Cooking for your dog is an adventure when you have so many ingredients to choose from. But with something as simple as herbs, in particular cilantro, can you be sure whether it will suit your dog’s diet?
Dogs can eat cilantro but only in moderation. It provides many vitamins and essential minerals that aid your dog’s growth and overall health, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. The majority of them are found in the leaves, so that’s what you use and sprinkle on your dog’s food.
If you’re curious about cilantro as an addition to your dog’s food, this article will explain its benefits and how much is safe for your dog. We’ll also list down the other herbs that you can use aside from cilantro and those that you should keep away from your pets.
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Is Cilantro Safe for Dogs?
Generally speaking, your dog will eat whatever you put in front of them. The responsibility of making sure the ingredients are safe falls on you as the dog owner.
Cilantro is safe for dogs to eat, in addition to some other herbs, but only in moderation. It can help improve dogs’ digestive system if you use the right amount and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It contains potassium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and manganese.
The herb is also very low in calories and doesn’t contain any cholesterol, which is excellent news if you worry about your dog’s weight. When used with various ingredients, cilantro packs a healthy punch. So, if you have a big bunch of cilantro, there are some ways it may benefit your dog.
Benefits of Cilantro for Dogs
Here are some of the benefits of feeding your dog cilantro.
Help Prevent Infections
A study shows that cilantro shows antibacterial qualities and can help fight against fungal infections as well. For dogs susceptible to infections, especially stomach infections, a single helping of cilantro adds a good dose of minerals that helps fight off the microscopic demons.
Alongside the many healthy compounds that make up cilantro, the herb also contains potent antioxidants, strengthening the body against free radical damage. Antioxidants are an essential component, and whether it’s a pup or a human, everybody benefits from a good dose of antioxidants through their diet.
Contains Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble group that regulates the blood’s calcium levels. It helps the body produce a protein known as prothrombin, which helps bone metabolism and blood clotting.
Vitamin K is an important compound, and cilantro is packed with it.
If your dog is the scrappy type who loves roughhousing and getting themselves into all types of trouble, adding cilantro may help prevent excessive bleeding and keep their bones healthy and strong.
Treats Digestive Issues
Cilantro is a crucial ingredient in traditional medicine and is used to treat digestive issues and an upset stomach.
If you have a gassy dog breed, cilantro will work as a helpful remedy against all sensitive stomach issues and even calm their gassy tummies.
How Much Cilantro Can I Feed My Dog?
You can feed your dog a pinch of cilantro. It should be enough for their daily meal. But you can add more once your dog gets used to the taste. You may add a teaspoonful to their meals and feed them twice a week.
However, giving them more may only aggravate their system if any new ingredient sets their stomach off. You must be patient when introducing something like cilantro to your dog’s diet.
Could My Dog Overeat Cilantro?
Your dog can overeat cilantro, and when they do, they may experience slight discomfort and have mild digestive problems paired with vomiting and nausea. They may also have diarrhea. So make sure that you feed your dog cilantro in moderation.
How Do I Feed Cilantro to My Dog?
Even if your dog is low-maintenance when it comes to food, they’ll push their bowl away if you suddenly add something new.
You can feed your dog cilantro for the very first time by adding only a small amount in their food once a week. You can either mix fresh cilantro into the recipe or sprinkle it on top. This will also give you time to check if your dog experiences any allergic reactions.
If you’re in the clear, you’ll want to increase your dog’s cilantro intake to 2–4 times a week. If you’re using a particular recipe that has cilantro, you could also turn it into a staple meal several times a week so that they can have something to look forward to.
Once the cilantro flavor settles on your dog’s taste buds, you can take the opportunity to add it to other dog food recipes too.
What Part of the Cilantro Should I Feed My Dog?
The part of the cilantro that you should feed your dog is the fresh leaves since it’s where the majority of the vitamin and mineral content is. While humans have no qualms about using seeds, leaves, stems, and powder in their foods, use the leaves and sprinkle them on top of your dog’s food.
However, if you make a recipe that calls for seeds or powder, there’s no reason why you can’t add them too. Then , once the food is made, you can add the leaves on top to give the meal that final flourish.
What Other Herbs Can I Give My Dogs?
There are other herbs that you can give your dogs that are perfectly safe for them, including oregano and basil. You can use them on pre-made and homemade food and can even serve them with treats if your dog develops a taste for them.
