Cilantro is something you either like a lot or hate with a passion. For those who appreciate its aromatic, exotic aroma and deep, almost citrus flavor, it’s a flavorsome addition to hundreds of dishes.
However, others feel it has an unpleasantly soapy flavor that has no place in our food! (there’s a scientific reason for this, believe it or not!)
Either way, cilantro is a popular herb in cuisines worldwide.
But what about our furry friends? Can dogs eat cilantro?
Join us as we find out all about this super-herb and whether it’s safe for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
Let’s get to the point straight away: yes, dogs can eat cilantro!
This herb contains no harmful toxins, so it is considered safe for dogs when eaten in moderation.
Please don’t assume that it’s okay to pile your pooch’s food bowl high with the stuff, as it won’t end well! The key is to only give your dog small amounts of cilantro every few days.
We’ll look at the health benefits later, along with any side effects, but first, we’ll clear up some of the confusion around the name of this tasty herb.
Coriandrum Sativum is a plant native to parts of the Mediterranean (especially North Africa) and the Middle East but is widely cultivated in India and Asia. It has become a familiar ingredient in Indian cuisine especially, packing the delicious dishes with extra flavor.
For the most part, it is known as coriander outside the US but is also called dhania in India and Mexican Parsley or Chinese Parsley in other parts of the globe.
Why is this important when asking, can dogs have cilantro? Because we have to be sure that we are talking about the same herb, as some people use different names for it!
Cilantro Leaves, Seeds, Oil, Or Stems?
In most countries, the entire cilantro plant is used. Many people in the US refer to the fresh leaves as cilantro and the seeds as coriander.
However, they are still one and the same plant.
The seeds are used whole or can be ground into powder form for use in cooking human foods.
It can also be bought as an oil extract. However, cilantro oil is highly concentrated, so you must be very careful with the amount you use.
When it comes to sharing this herb with our canine companions, it’s best to use the fresh leaves and stems (more on this subject in a moment) or the ground seeds. Feeding dogs the whole seeds isn’t advisable as they gain no real benefit from them.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Stems?
Yes, but you’ll need to chop them up small to avoid any risk of choking on long stems. Smaller dogs are especially prone to choking, although it can affect any breed.
Most of the vitamins are in the fresh leaves and stems, while cilantro seeds (coriander seeds) are higher in minerals.
Overall, it’s best to use fresh leaves, but the whole plant can be used.
Dry, ground cilantro is good for sprinkling over your dog’s food, but fresh is always the better option.
Is Cilantro Bad For Dogs?
As we pointed out already, there are no known toxins in cilantro, so it is generally safe for them to eat.
However, it’s best to only use small quantities as this herb is high in fiber. Too much fiber in a dog’s diet may upset its stomach, resulting in diarrhea or constipation.
On extremely rare occasions, some dogs have allergic reactions to this herb. This is another reason to avoid giving your dog large amounts, especially if they’ve never eaten it before.
After feeding them a tiny amount, watch for any adverse effects. It’s unlikely, but it’s always worth being cautious, just in case.
So, cilantro won’t do your furry friend any harm, provided you don’t overdo it, especially if your fur baby has a sensitive stomach.
In fact, when given in moderate amounts, it has some excellent benefits, as we’ll see in the next section.
However, keep in mind that many spices and human food can be toxic for dogs, such as:
Health Benefits Of Cilantro
Is Cilantro Good For Dogs? Yes, it is!
Here’s what you’ll find inside this amazing herb:
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• Dietary fiber
In addition to all these nutrients, cilantro has antifungal and antibacterial properties, keeping your dog’s digestive system free from nasty bugs.
It can help with digestive issues, like an upset stomach; just add a pinch of cilantro to your pooch’s food bowl, and it will ease the symptoms.
Fresh cilantro leaves are high in potent antioxidants that boost the immune system. These are excellent at fighting free radical particles that cause rapid aging and certain cancers.
The fresh leaves can freshen your dog’s breath, which is a bonus for everyone!
This wonder-herb also promotes healthy skin and strong bones, prevents gum infections, and regulates blood clotting.
Finally, the vitamins and minerals improve brain health and boost red blood cell production, helping oxygen and nutrients to make their way around the dog’s body.
All in all, this herb is excellent for your dog’s health. The same can be said for a few other herbs, such as basil.
Can dogs eat cilantro? With health benefits like this, they certainly can!
How Much Cilantro Can A Dog Eat?
A small handful of chopped fresh leaves and stems or a teaspoon of dried cilantro sprinkled over your furry pal’s regular dog food is adequate.
Avoid using this every day. Instead, offer it to your dog every two or three days as a healthy treat. Your furry friend will benefit from a couple of servings a week.
Alternatively, dog owners can add one or two drops to their pet’s water bowl. Don’t add any more than this as it is concentrated and may cause digestive problems.
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Rice?
When your poor puppy is recovering from an upset stomach, a small bowl of rice with cilantro is just the thing to help them.
However, there are some precautions to be aware of!
Many websites and doggy blogs happily shout, yes! Go ahead and give your dog cilantro-lime rice!
What they neglect to say is that when humans make this dish, they add a ton of salt and butter. Do not add salt or butter if you make this for your dog. Neither of these ingredients will do your pet any good, especially if they already have an upset stomach!
Likewise, with lime juice. Dogs are highly sensitive to citrus and will usually avoid it (ever offered your pooch a lemon to sniff?). The citric acid irritates their stomach and makes them feel pretty rough.
So, if you give your dog cilantro rice, let it be just that: a small bowl of plain rice with a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro.
In Summary: Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
A little bit of cilantro (or coriander) in your dog’s food every few days will be a great addition to its diet.
By now, you know the drill: only use small amounts and add it to your dog’s food a couple of times a week.
Any new food should be introduced gradually in case there are any side effects, particularly as some dogs are allergic to cilantro.
So there you have it; cilantro, coriander, dhania, or whatever you like to call it, will help keep your puppy healthy! It’s a perfect natural remedy that your dog will enjoy.