Basil is a herb that is often used in Italian cuisine and in dishes such as pizza, spaghetti, lasagne, tomato sauces or pesto. The dominant components of basil is eugenol, beta-caryophyllin, linalool, methyl chavicol (estragole), alpha-humulene and caryophyllene. It contains essential oils that provide anticancer, antibiotic and antioxidant benefits. Can dogs eat basil?

Basil And Its Properties

There are some herbs that can be safely consumed by dogs. But can dogs eat basil? Before we answer that question, let us look at the properties of this particular herb. They include:

  • eugenol is responsible for the spicy, clove-like flavor of basil. It can cause increased blood flow to the gums and can induce numbness in some people;
  • beta-caryophyllin can help to fight off bacterial infections;
  • linalool is known for its stress relieving properties – it can lower stress levels, relieve stress and tension and provide sleepiness;
  • methyl chavicol can fight fever and can be used as an insecticide;
  • alpha-humulene can reduce inflammation and can suppress cancer cell growth;
  • caryophyllene can help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, can also help with pain relief and can fight bacteria, fungus and virus infections;

Knowing all the health benefits of this culinary herb, can dogs eat basil safely?

The simple answer to that question is: yes, they can, since basil is not harmful for dogs and can be added as a season to regular meals. Fresh basil is also good for our furry friends. Basil helps with canker sores, can protect against osteoporosis and cancer, can heal cuts and wounds. It can also reduce pain in the gums, can be used as mosquito repellent, kill intestinal worms and dispel flatulence.

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However, too much basil consumption can have adverse effects. Too much can lead to canker sores, can lower hemoglobin levels (make the blood less able to carry oxygen) and can reduce blood flow. Can dogs eat basil? There are always some kinds of precautions. Although basil is not toxic for canines, they should not consume large amounts of it.

Can Dogs Eat Basil Safely At All Times? Not Neccessarily

Usually, basil is an addition to other meals which can contain ingredients that are dangerous for dogs. Basil itself should not be harmful for dogs, but is a popular season to products that may be toxic to dogs and we should never feed our dogs to them. These products include potatoes, unripe tomatoes, onion or mushrooms.

Pesto, a very popular green sauce is made mainly of basil. It must be said that pesto usually also contains garlic which is toxic for dogs. The symptoms after garlic consumption especially in large quantities include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, abdominal distention, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and can lead to the death of the animal. Always make sure that all the ingredients are safe for dogs before you add basil to your dog’s diet.

How Much Basil Can Dogs Eat?

To use basil as a spice in your dog’s food, you should not give more than 1/2 tsp per ten pounds of body weight once or twice daily. So, a moderate amount of basil leaves or dried basil are a perfect addition to a dog’s meal. Dogs can eat basil and the list of benefits of basil is long. It is good for dogs due to its anti-inflammatory properties and it is definitely safe for dogs.

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However, just as humans are, some dogs may be allergic to certain herbs and spice, including basil. The allergic reaction may cause itchy, red skin. It can also cause the dog to vomit and suffer an intestinal blockage if they eat too much of it. If your dog does not exhibit any allergy symptoms after eating basil, you can add basil to your dog’s diet and feed your dog without concerns. If you notice that your dog may be allergic to basil, do not give them meals containing basil and consult the veterinarian.

In a nutshell, can dogs eat basil? Yes, however you should always remember that the dog’s well-balanced diet can vary depending on their breed, age, sex, weight and general health condition. Although basil is rich in many health benefits, there are some dogs that are susceptible to basil. It also must be said that some herbs are also known to interact with various medications, so always be cautious when feeding any sort of herbal supplements or making homemade dog food.


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