As much as we would like to share everything with our pets, there are some things that can be quite dangerous to them. For instance, you probably already know that chocolate should never find its way into a dog’s belly, but what about other foods?
Cilantro, otherwise known as Mexican parsley or dhania, is a popular herb used in many human foods. And, while people usually either love it or hate it, how do dogs react to it? Can we feed our dog cilantro or is it better to skip it?
Chinese parsley, as it is also known as, is used in cooking worldwide, and you might know it from eating it in guacamole, salsa salad, or some other Mexican dish. Apart from adding a distinctive flavor to our meals, it is also an astonishingly good source of certain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants for we humans.
But, is it safe and healthy for our canine friends as well? Can our pups benefit from eating it?
In this article, we tackle these and other questions you might have about whether or not Cilantro should be a part of dog food.
Is Cilantro good for dogs?
We are happy to say that Cilantro is, in fact, good for dogs. It is rich in vitamins and minerals as we mentioned above and it can also help ease digestive problems!
Cilantro, or Chinese parsley, contains vitamin A, some vitamin C, and vitamin K. These vitamins are essential for growth, good functioning of the immune system, reducing inflammation, developing blood vessels, and slowing cognitive aging. It also contains vitamin E, which helps your dog develop strong and healthy muscles.
The minerals that are in abundance in Chinese parsley include magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and calcium! Iron is crucial for the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin, which are responsible for transporting nutrients throughout a dog’s body.
Magnesium is very important in a lot of daily functions. It helps with muscle movement and muscle regeneration while potassium is there to regulate nerve impulses throughout the body.
Calcium helps your pooch develop healthy bones and aids in blood clotting and dental health. And last, but certainly not least, phosphorus helps your dog maintain healthy bones.
In addition to all of the vitamins and minerals, cilantro has other health benefits, too! Research has shown that this herb offers some anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, which reduce your pup’s risk of infection.
It is also a great source of antioxidants that help your dog get rid of any free radicals.
On top of this, cilantro can be used as an all-natural toothpaste that can help you deal with the not-so-great canine breath.
Is cilantro bad for dogs?
Let’s see the other side of cilantro and find out whether there are any dangers associated with it when it comes to our precious little companions.
Right off the bat, we can say that there aren’t many dangers associated with feeding your pup cilantro, but there are a few things you should know about.
For instance, even though it is not harmful, consuming large amounts of it may become dangerous. Like with most other human foods that we share with our pups, their digestive systems can only handle small quantities.
The size of your dog plays a role, too. If you have a smaller dog, it can handle smaller portions of coriander, and the other way around.
Now you know that eating too much of it can be a problem, but another thing to keep in mind is that eating cilantro too fast can cause your dog to vomit. Always supervise them while eating coriander to ensure that they are not munching it down too fast.
Another thing to remember is that stems should be removed before consumption. Because of their length, they can be a potential choking hazard. You can get away with cutting them up into small pieces before serving them to your pup, but it is recommended that you skip them entirely.
One more potential problem can occur if you are serving this herb with foods that aren’t safe for canines. Therefore, make sure to read up on other foods as well before you let your dog eat them.
While rather uncommon, it is not impossible for a dog to develop an allergy to cilantro. This allergy can manifest in the form of a rash or an upset stomach leading to vomiting or diarrhea. It can also appear as swelling of the face or body. Be on the lookout for any of these signs and contact your vet immediately if you notice them.
Will my dog like cilantro?
Photo from: @thefloofygoose
As we stated above, Chinese parsley or cilantro is one of those herbs that has a very distinct flavor and often divides people into those that absolutely love it and those that hate the sight of it.
Dogs are pretty much the same. Some dogs will eat it without hesitation while other dogs might even refuse their favorite dish if they smell cilantro in it.
The only way you will know for sure what type of dog you have is to add cilantro to its normal meal. It is recommended that you add a tiny bit at first and start from there. If your dog doesn’t mind the new flavor in its food, you can slowly increase the amount over time.
Still, there are some things to consider like how much cilantro you should add, and whether it is possible to give your pup too much cilantro in its food.
