A box of mints that look like Altoids, which are poisonous to dogs.

Are Altoids Poisonous To Dogs?

6 mins |

Many people enjoy fresh mints such as the famous Altoids. But can dogs enjoy them the same way? Are Altoids Poisonous to Dogs?

Yes, Altoids are poisonous to dogs. They contain artificial ingredients, among which Xylitol is the most harmful and can even be deadly. These mints are also loaded with sugars and peppermint oil which can be troublesome for your pet too. A much better alternative for fresh breath is the “same old” regular teeth brushing, or offering them some fresh fruit.

What Are Altoids?

A box of mints.
Mints and dogs just don’t mix.

Altoids are one of the most famous types of mints around the globe. The Wrigley company created them in 1930 and they have been a favorite mint since then. They are widely produced in England, but the Mars company produces them locally for the USA.

What Do Altoids Contain?

Altoids mainly contain corn syrup, sugars, and gelatin. They also have artificial colorings and several flavors like peppermint and spearmint oils.

In the sugar-free Altoids, manufacturers substitute sorbitol and sucralose for the sugars and corn syrup.

How Do Manufacturers Make Altoids?

The precise method of manufacturing Altoids is a big secret, however, the process is pretty close to that of all other mints. Mint oil, sugar, and gelatin are combined with an agent that helps bind them, then it’s all placed in a mixer. After the mixer starts to smash the ingredients together, different types of food coloring are added to the mix. The types depend on the shade the manufacturer desires to achieve.

When the parts are mixed into a homogenous structure, they are put into a cutter and shaped as small minty discs. As the discs dry, they stiffen and move to packaging.

Are Altoids Poisonous to Dogs?

Yes, Altoids are harmful to dogs due to the presence of harmful ingredients such as sugar, alcohol, xylitol, and artificial food colors and flavorings. Corn syrup is also harmful to dogs and can cause diarrhea and stomach aches. Furthermore, dogs are unable to detect the artificial flavor of Altoids. It’s simply not a good idea to endanger a dog’s health just to freshen their breath.

Now, let’s take a look at how some of these ingredients affect dogs.

Peppermint Oils

Altoids’ strong minty flavor is derived from peppermint and spearmint oils, as well as mint extracts. Mint is poisonous to dogs.

Dogs who consume peppermint or spearmint oil may experience the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Skin irritation
  • Mouth irritations
  • Mint poisoning


Altoids and all other mints contain a lot of sugar. Dogs should never eat sugar. It is extremely harmful to them in a variety of ways that we will discuss below.

For starters, both humans and dogs gain weight when they consume sugar regularly. Diabetes is another danger that awaits both humans and dogs who consume sugar daily. 

Furthermore, as you are aware, sugar can be harmful to your teeth. So, it’s a good idea to keep your dogs away from sugar.

Corn Syrup

This type of syrup is an artificial sweetener used for many types of candies and sweets. It is commonly used in the production of low-quality and high-calorie foods. Even though it is not an actual sugar, it is arguably more harmful and addictive than sugar. This is concluded since it raises blood sugar levels more than regular sugar.

We always advise our readers to avoid foods such as Altoids that contain corn syrup. Otherwise, your dog is likely to develop health problems such as obesity and diabetes.


People began to seek sugar substitutes in their products after learning about the negative effects of sugar. Xylitol is one of the products used as a substitute for the sugars in mints. 

This ingredient can be fatal to dogs, even if it is completely safe for humans. Its side effects come mostly from its capability to cause hypoglycemia very fast, which can kill the dog. So, while giving sugar-containing Altoids to your pup in very small amounts is acceptable, giving xylitol-containing Altoids to dogs is not.

What if My Dog Accidentally Eats Altoids?

Some Altoids do not contain xylitol. It’s not as bad if a dog eats Altoids that don’t contain xylitol, but you should still be on alert. However, if they’ve consumed a large amount, you should be on high alert.

The most serious complication if your dog has eaten too many Altoids is mint poisoning. Dogs are poisoned by the peppermint and spearmint oils that give Altoids their distinctive flavor. If you think that the dog had too many mints, you should go to the vet as soon as possible or contact animal poison control to prevent a bad outcome.

You should also find the Altoids box or wrapper that your dog ate. It will assist the veterinarian in determining the best treatment for your dog.

Concerning Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that should alarm you for a more serious outcome of the situation are.


The dog will lose energy and appear exhausted


Vomiting is the dog’s natural defense mechanism for removing any unwanted ingredients from the system


Another sign that something has upset the dog’s stomach is a runny stool, which could lead to dehydration

How to Treat A Dog That Has Eaten Altoids

The vet may need to run a few tests to determine the root cause of your pup’s condition. Mint poisoning may require fluid therapy. This treatment cleanses the toxin from the dog’s digestive system. Your dog should also receive vitamins to help boost its immune system.

Charcoal therapy is another great solution for such intoxication. Toxins are neutralized and prevented from being dissolved in the dog’s digestive system by using activated charcoal therapy.

Other Ways to Freshen Up Your Dog’s Breath

As previously stated, giving your dog Altoids to freshen his breath is a bad idea. So, how do you freshen your dog’s breath?

To begin with, brushing your dog’s teeth is extremely beneficial. It not only helps to freshen your dog’s breath, but it also helps to keep your dog’s teeth healthy for a longer period of time.

Aside from that, giving your dog some fresh fruits is another way to keep his breath fresh. Apples are also a fantastic solution. They are even very nutritious treats for your dog.

Key Takeaways: Are Altoids Poisonous to Dogs?

Now that we’ve answered the question, “Are Altoids poisonous to dogs?” we can say that Altoids have no nutritional value for your pet and, yes, they are harmful and can be poisonous to dogs. They contain artificial flavors, colors, ingredients, and sugars that can lead to obesity, diabetes, indigestion, and worse. 

Has your dog ever tried Altoids or something similar? What was the first thing you did when you noticed and is your dog okay? Let us know in the comments below!

Sandra is a veterinary undergraduate student based in Macedonia. She combines her two passions: veterinary medicine and writing, and she also tends to raise awareness about animal welfare as much as she can. As a student, she has attended many seminars and conferences related to the veterinary profession, and currently, she is focused on veterinary content writing. Although she owns a cat, she strongly claims that “dogs are her favorite people”.