Spices Good For Dogs: 11 Best Seasonings and Herbs

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Do you know what human spices are good for dogs? Here are 11 herbs and spices you can safely feed your furry friend.

beagle dog with beneficial spices

I’ve done my due diligence and spent 11+ hours researching to find out what are known as the safest spices for dogs and how your pups can enjoy eating them.

I’m on a mission to test these herbs to make sure you don’t make a mistake feeding your dogs with some toxic or dangerous food that can kill ’em. 

The vast majority of vets recommend slowly introducing new herbs to your dog’s diet and watching out for reaction because every dog reacts differently. 

Some dogs can be allergic to different herbs, so always check with your vet before adding new food to your dog’s diet.

What Seasonings Can Dogs Eat?

If you’re wondering What spices can dogs eat‘, here’s a list of 11 pet-friendly herbs and spices.

11 Spices Good for Dogs

1. Cilantro

Cilantro is a pet-friendly herb

Cilantro, also known as Coriander, may significantly help prevent and cure various health conditions of your pooch. According to studies, Cilantro is a powerful herb full of antioxidants that may fight inflammation, detoxify the body, and relieve nausea.

This herb contains linoleic, oleic, petroselinic, and stearic acids and is high in Vitamin C, A, zinc, and potassium which brings many benefits to dogs. [1]

Because it has anti-parasitic effects it may fight intestinal gas and diarrhea to calm the dog’s upset stomach. That means your dog will get over it much easier. Even better, this will alleviate nausea and boost your dog’s appetite. This way your doggy will get enough calories. Moreover, this is an excellent herb for picky eaters dogs too.

Besides it may settle the upset stomach of canines, coriander possesses antimicrobial properties that may help fight some pathogens like Salmonella.

To avoid worsening the digestion problem, your puppy should consume Cilantro in moderation. So, use it in small quantities, no more than one teaspoon. Keep in mind, pregnant dogs should avoid it because it can stimulate contractions.

Cilantro is one of the best herbs your dog can eat.

Serving ideas: Add it as an ingredient in homemade treats or you could chop it and sprinkle it on top of the dog’s food.

2. Basil

fresh basil leaves for dogs
Fresh basil leaves

Basil is one of the best foods your dog can eat.

It is a powerful herb well-known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and even anti-fungal properties that can help protect your dog against many types of illness. [2, 3]

Basil contains a high amount of antioxidants that can help prevent cell damage by free radicals. [4]

In fact, it helps lower the risk of cancer. Also, basil can calm anxious dogs by decreasing levels of Corticosterone stress hormone.

If your dog suffers from arthritis pain, basil may help ease it. That’s another health benefit this fantastic green plant possesses.

So, basil is a safe food for your dog. [5]

Serving idea: You can serve basil to your dogs in both, dry and raw forms. Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon (small dogs) to 1 teaspoon (medium to large dogs) or add one-two fresh basil leaves to your dog’s food.

3. Parsley

parsley good for dogs

Parsley is a super-herb rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin A supports your dog’s good eyesight and eye health, while vitamin C helps to provide immune support. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin K, parsley improves healthy blood clotting and helps with bone health. [6, 7]

As a result of its antimicrobial properties, it is good for preventing gum disease and it can freshen a dog’s breath. If your puppy suffers from urinary infections parsley can help flush toxins from the body and this way supports kidney health.

Bear in mind that parsley contains the toxic compound furanocoumarin which can lead to blindness. Yet, it does your canine friend more good than harm served in smaller sizes.

But, keep in mind to feed the curly variety of parsley only and avoid feeding it to pregnant dogs as it may cause muscle contractions.

4. Dill

dill for dogs

Dill is another spice your dog can eat.

This well-known herb is a very healthy addition to your dog’s food. Both, the leaves and seeds of this super herb have anticancer, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Dill is a great source of powerful essential nutrients, like monoterpenes (particularly l-demonene), flavonoids and tannins and is quite rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and iron. It contains magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus which are important for bone health. Dogs that regularly consume dill will experience its benefits on growth and development.

These nutrients are very important for the overall health of your canine. 

Additionally, dill is also a great source of antioxidant flavonoids that help protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. 

In fact, nutrients like monoterpenes (in which dill is high) are linked to anticancer properties of the dill plant. Studies have shown d-limonene (a type of monoterpene) may help prevent and treat colon and lung cancer. [8] D-limonene is excellent in helping to relieve gas, nausea, and cramping.

Tannins and terpenoids have strong antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that may protect your four-legged friend against heart, liver, and brain diseases. [9, 10]

Additionally, compounds found in dill may help relieve pain from menstrual cramps, but you should avoid giving it to pregnant dogs because it may cause miscarriage.

Adding this spice to your dog’s diet will improve its overall health, so you won’t have to take your fluffy friend to the vet often. That means your dog will be happy and your vet’s bill will be almost zero.

5. Cinnamon

cinnamon for dogs

Cinnamon is a good source of essential oils as well as polyphenol antioxidants that protect cells from diseases like cancer.

It can also help fight neurodegenerative diseases like dog dementia in older dogs.

Cinnamon is excellent for the heart too. This potent spice may cut the risk factors for heart disease by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. [11]

It is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenol and several flavonoid compounds that have powerful anti-inflammatory activities. [12]

Most of the cinnamon’s health benefits come from the compound cinnamaldehyde which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thanks to this, it may help fight tooth decay and bad breath and can also inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. 

Additionally, when given in small doses, cinnamon can reduce blood glucose levels and insulin resistance in diabetic dogs. But be sure to opt for Ceylon cinnamon as this variety is lower in a harmful compound called coumarin than the Cassia type of cinnamon. Cassia may cause problems when consumed in large doses, so please consult your vet before you offer cinnamon to your canine friend.

