Can Dogs Eat Basil? here Are The Benefits!

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can dogs eat basil

Dogs can eat basil in small portions. Moderation is vital when it comes to basil.

Basil not only adds flavor to our meals, but it is also an excellent source of healthy nutrients that protect us from various diseases. But can dogs eat basil as often as they want?

This article will answer these questions and much more on dogs and basil.

Can Dogs Eat Basil Safely?

Yes, dogs can safely eat basil; however, you should serve them in small portions.

Basil contains antioxidants that protect dogs from diseases like cancer, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutritional Benefits Of Basil

We mentioned earlier that basil has many nutritional benefits when included in dogs’ nutrition. Below, we will talk more about each one.

Reduces oxidative stress

Basil contains antioxidants like beta carotene[1] and anthocyanins that help eliminate free radicals, thus reducing oxidative stress. 

Promotes heart health

Basil contains healthy oils which lower cholesterol levels, thus preventing heart-related problems.

Basil also has magnesium, promoting blood circulation by relaxing on the muscles and blood vessels.

Improved mental health

The antioxidants in tulsi have a calming effect on the brain, thus reducing anxiety and stress. 

Tulsi also increases concentration levels and lowers the probability of memory loss. 

Reduced inflammation

The healthy oils in basil like linalool have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the chances of inflammatory diseases like arthritis.

Herbs vs Spices 

Herbs come from the green leafy part of the plant, while spices can come from the stem, roots, seed, or bark. Spices have a stronger flavor than herbs since they are crushed from plant parts rich in oils.

Herbs are used while fresh while spices are used in their dried form

Health Benefits of Basil to dogs

Below, we will talk more about the health benefits basil brings to dogs.

Basil prevents cancer

The antioxidants in basil, including beta-carotene and lutein, help eliminate free radicals that can harm the body cells, thus causing diseases like cancer and heart problems. 

The phytochemicals in holy basil also lower the probability of lung cancer by triggering cell death and slowing cell division.

Reduces inflammation

The essential oils in basil have anti-inflammatory properties, and they lower the chances of inflammatory problems like cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and gastrointestinal issues.

Calming effect

Holy basil or tulsi has a positive mood-altering effect on dogs. It lowers the levels of corticosterone which causes anxiety in dogs.

Consumption of holy basil makes your dog less anxious, especially during travels or an encounter with new people, so the next time you are traveling, be sure to give your dog a piece of basil!

Prevent cellular damage

The antioxidants in basil protect the cells from being destroyed by free radicals and heal the already damaged cells.

Prolonged life span

Basil protects from age-related diseases like arthritis and heart problems and reduces stress levels.

This lowers the probability of early deaths in dogs that mainly stem from unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles.

Why do dogs like basil? 

The aromatic flavor associated with basil can be attractive to some dogs just as it is to humans.

Basil also contains magnesium which aids in energy production necessary for the daily functioning of dogs. Vitamin K in basil aids in blood clotting and antioxidants in basil protect from diseases like cancer and arthritis. 

How to serve basil to your dog 

There are different ways of serving basil to your dog, and they include the following:

  • Use basil as an ingredient while making pesto. Your dog’s pesto should not contain garlic and onions as they are toxic 
  • Sprinkle basil on top of the dog’s food
  • Use basil as a treat during special occasions like birthdays
  • Add fresh leaves to salad and give your do
  • Add to vegetable lasagne
  • Blend basil leaves with fruit like banana
  • Cut basil leaves into small pieces and give them directly to your dog. This is more nutritious compared to cooked basil since heat destroys some nutrients.

Adverse effects of basil on a dog’s health 

Besides the nutritional benefits it brings, basil can also negatively affect your dog depending on the situation.

Read below the negative effects of basil.

Loose stool/diarrhea

The fiber in basil is responsible for smooth digestion, but a large intake can cause loose stools in dogs.

Fiber plays a crucial role in ensuring water absorption as the stool passes along the digestive system.

Large amounts of fiber will increase water absorption by the stool, thus making it watery. 

Allergy effects

Some dogs can develop an allergy to basil, and you should be keen when introducing it. 

Start with small amounts and watch your dog for any adverse reaction. The symptoms to look out for include swelling, hives, vomiting, sneezing, and itchy ears. Stop giving basil if you notice any of these symptoms and consult the vet if they persist.

Digestive problems

Consumption of basil in large amounts can lead to digestive problems for dogs.

Digestive problems present through symptoms like bloating, vomiting, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and lack of appetite.

If you notice any of these after consumption, stop giving your dog and consult the vet to prevent further damage.

Skin problems

Intake of large amounts of basil can cause skin problems like itching for your dog. Your dog would tend to want to scratch the skin after eating basil.

Itchiness can also be a form of an allergic reaction to basil. You should stop giving basil if it irritates the skin.

What herbs are good for dogs?

The following herbs are suitable for dogs: 



This herb has antioxidants that relieve the symptoms associated with motion sickness, flatulence, and bloating in dogs.

