Can Dogs Eat Basil? A Complete Guide

can dogs eat basil

Basil is such a yummy and diverse herb that used in many dishes, especially in Italian cuisine. It’s fragrant and adds a real punch to almost any pizza or pasta dish. But can dogs eat basil? Is it safe for them? What about pesto?

In this blog, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about feeding your dog basil, whether it’s safe, how to do it, and how much they’re allowed to have.

Let’s find out!

In Short: Can Dogs Eat Basil?

Yes, dogs can eat basil safely. It’s non-toxic to them and research has even proven it to help with some doggie-related diseases, including types of cancers and inflammation.

As with anything you add to your dog’s meals, it’s important to check with your vet first and only feed basil to dogs in moderation. Too much basil in your dog’s diet could cause digestive issues.

Is Basil Good for Dogs?

There are lots of health benefits to adding basil to your dog’s diet. It’s rich in vitamins A and K and high in antioxidants, which help your pup’s immune system and overall health.

There are also some studies to suggest that basil contains anti-inflammatory properties which can help pups suffering from arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.

Whilst basil is good for pups, it’s important to feed them this herb in small quantities, which means they probably won’t notice huge amounts of improvement (although it won’t harm either). Too much fresh or dried basil could cause a gastrointestinal upset.

Is Basil Safe for Dogs?

Yes, it’s safe to give dogs basil, in fact, there are even some benefits. Your pup may love the taste too! But, as is the case whenever you introduce a new food to their diet, you should talk with your vet first and only feed basil in small amounts and not every day.

basil pot

Can Dogs Eat Basil Pesto?

Whilst basil is safe for dogs to eat, you should not feed shop-bought pesto to pups. In fact, it might even be toxic for them. Pesto is so yummy because it contains lots of added ingredients such as garlic, salt, cheese and olive oil.

Garlic is a common ingredient in many dishes but it’s poisonous to dogs and you should avoid feeding it to pups. It can lead to problems in the digestive system, vomiting, and lethargy. If your pooch does eat garlic, contact your vet right away.

Cheese, such as parmesan, is safe to feed dogs, but not exactly healthy. It can be a really good training treat but try to minimise the amount you give them. Likewise, olive oil is not poisonous to dogs but, again, it contains a lot of fat that dogs don’t need. It’s OK as an occasional treat, though.

If you want to feed pesto to your pooch, you can make a ‘safe’ doggy pesto. Blend some basil leaves with a little cheese and spread it on a doggy lick mat or a in a puzzle toy for extra fun. Don’t add any salt as too much salt in your dog’s diet can lead to salt poisoning and several health problems.

How to Feed Dogs Basil

Apart from making dog-safe pesto, there are lots of ways you can feed this leafy herb to your pet.

Added to their meal. Some pups love having healthy foods added to their food for a little texture and taste variation. Try adding a small amount of chopped-up fresh basil leaves or dried basil to your pup’s regular meal.

Make a smoothie or pupsicle. You could try whisking up a couple of basil leaves with some other fruits or veggies, such as pineapple, watermelon, blackberries, or broccoli. If you like, you could also freeze them in ice cube trays for a refreshing snack on a hot day.

Plain. Basil has quite a strong flavor and it’s possible your pooch might not like it. But, if they do, a couple of plain, chopped-up leaves could be a great treat!

basil in flower

So, Can Dogs Eat Basil Safely?

Yes, dogs can eat basil safely. It’s non-toxic and a good source of some vitamins and antioxidants. It’s important, however, that you feed basil to your pooch in moderation and check with your vet first.

Basil should only be given to dogs with other safe ingredients or plain. Don’t give your pups pasta sauces or pizzas with basil as, not only are they too calorie-rich for a dog’s diet, they may contain harmful ingredients such as garlic.

If done safely, your dog can enjoy basil as part of a healthy and nutritious diet.