Rosemary for Dogs: A Careful Examination of Benefits and Risks

Can dogs eat it

Written By: Angela Jakeson

Rosemary for Dogs: A Careful Examination of Benefits and Risks
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Can dogs eat rosemary, and can it benefit your dog’s health and treat their ailments? Yes, rosemary is a safe herb for dogs. Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb with impressive medicinal qualities. It has healing properties for cuts and minor wounds. Its antimicrobial properties also deflect the dangers of digestive issues and bacterial infections.

Here is a breakdown of the benefits and risks of giving rosemary to dogs.

The Health Benefits of Rosemary to Dogs

A spoonful of dried rosemary.Is rosemary good for dogs? Yes, rosemary is good for dogs, and it can be given to them whole, fresh, or dried. The herb is high in vitamin B6, iron, and calcium. It also has many beneficial effects on dogs, such as:

1. Increases the Immune System’s Resistance

Rosemary contains powerful antioxidants that fight off cell-damaging free radicals in your dog’s body.

Getting rid of these harmful compounds strengthens his immune system and lowers the risk of serious diseases such as cancer and heart problems.

2. Good for the Heart

Rosemary is good for dogs with cardiovascular diseases because it is antispasmodic. It generally promotes a strong cardiovascular system.

The herb can help relax muscles, which helps control heart arrhythmias.

3. Works as an Antimicrobial Agent

Rosemary is commonly used as a natural preservative in many dog foods. The herb is a pathogen fighter against bacteria growth in foods and prevents spoilage.

The antimicrobial properties of rosemary apply to pets as well. It protects them from bacteria and fungi infections. Rosemary is a popular topical remedy for minor cuts, skin burns, and mouth infections.

4. Improves Digestive Function

Rosemary makes food digestion easier in dogs. This helps them maintain a healthy digestive system and better nutrient absorption.

The herb’s antimicrobial properties are capable of battling gastric infections. It is also effective against other stomach problems, such as indigestion and flatulence.

5. Natural Bug Repellent

The rosemary’s woody scent is unbearable for various bugs, including fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Many dog owners use the herb to make a safe and all-natural tick and flea repellent for their pets.

The Potential Risks of Rosemary to Dogs

When talking about herbs for dogs, the most common concern of pet parents is the dangers of poisoning. Many have wondered: “Is rosemary toxic to dogs.” No. In its natural form, rosemary is not toxic to dogs. Thus, poisoning is the least of your worries. However, there are still risks to watch out for with this herb.

A bunch of fresh rosemary sprigs tied together.

1. Linked to Seizures

Experts warned that excessive consumption of rosemary stimulates the brain. As a result, it can affect the cognitive function of dogs and worsen existing brain disorders such as epilepsy.

Although more research is needed to prove this, it would be best to be on the safer side of things.

If your dog has a history of seizures, do not give him any rosemary unless recommended by the vet. Check the ingredients of his dog food too. Make sure that it does not contain rosemary.

2. Affect Canine Pregnancy

Is rosemary safe for dogs expecting puppies? No. Some nutritionists believe that rosemary might be dangerous to pregnant dogs. The herb can affect the menstrual flow and uterine function, which may be harmful during pregnancy.

This risk is only backed up by anecdotal claims. However, for the safety of pregnant dogs and their soon-to-be puppies, keep rosemary out of their diet.

3. Overdose Side Effects

Does rosemary make dogs sick? Rosemary can make dogs sick if given in large doses. It is reported that it causes upset stomachs in pooches. Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur if a dog eats rosemary excessively.

The most severe side effect of rosemary would be depression of the nervous system. These dangers can be avoided by simply feeding your dog small amounts of rosemary.

What Types of Rosemary Are Safe for Dogs?

Benefits and risks of rosemary for dogs.Rosemary herb can be processed and turned into different products such as teas and essential oils. Are these safe for your pooch?

Can Dogs Have Rosemary Essential Oil?

It is still debated whether rosemary oil is safe or not for dogs. However, experts warn that even small doses of its undiluted form can cause toxicity in dogs.

Some pet owners contest this statement. They believe that properly diluting and applying rosemary essential oil in small doses will not cause dogs any harm.

Can Dogs Eat Rosemary Extract?

Yes, rosemary extract is safe for dogs, as the extraction process has lowered its essential oil concentration. It is a popular preservative used in several pet foods to increase shelf life.

Can Dogs Have Rosemary Tea?

A cup of fresh rosemary tea.

Yes, rosemary tea is good for dogs. It is naturally caffeine-free and can be applied topically and orally to remedy various canine health issues.

But pet owners are warned only to use it in moderation. Some dogs may experience stomach upset if they consume too much rosemary tea.

How Much Rosemary Can a Dog Have?

A sprig of fresh rosemary.Mixing a little chopped fresh or dried rosemary into your dog’s food or water is okay. Do not go overboard since the herb’s strong woody scent may be too overpowering to your furry pal’s nose.

If you would rather use a rosemary tincture than a fresh herb, the recommended dose for a dog is 1/8 teaspoon per 9 kilos (20 pounds) of body weight. A 27-kilo (60 pounds) dog can have around 3/8 of a teaspoon. Administer rosemary tincture to your dog 2–3 times a day.

When it comes to using rosemary essential oil on your pooch, make sure that its concentration does not exceed 1%. Consult a holistic vet to figure out the safe rosemary essential oil dosage for your dog.

What Herbs Are Safe for Dogs?

Rosemary is not the only herb with good health benefits for dogs. Here are other safe herbs for pets:


A closeup look at fresh basil.

Basil has potent antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. The herb also contains highly concentrated magnesium and vitamin B.


A bunch of parsley.

Dogs can eat parsley. It is good for your dog’s digestive tract as it soothes stomach upset. It acts as a breath freshener too, preventing bad breath.


A bowl filled with turmeric powder with turmeric roots on the side.

Turmeric is safe for your dog to eat. The herb provides copious health benefits, from hastening weight loss to improving cognitive and heart health.


Sprigs of thyme on top of a round chopping board.Adding thyme into your dog’s diet will supplement his body’s need for vitamins A, C, and K as well as manganese, iron, and calcium. A natural antiseptic called thymol can be found in thyme as well. It helps ward off gingivitis and stinky breath in dogs.