Herbs and Spices that are Good for Dogs

Spices that are Good for Dogs

As a lifelong dog owner and an avid cook, I’ve always been curious about the intersection of human foods and canine nutrition. The topic of “Spices that are Good for Dogs” particularly fascinates me, especially after witnessing my own furry companion’s health transformation. A few years ago, my aging Labrador, Benny, began showing signs of joint pain and stiffness. Desperate for a natural solution, I stumbled upon the benefits of turmeric for dogs. Skeptical yet hopeful, I began incorporating small amounts of this golden spice into Benny’s diet. To my amazement, I noticed a significant improvement in his mobility and overall vitality. This personal experience sparked a broader interest in exploring other safe spices that could enhance my dog’s health and well-being. It led me down a path of research on herbs that are good for dogs, consultation with veterinarians, and trial and error with various spices, all in the quest to provide Benny with a flavorful, nutritionally rich diet that supports his health as he ages.

the question often arises: Which herbs and spices are beneficial for dogs? While certain plants can be harmful, many herbs and spices offer health benefits when used properly. This article explores those that are safe and beneficial for canine companions.

Benefits of Herbs and Spices for Dogs

In the realm of canine nutrition, the incorporation of herbs and spices has been gaining traction among pet owners and holistic veterinarians alike. These natural additives offer more than just flavor; they can also provide a myriad of health benefits for dogs. Let’s delve into the advantageous properties of these botanicals and how they can contribute to a dog’s health.

Nutritional Enhancement

Herbs and spices are a treasure trove of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For instance, oregano is packed with antioxidants, which help combat free radicals, and rosemary is rich in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. The nutritional boost from these plants can contribute to a stronger immune system and overall vitality.

Read Also: how to get dog smell out of couch

Digestive Aid

Many herbs have carminative properties, meaning they help reduce gas buildup and aid digestion. Peppermint and ginger, for example, are excellent for soothing an upset stomach, reducing nausea, and aiding digestion. Fennel can also help with indigestion and is a natural breath freshener.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation is a root cause of numerous health issues in dogs, including arthritis and heart disease. Turmeric, with its active component curcumin, is renowned for its anti-inflammatory effects and can be a helpful supplement for dogs suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions.

Natural Antimicrobials

Some herbs and spices have natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can help protect dogs from various pathogens. For instance, cinnamon has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal qualities, and thyme is known for its efficacy against bacterial infections.

Support for Joint Health

As dogs age, joint health becomes a significant concern. Herbs like ginger and turmeric can provide natural support for joint health due to their anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing pain and improving mobility in dogs with joint issues.

Antioxidant Benefits

Antioxidants play a critical role in maintaining health by neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body. Many herbs, including basil and oregano, are rich in antioxidants, which can support a healthy aging process and bolster the immune system.

Skin and Coat Health

Certain herbs can improve skin and coat health due to their essential oils and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile, for example, is known for its skin-soothing properties and can be used externally in rinses for dogs with skin irritations.

Behavioral Benefits

Some herbs can have a calming effect on dogs. Lavender and chamomile are often used in aromatherapy for dogs to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, which can be particularly beneficial during stressful situations like thunderstorms or vet visits.


Herbs like milk thistle are recognized for their detoxifying properties. Milk thistle can support liver health by helping to regenerate liver cells and protect against toxins, which is especially beneficial for dogs on medications or those exposed to environmental toxins.

Cardiovascular Support

Certain herbs can promote heart health. Hawthorn, for example, is often used in traditional herbal medicine to support cardiovascular function and improve circulation.

Metabolic Regulation

Cinnamon is known to help regulate blood sugar levels, which can be particularly beneficial for dogs with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. By improving insulin sensitivity, cinnamon can help manage blood sugar fluctuations.

Spices that are Good for Dogs

what spices can dogs eat? Here are the spices that offer health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties and digestive aid, but should always be given in moderation to avoid any issues.


Turmeric is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin. It can help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, improve joint health, and support the overall immune system. Turmeric also has antioxidant properties, aiding in detoxifying the liver and potentially reducing cancer risks.


Ginger is a versatile spice known for aiding digestion, relieving nausea, and reducing bloating. It’s especially beneficial for dogs with motion sickness or those experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help soothe sore joints in older dogs.


