4 min read


Can Dogs Taste Herbal Food?



4 min read


Can Dogs Taste Herbal Food?


Herbs are an essential part of our diets because they add tons of flavor and nutrients to just about any dish. From basil to parsley to cilantro, herbs come in so many different flavor profiles. Different herbs have different nutritional benefits, vitamins, and minerals, so adding a variety of herbs to you and your dog's diet is beneficial for overall health.

Can dogs have all types of herbs? Are there some herbs and herbal foods that dogs need to avoid? In this article, we will take a look at the safe and not so safe herbs for your dog!


Signs of a Dog Liking Herbs and Herbal Food

Dogs can eat many varieties of herbs that are non-toxic and perfectly safe for your dog to have. If your dog likes any of the herbs safe for dogs, like oregano or rosemary, you will be able to tell your dog likes these herbs because they will eat them without any hesitation and come back begging for more every time!

If they eat the herbs you give them, your dog will likely bark or whine for more, drool a lot at the food, paw at your leg or arm, or stare at you with eager eyes to show they are waiting for you to give them another bite. Depending on your dog, they may pace around in front of you and the food and jump up at you, or if you have a calmer and more reserved dog, they may just sit in front of you, patiently waiting for more. 

On the other hand, you might find your dog isn't a fan of any herbs or herbal food, and that is completely normal! If your dog does not like herbs, they may try to take the herb from you and attempt to eat it, but then spit it out because they don't like the flavor. Some dogs may snarl, growl, or expose their teeth to the herbs or herbal food to show they do not approve of it. 

Body Language

Here are some other signs you might notice if your dog likes herbs and herbal food:

  • Staring
  • Alert
  • Wag Tail
  • Pacing
  • Lip Licking
  • Drooling
  • Stalking
  • Ears Up

Other Signs

These are some more signs you may notice if your dog likes herbs and herbal food:

  • Pawing At Your Leg Or Your Arm For More
  • Eating All Of The Herbs
  • Begging For More Herbs
  • Pacing Around You And The Herbs

History of Dogs and Herbs


Herbs and herbal foods have been in existence and used by humans since prehistoric times. In fact, carvings in France show drawings of herbs on cave wall all the way back to 13,000 to 25,000 about a long time ago! 

Although herbs were eaten many years ago, they were often used as medicine and with holistic and natural intentions, as well. The Greeks and Romans used dill to make crowns for royalty and the Romans found they could cleanse and purify the air with dill as well. 

Once 65 AD rolled around, a book was written by Pedanius Dioscorides, who was an ancient Greek doctor, that outlined all of the ways herbs could be used for the human body and how to treat different illnesses. Many holistic doctors and individuals use this book as a point of reference today. 

It is very possible the illnesses in dogs and other animals may have been treated with herbs. Herbs were found in abundance and were the main source of medication for humans. Therefore, it is likely herbs were the only source of medication for sick animals and dogs. Today, many holistic vets use herbs and herbal supplements to treat a variety of conditions in dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals. 

Science Behind Dogs and Herbs


With all of this talk about using herbs as medicine, how well do herbs work to treat certain illnesses? What illnesses can they actually treat? Herbs are made up of many organic compounds that each hold a special ability to heal the body or specific ailment that humans and animals may face during their lifetime. 

Herbs generally loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties. 

These special compounds can treat different illnesses, aches, and pains. For instance, the peppermint leaf is often used to cure upset stomach and nausea while oregano can help prevent infections in wounds from forming because it is antimicrobial and antibacterial. 

Training Dogs to Like Herbs and Herbal Food


Oregano is a safe herb to feed your dog and it comes with heaps of health benefits. Oregano is not just a perfect pizza topping, but it can also help to heal your dog's body. This herb has tons of antioxidants and powerful flavonoids. It can help treat your dog's upset tummy, gas, and diarrhea. Oregano is also antifungal, which can treat many different fungal infections in dogs. 

Rosemary is another safe and awesome herb for your pup. Rosemary is earthy and woodsy and has high levels of iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. Just like oregano, rosemary has tons of antioxidants, which are great for clearing your dog's body from free-radicals. 

Peppermint may be one of the herbs or essential oils to keep in the house for your furry friend. Peppermint will soothe and correct just about any stomach issue including nausea, bloating, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, and motion sickness. If your dog gets car sick, peppermint is a great and natural way to combat this issue. 

Easily one of the most popular herbs for eating and cooking with is basil. Basily is earthy and slightly licoricey and has antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. It is also high in antioxidants. This can help cure and treat many different viruses, fungal infections, and much more. 

Parsley is another dog-friendly and beneficial herb. This herb can be used for treating an upset stomach, but is also used for freshening the icky dog breath! 

The best way to add herbs to your dog's diet it to sprinkle finely chopped herbs into their meals during meal time. This is much easier and more efficient than trying to hand feed your dog the herbs. They are more likely to eat it with their kibble, soft food, or raw food than on its own. You can also add chopped herbs into just about any kind of homemade dog treat for an added nutritional boost. 

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Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Herbs and Herbal Food:

  1. Only use herbs that your vet has given you the "okay" to try on your dog.

Written by a Samoyed lover Kayla Costanzo

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/11/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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