Can Dogs Eat Sage? (Is It Safe)

Sage in evening sunlight, Salvia officinalis, closeup

Whether you’re making homemade meals for your four-legged friend or you’re hoping to avoid accidental pet poisoning, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with foods that are non-toxic to dogs.

Dogs can safely eat sage (Salvia officinalis) without suffering from digestive poisoning. Sage is a common herb that is non-toxic to dogs, and adding small amounts of it to homemade dog food recipes is an excellent way to help your dog reap the nutritional benefits of this superfood ingredient.

If you enjoy adding herbs to your meals, it’s especially crucial to understand which ingredients are toxic and which are not. Could sage, one of the most popular dried herbs used in cooking, cause your dog to fall ill? Let’s find out!

Is It Safe for Dogs To Eat Sage?

Dogs can safely eat small-to-moderate amounts of sage (Salvia officinalis) without suffering any side effects or negative consequences. This type, all called common sage, is non-toxic to both cats and dogs

However, it’s not wise to feed your dog a diet that consists solely of sage. Pups of all ages require a wide variety of minerals and nutrients to grow strong and stay healthy. While sage is one of the more nutrient-dense garden herbs, it’s not rich in protein or healthy fats.

That said, adding a small amount of sage to your furry buddy’s meals now and again could be beneficial. This tiny herb packs a lot of flavor and nutrition into a little package.

Sage: A Nutritional Overview

Sage is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), a group of plants that happens to include many of the most common and popular types of culinary herbs. Like several of its mint relatives, sage contains quite a few life-sustaining vitamins and macronutrients.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrition Database, common sage contains a decent amount of:

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Calcium

To a lesser extent, sage also contains protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber. In small quantities (one teaspoon or less), it could be a surprisingly nutrient-dense addition to your dog’s meals. 

While it’s true that pups thrive on protein-rich dinners, they also need micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and wholesome sources of carbohydrates and dietary fibers. Sage could satisfy many of these more minute nutritional needs. 

But before your dog can enjoy the health-promoting effects of a little sage, you’ll need to figure out how to feed it to them! Fortunately, introducing your furry family member to sage could be easier than you think, especially if you’re already preparing homemade meals. 

How To Incorporate Sage Into Your Dog’s Meals

There are quite a few ways to help your four-legged friend get the most out of sage. Some pups might not need any coaxing at all and will jump at the chance to chow down on some fresh greens. 

But if your dog is a little pickier, you could always try adding sage to a tried-and-true homemade dog food recipe. Damn Delicious has a well-loved DIY pup chow that incorporates five affordable, easy-to-prepare basics. 

It’s only too easy to sprinkle some chopped sage onto a freshly processed bowl of chicken, peas, and carrots. 

So long as you’re using tiny amounts, adding a little sage to any doggie dish is safe. But why stop there? You could also be sprinkling in a whole array of savory herbs!

What Other Herbs Are Safe for Dogs To Eat?

Now that you know that a little bit of sage is perfectly healthy for your dog, you may wonder what other herbs are pup-friendly. After all, herbs could be an easy way to add a little extra nutrition to your dog’s meals.

Sage (being an aromatic member of the mint family) has several close plant cousins. Generally, other plants belonging to the mint family are also safe for your dog to eat. 

Some of the most notable non-toxic herbs for dogs include:

  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Parsley

However, not all plants in the mint family are safe for your dog to munch on. It’s crucial to always refer to a handy poison guide before introducing a new ingredient into your pup’s diet. 

How To Avoid Feeding Your Dog Poisonous Foods

Accidental pet poisoning is unfortunate, but it’s also reasonably common. The most significant factor that contributes to these accidents is a lack of information. 

Many pet owners simply fail to understand that some of their favorite foods could be toxic to their furry friends. That’s why it’s vital to:

  1. Keep a fact list handy.
  2. Double check ingredients.
  3. Make homemade dog meals.

Following these three steps, you can be sure to avoid accidentally feeding your dog toxic foods. However, it’s also crucial to keep a close watch on cleaning chemicals, medications, sweets, and poisonous plants. 

Educating yourself about these common causes of pet poisoning is one of the best ways to prevent it from happening to your pup. You might also want to consider having a printed reference chart to keep in your kitchen or feeding area.

1. Keep a Fact List Handy

Are you unsure about what ingredients are non-toxic to dogs and which are not? If so, your first step should always be reading, printing, and saving the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reference list of common foods and their canine toxicity status.

You might also want to consider laminating this list and keeping it near your pet’s feeding area. That way, you can always ensure that their meals are perfectly safe and healthy. 

This sort of reference tool isn’t only helpful for those who make homemade doggie dinners. It’s also a smart resource for those who prefer to invest in store-bought options.

2. Double Check Ingredients

In the past, there were only a handful of different dog food brands and types. Nowadays, you can purchase dry dog foods for specific breeds of dogs, health conditions, and life stages. But not all dog kibble is equally wholesome and helpful.

While it’s rare to find dry dog food containing naturally toxic ingredients, it’s not rare to find a kibble that can make your puppy sick. That’s because some of the ingredients used to create processed dry kibble are highly concerning. 

For example, several dry dog foods contain BHA and BHT. These are chemical preservatives that may be carcinogenic. If you’re giving your dog preservative-laden chow every day, the risk of adverse effects increases exponentially.

Additionally, several of the more affordable dog food brands also contain various food dyes, including Yellow 6, one of the most potentially carcinogenic and allergy-inducing dyes available. To help your puppy grow into a healthy, long-lived adult, you’ll want to avoid dog foods that contain such ingredients.

3. Make Homemade Dog Meals

While there are many worthwhile dry dog foods available, some pet owners prefer the security of making their own puppy food. After all, when you decide to switch to homemade dog meals, you know exactly what your pup is eating—every time. 

This is an excellent way for owners to avoid allergy-inducing ingredients, chemical preservatives, and corny syrup. With a hearty food processor, a few minutes of preparation, and a handful of recipes, you could be elevating your dog’s daily cuisine. 

Making daily meals for your favorite furry friend doesn’t have to be a hassle, even if it is a grind. Many dog-friendly homemade dinners are freezer-friendly, helping you to save time on daily feeding tasks. 

Just be sure to reference your toxic foods list before you start whipping together your pup-friendly courses!

Conclusion

It’s OK to feed your pup small quantities of common sage on occasion. Sage contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals that may be otherwise missing from your dog’s diet. 

Incorporating this herb into homemade meals and treats is easy to do, and there are plenty of recipes to try. You could also spice things up by adding small amounts (one teaspoon or less) of other canine-friendly herbs to your dog’s daily meals. 

Keeping a reference list of toxic foods in your kitchen or near your pet’s food bowls is also a great way to avoid accidental pet poisoning. 

Sources

Andrew

My name is Andrew, and I've been around dogs my entire life. Look at my profile picture and, you see me as a little kid with my family's two German Shepherds. That's how my life with dogs started, and ever since, I've been both living and working with dogs.

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