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Can Dogs Have Breath Mints?

White Rectangle breath mints in a pile on a white background

Bad breath can lead to embarrassing situations and breath mints are used to prevent this from happening. The problem of bad breath is extremely common among dogs but can they have breath mints? The answer to this question is a YES only if the mints have been made specifically for dogs. You can find a lot of dog breath mints in the market.

Generally, artificial forms of mint use Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) that is toxic for dogs. Due to this reason, it is highly recommended to avoid all kinds of mint products that may contain this ingredient. Basically, it causes a sudden release of insulin in the body that leads to hypoglycemia. According to VCA Hospitals, even the smallest quantities of Xylitol can cause seizures, liver failure, or even death.

Help! My Dog Ate a Mint

Pug laying head down in shame

If your dog has eaten a mint leaf, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if he/she has ingested a breath mint with Xylitol in it, you need to move quickly. Despite the fact that xylitol is a fast-acting poison for dogs, prompt diagnosis and treatment offer a good recovery.

Having said that, a lot of other factors (e.g. quantity of xylitol consumed) will also impact the odds of survival. Even if you are unsure about xylitol consumption but observe concerning signs in your dog’s behavior, you MUST go for the following steps.

Maple or Corn Syrup

Both these syrups can be used to temporarily counteract the effect of unnecessary insulin, released due to xylitol. You need to rub the syrup on the gums of your dog. NEVER pour the syrup into the dog’s mouth because it will make the situation even worse.

Professional Help

You MUST remember that these syrups offer a temporary solution. Once you have applied the syrup, rush your pup to a vet or contact Pet Poison Helpline for immediate treatment. Ideally, you should call the vet and explain the situation to him/her. In this way, your dog will be more likely to receive an instant evaluation.  

If possible, take the packaging of the product with you as it will help the vet to determine the severity of poisoning. A lot of companies don’t mention the concentration of xylitol on the packaging but it’s worth trying.

Did your dog eat bubble gum? Check out our post My Dog Ate a Bubble Gum to learn what you should do.

Can Dogs Have Human Breath Mints?

generic open tin of breath mints on a tan background

It is not preferable to give your dogs any kind of breath freshener that hasn’t been formulated for canines. A lot of these breath mints use an artificial sweetener (xylitol) for their products. This natural ingredient is poisonous for dogs as it can rapidly decrease their blood sugar level.

In addition to that, some human breath mints also contain menthol. This chemical is irritating for the tissues of your dog’s mouth and digestive tract. Consequently, it can result in vomiting and stomach ache. In the case of very young puppies, menthol causes Respiratory Depression by affecting the lungs’ ability to exchange oxygen.

Dog Breath Mints

There are several other techniques to treat your dog’s bad breath that are completely safe. For instance, you can create dog breath mints to freshen up your dog’s breath. Following is a recipe to make these mints at home.


  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • 3-5 salt-free crackers (salt is toxic to dogs)
  • Water


  1. Crush crackers thoroughly so that they could stick with the mint. Don’t use too many crackers as this will depreciate the effect of mint.
  2. Chop mint into very fine pieces.
  3. Mix mint and crackers. While doing so, add enough water that the mint and crackers stick together.
  4. Form small balls of this mixture and place them on a plate. Don’t forget to place a wax paper on the plate or the balls will stick to the plate.
  5. Freeze these mint balls.

Can Dogs Eat Altoids?

a tin of Altoids Curiously Strong Mints

Given their strong smell, some people consider Altoids a solution for their dogs’ bad breath. Contrary to their belief, Altoids are not very effective at treating smelly breath. Instead, it can damage the health of your pup.

The digestive system of dogs is quite different from humans. It is not so good at digesting meals that are spicy or have strong flavorings. For this reason, you need to be extremely careful about the diet of your dog. Consult your vet before adding any new recipe into your dog’s menu and stick to his/her instructions.

The best possible approach to deal with bad breath is to start with an oral inspection. This is because an abscessed tooth could also be the source of this irritating smell. It is important to get it removed before it starts creating further implications.   

How to Freshen Dog’s Breath Naturally?

Toothbrush in a cup on a bathroom counter

There are a variety of natural methods and ingredients that can help you freshen your dog’s breath. For example, brushing your dog’s teeth can save your pet from stinky breath. Basically, it reduces the accumulation of plaque and tartar (in the dog’s mouth), which are responsible for bad breath.

Additionally, you can use a handful of household ingredients to treat this problem and some of them are listed below.

Apple and Carrot

Not only are these two gifts of nature healthy for dogs, but they also help in keeping their breath fresh. Crunching apple slices and carrots is also a useful method to pacify teething dogs.

Coconut Oil

This ingredient offers a lot of advantages to your dog’s health, including fresh breath. It can be added to your dog’s daily diet (in small quantities) to maximize its benefits.


Adding a specialized probiotic to your dog’s meal improves the overall digestive efficiency. It results in a balanced bacterial activity that is crucial for fresh breath. You should discuss the details with your vet to determine the most suitable probiotic for your pup. You can find some of the best possible alternatives by clicking here.


Just like mint, parsley is a naturally refreshing ingredient that is safe for dogs. Adding a pinch of ground parsley on top of your dog’s food can freshen up his/her breath.

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