Spice up Your Dog’s Food

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You can’t get away from all the cooking shows and competitions on TV anymore – it seems they are on 24/7. I like watching them and learning about different spices and herbs to use in cooking. It got me thinking about spices and herbs that are good for our dogs too, so I raided our Dog Food Ingredients series to look at some of the best spices to add to your dog’s food – not only for the flavor, but for the health benefits.

Healthy Spices for your Pet:

Turmeric is a source of manganese, iron and vitamin B-6.

The curumin in turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can anti-oxidant which some research has shown can provide many benefits to the body including:

  • Supports a healthy digestive system
  • Promotes healthy skin and eyes
  • Supports the immune system
  • Promotes joint health
  • Encourages healthy liver function
  • Maintains healthy blood sugar levels within normal range



Fennel supplies vitamins C and A, calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also known to help with indigestion, bloating and flatulence. Fennel can also help to freshen a dog’s breath.

The oils in fennel may cause a photosensitive dermatitis in some animals, but such occurrences are rare.

Rosemary contains antioxidants that can reduce free radicals in the body. Rosemary has been used to support brain function in the form of clearer thinking, improved memory, and elevated mood. In one study, low doses of Rosemary improved recall speed, although high doses were associated with a decline in recall speed.

Some research supports the notion that rosemary can help prevent some forms of cancer including colon, breast, liver, and stomach cancers, as well as melanoma and leukemia.

Rosemary might also strengthen heart function and help dogs that have been under stress

Thyme contains vitamins C, A, and K, iron, manganese and calcium. Thyme also contains anti-oxidants. Thyme has antiseptic, anti-spasmodic and anti-bacterial properties. It is generally good for the skin, and supports brain function and gastrointestinal health. Thyme helps the body digest and process fatty acids and can generally aid digestion.

In a clinical study conducted by K.A. Youdim and colleagues and published in the April 19, 1999 issue of “Biochemical and Biophysical Research,” researchers found that thyme oil helped to protect against age-related changes in the brain cells of rats.

  • Fenugreek probably isn’t on your radar as it’s not commonly used in human cooking or in dog food, but it does have some real benefits. It is known to decrease inflammation and lower blood sugar levels, so it can be very helpful in addressing blood sugar problems in your pets.

    You should try these herbs/spices for yourself and don’t be afraid to share with your dog and let them reap the benefits!


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    1. It’s hard for me to think about adding spices and herbs for the palettes of creatures who gobble their food without hardly tasting it. 🙂
      jan recently posted…El Paso Chihuahuas unveil fashion statementMy Profile

    2. Whew! we thought you were going to suggest hot sauce to spice it up. Mom does sometimes sprinkle some stuff on our food but she usually forgets.
      Emma recently posted…How To Teach Your Dog To “Leave It”My Profile

    3. I will try it, maybe Easy will like spicy food… he loves mustard, so he probably will :o)
      easy rider recently posted…easyblog SUNDAY STROLLMy Profile

    4. I’ve recently started adding Tumeric to Haley’s food because it has so many health benefits and I’m also starting to add it to some of my recipes. She doesn’t seem to notice when I sprinkle it on her food but I’ve heard some people cook it with water to make a type of sauce that can be kept in the refrigerator for a few weeks. I’m still in the experimenting stages with it.
      Elaine recently posted…How to Train Your Dog to Walk Off Leash – A Hiker’s GuideMy Profile

      • We just sprinkle it on top, but we also mix their food with warm water so it does become part of the gravy.
        mkob recently posted…Spice up Your Dog’s FoodMy Profile

    5. We added turmeric to Shadow’s meals when we were cooking for her. It is quite the miracle ingredient. And I loved how it turned everything (including my pots) a lovely yellow color.

      But I wonder how many dogs would take to rosemary. It’s quite fragrant and I find that dogs, with their sensitive noses, don’t always like flowery smells.

      Do your pups like rosemary?
      Pamela recently posted…Does My Dog Need A Psychiatrist?My Profile

      • Well, Jack eats anything…so yes. I like when he walks through our Rosemary bushes and HE smells like it…that’s the best.
        mkob recently posted…Spice up Your Dog’s FoodMy Profile

    6. I prepare the boys evening meals with Dr. Harvey’s Veg-to-Bowl and add my protein. I need to set the turmeric by the stove so when I am browning the meat, I can add it. They say, “thanks!”
      M. K. Clinton recently posted…BFTB NETWoof News August 3, 2015My Profile

    7. I keep hearing that Turmeric is healthy for dogs as well as people but haven’t tried it yet. Thanks!
      Love & Biscuits,
      Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
      Cathy Armato recently posted…Don’t Over-Vaccinate OR Under-Vaccinate Your DogMy Profile

    8. Wow, interesting!!! Thanks for sharing this!
      ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
      Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…U.S Coast Guard Rescues Dog And Makes Him A MascottMy Profile

    9. Well, thanks to your article about turmeric a while back, I started incorporating it into the pups’ diet 🙂 Thank you again!
      Thyme, Rosemary, and Fennel are in our spice cabinet, but I had never heard of Fenugreek until a few moments ago, meaning I had to google it 😉 I’ll have to start experimenting with all of those spices ~ thank you for the suggestion!
      Barbara Rivers recently posted…How to keep Dry Dog Food Fresh, Guaranteed!My Profile

    10. We get the curcumin, the pure form of turmeric, and the dogs get it on their kibble every night. They really love it!
      I try to be aware of what spices are good for them so I know if it’s safe to let them have a bite of our meals, but I never thought too much of just adding them to their stuff….good idea!
      I also think that parsley is good for them, for breath freshening maybe? I’ve used it in dog treat recipes.
      Jan K recently posted…Clicker Training – A Positive Experience – Putting Toys AwayMy Profile

    11. Not sure what would the guys think of that. Cookie gets turmeric in raw goat milk. I read that rosemary might not be recommended for dogs with seizures … ?
      Jana Rade recently posted…Adoption Monday: Rozzie, Black Labrador Retriever Mix, Southington, CTMy Profile

    12. I’m trying to grow rosemary this summer just for this! Unfortunately, the rosemary is not cooperating.
      Jen recently posted…An Open Letter To The Dog Peeing In The HouseMy Profile

    13. A-ha! I’m going to have to start sprinkling before I serve LOL
      Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…A NEW PUPPYMy Profile

    14. Very interesting. When I was in the hospital with no food for a week, all I did was watch the Food Channel…lol. Glutton for punishment I guess, but I did find all the shows entertaining. I had not really watched them before.
      2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Senior Hunter Title Plus One~LandMy Profile

    15. Awesome post. I heard adding parsley to their food can help freshen their breath as well!
      Reagan recently posted…Rae comes homeMy Profile

    16. what a great list of spices to give and help your dog. I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about tumeric and using it.
      Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Puppy Fitness With Kong Tunnel~FitDog FridayMy Profile

    17. Well, if Curcuma longa promotes healthy skin, it deserves a closer look. My Basset Hound will eat it for sure, but the mutt is far more selective…
      Doggie recently posted…Best dog food for sensitive skinMy Profile

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