What Seasonings Can Dogs Have? Ultimate Guide to Healthy Herbs and Spices for Dogs

By: Danielle Harris

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What Seasonings Can Dogs Have

Have you ever wondered what seasonings are safe for your furry friend? As a dog owner, it’s crucial to know what herbs and spices can enhance not only the taste of their meals but also their health. You might be surprised how common seasonings in our kitchen play significant roles in a canine diet.

The right choice of seasonings can potentially boost your dog’s health. But remember, not all human-friendly ingredients are suitable for dogs. So, how do we strike the balance between tasty food and maintaining optimal health for our dogs?

Stay tuned as we delve into the world of canine-friendly herbs and spices. Let’s explore together the benefits and potential risks associated with them. This could be the beginning of an exciting culinary journey for both you and your four-legged companion!

Health Benefits of Safe Herbs for Dogs

Nutritional Advantages of Dog-Friendly Herbs

Dog-friendly herbs are packed with health benefits that can significantly improve your furry friend’s wellbeing. They contain essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which contribute to overall health. For instance:

  • Parsley is a rich source of Vitamin K which aids in blood clotting.
  • Basil offers antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Oregano, besides its antimicrobial properties, is a powerhouse of antioxidants.
  • Thyme creates a more healthy digestive tract, and can also help with irritable bowels. In addition, thyme also aids in ousting parasites such as hookworm.

However, it’s crucial to remember that not all herbs are safe for dogs. Some might have toxic effects leading to organ failure or abnormal heart rate.

What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
Greek Columnar Basil
Greek Columnar Basil – propagates exceptionally well as cuttings rooted in water!

Boosting Immune System in Dogs

Herbs play a vital role in bolstering the immune system in dogs. The antioxidant properties found in many herbs help combat free radicals, thus boosting the dog’s immune system. Here are some herbs known for this benefit:

  1. Echinacea – Known for its immune-boosting effects.
  2. Astragalus – Supports the immune system and helps fight off infections.
  3. Turmeric – Has anti-inflammatory properties that aid the immune system, but requires black pepper to activate.

Remember, before introducing any new herb into your dog’s diet, consult with your vet to avoid potential side effects.

Improving Dog’s Digestion with Herbs

Certain herbs can work wonders on improving a dog’s digestion. They can soothe upset stomachs, reduce gas, and even stimulate appetite. Here are some examples:

GingerHelps with nausea and bloat
FennelReduces gas and supports digestion
PeppermintSoothes upset stomach

Keep in mind though; while these herbs offer numerous health benefits, they should be given moderately as too much may lead to adverse effects such as diarrhea or changes in heart rate.

Utilizing Parsley and Dill in Dog’s Diet

The Power of Parsley

Parsley isn’t just a garnish on the side of your plate that you ignore. This leafy green herb packs a punch. For starters, parsley is known to freshen breath. Ever noticed how your dog’s breath smells after they’ve had their dinner? A sprinkle of parsley can help combat that not-so-pleasant smell.

But it doesn’t stop there. Parsley is also high in vitamins, specifically vitamin K which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood cells. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to increase the nutritional value of your dog’s meal without adding much salt or other seasonings, consider parsley.

What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – Parsley

Dill: More Than Just a Pickle Ingredient

Dill might be best known for its role in pickling, but this feathery herb has more to offer – especially for dogs. One key benefit of dill is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can lead to various health issues in dogs such as arthritis or pancreatitis. Regular ingestion of dill could potentially help keep these conditions at bay.

However, like all good things, moderation is key here too. Too much dill can cause vomiting or diarrhea in dogs so always remember – small doses are best.

Incorporating Parsley and Dill into Your Dog’s Meals

So how do you use these herbs effectively? Here are some ways:

  1. Sprinkle dried or fresh herbs onto your dog’s regular food.
  2. Mix them into homemade treats.
  3. Add them into DIY dog food recipes.

