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46 Herbs for Dogs: What Herbs and Seasonings Can Dogs Have?

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Dogs can tolerate small amounts of select herbs, including black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, and rosemary. Too much of any herb can cause gastrointestinal issues.

As a pet owner, you want to make sure that your furry friend is getting the best possible care. 

And that means knowing which herbs and seasonings are safe for them to eat. 

In this post, we’ll break down which spices and herbs are toxic for dogs so you can keep your dog safe and healthy.

Can Dogs Eat Herbs and Spices?

Dogs can eat some herbs and spices, while others are toxic. If you’re unsure whether a particular herb or spice is safe for your dog, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid giving it to them.

What Herbs Are Bad or Toxic to Dogs?

There are a number of herbs and spices that can be toxic to dogs if they consume them in large quantities. Some of the most common toxic herbs for dogs include:

  • Allspice
  • Bay Leaf
  • Cayenne
  • Cocoa
  • Chives
  • Cloves
  • Curry
  • Lavender
  • Hops
  • Mace
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion
  • Oregano
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Saffron
  • Salt
  • Spanish Thyme
  • Tarragon
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Wasabi
  • Yuca

Allspice

Allspice

Dogs can not have allspice seasoning. Allspice contains a compound called eugenol, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. Symptoms of allspice toxicity include gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your dog ingests a large amount of allspice, it may also experience seizures and difficulty breathing.

Bay Leaf

Bay Leaf

Dogs can not have bay leaves. Bay leaf contains a compound called eugenol, which can be toxic to dogs in large amounts. Symptoms of eugenol toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, and weakness.

Cayenne

Cayenne

Dogs can not have cayenne. Cayenne is a type of chili pepper commonly used in cooking. It can be found in powder, flakes, or whole form. The spice can cause gastrointestinal distress and irritation. It can also lead to ulcers in severe cases. If your dog ingests cayenne, watch for signs of discomfort and contact your veterinarian if necessary.

Cocoa

cocoa powder

Dogs can not have cocoa. Cocoa is bad for dogs. It is poisonous to them if they eat too much of it. The theobromine in cocoa beans is what makes chocolate poisonous to dogs[2]. Cocoa can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst, hyperactivity, and even death.

Chives

Chives

Dogs can not have chives. While chives are safe for humans to eat, they can be toxic to dogs and other animals. The Allium in chives can cause anemia and Heinz body anemia in dogs. Symptoms of Allium toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, weakness, and collapse.

Cloves

Cloves

Dogs can not have cloves. Even a small amount of cloves can cause gastrointestinal upset, so it’s best to keep your dog away from this spice. If you think your dog has ingested cloves, watch for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Curry

Curry

Dogs can not have curry. Curry is bad for dogs in all amounts. Possible side effects of curry for dogs include gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. Curry dishes often contain onions and garlic, both of which are toxic to dogs. Avoid giving dogs curry.

Lavender

Lavender

Dogs can not have Lavender. Lavender is a flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and can be found in Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean. Lavender ingestion in dogs can cause gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea.

Hops

Hops

Dogs can not have hops. Hops are a member of the Cannabaceae family, which includes marijuana. All parts of the plant are toxic to dogs, including the leaves, flowers, and seeds[3]. Symptoms of hops poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, tremors, and seizures. Hops are a potentially life-threatening emergency and should be treated as such. Early intervention is critical to a successful outcome.

Mace

Mace

Dogs can not have mace. Mace is a spice made from the dried outer covering of the nutmeg seed. It is used as a flavoring agent in many dishes, and can also be found in some beauty products. Mace can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Mustard

Mustard

Dogs can not have mustard. It is should be avoided completely if you have dogs. Not only can it make them sick, but it can also be fatal if ingested in large quantities. If you must use it, be sure to keep your dog away from the area and monitor them closely.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg

Dogs can not have nutmeg. Nutmeg is a popular spice used in many dishes, but it can be dangerous for dogs. Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin, which is toxic to dogs in large amounts. Symptoms of nutmeg toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.

Onion Powder

Onion Powder

Dogs can not have onion powder. Onion powder is common in cooking. It is also a common ingredient in many processed foods. Onion is bad for dogs because it contains thiosulfate. Thiosulfate is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stool.

Oregano

Oregano

Dogs can have small amounts of oregano, but large amounts cause issues. Oregano contains thymol, a compound toxic to dogs in large amounts. Symptoms of oregano toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Oregano is safe in small amounts.

Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice

Dogs can not have pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice is a popular flavor for many fall and winter recipes, but it is harmful to dogs. Pumpkin Spice contains a compound called eugenol, which is toxic to dogs in large quantities.

Saffron

Saffron

Dogs can not have saffron. Saffron is toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If ingested in large enough quantities, saffron can lead to liver damage and death. Avoid feeding your dog any foods that contain saffron or giving them saffron supplements.

Salt

Salt in a Wooden Spoon

Dogs can not have large amounts of salt. It can be poisonous to them if they ingest it in large quantities. Symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures. It can be used safely in small amounts. Avoid processed products with added salt content.

