Oregano is a popular herb that’s used in different cuisines all over the world. The herb is famous for its delicious flavors and inviting aroma, especially when mixed with other culinary herbs.
Besides its food-sweetening abilities, oregano is also hailed for its immense therapeutic properties.
Therefore, it’s natural to find oregano in most kitchen shelves and medical cabinets today.
It’s also natural to find pet owners freely feeding oregano to their dogs, either in the form of oregano-enriched foods, oregano oil, or as an herbal concoction. But before you do, you should ask yourself the all-too-important question, is oregano safe for dogs?
The short answer is yes, oregano is safe for dogs. The herb comes with numerous health and dietary benefits that your canine friend can enjoy. However, there is a caveat. You should only offer oregano to your pooch as an occasional treat.
It’s important to note that The ASPCA lists oregano among the herbs that are considered potentially toxic for dogs. That’s mostly due to compounds like phenols that are abundant in the herb.
So, if you think your dog will benefit from the medicinal properties of oregano, good for you. Just ensure you go slow on the portions that you feed your pooch.
Read on as we delve deeper into the topic and explain how your dog can benefit from oregano, as well as the possible dangers to look out for.
Can Dogs Have Oregano? More About the Herb
We’ve just mentioned that dogs can have oregano, and there shouldn’t be any immediate health concerns to worry about. But you might still be wondering to yourself, is oregano toxic to dogs?
We will discuss the herb’s possible toxicity later on. Let’s first begin easy by understanding what oregano really is.
Oregano, scientifically known as Origanum vulgare, goes by several other names, including Greek oregano, origanum, wild marjoram, to mention but a few.
This aromatic flowering herb is classified under the mint or sage family and is native to Western Asia and the Mediterranean region.
However, the plant has become popular in different cuisines around the world, so much that some countries like the US and Mexico have since naturalized it.
The fresh or dried leaves of oregano are commonly used in Italian, Mediterranean, and Argentine cuisines. In terms of medicinal use, oregano leaves can be made into concoction and drunk as an herbal tea, or processed into oregano essential oil.
Oregano essential oil is mostly recommended for topical application, though some people might also use the oil as a dietary supplement.
As a medicinal herb, oregano is mostly prescribed as a natural antibiotic. Besides, the herb contains antiseptic, antispasmodic, antifungal, astringent, and anti-anxiety properties.
So, is oregano ok for my dog? The following sections shall offer more insights on that.
Oregano Health Benefits for Dogs
Most of the health benefits of oregano for dogs apply to humans as well. But before we highlight the numerous ways your pooch can benefit from oregano, it’s important to understand the various methods through which you can administer the herb.
As we’ve already indicated, you can give your dog fresh and dried oregano leaves, as well as oregano essential oil.
Is fresh oregano safe for dogs?
Yes, fresh oregano leaves are safe for dogs as they contain a low concentration of the toxic chemicals in the herb.
Is dried oregano good for dogs?
Like fresh oregano leaves, dried oregano leaves are also safe for your furry friend. In fact, you’re better off drying oregano leaves and grounding them into a powder before feeding it to your dog. That will lower the risks of choking significantly.
Is oregano oil safe for dogs?
Like fresh and dried oregano leaves, oregano oil is safe for dogs in moderation. You must remember that the potentially-hazardous chemicals that are present in the plant are more abundant in oregano essential oil.
So, you should moderate the quantity of oregano oil that you offer to your dog even further.
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Also, while oregano leaves are generally administered orally, oregano essential oil is safer if applied topically. The oil can also be diffused. And that helps to settle the question, is diffusing oregano oil safe for dogs?
The convention is that before allowing your dog to consume oregano products in whichever form, talk to your vet to be sure the product doesn’t contain any hazardous ingredients.
When discussing the right form of oregano to offer to dogs, the question of pills also arises. But are oregano pills safe for dogs?
Well, oregano pills are perfectly safe for dogs, provided you can vouch for the safety of the ingredients in the pills.
The following are some of the notable benefits of oregano for your canine friend.
1. Oregano as a taste enhancer
Oregano is a powerful flavor- and taste- enhancer. Therefore, you can use the herb to get your dog to eat its food, especially if your canine friend has a poor appetite.
NB: The next list of benefits almost exclusively applies to oregano oil.