Remember though, each pup is unique and may react differently to new additions in their diet. Always observe your fur baby after introducing new foods and consult with a vet if any adverse reactions occur.

Ginger and Peppermint: Digestive Aids for Dogs

Ginger: The Nausea Buster

Ever notice how your pup turns green in a car ride? That’s because dogs, like us humans, can experience motion sickness. Enter ginger root. This wonder herb is known to help alleviate nausea and motion sickness in anxious dogs. How does it work, you ask? Well, ginger acts directly on the dog’s digestive system, helping to soothe the stomach and reduce feelings of discomfort.

Now, you might be wondering about dosage. Less is more. Start with small amounts – about 1/4 teaspoon for smaller dogs and up to 3/4 teaspoon for larger breeds. You can grate the ginger root and mix it into their food or even bake them into homemade dog biscuits! Remember though:

  • Always introduce new foods gradually.
  • Monitor your pet closely for any adverse reactions.
  • Consult with your vet if you’re unsure.

Peppermint: Stomach Soother

Moving on from ginger, let’s talk peppermint. This refreshing herb isn’t just for freshening breath – it also works wonders on upset stomachs in our canine pals! Just like with humans, peppermint helps calm gastrointestinal issues in dogs by relaxing the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract.

So next time Fido has an upset stomach or diarrhea, consider reaching for some peppermint! But again – moderation is key here too. Small amounts of dried or fresh leaves can be added to their meals.

To sum up:

  • Fresh or dried peppermint leaves are okay.
  • Avoid using essential oils as they can be harmful.
  • Again, always check with your vet before introducing new foods.
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – Mint, propagate from the small plants that shoot off!

Joint Pain? Try Ginger!

Bonus point – did you know that ginger root could help relieve joint pain in older dogs? It’s true! The anti-inflammatory properties of this spice can help soothe aching joints. Just another reason to keep some ginger in your pantry!

A Word of Caution

While both ginger and peppermint can be beneficial, it’s essential to remember that every dog is different. What works for one might not work for another. Always observe your pet closely when introducing new foods into their diet, especially if they have existing health conditions.

In the end, using herbs and spices like ginger and peppermint can offer natural remedies for common ailments. But as always – when in doubt, consult with a professional!

Coriander/Cilantro: A Dog-Friendly Herb

Detoxifying Properties of Coriander

Coriander, also known as cilantro, is more than just a fresh herb used in human culinary dishes. This plant serves a vital role in your dog’s health too. How so? Well, coriander has an uncanny ability to remove toxins from your pet’s body. You know how we humans enjoy a good detox tea or smoothie? It turns out our furry friends can benefit from a cleanse too!

This herb works like a charm for dogs that have ingested harmful substances or those exposed to environmental pollutants. The next time you’re whipping up some homemade dog treats, consider adding a sprinkle of this green goodness.

Cilantro: A Vitamin K Powerhouse

On top of its detoxifying prowess, cilantro is packed with Vitamin K. This nutrient is crucial for the blood clotting process in dogs. Just like us, pets can get cuts and scrapes too. When these accidents happen, Vitamin K kicks into gear and helps stop the bleeding by aiding in the formation of blood clots.

But wait – there’s more! Aside from being essential for wound healing, Vitamin K also contributes to maintaining strong bones in dogs. So not only does cilantro help keep your pet safe during accidents, but it also plays a part in their overall bone health!

Introducing Coriander/Cilantro Into Your Pet’s Diet

Now that you’re aware of coriander’s benefits let’s talk about how to introduce this herb into your dog’s diet:

  1. Start Small: Begin by adding small amounts of chopped coriander leaves into their meals.
  2. Monitor Reactions: Keep an eye on any changes in behavior or digestion.
  3. Increase Gradually: If all goes well after several days, gradually increase the amount.

