Can Dogs Eat Fennel?

When it comes to food, like many other dogs I’ll try anything.

Unfortunately, not all human foods are safe for us dogs and some can leave us feeling a little under the weather.

Trust me, I have my fair share of experience of eating things that I’m not supposed to and I soon regretted it.

The good news for us dogs though is that there are many human foods that we can enjoy too. 

As a dog owner, it can be difficult to know exactly what foods are safe for us to eat, you don’t want to risk feeding us anything that our digestive systems disagree with.

Lucky for you, I guess you could say I’ve become an expert in this area. If you are wondering whether fennel is suitable for us to eat, I have answered this question for you below. 

Fennel is a member of the carrot family and although it is not a root vegetable, the stalks, leaves, and bulb are edible and often used as an accompaniment to many recipes.

The bulb of a fennel looks very much like that of an onion. This flowering plant species has a rather sweet taste and my humans consume it raw or cooked depending on the meal.

If you find yourself with some leftover fennel, don’t go throwing it away because it is safe for us dogs to eat.

As fennel is non toxic, we can be fed it in small quantities. In fact, it provides us with many of the same nutritional benefits as it does to humans.

Containing vitamins A and C, it strengthens our immune systems and can also improve our vision.

The antioxidants in fennel also maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and reduce possibilities of inflammation.

Just like humans, dogs require calcium to keep our teeth and bones healthy and strong.

Fennel can also be used as a stool softener, so on occasions where you may notice that your dog is struggling to go to the toilet, adding a small amount into their food can soon relieve them of this issue.

It is also high in potassium and can aid with digestion. My humans also love how it leaves my breath smelling much fresher.

On occasions where we appear to be experiencing indigestion, nausea, or other gastrointestinal issues, introducing a small amount of fennel to our food provides the perfect solution. 

How much fennel can I give my dog?

Now that you are aware that fennel is suitable for us to eat, you are now likely questioning the quantity in which it is suitable to feed it to us.

Besides the fennel itself, the seeds are also safe for us to eat. In fact, my humans sometimes use them to make me a delicious dog safe herbal tea. They simply take a spoonful of the seeds and add them to boiling water.

Once it has cooled down, it is then suitable for me to drink. This is a particularly great way of sneaking it into the diet of fussy pups who are reluctant to eat the bulbs.

Another option is to sprinkle a small amount of seeds over our food. When my owners are feeling creative, they’ll sometimes make me my own fennel dog treats and I never turn down a treat!

Finally, fennel can also be introduced to our diets in cooked form, however, some of us find the smell of funnel a little overwhelming so I’d advise you to chop it up into small pieces and hide it amongst my other food.

If we turn our noses up at it, don’t be put off, as you can see there are many great ways of introducing it to our diets.

Although fennel can be a great addition to our diets, it’s important to ensure that you don’t feed us too much of it.

If you intend to add the seeds to our water, you can base the amount on our weight and then add the spoonfuls accordingly. For most of us, two to four teaspoons are likely to suffice.

Is fennel toxic?

Although funnel can be hugely beneficial to dogs and humans alike, there are some potential issues to be aware of.

While it isn’t toxic to us, if we are fed excessive amounts of the leaves and stems in particular, we are more likely to experience gastrointestinal issues resulting in stomach upset or diarrhea.

You should also avoid feeding us fennel oil. Oils in general aren’t good for us and fennel oil is linked to photosensitive dermatitis and this can be very uncomfortable for us, often making us quite irritable.

Unfortunately, some dogs have allergies and it’s important to be aware of such issues before contemplating feeding them anything that isn’t typically part of our diets.

If your dog is allergic to fennel you should avoid feeding it to them as this can cause unwanted reactions.

It’s also important to ensure that the fennel is cleaned thoroughly before adding it to our meals.

This is because fennel sometimes has pesticide residue on it, particularly the case with shop bought varieties. If these pesticides are not washed off beforehand they could potentially harm us. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, fennel can be a hugely beneficial addition to our diets. The nutritional content of fennel means that it can help to ease any lingering issues that we may be experiencing.

While it may be tasty, the scent can be particularly off putting, particularly to those of us who are rather fussy eaters.

Do not let this put you off, as there are many other ways of serving it to us, they just require a little more creativity than simply putting it in our bowls and waiting for us to eat it.

Possessing anti-microbial to anti-inflammatory properties it can do lots for us from reducing gas and easing digestive issues to giving us fresh smelling breath.

Moderation is crucial and it’s super important to ensure that you don’t overfeed it to us.