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Home > Dogs > Herbs That Dogs Can Eat: 9 Vet-Approved Types (with Pictures)

Herbs That Dogs Can Eat: 9 Vet-Approved Types (with Pictures)

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Vet approved

Dr. Iulia Mihai Photo

Written by

Dr. Iulia Mihai

Veterinarian, DVM MSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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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

1. Coriander/Cilantro

cilantro in a bowl
Image Credit: Pixabay

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:

  • Promote gastric digestion
  • Soothe abdominal pain
  • Favor the evacuation of intestinal gases
  • Have antiseptic and antibacterial properties

Cilantro (the leafy part of the plant) can have the following effects on your dog:1

  • Improves your dog’s bad breath
  • Supports skin and fur health
  • Supports the immune system

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.

2. Parsley

Image Credit: ImageParty, Pixabay

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:

  • Improves bad breath
  • Supports the immune system
  • Works as antioxidant
  • Soothes stomach ache

However, spring parsley, flat-leaf parsley, and Italian parsley are considered toxic to dogs.2 Curly parsley is what’s totally safe.

3. Turmeric

turmeric plants
Image Credit: IMAGE-RUNNING, Shutterstock

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:

  • Helps reduce inflammation
  • Helps reduce pain
  • Helps reduce joint stiffness
  • Increases immunity
  • Is anti-cancer
  • Is antifungal

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.

4. Basil

Image Credit: LouisJos, Pixabay

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:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Intestinal colic
  • Diarrhea
  • Colitis
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Low appetite
  • Anorexia

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.

5. Rosemary

Image Credit: HansLinde, Pixabay

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.

6. Thyme

Image Credit: Pixabay

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:

  • Intestinal antiseptic
  • Expectorant
  • Cough reliever
  • Diuretic
  • Analgesic
  • Hair tonic
  • Anthelmintic
  • Helps with irritable bowels

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.

7. Sage

Image Credit: JumpStory

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’s antibacterial.
  • It’s an immune system stimulant.
  • It’s anti-inflammatory.
  • It improves digestive problems.
  • It favors the elimination of gases.
  • It stimulates the bile secretion of the liver.
  • It may combat seasonal allergies in some dogs.
  • It has a mild hypoglycemic effect.
  • It promotes antispastic action.

It is recommended to use sage in moderation.

8. Dill

dill spice on a wooden background
Image Credit: lesterjamesuagum, Pixabay

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:

  • It’s soothing for the digestive tract.
  • It helps reduce gas.
  • It suppresses muscle spasms.
  • It helps to tone the liver and pancreas.
  • It improves bad breath.
  • It helps treat chronic constipation.
  • The ground dill seeds can have anthelmintic properties.

Feed your dog dill in small quantities; otherwise, it can lead to gastrointestinal upset.

9. Cinnamon

cinnamon plants
Image credit: praditkhorn somboonsa, Shutterstock

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:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-heart disease properties
  • Anti-cancer properties
  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Bad breath improvement

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.

divider-dog paw

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:

  • Tarragon
  • Lovage
  • Mint
  • Peppermint

Other plants, vegetables, fruits, and spices that you might use and that dogs should not consume due to their potential toxicity are:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Chives
  • Leek
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Nutmeg
  • Unripe tomatoes
  • Rhubarb
onion and garlic
Image Credit: Monika, Pixabay



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.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Tienuskin, Shutterstock

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