Spices

Good Spices

Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng) is safe for your dog’s diet. This herb is known for relieving stress, boosting the immune system, and its anti-inflammatory properties.

Basil is a fragrant herb that’s rich in antioxidants with antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It can help diminish the painful effects of arthritis, elevate the mood, and provide a remedy for stress and anxiety.

Cinnamon is not actually toxic to dogs, but it’s probably best to avoid it in its dry form. Straight cinnamon can irritate the inside of dogs’ mouths, making them uncomfortable and sick. It can lower a dog’s blood sugar too much and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, increased, or decreased heart rate, and even liver disease. If they inhale it in powder form, cinnamon can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and choking.  Cinnamon contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and anti-cancer properties. It can help to counteract the effects of diabetes along with fighting heart disease. Cinnamon also helps reduce the aflatoxins found in store-bought food. (Aflatoxins are fungi that grow on the crown and other crops.) Cinnamon can also help improve bad breath. As with most human food pay attention to how much your dog is consuming and use in moderation. It can also be used in Aromatherapy.

Coriander helps with dental health and inhibits bacteria growth. It is also anti-parasitic and can help an upset tummy and diarrhea.

Cloves are another spice for dogs that can be good and bad. It should only be given in very small quantities but it does have some good properties. Cloves’ Compounds such as eugenol, kaempferol, and rhamnetin, are known to have antibacterial properties that can help cure and prevent infections in dogs. It must be said that ingesting cloves especially excessive quantities can have some pretty serious side effects like liver toxicity, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and it could also irritate the gastrointestinal tract. In some extreme cases of clove overdosing, it could cause liver dysfunction, dyspnea, and unconsciousness. So, even though cloves can be safe for dogs, you should only give them in tiny quantities or avoid the spice altogether. 

Dandelion helps the liver and is rich in potassium.

Ginger root is another flavorful agent that contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It can provide a boost to the digestive system and soothe nausea, as well as improve circulation. Fresh ginger is quite strong, so you might use dried or ground ginger. 

Mint can help freshen a dog’s breath.

Milk Thistle supports healthy liver function and can aid dogs with pancreatitis (always check with your vet first)

Nettle is very nutritious and is good for allergies. You can prepare a nettle rinse for mild skin irritations.

Oregano can help with the inflammation associated with arthritis. It is rich in antioxidants, oregano can be helpful when detoxing from a highly-processed diet. Helps keep the coat and skin healthy. It is also considered antibacterial, antifungal in addition to helping indigestions and diarrhea and boosting the immune system.

Parsley contains healthy antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It helps improve organ function, flush toxins from the body, and improve bad breath. And it can be easily grown in most parts of the U.S. 

Peppermint is great for digestion, soothes an upset stomach, relieves intestinal gas, and treats diarrhea. It may also help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Rosemary contains antioxidants and is good for heart function and the nervous system. May be helpful to anxious dogs.

Sage is good for digestion and may help ease bloating and gas. It is also used to help support blood sugar regulation. Good for cognitive function and may reduce anxiety.

Thyme is a good digestive aid and has anti-bacterial properties. It is also good for the skin and supports gastrointestinal health and brain function.

Turmeric, which comes from a root (like ginger), provides a boost to the metabolism and helps accelerate weight loss. It provides benefits for cardiovascular, joint, and brain health. This spice is also an anti-inflammatory which helps joint health and arthritis, improves gut health, and boosts brain function.

Bad Spices

Black Pepper itself is not poisonous for dogs, however it does contain piperine, which increases the absorption of prescription medicines. This causes a great risk of overdose for your pet, so it is best to avoid black pepper if possible. 

Chives can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies.

Garlic is a controversial spice to give your dog. It has numerous benefits for your dog but care needs to be taken when giving it to your dog. If too much is given or it is not prepared correctly you can make your dog sick. Warnings like the following just add to the fear of using garlic."Like onions, leeks, and chives, garlic is part of the Allium family, and it is five times more toxic to dogs than the rest of the Allium plants. Garlic can create anemia in dogs, causing side effects such as pale gums, elevated heart rate, weakness, and collapse. Poisoning from garlic and onions may have delayed symptoms, so if you think your dog may have eaten some, monitor him or her for a few days, not just right after consumption." If you would like to feed you dog garlic correctly or just learn more about it, the people at DogNaturally have a great article about garlic. The article includes the garlic to use, how to prepare it correctly, and how much to give and how often.

Mace, is a spice that is derived from the same plant as Nutmeg. Since it is from the same plant it should not be a surprise that it can cause the same issues as nutmeg and should be avoided.

Nutmeg can cause severe stomach upset and agitation in the nervous systemIt has led to death in some cases.

Salt  Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.