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Herbs For Pets

March 15 2023

Do you enjoy cooking? It’s become quite popular for people to grow their own kitchen herbs. This can make for delicious, flavorful food … but it can be a problem for pet owners. Not everything we enjoy is safe for our furry friends! A local Highlands Ranch, CO vet lists some safe and unsafe herbs for pets in this article.

Safe Herbs

Many popular culinary herbs are safe for both Fluffy and Fido. These include basil, sage, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, and lavender. Turmeric and cinnamon are okay for Fido, while catnip, dandelion, valerian, echinacea, and goldenseal are fine for Fluffy. Some herbs can actually be beneficial to your furry pal. For instance, parsley has antimicrobial properties which are good for your pet’s oral health, and can also be helpful for treating urinary tract infections. Rosemary is high in antioxidants, and can also help aid digestion. Ask your vet for more information.

Unsafe Herbs

It’s also important to know what not to give your four-legged friend. Allspice, bay leaf, cloves, curry, hops, marjoram, mustard seed, and paprika are all unsafe. Garlic is toxic to pets, as are its cousins; onions, scallions, and chives. Cayenne is another hard no: it isn’t toxic, but Fido and Fluffy definitely won’t enjoy the burning taste. There are also many herbs that are sometimes safe and sometimes not. For instance, regular thyme is okay, but Spanish thyme contains a toxic oil called diterpene, which can cause vomiting, respiratory issues, and other problems. Parsley is also complicated: the curly-leaf varieties are fine, but the flat-leaf ones may be toxic to pets. You can find more information on the ASPCA site here.


Always err on the side of caution here. Contact your vet immediately if you know or suspect that Fido or Fluffy have ingested something that could be unsafe. If you grow herbs that aren’t pet-safe, make sure your furry buddy can’t reach them. Put a little fence around your herb garden, use elevated beds to raise it up, or use other pet-proofing tactics to block it off. Last but not least, always consult your vet before giving your pet any type of herb. Even safe herbs may counteract with supplements or medications, and must be given in proper doses.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Feel free to contact us, your local Highlands Ranch, CO animal clinic, anytime!

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