As pet owners, one of the things we want to do is make sure that we are giving our pet items that are safe for them. If you like to do a lot of cooking with fresh herbs, you might wonder if cilantro is safe for your furry four-legged friend. We have good news for you — cilantro is fine to give your dog, and it even can be good for them! Just make sure that you don’t give them too much.
First, let’s look at some health benefits that cilantro can offer to your dog.
It Helps Fight Infections
There are studies that show that cilantro has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This means that it can help your dog fight off infections, particularly in their digestive system.
It Improves Your Dog’s Breath
Cilantro can help to naturally clean your dog’s mouth by freshening their breath and preventing gum infections. This can be very useful if you have a dog who hates having their teeth brushed or if you’re looking for a natural way to improve their breath.
It’s a Healthy Plant
The leaves of the cilantro plant are full of vitamin A, C, and K, and contain potassium, manganese, and iron. It also doesn’t contain many calories and is cholesterol-free.
It’s a Great Antioxidant Source
Cilantro contains many potent antioxidants. These will help with defending your dog’s cells from the damage that free radicals can cause. These molecules are potentially harmful, and the antioxidants might also help with preventing certain cancers and diseases.
It Helps with Maintain Healthy Vision & Skin
Since cilantro has a lot of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant, it also can help your pet maintain good vision and healthy skin.
It’s a Great Source of Vitamin K
This vitamin’s essential for clotting your dog’s blood. Cilantro is full of it, and thus can help prevent excessive bleeding if he cuts himself or your dog has surgery. It also helps to maintain healthy, strong bones.
It Helps with Digestion
For years, cilantro has been used to help settle upset stomachs and other kinds of digestive problems in humans. It also can be given to dogs who have digestive systems that are on the sensitive side, those who suffer from an upset stomach, or those who have a lot of issues with gas. If any of these sound like your dog, try adding a bit of cilantro to their food.
It Helps with Toxic Metals
Cilantro has been used for years to get rid of the toxic metals in human bodies, and it can help dogs in the same way. The herb has compounds that bind to the toxic metals in the tissues in the dog’s body, then help with loosening and excreting them.
How Much Should You Give Your Dog?
Even though there are some great health benefits to cilantro, you want to make sure that you shouldn’t give it to your dog as their primary nutrient source.
It’s not recommended that you shift the diet of your dog suddenly so that it’s full of cilantro. Veterinarians always recommend providing a healthy, normal diet for your dog. This means that even something like cilantro, which is thought to be a superfood, can’t replace everything that they get from their normal food.
That being said, how much is recommended to give to your dog? Generally, you should introduce cilantro to your dog slowly. When you first start out, the amount they get should be about a pinch mixed into their food. This will help in discovering if they have an allergy.
As time goes by, you can increase this amount, but you shouldn’t give your dog more than one teaspoon. Too much could cause gas, upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting.
You also should consider the size of your dog. Smaller dogs will need smaller amounts of cilantro.
How You Can Serve Your Dog Cilantro
One of the biggest things to remember is that you should introduce it cilantro gradually into your dog’s diet.
Below are three ways you can serve it to your dog:
- Mix some dried cilantro (around half a teaspoon) into your dog’s wet food.
- If you’re able to get it in oil extract or liquid form, add a drop of it to their water bowl.
- Serve your dog something that you have cooked to eat yourself, such as rice with lime and cilantro. However, first check that all the ingredients are safe for your pup. Then make sure to limit the cilantro portion your dog receives.
As we have just discovered, there are a lot of great benefits to giving our dogs cilantro. But remember to do so in moderation. If this is their first experience with cilantro, go slowly with it. You shouldn’t make a huge change to their diet or routine. Simply add a little bit of it into your dog’s food or a drop into their water. That’s all.
One last thing to remember. Before you make any decisions, make sure you’re speaking with your dog’s veterinarian, especially if your dog has health issues. If they are on medications or have a health condition, even a little bit of cilantro might aggravate their problems. When it comes to the life of your dog, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Featured image credit: restyledliving, Pixabay
- It Helps Fight Infections
- It Improves Your Dog’s Breath
- It’s a Healthy Plant
- It’s a Great Antioxidant Source
- It Helps with Maintain Healthy Vision & Skin
- It’s a Great Source of Vitamin K
- It Helps with Digestion
- It Helps with Toxic Metals
- How Much Should You Give Your Dog?
- How You Can Serve Your Dog Cilantro