Is Pennyroyal Safe for Pets? ©

With the movement towards more natural pet care comes the belief that natural treatments are safer than synthetic chemical treatments. While that’s often the case, there are some natural treatments that may contain unsafe ingredients.

We have seen several natural flea and tick treatments (and recipes for natural flea treatments) containing herbs and essential oils that should not be used on dogs, cats or other animals. I can only assume that the formulators of these potions have read information indicating an ingredient is effective in killing or repelling fleas and looked no further into the safety of its use. One of these ingredients is Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides and Mentha pulegium).

Pennyroyal contains volatile oils, primarily pulegone, which can be toxic to animals. Ingesting even minute amounts over time can cause permanent damage. Since both dogs and cats are likely to lick themselves, no amount of Pennyroyal is truly safe for pets. Cats are especially sensitive to Pennyroyal and its use may result in death.

Hedeoma pulegioides & Mentha pulegium Pennyroyal for pets

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) is not safe for animals.

The effects of Pennyroyal toxicity may include:

  • Death
  • Unconsciousness
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Renal damage
  • High blood pressure
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Abortion

There are safe, effective, natural flea and tick treatments on the market that don’t contain dangerous ingredients. We suggest that you research each ingredient on the label before purchasing and take great care in formulating your own flea repellant recipes.

Sources
Sudekum et al. Pennyroyal Oil Toxicosis in a Dog. 1992.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s LifeHerbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life. 2009.
Bell, Kristen Leigh. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with AnimalsHolistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols for pet muscle sprains, strains and spasms. 2002.

You may also be interested in reading:
Natural, Organic Flea Treatment and Control (With Herbal Rinse Recipe)
Natural Tick Treatments for Dogs (With Anti-Lyme’s Bite Recipe)

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13 Responses to “Is Pennyroyal Safe for Pets? ©”

  1. Glenna78 says:

    Thanks for warning us about Pennyroyal, it’s not like anyone else would tell us.

  2. Brad says:

    How hard is it to research or hire a product developer who specializes in natural remedies??? There’s no excuse for putting pets in danger.

  3. Douglas says:

    I wonder how they get away with using it if its dangerous?

  4. Lucyloo says:

    Pennyroyal can be very dangerous for pets!

  5. Arthur says:

    I’ve too read that penny royal isn’t good for dogs and wondered why it’s in products for pets. I don’t know if they don’t care or they just don’t research it enough but they should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. Dantee says:

    My goodness you’re smart. I’m inclined to think that if it’s in a natural food it must bring natural goodness but I shouldn’t be so trusting.

  7. China Dolls says:

    Some businesses are only interested in making money from natural ingredients. Maybe if they see articles like this they’ll realize they need to hire someone with expertise in natural pet care.

  8. Theresa C says:

    I always wondered why some products still contain pennyroyal when it’s becoming common knowledge that it’s not safe for pets. I’m happy to see people spreading the word about this dangerous oil.

  9. Christina says:

    Good to know!

  10. Annie Parker says:

    Thank you for providing this information. Obviously we can’t count on the manufacturer or the government to ensure pet safety.

  11. Rick says:

    It doesn’t matter if its natural or not if there’s profit involved we need to be careful. Thanks for the warning.

  12. Carla says:

    I can’t beleive some companies are so determined to take advantage of people who want to do something natural for their pets!!! If they only use a little bit the product works and the people using it don’t know its what made their pet sick!!! Beneath contempt!!!

  13. Sylvia says:

    It’s hard to know whats safe and whats not. I always thought if it was included in a product it must be safe but I’ve learned tto check it out just in case.

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