Can Dogs Eat Basil? Is It Safe For Dogs [All The Risks]

Basil is a herb that’s used in kitchen all over the world and adds an earthy and pungent flavor profile to many dishes. You may have made a delicious basil and tomato sauce and wondered to yourself; can dogs eat basil? 

Yes, dogs can eat basil. There is no substance contained in the basil plant that is toxic to dogs. However, that’s not the full story. While it’s true that basil is safe for dogs, over use of the herb in your dog’s food might cause health issues for your pooch.

Read on to discover the health benefits, the health risks and the full details of feeding basil to your dog.

What Is Basil? 

As a spice and a herb, basil is a common ingredient in cuisine. As an annual plant, basil only has a single growth season before it withers away.

The basil plant has left its mark on cuisines throughout the globe, thanks to dishes like Italy’s green and robust pesto.

In the United States, basil is referred to as the leaves, stems, or stalks of the plant, rather than the whole plant.

In the United States, the most often used forms of basil are Thai, sweet, and lemon variations, just to mention a few of the numerous sorts of basil available.

Can Dogs Eat Basil? – Is Basil Safe For Dogs?

So, can dogs eat basil? Yes, dogs can eat basil. There is no substance contained in the basil plant that is toxic to dogs and it’s safe for dogs to eat.

Sweet basil, Thai basil, and St. Joseph’s wort are all plants included in this category of being safe for dogs, which is based on the scientific name Ocimum Basilicum.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Basil For Dogs?

Whether your dog is eating sweet basil, Thai basil or St joseph’s wort, the inherent antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties of basil will be found in all of them. Let’s have a closer look at the health benefits of feeding your dog basil.

Antioxidants To Help Prevent Cellular Damage

Free radicals may be destroyed by basil. In addition, it protects cells from injury and may even repair damage to cells. Basil’s anti-inflammatory properties alone may help avoid many of today’s most common canine health issues. 

Cancer Fighting Properties For Your Dog

Antioxidants in basil may help prevent cancer and other debilitating illnesses. It has been shown to have anti-cancer properties in several studies.

Anti Inflammation Properties For Your Dog

Basil’s anti-inflammatory qualities help protect dogs from ailments like arthritis, unlike conventional pharmaceutical medicines. For those who are at risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, beta caryophyllene contained in basil may help.

Reduce Anxiety In Dogs

Anxiety in dogs is a common occurrence, and basil may help alleviate the symptoms. Dogs benefit more from the soothing effects of basil than they do from most pharmaceutical anxiety medications. Anxiety-inducing stress chemicals may be reduced by giving basil to your dog.

Good Source Of Vitamins And Minerals

Basil has a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and B complex, calcium, iron, and potassium.

What Are The Risks Of Letting Dogs Eat Basil?

There are lots of good reasons to feed your dog basil, however there are some risks that are important to keep in mind.

Basil Can Give Your Dog Diarrhea

Basil has a high level of fiber. There’s around 37g of fiber in a 100g portion of basil.

Some dogs are more sensitive to the addition of fiber to their diets, and as a result, they are more prone to having loose stools and, in some instances, heavy diarrhea.

Where other dogs are concerned, additional fiber will have no effect on their bowel movements.

Your Dog Could Have An Allergic Reaction To Basil

There is a chance that your dog is allergic to basil, since any food may cause an intolerance or allergy in a dog.

Basil should not be fed to a dog who has shown signs of being allergic to this plant.

Possible symptoms of allergies can be:

  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Itchy ears
  • Hives or skin rashes
  • Diarrhea

If you see any of these signs in your dog after feeding her basil, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.

What Happens If A Dog Eats Basil?

It’s unlikely that your dog will have any significant adverse effects to eating basil. This is because basil is non-toxic for dogs and is safe for them to eat.

However, if you’re introducing basil to your dog for the first time you may want to start slowly and gradually. If your dog has never had basil before, or if they’ve never really eaten plant based foods, there’s a reasonable chance they simply won’t like it due to unfamiliarity.

In a very small minority of cases a dog could be allergic to basil. Symptoms of an allergic reaction would include the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Hives or skin rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchy ears

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after consuming basil, book an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.

Related – Dogs like fish, but can dogs eat sardines safely? Find out by reading can dogs eat sardines?

How Much Basil Can I Give My Dog?

When you have gradually introduced basil into your dog’s diet and observed for any indications of indigestion or other undesirable responses, sprinkle a small pinch of basil over your dog’s meals around 2 to 3 times a month. If your dog particularly likes basil, then you can add it to their meals once a week.

Basil should only be used as a dietary supplement, not as a primary food source, due to the fact it contains only very small amounts of key nutritional elements.

It’s only really worth feeding your dog basil if they indicate they really like it.

How Do You Use Basil In Dog Food?

How Do You Use Basil In Dog Food

It’s easy to use basil in dog food. Basil, whether fresh or dried, can be used to liven up your dog’s food. To use basil in dog food, just chop up fresh basil or sprinkle dried basil as a flavoring over your dog’s wet or dry food.

Keep in mind that you should introduce basil to your dog in very modest doses if you aren’t sure your dog will like it. Not all dogs are fans of this popular herb, which has a characteristic odour and taste.

How Do I Feed My Dog Basil?