6. Ginger


If your dog suffers from flatulence, nausea, or an upset stomach, ginger could benefit your pooch. It can help discharge gassy dogs. So, adding ginger to your pup’s diet could be a smart decision. 

Gingerol (the main bioactive compound in ginger) is responsible for the flavor and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb that can help your dog deal with arthritis and age-related hip and joint pain. Hence, it’s particularly beneficial in old dogs.

Ginger helps regulate blood sugar levels and even may help boost brain function. It is rich in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. [13]

This mighty herb is ideal for overweight dogs and may help if you want to keep your k9 in top shape.

7. Peppermint


When used in moderation peppermint can provide health benefits to dogs. Peppermint has the potential to help dogs with motion sickness, can support the gastrointestinal tract and stimulate appetite, and may help soothe the upset stomach. Also, it freshens your dog’s breath.

However, remember that even though peppermint isn’t toxic to dogs, it may give your pup an upset stomach if you’re overfeeding your furry friend. 

Also, it’s not suggested for diabetic dogs as it may cause hypoglycemia, so make sure to check with your vet before feeding your pet.

The best way to feed it to your dog is in fresh form or by brewing up tea from the herb you’ve picked from your garden.

8. Fennel


Fennel is a dietary fiber-rich plant source that will benefit your dog’s digestive system. It has a calming effect that will be particularly beneficial to dogs who suffer from bloating, gas, or diarrhea.

Fennel is rich in Vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron, and calcium. These vitamins and minerals make fennel good as a source of polyphenol antioxidants that can help support the puppy’s immune system. These potent compounds protect your pooch’s eyesight, bones, and teeth and help with bad breath too.

Polyphenol antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acid, apigenin, and quercetin, have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the organic compound anethole found in fennel seeds has anticancer, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. [14]

Try to make a bowl of fennel seeds tea if your doggy suffers from the symptoms listed above or just cook the bulbs and sprinkle a few small pieces over your dog’s wet food.

9. Turmeric


Curcumin is the main active ingredient that has been known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can diminish inflammation and reduce pain and stiffness in arthritis dogs. [15]

Many holistic vets use this yellow spice to treat inflammation in canines caused by cancer due to its ability to interfere with the growth of tumors and even may kill cancer cells. [16]

Because of its anticoagulant properties, curcumin can help decrease blood clots, leading to improvements in heart health. It can also help treat gastrointestinal disorders, improve brain function in senior dogs, and may aid longevity.

Turmeric is a safe spice your dog can eat.

As you see, dogs can benefit in many ways if you include turmeric in their diet. But, it’s important not to overfeed them with turmeric. It will be best to consult your vet about the amount of turmeric you should add to your dog’s food. 

Turmeric is one of the best spices to help your dog lose weight.

10. Rosemary


Several studies have confirmed that rosemary has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic properties. [17] It’s a good source of calcium, iron, and vitamin B6.

Rosemary acts as a natural stimulant that helps blood flow to the brain. This way it improves the brain function of dogs and protects their brain from dementia. [18]

According to one study, dogs on a diet with rosemary are happier and healthier than dogs on regular food. They have significantly higher levels of serotonin and dopamine. [19]

This herb is particularly beneficial to older dogs as it may help slow down brain cancer. [20] However, some dogs can be allergic to rosemary, so check with your vet before feeding it to your dog.

11. Anise Seeds

anise seed

Anise seed is a powerhouse of several important minerals that has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which can prevent infections and help with anemia, respiratory and digestive issues. It can block the growth of several strains of bacteria and fungi too. [21, 22, 23]

If your dogs suffer from nausea and gas, you can add it to their daily diet to relieve digestion. One study showed that anise seed has strong antidepressant properties and can be used to ease the symptoms of depression in dogs.[24]

While there’s no doubt this spice is healthy for your pup, it’s crucial to avoid overfeeding and always consult your vet before feeding it to your canine.

Is Garlic Safe for Dogs? Myth Debunked

There’s a debate online about whether garlic is safe for dogs to consume. Some holistic veterinarians believe it is a natural antibiotic that can boost the immune system in dogs.[25]

But, according to studies, garlic powder is toxic for dogs and you should not feed it to your four-legged friends. Dogs should avoid onion powder, too. The traditional veterinary stance on the point is that garlic is not safe for dogs because it contains the compound thiosulfate, which causes oxidative damage to red blood cells, resulting in hemolytic anemia.[26]

Even small amounts can cause severe symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and even death. That’s why garlic is not on our list of safe spices for dogs.

Also, avoid black pepper.

Although black pepper isn’t toxic to dogs, most dogs don’t like foods with this spice.

Furthermore, your dog shouldn’t eat chocolate or any food item that has chocolate in it because chocolate is toxic to dogs.

Spices Good For Dogs – Bottom Line

So, if you want to add spices to dog food, or you want to give them some treats you can choose some of the above-mentioned seasons and herbs.

Dogs like spicy foods (that’s why there is a debate between dog breeders are dogs carnivores or omnivores).

On the other hand, avoid garlic, since it is toxic for dogs.

We gave you the answer to the question ‘what spices can dogs eat?’

Now, it’s your turn to moderately introduce some of these herbs to your canine friend’s diet and monitor the reactions.

Photo of author


Sal is the founder and editor of Dog Food Point and an avid dog lover who is passionate everything related to dogs. With over 20 years of experience as a passionate dog lover and expert in dog nutrition, Sal is committed to sharing valuable information and advice to promote happy, healthy dogs. When he is not playing with his pooch Tara, Sal spends most of his time reading, writing, and cooking for his dogs.