Herbs and spices for dogs

Just like for us humans, herbs can add a healthy dimension to our dog’s meals. Herbs and spices are most easily digestible for our canine friends when chopped very finely or in the case of dried herbs, ground down to a powder.

Basil: Lovely leafy herb to add to your dog’s protein based diet. Basil has antiviral, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Basil can help reduces the effects of arthritis and may help with inflammatory bowel disease and to repel insects.

Cinnamon: can help to improve brain function, helps regulate blood sugar levels, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, can help to lower blood pressure and boost energy. The lighter coloured Ceylon cinnamon is the best to use for dogs.

Coriander: dental health, bacteria growth inhibitor

Dandelion: Helps the liver, rich in potassium.

Garlic: There has been confusion over use of garlic for dogs, mainly because garlic is of the Onion family and onion is definitely no good for dogs (see notes on Foods to NEVER feed your Dog in FAQ section of this website) but used in small amounts is both safe and beneficial.  Use only a fresh bulb, finely chopped. About a ¼ of a teaspoon once or twice a week for a 20kg dog is enough. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and anti-oxidant and helps boost immunity. It aids digestion and contains vitamins A, B complex and C, proteins, trace minerals. There is evidence that adding small amounts of garlic to a dog’s diet can assist with flea control.

Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant. Aids digestion and blood circulation. Can help with travel sickness.

Mint: can help freshen dog’s breath.

Milk Thistle: supports healthy liver function and can aid dogs with pancreatitis (always check with your vet first)

Nettle: very nutritious, good for allergies. You can prepare a nettle rinse for mild skin irritations.

Oregano: Can help with the inflammation associated with arthritis. Rich in antioxidants, oregano can be helpful when detoxing from a highly processed diet. Helps keep the coat and skin healthy.

Parsley: The flat leaf variety is our favourite but curly is fine too. Fresh is best but dried or frozen chopped parsley as a back-up is good too. You can use all parts of the parsley including the stalks, just make sure it is finely chopped for maximum bio-availability.  Parsley is antibacterial, anti-oxidant, helps to detox, high in fibre and protein. It contains a myriad of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Parsley helps fight bad breath and aids digestion. It may help with UTI’s and possibly incontinence. You only need to add small amounts of parsley to your dog’s meals. Very large amounts of parsley daily could become toxic to your dog.

Peppermint: great for digestion

Rocket: We prefer to use a few stalks of wild rocket over the little leaves that we humans tend to use for salads and garnish. The wild stuff is more nutrient dense but with this comes a bitter taste so use sparingly in your dog’s dinner.

Rosemary: High in anti-oxidants. Good for heart function and nervous system. May be helpful to anxious dogs.

Sage: Good for digestion and may help ease bloating and gas. Is used by herbalists to help support blood sugar regulation. Good for cognitive function and may reduce anxiety.

Thyme: A good digestive aid and has anti-bacterial properties. Good for skin, supports gastrointestinal health and brain function.

Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory properties. A powerful antioxidant. Supports the liver and can help fight cancer.

IMPORTANT WARNING: Certain herbs and spices may interfere with western medications so if your dog is on any permanent medication, please check with your vet before adding herbs to your dog’s natural diet.

The variety and small amounts we use at GPFK are safe and beneficial for healthy dogs.