Can Dogs Eat Rosemary and Similar Herbs?

Rosemary probably isn’t one of the human foods that you wonder whether or not your dogs can eat. After all, rosemary is simply an herb used as additional flavor or seasoning on a meal. Yet, herbs like rosemary are used frequently in human foods, so you could accidentally give some to your dog without even realizing it. So, should you serve your dog rosemary or is it better to avoid it?

Can Dogs Eat Rosemary?

Yes, dogs can eat rosemary. While other flavor enhancers are often considered toxic for dogs, rosemary is actually healthy for them. In fact, many dog food brands even use rosemary as an ingredient. It’s safe for dogs in most forms, including the fresh whole plant or dried variations. The reason it’s such a popular herb for dog nutrition is because it provides numerous health benefits for both humans and dogs.

Benefits of Rosemary for Dogs

Rosemary can greatly benefit your dog’s health even in small doses. Here are some of the known benefits that this herb has on dogs.


Rosemary is packed with antioxidants that can help keep your dog’s immune system healthy. These antioxidants help eliminate free radicals in your dog’s body, which helps reduce the risk of cancer and other age-related health concerns.

Heart Health

This herb also has antispasmodic properties for muscles, ultimately benefiting your pup’s cardiovascular health. It strengthens your dog’s heart, preventing heart disease and cardiac arrhythmias. Vets will often recommend adding rosemary to a dog’s diet if they’re prone to heart problems.

Digestion Support

Rosemary not only helps your dog digest food better, but it can also prevent unwanted gas. By helping with digestion, it can also lead to a healthier gut, a better absorption of nutrients, and a prevention of gastrointestinal infections. It can even improve your dog’s overall mood and memory.


Rosemary is excellent at fighting bacteria both inside and outside of your dog’s body. It fights against common bacteria that grows on food, preventing it from spoiling. It can also protect your dog’s body from bacteria and fungi as well. It can even be used as a topical treatment because it can help soothe cuts, burns, and infections. In some cases, it even makes a great natural flea and tick repellent.

Risks of Rosemary for Dogs

Thankfully, there are no known risks of rosemary for dogs, making it one of the healthiest human foods you can serve your furry friend. Like with any other food, it’s still important not to give your dog too much though. Consider your dog’s size and weight when choosing how much of any food to feed them.

What Other Herbs Can Dogs Safely Eat?

Rosemary is one of the safest herbs a dog can eat, but it’s not the only flavor enhancer that’s acceptable. Here are some other human herbs that dogs can safely enjoy too:

  • Basil – A pinch of this herb can have antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties for your dog.
  • Oregano – Like rosemary, oregano can promote healthy digestion and have antifungal properties. It’s also known to be antimicrobial and have lots of healthy antioxidants.
  • Parsley – Parsley is a great source of antioxidants and vitamins. It can even freshen your dog’s breath and soothe their digestion. It’s important not to confuse it with “spring parsley” though, which is a parsley-looking plant that’s not safe for dogs.
  • Peppermint – Peppermint plants have been known to soothe sensitive stomachs and reduce gas and nausea. Only serve it in moderation though because large servings could lead to liver or kidney problems.

While all the above herbs are safe and healthy for dogs in small quantities, not all herbs and seasonings are. If human food is seasoned with onions, garlic, chives, or any related ingredients, keep it away from your dog at all costs. It might seem harmless like rosemary, but it could be toxic. So, only serve your dog human foods that you know are safe.

Rosemary might not be your typical dog treat, but if your dog is prone to heart conditions or suffers from digestive problems, it can’t hurt to serve it as a treat or topper. Small doses of rosemary here and there can greatly benefit your dog’s health. While many human foods should be avoided for dogs, some ingredients like this one are actually recommended for our four-legged family members.

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