.

This means that it is not possible to use peppermint oil to kill fleas without risking the health and safety of your dog.

There are some uses of peppermint oil, but killing fleas is not one of them. 

Does it just repel them?

Peppermint oil is effective in repelling fleas in dogs.

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A safe dose of peppermint oil will repel fleas for 24 to 48 hours, but your dog’s sensitivity to peppermint oil is hard to determine.

Researchers are still trying to determine the safe dose of essential oils for dogs2.

So, until the research is done, it’s best to talk with your vet first or avoid them all together. 

If you want to learn more about flea treatments that don’t require a prescription, check out our updated list for 2023.

Does it kill flea eggs and larvae?

While peppermint oil cannot kill adults fleas, it is capable of killing flea eggs and larvae.

This means that peppermint oil can be part of an effective treatment plan for helping your dog recover from fleas. 

 How effective is it?

The effectiveness of peppermint oil when it comes to treating fleas depends on what you’re looking to accomplish.

Peppermint oil cannot be used to kill adult fleas, but it can be used to kill flea eggs and larvae.

Peppermint oil also repels fleas for 24 to 48 hours which could be a beneficial for humans and furniture, but is still too risky for your pup3.

Overall, there are more effective treatments when it comes too fast and permanent flea removal.

The ASPCA recommends4 flea shampoos, powders, and flea sprays for your dog. 

Peppermint Oil used to Repel Fleas on Dogs

How Does Peppermint Oil Kill Fleas?

Peppermint oil cannot kill dog fleas, but it might be able to repel fleas or kill flea eggs and larvae.

Peppermint oil can deter fleas thanks to the terpenes and other chemicals in this natural plant-based oil.

Chemicals in peppermint oil, like linalool5, have been shown to kill fleas in extremely high doses. 

These chemicals can be hazardous to fleas and naturally repel them. This is why peppermint oil is effective for repelling fleas even if it can’t kill adult fleas. 

Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Dogs?

Peppermint oil is toxic for dogs and other pets6.

Your dog should never be directly exposed to peppermint oil, and you should avoid applying peppermint oil to anything that your dog regularly uses such as a collar or a dog bed.

Even though peppermint oil is effective at deterring fleas, it can be toxic for your dog. 

Is Peppermint Oil Safe for Puppies?

Puppies are very small and much more susceptible to the toxicity of certain essential oils.

Peppermint oil is toxic for fully grown dogs which means that puppies are at a much higher risk when they’re exposed to peppermint oil.

Even amounts of peppermint oil that could be safe for a fully grown dog could be very hazardous for a puppy. 

Is Peppermint Oil Harmful to Dogs?

Peppermint oil is toxic to dogs.

Your dog might experience vomiting, lethargy, or much more serious symptoms if the peppermint oil exposure is not treated or stopped.

Fresh Peppermint Leaves Toxic to Dogs

How to Use Peppermint Oil for Fleas

The risks of using peppermint oil for your dog are just too high, but there are ways that you can use peppermint oil to reduce the risk of fleas. 

Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your vacuum cleaner will kill flea larvae and deter adult fleas from setting up shop in one of the most common ways fleas are spread around the house.

You can also use peppermint oil in a 1:12 ratio solution as a spray around the house for a pleasant scent that also deters fleas.

Keeping fleas out of your home is a great strategy for keeping them off your dog. 

Safe Peppermint Oil Alternatives

There are several essential oils that are pet safe and great for your dog.

You can use these to help deter fleas, but the only thing that kills adult fleas is a purpose-built flea killing product.

Essential oils like chamomile, lavender, and rosemary can all deter fleas and are safe for your dog.

Your vet will be able to help you get started with a safe, natural, and pet-friendly flea treatment plan! 

FAQs

Is Peppermint Oil Harmful to Dogs

Peppermint oil is potentially hazardous for your dog’s health. Exposure to too much peppermint oil can cause nausea, lethargy, vomiting, and can even prove fatal if the peppermint oil exposure isn’t stopped and treated. 

What Essential Oils Kill Fleas on Dogs

Unfortunately, no essential oils are capable of directly killing fleas even though several of them are dog safe and can deter fleas and kill larvae. Chamomile, lavender, rosemary, and citronella are all dog safe essential oils that deter fleas. 

What Happens If Dogs Lick Peppermint Oil

Dogs should never be allowed to ingest peppermint oil in any form. This can cause your dog to become very sick and can even be life-threatening if they eat too much peppermint oil. If using peppermint oil around your dog, always be careful to make sure that your dog cannot consume peppermint oil. 

Can I Spray Peppermint Oil on My Dog

Spraying peppermint oil on your dog can be very hazardous for their health. Even a solution that contains very little peppermint oil can still make your dog sick. This is especially true for smaller dog breeds as well as puppies. 

Resources

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jme/article-abstract/25/1/1/847356?redirectedFrom=fulltext&login=false
  2. https://www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?pId=11131&id=3844040
  3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/are-essential-oils-safe-for-dogs/
  4. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/fleas-and-ticks
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3357170
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22805458/

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