Can Dogs Eat Basil? Is Basil Beneficial For Dogs?

Basil, often referred to as “the royal herb,” is among the most widespread culinary herbs in the world.

In the western world, we usually consume Genovese or sweet basil. But there are also other varieties such as Thai basil, lemon basil, African blue basil, and more.

Many dog parents ask this question: Can dogs eat basil as well?

Can Dogs Eat Basil – The Answer Is – Yes!

Basil, in all of its varieties classified under the name Ocimum basilicum, is safe for canines and cats, according to the ASPCA. So, it is safe to add some Thai basil, sweet basil, or Saint Joseph’s wort to your pups’ diet from time to time.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Basil?

This extremely popular herb is an excellent source of essential nutrients and has other beneficial qualities for humans and dogs alike, such as:

  • It is low in calories
  • The herb contains a lot of natural antioxidants
  • It is a good source of minerals, such as iron, calcium, and manganese
  • The plant contains some vitamins K and A
  • Basil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties
  • It helps relieve nausea

Basil, in all its different varieties, is mainly used as a seasoning for various dishes and as a medicinal herb, rather than consumed as a primary food source.

The different varieties of basil have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Eastern medicine, such as Ayurveda.

There are more than 60 varieties of this aromatic herb worldwide.

In colder climates, basil is grown as an annual, while in tropical and warmer ones, it is grown as a perennial.

Can Basil Be Beneficial For Pups As Well?

There have been few studies examining the health benefits of basil for dogs. But the limited ones performed with mice and other lab animals suggest that this herb can help with the following in these animals:

  • It improves the memory and helps with the loss of memory
  • The plant helps reduce the damage from strokes
  • It can reduce stress-related depression
  • The herb can help maintain healthy cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels
  • It thins the blood and relaxes the blood vessels
  • It can prevent some cancers
  • Helps prevent ulcer development
  • Prevents tooth decay from harmful bacteria

So, as you can see, this popular and loved herb can not only make your food delicious but can be beneficial for your four-legged companion as well.

Are There Risks Of Giving Basil To Dogs?

Some dried or fresh basil is safe for canines, but only when given in moderation.

The main risk of feeding your dog too much basil or basil extracts regularly, is that it contains a blood-thinning component that can lead to problems, especially in dogs with pre-existing health issues.

Also, keep in mind that some dogs can be allergic to basil. While it is not a popular allergy in canines, it can lead to mild to severe allergic reactions, such as itching, hives, gastrointestinal problems, and labored breathing.

What Is The Safe Way To Feed My Dog Some Basil?

Always speak to your veterinarian first before adding new foods to your pup’s diet. And when you introduce a new food such as basil, start with minimum quantities and watch for potential adverse reactions. If everything is alright with your pet, you can gradually begin increasing the quantities over time.

The easiest way to incorporate some basil into your pup’s diet is to chop up some fresh basil leaves or use dried basil and sprinkle a pinch or two on top of your dog’s food.

Keep in mind that some canines may dislike basil because of its strong aroma and taste.

What Is The Safe Recommended Quantity Of Basil For Dogs?

Basil does not contain too many essential nutrients to be considered a primary food source. So, use it as a seasoning or supplement for your dog’s food.

Start by sprinkling a minimal amount in your pup’s regular dog food, and watch for any adverse reactions such as digestive problems, itching, diarrhea, vomiting, or others.

Small portions of basil sprinkled on its food occasionally are enough for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits for your dog.

Which Basil Varieties Are Suitable For Canines?

According to the ASPCA, all basil varieties are non-toxic and safe for dogs and cats.

Some of the most popular ones you can give to your dog include:

  • Sweet basil
  • Thai basil
  • Lettuce basil
  • Greek basil
  • Holy basil

Related: Plants Poisonous To Dogs

Final Verdict – Can Dogs Eat Basil

Basil comes in over 60 varieties, and neither is known to be toxic to dogs. So, you can safely add a pinch or two of freshly chopped or dried basil to your dog’s food on occasion.

This popular and aromatic herb has numerous health benefits and can help reduce inflammation and otherwise boost the health and wellbeing of your dog.

So, if your pup likes its taste and smell and shows no allergic reactions to it, you can feel free to treat it with some basil mixed into its food from time to time.

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