YES! Dogs can eat herbs like Parsley for their numerous benefits. Parsley is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that play a significant role in a dog's health. However, herbs should be fed sparingly to dogs.
What's more, Parsley should be fed to healthy dogs only. Dogs with certain conditions may react negatively to Parsley.
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Parsley is a herb in the mint (Lamiaceae) family alongside rosemary, thyme, oregano, and peppermint. The bright green leafy herb is natively found in Mediterranean regions, although it is cultivated globally today. There are many parsley varieties. However, not all are safe, as is discussed below.
Parsley is a herb but is also regarded as a spice and vegetable. The most common varieties include flat-leafy Parsley (or Italian Parsley) with large flat leaves and Curly Parsley. Italian Parsley is commonly used in sauces, stews, and soups. Curly Parsley is primarily used for decorative purposes.
The benefits of Parsley to dogs are best explored by studying the nutritional composition of Parsley. The herb is packed with essential vitamins (the main ones being A, C & K) and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients have proven benefits discussed below.
Vitamin C benefits: Vitamin C is a well-known immune system booster.
Vitamin A benefits: Vitamin A is good for a pet’s vision as well as immune system health.
Vitamin K benefits: Parsley is a rich source of Vitamin K known for many health benefits ranging from promoting good liver health to healthy blood clotting.
Antioxidant benefits: Parsley contains folic acid (essential B vitamins known to have anti-inflammatory benefits. They boost kidney health by helping dogs get rid of harmful toxins in their bodies. Parsley can also slow cancer and tumor growth. The rich antioxidant content in Parsley can fight some types of cancer.
Urinary health benefits: The antimicrobial properties of Parsley also boost urinary health in dogs. The herb, when consumed as tea by dogs, can strengthen urinary tract mucous.
Anti-inflammatory benefits: The herb is also linked to anti-inflammatory properties, making it capable of reducing arthritis risks in dogs. Anti-inflammatory benefits also reduce swelling and itching.
Dental health benefits: Parsley belongs to the mint family. The herb can act as a breath freshener in dogs. To treat dental problems in dogs, add some fresh parsley to your dog's water or rub fresh leaves on your dog's teeth to prevent bad breath and related dental problems. Other herbs in the mint family, like rosemary, offer this benefit due to their antimicrobial properties. However, Parsley shouldn't substitute a dog's routine dental hygiene like brushing.
Digestive system benefits: Parsley can soothe the stomach, improving digestive system problems affecting dogs such as indigestion and flatulence.
What Risks Do Dogs Face When They Eat Parsley?
Parsley may be full of essential nutrients and minerals. However, this shouldn't be mistaken to mean you should overfeed your dog. Excessive consumption of Parsley and other herbs in the mint family like rosemary can cause digestive problems.
The type of Parsley also matters. Dogs shouldn't eat varieties that are toxic (contain harmful compounds like furanocoumarin, as per the ASPCA). Your dog can suffer side effects like dermatitis by consuming Parsley with furanocoumarin. If you mistakenly give your dog a toxic parsley variety, call a vet immediately.
Most importantly, Parsley is most likely to turn toxic when given to dogs in large amounts. While the ASPCA claims Italian Parsley, Turnip-rooted Parsley, and Hamburg Parsley are toxic to cats, dogs, and horses, Parsley toxicity in dogs is generally serious in large quantities.
What's more, Parsley shouldn't be given to all dogs. Pregnant dogs can experience complications. The same applies to dogs with health problems (especially kidney problems).
Generally, small amounts of the right Parsley won't harm your dog. The herb's risks can be controlled by serving sparingly to healthy dogs only.
Treating Parsley Problems In Dogs
If your dog feeds on large quantities of Parsley in your garden by mistake, monitor him/her closely. In case of any adverse effects, go to your veterinarian immediately. Vets treat parsley poisoning by first enquiring about a dog's history and then conducting a physical examination that may include fur scraping and lab work like urinalysis, blood count, blood chemistry profiling, and other toxicity tests.
Treatments for common Parsley poisoning effects in dogs like vomiting include activated charcoal to eliminate contamination. Some topical creams can also be prescribed for dealing with side effects like itching.
