Spices That Are Safe for Dogs


Herbs and spices used in your dog’s food do more than enhance the taste of the food. They also help protect your pet from parasites, boost your pet’s immune system and protect them from certain health concerns. Knowing which herbs and spices are safe for your dog helps you determine which one to use. Combine your chosen spice with your dog’s food, offer in pill form or apply the spice topically.

Woman feeding dog
Woman feeding dog (Image: John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images)


Ground cayenne pepper causes an increase in blood flow in your dog. Used in conjunction with other herbs and spices, cayenne helps distribute them to other parts of the body, such as the brain, heart and stomach. The increase in blood flow also helps fortify the heart, nerves, capillaries and arteries. It also improves digestion and helps with inflammation. Topically, cayenne helps stop bleeding from small cuts and scrapes.

Cayenne spice on plate
Cayenne spice on plate (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)


Used in the right dosage, half a clove for every 10 to 15 pounds your dog weighs, garlic is a safe, natural additive for fighting fleas, boosting the immune system and fighting other health problems. Provide garlic once a week. Fleas dislike the smell of garlic and avoid dogs that eat it. Garlic also increases the cell activity of cells that attack disease. Garlic also detoxifies and attacks bacteria, viruses and fungi in the body. This helps boost the immune system, fight infections and improve the liver. Garlic doses should be watched to avoid the production of Heinz bodies. Heinz bodies are oxidized red blood cells that the body rejects, turning the dog anemic.

Cloves of garlic on cutting board
Cloves of garlic on cutting board (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)


Turmeric is a yellowish ground spice often used in Indian cooking. It comes from a plant that is related to ginger. It contains curcumin which helps with inflammation, increases the liver's bile production which helps with digestion and thins the blood to prevent potential blood clots. It is also full of antioxidants which are known to prevent cancer. When adding turmeric to your dog's diet, give your dog no more than 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 lbs she weighs.

Dog and owner in kitchen
Dog and owner in kitchen (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)


If your dog suffers from poor blood circulation, appetite or a slow pulse, offer your dog ginger to eat. It causes your dog to sweat, removing toxins from the blood stream that are causing problems. Another use for ginger is reducing spasms in the stomach, back or coughs. Since it helps with stomach spasming, give ginger to dogs that get carsick 30 minutes before taking a car trip. Topically, apply ginger to sore muscles to relieve the pain.

Ginger root
Ginger root (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

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