Homemade Dog Food Seasoning

It’s no secret that fresh herbs and spices are beneficial to a person’s health and diet, but did you know that your dog’s diet could benefit from them too!? In the summer months, it’s easy to include green leafy herbs like curly parsley and basil into our homemade dog food because I have lots of them growing in the garden. But, when fresh herbs are sparse I turn to my spice cabinet where I keep a little jar labeled ‘Homemade Dog Food Seasoning‘.

When fresh herbs are not an option

This easy to make custom spice blend combines dried parsley, basil, dill, rosemary, and oregano. I sprinkle on a little of the seasoning blend at every feeding for added nutrition. I know I’m contributing to fresh breath, happy tummies, and better long term health benefits for both of our dogs! 

***Please note, I am not a veterinarian, just a very passionate dog owner! The information in this blog post documents our own personal experiences, research, and the recipes that we feed our dogs under our veterinarian’s careful supervision. Please, consult with your vet and use your own personal judgment when considering transitioning to a 100% human grade food diet for your pup. POST UPDATE 9/25/20 to add more information on ingredients. The original recipe is still the same***

A white dog on a leather sofa

Why we switched to homemade dog food

Recently, I shared a blog post about our dog’s health issues and why we decided to make the switch to a diet that is made up of 100%  human grade food.

In our experience, the switch was easy, cost effective, and so much healthier for our dogs than a traditional doggie diet of processed kibble! The homemade dog food recipe that I make for our dogs combines lean ground sirloin, wholesome brown rice, fresh vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and tender herbs. This healthy, vibrant alternative to traditional dog food has given our 11 year old dog, Hooch, a new lease on life!  

A big pan of homemade dog food that has brown rice, ground beef, chopped hard boiled eggs, and parsley all mixed together

Since making the switch 8 months ago I have been so inspired by the improvements we have seen in Hooch! It’s pushed me to continue to research different ingredients that might help even more. I’m excited to share my first Homemade Dog Food Seasoning blend with you and your pup! I really hope you will benefit as much as we have.

A close up of a jar of Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend

There are 5 dried herbs in my Homemade Dog Food Seasoning blend, let’s break down why I chose each of them….

Basil

This dog-approved leafy herb, well-known for its delicious role in pesto, has antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. We began incorporating basil into Hooch’s food to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis because basil has a  high concentration of beta-carophyllene, which also makes basil useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease. Other benefits of basil for dogs include lifting their mood, decreasing stress, and reducing anxiety. 

While very rare, some dogs can be allergic to basil, so incorporate slowly into your dogs diet and work up from there. 

Dill

Dill is part of the parsley family and a sprinkle of this delicious herb could benefit your dog in all sorts of ways! If your dog is a living vacuum cleaner like our Rebel – picking up any food they see that has fallen on the ground! Or if the garbage can is your dog’s idea of a buffet line; it’s a good idea to keep some dill on hand. Dill is known to be a digestive aid, helping with gas, nausea, cramping and appetite. As an added bonus, dill works wonders as a doggie breath freshener too! According to Herbs for Pets by Gregory L. Tilford and Mary L. Wulff, dill’s breath freshening action comes from its antibacterial powers that work well in the mouth for foul breath caused by bacteria and gingivitis.

A white dog standing on her back legs looking out the window

Parsley

First and foremost, when it comes to parsley for dogs, you want to feed the curly variety whenever possible and watch those serving sizes, as parsley does contain a toxic compound called furanocoumarin which can be dangerous in excessive amounts. In smaller servings, however, parsley does your dog way more good than harm!

Believe it or not, dried curly parsley can be hard to find, here is a quick an easy way to dry curly parsley in your microwave at home…

DIY Dried Curly Leaf Parsley
Place 1 paper towel flat onto a microwave safe plate.
Lay out curly parsley bunches in a single layer on the paper towel, then add another paper towel on top.
Microwave 1 minute, then in 15 second increments until dry.
After the leaves are dry and crunchy, remove and discard the stems.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Parsley, an excellent source of flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins, is often added to dog treats as a breath freshener and can be used to also soothe the stomach.  Initially, I started incorporating parsley into our dogs food because I learned that it can help to relieve the swelling and pain from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. However, I wish I had started adding parsley into our dog’s diets a long time ago as it also helps to flush toxins from the body which supports kidney health.  As we discussed in my homemade dog food post, our 11-year old dog Hooch was diagnosed with kidney disease last December. I can’t help but wonder if we could have avoided that diagnosis by switching him to a real food diet with ingredients like parsley much sooner in his life. 