Spanish Thyme

Spanish Thyme
Image Source

Dogs can not have Spanish thyme. All parts of the Spanish thyme plant are poisonous to dogs, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds. Symptoms of Spanish Thyme poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, tremors, and seizures.

Tarragon

Tarragon

Dogs can not have Tarragon. Tarragon has a strong, anise-like flavor and is used to season chicken, fish, and egg dishes. It is also a popular ingredient in many French sauces. While tarragon is safe for humans, it is bad for dogs. The plant contains thujone, a compound that can cause seizures and other neurological problems in dogs.

Tea Tree Oil

What Is Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil can be harmful to dogs if ingested in large quantities. It is an essential oil derived from the leaves of the tea tree. It has a long history of use as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, including skin infections, cuts, and scrapes. Symptoms of Tea Tree Oil poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, and tremors. It can be used as a parasite repellant, as long as you keep it away from your dog’s mouth.

Wasabi

Wasabi

Dogs can not have wasabi. Wasabi contains a chemical called allyl isothiocyanate, which is a potent irritant. When this chemical comes into contact with a dog’s mucous membranes, it can cause burning and inflammation. In severe cases, it can even lead to respiratory distress and death.

Yuca

Yuca

Dogs can not have yuca. Yuca is poisonous to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. It is a root vegetable native to South America. It is also known as cassava or manioc. If you think your dog has eaten yuca, call your veterinarian immediately.

What Herbs Are Good for Dogs?

There are many herbs that can be beneficial for dogs. Some of the most popular include chamomile, ginger, lavender, and peppermint. These herbs can help with a variety of issues including anxiety, digestion, and pain relief.

Here is a list of good herbs for dogs:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Anise
  • Basil
  • Black Pepper
  • Chamomile
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish
  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Sesame
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Vanilla List Items

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant, often used topically to treat burns and other skin conditions in humans. It can also be used to benefit dogs in a variety of ways. Aloe vera juice can be added to your dog’s water bowl to help promote healthy digestion.

Anise

Anise

Anise is safe for dogs to consume. When used in small quantities, it can help with flatulence and bloating. Anise can also be helpful in deterring fleas and ticks. When adding spices to your dog’s food, start with a small amount and increase gradually over time.

Basil

Basil

Basil is safe for dogs to consume in small amounts. When used as a spice, it can help to boost the flavor of your dog’s food. Basil should not be used as a sole source of nutrition for dogs.

Black Pepper

Black Pepper

Black pepper is safe for dogs in small amounts and can be used to add flavor to your dog’s food. It is also known for its health benefits, including aiding in digestion and providing antioxidants. When using black pepper to season your dog’s food, be sure to start with a small amount, slowly increasing it.

Chamomile

Chamomile

Chamomile tea is safe for dogs to consume in small amounts on occasion. It is a dried flower that can be found pre-packaged at most health food stores. When brewed as a tea, chamomile is thought to be a relaxant, can be helpful in restoring insomnia, and eases an upset stomach. 

Cilantro/Coriander

Cilantro for Dogs

Dogs can have cilantro in small amounts. It is known for its many health benefits, including being good for dogs. When used in moderation, cilantro can help to improve digestion, relieve gas and bloating, and soothe an upset stomach.

Cinnamon

Spoon full of powdered cinnamon, with cinnamon sticks

Dogs can have cinnamon in moderation. Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help improve your dog’s circulation and digestion and even ease arthritis pain. When used in moderation, cinnamon can be a healthy and delicious addition to your dog’s diet.

Cumin

Cumin

Yes, dogs can have cumin in small amounts as part of their diet or as a supplement. Cumin is a good source of iron and other minerals and has been used traditionally to treat anemia. It is also thought to aid in digestion and can be helpful in treating stomach upset and gas.

Dill

Dill

Yes, dogs can have dill in small amounts. The dill herb is a member of the carrot family. Dill has many health benefits for dogs, including aiding in digestion, preventing gas, and helping to relieve anxiety. It is also a good source of antioxidants and vitamins A and C. Dill can be given to dogs fresh, dried, or in powder form.

Fennel

Fennel

Dogs can eat fennel. It is a potent herb that has many benefits for dogs. Its most notable benefit is its ability to improve digestion and eliminate gas. Fennel is also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy coat and skin.

Ginger

Ginger

Dogs can eat ginger in small amounts to help with upset stomachs and motion sickness. Ginger is a root, often used as a spice in cooking. It is important to talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of supplement or human food, to make sure it is the right choice for them.

Horseradish

Horseradish

Dogs can eat horseradish, as it is safe and healthy for them. Horseradish is a root vegetable that has been used for centuries as a flavoring agent and medicinal remedy. The burning, pungent taste of horseradish is caused by compounds called glucosinolates, which are also responsible for its health benefits. When horseradish is eaten, these compounds are converted into enzymes that have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Dogs can have lemongrass in small amounts. Lemongrass is a tropical grass that has a strong lemon flavor and aroma. It is used extensively in Asian cooking, as well as in herbal teas and essential oils. Lemongrass is also known for its medicinal properties and has been used to treat various ailments for centuries.