While coriander is beneficial, other herbs and spices such as chamomile, chives, cinnamon, paprika, pepper, anise and even black pepper can also be safely added to your dog’s diet. However, always remember that moderation is key and it’s important to consult with your vet before making any significant changes to your pet’s diet.

So there you have it! Coriander isn’t just a tasty addition to salsa or curry; it’s a dog-friendly herb packed with health benefits. Whether it’s detoxifying their body or aiding in the blood clotting process – this humble plant has got your pet covered. So why not give coriander a try? Your furry friend might just thank you for it!

What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – Cilantro


Thyme has major health benefits for your dog’s diet. Thyme creates a more healthy digestive tract, and can also help with irritable bowels. In addition, thyme also aids in ousting parasites such as hookworm.

Thyme contains antispasmodic characteristics, which allow it to aid in digestion while also alleviating the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion, among other things.

Thyme is high in vitamins A, C, and K, all of which are powerful antioxidants known for their ability to combat free radical damage.

Many people have had success using thyme to eradicate parasites such as hookworm, making it a viable option to chemical-based therapies in this situation.

Proper Usage Guidelines

Thyme, like everything else, should be given in moderation to dogs, with no more than one teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme per pound of dog food being supplied.

Unlike french thyme, Spanish thyme is NOT safe for dogs.

What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – French Thyme

Rosemary, Oregano, & Sage: Are They Safe?

Rosemary and Epileptic Dogs

Rosemary, a common herb used in cooking, can be a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s packed with antioxidants that help combat free radicals in your dog’s body. These free radicals can cause damage to cells, proteins, and even DNA.

However, caution is needed if your dog is epileptic. There are reports suggesting that rosemary essential oil could potentially trigger seizures in dogs prone to epilepsy. This doesn’t mean you need to banish rosemary from your kitchen entirely though! Just ensure it’s used sparingly and always monitor your dog for adverse reactions.

Oregano’s Potential Side Effects

Moving on to oregano, another popular herb often found in our kitchens. While oregano does have some health benefits for dogs – such as being rich in antioxidants and having anti-inflammatory properties – too much of anything isn’t good.

Excessive consumption of oregano by dogs can lead to gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea. It’s also worth noting that oregano essential oil can be particularly potent and should be avoided or used very sparingly under the guidance of a vet.

Remember how we talked about rosemary essential oils? The same goes for tea tree oil – while beneficial in some cases for humans, it can be toxic if ingested by dogs!


The herb sage offers a wide range of benefits for dogs. First of all, sage is a great source of the vitamins A, E, and K and also contains good amounts of the important minerals zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

Sage is full of antioxidants and is considered to posses antimicrobial properties, both of which can boost the health of your dog’s immune system.

Sage is also able to help out with any inflammatory conditions your dog might be suffering from, and the fiber contained in the herb can ease digestion problems.

In some cases, sage has even been used as a way to combat seasonal allergies for canines!

What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – Rosemary
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – Oregano
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have
What Seasonings Can Dogs Have – Sage

Proper Usage Guidelines

Now that we’ve covered the potential risks associated with these herbs let’s talk about proper usage:

  • Use fresh or dried herbs instead of essential oils.
  • Introduce any new food or supplement slowly into their diet.
  • Monitor your pet closely for any adverse reactions.
  • Always consult with a vet before adding anything new into their diet.

The key takeaway here is moderation! Both rosemary and oregano are safe when used correctly but like all things, they should be used in moderation.

Remember, the health of your dog’s red blood cells and overall wellbeing is paramount. Always consult with a vet if you’re unsure about introducing new herbs or spices into their diet.

The Risks of Garlic and Onion for Dogs

Garlic Toxicity in Canines

Who doesn’t love a bit of garlic to liven up their food? But, what about our furry friends?Garlic can be a serious no-no. It contains compounds that are toxic to canines. These substances, when ingested by dogs, can lead to a condition known as hemolytic anemia. This is where the dog’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.