It is important to note, the positive effects that parsley can have on the kidney’s is only preventative and will not reverse the progression of kidney disease if your dog has already been diagnosed. In fact, you should not be giving any parsley to a dog that is prone to developing kidney stones, because parsley contains high amounts of oxalates. Our Hooch does not have kidney stones, so we still incorporate small amounts of parsley at this time, but as his condition progresses we may opt to eliminate it from his diet.

WARNING: Spring Parsley (a member of the carrot family) looks almost identical to parsley but is toxic for dogs and cats. 

A small white dog with big spotted ears sits on a leather couch

Rosemary 

There’s a reason rosemary essential oil is so often used as a natural preservative in dog food, it is a great pathogen-fighter against common food bacteria, meaning it can help keep food from spoiling! And those pathogen-fighting capabilities extend to your pet’s body too, where it can help fight against various bacteria and fungi! Since rosemary contains antioxidants it is a great ingredient to add to your pup’s food to combat age-related illnesses like cardiovascular disease and cancer.  

While big name dog food brands use rosemary essential oil, I personally only recommend using dried rosemary at home as essential oils are  SUPER concentrated and can have adverse effects if not portioned correctly. Herbalist Gregory L. Tilford, co-author of Herbs for Pets wrote “Rosemary is generally safe when used appropriately, however, the essential oil, which is often used in very small amounts as a natural food preservative is very strong and concentrated. In small amounts it will lend a calming, relaxing effect, but if fed in too much abundance it can produce the opposite – a nervous system stimulant effect that may exacerbate nervous system disorders, like epilepsy. All said, as long as the oil is not used in concentrations greater than 1 percent of the entire composition of a food or supplement product, it can be used quite safely.”

Oregano

Feeding your dogs small amounts of oregano can help cleanse your dog’s body from toxins due to its strong antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Oregano packs more than 40 times the value of antioxidants found in apples and is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and K coupled with Omega-3s, calcium, iron, manganese, and dietary fiber which are all essential in your dog’s diet! Oregano is a key player in this Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend because it can help to reduce inflammation and swelling as well as alleviate pain and improve mobility in joints. All which is very important if I want my sweet Hooch to move around easier and still give me ten like the picture below! 

A woman and a dog going each other high fives

How much Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend should I be adding to my dog’s meals each day?

Start small by adding a little sprinkle (a pinch for small dogs, a 1/2 teaspoon for larger dogs) of these herbs to your dog’s food each day and work up from there. Adding dried herbs like these is a safe way to give your pups a little boost in nutrition, freshen their breath, and heck it probably will make their food a little more flavor-able too!

If you’ve made our Easy Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend for your pup I would be so grateful if you would rate the recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below! I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours. Want to be a part of our online community outside of the blog? It’s easy!! All you have to do is follow @THISMESSISOURS on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, or PINTEREST to see cooking demos, and peeks into our day to day life.

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Homemade Dog Food Seasoning

a jar of Homemade Dog Food Seasoning Blend

I keep a BIG batch of this homemade dog food seasoning blend on hand at all times because it’s fast and easy for me, but you don’t have to go as big as I did. Simply combine equal parts of the herbs you are using in a jar and shake to combine.

I use this over top of my 100% human grade homemade dog food, but you can also use it over kibble or canned food.

 

  • Author: This Mess is Ours
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 1 minute
  • Yield: 10 tablespoons 1x
  • Category: gluten free
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Dog Food
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Scale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons dried curly parsley

2 tablespoons dried dill

2 tablespoons dried orgeano

2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 tablespoons dried basil

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients in a small jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine.

Start incorporating small amounts of this seasoning blend into your dog’s diet and work up from there. A small shake or two will be enough over a small dogs food and you can work up to feeing a tablespoon at each feeding for larger dogs like ours.

To check out our homemade dog food recipe that goes along with this seasoning blend, click here.

 

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15 Comments

  1. Yvonne Silao August 17, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, it looks amazing. I have been trying out different recipes for my dogs by trial and error for many years now. I finally hit upon a recipe that I like which while it is prepared differently than yours has many of the same ingredients. I cook the brown rice in a rice cooker with a little bit of olive or coconut oil and a sprinkle of turmeric and pepper which helps prevent inflammation. I’m very excited to give this recipe a try.

    Reply
    1. thismess August 18, 2020 at 9:13 am

      Turmeric and pepper are so good for your dog Yvonne! It sounds like you have one lucky pup at your house. I hope they like our recipe as much as they do the other delicious foods you make for them!

