Continuing with our pseudo theme of pet friendly gardening and plants, today we are exploring safe and beneficial herb options for dogs. Living in an apartment, I don’t get the privilege of growing my own garden (although I will be trying to grow a balcony watermelon this summer), but I do have enough space to grow fresh herbs.

When you are cooking for humans, if you don’t have access to home grown veggies, the next best thing is fresh herbs. They can really brighten up a dish and add quite a bit of flavor. The same is true for dogs. Pet safe herbs can add flavor and nutrients as well as many other health benefits.

Many herbs are easy to grow from seeds, so start planting! If nursing a seedling isn’t in your gardening toolkit just yet, you can also pick up young and full sized plants from a variety of different stores. Most garden centers (Home Depot or a local option) carry potted herbs. To jump start my apartment balcony garden, I picked up Rosemary and Parsley from Trader Joe’s.

Herbs are also great because they are flexible with how and where you want to grow them. You can keep a few small plants in your kitchen window, so they are within reach and remind you to use them. If your kitchen doesn’t have a window (like mine), you can also keep them outside in a pot or window box. Remember to water your herbs too!

When the weather gets colder, you can move your herbs inside to continue growing or preserve some of the plant by either drying, freezing, or refrigerating it.

If you aren’t ready to get your green thumb, then you can also pick up many fresh herbs from the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Safe and Beneficial Herbs for Dogs!

Herbs in My Garden:

Basil
Antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties. Also, it is awesome in a pasta sauce.

Rosemary*
Antioxidant and high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. While this isn’t a replacement for an iron supplement (if needed), it is a natural preservative.

Lavender
Anti-bacterial and astringent properties, which supports your dog’s joints, skin, respiratory system, and nervous system. Lavender has a calming effect and acts as a natural insect repellent.

Parsley
Full of antioxidants and vitamins. Acts as a natural breath freshener and can help soothe an upset stomach. Note: Spring Parsley is toxic to dogs and cats.

Lemongrass
Natural flea, moth, and mosquito repellent. Great for cooking and has a fresh lemon scent. Note: Citronella is a cousin of Lemongrass and is often mistaken for it, but it is toxic to dogs. How do you tell the difference? Citronella has red stems instead of green!

Other Dog Safe Herb Options:

AlfalfaAloe Vera*Burdock
Calendula (Pot Marigold)Chamomile*Cilantro (Coriander)**
DandelionDillEchinacea
Garlic*GingerGoldenseal
HawthornLemon BalmLicorice*
MarjoramMilk Thistle*Mullein
NettleOreganoPeppermint*
RoseSage*Slippery Elm*
SpearmintSt John’s Wort*Tarragon
ThymeTurmeric

*Safe in small amounts
**Only appropriate if you don’t live in a Cilantro-free household like mine.

Before introducing a herb to your dog’s diet be sure to consult your veterinarian, especially if your dog has a pre-existing health condition. Some herbs may negatively affect dogs with certain conditions.

Which herbs do you grow and give to your dog?

< G is for #GetTough on Dog Fighting! || I is for Indoor Plants That Are Non-Toxic to Dogs >

Jessica Shipman

Jessica Shipman

Jessica Shipman is a bargain hunter, food lover, and software engineer figuring out how to be a pet parent for the first time. Jessica has been a long time lover of all animals (especially llamas and manatees) and is happy that she can finally combine that love with technology.
Jessica Shipman

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  • sandy weinstein

    i dont grow any herbs for my 3 gals, but i do use lots of homeopathic herbs. feverfew, yucca, milk thistle, tumeric and others….i also use natural flea/tick products that have several of these in them.

  • annstaub

    What an awesome list! I’ve got the nursery right outside of my house, so I’m always taking herbs from over there when I need something for dinner. Mostly basil and parsley. Sage is one of the most hardy plants too. Very hard to kill it!

  • PawesomeCats

    Great post – we’re a big fan of fresh herbs in our human’s meals, and we also have cat grass, cat mint and cat nip growing for our family.

  • I love fresh herbs; I guess I never really thought about sharing them with Laika. And now that I know Lavendar is good for goings & calming I think I know where I’m going to start.

  • MattieDog

    Fresh herbs B so beneficial to dogs (and humans, well and kitties and others), great post!

  • Thanks for the resource!

  • Sierra M. Koester

    Thank you for sharing this awesome information! I had no idea lavender has anti-bacterial properties and can repel insects!

    • beaglesbargains

      It is great for keeping bugs away from your patio or deck!

  • Jodi Jarvis-Therrian

    Thank u so much!!!! I love love love the info!!!! Thanks for the research u put into this !

  • Alix

    Nice tip to distinguish between Citronella and Lemongrass! I really want to start a veggie and herb garden. Maybe this will be the year I do it!

    • beaglesbargains

      I thought so too! I was getting frustrated because at the stores, I kept seeing “Lemongrass (Citronella)”. One is good, but the other isn’t, so which one is it really?

