Can dogs eat cilantro? Health-conscious pet parents often take the time to look at pet food ingredients and human foods to establish what’s okay for their dog to eat. We encourage this as many common foods like onions and garlic is toxic to dogs.
Cilantro may not be a specific item to feed dogs, but it does appear in some raw gourmet foods. Good nutrition is vital to your dog’s health and well-being, so being aware of what you should feed your dog and what supplements or gut probiotics they should take is part of being a responsible pet parent.
Pet owners usually want to analyze common human foods and whether they can be fed to their furbabies. This article covers the benefits and occasional possible side effects of cilantro in dogs.
Is Cilantro Safe For Dogs?
Cilantro, in small amounts, is perfectly fine for dogs and poses no threat to their health but rather strengthens it. The herb comes packed with antioxidants, vitamins A & C, and helps settle digestive issues. But it should not be fed in excess!
Some dogs don’t mind a quick bite of this herb with its pungent, soapy-tasting flavor. The tangy citrus flavor and soapy taste due to natural aldehyde chemicals in the plant mean that dogs can eat cilantro, but not all dogs will.
For canines with sensitive bellies, a few cilantro leaves and more long-term supplements like probiotic chewable will improve digestive function. However, excessive quantities of cilantro will cause an upset stomach and digestive issues.
Cilantro comes from the coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum plant). People in the US call the plant’s leaves and stem cilantro and dried seeds coriander. In contrast, both leaves and stems are called coriander internationally.
Of the three cilantro parts, leaves, stems, and seeds, leaves are the best for dogs. They are highly digestible and give your dog all the desirable nutrients.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro seeds?
Dogs can safely eat cilantro seeds, also called coriander, and reap their benefits. Although not as nutrient-dense as fresh cilantro leaves, the dried seeds are still nutritionally beneficial. The seeds are sometimes grounded to make coriander spice, which can be too much for your pooch’s taste buds.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Stems?
Dogs can eat cilantro stems, but they can be a bit harder for a dog to digest than the leaves. Again, opt for cilantro leaves instead of stems, but if you choose to give your dog cilantro stems, ensure they’re finely diced. This prevents choking, particularly in smaller dogs who eat too quickly.
Benefits of Cilantro for Dogs
Cilantro is a highly nutritious, fiber-dense herb and a great addition to your dog’s diet as an occasional supplement. Recent studies have shown the benefits of herb-based products like cilantro and mint in managing conditions like osteoarthritis. However, keep in mind that mint is not necessarily good for dogs.
Cilantro has several health benefits for your dog, such as:
1. Cilantro is a great source of vital nutrients
Cilantro leaves are rich in vitamins, while the seeds have more minerals. However, cilantro is not nutrient-dense enough to be a staple source of vitamins and minerals for your dog. It’s only fine as small addition to a balanced diet.
Here are some nutrients in cilantro your dog can benefit from:
- vitamin K promotes skin and coat health
- Vitamin C supports the immune system
- Vitamin A in the herb is an excellent antioxidant and maintains good eyesight
- Calcium for stronger bones
- Magnesium and manganese
- Potassium for maintaining homeostatic function
- Folate to enhance normal metabolic functions
- Cilantro is also low in calories and makes for an excellent homemade treat for dogs, even those prone to obesity.
Due to the low glycemic index, cilantro is well known to lower blood sugar in humans, and the same can apply to dogs. For this reason, you must be cautious with cilantro in small dogs suffering from low blood sugar levels.
2. Cilantro may improve digestion in dogs
Cilantro may be beneficial for dogs with gastrointestinal issues due to sensitive stomachs. The high-fiber content in cilantro enhances healthy digestion, and the herb promotes the production of digestive enzymes. Other ways of stimulating healthy digestion include massaging your dog to poop.
The digestive support cilantro offers to dogs reduces symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and bloating. Adding a few fresh leaves can help a dog with signs of stomach discomfort, but it isn’t a solution. Be sure to speak to your vet if your dog has persistent tummy problems.
3. Cilantro is rich in antioxidants
Herbs, including cilantro, are promising in preventing diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and metabolic issues because they contain antioxidants. The potent antioxidant properties of cilantro eradicate free radicals in the body and give dogs a protective effect.
