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Can Dogs Eat Oregano? Vet-Approved Health Facts & FAQ

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

Can Dogs Eat oregano

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

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

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Herbs and spices are an essential part of the culinary arts, with the power to enhance the flavor and aroma of our favorite dishes. Our food would be bland if it weren’t for mint, rosemary, basil, oregano, and sage. Herbs come from the plant’s leaf, giving a dish a distinctive taste and smell. One such popular herb is oregano. Oregano is a beautiful, diverse herb that can significantly enhance the flavor and aroma of any meal.

While most of us adore the taste of oregano, this herb can be toxic to dogs. To learn more about the properties of oregano for our pets, read the article below.

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Are Herbs and Spices Safe for Dogs to Consume?

The difference between herbs and spices is that herbs come from the leafy part of the plant, while spices come from other parts such as roots, flowers, stems, or bark. While humans adore using spices and herbs on any meal to bring out the beautiful flavor and aroma, some are unsafe for our pets. Before feeding your dog any herbs or spices, you must learn about their safety and the amount you can offer them. Below is a list of safe spices and herbs for your dog to consume and those you should avoid.

Spices and herbs safe for dogs:
Spices and herbs not safe for dogs:
  • Cayenne
  • Marjoram
  • Chamomile
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Dried and powdered onion
  • Cloves
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Spanish Thyme
  • Curry
  • Cocoa
Fresh and Dried Oregano
Image Credit By: ariesa66, pixabay

Can Dogs Eat Oregano?

Oregano, or Origanum vulgare hirtum, is a flowering plant belonging to the Lamiaceae family, along with other herbs such as mint. Oregano is most famous for its use in pizzas and pasta, giving it a distinctive flavor many people adore.

While oregano might be safe and healthy for humans to consume in large amounts, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA),  it is considered toxic for dogs, cats, and horses to eat. It is usually mildly toxic acting as a gastrointestinal irritant and causing signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Small amounts of the leaves or dried herb are generally considered fairly safe and unlikely to cause too many issues for your dog. However, any more concentrated forms, such as oregano extract or oil, can be highly toxic.

If your pet shows signs of toxicity from oregano or any other toxic herb, you must take them to the vet for an immediate check-up.

What to Do if Your Dog Accidentally Eats Oregano

While oregano can be toxic for your dog, accidentally ingesting a small amount won’t harm them. First, you’ll need to determine how much oregano your dog has consumed to know how to act. If your dog has ingested any of the more concentrated forms such as oregano extract or oil then you should contact your vet straight away.

If you suspect that your dog consumed food with oregano, our advice is to also take a good look at the ingredient list of that product. If that particular food has oregano, chances are it has other herbs and spices that can poorly affect your dog and their stomach, such as onion or garlic powder, salt, and others.

It is wise to store oregano properly and away from your pet’s reach to prevent this from ever happening. While various sources list that oregano is safe and beneficial for dogs to consume in moderation, ASPCA lists this herb as toxic for them and it is therefore best avoided. Before feeding your dog any type of new food, we advise you to consult your veterinarian for the best and most reliable advice.


Final Thoughts

Oregano, while a tasty herb loved by many professional and amateur chefs, is considered to be potentially toxic for our dogs. You need to remember this the next time you prepare a meal with oregano with your dog by your side. While a small amount of oregano might not harm your dog severely, it may cause gastrointestinal upset.

We recommend you avoid feeding oregano to your pet, as it can cause more severe health problems when ingested in large amounts or in a more concentrated form.

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