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Can Dogs Eat Caraway Seeds? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

pile of caraway seeds

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Caraway seeds (Carum carvi) are a traditional ingredient used in rye bread, which you might have hanging around this holiday season. If your dog got into some caraway seeds or you’ve heard some rumors that these seeds are fantastic for your pooch, you might want to learn more.

The truth is, caraway seeds may or may not cause any harm to dogs in small amounts, but too many can cause toxicity in the body, resulting in mild vomiting and diarrhea. We’re going to learn all about it below, so make sure you pay special close attention to portioning.

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What Are Caraway Seeds?

Caraway seeds are native to Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa. It also has another name, also going by Meridian fennel. Caraway is a member of the parsley, celery, and carrot family, making it one pungent plant.

Unlike the misleading terminology, caraway seeds are not seeds. Instead, the caraway plant produces a fruit that is dried and stored, giving the appearance of a seed. Traditionally used in cooking, caraway seeds are a component of a multitude of different recipes.

a bowl of Caraway seeds and essential oil
Image Credit: Halil ibrahim mescioglu, Shutterstock

Conflicting Reports on Caraway Seeds for Dogs

If you look across the web, you’ll get some mixed information about the safety and efficiency of caraway seeds for dogs. According to the ASPCA, caraway is toxic to dogs, but is likely to only cause mild vomiting and diarrhea. To be on the safe side, you shouldn’t intentionally feed your dog caraway seeds, but if they do accidentally eat a small amount of them, they should be fine.

Caraway Poisoning

You know what they say. Too much of anything is a bad thing. If your dog has too many caraway seeds in one helping, it can have some negative health consequences. Depending on their size, your dog would have to consume an extremely large quantity to cause any real problem, but this plant has been known to have impacts on several systems of the body.

Because of the essential oils and terpenoids found in them, caraway seeds can have impacts on the gastrointestinal and neurological systems, being both a convulsant and neurotoxin.

Signs of Caraway Poisoning

More common signs are believed to be vomiting and diarrhea, though the plant and toxic effets are poorly reported in scientific literature. Also, as with any substance, your dog might be allergic to this plant.

Usually, dogs aren’t eating caraway seeds in bulk. But they can get very concentrated forms of caraway, like the caraway essential oil. Make sure to keep all essential oils out of your dog’s reach.

a black dog vomiting outside
Image Credit: Mumemories, Shutterstock

When to See the Vet

If your dog has eaten an overabundance of caraway seeds and is experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs of toxicity, you might want to contact your vet for advice and possibly bring them in for treatment of gastrointestinal distress.

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Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve learned all the information that you came here for. Caraway seeds aren’t known to cause problems for dogs in small amounts, but they can cause significant gastrointestinal distress if your canine eats too many.

Granted, it is probably very unlikely that they would even be around, let alone eat enough caraway seeds to create a huge issue. But as always, contact your veterinarian if your dog eats caraway seeds and is experiencing any signs of gastrointestinal upset.

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Featured Image Credit: Alexandra_F, Shutterstock

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