Herbs are multi-purpose; they can be used as decorative plants, in the kitchen for cooking, as spices, and for medicinal purposes. Although we can consume and use a variety of herbs, not all of them are safe for dogs. Common herbs that you can share with your pet are cilantro, basil, thyme, sage, turmeric, parsley, rosemary, and dill.
Although dogs can safely consume these herbs because they are not toxic, you must keep in mind that every dog is unique, and some may be allergic or have certain digestive issues. Therefore, we recommend only using herbs in moderation in your dog’s diet, and if they start showing clinical signs, contact the vet.
In this article, you will learn the benefits of herbs for dogs and the plants that are toxic to them.
The 9 Herbs That Dogs Can Eat
The coriander plant is one of the oldest known aromatic plants, having medicinal properties used and recognized for the treatment of various ailments and uses in the culinary world.
Coriander seeds have many nutrients: vitamins (A, B complex, and C), minerals (potassium, phosphorus, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, etc.), and dietary fibers and acids (oleic, ascorbic, palmitic, and others). They have the following benefits:
Cilantro (the leafy part of the plant) can have the following effects on your dog:1
Too much coriander can cause your dog to have digestive disorders, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Also, some dogs can be allergic to coriander. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor your dog carefully after giving them coriander, looking for signs that include vomiting, diarrhea, swelling of the face, and breathing difficulties.
Parsley is used both in the kitchen and to prepare natural remedies. It is rich in protein, vitamin C, beta-carotene, active essential oils, flavonoids, iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, sulfur, inositol, and vitamin K. Here are the benefits of parsley for dogs:
However, spring parsley, flat-leaf parsley, and Italian parsley are considered toxic to dogs.2 Curly parsley is what’s totally safe.
Turmeric belongs to the same family as ginger. Many extremely healthy compounds can be found in turmeric, such as vitamins B2, B3, B6, C, and E, or numerous minerals (potassium, copper, sodium, iron, magnesium) and essential oils.
The active compound in turmeric is curcumin, which has the following properties in dogs:
Turmeric should not be given to dogs in large quantities. It can also interact with anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic drugs,3 so it is better to discuss it with your veterinarian before giving turmeric to your dog.
Basil is a highly valued aromatic plant, having been used since ancient times for its benefits and properties. It’s an important source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins (A and group B).
It is used in phytotherapy for its antiseptic, carminative action (soothes abdominal pain and favors the evacuation of intestinal gases), along with being anti-vomiting, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antipyretic (reduces fever).
Phytotherapeutic preparations from basil can be administered to treat various conditions in dogs:
However, too much basil in your dog’s diet can lead to gastrointestinal problems.4 Also, some dogs can be allergic to this herb, so it is best to give it in moderation.
Rosemary is an aromatic plant that has been used since ancient times both in the kitchen and as a medicinal plant. It is not toxic for dogs and has the following benefits:
Rosemary is indicated in diseases of the biliary and hepatic tracts, anorexia, and stomach diseases. It is recommended to feed rosemary to dogs in small quantities.
Thyme is a versatile plant, used since ancient times for seasoning food and therapeutic purposes. It is not toxic for dogs and has the following benefits:
Feed thyme to your dog in moderation; otherwise, they can develop various clinical signs like diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Some dogs can also be allergic to this herb and develop breathing difficulties.
Sage is an aromatic plant full of vitamins (A, E, and K), minerals (zinc, magnesium, and calcium), and antioxidants. It is not toxic for dogs, having the following benefits:
It is recommended to use sage in moderation.
Dill is an aromatic plant used in food preparation, but it also has medicinal properties. In dogs, it is not toxic and has the following benefits:
Feed your dog dill in small quantities; otherwise, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset.
Although cinnamon is not an herb but a spice, it has been used since the time of Ancient Egypt, and it has many benefits for dogs, including:
If it is consumed in large quantities, it can cause digestive disorders, skin irritation, and sensitization. It is not recommended to give cinnamon oil to puppies because it can be toxic.
Dangerous Herbs for Dogs
According to the ASCPA, various herbs that you may commonly use in the kitchen can be toxic to your dog. Here are a few of the most common herbs that are toxic to dogs:
Other plants, vegetables, fruits, and spices that you might use and that dogs should not consume due to their potential toxicity are:
Herbs add flavor to our food, and you might be tempted to add them to your dog’s food. However, not all herbs are safe for pets. The herbs that dogs can eat include dill, coriander, sage, thyme, rosemary, and basil. That said, even these herbs can cause digestive problems if given in too large quantities or trigger allergic reactions in sensitive dogs. For this reason, it is recommended to feed herbs to your dog in moderation and monitor your pet afterward in case they are allergic.
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