If you own an unfixed female dog, you know the challenge of keeping her safe when she’s on heat.
Male dogs can smell their female counterparts on heat as far as three miles away.
They often travel long distances to look for the girl and will do anything to get her.
Imagine the number of dogs that will come near your female pooch during this time.
To make matters worse, female dogs in estrus have a hard time resisting males that come around.
They go the extra mile to look for the males to hopefully impregnate them.
There are several ways to deter male dogs from disturbing your dog in heat.
One of the most effective is using strong scents to mask the smell of the doggie on heat.
See, when a female dog is on the quest to reproduce, her body will produce a special scent.
Male dogs can pick up on this scent quite well.
A menthol spray is a common masking tool applied on the female dog’s nether regions.
In this post, I will tell you how to make a menthol spray for your dog.
Is Menthol Spray Safe For Dogs?
First things first, let’s discuss whether it is safe in the first place or not.
There’s no point in using something on your pooch only to cause more harm than good.
According to Pet Poison Helpline, menthol is safe for a dog if it is not ingested.
This is because it irritates the canine digestive and oral systems and can lead to certain symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upsets.
Other dogs suffer lethal symptoms such as lethargy, depression, and loss of muscle control.
The symptoms show up after an hour of ingestion.
To be safe, your dog should not eat anything containing menthol. If she does, she should be taken to the vet immediately.
With that said, the danger of menthol lies in ingestion.
When using it as a masking spray for a dog in heat, the risk of ingestion is much lower.
The spray is applied to the female dog’s back area where the scent is produced.
Although dogs can turn all the way back to lick whatever is there, many of them can get by without doing it.
Plus, the smell irritates even the female dog wearing it.
As such, she won’t be motivated to lick the product off of her.
How to Make Menthol Spray for Dogs
Now let’s talk about how to make a menthol spray for dogs.
There are two ways you can go about it. Both are pretty straightforward.
What you need:
- Distilled water
- Spray bottle
- Menthol oil or peppermint essential oil
- Witch hazel
Pour a few drops of menthol oil into a spray bottle.
If you don’t have menthol oil, you can substitute it with peppermint oil.
Be careful as you don’t want to use too much menthol and end up overwhelming the dog.
Keep in mind that a dog’s nether regions are more sensitive than other parts of her body.
Besides having a strong scent, menthol also introduces a cooling effect on your dog’s skin that can get uncomfortable.
Add half of the spray bottle with witch hazel.
This has been shown to have healing benefits for a dog’s skin.
It is essentially an astringent and reduces pain and inflammation.
In case your dog’s skin doesn’t react well to the masking spray, the witch hazel will help treat it.
Add distilled water to the rest of the bottle, shake it, and cap it.
What you need
- Menthol crystals
- Coconut oil
Add melted coconut oil into a bottle.
With anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, coconut oil has been known to fight harmful microorganisms and ease inflammation.
It also has great odor-eliminating properties and will help mask the scent of a dog on heat.
Sprinkle menthol crystals on the melted coconut oil to make it menthol rub.
You can push things by adding your favorite essential oil to the mixture.
Just make sure it is safe for your pooch. Avoid citrus essential oils and tea tree oils as these may be toxic for your dog.
Check out this post for a list of other essential oils that may be toxic to your canine companion: Which Essential Oils are Toxic to Dogs?
Once your menthol is ready, you can spray or rub some of it on your female dog’s backside.
Do this when taking a walk with her or several times during the day to deter male dogs from harassing her.
You may also want to check: How to Make Coconut Oil Spray for Dogs
Where to Buy Menthol Spray for Dogs
If you want to skip the process of making a homemade menthol spray for your dog, you can get one in vet shops and specialized pharmacies.
Ask your vet if they stock one and you may be surprised they do.
Not all of them have it though so be prepared to be disappointed.
You can also try some vet pharmacies and pet stores near you.
Additionally, there are online sources selling menthol balms, rubs, and lotions designed for dogs.
Try the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
While menthol sprays are relatively safe for your doggie, they can cause some side effects for some canines.
To be safe, pay attention to the following guidelines.
I. Monitor your dog closely
Menthol can irritate your dog’s skin especially if it has too much of the menthol ingredient.
As said before, it has a cooling effect that may end up burning some dogs.
If your dog appears to be in a great deal of discomfort, try other odor-masking alternatives.
The same rings true if the pooch develops skin irritations such as redness, inflammation, and itchiness.
II. Ensure your dog doesn’t lick the spray
We have covered this in detail, so try as much as you can to keep your pet from licking the spray.
III. Avoid toxic ingredients
It can be tempting to add lemon, vinegar, and toxic essential oils to your homemade menthol spray.
However, these will only hurt your dog in the end.
Instead, make the recipe as simple as possible.
When a female dog goes on heat, things can get out of hand pretty fast.
Male dogs will come around and hassle the poor dog because of the scent she produces during this time.
A menthol spray can help mask the odor and hopefully keep the boys away.
You can make one at home with a few ingredients.
And as long as you keep the safety tips mentioned here in mind, your pet should be fine.
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Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.