Can Dogs Eat Seasonings? The Risks and Dangers

Are seasonings safe for your furry friend? Find out the truth about whether dogs can eat seasonings in our comprehensive article.
Can Dogs Eat seasonings?

Dogs and humans have different dietary needs, and it is important to understand these differences to provide a balanced diet for your canine companion. A common misconception is that sharing human food with dogs is harmless, but many seasonings can actually be toxic or harmful to our furry friends. In this article, we will discuss the dangers of seasonings for dogs, as well as safe alternatives and tips for avoiding seasoning-related accidents.

Toxic Seasonings for Dogs

Garlic and Onion

Why they're toxic

Garlic and onion, both part of the Allium family, contain compounds called thiosulphates which are toxic to dogs. These compounds can damage red blood cells and cause anemia in canines.

Signs of toxicity

If your dog has ingested garlic or onion, they may show signs of toxicity such as vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, rapid breathing, and an increased heart rate.


Why it's toxic

Nutmeg contains a compound called myristicin, which can cause hallucinations and seizures in dogs when consumed in large amounts.

Signs of toxicity

Common signs of nutmeg toxicity in dogs include disorientation, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, and seizures.


Why it's toxic

While cinnamon is not toxic for dogs in small amounts, consuming large quantities can cause irritation in the mouth, upset stomach and even liver damage.

Signs of toxicity

Signs of excessive cinnamon intake in dogs may include coughing, choking, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cocoa-based seasonings

Why they're toxic

Cocoa-based seasonings, such as hot chocolate powder, contain theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Theobromine can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures in dogs.

Signs of toxicity

Symptoms of cocoa-based seasoning toxicity may include restlessness, tremors, increased urination, and even seizures.

Other Potentially Harmful Seasonings


Why it can be harmful

Dogs who consume too much salt can experience dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can lead to serious health problems if not addressed.

Signs of excessive salt intake

Excessive salt intake in dogs may cause increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.


Why it can be harmful

While small amounts of pepper are typically not harmful to dogs, excessive consumption can cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset stomach.

Signs of excessive pepper intake

Signs of excessive pepper intake in dogs may include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Chili Powder

Why it can be harmful

Chili powder contains capsaicin, which can cause irritation and discomfort when ingested by dogs.

Signs of excessive chili powder intake

Excessive chili powder intake in dogs may lead to drooling, panting, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Safe Alternatives to Seasonings

Fresh herbs and their benefits


Parsley can help freshen your dog's breath and contains essential vitamins and minerals for their overall health.


Basil is a safe herb for dogs and may help alleviate stress and anxiety in some canines.


Mint can be a soothing herb for dogs with gastrointestinal issues and also helps freshen breath.

Dog-friendly fruits and vegetables


Carrots are a healthy and tasty snack for dogs, providing essential nutrients and helping to keep their teeth clean.

Green beans

Green beans are a low-calorie treat for dogs and provide vitamins and minerals essential for their overall health.


Blueberries are a sweet treat packed with antioxidants, which can help support your dog's immune system.

Proper storage of seasonings

Keep seasonings in a secure location where your dog cannot gain access to them.

Monitoring your dog during meal preparation

Keep an eye on your dog while preparing food to ensure they do not get their paws on any harmful seasonings.

Educating family members and guests

Explain the risks associated with dogs consuming seasonings to family members and guests, so they do not unknowingly share harmful foods with your pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat seasoned meat?

Meat seasoned with toxic or harmful seasonings should not be given to dogs. Always opt for unseasoned meat if sharing with your pet.

Are there any dog-friendly seasonings available?

Herbs like parsley, basil, and mint can be used to add natural flavor to your dog's food without causing harm.

How can I make my dog's food more flavorful without using seasonings?

The use of dog-friendly herbs and fruits/vegetables can add a burst of flavor to your dog's food while keeping them safe.


Dogs should not consume most seasonings, as they can be harmful or toxic to their health. Remember that dogs have different dietary needs than humans, so it is important to provide a dog-appropriate diet. Always consult your veterinarian if you suspect your pet has ingested anything dangerous or if you have any concerns about their diet.

Medically Reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM

Ivana is a DVM with a specialty in domestic carnivores – dogs & cats. She is passionate about educating pet owners and raising awareness about pet health.

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