Cinnamon, in small amounts, can be beneficial for dogs. It has anti-inflammatory properties, helps regulate blood sugar, and can improve heart health. Cinnamon also possesses antimicrobial properties, which can help freshen your dog’s breath. However, it’s important to use cinnamon sparingly, as too much can irritate the inside of your dog’s mouth or digestive tract.


Fennel is another spice that can be advantageous for dogs, particularly in supporting digestion. It can help reduce gas and soothe upset stomachs. Fennel also has diuretic properties, aiding in the removal of toxins from the body and contributing to kidney health.


Though technically an herb, parsley deserves mention for its health benefits, including its role as a natural breath freshener. Rich in vitamins and minerals, parsley can support kidney health and has anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s important to use curly leaf parsley, as some types of parsley can be toxic to dogs.

Read Also: Why Does My Dog Lay His Head Over My Neck?

Herbs that are Good for Dogs

what herbs are good for dogs? Herbs good for dogs are as follows: because they support overall health, freshen breath, and aid digestion, but must be used in moderation to ensure safety and prevent toxicity.


Peppermint is known for its soothing effect on the digestive system, helping to alleviate symptoms of nausea and gas. It also has a cooling effect, which can be particularly refreshing on hot days. Additionally, peppermint can freshen a dog’s breath.


Dill is beneficial for dogs with digestive issues. It can help reduce flatulence and support digestion. Dill is also rich in antioxidants, which can boost the immune system.


Rosemary is a versatile herb with antioxidant properties that support heart health and improve digestion. It’s also known for its natural flea-repelling qualities when used externally. However, rosemary should be used in moderation, especially for dogs prone to seizures.


Chamomile is famous for its calming effects, which can help soothe an anxious dog. It’s also useful for settling upset stomachs and can aid in skin health when applied topically to irritations.


Oregano has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it beneficial for supporting the immune system and combating infections. However, it should be given in very small amounts, as it’s more potent than many other herbs.


Parsley is more than just a garnish; it’s a nutritional powerhouse for dogs, packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as antioxidants. It can improve kidney function and freshen breath. However, it’s important to use curly leaf parsley in moderation, as large amounts of certain types (like spring parsley) can be toxic.


Thyme is packed with vitamins C and A, along with copper, fiber, iron, and manganese. It can help support respiratory health, and its antiseptic properties make it beneficial for skin health.

How to Include Herbs and Spices in Your Dog’s Diet

While many herbs and spices can be beneficial for dogs, it’s essential to introduce them into a dog’s diet gradually and in moderation. Consultation with a veterinarian is recommended before adding any new element to your pet’s diet, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions or are on medication. It’s also vital to research each herb or spice thoroughly to ensure it’s safe for canine consumption, as some can be toxic to dogs. Here’s how to responsibly incorporate herbs and spices into your dog’s diet.

Consult With Your Veterinarian

Before adding anything new to your dog’s diet, especially something as potent as herbs and spices, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide guidance on what’s safe for your specific dog, taking into account their health history, breed, size, and any medications they might be on.

Start With Small Amounts

Dogs have a more sensitive digestive system than humans, so when introducing new herbs and spices, start with a very small amount to see how they react. Gradually increase the quantity only if there are no adverse reactions, such as gastrointestinal upset.

Read Also: mini bernese mountain dog: all you’ll love know

Choose Fresh or Dried Herbs

Both fresh and dried herbs can be beneficial. However, dried herbs are more concentrated, so you’ll need to use less. For example, if a recipe for dogs calls for one tablespoon of fresh herb, you would only use one teaspoon of the dried herb.

Incorporate Herbs and Spices into Meals

Sprinkle herbs and spices directly onto your dog’s food. For example, turmeric can be added to homemade dog food recipes or mixed with a bit of oil to enhance absorption. Fresh parsley can be chopped finely and sprinkled over food to freshen breath.

Make Herb-Infused Oils

Herb-infused oils can be a great way to add a health boost to your dog’s meal. Steep herbs like rosemary or basil in oil, strain, and drizzle a small amount over your dog’s regular food. This can be particularly helpful for dogs that need a little encouragement to eat.

