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Health & Wellness

Can dogs eat cilantro?

Yes, but don’t share too much.

If your dog ate cilantro, I’m assuming it’s not because he’s a chef protege with a complex palette for seasonings and herbs. Chances are you’re doing some quick research after your dog helped himself to cleaning out the garden. 

The good news is that cilantro isn’t toxic to dogs — the bad news is that your garden has seen better days. And while “Can dogs eat cilantro?” seems like a simple yes-or-no question, there’s actually a lot more we uncovered about this topic.

Is cilantro bad for dogs?

Again the answer is no, according to Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian — but that’s not all you should know.

First and foremost: Pet parents should ask their vet if cilantro is OK for their pet before purposefully giving it to them. 

“A small amount of washed, raw cilantro as a treat may be offered after consultation with a veterinarian.” Dr. McCullough says. “If a dog accidentally eats a small amount of dropped cilantro, pet parents don’t need to worry, as it's unlikely to cause illness.”

RELATED: Can dogs eat spinach?

Are there benefits to feeding your dog cilantro?

Although cilantro contains calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on your pet’s health because it should never take up more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. Any more than that can unbalance your pet’s diet and cause health problems, Dr. McCullough shares.

And if cilantro is just an ingredient in a larger dish you wish to feed your pet, like cilantro-infused rice, it’s probably best to skip the sharing. “Cilantro infused rice may contain other ingredients like butter, salt or oils that can cause stomach upset in dogs and should be avoided,” Dr. McCullough adds.

With that said, other popular seasonings like garlic and onion are very toxic to dogs and should also be avoided.

Unless recommended by your veterinarian, you shouldn’t add cilantro (or anything else) to your dog’s water bowl as a gimmick to make them drink. Dr. McCullough adds that the smell and taste of cilantro could even deter your dog from drinking their water.

And if you heard that cilantro may be able to settle your dog’s upset stomach from anyone besides your vet, that’s probably not the case. “Cilantro is unlikely to settle a dog’s upset stomach. In some cases it may cause stomach upset since the stems are so fibrous and can be difficult to digest,” Dr. McCullough says.

Can dogs have an allergic reaction to cilantro?

Whether your dog is allergic to cilantro or not is something only a veterinarian can uncover. But, if your dog does have an adverse reaction to cilantro, it could present as vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased appetite. 

“Pet parents should contact their veterinarian if their dog is having a negative reaction to cilantro,” Dr. McCullough says.

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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