Sage is safe for dogs and may even offer health benefits when given in moderation. Although little research has been done on its effects, it is used as an herbal remedy as well as a popular spice in many recipes. Whether you purchase sage from the grocery store or grow it in your garden, it is a pet-safe plant and spice.
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Sage is safe for dogs
There are two species of sage listed on the ASPCA's list of toxic and non-toxic plants: garden sage, or Salvia officinalis, and Texas sage, or Salvia coccinea. Both of them are listed as non-toxic for dogs. Although these plants won't poison your dog, if your dog eats too much sage or any other plant, she may experience some mild gastrointestinal symptoms and vomiting.
While the spice sage is safe for dogs, the sage essential oil may pose a health risk. The concentrated oil contains thujone, which may cause your dog to have a seizure if it is ingested in large amounts. Sage is not recommended for humans who are pregnant or breastfeeding because of the presence of thujone. There are no such recommendations for dogs, but it is best to use caution and consult your vet if your dog is pregnant or nursing pups.
Health benefits of sage spice
In humans, sage is used as an herbal remedy to treat conditions such as memory loss, sore throat, and high cholesterol, however, these effects have not been well studied. The type of sage that has medicinal benefits is Salvia officinalis, which is also called common, garden, or culinary sage.
Some research has shown that sage may have beneficial effects on animals but the research is not conclusive. For example, a 2007 study published in the journal Veterinary Herbal Medicine reports that sage has antimicrobial properties and may be combined with other herbs to help treat conditions such as pneumonia. It may also help to decrease blood sugar, relax muscle tension and spasms, and decrease inflammation of mucus membranes.
When applied topically, sage is one of the herbs good for dogs' skin due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, studies have not been done to evaluate the effect of sage on healing wounds. Sage does not seem to have negative side effects when applied topically.
How to use sage
While sage may have medicinal benefits for your dog, it is not a necessary ingredient for your dog to stay healthy. If your dog is experiencing symptoms that you think sage may alleviate, it is always best to consult your veterinarian before offering any herbal remedies.
You can add fresh or dried sage spice on top of your dog's food. Small dogs need only a pinch and you can add up to a teaspoon for your large breed dogs. For the greatest health benefits, replace the old sage in your cupboard as the potency of the spice may decrease over time.
Essential oils are too concentrated to add directly to your dog's food or skin. Always dilute the oil according to the instructions of your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Modern Dog Magazine: Herbs That Are Good For Dogs
- ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Sage
- Veterinary Herbal Medicine: A Systems-Based Approach
- BMC Veterinary Research: Medicinal Plants as Therapeutic Options for Topical Treatment in Canine Dermatology? A Systematic Review