Some find it taste absolutely delightful while others recoil in terror when they taste it.
Coriander, more commonly known as cilantro, is an entirely edible plant that makes its way into a number of popular dishes.
But while incredibly popular in some regions such as Mexico and South America, Cilantro doesn’t go over well with others. Depending on ethnicity, 3–21% of people have a gene that makes the plant’s stems and leaves taste like soap.
But if you don’t fall into the anti-cilantro group and you’re reading this article, then we’re going to guess you’re a fan of the green little dudes.
Like many foods, we are fans of we wonder if our doggos would be fans of them too. Especially something that is as unique tasting as cilantro. There really isn’t much else out there that tastes anywhere similar when you think about it.
So let’s find out if dogs can eat cilantro!
Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap?
Studies show roughly: “21% of East Asians, 17% of Caucasians, and 14% of people of African descent expressed a dislike for coriander, but among the groups where coriander is popular in their cuisine, only 7% of South Asians, 4% of Hispanics, and 3% of Middle Eastern subjects expressed a dislike.”
This is thanks to the OR6A2 gene, which makes certain people more sensitive to the aldehyde chemicals, and the aroma of cilantro is composed of about six different aldehyde chemicals. In fact, some people report liking cilantro but also being able to pick up hints of the soapy taste that is overbearing for some.
The entire, and yes, we mean the entire, cilantro plant is edible, from the tips of the leaves to the ends of the roots. The leaves of the plant are commonly referred to as cilantro, while the seeds are commonly referred to as coriander, which can make things a little confusing.
Found in guacamole, salsas, chutneys, salads, rice dishes, and used as a garnish in curries, soups, and on meats like fish and lamb, the leaves of the cilantro plant are the most well known and controversial.
Similar in taste to the leaves, but with a much more intense and danker flavor. Mostly found in Thai soup dishes and curry pastes.
Best described as having a nutty, orangey, lemony taste, coriander seeds, or often just coriander has a different flavor than the leaves. In Asian countries, coriander seeds are often grounded up and used as a spice in curries. Outside of Asia, coriander makes its way into chilis, sausages, and as a pickling agent.
While having a lower vitamin content compared to the leaves, coriander seeds are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and fiber.
Is Cilantro Toxic To Dogs?
Great news! Cilantro is not toxic to dogs. In fact, in moderation, cilantro can be quite healthy to give to your dog. It is vital to understand that a dog’s digestive system is a good bit more sensitive to certain foods like herbs than ours is. So it’s best to only give your dog small amounts of cilantro, especially the first few times, or you could upset their stomach.
And, while rare, there are cases of dogs having an allergic reaction to cilantro, so again, make sure to feed them only small amounts and monitor them for a few hours after to be on the safe side.
What Happens If A Dog Eats Cilantro?
In most cases, nothing at all will happen, though, like some people, they may find it tastes terrible and refuse to eat it. However, if your dog consumes too much cilantro, they may experience digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Can Dogs Have Cilantro Rice?
Both cilantro and rice are safe for dogs to eat — barring any allergy to them. Cilantro rice often has a good bit of salt in it along with butter, making it not an ideal snack for your pup. So make sure to keep the portions sizes small.
But wait, if your cilantro rice is soaked in lime juice, you may want to hold off.
Can Dogs Have Cilantro And Lime?
While cilantro is perfectly fine to give to your dog in moderation, limes, on the other hand, you need to be careful. Limes are toxic to dogs. However, they would have to eat a large amount, which they normally wouldn’t want to do, anyway.
The skin (rinds) of limes and the plant material, in particular, contain essential oils and psoralens that are toxic to dogs in large amounts. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and potential dermatitis.
The ASPCA lists the fruit of the lime edible, so cilantro lime rice is most likely completely safe for dogs. We’re sure all the burrito places are happy to hear along with our puppers.
Cilantro For Dog Breath
Cilantro isn’t the best way to get rid of bad dog breath as it will probably only keep it fresh for an hour or so. Plus, it probably won’t be strong enough to kill all the bacteria, who are the most likely culprit of the bad breath. But by the same token, it certainly isn’t the worst thing you could do to try to do to eliminate bad breath.
If your dog is experiencing bad breath, the first thing you’ll want to do is clean their teeth for plaque build up as it’s the most common cause of bad breath in dogs.
For deep cleanings, a toothbrush, or better yet, an oral gel is recommended. For keeping their teeth clean naturally, treats like carrots and bully sticks make great safe dental chews.
Benefits Of Cilantro For Dogs
Cilantro is packed full of benefits and can be a very healthy treat for your dog in small amounts. Cilantro is a great source of iron, potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, K, and C. Studies have shown it is also both a natural antifungal and antibiotic. This means it may help your dog better fight infections.
Last, cilantro is a good source of potent antioxidants that include terpenes quercetin and tocopherols. These amazing little dudes help fight and protect the body from free radicals that increase aging and cause disease and cancers.
In short, cilantro has been linked to potentially helping improve skin health, reduce pain and inflammation, fight infections, and slow cancer growth.
Known for its characteristic taste — which either tastes amazing or like soap, depending on whom you ask — Cilantro, also known as coriander, is both a safe and healthy treat to give to your dog. They may like it, or they might not. They most likely won’t want to eat a lot of it, regardless.
For more on what foods are and aren’t safe for dogs, make sure to stay up-to-date with the Tindog’s nutrition blog.