Fennel is a mainstay in our kitchens. From the fennel seeds lending aroma and strong flavor to our stews, pickled veggies, soups, and pasta sauces to the raw fennel bulbs adding crispy texture to our salads, it is popular in almost every kitchen around the world. It is a necessary element of mixed spices, especially seafood that is incomplete without its seasoning.
Apart from its culinary uses, it has a long history of usage in medicine, notably for indigestion, flatulence, and even infant stomach ache. It has long been used by the Chinese and Hindus to help the body eliminate poisons faster after snakebites. The medicine men of the old times recognized the fennel as one of the ancient Saxon people’s nine sacred herbs. It was also still used as a natural remedy to cure many diseases in past times. You probably have also seen some pet owners feeding their pets fennel as a breath freshener and digestive aid. It may have persuaded you to wonder whether fennel is safe for your dog or not.
What Is A Fennel?
Fennel is a flowering plant that belongs to the carrot family. This aromatic herb originally belongs to the Mediterranean region but now grows widely in southern Europe, western Asia, and almost all the world’s temperate regions. The fennel plant, when cultivated, reaches the height of 8 feet.
All parts of the fennel plant, like seeds, yellow flowers, flavorful bulb, stem, and feathery leaves, are edible. It has a distinct anise-like flavor and has a wide range of culinary applications. The bulb and the blanched shoots are eaten as vegetables. All vegetative parts, including fennel leaves and stalks, are aromatic and are used for flavoring. The seeds have a strong flavor and aroma; the oil extracted from these seeds is used to scent soaps and perfumes.
Can Dogs Eat Fennel?
Absolutely YES! Fennel is safe for dogs, and in fact, this herb is already included in a small fraction of many dog food products. If you are preparing your own food for the dog, using fennel in small quantities is a good idea because it is very healthy for him.
However, before trying to add a new ingredient to your dog’s diet, consult with your veterinarian and make sure to try it with low dosages to test any signs of allergy to the new food.
Can Dogs Eat Fennel Seeds?
Whenever it comes to a plant or herb, dog owners are often worried about whether their pets can have seeds or not. Feeding fennel seeds to dogs is perfectly safe.
Sprinkle fennel seeds on your dog’s food. It brings a lot of benefits. Making him chew a few fennel seeds can freshen the dog’s breath.
Can Dogs Have Fennel Tea?
Fennel tea is safe for dogs. It is usually made from dried seeds. Ground fennel seeds, add in the boiling water, heat it for 2 to 3 minutes, strain, and serve in the water bowl. The fennel tea can fight off many pathogens, treat an upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation. In ancient times, it was used as a treatment for insomnia. It implies that it can give dogs a peaceful sleep at night, just like humans.
Note that one teaspoon of seeds is enough for eight ounces of boiling water. Moreover, heating for a long time or at a high flame will make the tea lose all its nutrients.
Unlike caffeinated drinks, including coffee and other variants of tea, fennel tea poses no health risks. Caffeine is toxic for dogs. If you are having a caffeinated drink and your dog asks for it, you can trick him with this healthier tea.
How Can Dogs Eat Fennel?
You can let your dog eat fennel in whatever form he likes the best. The amazing fact about the herb is that all the parts are healthy, edible, and tasty, no matter if eaten raw or cooked.
It’s safe to add raw fennel to dog food. The bulb has a crispy texture and a great taste. Besides the bulb, your furry friend will enjoy raw leaves and stalk as well.
But before giving him any part of the plant to eat raw, rinse it carefully to wash off pesticide residue, if any.
Dogs eat cooked fennel with relish. It can be roasted, braised, or boiled. All these forms are safe for him. It can also be used as an additional ingredient in many soups and salads. The only thing you need to take care of while preparing homemade dog treats is avoiding spices and specific seasonings that are not good for your dog.
How Much Fennel Can A Dog Have?
Dogs enjoy fennel in their meal because of its sweet smell and flavor. But moderation is the key when feeding your dog fennel, as an excess of anything is bad. Overconsumption can kill the benefits of fennel and can harm him instead.
Nutritional Benefits of Feeding Fennel to Dogs
There are countless health benefits of fennel, some of which are listed below:
If you add fennel to your pet’s food, they will get vitamins such as vitamin C and A along with beta carotene and folate. These compounds fight off free radicals and function in repairing and maintaining DNA, reducing the risks of mutations. As a result, it eventually lowers the risks of cancers.
Prevents Neurological Diseases
Besides cancer, these compounds found in fennel can also save dogs from threats to nervous disorders.
Fennel is found to suppress appetite. It’s not just a wordy talk but has been proved practically. Putting fennel in dog food can reduce their appetite resulting in a controlled diet and decreased chances of a dog being overweight.
Quercetin and vitamin C contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of fennel. They reduce inflammation and inflammatory markers in the body and make the dog safe from further harm.
Adding fennel to your dog’s diet can improve his digestive system. This is because dogs have dietary fibers to aid their digestion, just like humans. A healthy digestive tract with efficient digestion can prevent many digestive issues, keeping your dog fit and active.
Strengthen Bones and Teeth
Different parts of the plant have different vital minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. These minerals are necessary for the growth of strong bones and healthy teeth.
These minerals and some other vitamins present in fennel are necessary for repairing damaged cells and tissues.
Fennel has a sufficient amount of selenium. It is an essential mineral that boosts your dog’s immune system helping to ward off infections efficiently.
Healthy Cardiovascular System
Dietary content in fennel dilates and protects the blood vessels, ultimately lowering the blood pressure and keeping the heart in good health.
Rich in Antioxidants
Fennel has rasmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid, limonene, and quercetin. These antioxidants are required to neutralize free radicals produced during metabolism and prevent oxidative stress. Vitamin C, present in sufficient amount in fennel, is a potent antioxidant too.
Allergy Check of The New Food
Though a healthy treat, your dog might be intolerant to it. Give your dog small doses at the start and check if he shows any symptoms of ill health. With the appearance of even minor signs, contact a pet clinic so that they can provide veterinary advice for your dog.
Fennel is safe for dogs; it provides many health benefits from helping bad breath, indigestion, strengthening dog’s teeth and bones, and preventing cancers. Therefore, regularly adding a bit of fennel to your dog’s food can boost their health. But give the dogs fennel to eat in a moderate amount. Don’t forget to consult the vet before feeding your dog fennel for the first time.