Myths: What is and Isn’t

Pet owners are a separate breed ruled mostly by emotion. Sharing my love of animals with pet owners makes my job so rewarding but when medicine, health and nutrition are rooted in emotion, sometime the emotion overrides logic and we get all sorts of rumors thrown about, when it really is just old wives tales or old medicine. Medicine is constantly evolving, so answers aren’t always the same.

If you think you are alone in the way you love your pet, just watch a vet tech talking to a doc about their own pet. At heart, we are just crazy pet people. We work mostly just to pay for our pets. We are just as emotionally unsound as the next person, but we also like research. We want to know the real of the real. So when I hear a page railing on a product I research quickly to see if I should be just as panicked.

This page is the perfect place for me to share my research because, come on, we have enough real worries without making up new ones, but never hesitate to call Animal Poison Control if you are very scared. It does cost money to use this service, so you can try your veterinarian first. We are well versed in common toxicities like chocolate and poinsettias, but we are not botanists so unfortunately don’t always have an answer, but we know where to send you to get that answer. We are here.

“Spearmint is Toxic to Pets.”

Nope. Not at all, in reasonable quantities. Your pet might not like the taste. Mint isn’t really their thing, because Garden Mint is toxic. Mint breaks down into¬†acetylsalicylic acid… yup… ASPIRIN. Aspirin is not to be used on your pets ever. Please. Toxic. Toxic. Toxic.


Spearmint and Catnip are from the mint family, but they don’t have¬†acetylsalicylic acid, which is apparently very common in plants to stave off the bugs that eat them so please research house plants before you bring them home, but there is no need to panic when you see spearmint on your pet food label. It’s just natural flavoring.


“Rosemary Extract is Toxic to Pets.”

Nope. I mean everything is toxic at high doses, so don’t try to dose it yourselves but rosemary is listed as safe to dogs, cats and horses.

I think a lot of the misconception here came from Essential Oils. Essential Oils are extremely concentrated. They are meant only for external (usually diluted) use. You put a drop on your skin or use a diffuser to put them in the air. For animals or people with respiratory issues or pug noses, or birds, anything else in the air could be very bad. Use diffusers with caution and DO NOT let your pet near the oils but this is not what is in your pet food.

Rosemary extract is just a preservative and natural flavoring. Your pet may hate it or be allergic to it, but it isn’t toxic in and of itself.