      Reply
    2. Kate August 19, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Can you tell me if there is a problem with flat leaf parsley? I just have lots of it growing in my garden…

      Reply
      1. thismess August 24, 2020 at 5:55 pm

        Hey Kate!! Well, here is what I know for sure, The ASPCA claims that both Hamburg and Italian parsley are toxic to dogs, but really this is only true in large amounts. Before I did a deep dive into herbs for dogs our homemade dog food included small amounts of fresh flat leaf parsley. We fed our dogs this way for 4 months with our vets knowledge without any negative side effects. I think working in small quantities is fine – but I wouldn’t go overboard with it.

        Reply
  2. katie September 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Is there a difference between dill and dill weed? i can only seem to find dried dill weed and the internet only wants to tell me the differences between dill weed and dill seed lol

    Reply
    1. thismess September 15, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Hi Katie, great question! It is the same thing 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kimberly Walker September 25, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Hi! Looking to switch my dogs to your homemade dog food recipe – I have two with digestion issues …. i.e. IBS 🙁 – & wondered if you know of a brand of herbs that has curly leaf parsley? I’ve been all over the Internet looking & all I’ve seen is the Italian flat leaf variety. 🤷🏼‍♀️

    Reply
    1. thismess September 25, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Hey Kimberly!! I am so excited for your pups – I think they will love it and I hope it helps their sensitive bellies!!! I agree, it is hard to find the dried curly leaf variety. I have resorted to drying my own in a low temp oven at times out of pure frustration, but I did find a great little herb shop on Etsy that sells specifically the dried curly variety: https://www.etsy.com/listing/860843998/dried-curly-leaf-parsley-petroselinum?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_e-home_and_living-food_and_drink-herbs_and_spices_and_seasonings-herbs_and_spices&utm_custom1=2db07a1c-f5df-49cd-ae7d-21dd37d41a60&utm_content=go_1844702805_75381303731_346364747985_pla-306107311649_c__860843998&utm_custom2=1844702805&gclid=Cj0KCQjwqrb7BRDlARIsACwGad6YP_w79kOhAcgBNqOYk9dvUipbekyvkp3i9rrwncrjWiWeQ9T-MuIaArPWEALw_wcB
      You can always opt to just use the fresh curly leaf parsley and make a dried blend with the other herbs. I hope this helps!

      Reply
    2. thismess September 25, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Kimberly, I just found this online – you can dry your own curly parsley in the microwave! I will go back an add it to the blog post today so it can help others too.
      Place 1 paper towel flat on your plate.
      Lay out Parsley bunches in a single layer on the paper towel, then add another paper towel on top.
      Microwave 1 minute, then in 15 second increments until dry. …
      After leaves are dry and crunchy, remove and discard stems.

      Reply
  4. Sandi October 4, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Our 15 year old poodle was diagnosed with early stage kidney disease a little over a month ago. I have made my own homemade dog food for several years now. My veterinarian preferred that I start her on prescription food for kidney disease. I started researching and found your recipe. She tolerates the canned prescription food but was not eating as much as usual. Well let me tell you, I made your recipe and she licked the bowl clean. I will be showing it to my veterinarian and hopefully gain his approval to at least substitute this recipe along with the prescription one. Thank you for shaing.

    Reply
    1. [email protected] October 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm

      Oh my goodness Sandi!!! How amazing!! Your sweet pup should be able to enjoy meal time. I believe that as time goes on with kidney disease it is important to add more liquid to their food so its easier for teh kidney’s to process so even with this recipe have a plan to add a liquid at some point. I like powdered goats milk reconstituted with a bit of water.

      Reply
  5. Lynn November 3, 2020 at 2:57 am

    What do you have in between the 2 layers of green????

    Reply
    1. [email protected] November 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Lynn, it is just a jar if the 5 layered herbs I talk about in the post. So, flat leaf parsley is the fluffier dark green and herbs like oregano, dill, rosemary, and oregano make up the other layers.

      Reply
  6. Jessica W November 21, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    I made this for our 5 year old rescue girl. She was eating lamb kibble from previous owner, so I made this today with 1 lb of lamb and halved the recipe…I also didn’t use the eggs for this evening, but will make some tomorrow. Anyway, she loved it and wanted more. I fed it with her kibble today to transition.

    Reply
    1. [email protected] November 24, 2020 at 11:49 am

      Oh my goodness that is amazing Jessica, I am so glad she liked it and yay for you rescuing your pup! Both of our dogs are rescues and we wouldn’t change a thing!

      Reply

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