Can Dogs Eat Thyme? (A Complete Guide)
Yes! Thyme is safe and good for dogs. The herb has several health benefits. However, thyme should be given sparingly to dogs i.e., at most one teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme for every pound of dog food.
Most herbs and species are good for dogs. However, some can be poisonous for puppies or when consumed excessively.
The health benefits of thyme are derived from the herb's mineral and vitamin composition. Vitamins boost the dog's digestive and immune system health. Minerals aid in many bodily functions that contribute to the overall health and well-being of both dogs and humans.
Dogs should eat thyme for the benefits. Thyme prevents a wide range of health problems.
What Is Thyme?
Thyme is a herb belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae) alongside other herbs like rosemary. The perennial evergreen herb grows in clusters on thin stems. Thyme leaves differ in color from deep green to pale green.
There are hundreds of thyme species, the most common being Thymus Vulgaris native to Mediterranean regions, although thyme is grown today globally in many areas, including Europe and America. Thyme is consumed fresh or as a dry herb in food seasoning alongside other herbs like rosemary and sage.
1. Digestive Health Benefits
Thyme has antispasmodic and carminative properties known to deal with common digestive health problems in dogs like indigestion, digestive tract infection, irritable bowels, colitis, and dyspepsia. Thyme can help expel parasites such as hookworms in dogs.
2. Essential Vitamin Benefits
Thyme is packed with vitamins A, C, & K, which are excellent antioxidants known to fight free radical damage. Dogs need essential vitamins to boost their immunity and protect themselves from common diseases. Vitamins also help in recovery.
3. Antibacterial Benefits
Thyme contains thymol – the main active compound known to have powerful antibacterial properties. The compound fights bacterial and fungal pathogens known to affect dogs and other pets. The oil (thyme oil) can be used to eliminate bacterial and related infections in a dog’s skin.
4. Antimicrobial Properties
Thyme also has antimicrobial properties – stops/kills micro-organisms. The herb’s main compound (thymol) has been found to limit bacterial resistance common with penicillin drugs. The antimicrobial properties make thyme a mild astringent tonic capable of dealing with serious problems affecting dogs like urinary tract incontinence. Thyme can fight bacteria, viruses, and fungus responsible for many infections.
5. Mineral Benefits
Thyme contains calcium, iron, and manganese, which have notable benefits in dog's bodies, such as promoting strong bones and teeth and producing energy.
6. Antiseptic Benefits
Thymol is a notable antiseptic with many uses, the most notable for treating oral infections like gingivitis in dogs.
7. Respiratory Health Benefits
Thyme can also ease asthma symptoms like bronchial spasms, among other respiratory problems in pets like cats and dogs. However, thyme should never substitute veterinary advice or treatment. Instead, it should complement or be used for preventative reasons.
While thyme is beneficial to dogs, there are some risks to consider. Thyme, (like many other herbs in the mint family) should be consumed in small amounts. Overconsumption of thyme can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs like an upset stomach. Consumption of concentrated herb extracts (i.e., conc. thyme essential oil) is also discouraged.
Dogs that consume too much thyme or concentrated thyme oil can suffer side effects such as seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and breathing difficulties. Thyme oil should be diluted using appropriate carrier oils before being given to a dog.
Thyme also poses other health risks to dogs, such as slowing blood clotting, which can increase excessive bleeding risks in case of injury or during/after surgery. As a result, dogs undergoing surgery shouldn't be given thyme.
Some types of thyme are also risky. Spanish thyme has been proven to be toxic to dogs. Spanish thyme contains a chemical - diterpene known to reduce blood pressure dangerously in dogs. Thyme also has eugenol, thymol, methyl eugenol, and carvacrol that can cause gastrointestinal and skin irritation.
In case of overconsumption, take your dog to a vet immediately.
FAQs About Thyme And Dogs
Can I Give My Dog Thyme?
Yes! Provided you take the necessary precautions i.e., giving your dog thyme sparingly. It also matters how the thyme is served. Thyme features fibrous stems that can remain intact during cooking. To avoid chocking risks especially among small dogs and puppies, it’s advisable to give your dog dried or powdered thyme.
