The Ultimate List of Herbs for Dogs

When it comes to chow time, there are a countless number of foods that are beneficial for your dog. But did you know there are dozens of safe, beneficial herbs for dogs as well?

Herbs not only add flavor to your dog’s food, they are also packed with crucial vitamins and minerals your dog needs.

Along with providing these nutrients, many of them are great natural remedies for common problems like worms, skin, and digestive issues. 

Today we will be covering 28 herbs that are beneficial to you and your dog. 

Herbs for Dogs Aloe

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species native to warmer climates. It is widely used as a remedy for sunburn.

But did you know Aloe Vera is edible for both humans and dogs? 

Aloe is full of important vitamins and minerals. But it’s the beneficial prostaglandins and polysaccharides that really make it a great choice for your dog.

For internal use, Aloe can help constipation, leaky gut, joint health, andurinary tract infections. It has also been shown to help with deworming and even diabetes! 

Topically, you can apply aloe twice daily to your dog’s irritated or injured skin. 

You can use fresh aloe plants you’ve grown at home or buy leaves from the grocery store (good for 3 days if refrigerated). If you use one of these, the aloe aloin latex is easy to see. 

Split open the leaf and carefully scoop out the gel. Avoid the yellow-orange sap found on the inside of the green leaf – this is the aloin latex that is toxic to your dog. 

If using it internally, add up to ¼ tsp per 10 lbs of weight daily to your dog’s food. This will help them maintain a healthy system and regulate bowel movements.

Alfalfa

Originally from the Middle East, Alfalfa has been a part of herbal medicine for over 1500 years! 

High in protein, this herb is loaded with Vitamins A, B12, C, D, E, and K. Alfalfa also contains a number of minerals including potassium, calcium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium. 

In addition to these benefits, it is also very high in the antioxidant chlorophyll, and serves as a diuretic and an anti-inflammatory.

Chinese medicine has used alfalfa as a treatment for digestive and kidney problems. In dogs, it is good for the kidneys and works as a mild diuretic. 

Alfalfa has an alkalizing effect that helps balance overly acidic urine, which can cause urinary issues in dogs.

It also has enzymes and trace minerals that are good for digestion and can help improve appetite and eliminate gas problems. 

Many holistic vets also recommended alfalfa supplements as a treatment for dry skin, since Alfalfa helps improve blood and circulation. 

Finally, as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, alfalfa is good for preventing cancer.

Since it is possible to overdo it, the best way to give your dog Alfalfa is in supplement form. Be sure to check with your vet for proper dosage for your dog. 

Herbs for Dogs Carob

Carob

Carob is made from the bean pods of the carob tree and gives dog’s some great health benefits!

This herb is high in vitamin B1,B2, A, calcium, niacin, magnesium, and iron. It is also a great source of fiber and pectin, helping to eliminate toxins. 

This super food improves digestion, lowers cholesterol, and can be used to treat diarrhea. It also allows for better absorption of calcium.

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are not actually seeds at all. They are in fact the dry fruit of the caraway plant. 

Caraway seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, soluble and insoluble dietary fibre. 

They are also particularly rich in iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium.

Since Caraway seeds are considered a warming herb, they are fantastic for your dog’s muscle health. They are also rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and help detoxify the body. 

Herbs for Dogs Catnip

Catnip

I bed you never thought Catnip would make it to the list of best herbs for dogs. But here it is!

Most people know Catnip as the herb that cats go crazy over. However, Catnip is good for dogs too! This herb contains large amounts of Vitamin C & E, Magnesium, and flavonoids. 

For dogs, catnip acts as a mild sedative, so it’s great for anxiety issues and sleep disorders. Interestingly, catnip is also great at preventing bites from fleas and mosquitos. 

Just a half-teaspoon of catnip on your dog’s food is enough for them to benefit from. Alternatively, you can add a few fresh catnip leaves directly to their drinking water.

Cayenne Pepper

Many think that cayenne peppers, aka chili peppers, are harmful to dogs because of the variety of dog repellent sprays that use it. However, cayenne pepper has several benefits for dogs. 

Cayenne is rich in vitamins A and C. It also supplies micronutrients, flavonoids, copper, iron, potassium, and a host of other B vitamins including B2, B3, and B6.

Topically, Cayenne increases circulation to the skin, nerves, and joints. It improves the body’s capability to absorb nutrients, prevent inflammation, fight infection, and reduce pain wherever it’s applied.

In emergencies, it can serve as effective first aid for dogs and cats with scrapes, mouth lacerations, bites, cuts, bleeding nails, and can even stop bleeding on contact!

