I often give my horses minty treats – they seem to really enjoy them, but are they helpful for their health?
Mint is very popular herb. Popular to many people and animals because of its flavour.
There are two kinds of mint often used in veterinary medicine – peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint is often thought to be the stronger of the two, so it will depend on why mint is being chosen to be used for your animal’s healthcare as to whether spearmint or peppermint will be better. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise.
Common uses with animals include:
- to help with digestive problems;
- to help disguise other herbs or medications that may not be so palatable;
- tempt fussy eaters who have a poor appetite.
Many animal feed’s do contain mint. It’s also found in lots of animal treats. But you can also buy mint as a straight herb from good suppliers such as Hilton Herbs, and add to your animal’s feed.
Mint can also be found as an essential oil, to be used as part of aromatherapy (or zoopharmacognosy). It can be used to both cool and soothe, (including to help relieve stress/tension). As with other essential oils, it’s important to always use a carrier oil to help dilute the peppermint/spearmint and avoid it causing irritation.
Despite it being used to tempt fussy eaters, some animals don’t like it – so be guided by your animal – if s/he doesn’t want it, don’t make them and find something else to help – there are lots of herbs to choose from!
Is it safe? Generally yes mint is considered to be safe for many animals. However, using large amounts is not recommended, and as with all medicines (herbal or conventional), getting professional Veterinary advice before using is vital to ensure that it’s used to best effect and is safe for your pet. Caution should be used about using it when an animal is pregnant or lactating, and only after approval by a Veterinary Surgeon who has expertise in herbal medicine.
Do you use mint as part of your animal’s holistic lifestyle?
Until next time,
Director, Taranet Complementary Therapies for Animals (Business Consultancy, Social Media Training and Forever Business Owner)
PS – Like to try a high quality peppermint essential oil? Have a look in my online shop here