As you have probably known, the most common questions the dog owners look for are often related to food, its benefit to the dogs’ health, and possible side effects. Most people know that canines eat meat and bones, but they are usually unsure about vegetables.
For instance, some herbs and spices can be unsuitable and even toxic for this species. Therefore, the question can dogs eat cilantro is not strange at all. It seems that most of them enjoy eating this herb, but you should take a closer look at the subject.
What Is Cilantro?
Cilantro (coriander, dhania, Mexican parsley, Chinese parsley) is flavorful leaves and stalks. Its dried seeds are well-known as coriander. You can use this versatile plant in many Mexican, Indian, and Middle Eastern recipes. Since it doesn’t dry well, it is better to use it fresh.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
Even though cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is highly beneficial for people, the dogs’ digestive system is more sensitive, and they can’t consume everything people can. When it comes to cilantro, you can offer it to your furry friend from time to time as a treat.
According to ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), cilantro is non-toxic to dogs if except for animals that suffer from plant-based allergies.
Cilantro Health Benefits For Dogs
If you decide to add cilantro to the dog’s diet, you should stick to routine and be consistent. While small doses of this plant can improve canine’s health, often and too sudden changes in diet may lead to upset stomachs.
Cholesterol-free cilantro is low in calories (only two calories per one-half cup) and an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.
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One-half cup of fresh cilantro provides 28% of vitamin K and 3% of vitamins A and C that the dog’s body needs daily.
1. The Dog Body Detox
Some studies show that cilantro helps the animal’s body clean of heavy metals, including toxic mercury. The plant’s compounds bind to poisonous metals cumulated in body tissues and facilitate their excretion. Only a small amount added to a daily meal will help regular defecation and natural body detoxification.
2. Antioxidant Support
This beneficial plant is rich in potent antioxidants that protect the body’s cells from potentially harmful free radicals. Scientists believe that these compounds can reduce inflammation and prevent many diseases, including cancer.
3. Help Against Infections
Cilantro has powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. Adding a small amount of this plant to a dog’s meal can help its body fights off many infections, particularly those related to its digestive system. It is proven that fresh cilantro leaves kill Salmonella enterica and help against foodborne infections.
4. Reduce Heart Disease Risk Factors
Both cilantro and coriander may reduce blood clots formation, blood pressure, and heart disease risk factors.
5. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Cilantro increases enzyme activity levels and reduces blood sugar levels by removing excess sugar.
6. Solve Digestive Problems
Traditionally, cilantro is used to relieve digestive problems, especially an upset stomach. It will be beneficial for breeds that suffer from excess gases and significantly help to solve this issue.
7. Promote Restful Sleep
Sometimes, ill and senior dogs have sleeping problems. You can help your buddy by offering it cilantro. Thanks to its sleep-prolonging effects, your dog will sleep peacefully. Unlike some medications you can use to reach the same effect, this plant has no bad neurotoxic effects.
8. Help Against Anxiety
Cilantro is well-known as a mood- and energy-booster, so regular intake may reduce stress in dogs.
9. Improve Vision And Skin
Thanks to vitamin A this plant contains, you can use it to improve your dog’s vision. Additionally, it will protect the skin against oxidative radicals and prevent possible issues by repairing damaged skin cells.
10. Improve Dog Breath
You can give cilantro to your dog to prevent and solve the problem of gum infections. It will also naturally freshen its breath.
How To Serve Cilantro To The Dog
As you have probably known, you can buy cilantro seeds, leaves, and powder. You can use all of the varieties available, but you should be aware that seeds and powder contain lower vitamin and mineral levels than fresh leaves. Therefore, your dog will have more benefits when you feed it with the fresh plant.
The best option is to chop fresh cilantro leaves and add them to the dog’s regular meal. Always start with a small amount until determining the right proportion that doesn’t spoil the food taste. If you have a fussy dog or picky eater, you can try with a pinch of the powdered cilantro over the meat it enjoys eating.
Some experts recommend other ways of serving, such as:
Dry cilantro – You can combine half a teaspoon of grounded dried cilantro with the wet dog food before serving a meal.
Oil extract – Sometimes, it is possible to find cilantro oil extract or even a fluid form of this herb. In such a case, you should add a drop in the water bowl instead of in food.
Cooked – Offer your dog cilantro in the food you have cooked for yourself. For example, lime-cilantro rice is both delicious and healthy option. Keep in mind that this recipe requires 0.5 cups of chopped cilantro for four servings, so it is a better solution to lessen this amount when planning to share a portion with your buddy.
Never offer the dog salsa or guacamole with cilantro, only fresh leaves. Keep in mind that human food seasoned with this herb often contains other ingredients that can be toxic for dogs. Therefore, avoid offering your pet food with preservatives, garlic, onions, leek, and chives.
Also, never force the animal to eat this plant if it doesn’t like it. Your goal is to provide delicious food for your four-legged friend, not distract it from the meal.
Best Cilantro Recipes
In most cases, high-quality dog food is the best option for your furry friend. However, canines are social creatures that adore their owners and enjoy sharing everything with them, especially food. Therefore, it will be nice to share your meal with your buddy and make it incredibly happy. However, pay particular attention to ingredients and avoid those that can be harmful or poisonous to dogs.
My favorite options include:
Pork – Add pieces of pork to a bun or wrap them in a tortilla. Cover it with cooked rice sprinkled with cilantro, and share this delicious meal with your dog.
Chicken – Prepare the chicken dish with lemon juice and add cilantro to provide a unique herbal flavor. It is an entirely safe meal for both you and your dog.
How Much Is Cilantro Safe For Dogs?
When it comes to this plant, your dog will probably appreciate a pinch of fresh cilantro mixed into its regular meal. Once it gets used to a new taste, you can gradually increase the amount to a full teaspoon a few times a week. There is no need to add more, especially if you have a small breed. Except for fresh leaves, you can also find cilantro powder and oil to use them out of season.
Do Dogs Like Cilantro?
Since cilantro is a plant with a recognizable strong flavor, some dogs may find it too intrusive and try to avoid the meal. There are no rules. Some canines enjoy such a taste while others hate it, just like humans.
The only way to be sure if your furry friend likes this herb or not is to test it by adding a small amount to the meal. Basically, your dog can live without cilantro, but its food is often monotonous, and it is always a good idea to improve its diet by adding extra variety.
It is not usual, but some dogs can be allergic to cilantro, so you should be highly careful once you decide to introduce this plant to your pet’s diet. Offer it in a small amount first to check the dog’s reaction. Symptoms of an allergy can appear in a few forms, including:
- Mild skin rash
- Face and body swelling
Sometimes, your dog can suffer from mild digestive inconveniences, such as an upset stomach followed by vomiting and diarrhea, after overeats cilantro. Be careful since your buddy will probably avoid this ingredient once it experiences these troubles.
If you notice any unusual reaction immediately after consuming cilantro, you need to take your dog to the vet right away.
Cilantro is a highly beneficial plant for canines thanks to the high value of vitamins A, C, and K and numerous minerals. When you give it as a treat, this plant is a healthy supplement that may improve your dog’s health.
However, it is recommended to offer it in moderate amounts to prevent possible side effects. Be particularly careful if you have a pet that suffers from food allergies. Consultations with your vet can prevent unwanted complications.