Oregano (also known as wild marjoram, Greek oregano, or originum) is an aromatic flowering plant that is used as an ingredient for different dishes around the world. Belonging to the mint family of herbs, Oregano has an inviting aroma and adds delicious flavors to your food.
To know whether your dog can have oregano you need to ask yourself the question, “Is oregano safe for dogs?” Yes, it is. However, you should feed oregano to your dog in moderate amounts.
ASPCA lists oregano among potentially toxic plants to your dog.
Giving oregano occasionally in moderate amounts to your dog comes with several health benefits. You can administer oregano to your dog using different methods:
Fresh oregano; these are safe for your dog since the toxic chemicals in them are in low concentration.
Dried oregano; these too are safe for your dog.
You are, however, advised to grind them before administering them to avoid choking your dog.
Oregano oil; this is safe for your dog provided it is administered in moderate amounts because of the high concentration of toxic chemicals in them.
Benefits of Oregano to Your Dog
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Improves your dog’s appetite. Fresh or ground oregano has a delicious flavor. You can add it to your dog’s food to help improve its appetite especially if it has a poor one.
Treating ear infections:
It is common for your dog to get an ear infection often caused by bacterial agents or mites. You can apply oregano oil to your dog’s ear to help fight this because of its antibacterial properties.
Strengthens dog’s teeth; When brushing your dog’s teeth, you can add a small amount of oregano oil to its toothpaste.
This will help strengthen your dog’s teeth.
Helps fight respiratory infections; administering oregano oil can help fight respiratory infections such as sore throat and common cold in your dog.
However, your dog should not be taking other medications at the same time because this might reduce the chances of the oil working.
Helps alleviate dog allergies; is your dog experiencing allergic reactions on its skin? You can administer oregano oil in small amounts to help lessen the reactions.
Helps in treating yeast infections; sometimes it is inevitable for your dog to suffer a yeast infection because it is common for them. Oregano oil has antifungal properties that will help fight yeast infections.
Oregano oil can also help repel fleas and treat your dog from insect bites.
Oregano Poisoning in Dogs
As mentioned before, excessive administering of oregano can be toxic to your dog. Your dog could also eat the plant in your garden or pot. However, the condition is usually mild.
Oregano contains chemicals that when administered in high or concentrated amounts such as in oregano oil will be poisonous to your dog. Some of these chemicals include; polyphenols, flavones, monoterpenoids among others.
This can cause side effects varying from mild gastrointestinal irritations like vomiting and diarrhea to serious side effects on rare occasions such as ulcers and a decrease in heart rate.
Common Symptoms of Oregano Poisoning
Some of the common symptoms of oregano poisoning you should look out for in your dog include:
Decreased heart rate
Ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract
Reduced blood-clotting time
You should take your dog to the veterinarian if you notice or suspect any of these symptoms. Carrying a specimen of the part of the plant your dog has ingested could also help. You should also give them important information such as the time when and the amount of oregano you think your dog had.
Informing the veterinarian if your dog is under some sought of medication is also important.
Oregano Poisoning Treatment for Your Dog
There are several methods you or the veterinary can use to treat your dog for Oregano poisoning, namely;
Evacuation. This mostly involves regurgitation. You can administer an emetic drug such as ipecac to your dog. This prompts your dog to vomit removing the oregano contents.
Detoxification. This is applied in case your dog has ingested large amounts of oregano. You should use a gastric lavage for this. You should then give your dog intravenous fluids to help prevent dehydration.
Medication. This is only necessary in the case of prolonged vomiting and involves administering omeprazole and antiemetics.
You should then observe your dog as it recovers to make sure everything happens smoothly. Your dog should fully recover from the poisoning after 24-48 hours of treatment.
Oregano oil has a concentrated amount of chemicals that are toxic not only to your dogs but also to your cats and horses. You should therefore properly dilute oregano oil before administering it to your dog.
Your dog may also refuse to take the oregano oil because of its taste. You can mix it with other foods or drinks you’re giving it so that your dog doesn’t miss out on the health benefits that come with it.
If your dog is new to the administration of oregano oil you should start with giving it in very small amounts. If your dog seems to be doing okay you can gradually start increasing the amounts till you get to the normal amount usually administered. You should preferably add it to your dog’s favorite meal for ease of ingestion.