A little pepper here, a pinch of oregano there: we all love the flavour of a well-seasoned dish. Dogs indulge the natural taste of meat, but that shouldn’t stop us from being tempted to let our four-legged friends discover new flavours. It’s also very interesting to know that dogs can really benefit from the medicinal properties of herbs. But not all healthy herbs are also safe for your dog.
Which herbs aren’t safe to eat?
Pepper, nutmeg, garlic and onion powder are absolute dealbreakers. We’ll tell you why you should keep those herbs far away from your dog’s palate.
Pepper contains piperine, which makes it easier for your dog to absorb medicines. However, this could lead to an accidental overdose. Don’t even think about adding pepper to a meal of a dog who is taking medication. If your dog isn’t on medication, you can ‘pepper’ his diet as much as you like.
Nutmeg contains myristicin, a substance that is toxic to dogs. Possible symptoms of myristicin poisoning in dogs include disorientation, increased heart rate, dehydration and high blood pressure. Nutmeg can even cause strokes when consumed in large quantities: a real red flag!
– Onions and garlic powder
Onions and garlic contain thiosulfate, a substance that irritates your dog’s digestive tract and can cause his red blood cells to burst. As a result, your dog’s muscles and organs can get too little oxygen. Possible symptoms of thiosulfate poisoning in dogs include fatigue, sluggishness, shortness of breath, fainting, increased heart rate and pale mucous membranes.
Which herbs are safe to eat?
Parsley, mint and coriander are just a few of the many herbs your dog can enjoy eating. In addition, they contain important nutrients and medicinal properties. Curious about the benefits of herbs for your dog? Read on!
Parsley is considered a real superfood for your dog. It promotes the immune system, prevents infections, stimulates circulation, prevents cardiovascular diseases and improves your dog’s vision. Finally, a tuft of fresh parsley is a great remedy for a bad breath, a major annoyance of many dog owners.
Turmeric is an excellent remedy for treating old age ailments. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, it relieves aching joints for dogs who suffer from rheumatism and arthritis. In addition, it prevents the death of brain cells and promotes the production of new cells. Turmeric keeps your dog young longer, both mentally and physically.
Attention: don’t act too generous if it comes to adding turmeric in your dog’s diet because this herb is a natural blood thinner. If your dog eats too much of it, his blood can become too thin, putting him at greater risk of internal and external bleeding. ¼ teaspoon of turmeric will do for small dogs (<15 kilograms). Add a maximum of ½ teaspoon to a medium-sized dog’s diet (15-35 kilograms) and top the meal of a large dog (>35 kilograms) with a full teaspoon of turmeric.
Mint has been used for centuries to soothe the stomach and reduce bloating. Safely add a pinch of fresh or dried mint to your dog’s meal, in case he suffers from diarrhoea or flatulence. Mint also fights nausea, which might help preventing and relieving car sickness.
Coriander or cilantro fights nausea, flatulence and diarrhoea, exactly like mint does. Due to its antiparasitic effect, it also presents itself as an effective control agent against worms and parasites, both internally and externally. A bag of coriander seeds in your dog’s pillow keeps fleas, ticks and mites at bay.
Attention! Never serve coriander to a pregnant dog. It might cause uterine spasms which can cause puppies to be born prematurely. Lactating dogs, on the other hand, may get a pinch of coriander mixed in their meal as it stimulates milk production.
Oregano increases the acidity in your dog’s stomach, which prevents bacteria, worms and fungi from surviving. This makes it the perfect natural medicine against giardia (an intestinal parasite) and coccidiosis (a disease caused by an intestinal parasite). Oregano also has an anti-inflammatory effect and supports the removal of waste, sparing the liver.
Dill aids your dog’s digestion: it helps against abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, flatulence and a bad breath. It also inhibits the growth of disease-causing bacteria, fungi and yeasts and lowers blood sugar levels that are too high.
Attention! Never add dill to a pregnant dog’s diet as it might cause miscarriage.
Fennel is best given to your dog right after he has finished his meal in order to prevent cramps and constipation. Fennel also stimulates the secretion of toxins, brain function and milk production.
Attention! Eating too much fennel could lead to cramps and palpitations in dogs. Be aware to never exceed the recommended 1 to 2 tufts a day (= 2 to 4 pinches in powder), depending on the dog’s body weight.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory abilities and can even slow the growth of malignant tumors. It helps to ease an older dog’s aching joints and keeps every dog’s brain healthy. It also serves as a great remedy for avoiding nausea!
Cinnamon helps prevent heart disease and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons’s disease in humans, as well as dogs. Cinnamon also helps to maintain the sugar level in the blood, which reduces the risk of diabetes.
Ever thought about adding a spoonful of pesto to your dog’s diet? You should! Basil is rich in antioxidants and known for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. It protects the liver, relieves aching joints and helps prevent diabetes.
Rosemary ensures a good metabolism and promotes the production of amino acids. A most important feature, because amino acids ensure the recovery and strengthening of muscle mass. Rosemary would also have a calming effect on dogs in distress, for example when fireworks or thunder occur
How about you? Have you ever added herbs to your dog’s meals? We are delighted to learn about your experiences! Share them in the comments! 👇