2. Oregano oil for respiratory infections
One of the most notable oregano oil benefits for dogs relates to the oil’s ability to combat respiratory infections. Some of the conditions the oil can manage include common cold, asthma, sore throat, and bronchitis.
However, before applying oregano oil for kennel cough, ensure the dog is not presently under any other medications, as that could reduce the oil’s potency.
3. Oregano oil for dogs’ ears
Oregano oil contains antibacterial properties that may help to treat ear infections in your dog, especially those that are caused by bacterial agents and ear mites.
4. Oil of oregano for dog skin problems
Due to its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, oregano oil can also be used to escalate the healing of wounds and canker sores, while rejuvenating your dog’s skin.
Also, you can use the oil to treat various skin conditions on your dog, such as acne, warts, and psoriasis.
While using oregano oil for dog’s warts, start small and increase the quantity gradually. Too much of oregano oil on your dog’s skin could induce allergic reactions.
5. Oregano oil for dog’s allergies
If used in moderation, oregano oil can relieve canine allergies, especially allergic reactions that manifest on the dog’s skin.
6. Oil of oregano for dog’s fleas and bee stings
Oregano can also help to repel fleas as well as treat insect bites.
7. Oregano oil for dog yeast infection
Yeast infection is the most common fungal infection in dogs. Thankfully, oregano oil boasts antifungal properties that make it effective at treating yeast infection.
8. Oregano oil for dog’s teeth
Last but not least, you can use oregano oil to strengthen your dog’s teeth. Just add a small amount of the oil to your dog’s regular toothpaste.
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There are numerous other ways your dog can benefit from oregano oil. If applied in moderation, oregano oil can relieve gastrointestinal complications, such as heartburn, diarrhea, and gassiness.
The oil also boasts powerful antioxidants that can help dogs with urinary tract infections, heart problems, arthritis, and giardia.
So, can dogs take oregano oil? and is oil of oregano for dogs a great idea?
Considering the numerous health benefits we’ve highlighted, you definitely have many reasons to consider oregano for dogs.
Can You Give Oregano To Dogs? Here’s What Could Go Wrong
Oregano packs several health benefits for dogs, that’s a given. But the questions remain, is oregano oil safe for dogs, or is oregano bad for dogs?
To settle these questions for good, we’ll review a few possible things that could go wrong. You can then compare the benefits against the risks and determine whether you should go ahead and offer your pooch oregano or not.
While oregano contains numerous potent chemicals, the most active ones are polyphenols, such as thymol and carvacrol, and flavones like monoterpenoids and monoterpenes.
These compounds are all beneficial in small doses. But if your canine friend is exposed to more oregano than it should, then the chemicals could turn toxic and cause serious side effects.
The most common side effect to watch out for is oregano poisoning, which usually manifests in the following symptoms;
- Gastrointestinal complications; such as stomach irritation, gastrointestinal ulcers, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea;
- Reduced blood glucose level;
- Slow heart rate; and
- Blood clotting disorders.
Can Oregano Oil Be Used For Dogs?
Yes it can, but you must watch the portions. If you discover that your dog has consumed oregano behind your back, the first thing to do is establish the quantity of the herb that the dog has eaten.
If it’s alarmingly high, schedule a vet visit immediately. Your vet will examine the level of oregano poisoning in the dog before recommending the best treatment.
Treatment ranges from IV fluid therapy to detoxification and medically-assisted therapy treatments.
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How Much Oregano Should I Give My Dog?
It’s important to understand how to administer oregano oil for dogs once you’ve decided to incorporate the oil into your dog’s lifestyle. You should also be able to determine the right quantities.
Learning how to feed oregano to your dogs shouldn’t be difficult, provided you follow the cardinal principle of moderation.
However, the ideal dosage will depend on a few factors, such as the age, size, and medical condition of the dog.
Is Oregano Safe For Small Dogs?
Similarly, you should avoid offering oregano to sick or pregnant dogs. That’s because these dogs have relatively compromised immune systems and could develop oregano poisoning much easier.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Oregano?
There’s so much to learn about oregano for dogs before feeding the herb to your canine friend. While there are numerous ways the dog can benefit from oregano, there are equally potential side effects to watch out for.
If you must feed oregano to your dog, do so in moderation. You might also consider safer oregano alternatives, such as slippery elm, basil, hawthorn, milk thistle, to mention but a few.
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