Mint

bee on mint

Dogs can eat mint in small amounts. Mint is a popular herb that is often used to flavor food and promotes several health benefits for dogs. This herb can help soothe an upset stomach and can also freshen a dog’s breath. Mint is safe for most dogs, but it is important to use this herb in moderation. Too much mint can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Oregano

Oregano

Oregano is safe for dogs in small amounts. This herb has many benefits for dogs, including supporting the immune system, aiding in digestion, and helping to relieve pain. Oregano is a versatile herb that can be used in many different ways to support your dog’s health. Too much is bad for dogs.

Parsley

Parsley

Dogs can have parsley. It is a common household herb that is safe for dogs to eat. This leafy green is packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, as well as iron. Parsley can help boost your dog’s immune system, and it also acts as an antioxidant. Additionally, this herb can help settle an upset stomach and fight bad breath.

Paprika

Paprika

Yes, dogs can have paprika. As long as it’s in moderate amounts. When ingested in large amounts, paprika can cause gastrointestinal irritation and may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, it can cause tremors and seizures.

Peppermint

peppermint

Peppermint is a great herb for dogs. It can help with digestion, and it’s also a good breath freshener. Peppermint is safe for dogs in small amounts, but be sure to ask your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.

Rosemary

Rosemary Essential Oil for Fleas on Dogs

Rosemary is safe for dogs and offers a number of health benefits. Rosemary can help to improve digestion, relieve gas, and soothe an upset stomach. The herb can also be used as a natural flea and tick repellent for dogs. When used topically, rosemary oil can help to heal hot spots and other skin conditions.

Sage

Sage

Dogs can have sage. Sage is a herb that is safe for dogs and has many benefits. It can be used to help with digestive issues, improve joint health, and reduce inflammation. Sage is also a natural flea repellent and can be used to make a dog’s coat shiny and healthy.

Sesame

Sesame

Dogs can have sesame. Sesame is a herb that is safe for dogs and provides numerous health benefits. It can be used to treat various ailments such as anxiety, arthritis, digestive problems, and skin conditions. 

Thyme

Thyme

Yes, dogs can have thyme. This herb is safe for dogs to eat and can offer many health benefits. Some of these benefits include helping to soothe an upset stomach, improving digestion, and boosting the immune system. Thyme can be given to dogs as a powder, tincture, or fresh herb.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Dogs can have turmeric. Turmeric has been used for centuries in Indian and Chinese medicine. It is a member of the ginger family and is closely related to cardamom, galangal, and turmeric. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which gives the herb its yellow color. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Vanilla

Vanilla

Dogs can have vanilla. It is a popular spice that can be used to flavor many different foods and drinks. It is also one of the most commonly used spices in dog treats. While vanilla is safe for dogs to consume, it is important to use it in moderation. Many people believe that vanilla has calming properties, which is why it is often used in dog treats.

How to Use Herbs for Dogs

Herbs can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, providing them with essential nutrients and vitamins that they might not otherwise get. However, it’s important to know how to properly use herbs for dogs before adding them to your pet’s food or supplement regimen. Here are a few tips:

1. Talk to Your Veterinarian First

Some herbs can interact with other medications your dog is taking, so it’s important to get the OK from your vet before giving them any herbal supplements.

2. Start With Small Doses

When introducing herbs into your dog’s diet, it’s best to start with small doses and gradually increase as needed. This will help you gauge how well your dog tolerates the herb and what type of effects it has on them.

3. Choose Herbs That Are Safe for Dogs

Not all herbs are safe for dogs, so do your research before giving your pet any supplements. Some common safe herbs for dogs include chamomile, ginger, lavender, and peppermint.

4. Administer Herbs Properly

Herbs can be given to dogs in a variety of ways, depending on the herb and the desired effect. Common methods include adding them to food or water, making a tea out of them, or giving them in capsule form.

5. Be Patient

Results from taking herbal supplements may not be immediate, so don’t expect to see results overnight. Be patient and give the herbs time to work their magic.

Herbs can be a great way to improve your dog’s health and well-being. Do your research and talk to your vet before getting started. With a little care and caution, you can safely use herbs to help your furry friend feel their best.

What Are the Best Herbs for Dogs?

Here are the most popular and best herbs for dogs:

  • Chamomile. Chamomile is a soothing herb that can help to calm an upset stomach, relieve gas and bloating, and reduce inflammation. It is also a mild sedative, making it helpful for dogs who are anxious or have trouble sleeping.
  • Ginger. Ginger is a well-known remedy for nausea and upset stomachs. It can also help to relieve pain, inflammation, and gas.
  • Slippery elm: Slippery elm is a demulcent herb that coats and soothes the digestive tract. It can be helpful in relieving constipation, diarrhea, and inflammation of the GI tract.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that can help to relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
  • Milk thistle. Milk thistle is a liver-supportive herb that can help to protect the liver from damage and disease. It is also helpful in detoxifying the body and reducing inflammation.

These are just a few of the many herbs that can be beneficial for dogs. Talk to your veterinarian or a qualified herbalist to learn more about which herbs may be right for your dog.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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