4. It helps promote dental health and fresh breath in dogs
Cilantro is a natural way to freshen your dog’s breath. While the herb isn’t a substitute for regular brushing, it gives your dog more oral protection without the hassle of regular brushes. However, remembering to keep a good canine-friendly mouthwash in their water is more effective than to serve cilantro
5. The herb helps in fighting off infections
Cilantro has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which can help your dog to fight off nasty fungal and bacterial infections and is perhaps one of the best health benefits. Since dogs ingest cilantro, these antibacterial qualities are most beneficial to fight bacteria in the digestive system.
Antibacterial qualities in home remedies are also why your dog can have coconut water in small amounts. Dogs ingest all kinds of bacteria-ridden items that need foods like cilantro to help combat the effects.
Risks of Cilantro for Dogs: is cilantro bad for dogs?
The nutritional benefits of cilantro in dogs are impressive, but excessive portions of the herb can be dangerous to dogs. Cilantro is not bad for dogs, but too much of it will cause your dog to experience gastrointestinal upset.
Risks of excessive cilantro consumption in dogs include:
- Diarrhea: This should settle down a few hours after removing the herb from your dog’s food
- Vomiting: Also a sign of an upset stomach
- Discomfort: Your dog will show signs of stomach pain or discomfort
- Reduced appetite due to stomach discomfort
- Cilantro allergies: While not an effect of eating excessive cilantro, it is always possible for a dog to have an allergic reaction when a dog eats cilantro. Be especially wary of serving up human dishes like lime-cilantro rice that may have several ingredients that your dog’s stomach may not be able to tolerate well.
How Much Cilantro Can a Dog Eat: How to Safely Give Your Dog Cilantro
The key with cilantro is to moderate the amounts to a few chopped leaves per serving. Since it’s human food, start off slowly when introducing the herb and gradually add amounts after monitoring your dog’s reaction.
Once you establish that your dog doesn’t have adverse reactions to the herb, you can chop a few cilantro leaves into dog food. You can also sprinkle no more than half a teaspoon of cilantro on your dog’s food.
Smaller dogs generally require this herb in smaller quantities. Discontinue this herb if you notice any irritation or reduced appetite in your dog. Dogs should get their nutrients from a quality diet, so herbs like cilantro are a cherry on top.
Can my dogs have cilantro oil?
Dogs should never eat any essential oils, as many are toxic to dogs. So we do not advise putting cilantro oil in your dog’s water. Scents that smell good to us also do not necessarily smell good to dogs.
Some suggest adding cilantro oil to coconut oil for a dog’s skin care. However, skincare usually starts with nutrition, health, and good grooming. So we recommend a good dog shampoo and conditioner instead of using homemade oils at home for your dog’s skin and coat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can dogs eat basil?
Dogs can eat basil in small amounts and benefit from the herb. Basil has anti-inflammatory qualities due to its high level of antioxidants, helping to prevent cellular damage and diseases like cancer. Give your dog no more than a teaspoon of basil per serving.
Can dogs eat onions?
Onions are toxic to dogs and should never be consumed. As a member of the allium family, onions and others like garlic, chives, and leeks will cause toxicosis in dogs. Whether cooked or uncooked, onions are poisonous to dogs. They contain a sulphuric toxin that causes red blood cell breakdown, resulting in anemia.
Can dogs eat lime?
Lime contains essential oils like linalool and limonene, which can be dangerous to dogs. A safer option for giving your dog lime is finding food infused with it, like lime rice. Dogs don’t like lime due to its tangy taste.
Can dogs eat coriander seeds?
Coriander seeds are also called cilantro seeds and are harmless to dogs. Coriander seeds are full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to a more robust immune system and overall health. Serve only small bits of coriander seeds daily to prevent stomach upset from excess consumption.
Cilantro is a great occasional supplement to a dog’s diet. The herb supplies canines with nutrients, improves digestion, freshens breath, and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Giving your dog too much cilantro can give them an upset stomach causing diarrhea and lack of appetite.
Tamsin De La HarpeAuthor
Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.
Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.