Can Dogs Eat Cilantro? Benefits, Precautions & How to Feed

Cilantro is a popular herb that is commonly added to Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Indian dishes. But can our dogs eat it? Find out.

Oct 04, 2023·5 min read
Can Dogs Eat Cilantro? Benefits, Precautions & How to Feed

If you’re someone who enjoys cilantro and has an abundance of it in your kitchen, you may be wondering: can dogs eat cilantro, too? 

Let’s break down whether this aromatic herb is safe for dogs and if feeding it has any benefits, We’ll also outline any precautions pet parents should take before they feed cilantro to their canine companions. 

What Is Cilantro?

Cilantro (also known Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley) is a leafy green herb that makes a pungent addition to many popular human dishes like tacos, curries, and dahls. It very closely resembles the flat-leaf version of parsley

For many, the taste of cilantro is delicious, but to others it tastes like soap or metal! 

Cilantro is a great source of magnesium, calcium, and vitamins K and C.

Cilantro Vs. Coriander

Depending on where you live in the world, cilantro may also be referred to as fresh coriander. But in the U.S. the leaves and stems of the plant are called cilantro and the dried seeds of the plant are called coriander. 

Coriander seeds are often ground into a powder and used as a spice in many Asian, Middle Eastern, and Indian recipes.

A close up of the green herb cilantro

Can Dogs Have Cilantro?

Yes, dogs can have cilantro. “Cilantro isn’t considered toxic to dogs, and a little taste of cilantro is no cause for concern,” says Dr. Rhiannon Koehler, a veterinary advisor for PetLab Co. 

But just because dogs can have the herb doesn’t mean that they’ll enjoy the taste. 

“While we can’t say if cilantro tastes like soap to some dogs, we do know that some dogs may not find the taste appealing,” says Dr. Koehler. “Your dog may be more likely to accept cilantro if it’s on something desirable like chicken as opposed to a piece of cilantro on its own.”

Can Dogs Have Coriander? 

No part of the cilantro plant is harmful to dogs, so coriander seeds and coriander powder are also not toxic to dogs. 

“Coriander is sometimes described as warmer and nuttier in taste than cilantro,” says Dr. Koehler. “Rather than feeding whole seeds, which may be harder to digest, consider grinding them into a powder.” 

Benefits of Cilantro for Dogs

Feeding cilantro to dogs won’t result in any major wellness benefits for your dog. The same goes for feeding coriander seeds or powder. 

“Cilantro does contain several vitamins and minerals,” says Dr. Koehler, “but if you’re feeding your dog a well-balanced diet, then cilantro is unlikely to have any significant positive impact on your dog’s health.”

However, the herb’s aroma may help to naturally freshen your dog’s breath and Dr. Koehler explains that introducing new smells and tastes to dogs can provide mental enrichment and stimulation, as well. 

Is Cilantro Ever Bad for Dogs? 

Giving large quantities of cilantro to dogs can result in tummy troubles. “Too much cilantro could cause diarrhea or vomiting in much the same way that too much of any food, especially one your dog isn’t used to, can cause gastrointestinal upset,” says Dr. Koehler.

As with any new food, allergies or sensitivities to cilantro are possible, although they are considered rare. “Allergies to cilantro aren’t common in dogs,” says Dr. Koehler, “though the true prevalence is unknown because dogs don’t routinely eat cilantro.”

Signs of an allergic reaction may include hives, facial swelling, itching, gastrointestinal upset, and difficulty breathing.

Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Lime Rice? 

If you’re ordering takeout from your favorite Mexican restaurant or fast-casual spot like Chipotle, you might request a side of cilantro lime rice. While plain, white rice is fine to feed dogs, cilantro lime rice is not recommended. 

“Cilantro lime rice may contain ingredients that are toxic to your dog, such as garlic or onions,” says Dr. Koehler. “The butter, salt, and acid content of cilantro lime rice can also cause gastrointestinal upset that results in vomiting and diarrhea.”

So, while sharing your favorite side dish with your dog might seem like a sweet thing to do, it’s best to avoid giving cilantro lime rice to your furry family member. 

How to Give Cilantro to Dogs

If your pup enjoys the taste, feeding cilantro to dogs is pretty simple. Just chop up some of the leaves and stems and sprinkle it over your dog’s wet or dry food. 

You can also incorporate the herb into homemade dog treats or use it to spice up a special snack. “You can occasionally consider putting a little cilantro on boiled chicken or boiled white rice as an extra special treat,” says Dr. Koehler. “Remember that treats should not comprise more than 10 percent of your dog’s diet.”  

The Bottom Line on Cilantro for Dogs

While cilantro isn’t toxic to dogs, it is unlikely to have significant benefits if your dog is already eating a complete and balanced diet. Just like humans, not all dogs will enjoy the taste of cilantro. Feeding too much of this herb can result in gastrointestinal upset and pet parents should avoid offering cilantro-based dishes that contain harmful ingredients like onions, garlic, butter, or salt.

Deidre GrievesD

Deidre Grieves

Deidre Grieves is a pet-industry writer and editor with over 15 years of experience working for brands including petMD, Chewy, and Great Pet Care. She’s currently the Director of SEO at PetLab Co. When not creating content about pets, she enjoys spending family time with her husband, two human babies, and Goldendoodle named Clementine.

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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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