If you’ve scrolled through the dozens of homemade dog treat recipes on my blog then you’ll find a lot of biscuit type treats. When creating new treat recipes, my go-to flours are oat, coconut, and brown rice. I also like to include popular ingredients such as peanut butter, almond butter, coconut oil, bananas, berries, and certain veggies. One thing I just started adding into my dog-friendly kitchen, though, is fresh herbs and spices. Take these fresh breath dog biscuits, for example! So far, my dogs are loving the new paw-licking good flavors. Plus, they are getting an extra dose of healthy vitamins and minerals! So it’s a win for them and a win for me.
While you shouldn’t load your dog’s system with an overwhelming amount of herbs and spices, small amounts can be beneficial to their health. You can either add these 8 safe herbs and spices to your dog’s food or mix them into some homemade treats.
8 Herbs and Spices That Are Safe For Your Pup
Turmeric is a yellow spice that’s often used to flavor Indian cuisine. Along with its blasts of flavor, the powerful spice has been used for its medicinal purposes for centuries. Turmeric’s therapeutic benefits are believed to be a result of its bioactive ingredient curcumin (not to be confused with cumin). It was widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as well as Ayurvedic medicine. Today, pet nutritionists recommend you give it to your pooch! Similar to how it benefits humans, adding turmeric to your pet’s diet can help ward off cancer, fight inflammation, aid digestion, kill dangerous parasites, and boost mood.
When it comes to turmeric, a little goes a long way! For every 10 pounds, add just a 1/4 of a teaspoon.
2) Milk Thistle
Milk thirst is a natural herb that’s been used for over 2,000 years. While it’s extremely healthy for humans, it’s also known as a miracle herb for pets. Milk thistle has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. For that reason, it can help improve your pup’s digestive health.
This powerful herb is also commonly used to detoxify the body. Adding a small amount (just 1/4 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight) can help flush out harmful toxins from your pet’s body. In fact, veterinarians say it’s so powerful that if your pup consumes milk thistle after ingesting something poisonous it could help to clean their system. *Of course, if your dog does ingest something toxic, you should call your vet immediately!
The reason milk thistle is such a powerful detoxifying agent is because it contains a flavonoid called Silymarin. Keep in mind, when you are keeping your pets organs detoxed, you are helping to boost his/her immune system!
Milk thistle comes in powder, liquid, or capsule form so it’s extremely easy to add it to your pup’s diet.
Spirulina is a fresh water plant that’s getting a lot of attention from both human and animal health officials. The blue-green algae is extremely rich in protein, key vitamins, and minerals. Thanks to its powerful nutrients, spirulina can fight inflammation, ease digestive issues, reduce arthritis symptoms, improve mental function, enhance natural detoxification, and fight cancer (that’s just to name a few benefits).
Give your pooch 1/4 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight.
Ginger is another super spice that’s been used for its medicinal purposes for nearly 2,000 years. Just like with humans, this super spice can help soothe a dog’s upset stomach, relieve nausea, and ease motion sickness. If your dog suffers from car sickness and you are planning a road trip, give your dog a little ginger beforehand. Additionally, ginger has anti-cancer properties!
Talk to your vet about proper dosing.
While there is some controversy over cinnamon, the ASPCA has deemed it non-toxic for dogs. In fact, in small doses, cinnamon can improve brain function and boost energy. Additionally, cinnamon has natural antifungal properties.
Basil has antioxidant, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties that can benefit your pooch. Since it contains a high concentration of beta-caryophyllene, it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory. For that reason, basil is said to fight arthritis and inflammation in the bowels. Additionally, basil is known to fight stress and anxiety. So if you have an anxious dog, feeding him a treat that contains basil could be beneficial.
Does your dog have offensive breath? Then why not give your dog some mint?! I’ve included mint in my homemade fresh breath treats and my pups are addicted. Of course, I only give them a moderate amount. BUT mint in moderation is great for your pup’s breath and digestive health. Consuming a little mint could help settle your pooch’s upset stomach.
According to the Continental Kennel Club, wild mint, spearmint, and peppermint are all non-toxic to dogs. The only species that you must watch out for is English pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), warns The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Parsley is another fresh breath herb that can benefit your pooch when consumed in moderation. It’s considered safe in dried, fresh, or tea forms and has been known to fight inflammation, soothe stomach upset, fight arthritis, fight urinary tract infections, and aid detoxification.
*PLEASE NOTE: All dogs are different. What works for one dog may not work for another. Be aware that your dog may have an unexpected allergy to any food/herb/spice. If you notice your dog exhibiting signs of an allergic reaction, contact your vet immediately.