Cilantro is a herb we use with some abandon these days, so it’s commonly found in many homes. We know we have to be careful with some of the foods we keep where dogs are concerned, so is cilantro a plant that’s poisonous to dogs? Can dogs eat cilantro or is it best they avoid it?
If you live in the UK, cilantro might be something you’ve never heard of… or rather, you probably know it under a different name: coriander. If you’ve visited My Dear Whippet previously, you may have seen I’m featuring more posts about the foods dogs can or can’t eat.
As a part of this drive, in this post I’m turning my eye towards cilantro.
Can dogs eat cilantro? Will it make them sick… or worse? Or indeed, is cilantro good for dogs?
The good news is that most dogs can eat cilantro and it’s very unlikely to make them poorly. In fact, in small doses cilantro offers a number of potential health benefits for dogs.
Table of Contents
- What is Cilantro?
- Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
- Is Cilantro Good for Dogs?
- Is Cilantro Bad for Dogs?
- Summary: Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
- Related Posts
What is Cilantro?
Cilantro (coriander) is a plant belonging to the parsley family. As a herb, we tend to use it mostly as an ingredient in a huge range of dishes from across the world. All parts of the cilantro plant are edible and all can be used to flavour food:
- Cilantro leaves can be eaten freshly picked as a garnish or included as an ingredient in salads, curries… or anything that takes your fancy!
- The seeds of the cilantro plant are dried and crushed to make coriander spice.
Even the stalks of the plant are edible!
Interestingly, while cilantro is a flavour that most people enjoy, for some it has a deeply unpleasant taste of soap! This is because coriander contains naturally occurring substances commonly used in soaps to give them a pleasant fragrance.
However, whether or not cilantro tastes like soap to you depends on your genes!
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
By and large, dogs can eat cilantro, and they too might enjoy the flavour. However, dogs with plant allergies should avoid it.
Cilantro contains a number of vitamins and minerals that may be beneficial to dogs, such as vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc. Assuming you’re not relying on cilantro as the primary foodstuff to deliver these nutrients to your dog, in small doses, cilantro poses little risk.
Is Cilantro Good for Dogs?
Cilantro contains practically no fat, so it’s very low in cholesterol. Neither does it contain many calories. As a consequence, your dog might enjoy a little cilantro without the risks associated with high-fat, high-calorie foods… assuming it likes the flavour of course!
Additionally, cilantro contains a number of potentially beneficial nutrients that might supplement your dog’s diet. According to the USDA, cilantro leaves contain the following nutrients (among others):
|Total lipid (fat)||0.52g|
Cilantro contains vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. It also contains zinc, magnesium and potassium.
Furthermore, cilantro in small doses might be good for your dog’s tummy, since it’s reputed to have properties that help digestion, reduce gas and prevent heartburn. However, this is only “reputed” and not backed up by empirical scientific research.
Is Cilantro Bad for Dogs
In most cases cilantro isn’t bad for dogs in small doses. That said, some dogs have allergies to plants so of course it’s possible that cilantro may cause an allergic reaction.
In most cases though, dogs can eat cilantro and it shouldn’t cause them any untoward effects. That said, if your dog eats cilantro in large amounts, it is possible it will have an upset tummy.
To be honest, I think if I ate a large bowl of cilantro I imagine I would feel somewhat queasy!
As a rule, I don’t feed cilantro to my dog, but we often have it at home. If she were to eat some while my back was turned, I wouldn’t be concerned… though I’d probably be a little annoyed as I’d have lost a topping for my food!
Summary: Can Dogs Eat Cilantro?
Dogs can eat cilantro and it may even offer some small health benefits given the nutrients it contains. However, to derive all the nutrients your dog needs every day from cilantro alone, your dog would likely need to consume an amount that would probably make it sick.
So you probably don’t need to be concerned if your dog eats some cilantro (it certainly isn’t like a houseplant that’s poisonous to dogs) but I wouldn’t feed you dog a hand-full of it. I’d also try to keep cilantro away from your dog if you know it has plant allergies.
In general, dogs don’t need anything over and above a balanced and nutritious veterinary approved dog food. Of course we like to give our dogs treats… but treats should always be limited.
As with any foodstuff, or if you are ever in any doubt about anything your dog eats or that you want to feed it, it’s wise to check with a veterinary professional.
Do you allow your dog to eat cilantro? Or have you had a bad experience when your dog ate some? Please tell us about it in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
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