Create Herbal Broths

Boil herbs like thyme or oregano in water to create a flavorful broth, and after cooling, pour it over your dog’s dry food. This can also aid in hydration for dogs that don’t drink enough water.

Bake Herbal Dog Treats

Baking your own dog treats allows you to include herbs like mint for fresh breath or ginger for digestive health. There are many dog-friendly recipes available that incorporate herbs and spices.

Use Herbal Supplements

If incorporating herbs directly into your dog’s food is challenging, you can use supplements in the form of powders, capsules, or tinctures. These should be specifically designed for dogs and dosed according to your pet’s size and needs.

Store Herbs and Spices Properly

To maintain potency and safety, store herbs and spices in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This ensures they remain effective and free from mold or spoilage.

Keep a Close Watch on Your Dog

Monitor your dog closely after introducing herbs and spices. Look for any signs of allergies or adverse reactions, such as itching,

digestive issues, or changes in behavior. If you notice any negative symptoms, discontinue use immediately and consult your vet.

Avoid Toxic Herbs and Spices

While many herbs and spices can be good for your dog, there are some that should be avoided due to toxicity. Commonly used kitchen staples such as onions, garlic, and nutmeg can be harmful to dogs. Ensure you are well-informed about which herbs and spices are not safe for canine consumption.

Understand the Purpose

Each herb and spice has its own set of benefits, so understanding why you’re adding it to your dog’s diet can help you choose the right one. For instance, if your dog has arthritis, you might include anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, while basil can be good for dogs with mild anxiety due to its calming effects.

Herbal Teas

Some herbal teas (cooled, of course) can be beneficial for dogs. For example, chamomile tea can soothe an upset stomach, while peppermint tea can help with digestion. Always make sure the tea is free from caffeine and serve it in moderation.

Educate Yourself on Interactions

Just as in humans, certain herbs and spices can interact with medications. If your dog is on any medication, make sure to understand any potential interactions that could occur with the herbs and spices you consider adding to their diet.

Regular Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups will help ensure that the addition of herbs and spices to your dog’s diet is having the intended positive effect. Your vet can help you monitor your dog’s health and make adjustments as necessary.

Incorporating herbs and spices into your dog’s diet can be a holistic approach to enhancing their health, but it should be done thoughtfully and safely. Always prioritize your dog’s specific health needs and preferences, and never force your dog to consume something they dislike or react poorly to. With the right approach and veterinary guidance, herbs and spices can make a beneficial addition to your dog’s nutrition plan.


understanding which herbs and spices that are good for dogs can significantly enhance your pet’s health and well-being. From aiding digestion with peppermint to soothing inflammation with turmeric, these natural wonders offer a myriad of health benefits. While incorporating these herbs into your dog’s diet, always proceed with caution and under the guidance of a veterinarian. Remember, what works for one dog may not be suitable for another. By thoughtfully integrating these herbs that are good for dogs, you can naturally bolster your furry friend’s diet, paving the way for a happier and healthier life together.

Read Also: AKC vs ACA: A Guide for Breeders and Owners


What herbs are not good for dogs?

Certain herbs like onions, garlic, and chives can be toxic to dogs. Others to avoid include foxglove, yew, and oleander, as they can cause serious health issues.

What herbs are good for dogs stomach?

Herbs such as ginger, peppermint, and fennel can be beneficial for a dog’s stomach, aiding in digestion and helping to relieve gas and nausea.

Are dogs sensitive to spices?

Yes, dogs are sensitive to spices. Spices like cayenne pepper or chili powder can irritate a dog’s digestive system. It’s best to keep spicy foods away from dogs.

Can dogs have garlic powder?

No, dogs should not have garlic powder. Garlic, in all forms, can be toxic to dogs, even in small quantities, leading to health issues like anemia.

What herbs and spices can I add to homemade dog food?

Safe herbs and spices for homemade dog food include parsley, turmeric, and rosemary. These can offer health benefits and enhance flavor safely.

What can I add to my dog’s food for good gut health?

For good gut health, you can add probiotics, prebiotic fibers, plain yogurt, or pumpkin to your dog’s food, as they promote healthy digestion and bowel function.

Similar Posts