Dogs aren’t just pets to most people, they are esteemed family members. Furry (and sometimes annoying) members of your family you want to make sure are in their healthiest form possible. As far as taking care of them to the best of our abilities, we’re all the same. The hunt is always on for natural ways to improve the health of our companions.
Many people aim to feed their dogs through a holistic approach using home cooked meals, spices and herbs to maintain their overall physical and internal health. It’s a controversial method of canine nutrition that can spark interesting debates due to a lack of concrete evidence supporting both sides.
Throughout this article, we will explore whether cilantro is safe for canine consumption and how much is enough to provide your dog with the health benefits that it has to offer.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro? Or Is Cilantro For Dogs Bad?
According to ASPCA, Cilantro is non-toxic to all dogs in small amounts unless the dog suffers from plant-based allergies or a specific allergy to cilantro or coriander.
What is Cilantro?
Cilantro is a global herb that is sometimes referred to as coriander.
Cilantro refers specifically to the stems and leaves of the coriander plant, hence the herb form, which is traditionally used in cooking and is identified by its pungent odor and taste.
The seeds are defined as the coriander and is the spice form used in cooking.
Cilantro is used as a flavoring in anything from Mexican salsa to Brazilian pasta sauce.
So, chances are, you’ve eaten cilantro when trying new and exotic dishes from around the globe.
Why Cilantro Over Other Herbs?
Cilantro has been clinically proven to be an herb which contains vast amounts of vitamins and minerals that promote overall health and healing of the digestive system while being stuffed with antibacterial agents, antifungal properties and anticancer boosters including but not limited to:
- Vitamin A
- Promotes vision health, immune system, and organ functions
- Vitamin K
- Regulates normal blood clotting and bone health
- Vitamin C
- Helps the body form and maintain connective tissue (skin, blood vessels, etc.)
- Creates bone density, improves joint functions and normal blood clotting
- Crucial to nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and metabolism regulation
- Creates healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells
All of the above have numerous unique properties that aid in overall health and those health benefits could be transferred to your dog, provided it is consumed in the same way we would ingest our vitamins: in moderation and in accordance to a healthcare professional (a veterinarian in the case of dogs).
Too much of a good thing can easily become a bad thing according to the old wives tale!
More on the numerous health benefits to this plant can be found at the Global Healing Center page about cilantro.
Forms of Cilantro
Cilantro herbs traditionally used in the preparation of meals are available in fresh or dried leaf form sold in most grocery stores in the vegetable/herb section where cilantro seeds (coriander) would be sold with other spices.
Medical cilantro can be purchased in most health supplement stores either in powered or fluid/ oil extract forms.
How to Know What Amount of Cilantro is Safe For Dogs?
Whenever you’re introducing a new food, vitamin, mineral, etc. to your dog it’s always safe to remember to stick to small quantities over an extended period of time!
Rapid changes to your dog’s diet will wreak havoc on their digestive system.
Generally, herbs and spices like cilantro are sold for human consumption measured at a healthy adult weight of 150 lbs.
When it comes to giving Cilantro to your dog, a pinch or a fraction of a teaspoon (tsp) mixed into their daily feeding is always the safest bet.
A dog will get used to eating a particular food prepared in the same way and their digestive systems run in conjunction with what they eat.
Changing that can be harmful to a dog and create a list of problems from stomach upset to diarrhea to personality changes caused by feeling unwell.
Giving your dog a large amount of cilantro will create these problems according to Dr. Christan K.
It’s always best to remember the smaller the dog, the smaller the digestive system and stomach. No one wants that mess to clean up either around the yard or in the house!
How Can Dogs Have Cilantro?
Determining the form of cilantro to provide to your dog is a personal choice based on their eating habits.
If your dog is a picky eater, just not used to trying new food or on a commercial dry and/or moist diet, then a powdered form is probably the best bet mixed in with their daily dog food.
Another option would be for you to give them cilantro in the form of fluid or oil extract and mix a drop in their water bowl.
Again, this could alter the taste or odor of their water, so if they are picky little buggers, then a powered form mixed in their food may be the best option for you.
“Dogs are a man’s best friend” – the old cliché statement said through time still stands true today.
These furry animals, who all possess their own unique personalities, have a way of making life problems disappear and providing unconditional love without asking for a lot in return.
They are the shoulders we cry on, the ears we confide in, the exercise buddy we sweat with, and the one friend you always want to hang out with.
If there is a small change you can make that improves the health of this trusted friend and provides them with more comfort, isn’t it worth looking into?
Cilantro or other herbs/spices in small amounts can provide that for them without a lot of fuss or change to their daily routine.
To state the obvious again, always talk to your dog’s healthcare provider before making changes to your dog’s diet. If you have a dog that is on a medication, confirm with them there will be no interactions that may open up another “can of worms”!
Who knows, maybe the next time you visit your local grocery store, you just might find yourself browsing the herb section with someone in mind!