      • Jen

        ASPCA poison control website lists lemongrass as toxic to dogs, cats, horses

  • Kim M

    Glad to see Dandelion on there as olivia thinks the Dandelions in the yard are the most amazing thing ever.

    • beaglesbargains

      As long as you don’t use pesticide on your yard, then that should be perfectly fine! Just let Olivia know that the leaves have all the good stuff!

      • Kim M

        We only do pesticides under the mulch by the house and do not let them near that area. My yard is just over an acre the grass is mainly weeds like dandelions and such. So I am trying to look up what everything is to make sure nothing bad I did see white clover is not good so I have to make sure they stay away from that luckily I dont have much in the area I let them out in. She eats the leaves some but her favorite is the stuff that flies off. she loves chomping at it and chasing it in the wind.

  • Jennifer Costello

    I’ve been wanting to do lavender and lemongrass for quite some time now! This year I will definitely do it!

  • Amanda Yantos

    I love this topic. The herbs you have are my FAVORITE for my kids! What I love is that even with limited space, you can still grow herbs. I used to grow them in my apartment as well! And I love your photo by the way!

    • beaglesbargains

      It’s actually from last year! I haven’t gotten around to planting this year yet. Hopefully this weekend!

      • Amanda Yantos

        I’m guilty of slacking on my spring planting as well 🙁

  • Cathy C Bennett

    Got to share this! Thanks for doing the research Jessica!

  • Helga

    Thanks for this information. I use herbal flea and mosquito repellents on my dogs.

  • Emma

    Mom isn’t into gardening at all, so we don’t grow herbs, but we do get parsley in things occasionally.

  • Kimberley

    Thanks for this post! I didnt know half of those were doggie safe! Could share a nice chamomile tea with Rolo now 🙂
    The only one rolo takes at the moment is milk thistle to protect his liver form his canine epilepsy medication.

  • Jillian (Project Pet Mom)

    Love this! Thanks for sharing. We run our essential oil diffuser in our bedroom every night with lavender oil. The diffuser is right above our dog’s bed, and he seems to really like it! Thanks for sharing!

  • jana rade

    Seams that Rosemary might be contraindicated with seizures and/or contribute. At least according to Dr. Dodds. So I’d be careful with that.

    • beaglesbargains

      Good point! In my research and experience, I found that was more of a risk in very large dosages and is more frequent with rosemary extract which is a higher concentration that just the plant itself.

  • This is a really great idea! I wish I had a kitchen window in my apartment. Fresh herbs are so nice and some of them can be good for your pets.

  • Very important post and one I am sharing right now

  • Kukalaka

    I planted a cilantro seed pod. Every time I see the little seedlings that are popping out of the ground, I think of you. lol!

    I wish I could grow herbs outside. They don’t survive, even if I put them by light. But I’m going to try to grow some container herbs and veggies on the patio! My herbs in the front garden are thriving… especially the cilantro!

    christie from lifewithbeagle.com

    • beaglesbargains

      Bahaha! I got a burrito today and the girl behind me asked for extra cilantro. I wanted to scream. Also, I just bought a parsley plant and I tore a leaf off at the store to verify I wasn’t getting cilantro. One can never be too careful! Hoping your herbs grow big and tasty (even the cilantro)!

  • Terrie

    Learned something new about lavender. Thinking about two big pots by my door. Now, any advice for keeping the beagles from digging in the plants?

  • I love this post! Thanks for sharing info about what herbs are safe for dogs. I love to garden & grow everything! Basil, Sage, Thyme and Rosemary are my favorite herbs; basil for pasta sauce and the others are great on roast chicken. I sometimes share this herbed chicken with my dogs.

    • beaglesbargains

      Basil in pasta sauce is delicious! I used Rosemary in a soup last night!

  • Rachel Sheppard

    This is a great list, thanks for sharing!

  • greyzoned at Angels Bark Blog

    Great post. And I had forgotten about Citronella being toxic to dogs. It’s always good to re-familiarize yourself with these lists. I like your blog!

    Michele at Angels
    Bark

    • beaglesbargains

      I agree. It’s hard to retain all the information! Thank you!

  • I add alfalfa and turmeric to our dogs raw blend. In the summer, I shop at the local farmer’s market and pick up dandelion leaves to add. I want to start growing herbs in our kitchen window.

    • beaglesbargains

      You can do it! Fresh herbs are the best.

  • Meet the Fur-Bombers

    Just bought a bunch of herb seeds to grow this year, we are lucky enough to have yard and are planning on three, a vegetable, an herb, and a flower garden.

    • beaglesbargains

      That sounds great! I hope it flourishes!

  • Ruth Epstein

    Awesome info 🙂

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  • Christine Aiello

    This is a great list to keep handy! Especially since I plan to do my planting of herbs soon! Thanks!

  • Barrie

    What a beneficial list of herbs! I’ll keep these handy and ask my vet the next time we go in!

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