In small oral doses, Cayenne will speed up circulatory and digestive reactions. 

Like Caraway seeds, it is also a warming herb that will warm your dog’s cold paws and improve vein health. 

Herbs for Dogs Chamomile

Chamomile

Derived from the dried flower of the Maricaria species, Chamomile is a member of the daisy family. It is known as one of the most used herbal medicines in human history. 

For dogs, there is evidence that chamomile may help treat anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, and skin conditions. 

You can even use chamomile as an eye compress to help eye infections and irritations for your pup! For this reason alone Chamomile is one of the best herbs for dogs!

Chia Seeds

These small seeds really pack a punch when it comes to health benefits. Chia seeds have calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, vitamins B12 and B3, and potassium. 

They offer more potassium than bananas, more iron than spinach, more antioxidants than blueberries, and more calcium than milk!

In addition, Chia seeds have three times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as salmon!

Because of their ability to hold water, these seeds can also help with hydration. With additional benefits like fiber and blood sugar control, how could you not put these in your dog’s food?

For dosage, use approximately 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight.

Herbs for Dogs Cilantro

Cilantro

Does your dog have an upset stomach or digestive issues? Consider adding cilantro to their diet. 

Cilantro contains vitamin A, C, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals that are good for your dog.

In dogs, cilantro has also shown that it can detox your dog of heavy metals, like mercury. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces heart disease risk factors dramatically. 

To serve, you can combine half a teaspoon of grounded dried cilantro with hydrated dog food before serving a meal.

Cinnamon

Did you know that 54% of dogs in America are obease? Also in the last decade, there has been a 79% increase in diabetes in dogs. That’s shocking!

Luckily, cinnamon is one of the herbs for dogs that may help with these problems.

There are two types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon and Chinese cinnamon. 

The safe cinnamon choice for your dog is Ceylon cinnamon because it has low levels of coumarin. 

Coumarin is a natural, organic compound that is found in lots of plants. This can cause issues for your dog if too much is ingested. 

Ceylon cinnamon has been shown to help dogs maintain a healthy weight by controlling blood sugar levels. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help older dogs with arthritis pain. 

Keep note that it is possible for your dog to have too much cinnamon. Do not give cinnamon to pregnant dogs and don’t give your dogs cinnamon sticks to chew on for fun as this can be too much for them! 

It’s recommended by many to mix a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in 1 tbsp of honey for a medium-sized dog. Dogs under 10 lbs should get no more than ⅛ tsp per day. 

Herbs for Dogs Dandelion

Dandelion

Have you ever caught your dog eating weeds in the backyard? There’s a good reason for it!

Dandelion moved to weed status with the pharmaceutical industry’s rise in popularity and profit. Before that, it was used in many cultures as a powerful form of nutrition (for humans and dogs). 

As long as your lawn isn’t sprayed with chemicals, feel free to pick some dandelions for your dog. They can eat every part, from the flower to the roots. It’s bright yellow flowers contain Lecithin, Antioxidants, and High levels of polyphenols. 

Dandelion leaves are rich in Vitamins A, C, K, D and B complex, Zinc, iron, calcium, manganese, Protein, Phosphorus, and Potassium. 

Like many of the herbs above, dandelion is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and digestive aid. It is also a powerful liver tonic and diuretic, getting rid of toxic fluids stuck in your dog’s body. 

Because of these reasons, Dandelions are some of the best herbs for dogs.

Decaffeinated Green Tea

I like to drink a cup of green tea each morning to start my day. But did you know dogs can benefit from green tea as well?

Green tea contains antioxidants, aids in digestive health, and promotes fresher breath. 

Green tea can also help reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure. Many dog food brands contain green tea for these reasons!

It’s important to note that most green teas contain caffeine, which is highly toxic for dogs. So make sure to look for decaffeinated green tea before giving it to your pup.

Herbs for Dogs Dill

Dill

Fresh dill is a great fresh herb for both humans and dogs. 

Dill is rich in antioxidants, has cancer and heart disease prevention properties, and reduces cholesterol. 

Dill is considered a great digestive aid for dogs, helping to improve the function of their digestive system and reduce the effects of gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. 

So if your dog suffers from chronic digestive issues, dill could serve as a great supplement to their diet (and yours!)

Dill has also been known to help treat chronic conditions in the kidneys and bladder, as well as helping reduce toxins in your dog’s pancreas and liver. 

Since dill is non toxic to dogs, feel free to sprinkle some on their food each day. They usually love the taste!

