Can Dogs Eat Rosemary?

Read time: 5 mins

21 Dec 2019

Rosemary is one of the big hitters of the herb world. If you only have a couple of culinary plants in your garden, chances are that rosemary will be one of them.

It's strong-scented, sun-loving, easy to grow and a doddle to use, pepping up a bland meal in an instant. With its tiny, fragrant dark-green leaves, rosemary has been around since people wore togas. It has a long history as both a herb used in cooking and also as a medicine, where flowers, leaves and the essential oil have all played a role.

Is Rosemary Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Yes. In the correct form and controlled quantities, rosemary is a very beneficial addition to a dog’s diet.

As with all new food, it should be introduced to a dog’s diet gradually in case of any adverse reactions. If you have any doubts about feeding your pooch rosemary, consult your vet first.

Health Benefits of Rosemary for Dogs

Supports Digestion

Back in the days before you could nip to your local pharmacy, rosemary was the go-to tummy tonic for issues like bloating and indigestion. It’s the perfect remedy for gastrointestinal or digestive tract issues such as irritable bowel syndrome.

Soothe Muscles

The possibilities of this miracle herb continue with its antispasmodic effects on smooth muscles, thanks to its vitamin B6 contents. It can also be used as a muscle rub to soothe pain and inflammation, ideal for pups with arthritis.

Natural Flea and Bug Repellent

Rosemary is considered to be an excellent bug buster. Adding a few small sprigs to your dog's bed can help chase away those bitey critters that cause mayhem in the summer months (fleas – we're looking at you).

In fact, rosemary is often included as an active constituent of natural products to help repel ticks, mosquitoes and other undesirable characters. Planting rosemary in your garden, especially near front and back doors, will help to repel bugs and stop them from entering your home. A solid gold tip if you ask us.

Antibacterial and Antimicrobial Power

Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and antimicrobials. These are the little guys that help us (and our pooches) cope with everyday wear and tear. They even help to prevent more serious health conditions such as cancer and heart disease too.

You can also use rosemary infused in water as a topical wash to soothe irritated eyes and skin, as well as an antibacterial wash for cuts to ward off infection. You go rosemary.


Bye bye botox? Rosemary even has the potential to help with conditions linked to ageing and dementia. There are ongoing studies researching the particular active components of rosemary that are believed to protect the brain.

So, next time you catch your pup sniffing or chewing at a rosemary bush, you’ll know they're wracking their brains to try and remember something. Which chair did I stuff my favourite cuddly toy down?

Can Rosemary Trigger Seizures in Dogs?

You may have heard or read some arguments linking rosemary with epilepsy in dogs. Our expert vet and nutritionist team are well up on the debate. The fact is that, in controlled quantities, rosemary is a pawfect addition to a dog’s diet with a whole host of benefits.

Some pet foods use rosemary extract as a natural preservative. The only preservative we use is a freezer to lock in the good stuff for longer. The small amount of the dried herb we use in our Butternut Box meals won't affect any dog, whether they're epileptic or not.

How to Feed Your Dog Rosemary

Fresh and Dried Rosemary

The best way to feed your pup rosemary is in dried or fresh form. A pinch is more than enough to ensure that they’re getting the key benefits. This can be sprinkled into meals and drinking water, or baked into homemade treats.

Rosemary Essential Oil

There are divided opinions on this one. The general consensus is that essential oils should never be used undiluted internally or externally on dogs. But, there is ongoing speculation surrounding the safety of essential oils for dogs, even when diluted.

As it stands there isn’t enough evidence to support usage of them and the risks still largely outweigh the benefits. These can include skin irritation, tummy upset, respiratory issues, as well as organ and nervous system damage. We would definitely recommend avoiding the use of rosemary in this form.

If your dog has ingested essential oils by accident you should get in touch with your Vet immediately for further guidance and to minimise the risk of poison. If you subscribe to Butternut Box, you can also use our free 24/7 Vet Nurse helpline.

Homemade Rosemary Spray

Adding rosemary to your dog’s food isn’t the only way to ensure that they’re benefiting from its superpowers.

You can make your own homemade spray by following this recipe from Holistic Pet Wellness: add two sprigs of rosemary and the juice of half a fresh lemon to 1 pint of boiling water, allow it to cool and pour into a spray bottle.

This can be used directly on dogs skin and fur as well as on their bed and toys. Alternatively, you can store the liquid and use it as a wash for your pooch during their post-muddy-walk bath time.

Rosemary in Butternut Box’s Fresh Meals

In the Butternut Box kitchen, we use dried rosemary, packed with tempting taste and goodness, to make our fresh meals even more mouthwatering for your discerning pup.

Whether it’s Beef It Up, Gobble Gobble Turkey, Wham Bam Lamb or You’ve Got Game, our extensive selection of meals will be sure to keep your pup healthy and rose-merry. We also use this wonder-herb in a number of our extras, including the Naturally Tasty Lamb, Duck and Beef Treats.

Which Other Herbs and Spices Are Safe for Dogs to Eat?

When served in the correct form and quantity, the following herbs and spices are safe (and beneficial) for your pup.


• Basil


• Thyme

• Parsley

• Dill


• Ginger

• Cinnamon