The thyme should also be grown responsibly. Purpose to serve thyme that doesn’t contain pesticides and herbicides as such thyme can cause allergic reactions and severe side effects. If possible, feed your dog organic thyme only and/or thyme that has been thoroughly washed to reduce risk associated with chemical poisoning.
How Much Thyme Can I Give My Dog?
Like all other foods, thyme should be introduced to dogs in very small quantities initially to avoid harmful side effects. Also, your dog doesn't need too much thyme to derive all the benefits of thyme discussed above.
Generally, you should give your dog one teaspoon of thyme for every pound of dog food. It is advisable to sprinkle or mix the thyme in your dog’s favorite meal. You can also use the thyme in dog treat recipes.
Is Thyme Good For Dogs?
Yes! Thyme is rich in essential vitamins and minerals with proven health and wellness benefits to dogs. For instance, Vitamins A, C & K are critical for boosting immune system health and fighting disease-causing free radicals.
Minerals contained in thyme such as Iron, Calcium, and Manganese are critical for energy production in a dog's body. Provided dogs are given thyme sparingly according to the recommended limits above, they stand to enjoy numerous health and wellness benefits.
Is Thyme Bad For Dogs?
It depends. If given sparingly and other precautions are followed, thyme is good for dogs. Thyme becomes bad for dogs when given excessively or in high concentration. Thyme essential oil should be diluted. Dogs that consume concentrated extracts risk severe side effects.
The form in which thyme is given matters. Ideally, thyme should be ground and fed to dogs as a powder mixed with dog food or used to make dog treats. Giving dogs fresh herbs plucked directly from the ground can introduce choking risks, especially among small dogs and puppies.
Is Thyme Poisonous To Dogs?
When dogs are fed thyme in large quantities, the herb introduces severe health risks mentioned above like vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and more. Small quantities of thyme are safe. Anything above a tablespoon for every pound of dog food can introduce serious health risks.
Can Dogs Eat Sage And Thyme?
Yes. Both herbs are perennial and evergreen, belonging in the same mint family. However, if both herbs must be consumed sparingly. Like thyme, excessive sage consumption by dogs can cause serious side effects. It is, therefore, a matter of how sage and thyme are consumed as opposed to if they can be eaten. Consumption of the right quantities and concentration is safe for dogs to eat.
Serving Thyme To Your Dog
There are several ways to serve thyme to your dog. The first and most common is making dog treats. You can make anything from peanut butter treats to oats using dried/fresh thyme. Homemade dog biscuits can also feature some thyme as an added ingredient.
Thyme can also be added to your dog’s water. Like rosemary, thyme is a mint that can boost your dog's breath, clean their gums and fight gingivitis among other dental health problems. Adding thyme oil to water can also flavor your dog’s water making it more enjoyable for them. Thyme leaves can also be used as a natural dog toothbrush. You can wipe your dog’s teeth using some thyme leaves to provide dental health benefits.
Thyme can also be added to your dog's steak to increase the flavor and add some health benefits. You don't need to change how you prepare the steak. Just sprinkle some dried/fresh thyme before serving.
Can dogs eat rosemary? Can dogs eat thyme? Can dogs eat parsley? Yes! Thyme and other herbs like rosemary and parsley belonging to the mint family are safe and healthy for dogs. However, their safety is subject to moderate consumption, the right type of thyme, and other factors.
Dogs need small quantities of thyme to derive health benefits. The thyme also needs to be served appropriately to avoid common risks. Most importantly, not all thyme is good thyme for dogs.
Spanish thyme is toxic to dogs, cats, and many other small animals. The thyme contains diterpene - a plant chemical among other toxic components like oil known to cause diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, and depression. In severe cases, Spanish thyme can trigger bloody diarrhea and other side effects that may be fatal if not treated.
So, despite thyme having many health and wellness benefits for dogs, you should be careful not to feed your dog the wrong type of thyme. It's also advisable to monitor when your dog first eats thyme to ensure they don't have severe side effects. In case of serious side effects, visit a vet immediately.
Most importantly, dogs can get essential vitamins and minerals from many other sources. If your dog has severe reactions to thyme, you can always find other healthy herbs or consider incorporating thyme in dog treats.
For more on what your dog can/can't eat and other important pet information, visit petpattern.
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