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Can Dogs Eat Thyme? Is Thyme Safe for Dogs?

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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If you’re like most dog owners, you feed your pooch high-quality food from the store. You don’t have time to make them their meals from scratch! But you do want to make sure that your puppy is getting all the nutrients they need to thrive as they age. Adding fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet is a great way to enhance their nutrition intake. You can also include herbs from the garden in your dog’s diet to support optimal health. The question is, can dogs eat thyme?

The short answer is a resounding yes. But before filling your pooch’s bowl with handfuls of thyme, you should know how this herb will affect your pooch. You also need a few ideas of how to feed your dog thyme without them turning their snouts up at it. We’ve put together important information to serve as a guide on how to feed your dog thyme.

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The Benefits of Thyme for Dogs

Thyme has been used for centuries to benefit the health of humans, and it can be used in many of the same ways to benefit your dog’s health. Thyme is a wonderful antiseptic due to a compound called thymol in the herb, so it can be used to fight off gingivitis. The herb can also be used to keep diarrhea at bay. In addition, older dogs may find thyme useful for relieving arthritic pain.

Thyme may even help lower your dog’s blood pressure just like it can for us humans. Vitamin C is abundant in thyme, which makes the herb useful for strengthening the immune system. It also contains essential minerals, like iron and manganese, that your dog needs for a healthy body and mind. These are all great reasons to consider including thyme in your dog’s diet.

puppy on meadow
Photo Credit: 12019, Pixabay

Beware of Spanish Thyme

Regular thyme that you find in the grocery store is safe for dogs to consume, but this isn’t the case when it comes to Spanish thyme (otherwise known as Cuban oregano). If your dog gets a hold of Spanish thyme, they could experience side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and even anorexia. Consuming too much of this herb could even lead to death.

If you think your dog has eaten Spanish thyme, you should call your local animal poison control center immediately for guidance. Luckily, Spanish thyme isn’t nearly as common or popular as the thyme you’re familiar with. So, chances are that unless you’re a serious herb gardener, your dog will never even have a chance to consume Spanish thyme.

Image By: Cybercat, Pixabay

Feeding Guidelines

Your dog probably won’t experience any serious side effects by eating the entire thyme plant that you are growing in your garden. In fact, if your dog does that, they probably feel like they need it! But they may get an upset belly if they eat too much. Thyme can slow the clotting of blood too, so it could cause problems after a surgical procedure takes place and while your doggy is trying to heal.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to avoid thyme altogether for a few days after surgery. The truth is that your pooch doesn’t need much thyme to reap the health rewards that the herb has to offer. Just a pinch of dried thyme or a couple of fresh herb leaves can enhance the flavor of your dog’s meal and help improve their health.

Serving Suggestions

There are all kinds of different ways that you can feed thyme to your pooch, whether during mealtime or as part of a snack. Simply sprinkling dried or freshly chopped thyme on your dog’s food should be all it takes to get them to eat it. But if your furry family member doesn’t enjoy their food being mixed with other ingredients, you may have to get a little creative. Try one or more of the following ideas:

  • Make Dog TreatsMix peanut butter, oats, and thyme leaves, then roll the “dough” into little balls. Bake the balls for about 10 minutes in your oven at a low temperature to warm and stiffen the balls. Once cooled, they’ll be ready for your pooch to gulp down.
  • Share a Smoothie — Add thyme to a banana and berry smoothie, and share it with your pooch for a health boost that you can both appreciate.
  • Use It to Brush Their Teeth — Since thyme is good for gingivitis, it can be used to brush your dog’s teeth. Just wipe their teeth down with a big sprig of thyme, using the thyme like you would a toothbrush.
  • Add Oil to Their Water — You can add a little thyme oil to your dog’s water occasionally as a breath freshener and gum cleaner. If they don’t like the flavor, give them broth with a little thyme oil mixed in.
English Bulldog eating
Image credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

We think thyme makes our meals taste better, and we think that your dog will agree with our conclusion. The herb offers plenty of health benefits to consider making it a regular part of your dog’s diet. You shouldn’t have a problem getting your dog to eat a little dried or fresh thyme mixed in with their dog food.

But it’s not the end of the world if your pooch doesn’t enjoy eating this herb. It’s not a cure-all tonic that your dog can’t live without. So, don’t force the issue if you find that the herb gets rejected. How do you feel about feeding herbs like thyme to dogs? Let us know all about your thoughts and advice in the comments section below.

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Featured Image Credit: Olha Afanasieva, Shutterstock

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