Echinacea

When I originally bought these flowers at home depot to brighten up my yard, I had no idea they could be used as medicine! 

Echinacea, also known as purple coneflower (there are multiple colors, but use the purple one for supplements), is primarily used for immune system support, as an anti-inflammatory, or to shorten the duration of upper respiratory conditions.

This plant has also shown to help kennel cough and UTI’s in dogs. 

Echinacea comes in several medicinal forms, including pills, powder, and liquid. 

Dosage depends on the needs and size of the dog, but a  rule of thumb is .45mg/lb (powder form) body weight sprinkled on their food once a day.

Herbs for Dogs Fennel

Fennel

Does your dog have bad breath and stomach problems? Consider giving them some fennel. 

Fennel is packed with antioxidants, iron, vitamins A & C, and potassium. It’s also great for arthritis relief, bad breath, stomach bloating, gas, and digestion issues. 

Not only is fennel non toxic to dogs, the high level of antioxidants in fennel has been found to help fight cancer cells and helps maintain the health of the entire cardiovascular system!

Because of these reasons, Fennel is one of the best herbs for dogs.

Fresh fennel can be found in the vegetable section of your local supermarket. You can also buy the dried seeds in the herbs and spices section. 

Use the seeds to make a tea for your pup by adding one teaspoon of either to 8 ounces of boiling water. Leave the mixture to steep, then strain. 

You can give your dog two to four teaspoons of the mixture in their water bowl.

Flaxseed

Flaxseeds, derived from the flax plant, are small, nutty-flavored seeds that offer a lot of health benefits for both humans and dogs alike.

Flaxseeds are loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, and protein which are needed for your dog’s optimal health.

Like many other herbs for dogs on this list, flaxseeds are high in antioxidants, antiaging and cancer fighting properties, and can help ease arthritis pain. 

For a small dog, ⅛ tsp is a good place to start. For a medium or large dog, try 1 ½ tsp daily until they get used to the extra fiber.  

Herbs for Dogs Ginger

Ginger

Ginger is one of my favorite herbs because it helps with nausea in humans. But did you know it’s great for dogs as well?

If your dog suffers from motion sickness in the car, you can give them ginger 30 mins prior to leaving to minimize nausea. 

Ginger also has antioxidant, antiaging, and anticancer properties. 

You can add fresh ginger to your dog’s food, make ginger treats, and even make ginger infused water to give to your dog. 

Dogs usually like this taste, so you don’t have to worry about hiding it!

Lavender

Lavender is a special case on the list of herbs for dogs.

It contains a small amount of linalool, which is toxic to dogs and cats. For this reason lavender should not be ingested by your dog. 

However, lavender oil can be particularly helpful for your dog’s depression, anxiety, or stress. 

If your dog is afraid of fireworks and thunderstorms, or they’re constantly hyperactive, they may benefit from the calming effects of lavender oil. 

In addition, lavender oil is useful for soothing skin allergies, burns, and wounds. It is also a great insect repellent for your dog, and makes them smell wonderful too!

Diluting the essential oil is super important when using lavender with dogs. This article from Sonoma’s Lavender Co. has a dog friendly guide to lavender dosage and applications.  

Herbs for Dogs Licorice Root

Licorice Root

No. Not Twizzlers! 

Licorice root is a legume and part of the pea family. It is primarily used for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-arthritic properties. 

This non-toxic herb has been used for centuries to treat a wide array of conditions in humans and dogs.

Studies have shown that licorice root is a fast-acting, highly effective anti-inflammatory agent in dogs which does not compromise the immune system in any way. 

It’s also a great remedy for digestive problems, eczema, liver toxicity, and UTI’s. 

Since licorice is naturally sweet, dogs usually have no problem with the taste. 

Milk Thistle

There are toxins all around us. 

Between the air, water, and soil quality, there’s thousands of toxins that you and your dog absorb each day. 

More than ever your liver is taxed with detoxing the body, and it’s not hard for it to become overwhelmed. 

Not only does the liver filter harmful toxins and bacteria out of your dog’s blood, it supports the breakdown, distribution, and absorption of nutrients, and stores and releases blood sugar to provide energy to the body. 

That’s a lot of work for just one organ! 

This is where Milk Thistle comes in.

The active compound in milk thistle, Silymarin, works to detoxify the liver by flushing out built-up in the liver that contributes to inflammation, poor cell cycle, and reduced liver function.

Along with other numerous benefits, milk thistle helps to remove histamine that has built up from previous immune system responses, which can cause overreactions and can worsen allergy symptoms. 