In fact, many dog food companies also use herbs to make their food more enticing. It’s all about knowing which are the ones that’ll prove beneficial for your dog.
Here are other herbs that’s safe for your dogs:
While you may know oregano as the main ingredient in pizza sauce, it’s also a well-used ingredient in tailored dog foods. Aside from the apparent flavor profile, it also stands as a powerful ingredient for its high flavonoid and antioxidant content.
This non-toxic herb is widely used to treat many digestive issues, including gas and diarrhea. Because of its potent nature, many people use oregano oil instead of oregano. But you’ll need to limit that to a small dosage to not overwhelm your pet’s taste buds.
Basil is a dog-approved herb and is often used in flavorful food and meaty treats. Like many herbs, basil also possesses many antioxidant qualities. It also contains antibacterial properties, is anti-inflammatory, and even helps fight cancer cells.
Fresh basil is always a great garnish with dog food, but you can toss a pinch of chopped basil if you want to upgrade the flavor.
Peppermint is one of the most popular herbs used in dog food. This fragrant herb is often used to make breath-freshening treats for dogs. However, that’s not the only benefit it provides.
Additionally, peppermint is a stomach-friendly herb. And from animals to humans, it’s widely used to treat different stomach problems. That may range from gas and nausea to diarrhea and vomiting to travel sickness and air sickness.
There’s no evidence of any toxic response from peppermint among dogs. However, like any other herb, it helps to keep the quantity small when you add it to your dog’s food.
Note: Don’t confuse parsley with “spring parsley.” Spring parsley is highly toxic to domestic animals like dogs and cats and should never be used in food preparation.
Parsley is highly underrated when it comes to using the right herbs for dogs. While it’s usually used as a garnish or breath freshener, you can also use it as an essential ingredient in dog food. It’s a powerful herb and is full of vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, and lycopene.
Like many other herbs, parsley also soothes the stomach and prevents common stomach issues. So, if you have a bunch of parsley at home, put it to use right away.
Rosemary is a superstar ingredient in dog food, which is also why we recommend this herb for any at-home dog food treats. It’s a high iron ingredient and contains a fair amount of vitamin B6, antioxidants, and calcium.
The herb is also delicious and adds a beautiful aroma to any food you add it to. If your dog is a picky eater, adding some rosemary on top may do the trick.
What Herbs Are Harmful to Dogs?
In general, you’ll find that many herbs are beneficial for dogs, so your pup will have no problem gobbling up whatever you put in front of them.
Some lesser-known herbs such as garlic, onion, and cocoa powder are what we often use in our food. Only, we don’t know that they’re damaging to your dog’s health, including their heart and kidney.
Here are the most common herbs you should keep away from your pup’s food:
We already know that dogs can’t eat chocolate. Similarly, cocoa powder isn’t good for your dog’s health either.
Cocoa is highly dangerous for a dog’s nervous system and can lead to heart and kidney problems. While cocoa powder is generally used in cooking, it must never come in contact with your dog’s food.
What’s good food without garlic? Apparently, it’s safe for dogs when given in small quantities. However, it’ll be toxic for them if given in large quantities.
Garlic can be used in a tiny quantity and a powdered form if needed. However, if there’s a chance you can make your dog’s food without using garlic, then skip this herb altogether.
Yes, onion is an herb and a very damaging one at that! Onions can upset the culture system in your dog’s intestine and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms of an upset stomach. This herb can also cause severe damage to the dog’s red blood cells.
If needed, use any other herb to give your dog’s food the acidic bite it needs. But stay away from onions, in raw or powder form!
Nutmeg is a heavy herb and can be damaging to a dog’s sensitive stomach. Even if your dog has a robust composition, it’s still recommended that you keep them away from nutmeg. Otherwise, it’ll damage their nervous system.
Although black pepper is widely used in food preparation, you’ll rarely find it in dog food. It’s not toxic or poisonous to dogs, but a particular compound known as piperine present in the herb causes the body to absorb more prescription medicines. So, if you give your dogs any medication, using black pepper increases their chances of overdosing.
Alongside cilantro, we now know that there are plenty of green herbs you can use to add some wonderful flavors to your dog’s food. Use them in moderation and experiment with the taste. Remember to keep the harmful ingredients far away from your prep station.
Your dog deserves the best in the world. With the information given above, your dog will enjoy some excellent gourmet meals that’ll keep them healthy, happy, and well-fed.
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