Pet Wellness Guides > What Spices Can Dogs Eat? - Pet Insurance Review

What Spices Can Dogs Eat?

Posted: 11/30/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Pet care , Top Tips

If you’re a pup parent, you know dogs don’t have the most… discerning palate. In fact, they’ll eat pretty much anything! But that doesn’t mean their minds aren’t blown when you offer them something particularly delicious! But sharing our food isn’t always a good idea because it may contain herbs and spices that aren’t safe for dogs. What spices can dogs eat? Keep reading to find out!

what spices can dogs eat?

7 Common Spices That are Good for Dogs

If you do a lot of cooking for your family, or even if you prepare your dog’s food at home, the following spices are completely safe – if not healthy – for dogs:


Turmeric is known for its many health benefits, including improving heart, joint, and brain health. Made from a root similar to ginger, the spice has also shown some promising results as protection against cancer and anemia, thanks to the curcumin found within turmeric. 

If you don’t cook or eat a lot of foods with turmeric but want to provide the health benefits to your pup, look for a turmeric supplement that has been specially designed for dogs.


If you love Italian food, you’ve probably eaten plenty of oregano in your life. While it helps make pizza and pasta dishes that much more delicious, the spice is high in antioxidants and flavonoids. Oregano is commonly used in both people and dogs to treat digestive issues as it can help reduce diarrhea and gas.


Rosemary is an incredibly beneficial herb for you and your pup! It is high in vitamin B6, iron and calcium and also acts as a powerful antioxidant. As an added bonus, rosemary is also a natural flea repellant!


Peppermint has long been used to soothe nausea and upset GI systems, reduce gas and help with motion sickness. If your dog has any GI trouble, speak to your vet about adding peppermint to their diet.


Ginger root is a powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. In addition to also helping ease digestive upset, it can help with circulation and joint pain. Here’s a recipe for dog-friendly gingerbread treats.


Basil is definitely a dog-approved herb that happens to boast antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.  Did you know basil has been used on people and in dogs to treat everything from diabetes, cancer and joint pain? You may want to chop a little up and add it to your dog’s diet to help with inflammation and pain, or just to give your dog a new taste sensation!


Cinnamon has to be one of the best spices around hands down! Not only is it incredibly delicious, it also helps with blood sugar management and lowers insulin resistance. Plus, it is an anti-inflammatory and protects against heart disease and cancer. I’m sure your dog wouldn’t mind having a little cinnamon sprinkled in his food. Just be sure it’s organic, pure cinnamon with no added sugar.

Thinking of insuring your pet?

Get Quotes & Compare

5 Spices That are Toxic to Dogs

Now that you know spices that are safe for dogs to eat, let’s take a look at five spices you should NEVER give your dog:


Onions, as well as onion powder, contain sulfoxides and disulfides that can damage your dog’s red blood cells. Over time this can lead to anemia. Onions and onion powder can also upset your dog’s stomach and lead to diarrhea and vomiting. 


When it comes to answering the question, “Is garlic safe for dogs?” there are definitely differing opinions. Many vets and pup parents will tell you to keep your dog away from garlic. However, some pup parents use garlic to help ward off fleas on their dogs. Garlic can definitely be toxic to dogs, so our opinion is better safe than sorry. And of course, you can always speak to your vet to get their opinion.


People salt their food liberally. But salt is definitely not good in large quantities for our pups. Eating too much salt can lead to increased thirst and urination, which can ultimately lead to dehydration and poor kidney health. Plus, if your pup ingests something with a lot of salt (as most human processed foods contain) they can experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. 

The recommended daily amount of sodium for a 33-pound dog is only 200mg. To put that into perspective, a cup of noodle soup can have as much as 1,480mg of sodium. That turns out to be MORE than 7x the daily recommended amount! For this reason, it’s advised to never share junk food with your dogs.

Cocoa Powder

You most likely know that chocolate can be deadly for dogs, and so can cocoa powder. While not a spice per se, cocoa powder contains a compound similar to caffeine, which can harm your dog’s nervous system. Cocoa powder can also cause kidney and heart problems in dogs. Since cocoa powder is often used in baking, it is advised that you never share your chocolate cookies, donuts, or cakes/cupcakes with your pup. And don’t leave these items on a table or counter where your pooch could easily snag them. 


Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin, which is actually used in insecticides.  In dogs, myristicin can cause high blood pressure, hallucinations, increased heart rate, abdominal pain and even seizures. While a tiny bite of a cookie with nutmeg may cause no harm, it’s really best to keep this spice away from your dog.

Final Thoughts

What spices can dogs eat? As you can see, there are a variety of spices that are not only safe for your dog but also offer great health benefits. We encourage you to speak with your vet before adding any new foods or spices to your pup’s diet. This is particularly true for any dog diagnosed with health conditions and/or on any medications. Your vet can help you determine how much of any safe spice to offer in each meal. 

Thinking of Pet Insurance?

Not sure which provider is best? Here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,497
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.3Pet Assure12



Zoi V, Galani V, Lianos GD, Voulgaris S, Kyritsis AP, Alexiou GA. The Role of Curcumin in Cancer Treatment. Biomedicines. 2021 Aug 26;9(9):1086. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9091086. PMID: 34572272; PMCID: PMC8464730.

Veenstra JP, Johnson JJ. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) extract for food preservation and improvement in gastrointestinal health. Int J Nutr. 2019;3(4):43-52. doi: 10.14302/issn.2379-7835.ijn-19-2703. Epub 2019 Apr 9. PMID: 31080888; PMCID: PMC6508890.

Mohr C, Jensen C, Padden N, Besel JM, Brant JM. Peppermint Essential Oil for Nausea and Vomiting in Hospitalized Patients: Incorporating Holistic Patient Decision Making Into the Research Design. J Holist Nurs. 2021 Jun;39(2):126-134. doi: 10.1177/0898010120961579. Epub 2020 Sep 27. Erratum in: J Holist Nurs. 2022 Sep;40(3):NP1-NP5. PMID: 32985338.

Silva ML, Bernardo MA, Singh J, de Mesquita MF. Cinnamon as a Complementary Therapeutic Approach for Dysglycemia and Dyslipidemia Control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Its Molecular Mechanism of Action: A Review. Nutrients. 2022 Jul 5;14(13):2773. doi: 10.3390/nu14132773. PMID: 35807953; PMCID: PMC9269353.



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

Get a quote today

Leave a review