Parsley is a popular herb because it lends a subtle flavor to soup and salads and can serve as a garnish on many dishes. Curly parsley, Petroselinum cripsum, is the variety that can be safely eaten by dogs in small amounts. This species also includes Italian parsley, known as flat-leaf parsley. Spring parsley, Cymopterus watsonii, is an entirely different plant and is toxic to dogs.
What’s the Problem with Parsley?
All parsley contains furanocoumarin, which can cause photosensitivity or even blindness in dogs. Spring parsley contains high levels of this chemical, while curly parsley is considered safe for dogs to eat in moderation.
Another issue is that parsley is high in oxalates, which can contribute to the formation of bladder stones. Dogs with kidney problems shouldn’t eat this herb, even in little amounts.
Here’s a list of symptoms of parsley poisoning in dogs:
- peeling or blistered skin,
- clouding of the cornea,
- eye lesions,
The parsley you have at home will only cause those symptoms if eaten in large quantities. If it’s growing in your garden, don’t let your dog nibble on it. Spring parsley is a wild plant, and you should always be paying attention to what your pet eats on walks.
If your dog has eaten parsley and is showing any symptoms of poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will likely recommend giving your dog activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins in their system, as well as IV fluids to keep them hydrated. Blood tests may also be done to check for anemia.
What Are the Health Benefits of Parsley for Dogs?
Fresh parsley tea can be used as a natural dewormer, and carries anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It’s also a diuretic, but it shouldn’t be used for urinary tract problems because of its high oxalate content. Parsley is also rich in:
- essential oils,
- vitamin C,
- vitamin K.
All these compounds can have a positive effect on your dog’s health. Thanks to them, parsley can help improve liver function and protect your dog from cell damage and age-related diseases.
Can dogs eat parsley when they’re pregnant? No, pregnant or lactating dogs shouldn’t be fed this herb because it can cause them to miscarry or stop producing milk.
Can You Give Your Dog Parsley for Bad Breath?
Parsley can serve as a breath freshener, but it shouldn’t be used as the only method to combat doggy breath. The best way to keep your dog’s mouth healthy is to brush their teeth regularly.
If you want to use it for fresh breath, a teaspoon of chopped parsley will do the trick. It can safely be given in small doses, and your dog will love the taste. You could also add a few fresh leaves to homemade dog treats.
What Other Herbs are Good for Dogs?
Dogs can eat parsley in small amounts, but what about other herbs? There’s plenty to choose from if you want to add more variety to your pet’s diet. Let’s look at some healthy options.
- Basil can help with digestion and can be given in small doses.
- Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels. It can also be used to combat bad breath.
- Dill is a natural appetite stimulant and can help calm an upset stomach.
- Cilantro can help with digestion and can also be used to combat bad breath.
- Ginger can help with nausea and can also be given in small doses to calm an upset stomach.
- Fennel can support the digestive system, and can also help regulate a dog’s weight.
- Rosemary is an anti-inflammatory herb that can help soothe aching joints.
- Thyme is another anti-inflammatory herb that can help relieve congestion and coughing.
When adding herbs to your dog’s diet, start with one at a time and slowly increase the amount over time. This will help you determine if your pet has any sensitivities to them. With a little trial and error, you can find the perfect herbs to add to your pet’s diet.
You Can Give Some Parsley to Your Dog Now and Then, but Not Too Much
What’s the verdict? Can dogs eat parsley? Yes, it’s safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, but it’s not something they should be eating all the time. This herb can be used to freshen your pet’s breath, and can also provide some additional nutritional support.
Do you have any questions about feeding your dog herbs? Leave them in the comments below!
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