Can dogs eat cilantro?

By Britt Kascjak

Can dogs eat cilantro? Yes! dogs can eat cilantro in small quantities. Adding cilantro to your dog’s treats or meals is a great way to add a healthy boost of key vitamins and minerals.

Can My Dog Eat Cilantro?

Are you considering baking dog treats that call for cilantro as an ingredient? Did your dog get a hold of some cilantro and you’re worried about if it’s safe for them to eat?

We often hear warnings that herbs and spices are dangerous for our dogs. While some are toxic and unsuitable for dogs to eat, this isn’t true of all herbs!

Some herbs are even beneficial to your dog’s health.

Is Cilantro Safe for Dogs to Eat?

When introducing your dog to any new food, you should do so under supervision.

Before feeding cilantro to your dog, consult your veterinarian to discuss the risks. They are familiar with your dog’s individual needs and health concerns.

If you notice any signs of illness, stop feeding cilantro immediately.

Health Benefits of Cilantro for Dogs

Freshen Breath

If you have a furry friend whose breath can send you running, cilantro may be the solution. The herb also helps to prevent gum infections. 

Fight Infections

Cilantro has both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This means that it can help support the body as it fights off many different types of infection.

It’s not a replacement for the use of antibiotics. But, it can help to support the


High in antioxidants, it protects your dog from harmful free radicals.

Free radicals damage cells in the body. This damage can speed up the aging process. It also increases your dog’s risk of illness including several types of cancer.

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

One major benefit of cilantro is the fact that it may prevent heart disease. It has been found to reduce the formation of blood clots and lower blood pressure.

While it’s not a substitute for proper medical care, it may be a good addition to your dog’s diet. Talk to your veterinarian about the use of cilantro for heart disease prevention.

Digestive Health

This is one of the earliest recorded medicinal uses of cilantro. Humans would take cilantro to ease gas build-up or settle a sensitive stomach.

If you have a dog that suffers from digestive problems on an ongoing basis, this may be a good option. By mixing a little cilantro into their regular meal, you can help your dog digest it properly.

Healthy Skin, Coat & Vision

High in vitamin A, cilantro can boost the health of your dog’s skin and coat. This important vitamin can also support your dog’s vision, both now and in the future. Vitamin A is also used to improve muscle health. 

Improve Mood

Do you have an anxious dog? Is your dog low in energy for no clear reason?

Cilantro is both a mood-booster and an energy-booster. It will help to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as improve your dog’s mindset.

Health Risks of Cilantro for Dogs

The truth is that for all the benefits, there are very few risks to feeding cilantro in moderation. Too much cilantro can lead to illness and digestive problems. 

Allergic Reactions

Some dogs will experience an allergic reaction to cilantro. Unfortunately, there is no way to know in advance if your dog is one of them.

Signs of an allergic reaction to cilantro include:

  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of the face or dog’s body

If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately. Swelling could make breathing difficult.

Choking Hazard

If you are considering feeding cilantro to a young puppy, be cautious. Both the leaves and stems can stick to your puppy’s mouth and throat. This can cause gagging, coughing, or even choking in more severe cases. 

Can Cilantro be a Regular Part of My Dog’s Diet?

Yes! You can include cilantro in your dog’s regular diet, in moderation. But, there are a few important things to consider to do so safely.

This includes feeding your dog the right amounts and preparing the herb in a dog-friendly way.

How Much Cilantro Can I Feed My Dog?

Eating too much cilantro can be upsetting your dog’s digestive system. If you are adding cilantro to your dog’s diet, it should be in small quantities.

Start with a pinch of the herb mixed into your dog’s normal food.

If your dog can eat that without any allergic reactions, you can increase it. But, you should feed no more than a full teaspoon 2 to 3 times each week, depending on the size of your dog.

Can Dogs Taste Cilantro?

Cilantro is well-known as an herb that people either love or hate. It has a very distinct and recognizable flavor.

Many people can even recognize the scent, avoiding any dish with it.

Dogs are no different. Your dog may love the taste of cilantro or they may turn their nose up at it. The only way to know is to try.

Is Coriander the Same as Cilantro?

Both coriander and cilantro come from the same plant, the Coriandrum sativum plant. But, the two names refer to different parts of the plant.

