UPDATED AUGUST 2, 2019
My curiosity got the better of me and I found out something interesting. Here, I am sharing with you how else to use your herbs – share with your dog! You will surely ask, ‘Really! Can dogs eat herbs?’. Why not? In fact, spices too.
Herbs and spices add delectable flavours to our home-cooked meals and give us the nutritional boost. Should you have more than enough to use, why not share them with our four-legged friend. A dog needs nutrition too. Find out how to spice up its meal with herbs and spices, keeping it healthy and flavourful too. On the other hand, there are herbs and spices that can hurt your dog. Read on to discover which.
Firstly, allow me to give you a proper answer to
Can Dogs Eat Herbs
Yes! They can but not all. But why should they?
Before we domesticated dogs, they are used as hunting companions and guardians. If not, they lived in the wild. They ran freely to exercise. Lived in the natural environment, eating fresh plants and grasses. Rolled in the dust and grass for the wellbeing of their skin and fur.
Today, dogs live with their human friend in a confined environment. Undoubtedly, they are taken for their daily walk or a run at the designated park, it is still a vast different how their ancestors lived in ancient times.
Your dog needs fresh plants for general health. Especially so for the fibre and roughage content. A repetitive diet of dry pellets or kibbles can cause constipation.
Have you seen dogs eat grasses
Dogs eating grasses are quite common and most veterinarians consider it a normal dog behaviour. Some people suggested that dog does so to improve its digestion, treat intestinal worm or find its nutritional needs, including the need for fibre.
Click here to find out more on Pets WebMD
Why should dogs eat herbs
Not forgetting the health benefits of the fresh herbs, how they worked for humans, work for dogs too.
Fresh herbs and spices have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Also, most contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Therefore, you should introduce some herbs and spices into the life of your dog.
Click here to check out the list of herbs and spices and their health benefits.
Now, let’s proceed to the next agenda you so eagerly want to know.
Safe Herbs and Spices for Dogs
This common cooking herb has antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It is also a rich source of magnesium and Vitamin A.
Your dog requires essential vitamins and minerals just like us humans. One of the key nutrients, magnesium, is involved with energy production at the cellular level. Every time your dog moves a muscle, including heartbeat or even having a thought, magnesium is needed to support the transfer of energy.
This is a familiar herb to all. Very often thought of just as a garnish. You must know that parsley is, in fact, a very powerful herb that can provide vital nutrients for your dog.
This leafy herb contains antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamins including lycopene and carotenes. It helps soothe stomach upset and act as a breath freshener.
In addition, parsley’s diuretic properties may be helpful for urinary tract infections. With the increase in urination, bad bacteria gets flushed out of the bladder. At the same time, preventing renal gravel or stones from forming in your dog.
This fragrant herb is high in Vitamin B6 and a good source of iron and calcium.
In fact, rosemary is a very common ingredient in dog food. Mostly because it acts as a natural food preservative. In addition, its antioxidant properties can help neutralize cell-damaging free radicals in the body.
Rosemary as a Bug Repellant
Does your dog like to run on grass or tromp through the bushes? This may leave your dog susceptible to fleas, ticks and bugs. In this case, rosemary can be used as a bug repellant.
There are two options – make your own rosemary wash or grow your own rosemary plant. This will be interesting. Read on…
Make Your Own Rosemary Wash
The end result of using this herbal wash is leaving your dog flea-free, with a silky and glossy coat. Furthermore, smelling lovely.
Add 2 cups of fresh rosemary leaves into 2 pints of boiling water. Continue to boil for 30 minutes. Let it cool completely before straining. You may throw away the leaves. Pour the strained herbal wash in a glass container with a lid. It is ready to be used. Any access can be stored in the refrigerator.
Using Your Rosemary Wash
Firstly, give your dog a good and thorough bath. Remember to wash any bedding or any flea-infested items too.
Once your dog is rinsed, pour the completely cool rosemary water over its body. Ensure to cover areas where fleas are likely to congregate. You don’t need to rinse out the rosemary water. Let it dry naturally.