Here are some signs of garlic poisoning in pets:

  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Vomiting

If you notice any of these symptoms after your pet has consumed garlic, contact your vet immediately.

Onions: A Silent Killer

On the other hand, onions might seem harmless but they’re just as dangerous as garlic for dogs. They contain a substance called N-propyl disulfide which is harmful to a dog’s red blood cells. This compound interferes with the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen and can cause them to become distorted or destroyed.

Signs that your dog may have consumed onion powder or onions include:

  1. Weakness
  2. Panting
  3. Reddish urine

Again, if you observe any of these signs in your pet after ingestion of onions or onion powder, seek immediate veterinary assistance.

So next time you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen and Fido gives you those puppy eyes for some scraps – think twice! While we humans find herbs and spices like garlic and onion tasty additions to our meals, they pose significant risks for our canine companions.

Remember this simple rule: What’s good for us isn’t always good for them!

Avoiding Dangerous Spices in Dog’s Food

Ever wondered, what seasonings can dogs have? While some herbs and spices for dogs can be beneficial, others are downright dangerous. Here’s a rundown of the ones to avoid.

Toxic Spices for Dogs

Certain spices are toxic to dogs and should never be included in their food. These include:

  • Nutmeg: Contains myristicin which can cause hallucinations and seizures.
  • Garlic: In large amounts or large doses, garlic can cause anemia.
  • Onions: Like garlic, onions can lead to anemia if consumed in large quantities.
  • Cocoa Powder: Contains theobromine which is highly toxic to dogs.
  • Cloves: this spice contains a compound called eugenol that can cause liver toxicity in pets
  • Allspice: just like clove, contains eugenol, and it should be avoided

The toxicity of these spices isn’t something to take lightly. In severe cases, they could even lead to serious problems like organ failure or death.

Spice Up Your Dog’s Life?

Spicy food might seem like a fun treat for your dog but it could actually cause digestive issues. Dogs don’t have the same tolerance for spice that humans do. Even small amounts of spicy food could lead to stomach upset or diarrhea.

So next time you’re tempted to share your spicy meal with your furry friend, remember this: their tummies aren’t made for it.

Consult Your Vet First

Before introducing new spices into your dog’s diet, always consult with a vet first. They’ll be able to advise you on safe options and appropriate quantities. Some spices are rich in antioxidants and iron which can be beneficial when administered in small quantities.

For instance:

  1. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Ginger helps with digestion.
  3. Parsley freshens breath and controls blood sugar levels.

But again, moderation is key here! Too much of a good thing could still lead to toxicity or other health issues.

Wrapping It Up

So, who knew that your kitchen cupboard could double up as a doggie wellness pantry? That’s right! Many everyday herbs and spices like parsley, dill, ginger, peppermint, coriander/cilantro can be beneficial for Fido. But remember, not all are safe. Steer clear of garlic and onion—they’re big no-nos in the canine world.

And hey, you don’t have to be a top chef to add these herbs into your dog’s diet. A sprinkle here and there on their meals can make all the difference. So why not give it a try? Your furry friend might just thank you with extra tail wags! Remember though, moderation is key. If in doubt about any seasoning or quantity—ask your vet.

Ready to spice up your dog’s life? Let’s do this!


Can I give my dog turmeric?

Yes, turmeric is safe for dogs and has anti-inflammatory benefits which can help with arthritis pain and digestion issues.

Is cinnamon harmful to dogs?

In small amounts, cinnamon is generally safe for dogs but large quantities can cause health problems such as liver disease.

What about basil? Can dogs have it?

Absolutely! Basil is packed full of nutrients like vitamins A, C & K and it’s perfectly safe for your pooch.

How much herb or spice should I give my dog?

Start small—a pinch or two—and observe how your pet reacts. Always consult with your vet before making significant changes to their diet.

Are there any herbs or spices I should completely avoid giving my dog?

Yes—onions and garlic are toxic for dogs. Other dangerous seasonings include nutmeg and cocoa powder.

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