Parsley Benefits for Dogs

Parsley benefits dogs in different ways, such as fighting dog bad breath (canine halitosis), boosting the immune system, and more. Read on for information on this herb and see how you can use parsley to enhance your dog's health.

Petroselinum crispum
(Parsley family)

Parsley is a common herb and is extremely safe for use on dogs. (The one exception is to avoid using this herb during a dog's pregnancy, as parsley stimulates the uterus.)

Parsley is nutritive and rich in protein, fiber, and vitamins (A, C, B1, B2, and K). In addition, it also contains trace minerals such as calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

The fact that parsley can freshen a dog's breath and can treat canine halitosis (bad breath) is well known. However, parsley benefits dogs more than just making their breath fresh.

Parsley is antimicrobial and carminative. It is also anti-inflammatory and can therefore helps dogs with inflammatory issues such as arthritis and cancer. It is also a diuretic and can lower blood pressure.

Below are some common uses of parsley to enhance dogs' health.

Common Uses in Dogs

  • Helps Dogs with Bad Breath: If your dog's breath is not so fresh and sweet, try sprinkling chopped fresh parsley on his food. Since the herb is antimicrobial, it is effective in preventing bacteria and other germs to multiply in the dog's mouth.

    You can also use parsley to make dog "fresh-breath" biscuits - see this recipe for example.

  • Helps Dogs with Arthritis: Parsley root is excellent in treating dogs with arthritis. For this purpose, a tincture (1-2 ml/30 lbs of body weight) or a strong tea of the herb (see below) can be used.
  • Helps Anemic Dogs: Since parsley leaves and stems are very nutritive, they can be used to treat dogs with anemia.
  • Helps Dogs with Urinary Issues: The leaves also have antiseptic properties and are helpful in treating urinary tract infections. Since parsley is a diuretic, it is useful in boosting kidney function. In addition, parsley benefits dogs with heart problems because it helps stimulate the kidneys to eliminate the excess fluids in the lungs and/or other organs.
  • Helps Dogs with GI Issues: Since parsley is a carminative herb, it strengthens intestinal muscles. It is therefore effective in treating colic and flatulent dyspepsia.
  • Helps Older Dogs: A tea of parsley leaf can be added to our aging dogs' water to help strengthen the mucuous membranes in the urinary tract.
  • Helps Dogs with Cancer: Parsley adds nutrients to a dog's diet, and it also has anti-cancerous properties as it has been found to inhibit cancer growth, it is therefore a good herb to use in a canine cancer diet. Add generous amounts of the herb to the dog's food.
  • Helps Dogs Stung by Bees: If your dog has been stung by a bee, you can mash a handful of fresh parsley with a little bit of water and rub it on the bee sting. This remedy will not only eliminate some of the pain, but also will neutralize the poison.


Making Parsley Tea

To feed parsley to your dog as a nutritive tonic, try to make juice out of fresh leaves by adding water to some fresh leaves and blend them in a blender or juicer. Feed the juice directly to your dog with an empty stomach or add to his drinking water. (1 teaspoon/20 lbs of the dog's body weight).

To use parsley as a medicinal tea for arthritis, urinary tract or gastric issues, you can make an attenuated infusion. Here is how (as described in Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by C.J. Puotinen):

  • Add 1 large bunch of fresh parsley to a pan with 1 quart of boiling water.
  • Cover and let stand for 3-4 hours.
  • Then return the covered pan to the stove and simmer over the lowest heat setting for 1 hour.
  • Remove from heat, let cool, and strain.
  • You can freeze the tea in ice cube trays for long-term storage.

Add 1 teaspoon/10 pounds body weight to your dog's dinner every day.

J.A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Comprehensive Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing (Rodale Books, 2000).
C.J. Puotinen, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats (Keats Publishing, 1999).
R. Kidd, Dr. Kidd's Guide to Herbal Dog Care (Storey Publishing, 2000).
M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Herbs for Pets (Bowtie Press, 1999).