They also have anti-inflammatory properties that lower the probability of your dog getting cancer, arthritis, and heart problems.

You should, however, give these herbs sparingly as they are harmful when taken in large portions.

If you are interested in ginger and dogs’ nutrition, read our article on Can Dogs Eat Ginger? Is It Safe? for more information.



Parsley has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties making it the best option for dogs with urinary tract infections and arthritis.

Parsley has vitamin K, which aid in blood clotting. Parsley is also known for fresh breath in dogs.

Furthermore, parsley aids in flushing out toxins from your dog’s body



Turmeric has blood-thinning properties hence reducing blood clotting.

This herb aids in breaking down dietary fats, thus lowering the risks of gastrointestinal problems in dogs Moreover, turmeric is an immunity booster, and it protects dogs from infections.



Rosemary has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, protecting dogs from diseases like heart conditions and gastrointestinal problems.

This herb also refreshes your dog’s breath and thus promoting dental hygiene.

Moreover,  you can use rosemary as a conditioner for a shiny dog’s coat.

What herbs are harmful to dogs? 

The following herbs are not suitable for dogs.



Chives are members of the allium family and contain a toxic chemical called Organosulfide.

Consumption by dogs damages the red blood cells, thus leading to anemia.

The symptoms to look out for include lethargy, excessive drooling, fast heartbeat, vomiting, and fainting



Garlic is also a member of the allium family. They contain a harmful chemical called thiosulphate, which causes oxidative damage to the red blood cells, thus causing anemia in dogs.

Thiosulphate poisoning presents abdominal pain, depression, dehydration, lack of appetite, lethargy, weakness, and vomiting.

What seasoning is not safe for dogs?

Here are some of the most dangerous seasonings for your dog.



Salt contains sodium which causes dehydration and leads to sodium poisoning.

The symptoms of sodium poisoning include tremors, fever, and seizures

Tomato sauce

tomato sauce

Tomato sauce is not healthy for dogs as it contains additives like salt and sugar, which are harmful to dogs, especially when taken in large amounts.

Moreover, it has onions and garlic, which is toxic to dogs. Large amounts of tomato sauce cause stomach upsets in dogs.



This type of seasoning is found in baked foods like cookies, and though safe for humans, dogs should not consume it.

Nutmeg has a toxic compound called myristicin which can be fatal. 

What to do if your dog eats basil? 

Basil in small amounts is okay. If your dog eats lots of basil, observe him for any adverse reactions.

Consult the vet if you notice symptoms like seizures and fainting

Can dogs eat basil pesto? 

basil pesto

Yes, dogs can eat basil pesto. However, it should not have additives like salt, which dehydrates dogs.

The pesto should also be devoid of garlic and onions as they are toxic

Can dogs eat Thai basil? 

Yes, dogs can eat Thai basil.

You should serve them in small amounts as large portions can lead to digestive problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and bloating in dogs.

Can dogs eat basil leaves? 

Yes, basil leaves are healthy for dogs as they contain anti-inflammatory properties which protect dogs from diseases like cancer and arthritis.

Basil leaves also contain vitamin K for blood clotting

Are basil plants toxic to dogs? 

No, basil plants are not toxic to dogs.

Both the stem and leaves are safe for dogs, but they should be given in small quantities as large amounts cause diarrhea.

Can dogs have dried basil? 

Yes, dogs can have dried basil. However, the dried basil should be crushed to powder to lower the risk of choking.  

Add the powder to kibble or your dog’s salad.

Can dogs eat roasted or baked basil? 

Yes, dogs can eat roasted or baked basil. However, the basil should be devoid of salt, spices, and oils, which are harmful to dogs.

Give basil sparingly to your dog.

Can puppies eat basil? 

Yes, fresh and dried basil is safe for puppies as it contains healthy nutrients essential for the growth and development

However, puppies should be given smaller amounts compared to adult dogs

Can dogs eat raw basil? 

Yes, raw basil is safe for dogs though some dogs may not like the smell.

Ensure that the basil is fresh to lower the risks of stomach infections in dogs

Can dogs have sweet basil?

Yes, dogs can have sweet basil. Sweet basil contains vitamins and minerals like vitamin K and magnesium needed by your dog for healthy growth.

Serve your dog sweet basil moderately.

The Bottom Line

Basil is safe for dogs as it is an excellent source of healthy vitamins and minerals necessary for growth.

In addition, basil has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which protect your dog from diseases like cancer and gastrointestinal problems.

However, basil should be fed in moderation as consumption in large amounts can lead to stomach upsets like diarrhea.

Before introducing basil into your dog’s diet, be sure to consult the vet to avoid adverse reactions after consumption.

Introduce basil gradually as your dog gets used to it. Stop giving basil if your dog reacts negatively to basil.


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Belinda Kendi
Belinda Kendi is a talented content marketer and dog food copywriter who produces relatable and valuable content.

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