Herbs used to seasonings not only enhance the flavor of homemade dog food or dog treats, they provide nutrients valuable to a dog's health.
You're probably already aware of the many ways we can use herbs as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and many other health benefits.
What you may not know is how healthy it is for your pups, too. Do you like to cook homemade dog food? Are you using homemade dog food as a topper? Make your own doggie treats?
By adding in some healthful herbs, along with some fruits and vegetables, your dog can benefit from some of the healthiest herbs around for dogs.
Raising your own herbs in a raised bed is the best way to assure the freshest herbs. However, while fresh is best, dried works great.
Adding Spices or Herbs
This is meant as a helpful guide for herbs and spices that are healthy for dogs. While beneficial for a dog's health, not all dogs can or should use herbs.
All the herbs and spices listed blow are safe for dogs. The best way to confirm which herbs and spices may be safe for your dog is to consult with your veterinarian.
Your veterinarian can also confirm which herbs and how much should be used in your pet's food.
Before using any herb or spice consult with your veterinarian for any precautions, side effects or drug interactions if taking medication.
Not all herbs and spices are safe for pregnant or lactating dogs or puppies.
How to Use Herbs for your Dogs
The easiest way to use herbs for your dog’s food is by adding a small pinch for small dogs and up to a teaspoon for large dogs.
I like to use various herbs in my dog's treats or adding it on top of my dog's food, along with their fruits and vegetables.
The antioxidants found in the list below can help your dog's immune system combat diseases and reduce inflammation.
Herbs that are Good for Dogs
Aloe Vera is one of the best herbs for dogs because it contains amino acids, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, magnesium as just some vitamins. As an anti-inflammatory,
Need a wound to heal? Aloe vera quickly helps wounds to heal. It is a safe and effective antioxidant.
Aloe Vera is so popular an herb you'll find it many products for dogs. Paw Balm, Breath Fresheners, Dog ear cleaners, even some of my favorite Earthbath Shampoo and Conditioners.
Used as an antioxidant to reduce pain and swelling for arthritis alfalfa Contains calcium, iron, folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc, Vitamins B1, B12, C, D, E, and K.
Alfalfa is great for nutritive bone building or even a diuretic.
Used as an antioxidant to prevent many health diseases. Anise Seeds are rich in B-complex Vitamins, vitamin A and C.
Ansie seeds are a disease prevention full of anti-oxidants and promoting many health benefits.
Containing potassium and calcium Carob can improve digestion. It has very little fat and no caffeine, Calcium is a must have an addition to your dog’s food.
Carob is a natural sweetener that helps you to absorb calcium.
Caraway seeds known as a warming herb, meaning they hope your body to stay warm. They're also great for muscle health, preventing constipation and removing toxins from the body.
They can be ground for using in-home treats or baked in the oven and added to your dog food.
Okay, catnip isn't just for cats. It has a mild tranquilizing effect on animals, which is effective for treating nervousness, restlessness and insomnia.
The added benefit of being a gas relieving makes it a great treatment for diarrhea, flatulence and is especially effective in treating the early signs of a cold, the flu or especially bronchitis.
Put some fresh leaves and drinking water or sprinkle the dry herbs onto your dogs' meal. The recommended dose is ⅛ - ½ half teaspoon per pound of food.
They use this as a sedative to ease anxiety and insomnia. While this is the safe herb, some dogs are allergic to the herb, so be watchful when applying it on your dog.
Chamomile is mainly used to aid in anxiety and insomnia.
Pregnant dogs should not use Chamomile.
The seeds of a chia plant help with cholesterol and blood pressure, which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. They are easy for dogs to swallow because they have no odor or taste, which means your dog won’t even notice that you’ve added anything new to their meals.
Grind up the seeds into your dog’s food, eaten raw or even added to water.
The multiple benefits of Chia seeds include cleaning out the intestines, slows digestion and allows your dog’s body to absorb more of the nutrients Chia sees provide.
Chia seeds contain high quantities of protein, up to five times the amount of calcium in milk and boron. Boron is a trace mineral which aids in the absorption of calcium into your dog's bones.
Cilantro or better known as Corriander is a digestive aid for dog’s with tummy issues. For an underweight dog, it can help to stimulate the appetite.
Cilantro helps to relieve gas or indigestion.
With a light sweet flavor, cinnamon has some of the highest anti-oxidant levels of all food sources. Just like people, you’ll want to make sure your dog doesn’t have a negative reaction to cinnamon.
Cinnamon is used to relieve vomiting and helps with stomach digestion.
They use this herb as a safe diuretic and liver stimulant. It also increases the bile flow to the gallbladder for dogs suffering from liver congestion, gallstones and other liver problems or gallstones.
The flowers from the dandelion are high in Lechitin, useful in reducing pain, and is a mild painkiller.
Dandelion flower and greens should be dried and placed on top of your dog's food. The recommended dose is one teaspoon of dried herbs for every 20 lbs of weight.
Dill has a multitude of benefits, from improving appetite and digestion to flatulence. Here’s a list of the many benefits of adding Dill into your dog’s food.