There's a good and bad way to give Parsley to your dog. First and foremost, Parsley and other mint herbs should be kept away from a dog's reach to avoid excessive consumption. The best way of serving Parsley is including it in your dog's favorite treats.
You can prepare homemade dog biscuits with some parsley. The herb can be sprinkled in dog food or water. Some fresh parsley leaves can also be given directly for your dog to chew on. This is recommendable for dental health benefits like fighting bad breath.
Your dog can munch on some parsley leaves weakly. In regard to quantity, a teaspoon of dried parsley leaves is enough for a dog weighing 20 pounds. The Parsley can be blended with a dog smoothie or mixed in water to make parsley tea. You should serve a few times weekly (1 to 2 times). When storing, remember to remove the ends and submerge them in some water while keeping the leaves dry.
Parsley can be fed dry, fresh and/or chopped. While Parsley can be stored in a fridge, it is better to serve fresh Parsley to avoid common problems like staleness and contamination.
Can I Give My Dog Parsley?
Yes! However, it matters how you give your dog parsley. Parsley has essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that dogs need to stay healthy. Excessive quantities can cause digestive health problems. Also, not all dogs should be given Parsley. Pregnant dogs and dogs with kidney issues shouldn't eat Parsley as it can cause serious complications. The type of parsley also matters as discussed above.
What Quantity Of Parsley Should I Give My Dog?
Weight/size is the main determinant when deciding how much Parsley a dog should take. Ideally, one teaspoon for every 20 pounds (9kg) in dog weight is more than enough.
Is Parsley Good For Dogs?
Yes! Provided the right kind of Parsley is given in the right quantity, Parsley is beneficial to dogs. Besides getting good breath from munching on Parsley, dogs also enjoy many other benefits, including antioxidant benefits, digestive system benefits, urinary health benefits, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Is Parsley Bad For Dogs?
It depends. The wrong type of Parsley (as per the ASPCA) can cause toxicity such as spring parsley. However, toxicity is only an issue if Parsley is served excessively.
Parsley with compounds like furanocoumarin can cause side effects like dermatitis when consumed excessively. If you mistakenly give your dog a toxic parsley variety, call a vet immediately.
Is Parsley Poisonous To Dogs?
Some types of Parsley are poisonous to dogs, especially when consumed in large quantities. Avoid Parsley with furanocoumarin. The ASPCA has listed Parsley containing furanocoumarin as toxic to horses, dogs, and cats.
Can Dogs Eat Parsley Flakes?
Yes! Dogs can consume parsley in many forms. Dried Parsley, freshly chopped Parsley, and many other forms are safe. However, Parsley can cause choking when served in large quantities.
Can Dogs Eat Parsley Stems?
Yes! Parsley stems and leaves are packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, stems increase choking risks. Ideally, stems should be chopped to prevent them from sticking in a dog's mouth or throat.
Can Dogs Eat Parsley And Mint?
Dogs can eat a wide variety of herbs in the mint family, including rosemary. However, dog owners should be cautious. Ideally, herbs should be introduced in very small quantities in a dog's diet i.e., a small pinch of chopped Parsley or a few leaves at a time while monitory the dog closely for side effects.
Can Dogs Eat Parsley And Celery?
Yes! Dogs can eat herbs like Parsley alongside vegetables like celery. Most vegetables and herbs are safe for dogs. However, dog owners should serve such foods as dog treats as opposed to alternatives for well-balanced dog food.
Is Parsley Good For A Dog's Breath?
Yes! Parsley is a mint that has many oral health benefits for dogs including getting rid of bad breath. However, dog owners should still brush their dog’s teeth and practice other good dental hygiene.
Yes! However, some precautions must be considered. For instance, choose the right type of Parsley (non-toxic to dogs). Dogs should also eat little amounts of Parsley only (a teaspoon a day, a few times weekly).
Parsley is also best fed as a snack to health non-pregnant dogs to avoid complications. The Parsley also needs to be clean and fresh for obvious reasons.
Lastly, consumption should be closely monitored when you are introducing Parsley to your dog. In case of excessive adverse effects, visit a veterinarian immediately.
Find more on what dogs can eat at PetPattern.