Which herbs are safe and which ones are toxic? Learn what happens when dogs eat herbs and when to call your veterinarian.
We use them all the time to make all sorts of recipes. But what happens when your dog gets into your herb garden? Can dogs eat herbs? Let’s look closer.
For ultimate pet safety, I recommend consulting with your vet about all the questions you have about your dog eating any fresh herbs.
Can Dogs Eat Herbs?
I love making savory meals for my dogs out of fresh herbs. There is so much more flavor from the leaves than the dried varieties. But can dogs eat herbs?
You should be careful when you keep an herb garden or cook with fresh herbs. Most fresh herbs are completely harmless, but some can lead to an upset stomach.
Herbs Safe for Dogs
These are the herbs that are safe for dogs to eat. Keep reading, I’ll go into detail about some of them and explain how they benefit your dog.
Safe herbs for dogs:
Herbs Toxic for Dogs
There are some herbs that are toxic to dogs. According to PetMD, keep your dog away from these plants.
- Fresh spring parsley
- Garlic in high doses
Let’s look at some of the most popular types of herbs and see which your dog can eat and if they are good for them.
Can Dogs Eat Basil?
Yes, your dog can eat basil. This herb is healthy for your dog to eat in small quantities. You can sprinkle a little basil on top of their dog food or give them a tiny sprig straight from your garden.
Basil for Dogs: What You Need To Know
If you have ever wondered, “is basil safe for dogs?” the answer is most certainly, “yes it is!” In fact, it’s not only safe, but it’s also really good for them.
Basil contains anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s great for their heart. It also has lots of antioxidants that can fight and prevent cancer. It is a calming herb, so if your dog suffers from anxiety, add a dash of fresh basil to their dog food.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
Yes, dogs can eat cilantro. It’s actually pretty good for them in small amounts.
This plant is also known as Chinese parsley. It’s usually either delicious or repulsive for us humans, and the same goes for your dog. If they don’t like it, it’s fine to never offer it again.
The herb cilantro contains high levels of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as the minerals iron, manganese, and potassium.
These vitamins and minerals are super good for your dog. It can help fight infections in your dog’s gut. It’s also known to prevent cancer and help with healthy skin and vision.
Can Dogs Eat Dill?
Yes, dogs can eat dill. This means that it’s safe to give your dogs dill pickles. Some dogs love them and others are hilarious when they sniff them and back away.
Dill is another herb that is high in antioxidants – the things that fight free radicals and prevent cancerous cells. But did you know it can also reduce cholesterol?
It’s also fantastic for your dog’s gut. It can help with tummy troubles like bloating and gas.
Lemon Balm for Dogs: Is It Safe?
Yes, lemon balm is safe for dogs. I’m talking about the lemon balm plant, known scientifically as Melissa officinalis. Don’t confuse it with lemon lip balm.
Lemon balm has quite a few therapeutic properties that are really good for dogs. It helps with anxiety and can calm their upset stomach.
Lemon balm can also help fight off respiratory infections. It can also help naturally secure the elasticity of the lungs.
Some dog owners use the plant as a healing herb for wounds.
Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs?
Lemongrass is not safe for your dog to eat. However, it is safe to be used as an ingredient in pet products like shampoos.
If your dog eats lemongrass plants or lemongrass oil, it could upset their stomach. Watch out for bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Thankfully, the plant itself is only mildly toxic. However, the oil is more concentrated and could increase the severity of the symptoms.
It’s still safe to use pet bath or bug-treatment products with lemongrass as an ingredient. It’s hypoallergenic for a dog’s skin and does a fantastic job of keeping bugs away.
Can Dogs Eat Mint?
Yes, dogs can eat most types of mint. It calms a dog’s stomach and will freshen their breath.
Can dogs have mint? Yes but avoid the mint plant also known as Pennyroyal. It is toxic to dogs.
If you want to let your dog have a bite of a mint leaf, as long as it isn’t Pennyroyal, it’s safe. Be careful to only give them at max a few leaves a day. It’s safe to add fresh mint to homemade dog treats.
Keep an eye on your dog. If you notice them showing signs of weakness, vomiting, or diarrhea, call your veterinarian.
