Can Dogs Eat Cilantro? Is Cilantro Safe for Dogs?

can dogs eat cilantro

Can Dogs Eat Cilantro? This is a common question among dog owners and lovers, as we very well know that many herbs and spices are inappropriate or even toxic for dogs.

But to get to the point​: ​Yes, you can feed your dog cilantro, but in moderation.

​Dogs Can Eat Cilantro

​According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), cilantro – also known as coriander or Chinese parsley – is non-toxic not only to dogs but also to cats and horses, provided that the animal does not suffer from plant-based allergies and that cilantro is given in small amounts.

Health Benefits of Cilantro for Dogs

​Though there is little research on the actual health benefits of cilantro for dogs, experts indicate that when consumed by dogs in moderation, our canines can also reap the health benefits of this nifty herb. Here are the most compelling facts:

​Great source of vitamins and minerals

​Many consider cilantro as a superfood, as even a small quantity packs a myriad of essential nutrients, including Vitamins A, B Complex, C, E, K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Thus, this superfood is an overall health boon, especially for the eyes, bones, and overall function of the body.

​Provides antioxidant support

Research on cilantro’s effect on human skin cells show how this herb can help repair skin cells and protect the skin from oxidative stress. The same effect can also be seen for dogs, as canines are also susceptible to oxidative radicals, and basically, the same chemistry applies in both scenarios.

​Detox the body of toxic metals

​Just as cilantro helps humans in toxic metal cleansing, dogs can also benefit from this as the compounds in the herb bind to toxic metals in body tissues, and help loosen and excrete them, thus supporting your canine’s natural detoxification process.

​Helps combat anxiety

​Cilantro also has mood-boosting properties that can help reduce stress from your dog.

​Promotes restful sleep

​Is your dog having sleeping problems? Cilantro was shown to have sleep-prolonging effects without any other neurotoxic effect.

How Much Cilantro Can a Dog Eat?

cilantro for dogs

​Source: ​looseends, CC-BY, via flickr

Despite some of its health benefits listed above, you have to take note that this herb should not be used as a primary source for your dog’s nutrients.

It is thus not recommended for you to suddenly shift your dog’s diet into something that’s filled with cilantro. Take to heart what ​veterinarians always advice: your furry friend must have a normal, healthy diet, and no substitute – even by superfoods like cilantro – can take precedence over this.

​But how much should you give your dog? A general rule is to introduce them to the herb gently. For a time, you can mix less than a half teaspoon or a pinch of cilantro in their food. This is to ascertain if they are allergic to it.

In time, you can either increase or decrease the amount, but no more than a whole teaspoon, as it may upset their stomach, or may even lead to gas, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Important detail: take note of your dog’s size – the smaller the dog, the less cilantro should be served!

How to Serve Cilantro to Dogs

One thing must be mentioned right ahead: cilantro is not something you should directly feed your dog. It should be introduced in small amounts.

​Here are three ways to serve cilantro to our furry friends:

  1. 1​Mix grounded dried cilantro (about half a teaspoon) to their wet dog food.
  2. 2​If you can get cilantro in fluid form or oil extract, you can also mix a drop in your dog’s water bowl.
  3. 3​Serve them some viands you cooked for yourself, such as lime cilantro rice, but take note that you should lessen the cilantro you use when you also plan to feed this to your dog, as recipes for lime-cilantro rice usually call for half a cup of chopped cilantro for four servings.

Conclusion: Moderation is Key

While we may want our furry friend to be as experimental when it comes to their palates, and while many herbs such as cilantro are in fact “superfoods” packed with vitamins and nutrients and a whole lot of health benefits, we must always take to heart that dogs – even though they provide us with warm snuggles and loving companionship – are not humans. They don’t possess the complex human body that we have that can easily digest many types of food.

Yet do not fear or be saddened, as we can indeed feed cilantro to our beloved dogs, but in moderation. No sudden diet shifts should be made — no unnecessary interruptions in their daily routine. Just add a pinch of cilantro in their dog food or a drop of cilantro extract in their water, and that’s it!

And one last advice: always talk to your dog’s veterinarian before ​proceeding ​to ​give your dog cilantro. Your dog might actually be on medication right now or has a condition that will be aggravated by that pinch of the herb.

Once your vet has properly vetted the cilantro move, you can head to the grocery and buy yourself and your family, plus your dog, a stash of cilantro!

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Heather Simons
Heather is just a great lover of animals in general. She frequently jokes that her home is like a zoo, as she has birds, lizards, fishes, two dogs, a cat, and a pair of hamsters. If she could be anywhere, it would be out in the wilderness. In her spare time, she loves to camp and go hiking. She has been providing insight into raising animals for about 10 years and has had several articles published on various sites. She not only writes, but edits materials as well, and the local newspaper in her community publishes her articles on the proper care of animals.