Other than using parsley as a garnish to make our food look fancy, many of us don’t even know what else to do with it. Can you actually eat it? Does it taste good? There are actually two varieties of parsley sold in most grocery stores, flat or Italian Parsley and curly parsley. Did you know that you can actually share parsley with your pup? Its got some great health benefits for them!
3 Benefits of parsley for dogs
1. Freshens bad breath
Fresh breath is one of the most common uses for parsley when sharing with your pup. While the fresh herb may knock out your pup’s bad breath, it is not a substitute for tooth brushing or a veterinarian-approved oral health management plan. If your pup has particularly stinky breath you will want to rule out tooth decay, periodontal disease or any other underlying medical issue. In order for your pup to get a dental cleaning, most of the time they need to be put under anesthesia, which comes with risks. Keeping up will preventative care will reduce the need for professional cleanings. Consider using parsley for a boost between brushings!
2. Rich in antioxidants
Like many other leafy greens including kale and spinach parsley is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants can give your pup a health boost especially in eliminating the free radicals that potentially cause cancer. Another great reason to add some greens like parsley into regular rotation in your pup’s diet.
3. Relieves pain from arthritis
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, parsley can be used to help relieve arthritis pain in your pup. While it can help, its not a standalone treatment, so if your pup is having arthritis pain, consult your vet about all treatment options to keep them feeling and moving around the best they can. You may want to try a combination of medication or supplements to manage pain and help your dog live their best life.
How to give dogs parsley
Sprinkle parsley over your pup’s food
This will work no matter what your pup eats, but it might work best with wet food or their favorite flavor of Ollie's fresh food. You can still sprinkle parsley over dry food, but it might mix in better with something wet or fresh. Add some chopped parsley right before you serve your pup’s meals. For the best health boost, use the curly variety, not the flat-leaved variety. If you’re just getting started with parsley, don’t give too much too fast. Some pups with sensitive stomachs will need a slow introduction to new food. Allow your pup a small taste and monitor for any adverse reactions.
Add parsley to homemade bone broth
When making bone broth to share with your pup, its best to skip the garlic and onions but you can add fresh parsley. It might be best to strain out the parsley you used to make the soup and add some fresh, chopped parsley to the broth right before you serve it for a boost of fresh flavor.
Find a treat with parsley in it
For added convenience, you can purchase a treat with parsley included in the ingredients. This will make sharing parsley a breeze! Some of your pup’s favorite biscuits may already have parsley in them! If not, try to look for treats designed to freshen your pup’s breath as these usually include parsley as a key ingredient due to its ability to banish bad breath.
Make your own dog treats
If you love to cook or you prefer a DIY approach, you can add parsley to homemade dog treats. Consider adding some parsley to a treat recipe with other superfoods like pumpkin or blueberries for an extra nutritional boost. If you’re looking for a great recipe that makes a large number of biscuits, try this one from King Arthur Flour. Remember that treats should make up only about 10% of your pups’ caloric intake to avoid weight gain or nutritional imbalances. Even healthy treats are still to be enjoyed in moderation.
If your pup is enjoying the fresh taste of parsley, you can also share some other herbs. Oregano, rosemary, ginger, and peppermint are all perfectly safe options and have some health benefits of their own. If your pup is having digestive issues, adding ginger as well as peppermint to the mix with your parsley can even help settle your pup’s stomach so they feel better faster. Even if your pup is not sick you can still try combining some of these herbs, not just for a health boost but to make some fun, new flavors for your pup. Think parsley and mint for a sweeter treat and parsley and rosemary for a more savory snack. Have fun trying different combinations with your pup. You never know when you’ll discover a new favorite flavor.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.