Can Dogs Eat Basil?

Can dogs eat it

The CanDogsEatIt Team

Can Dogs Eat Basil?
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Basil has a sweet and aromatic taste that dogs might find enticing. However, can dogs eat basil? The simple answer is yes. The herb is believed to hold off the progression of aging and cognitive deterioration. Basil also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help ward off other canine diseases such as cancer.

Read on to know what types of basil are safe for dogs and what preventive measures to take to keep possible side effects of the herb from taking effect on your pooch.

What Can Dogs Gain from Eating Basil?

can dogs eat basil
Basil is a simple yet powerful herb with potent health benefits to pooches. Below are the top reasons why you should consider adding basil into your dog’s diet:

  • Prevents Cellular Damage

One of the health benefits of basil is it contains high levels of antioxidants that help destroy free radicals. Minimizing their numbers prevents cell damage and promotes better immune system function.

  • Good for Cancer Prevention

The antioxidants of basil improve the disease resistance of your dog’s body. They are powerful enough to inhibit the development of certain types of cancer.

Antioxidants also combat health problems caused by aging, such as heart problems and senility.

  • Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Is basil good for dogs with arthritis? Yes, basil is good for arthritic dogs. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties, which keep the swelling of joints to a minimum.

For instance, the high levels of beta-caryophyllene found in basil bind with the body’s regulators of inflammation called CB2 receptors. In doing so, the pain and soreness caused by arthritis are reduced.

  • Regulates Mood

Another good reason why basil is good for your dog’s health is its calming effects. The herb is a natural remedy for anxiety and nervousness in pooches.

It will save you money too since basil is significantly cheaper than vet-prescribed medications.

Is Basil Harmful to Dogs in Any Way?

can dogs eat basil 1
Basil is good for dogs, but it should be given in moderation, much like all human foods. Heedlessly feeding your dog too much of the herb can cause unsavory side effects. Here are some of the side effects of basil on dogs:

Gastrointestinal Issues

Ingesting basil in excess can cause upset stomachs in dogs because it is highly fibrous. Vomiting and diarrhea may also take place. Serving your dog this herb in small quantities will keep his digestive system unbothered.

Basil Allergy

Eating basil can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs. They may experience swelling, hives, itchiness, and diarrhea.

When feeding your dog basil for the first time, serve it in small amounts. Watch him closely for any signs of allergic reaction.

If your dog is allergic to basil, keep it out of his meals. Get him proper vet treatment too, since allergies can lead to severe breathing difficulties.

Is basil safe for dogs even though it may cause these side effects? Yes, basil is safe for dogs despite its few downsides. These minor problems can simply be averted by limiting the serving amounts of basil.

What Types of Basil Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Different types of basil are sold in the market. They can also be cooked and prepared in many ways. Which of these are healthy and safe for your furry companion? Read on to find out.

Can Dogs Eat Basil Leaves?

basil leavesYes, dogs can eat basil leaves since these are considered non-toxic to them. Choose organically grown fresh basil leaves since it is less exposed to pesticides and other chemicals.

Rinse the basil leaves with water before serving it to your pooch to get rid of grime and chemical residues

Can Dogs Eat Dried Basil?

dried basilYes, dried basil is safe for dogs too. There is not much difference between the health benefits of dried and fresh basil.

Their taste, however, is a bit distinct from each other. Dried basil tends to have a stronger flavor compared to fresh basil.

Can Dogs Eat Thai Basil?

thai basilYes, dogs can eat Thai basil in small amounts. This type of basil has a sweeter flavor compared to regular basil, which has a peppery taste.

Can Dogs Eat Sweet Basil?

sweet basilYes, sweet basil is safe for your dog to eat. It also has a sweeter taste than the regular variety. Always keep in mind to avoid being excessively generous in feeding sweet basil to your dog.

All types of basil are safe for your dogs, including the most common varieties such as:

  • Genovese basil
  • Purple basil
  • Holy basil
  • Lettuce basil
  • Green ruffles basil
  • Cardinal basil
  • Blue basil
  • Greek basil

Can Dogs Have Basil Pesto?

No, it is a bad idea to feed dogs basil pesto. Creating this food involves combining various ingredients such as olive oil, parmesan cheese, and salt, along with different herbs and spices. These are too much for a dog’s stomach to handle.

Store-bought basil pesto is particularly dangerous. It often contains garlic, which is highly toxic to dogs.

How Much Basil Can I Give My Dog?

Dogs will only need a small quantity of basil to take advantage of its health perks. For small breeds, using up to a pinch of the herb is more than enough.

Medium-sized dogs can have no more than half a teaspoon of basil. Larger dogs, on the other hand, can have a little bit more. A teaspoon will do.

The frequency of offering basil to your dog also matters. Feeding it to him regularly may increase the risk of side effects. Thus, it should only be given sparsely. Sprinkle fresh or dried basil on your dog’s food once a week.

Homemade Basil Dog Treats

homemade basil dog treatsSurprise your pet with a delightful homemade basil dog treat by following this recipe:

dog treat recipesBasil Sweet Potato Biscuits



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease the cookie sheets with coconut oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  4. Stir until you have a firm dough.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. It should be around 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Cut out shapes from the dough using a cookie cutter.
  7. Transfer them to the greased cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for 30–35 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Let the basil sweet potato biscuits cool down completely before serving them to your dog.