You may consider using a spray bottle instead of pouring. Repeat the process when necessary.
What do you think of this method? Can you smell how lovely it is already? Rosemary…
Grow Your Own Rosemary Plant
If your dog is already tromping through the bushes, why not the rosemary bushes? Rubbing against the rosemary plant will release the essential oils thus giving your dog a coat of protection on its fur and body.
This is another common cooking herb and it contains a high level of vitamin K. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for overall health.
Vitamin K assists in absorbing calcium. Hence, strengthen your dog’s bones and teeth. This is why vitamin K can be very useful if your dog is at risk of osteoporosis or related diseases.
Additionally, thyme has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties.
Surely you know what this amazing spice do to our health. The same benefits go to your dog too.
Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties can be used to treat arthritis, which is the result of inflammation. Besides, it can also relieve the pain and stiffness in arthritis. In this case, using turmeric is much better than pain medications. Don’t you agree?
In addition, turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, which is known to fight free radicals damage that can lead to negative effects on health. You must know that free radical damage accumulates with age. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and help to decrease the damage.
This is another common and well-known aromatic spice. Cinnamon has antifungal properties which help to combat the fungus which causes yeast infections.
Furthermore, cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar which is essential for older or overweight dogs that are at risk of contracting diabetes.
If you intend to use cinnamon for your dog, please be sure to use Ceylon cinnamon, instead of Cassia cinnamon.
Compared to Cassia cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon’s low levels of coumarin makes it a better choice to use as a medical supplement.
Click here to find out more about cinnamon.
Now you know that you can share the abovementioned common herbs and spices with your dog, ‘how to’ is the next question.
How to Incorporate Herbs and Spices into Dog’s Diet
It is relatively simple to spice up its meal with herbs and spices.
Whether making your own dog food or store-bought – canned or kibble, simply sprinkle spices or finely chopped fresh herbs on top of the food.
Before fully incorporating herbs and spices into your dog’s diet, it is important that you introduce one new herb or spice at a time. Wait and monitor your dog’s reaction for a few days before introducing the next. Allergic reactions can range from a runny nose and eyes, sneezing, itching, swelling, diarrhoea or vomiting.
Moving on to the important part.
Herbs and Spices that are NOT safe for dogs
There is quite a number that is not safe for dogs such as comfrey, mace, pennyroyal, tea tree oil among others.
Let’s take note of those that are commonly found in our kitchen or spice cabinet.
Chives can cause stomach and gut irritation and potentially lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia.
Onion powder or onion in any form can cause stomach upset, diarrhoea or vomiting.
Nutmeg can cause severe stomach upset and agitation in the nervous system.
Paprika can cause skin and eye irritation.
With this knowledge, I hope you will be extra careful incorporating herbs and spices into your dog’s diet.
At a Glance
All of us know very well that herbs and spices enhance the flavour of our food. Furthermore, they are rich in all the important vitamins, minerals and many other healthy components to maintain and boost our overall health. Now you know the same will benefit your dog too.
Having said so, by no means you can feed your dog freely with herbs and spices. Refer to the safe herbs and spices listed above, always start with a small amount and monitor the situation closely.
Also, you must take notice that as with a human, all dogs are different. What works for one dog may not work for another.
If in doubt, check with your veterinarian. More so if your dog is under medication as some herbs and spices may interfere or contradict the effectiveness of the medication.
In any case, it is important to keep your dog safe.
In the end, can dogs eat herbs? I hope this article has given you the answers. If you have more than enough of fresh herbs for cooking, would you want to share with your canine friend? Besides being healthy for both yourself and your dog, there won’t be much wastage. Isn’t this a prudent way to utilize your fresh herbs?
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. It will be interesting to find out how you feel.
Last but not least
For some reasons you may want to use herbal supplements for your dog, with the advice of a veterinarian, there are a variety of herbal supplements or health food which you can conveniently buy on Amazon.
Let’s spice up your dog’s food, with care!
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From the Corner of My Home – Spice Up Your Life with Herbs and Spices
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