Parsley is a popular herb because it lends a subtle flavor to soup and salads and serves as a garnish on many dishes. There are different varieties of parsley, and you may be wondering which one can you safely give to your dog.
Parsley is derived from a Greek word that means “rock celery” because it prefers to grow in rocky areas. It has been cultivated for over 2,000 years and was made popular by a Roman emperor because he grew it on his property. This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of feeding your dog parsley, so you can decide if it is something that you want to do.
Can Dogs Eat Parsley?
Yes, dogs can eat parsley in small amounts, but it has to be Petroselinum cripsum, or curly parsley. Spring parsley (Cymopterus watsonii) is toxic to dogs due to its high levels of furanocoumarin, which can cause sensitivity to light and possibly lead to blindness.
Keep in mind that all parsley contains furanocoumarin, which is why you want to feed it in small amounts. Some studies suggest that leafy vegetables, including parsley, can be part of a healthy diet and may prevent certain cancers in dogs. There is not much detail provided about how much parsley would be needed to show any benefit, however. Just know that parsley provides health benefits when used correctly.
When Is Parsley Bad for Dogs?
As mentioned previously, parsley is not ideal in large amounts because it can cause dermatitis or other skin allergies. The seeds are especially toxic and shouldn’t be given to your dog.
In humans, parsley has been used to end a pregnancy, so you should not give it to pregnant dogs because it can cause muscle contractions. Also, dogs with kidney issues shouldn’t eat parsley because it is high in oxalates, which may increase the chance of developing kidney stones.
When Is Parsley Good for Dogs?
Parsley has antimicrobial properties, so it is great for freshening your dog’s breath. You will find that it is a common ingredient in dog treats that help control tartar and bad breath. It is also added to some commercial dog foods for flavor and its nutritional value.
If you have a dog who suffers from frequent upset stomachs, parsley can help soothe indigestion. There is evidence that parsley can help treat urinary tract infections because of its ability to fight the bacteria and flush it from the system, since it is also a diuretic. In other words, it can increase the amount of urine that is expelled from the body.
Another advantage to parsley is that it is full of vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin K. This vitamin helps destroy the inflammatory cells that affect the ability of the blood to clot. This is good to prevent excessive bleeding.
Other nutrients present are vitamin C, which is great for immune and heart health, and vitamin A, which is essential for eyes and skin.
Puppies and Parsley
Puppies can reap the benefits from parsley, but the same precautions apply. You only want to give it in moderate amounts, and if you speak with your veterinarian, they can offer further guidance about the appropriate dosage for puppies.
One person on cleverpuppytraining.com claims that it helped her dog overcome depression and be more lively and increase his overall health by using a parsley treatment recommended by their veterinarian. The difficult part is knowing if it is appropriate for your dog and what amounts to feed so that it doesn’t become a toxic supplement.
How to Feed Parsley to Your Dog
Parsley can be prepared in many ways because it is great fresh or added to cooked dishes. It will depend on the reason for using the parsley in the first place. If you want to freshen your dog’s breath, you can juice or blend it and add directly to your dog’s water dish.
You can chop it up and sprinkle it on top of your dog’s food. If you feed them dry food, you may want to spritz it with water so the parsley sticks to the kibble. If you don’t have a picky dog, you can mash the garlic to release its juices and feed it directly to your canine friend. However, many dogs may not like this method and find it too overpowering.
You can also look for commercial treats and food that contain parsley — or better yet, make your own dog treats that include this herb. This recipe from hermodernkitchen.com shows you how to make a yummy treat that freshens the breath while providing other health benefits.
Parsley offers many health benefits such as strengthening the immune system and protecting the eyes, and it has been used for centuries to flavor food and provide treatment for some illnesses. You can feed parsley to your dog at all life stages, though it would be wise to consult your veterinarian if your dog has health issues or to help you figure out proper dosages to prevent toxicity.
You can even find parsley included in commercial dog treats and food, and it’s a great way to freshen your dog’s breath by adding a little to their water dish. It can be a safe supplement as long as you know the advantages and disadvantages of this herb.
Featured image credit: neelam279, Pixabay
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.