Just a sprinkling of herbs in your dog’s food can make your dog more healthy.
“Culinary herbs from your garden, like basil and oregano, add much more than flavor to your dog’s and your food. Carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even fiber and protein contribute valuable nutritional components to balance the diet,” said Joanne Keenan in “Garden Herbs For Dogs” in Dogs Naturally.
There are a lot of herbs that are safe for dogs and can even heal or prevent illnesses, said wagwalking.com in “The Very Best Herbs For Dogs.”
“When you think of fresh garden herbs, dogs are probably not the first thing that pops into your mind. But with all of the fantastic goodness that most herbs are full of, maybe it's time to start seasoning your pooch's dinner dish,” wagwalking.com added.
Below are the most beneficial herbs for your four-legged friend and why from wagwalking.com.
Parsley is a vitamin packer. It contains vitamins A, C, and K.
Vitamin K is “especially associated with improving the health of blood, making this herb well suited for anemic fur-buddies,” wagwalking.com said.
“What's more, recent studies have found that parsley has cancer-preventing properties that can actually shrink tumors!” it added.
Moreover, parsley makes your dog’s breath smell fresh after eating this herb.
Also a super popular herb for dogs is oregano.
This herb is also packed with vitamins A, C, and K.
Oregano does the following:
1. Gives your dog the antioxidants it needs.
2. Helps dogs whose muscles and joints get sore from exercise or old age.
3. Decreases the risk of bacterial infection.
“It's nature's detox herb, and works well as a treatment or a daily tonic, “ wagwalking.com said.
Keenan shared that “Oregano has been found to aid in the treatment of upper respiratory disease, arthritis, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, while also providing immune system support.”
“Plus, with all green herbs come the wondrous benefits of chlorophyll which can help control body odor, alleviate constipation and gas, is valuable as an antioxidant and promotes cleansing of toxins on the inside and cleansing of wounds on the outside,” Keenan added.
“This herb smells and tastes delicious. That being said, it's health benefits far surpass its yumminess,” wagwalking.com said.
“It's got the most vitamins of any herb on this list, including A, B6, C, E, and K! Basil is absolutely loaded with potassium and gram for gram has far more calcium than dairy products,” wagwalking.com said.
“It definitely raises the ante, seeing as it contains antioxidants, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. You can rest assured that your dog won't be lacking anything if he's getting regular doses of this potent plant,”wagwalking.com added.
Keenan said Dr. Randy Kidd (DVM, PhD) chose basil for dogs due to its nutritional value.
“A tablespoon of basil leaves can contain 47 mg of calcium, 1.89 mg of iron, 55 mg of potassium, and 15 mg of manganese. Two teaspoons of dried basil contains almost the same amount of calcium as a glass of milk,” Kidd said.
Turmeric may not be green and leafy but it is a herb that should not be overlooked as it is a very healthy herb, wagwalking.com said.
“It has some serious promise when it comes to treating cancer, which is definitely nothing to scoff at. Turmeric soothes and protects the digestive organs and is chock full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Whether your dog has already been diagnosed with cancer or you'd just like to prevent the disease, do not underestimate the power of this bright yellow herb,” wagwalking.com.
Fresh herbs and dried spices
These spices will indeed spice up your dog’s food with its health benefits, wagwalking.com said.
On the amount one can give to a dog, wagwalking.com said a small pinch is enough for a small dog.
“The amount gently increases with your dog's weight, with mid-sized mutts needing about a teaspoon of herbs per meal all the way up to a tablespoon for giant breeds, “ wagwalking.com said.
Keenan gave this guide when using dry basil or oregano:
1. a pinch for toy dogs under 10 pounds
2. a bigger pinch for small dogs under 20 pounds
3. two pinches to a teaspoon for dogs under 50 pounds
4. two pinches to two teaspoons for large dogs under 100 pounds
5. up to a tablespoon for giant dogs over 100 pounds
“Double or triple these amounts if you’re using fresh herbs, keeping in mind that they have strong flavours,” Keenan said.
As always, introduce the new herb slowly to your dog.
Keenan suggested that fresh herbs be harvested right before use, preferably in the morning.
“When using fresh herbs, use about three times as much as you would for dried. Either way, organically grown is always preferred,” Keenan said.
“Culinary herbs help maintain dogs at a healthy performance level with just a sprinkling on their food,” Keenan said.
She added: “Try adding one herb at a time over the course of a week to ensure it agrees with your dog’s system. A rotation of several herbs will keep the menu interesting.”
Introduce new food or herbs slowly to your dog, and go to the vet immediately if you notice any strange reaction. DC
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