- Eases bloating from gas and improves digestion.
- It can help to relax the colon and can stop diarrhea.
- A natural mouth washed if eaten.
- Detoxifies the body.
- An antihistamine to clear respiratory congestion from allergies or coughs.
Fennel is full of Vitamin A and C. Niacin, Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and Omega-6 fatty acids are all included in the Fennel herb.
It’s best use is as a detoxifier and digestive aid.
Mainly used as a digestive aid. Fennel Seeds herbs help normalize the appetite and aid in weight loss.
We use ground flaxseed in place of oil in a dog’s diet. Either ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil helps significantly in canine cardiovascular health. An important source of fiber and antioxidants. Flaxseed might have a positive effect on tumors. Full of Omega-3 fatty acid and B vitamins.
It helps improve a dog’s coat and aids in the digestive system.
Ginger should use sparingly as it can cause stomach upset, especially on an empty stomach.
This herb aids in nausea, gas, motion sickness, heart problems, and joint inflammation of an arthritic dog. It’s good for reducing a fever and can protect against viruses. It can decrease blood sugar levels and help to absorb medication.
Ginger should not be fed to a dog with a gastric ulcer or pregnant dogs.
Foremost, you will only want to use decaffeinated green tea.
Green tea is a powerful anti-oxidant that helps reduce heart disease. It can help aid in cancers like skin, lung, colon, breast and esophageal cancer.
A nutritional powerhouse that has Vitamins A, C, E, K and folate, iodine, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese.
Green tea benefits thyroid conditions and can enhance a dog’s coat. Green tea has a natural calming effect on dogs.
Licorice is an effective anti-inflammatory herb. It works because it contains glycyrrhizin, which is like having natural corticosteroids released by the adrenals.
Licorice is useful for treating Addison’s disease. It acts on the digestive system by promoting cell growth and helps to ease ulcers.
This herb has been known to help with upper respiratory tract infections and ease coughs for bronchitis.
The best way to use licorice for dogs is to feed your dog tinctures of the herb.
Cautions: Licorice can raise blood sugar levels and should be used cautiously in pets with diabetes. Check with your vet before using. You should never use licorice for dogs with heart disease.
Milk Thistle is an herb known as the “liver herb.” They use it in both pets and humans alike. Extensive studies have found that milk thistle is safe in treating liver disease and other conditions like kidney disease.
Popular among holistic veterinarians, it scavenges free radicals and can stabilize liver cell membranes, while stimulating the production of new liver cells.
While taking too much milk thistle can cause stomach upset, it has an excellent safety record, and no known drug interactions.
Oregano contains Vitamins K, anti-oxidants, iron, manganese and fiber. A natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Oregano has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
They pack parsley leaves full of Vitamins including Vitamin C, carotene, iron and calcium. This herb can stimulate the kidneys and filter out toxins, which increase urine.
Parsley leaves can freshen dog's bad breath.
"Spring Parsley" is toxic for both dogs and cats. Spring Parsley contains high levels of furanocoumerin, which causes photosensitisation and ocular toxicity.
Peppermint has a soothing effect on an upset stomach. Have a respiratory infection? Viral Infection? Or skin condition? Peppermint herbs can provide relief, including flatulence and indigestion.
Peppermint with ginger helps to relieve motion sickness in pets.
Always keep peppermint oil away from a dog’s eyes and any sensitive skin areas.
Pumpkin seeds are great for humans and dogs, but in different ways. A natural source of unsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, amino acids and vitamins C, D, E, K and most of the B Vitamins.
By using ground up raw pumpkin seeds, you can easily treat worms and itchy skin. The best way to serve pumpkin seeds is to place them into a coffee grinder, sprinkle about ½ teaspoon on your dog's food, and your dog's will be worm free.
Rosemary has disease and health-promoting properties. High in fiber and full of vitamins, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal.
Some suggest that Thyme has anti-cancer properties. Thyme is full of Vitamins K, iron, calcium, manganese, fiber and photochemical.
It’s great for skin, respiratory system and brain function. Use dry and sparingly on your dog's food or bake into their homemade treats.
It's well known that tumeric in curry dishes because of its peppery and bitter flavor, with an orange and ginger color.
Touted as an anti-inflammatory, they find it to be safe for dogs and cats. Veterinarians will often recommend adding up to ¼ a teaspoon a day to a dog's food.
Turmeric works fantastic in arthritic dogs by using it as a powder or crushing it on their food.
Very helpful, because I'd rather ceep my dog healty and clear in a natural way, my parents taught me that herbs are better than medicine, so if I can use it for my Dogs happy to know, I apritiate the info. I do believe that there are herbs that can help a poisoned dog I'd appreciate it if you could give me info on this, because I have lost a lot of dog due to poison, an sometimes there's no money to take them to the vet, can be expensive and losing a dog u had for some time can be very sad, pleas if anything, let me know tanks alot for tips
Freda Halley says
My older dog is having kidney problems. Is there a spice that will help him ?
Ruby Doodle Dog says
I would ask your vet's advice for your dog.