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:

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

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.

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.

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.

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)**
HawthornLemon BalmLicorice*
MarjoramMilk Thistle*Mullein
RoseSage*Slippery Elm*
SpearmintSt John’s Wort*Tarragon

*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?

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Jessica Shipman
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