Because of these reasons, Milk Thistle is one of the best herbs for dogs.

Herbs are really a magical thing!

Herbs for Dogs Oregano

Oregano

I noticed one day that Archie was nibbling on my oregano plant. I kicked him out of the garden that day. 

But that was before I knew that oregano is non toxic for dogs. 

Oregano is high in antioxidants and rich in fiber. Teas made from oregano can also soothe sore muscles and relieve upset stomachs.

In addition, oil of oregano contains powerful antifungal properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria (dilute, dilute, dilute!) and can be used to clean wounds.

Parsley 

Another great spice on the list of herbs for dogs is parsley. 

Parsley is a super-herb packed with Vitamin A, C, and K. 

Parsley is actually one of the best natural sources of Vitamin K you can give to your pet!

Many dog treats are made with parsley, which acts as a natural breath freshener. 

Simply sprinkle some on your dog’s food or bake it into treats!

While the curly-leafed variety of parsley is good for your pet, the ASPCA considers ‘Spring Parsley’ to be toxic in large amounts. So make sure you get the right one for your dog. 

Herbs for Dogs Peppermint

Peppermint

Many people think peppermint is toxic for dogs. But they often confuse peppermint the herb with peppermint candy. 

You should never give your dog peppermint candy, or any candy for that matter!

But the truth is that peppermint can help dogs with an upset stomach and motion sickness. It can also help to soothe the stomach lining and stimulate a dog’s appetite. 

In addition, pet owners should also be aware that the common mint plant, known as Penny Royal, is toxic to dogs. So be sure to buy your peppermint herb from the store to be safe!

Pumpkin Seeds 

It’s well known that dogs love pumpkin. I use pumpkin all the time for my homemade dog treats. 

But did you know they can eat the seeds too?

One of the unique benefits of pumpkin seeds is that they act as a natural dewormer to get rid of tapeworms and other intestinal parasites. 

Another benefit that’s special to pumpkin seeds is they help dislodge kidney stones and prevent them from reforming!

For my dogs, I like to blend up the seeds in a powder and sprinkle a small spoonful on their food each morning. 

Herbs for Dogs Rosemary

Rosemary

Another herb I’ve found my dogs munching on in the garden is Rosemary. 

Rosemary can help your dog’s digestive issues and has major antimicrobial properties. It’s also great as a natural mosquito repellent. 

Dogs can eat rosemary as an ingredient in homemade treats, sprinkled on top of their dog food, or fresh from the garden!

Spirulina

Spirulina is a natural algae that is widely used as a superfood supplement in humans. But have you heard of using spirulina for your dog?

This amazing algae can strengthen your dog’s immune system, cleanse the body of toxins, improve digestion, and help your dog’s coat stay healthy and shiny. 

Spirulina is packed full of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, B and E, and is incredibly nutrient dense, containing over 50% protein. 

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why Spirulina makes the list of beneficial herbs for dogs!

Spirulina is also made up of amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Dosage wise, it’s recommended that you start with 1/8 tsp per day for every ten pounds of canine body weight.

Herbs for Dogs Thyme

Thyme

Thyme is an herb that’s in the same family as Rosemary, and provides many of the same benefits and nutrients.

This herb contains calcium, iron, and manganese, which have notable benefits in dog’s bodies such as promoting strong bones, teeth and producing energy.

In addition, Thymol is a unique compound found in thyme that is a powerful oral antiseptic. It can help fight gingivitis and bad breath in your pet.

You can get your dog to eat this beneficial herb by grinding it up and spreading a teaspoon over its food every few days.

Turmeric

The last on the list of herbs for dogs is Turmeric. 

Turmeric is in the same family as Ginger, and its active ingredient curcumin is what provides you and your dog numerous benefits. 

This powerful herb helps maintain healthy cartilage and connective tissue, as well as relieve occasional joint stiffness. 

It also helps maintain a normal, healthy inflammatory response and fight free radicals. 

The best way to give your dog Turmeric is in capsules specifically made for dogs. Ask your vet for the proper dosage for your dog. 

Conclusion

Many people don’t know how beneficial herbs can be for their dog. 

Just a few short months ago I didn’t know dogs could eat herbs at all! 

Herbs can provide your dog with essential vitamins and minerals, and can be an inexpensive alternative for minor health problems like skin and digestive issues. 

What other natural remedies do you use for your dog’s health? Let me know in the comments!

Want more great articles on dog health? Check out my article on What to Do if Your Dog Gets Frostbite This Winter.

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