In the United States, cilantro refers to the leaves and stems of the Coriandrum sativum plant. Coriander is the term for the dried seeds.

This distinction is unique to the United States. In other areas of the world, coriander is the name used for the leaves and stems. The dried seeds are coriander seeds.

Whatever name they go by, they each have their own distinct taste. Cilantro is often described as more refreshing while coriander is a hit of spice.

Can Dogs Eat Fresh Cilantro?

Yes! Fresh cilantro is actually the most recommended form of this herb for your dog to enjoy. Fresh herbs offer the highest level of nutritional quality.

When selecting fresh cilantro, pay attention to how it has been grown. You want to feed your dog fresh herbs that are free from pesticides and other chemicals.

Check the label on any herbs you are considering at your local grocery store. Try to stick to buying organic.

If you enjoy gardening, the best option is always to grow your own herbs. This gives you the ability to fully control the quality and safety of your herbs. Luckily, herb gardens need limited space and effort on your part.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Cilantro?

Whether your cooked cilantro is safe for your dog will depend on how it has been cooked.

When preparing any dog food, avoid using spices and other toxic ingredients. This includes salt, pepper, onion, chives, garlic, and many other spices.

Keep in mind that cooking your cilantro will remove some of the nutritional value. If you are feeding cilantro for the health benefits, you would be better served feeding fresh.

Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Stems?

When feeding fresh cilantro to your dog, you may want to leave out the stems. While this part of the plant isn’t toxic to your dog, it can create a choking hazard. The risk is greater for a smaller dog.

You can cut up the stems to reduce the risk, but most veterinarians will recommend skipping the stems. Better safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Seeds?

Cilantro seeds, or coriander, are safe for your dog. While they are toxic, they do not offer the health benefits provided by the stems and leaves of the plant.

With no benefits to offer, there is no reason to add coriander to your dog’s diet.

But, if your dog does get into some human food that contains coriander, you can rest easy. Too much coriander could lead to an upset stomach, but it won’t cause any long-term problems.

Can Dogs Eat Cilantro Rice?

Both cilantro and rice are safe for your dog to eat. But, there is more to consider with cilantro rice than the two main ingredients.

You can make dog-friendly cilantro rice. To do that, you will need to focus on the other ingredients used in preparation. But there are better options for adding cilantro to your dog’s diet.

Rice is often made with both rice and butter, which can be dangerous for your dog. Butter is high in fat, contributing to weight gain and pancreatitis. Too much salt can cause digestive problems, muscle tremors, and seizures.

By limiting these ingredients, your cilantro rice recipe is safe for your dog. But, there are better options for adding cilantro to your dog’s diet. 

Can Dogs Eat Lime Cilantro Rice?

The only significant difference change when creating lime cilantro rice is lime juice. But, this one change can make a big difference for your dog.

Most dogs don’t enjoy the taste of citrus like limes and lemons. This could turn your dog off the rice entirely.

While the fruit (and thus the juice) is non-toxic to dogs, too much can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The best choice for your dog is to leave the lime out.

How to Safely Feed Your Dog Cilantro

There are many different forms of cilantro that you can consider when adding the herb to your dog’s diet. This includes fresh cilantro, as well as dried and powdered forms.

If your dog enjoys the taste of cilantro and will eat the fresh herb, this is the best choice for health benefits.

You can add a small amount to your dog’s regular meal, or include cilantro in your favorite dog treat recipes. But remember, when you cook cilantro, you reduce the nutritional value.

Always cut up the stems and leaves into smaller pieces to reduce the risk of choking.

Dried and powdered cilantro still hold onto a lot of the original nutrients, but not all. They can easily be mixed into dog food without being overly obvious to the more picky eaters.

When it comes to cilantro, less is more.  You should only feed your dog a single teaspoon, once or twice a week. Anything more could make them ill.

Should I Feed My Dog Cilantro?

Cilantro is a safe addition to your dog’s diet in moderation. As far as whether you should feed it, that is a matter of personal choice.

If you are looking to boost your dog’s health and it can help, you may choose to add it to your weekly routine.

Make sure that your dog’s regular diet is nutritionally balanced without the additions. Don’t rely on ingredients like cilantro to meet your dog’s dietary needs.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.