Is Menthol Spray Safe For Dogs?

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Author: Jacob Kay

If your female dog is in heat you may have looked for solutions on the internet to get rid of the smell and keep the male dogs away from them. You may have found menthol spray in many of the results online. Many dog owners use this but, Is menthol spray safe for dogs?

If you have this query you have found the perfect article. You will get a precise answer as to whether it’s safe or not. In addition, you will also get some tips on how to use it.

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Is Menthol Spray Safe For Dogs?

In general, menthol spray is not safe for dogs. While the menthol spray does the trick of covering the odour released by the female canine during the heat, it is unsafe because of the irritation it can cause to our furry friends.

If a dog ends up ingesting it, the substance can cause some serious issues. You will see them have irritation in their mouth and suffer from digestive issues. In addition, they will also suffer from vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and weakness. To understand this better, let’s have a closer look at the composition of a menthol spray.

Menthol spray composition

Menthol is the active ingredient. In addition, you will find the presence of substances like diclofenac, methyl salicylate, linseed oil, or alcohol. The composition of these ingredients may also retain anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic, or antiseptic properties.

Weight by percentage

  • Menthol: 5% w/w
  • Diclofenac: 1.16% w/w
  • Linseed oil: 3% w/w
  • Methyl salicylate: 10% w/w

The percentage distribution of alcohol in menthol spray relies on the brand of the product. This composition is toxic for dogs. All these ingredients are harmful to your furry friend. Let’s see why.

  1. Menthol – it is an organic compound but, is poisonous. It can cause issues like stomach aches, nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting in dogs. In addition, if your furry friend inhales the spray, or absorbs it through their skin, you will see them have difficulty in breathing, and their nervous system is also affected.
  2. Diclofenac – is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It can lead to issues like stomach ulcers, kidney or liver damage, and bleeding in dogs.
  3. Linseed oil – although it retains omega-3 fatty acids, and is beneficiary for dogs, more intake or inhaling may cause irritation and other issues like vomiting, diarrhoea, and pancreatitis.
  4. Methyl salicylate – this ingredient is somewhat similar to aspirin and can cause issues like ulceration, bleeding, gastric irritation, and toxicity in our furry friends.

Using Menthol Spray On Dogs

We saw the negative effects of menthol spray on dogs. But, at times it becomes crucial to use the spray for many reasons. Yes, they have some side effects but, if used in moderation and with care they can provide some benefits as well.

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Reasons for using menthol spray on dogs

Here are some of the reasons why you might need to use menthol spray for your furry friend:

  • Hiding odour of female dogs in heat

The menthol scent in the spray helps in tackling the odour of female dogs when they are in their heat. This helps in keeping male dogs away and there is no mating between them. Dog owners who are having multiple dogs, especially males and females use this more.

Further, remember, the method is useful in getting rid of the smell and deterring male dogs away but, does not prevent pregnancy or help contain sexually transmitted diseases.

  • For masking the bad smell because of health issues

At times, the menthol spray is used for tackling the bad smell coming from a sick dog. Your furry friend may be suffering from infection, wound, or anal gland problems. The bacteria and fungi are responsible for bad odour and menthol spray helps in countering such odour.

In addition, it can also help solve itching issues and relax your dog. But, you must not use this as a medical remedy, bathe your dog regularly instead of using menthol spray.

  • Soothe and cool the fur

Menthol spray can significantly help in reducing any pain in the dog’s skin. The spray cools down the skin and numbs its pain receptors. The spray is also useful as an antiseptic and prevents infection. However, under no circumstances you must use this spray on open or bleeding wounds.

  • Help the dog to relax

The scent of menthol spray can help in releasing endorphins. These are natural chemicals which help to lower the blood pressure and heart rate. This helps your dog cope with the anxiety and stress. But, make sure your use it as an occasional remedy and not on a regular basis. Using more may also have a reverse effect, meaning, your furry friend may get aggressive instead of calming down.

  • Refresh fatigue dog

If your furry friend is having weakness and is low on energy, a menthol spray sprinkle can help refresh your dog. They will feel energetic because their blood circulation will increase. The oxygen flow to their brain and muscles get better.

Further, the mood of your furry friend will also get better because of the soothing smell. But, this must not turn into a regular practice otherwise your furry friend will face some serious health issues.

