YES! Rosemary is safe and healthy for dogs to eat. The herb is proven to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial benefits that can prevent common deadly dog diseases from cancer to heart disease, digestive system problems, and poor cognitive function.
The FDA has classified rosemary as generally regarded safe (GRAS) for animals and humans.
Industry experts like herbalist Gregory Tilford who has co-authored Herbs for Pets, also attest to the fact that rosemary is good for dogs. The herb is safe in most forms i.e., whole, in a tea, fresh or dried.
Rosemary is a herb in the Lamiaceae mint family known for other herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, and lavender. The herb gets its name from a Greek term, anthos, which means flower.
Rosemary is a compass weed with leaves resembling hemlock needles. The herb has a pungent odor and strong flavor.
It is an evergreen, aromatic and culinary Mediterranean shrub common in many dishes. The herb has had many uses in the Mediterranean coastal regions, where it is present in abundance.
Rosemary has many benefits to dogs. The main ones include;
I. Antioxidant Benefits
Rosemary is rich in powerful antioxidants. Considering the effectiveness of antioxidants in fighting free radicals is widely known, the same benefits can be enjoyed by both humans and animals that consume the herb.
Free radicals are responsible for causing deadly diseases in bother humans and animals.
For instance, they are responsible for causing cancer and age-related health problems. Incorporating rosemary in any form is bound to flush out toxins and boost overall health.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals known to damage cells in the body. An influx of free radicals can accelerate cell damage and result in problems like accelerated aging, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
The herb has a spam-preventing compound (antispasmodic) that boosts the work of smooth muscles such as those found in the heart. Rosemary can also strengthen the heart and assist with heart rhythm problems like cardiac arrhythmia.
If your dog suffers from cardiac issues, adding some rosemary to the dog's diet can help.
II. Digestive System Benefits
Rosemary's digestive benefits in dogs and cats have also been studied and proven.
The animal studies suggest that rosemary acts as a diuretic (increases urination) and biligenesis (bile production) in animals. Decoction, infusion, and tincture of rosemary leaves boost digestive system function in animals.
When rosemary is infused directly into an animal's digestive tract, the herb increases bile and gastric juice secretion and addresses problems like stomach overflow, flatulence, gall bladder spasm, and mild gastrointestinal infections.
In summary, the herb is effective in routinely dealing with gas problems, upset stomachs, among many other digestive system problems affecting dogs.
III. Antimicrobial Benefits
Rosemary is a known preservative. The herb's extract is a popular food preservative. In fact, many dog foods are preserved using rosemary. The preservative benefits are attributed to the herb's antimicrobial properties.
Rosemary prevents bacterial growth in food. Considering most foods get spoilt because of bacteria growth, it's easy to see why adding some rosemary to your pet's food can prevent many health problems. The herb is effective against both bacteria and fungi.
The extract can also be an effective topical solution for treating minor cuts or bruises. A coating will prevent bacterial growth on cuts and bruises, preventing infection.
IV. Bug Repellant Benefits
Besides preserving food, the antimicrobial benefits extend to topical solutions as a potent repellant. Applying rosemary extract on a dog can prevent common bugs that invade dog's fur and skin. Dogs are adventurous and frequently wander off to the bushes, long grass, forests, and other bug-prone places.
Their adventurous nature increases their vulnerability to fleas, ticks, and other harmful bugs. These bugs introduce a variety of health problems. When applied to a dog's coat, rosemary extract acts as a natural flea repellant. It's easy to make a rosemary wash at home using dried rosemary or fresh rosemary.
You just need to boil a tablespoon of dried or fresh rosemary in a liter of water for approximately ten minutes. Strain the contents to collect your rosemary washing liquid. When bathing your dog, use the rosemary washing liquid to give your dog a final rinse. Remove excess liquid with a towel and let the rest soak into the fur.
Once dry, your dog will repel ticks, fleas, and other bugs naturally with ease.
V. Essential Nutrients Benefits
Rosemary is rich in iron, calcium, and essential vitamins like A, B & B-6. The presence of these essential nutrients comes with unique benefits. Dogs need calcium for strong bones and teeth. Iron carries oxygen to body cells for various purposes, the most notable being the production of energy in cells.
Dogs need essential vitamins for good heart health, good coat health, red blood cells growth, and overall health and wellness such as alertness and strength. While rosemary may have other notable health and wellness benefits, the above information highlights the most notable benefits to consider.
Does rosemary pose any risks to dogs?
Rosemary should be given to dogs for the above benefits. However, the herb isn't 100% recommended to all dogs, especially if the underlying issue is serious. For instance, dogs with severe heart conditions i.e., history of seizures, shouldn't be given rosemary without consulting a vet. Serious heart conditions should be addressed by a professional vet.
Rosemary should also be avoided if your dog is pregnant or has an allergic reaction such as vomiting. The effects of rosemary on unborn puppies hasn't been studied widely, making it too risky. When administered sparingly, rosemary is usually safe and beneficial. However, excess administration can cause side effects like itchy skin, excessive sneezing, and seizures. Stop use if such reactions are experienced.
When using rosemary essential oil, dilute the oil to reduce concentration. Rosemary oil should also be used on healthy dogs only. Dogs with any type of seizure disorder can experience adverse side effects from consuming rosemary oil.
Rosemary leaves should be served fresh, ground, or mixed with food. The rosemary should also be fresh, especially when served in water. Alternatively, you can make tea. However, use small amounts (as discussed below) to avoid adverse effects.