Feeding basil to your dog is a cinch. Dog food may be seasoned with basil by chopping up fresh basil or by sprinkling dried basil on top of your dog’s meal. You can sprinkle a pinch of basil on wet dog food or dry dog food.

Keep in mind that as a nutritional supplement, basil is OK, but it should not be used as a major source of nutrition for your dog.

Further, if you’re unsure whether your dog will like basil, you should introduce basil to your dog slowly over 2 to 3 weeks and only give basil to them in very small amounts.

Related – Dogs often eat things they shouldn’t, including crayons. Find out if crayons can hurt your pooch by reading are crayons toxic to dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Thai Basil

Yes, dogs can eat Thai basil. It’s perfectly safe for dogs to eat Thai basil because there are no substances contained in Thai basil that are toxic to dogs.

In fact, dogs can eat all of the basil plant varieties categorized by the scientific name Ocimum Basilicum. This includes regular basil, Sweet basil and St. Joseph’s wort.

Is My Dog Allergic To Basil?

An intolerance or allergy to any food may develop in a dog, which means there is always the small chance that your dog has an allergy to basil.

If you want to check whether your dog is allergic to basil, first ask yourself these questions:

  • Has your dog become sick or had diarrhea after eating plants or herbs in the past?
  • Has your dog become sick or had diarrhea after eating mint?
  • Has your dog become sick or had diarrhea after eating any other members of the mint family? This includes lavender, oregano and thyme. 

If the answer to the above is yes, then there’s a chance your dog may be allergic to basil. This is because basil is a herb and it is part of the mint family (also known as Lamiaceae)

However, if you answer no the above questions, then there’s only a very minimal chance your dog is allergic to basil.

If you want to introduce basil to your dog for the very first time then start with a very tiny pinch of basil sprinkled over wet or dry dog food.

After that, watch for any signs or symptoms of an allergy. Allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Hives or skin rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchy ears

If your dog shows any of these symptoms after eating basil, you should take your dog to see a veterinarian right away. And of course, you should not feed them anymore basil.

Related – Dogs love sweet fruits as much as us humans, but are dates safe for dogs to consume? Find out by reading can dogs eat dates?

Can Basil Make Dogs Sick?

There are no substances or chemical compounds in basil that will inherently make dogs sick. Fresh or dried basil is completely safe for your dog. However, basil extracts might create problems if given in excess to dogs with medical conditions. This is because if a dog has a pre-existing medical condition, it’s possible that basil supplements may aggravate those conditions because of the supplements’ ability to thin the blood.

Is Basil Plant Poisonous To Dogs?

No, the basil plant is not poisonous to dogs. Basil is completely safe for dogs and doesn’t contain anything toxic to dogs.

The basil plant is categorized by the scientific name Ocimum Basilicum, and all plants in this category are found to be non toxic to dogs, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Does Basil Give Dogs Diarrhea?

There are no substances in basil that will inherently give a dog diarrhea. With that said, Basil is high in dietary fiber. A 100g serving of basil has around 37g of fiber.

For some dogs whom are very sensitive to added fiber in their diets, this level of fiber could be a little too much for them. Therefore, it’s possible that eating basil could result in those dogs having loose stools or full diarrhea.

If you have a dog that has shown to be sensitive to added fiber, or has a history of loose stools, it’s best to avoid feeding them basil.

Related – Find out why dogs love pork rib bones and if it’s safe to feed them to your dog by reading can dogs eat pork rib bones?

Can Puppies Eat Basil?

It’s not recommended to feed puppies basil unless your veterinarian specifically recommends it for your pup’s health.

Why is that? Because your puppy should eat a special puppy diet for the first few months of its life. This diet should be approved by your veterinarian after your puppy is examined by them.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Basil?

Yes, dogs can at raw basil. The basil plant can be served to your dog either raw, or cooked or dried. Raw basil is another way to refer to fresh basil. Basil in and of itself is safe for dogs to eat no matter whether it’s served raw straight from the packet or whether it’s been heated up. 

Related – Many vegetables are good for dogs, but what about a full vegetable broth? Find out by reading can dogs eat vegetable broth?

Can Dogs Eat Basil Pesto?

Pesto is not suitable for dogs to eat due the ingredients used to make it. Pesto’s taste is enhanced by the heavy use of garlic in the recipe. Many pest varieties also contain pine nuts. But garlic is toxic to dogs and must never be fed to dogs, and pine nuts are harmful to dogs also.

For this reason, basil pesto is not suitable for dogs to eat.

With that said, your local veterinarian clinic or a pet food shop may carry dog-friendly pesto versions. Alternatively, you could make a homemade pesto-style sauce with just basil and serve it to your dog. It won’t be as spicy as a conventional pesto sauce, but it will be safe for your canine friend to eat.

Related – Liver based foods are popular, but can dogs eat the famous German liver meat? Find out by reading can dogs eat liverwurst braunschweiger?

Final Thoughts On Can Dogs Eat Basil

After reading this article you know the answer to the question; can dogs eat basil? The answer is yes, basil is safe for dogs, there are no substances or compounds in basil that are toxic to dogs.

However, like most foods we wish to share with dogs, moderation is the key point. While basil is safe for dogs, if you over feed basil to your dog then health complications could arise.