What Seasonings Can Dogs Have?

In general, most spices and seasonings are safe for dogs if consumed in small amounts.


Most spices and seasonings will not harm your dog, provided he doesn’t eat too much of them. For example, eating a handful of salt could lead to sodium poisoning, but eating a couple potato chips isn’t likely to cause a problem. It’s all a matter of moderation.

If your dog steals a piece of seasoned meat, he probably will not have any issues. It is much more concerning if your dog eats a large amount of a single seasoning, such as a whole jar of fennel.

Even if your dog does overdo it with a seasoning, most of these items just cause mild gastro-intestinal discomfort, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Small dogs are more susceptible than large dogs because it is easier for them to ingest a toxic dose.

If your dog ever gets into something and you are worried about toxicity, don’t take a chance. Call a pet poison hotline for direction (there may be a charge):

ASPCA Animal Poison Control: (888) 426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline: 855-764-7661

What Seasonings Can Dogs NOT Have?

Some seasonings are not worth the risk and should not be given to your dog. These include:

  • Bay leaves
  • Chives
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion

Remember that the majority of spices and seasonings can cause diarrhea and vomiting if eaten in large amounts, so always consult with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist before adding seasonings to your dog’s regular diet.

Common Questions About Spices for Dogs

Can dogs have cinnamon? Yes, cinnamon is safe for dogs.

Can dogs have rosemary? Yes, rosemary is safe for dogs.

Can dogs have salt? Dogs can have small amounts of salt, but large amounts can contribute to a number of health problems over time.

Can dogs have black pepper? Dogs can have small amounts of black pepper.

Can dogs have parsley? Yes, parsley is safe for dogs in small amounts. Eating large quantities of parsley can cause skin problems.

Can dogs have basil? Yes, basil is safe for dogs.

Can dogs have garlic powder? Dogs should not eat garlic powder. Fresh garlic in small amounts has some potential health benefits, but large quantities of garlic can cause anemia. Garlic powder is concentrated, making it easy for dogs to consume a toxic dose.

Can dogs taste spicy? Yes and no. Dogs don’t taste spicy foods in the same way that we do, but they can still experience the burning heat that comes afterward, and they may also get that effect simply from smelling the spicy item. While most foods containing hot peppers won’t significantly harm your dog, they can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Most dogs also just don’t enjoy that sensation!

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Kate Basedow, LVT is a long-time dog enthusiast. She grew up training and showing dogs, and is active in a variety of dog sports. She earned her Bachelors Degree in English from Cornell University in 2013, and became a licensed veterinary technician in New York in 2017. She has been writing professionally about dogs for most of her life, and has earned multiple awards from the Dog Writers' Association of America. Kate currently has three dogs at home, as well as a cat, two zebra finches, and six ducks.