How To Serve
Can dogs eat rosemary? How should rosemary be served to dogs?
Well, the herb can be used as an ingredient for making many homemade dog treats. The herb can also be sprinkled on dog food, plucked straight from the kitchen garden, and given to dogs raw in small quantities.
Precaution: If your dog has a pre-existing condition or is pregnant, consult your vet first before giving your dog rosemary.
If you desire to establish the exact quantities of rosemary, you should give your dog. You should consider a number of things, such as the weight/size of your dog. Your reasons for giving your dog rosemary should also be considered. The form of the rosemary also dictates the dosage.
For instance, rosemary should be administered dried, fresh, or as an extract (tincture). Dried or fresh rosemary has a higher concentration, so administration should be done more cautiously than when giving a diluted extract.
Generally, an eighth of a teaspoon of extract (tincture) administered orally is enough for every 20 pounds in weight. This dose is appropriate up to thrice a day as per Herbs for Pets book that advocates for natural ways of enhancing pet's health.
Rosemary Dog Recipes
If you wish to prepare some rosemary dog treats at home, consider the rosemary dog recipes below.
a. Pea & Rosemary Dog Treat Recipe
For this recipe, you'll need the following;
- 300g of baby peas
- 140g wholemeal flour
- 1 egg
- tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary
Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius.
Step 2: Put the peas in a blender, add your egg, and blend. Alternatively, you can mash the peas with a potato masher. This step is meant to squash the peas.
Step 3: Place your mixture in a medium-sized bowl and add your 140g of flour and half-tbs of rosemary. Mix thoroughly.
Step 4: Cut your resulting dough into desired shapes. Ensure they are approximately 1cm thick. Alternatively, you can roll small dough portions flattened using your fingers.
Step 5: Place dough portions on a lined baking tray and bake for approximately 40 minutes.
Step 6: Cool and serve the dog treats.
b. Rosemary crackers
For this recipe, you'll need;
- 1.25 cups of white flour
- Quarter-cup of whole wheat flour
- One teaspoon of baking powder
- Half-a-cup of water
- One tbs rosemary (Chopped, dry, or fresh)
- 2 tbs olive oil
Step 1: Preheat oven to 232 degrees Celsius or 450 degrees Fahrenheit
Step 2: Mix your flours, rosemary, and baking powder together in a bowl
Step 3: Add water and oil. Mix well.
Step 4: Split your dough into two balls. Roll each ball to 1/8-inch thickness and place on your baking sheet. Sprinkle some olive oil.
Step 5: Bake for 10-20 minutes or until the crackers turn brown on their edges.
Step 6: Let the crackers cool. Break them into pieces and feed your dog. This snack can replace regular dog snacks.
How Much Rosemary Can I Give My Dog?
As mentioned above, the general recommended dosage is 1/8 - tbs of rosemary extract per every 20 lbs. of weight administered at most thrice times daily.
This equates to a maximum dosage of approximately half a tablespoon to one tablespoon of rosemary extract daily for the medium-sized adult dogs weighing 10 to 26kg (22 to 57 lbs.)
What Happens If My Dog Eats Rosemary?
Provided a dog eats the recommended dosage in the right form, dogs stand to enjoy multiple health benefits from detoxification to improved digestive health, improved energy levels, improved mood, reduced bugs, and more.
Rosemary doesn't cause adverse side effects to dogs unless the dog in question already has pre-existing conditions such as seizure disorders and cardiovascular health problems. Also, pregnant dogs should be given rosemary.
Can Dogs Eat Meat Seasoned With Rosemary?
Yes! Provided the food is seasoned with the right amount of rosemary. As discussed above, rosemary is safe provided the dog is healthy, and consumption isn't excessive.
Can Dogs Eat Rosemary Extract?
Yes! However, it should be diluted to avoid adverse reactions/side effects, as mentioned above.
Can Dogs Eat Rosemary Oil?
Yes! Dogs can eat rosemary essential oil and other forms of rosemary, such as dried or fresh rosemary. However, when feeding extracts, they should be diluted. Concentrated extracts can cause side effects.
Can Dogs Eat Thyme And Rosemary?
Yes. Rosemary and thyme belong to the same mind family. Provided consumption is within the recommended limits, and all precautions discussed above are considered, both herbs are safe.
Can Dogs Eat Mint And Rosemary?
Rosemary is safe for dogs. However, the quantities and concentration/form should match the recommendations above. Most mint isn't toxic to dogs. Besides aiding digestion, mint can also freshen your dog's breath.
However, dogs should eat mint sparingly. A few mint leaves daily is more than enough. Most importantly, you should discontinue use if your dog develops side effects like diarrhea and vomiting after eating mint. Dog owners should also consider visiting the vet if rosemary and mint consumption causes severe side effects.
Dogs can eat rosemary! Rosemary consumption is good for dogs. The herb has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that prevent many deadly diseases. Rosemary also benefits a dog's digestive system, repels bugs, freshens a dog's breath, and provides essential nutrients critical for overall health.
However, rosemary shouldn't be included in a dog's diet if a dog is pregnant or has pre-existing cardiovascular disorders, among other ailments like seizures. What's more, dogs just need small doses of rosemary daily.
As mentioned above, half a tablespoon of rosemary extract is enough for the average mid-sized dog weighing 10 to 26kg. However, you should always monitor your dog's consumption. In case of any reactions like vomiting, stop feeding your dog immediately and visit a vet.
Get more information on what your dog can/can't eat and more on petpattern.