Additional reading: Can Dogs Eat Peppermint? For information on peppermint candy and oil.
Can Dogs Have Oregano?
Yes, dogs can have oregano. In fact, it’s actually really good for your dog’s digestive system. It’s full of flavinoids – meaning it has a really strong flavor. So you don’t need to put very much on your dog’s food for them to taste it.
Oregano is also known to be antimicrobial. Oregano oil is really powerful. Always dilute it if you are going to use it topically.
Can Dogs Eat Parsley?
Yes, dogs can eat parsley. Be careful to only let your dog eat the one called Petroselinum crispum. It’s the kind you most often see used as a garnish on food or dried in the spice section.
Spring parsley, a member of the carrot family, is toxic for dogs.
Parsley For Dogs
Parsley is a nutritious way to add flavor to your dog’s food. You might even notice it is a popular ingredient in dog treats. It can freshen a dog’s breath and help calm their stomach.
Parsley is also high in antioxidants and vitamins. It is a good source of vitamin K, which strengthens bones and prevents fractures. And if your dog suffers from obesity, adding fresh parsley to their diet could help remove excess fat from their blood.
Can Dogs Eat Rosemary?
Yes, dogs can eat rosemary. This herb tastes wonderful sprinkled on fresh chicken, pork, and steak.
Rosemary For Dogs
Rosemary is good for your dog both when they eat it and if you use rosemary oil on them topically.
In addition to a myriad of health benefits from the antioxidants, rosemary is also known for improving your dog’s memory and mood. This herb is fantastic for your dog’s brain.
Rosemary oil is a common ingredient in natural pet products as a flea repellant.
If your dog has seizures or is pregnant, do not give them rosemary. Otherwise, it’s a safe herb to use in homemade dog treats or sprinkled directly in their food.
Can Dogs Eat Sage?
Yes, sage is safe for dogs to eat. In fact, it has lots of vitamins and minerals that make it good for dogs. Sage is anti-microbial and is used to treat gastrointestinal tract infections and to ease gas and bloating.
Sage essential oil is an astringent. This means it’s really good for cleaning wounds and as an ingredient in shampoos for oily skin.
Can Dogs Eat Thyme?
Yes, dogs can eat thyme. This is a really easy herb to grow and is used not only as a meat garnish but as a spice in steak and chicken.
You can allow your pet to eat fresh springs of thyme in moderation. It’s really fibrous, so too much could give them an upset stomach. But it’s safe to sprinkle some fresh thyme on their food.
The health benefits of thyme are wonderful. It contains vitamin A, C, K, manganese, iron, and calcium as well as antioxidants to help fight free radicals. It also contains Thymol, which is a natural antiseptic and can fight gingivitis.
Some people report using it for treating hookworms, colitis, and asthma symptoms. But always talk to your vet before trying any home remedies.
Calming Herbs for Dogs
As you can see, you can use a variety of herbs for helping your dog to stay calm and ease anxiety. Always remember that if you are going to diffuse essential oils, dogs have very sensitive noses. The diffused oils might be too powerful for them and it might cause them to sneeze.
If you notice your dog coughing, sneezing, or rubbing their face, either dilute the oils even more or stop diffusing them entirely.
You’ll find essential oils from herbs in lots of pet products. These are the herbs that have calming qualities.
- St. John’s Wort
- Lemon balm
There are Calming Collars for Dogs that help in stressful situations such as fireworks and separation anxiety.
Dogs Eat Herbs, But Be Careful
To sum it up, dogs can eat fresh herbs. Make a batch of homemade dog treats with any of the earlier-mentioned safe herbs. Not all herbs are safe, however.
Always watch your dog closely when you give them a new spice or herb. Watch out for signs of an upset stomach, And even though lots of herbs are used homeopathically, ask your vet before trying to treat your dog at home.
More Dog Food Resources
Here are more resources about what dogs can and cannot eat. Stay informed and keep your dog safe.
- Can Dogs Eat Ginger?
- What to Know About Dogs and Soy Food
- Nuts Dogs Can Eat and The Ones To Avoid
- Can Dogs Eat Tofu?
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