Can Dogs Eat Basil? Everything You Need to Know

Yes, dogs can eat basil in moderation. It is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of basil can prevent illness, infections and even can prevent cancer. Basil also protects cells, relaxes your nervous dog, and relieves arthritis pain. 

Basil is a low-calorie herb, making it a healthier alternative to other ingredients to add to your dog’s meal. Below, we’ll know more about basil for dogs. 

What Is Basil? 

Basil (Ocimum basilicum), often known as great basil, is a culinary plant in the Lamiaceae family (mints). Basil is indigenous to tropical areas ranging from central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is a delicate plant that is utilized in cuisines all over the world.  

Basil is an annual or perennial plant that is grown for its leaves. Plants can grow to be between 30 and 150 cm tall, depending on the type. Its leaves are dark green and ovate, although depending on the cultivar, they come in a broad range of sizes and forms. Leaf lengths range from 3 to 11 cm and widths from 1 to 6 cm. Basil has a sizable central taproot. It has little white blooms that develop from a central inflorescence that grows from the plant’s main stalk. 

Is Basil Safe for Dogs? 

Yes, basil is safe for dogs to consume. However, the amount must be in moderation. Too much basil can be harmful to dogs. The stem of basil is soft, but it may irritate dogs while swallowing it.  

Why Is Basil Good for Dogs? 

Basil is suitable for dogs because it is packed with nutrients like Vitamin A, B complex, C, E, and other minerals. It is also packed with anti-inflammatory elements and antioxidants.  

Here is how basil helps dogs: 

Helps Prevent Cancer 

Basil has a lot of antioxidants and helps to prevent cell damage. Antioxidants have long been known to combat cancer, and they will also help to prevent cell damage. These antioxidants aid in the destruction of free radicals that might damage your body’s cells. 

Reduces Inflammation 

Basil contains anti-inflammatory effects, which can aid elderly dogs suffering from illnesses like arthritis or joint discomfort. The basil will not be able to alleviate your dog’s suffering completely, but it will help him feel a little more at ease. Beta-Caryophyllene and Canidae are the two most critical anti-inflammatory properties present in basil. 

Calming Effect 

Basil has a relaxing effect by nature. You may offer your dog basil to help calm it down if it is frightened or has anxiety due to a vehicle journey or even traveling to a new environment. This plant has a natural soothing effect that might help you feel less anxious. 

Regulates Blood Sugar Level 

Basil helps in regulating blood sugar levels in a dog’s body. 

Detoxifies Body 

Basil helps in detoxifying the dog’s body by flushing out the harmful toxins present in the body. 

Fights Infection 

Basil helps fight the infection that grows in the dog’s body and reduces infection growth.  

Prevents Cellular Damage 

Basil acts as an antioxidant, destroying free radicals that cause cell harm. Thus, the plant can both prevent and cure cellular damage. This step alone can aid in the prevention and treatment of a variety of canine health issues. 


  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vital vitamin that helps dogs’ eyesight, bone growth, reproduction, cellular differentiation, and immunological response. 
  • Vitamin B complex: Vitamin B complex is a co-enzyme that promotes metabolic activities and convert carbs into glucose, which gives the body energy. It is required in a dog’s diet for protein and fat absorption. This group of water-soluble vitamins passes through the body in 4 to 8 hours. 
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can assist your dog’s body to eliminate potentially dangerous free radicals, support healthy aging, and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C can also aid your dog’s immune function, increase energy, and relieve UTIs. 
  • Vitamin E: One of your dog’s defenses against oxidative damage is vitamin E. Cell function, and fat metabolism are also dependent on this fat-soluble vitamin. Deficiencies can cause vision and muscle deterioration, as well as reproductive issues. 

High Fiber 

The presence of fiber helps the dog’s bowel movement smooth. It also keeps your dog satiated for a long time.  

Water Content 

Basil keeps your dog well-hydrated due to water content.  

Low in Calorie 

 Basil is a low-calorie herb that prevents your dog from being obese.  

Low in Fat 

 Basil is also low in fat which keeps your dog from being overweight.  

Why is Basil Bad for Dogs? 

Even though basil is safe and healthy for dogs to consume, it is best to check the downsides before feeding herbs to them. Like any other human food, basil also has downsides, which may affect your dog’s overall gut.  

Digestive Problem 

Basil is high in fiber, which can disrupt the digestive system of the dog. Too much basil consumption can cause: 

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Gas 
  • Stomach pain 

Skin Issues 

Too much basil in your dog’s diet might create skin issues. If you like feeding your dog human foods and use a lot of basil, your dog may develop skin problems such as: 

  • Itching 
  • Scaly skin 
  • Loss of fur 

Allergic Reactions 

Basil and herbs, in general, might cause allergic reactions in particular dogs. Some common allergy symptoms in dogs include: 

  • Sneezing 
  • Swelling 
  • Hives 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • itching ears  
  • Nausea 
  • Fever 

How Much Basil to Feed Your Dog? 

 Moderation is the key! Puppies and small dogs will need less basil than adult and big dogs. Likewise, puppies and dogs with constipation will need a small amount of basil, while puppies and dogs with diarrhea will not need basil.  

Hence, the best is to consult with your veterinarian to know the correct amount of basil for your dog. But, of course, it all depends upon your dog’s age, size, and health history.   

What If My Dog Ate Basil? 

There is nothing to worry about overconsumption of basil once in a blue moon. All you need to do is supervise your dog for a few hours, which helps display the symptoms. Then, provide him enough water to ease him. Then, take him to the veterinarian for further medical procedures.  

How to Serve Basil to Your Dog? 

You can serve basil to your dog in the following ways: 

  • As a component of a handmade dog-friendly pesto.  
  • Added to their dog food as a topping (raw, baked, fried, and roasted (without condiments)).  
  • As a special treat, fresh from your garden. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can dogs eat basil pesto? 

Pesto is a sauce created with basil and a few additional ingredients that may be served on pasta or over slices of bread. Pesto is okay for dogs to consume if it is made using dog-friendly ingredients. 

Can dogs have Thai basil? 

Yes, your dog can eat Thai basil; the primary difference between Thai and regular basil is that Thai basil is sweeter. The flavor of regular basil is peppery. 

Can dogs have sweet basil? 

Yes, the sweet basil kind is suitable for your dog. Sweet basil has a sweeter flavor than ordinary basil. This is important to remember since you don’t want to offer your dog too much sweetness in their meal. 

Can dogs have basil tomato sauce? 

Tomato sauce is fine for dogs, but it must be basic and free of the additives that most people add to homemade and bottled sauce. After you’ve made a basic tomato sauce, you may add dried or fresh basil to it. 

Final Thoughts 

Dogs can eat basil in moderation. Basil is not only safe for them but is also harmless. However, it is best to consult with the veterinarian if your dog can have basil or not. Your dog’s size, age, and health history are essential factors determining whether your dog can consume basil. The wide range of health benefits of basil can keep your dog healthy and free from illness.  

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