But, don’t worry. We got you covered. Just read on and discover how much of this herb is safe for your pup, along with the best ways to serve it.
How much cilantro should I feed my dog?
One thing to always remember is that when you are introducing any new foods to your dog’s diet, it should be done in small amounts and very slowly. This way, you can check for any allergic reactions in your pet and prevent an upset stomach.
The last thing we all want to do is cause our pup to feel sick or experience vomiting and diarrhea just because we gave them too much Chinese parsley.
When it comes to this herb, a pinch mixed into their normal meal is a pretty safe starting point. Observe your dog for the next few days, and if it seems fine with this amount, then it is safe to slowly increase to a full teaspoon of cilantro mixed into the meal two to three times a week. Just make sure not to give them more than that.
How should I serve cilantro?
Fresh cilantro leaves should be chopped up and mixed into your dog’s regular food. You can also sprinkle it on top if your pup doesn’t seem to mind the taste.
With a fussy dog, you can try a pinch of cilantro powder instead, or you can mix the chopped leaves with something tasty such as meat.
As mentioned earlier, cilantro is commonly found in salsa and guacamole or added to many types of Indian curries. These are absolutely not suitable for your dog and can have a serious impact on your dog’s health. You should only give plain, fresh cilantro leaves or cilantro powder.
If your pup really doesn’t like the taste of this herb and frowns every time you add it to its meal, then it is best not to force it.
The importance of a high-quality and well-balanced diet
First and foremost, you should always aim to feed your pup good quality, well-balanced complete dog food. This can be dry or wet, a commercial or a homemade diet, whatever you choose.
It is completely understandable that sometimes you might want to spice up the flavor of your dog’s food and add extra variety to it. You can do this by providing healthy treats and suitable, safe herbs and vegetables for dogs.
If you decide to give cilantro to your dog, you should really stick to what we said earlier in this article and give it only a little bit a couple of times a week.
Talking to your vet is always a good thing, especially if you need more information or advice in regard to adding any supplement to your pup’s diet.
Other varieties and related foods
We’ve pretty much answered the question, “can dogs eat cilantro”, so let’s learn about other varieties and related foods.
Can dogs eat fresh cilantro?
Yes, your pup can definitely eat fresh cilantro! Not only will it flavor your dog’s dish, but it will also provide numerous health benefits.
As it is rich in vitamins and minerals, with few calories, it will be a great addition to any dog’s diet. Apart from that, it can help with any digestive issues your pooch might have.
Can dogs eat dried cilantro?
Yep, pups can eat dried cilantro, too! Dried cilantro is just fresh cilantro that has been heated up and dried out.
The heat takes a lot of the scent and flavor out of cilantro, and because a dog’s taste palates are different from ours, it may provide more of a mild taste that might be better for our canine companions.
Yes, coriander is safe for dogs. Coriander is quite similar to cilantro, but it refers only to what is derived from the plant seed while cilantro refers to the leafy part.
They taste similar and are interchangeable. Both coriander and cilantro are non-toxic to canines.
Photo from: @pontus.and.iris
Cilantro is a healthy herb for both humans and dogs. It is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, along with minerals like iron, manganese, and potassium.
If you feed your pooch high-quality, well-balanced dog food, it is unlikely that it will be lacking in these essential minerals and vitamins. However, it is understandable that you might want to add flavor and supplements to your dog’s food from time to time.
In that case, cilantro can be one of the things you can add to your dog’s dish without worries. It is a safe and healthy supplement for dogs if given in moderate amounts.
As we have learned in this article, it might even have some health benefits for your pup, such as helping with digestive issues, helping to maintain healthy skin, and freshening its breath. Plenty of antioxidants are also there to help prevent certain cancers and diseases!
Just keep in mind that the best way to introduce a new food into your pup’s life is to do it very slowly. Make sure that your dog doesn’t have any allergic reactions or upset stomach after eating it.
If your pup happens to eat too much of this herb, it may lead to diarrhea and vomiting, but generally, a little bit of cilantro mixed into your dog’s normal food a couple of times a week shouldn’t give you any trouble.