Can dogs eat spices? While it’s true that dogs don’t require five-star dining, many owners love to cater to their dogs’ unique tastes. And many have switched to making their own dog food to provide a better-sourced, healthier diet. So, why not add a little flavor, right?
Dogs don’t need spices in order to stay healthy, and some spices are actually harmful to dogs. But certain spices do provide nutritional benefits for our pets, particularly pets with specific health conditions.
Here’s a list of spices that are safe and dangerous for your dog. Remember to always make gradual changes to your dog’s diet, and check with your veterinarian before you experiment.
5 Spices That Are Safe for Dogs to Eat
Basil is a fragrant herb that’s rich in antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It can help diminish the painful effects of arthritis, elevate the mood, and provide a remedy for stress and anxiety. Try these pizza crust treats with oregano and basil or try a spritz of citrus basil doggie cologne for an aromatherapy mood boost.
Cinnamon contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can help to counteract the effects of diabetes. Cinnamon also helps reduce the aflatoxins found in store-bought food. (Aflatoxins are fungi that grow on crown and other crops.) Cinnamon also helps improve bad breath. You might sprinkle a small amount (less than a teaspoon) of cinnamon on top of your dog’s food occasionally. Spritz this pet safe cinnamon cologne on your dog after a good grooming session or on her bed for an aromatherapy boost or try a cinnamon and lamb training treat for an antioxidant boost.
Ginger root is another flavorful agent that contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can provide a boost to the digestive system and soothe nausea, as well as improve circulation. Fresh ginger is quite strong, so you might use dried or ground ginger. Ginger infused pill pouches are a cool product for dogs with upset tummies, and who doesn’t like the sound of a gingerbread biscuit?
Parsley contains healthy antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It helps improve organ function, flush toxins from the body, and improve bad breath. And it can be easily grown in most parts of the U.S. These fancy cookies combine the power of parsley, mint and gingerbread into one super-treat. These Dentacare dental chews harness the powers of mint and parsley to help fight doggie breath.
Turmeric, which comes from a root (like ginger), provides a boost to the metabolism and helps accelerate weight loss. It provides benefits for cardiovascular, joint, and brain health. Turmeric can provide some relief from arthritis, and has been used to protect against cancer and anemia. A turmeric supplement especially designed for dogs is a great way to try these healing benefits.
5 Spices That Are Dangerous for Dogs
Onion and onion powder can easily upset a dog’s stomach and cause diarrhea and vomiting. Onion contains a sulfoxides and disfulsides, which can damage red blood cells. Over time, this can lead to anemia.
There are differing opinions about garlic, and some owners use it to help ward off fleas on their dogs. But garlic can be toxic for some pets, so it’s better to avoid garlic altogether, or proceed with great caution and absolutely discuss this idea with your veterinarian.
Although humans use salt in nearly everything we eat, this doesn’t translate well to our dogs’ diet. Salt will cause increased thirst and urination, which leads to dehydration. It can also cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea when ingested in larger quantities.
4. Cocoa Powder
Like chocolate, cocoa powder can cause serious problems for dogs. It contains a compound similar to caffeine, which is harmful to a dog’s nervous system. Cocoa powder can contribute to kidney trouble and heart problems, and should always be avoided.
Nutmeg can cause severe stomach upset and agitation in the nervous system. A dog may become overly excited after eating nutmeg, and then become exhausted and drained. In some cases, nutmeg has led to death, so it’s considered highly dangerous.