So, if you have to use it on your furry friend you will have to proceed with caution. Here are some useful tips and points you need to consider for ensuring your furry friend’s safety:

#1 Consult your vet

It’s crucial to have a discussion regarding using the menthol spray with your vet. They can provide you with some useful insights and also suggest some tricks on how you can use it safely. You must not skip this part as your vet knows your dog’s health status and is also aware of the allergic aspects. So, if there is a chance of menthol poisoning you will see them refusing as well.

#2 Follow label instructions

The spraying bottle will have precise instructions on the amount you must use. Following those instructions will help in reducing the potential health risks. You may feel like using more but, it’s best not to overuse it.

#3 Duration of use

Using the spray regularly is not good. You must maintain a proper gap in between and ensure the time of exposure to this spray is reduced. Stop for a few days and monitor your dog’s health condition. If you see any changes consult with your vet.

#4 Avoid sensitive parts

While using the menthol spray on your furry friend, avoid spraying it near their eyes, nose, ears, mouth, wounds, or genitals. The composition of the spray is harmful and your dog may suffer from some serious infectious issues. So, if you accidentally spray on these parts, you must thoroughly rinse them.

#5 Proceed with caution

Use a cotton ball or cloth material to apply the spray. This will help in avoiding direct contact with their skin. Spray less and make sure that you are hitting it in the right area. The main purpose is to get rid of the smell, and if there is a need for more try using it after some time.

These were some of the aspects you need to consider. Now, if you use it in moderation, your furry friend will not show any signs of health issues. But, as a dog owner, it’s obvious for you to wonder about some alternatives. Let’s see if there are any.

Alternatives of Menthol spray

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While there are alternatives for menthol spray, if you are thinking they are completely safe then it’s not the case. You’ll have to remain vigilant and use it properly. Here are some alternatives for menthol spray:

  • Pepper Spray

This spray uses capsaicinoids and the active ingredient is chilli peppers. Pepper spray is useful when you wish to deter other dogs and strangers. But, this spray can cause a burning sensation, and inflammation and may also cause temporary blindness in the eyes, nose, and mouth of the target. The spray is only used in extreme cases.

  • Lavender Spray

The spray retains lavender oil. It helps in providing a calming and soothing effect on your furry friend. They will also get help in dealing with stress, and anxiety in them. The spray is useful in dealing with the odour of a female dog who is in heat and repels male dogs preventing mating. This is a good alternative because it’s not as toxic as menthol but, some dogs are allergic to lavender oil and similar essential oils.

  • Eucalyptus Spray

The spray uses eucalyptus oil, it’s also an essential oil which has a refreshing and rejuvenating effect on your furry friend’s respiratory system. It is useful in dealing with bad odour but, you can also use it for clearing nasal congestion, cough, and cold in our furry friends. This alternative is beneficiary but many dogs are allergic to this oil.


Can menthol spray lead to menthol poisoning in dogs?

It’s rare but, a definite prospect. So, if your furry friend ingests or inhales large amounts of menthol, they will suffer from irritation, have digestive issues, have breathing difficulties, and their nervous system also gets compromised. If it’s menthol poisoning, you will see your dog suffer from severe stomach pain, seizures, coma, or death.

What is the appropriate frequency of using menthol spray on dogs?

The frequency of using a menthol spray on a dog depends on intent. For example, if you are planning on using it for keeping male dogs away from female dogs in heat, you may have to use it three to four times a day. You must not use it for dealing with other issues as it is toxic for dogs after all.

Which dogs are allergic to menthol spray?

Dogs like Cocker Spaniels, and Border Collies, who have thick and long coats are likely to show allergic reactions to menthol spray. Also, dogs with dry skin will also have allergic reactions, a German shepherd will show signs of reaction if in contact with menthol spray. In addition, dogs who are suffering from pre-existing medical issues, are susceptible to menthol spray.

Is Menthol Spray Safe For Dogs – Final Remarks

All the points suggest that menthol spray is not safe but, if you use it properly after consulting with your vet, it has some significant benefits. The prominent one is getting rid of bad smells coming from dogs while they are suffering from different health issues.

In addition, one can use it to refresh their dog’s mood and improve their coat health as well. Many dog owners use it for freshening up their dog but, making it a routine is dangerous. Also, the spray is mostly useful in keeping male dogs away from female dogs who are in their heat.

The substance is toxic if used more so, you need to carefully use it. Because along with the dog, your family members and children are also at risk of suffering from health issues.

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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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