Fennel: Dog-Safe Or Not? Find Out If Your Dog Can Eat Fennel

Do you like to cook with fennel? Many people do, but is it safe for your dog? Fennel is a plant in the parsley family. The vegetable is usually used as an herb in cooking and has a licorice-like flavor.

Containing vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, fennel has some great benefits for both humans and dogs.

However, some people believe that fennel for dogs can be harmful, but is that really true?

Keep reading to find out.

Can My Dog Eat Fennel?

Part of the parsley family, it has a licorice-like flavor. Although part of the carrot family, the plant has a feathery, bright green stem with small white or yellow flowers and bulb-shaped fruit that make it look similar to dill.

Can your dog eat it? In a word, yes. Fennel contains beneficial vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that can keep your dog healthy.

In small amounts, it can provide your pup with the nutrients they need to be happy and healthy, without causing adverse reactions.

4 Benefits Of Feeding Fennel To Your Dog

Are you considering giving fennel to your dog? Or are you still unsure? If so, here are 4 benefits to keep in mind:

1. Great Source Of Vitamins And Antioxidants

As we mentioned before, fennel has various vitamins and antioxidants that your dog needs to stay healthy.

Vitamin A is essential for your pet’s eyesight, immunity, and growth, while vitamin C protects its cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, bone strength, and cardiovascular health. Anti-oxidants, including vitamin E and selenium, also fight off various illnesses.

2. Keeps Your Puppy Fit And Strong

Fennel is a great source of iron and calcium, both of which are important for strong bones.

hungry puppy eating on his bowl

Iron helps deliver oxygen throughout the body, while calcium promotes healthy teeth and bones. Fennel also contains potassium, which is vital for muscle and organ function.

3. Help With Digestion

Fennel is packed with fiber, which helps your pup digest food well. The soluble fiber in fennel also lowers blood cholesterol levels, keeps diarrhea at bay, and regulates bowel movement.

Specifically, fennel contains anethole which is responsible for its signature flavor. Anethole has anti-inflammatory properties that relieve flatulence and diarrhea, promote healthy breathing, and rejuvenate the mucous membrane.

4. Good For Dogs’ Teeth And Bones

Teeth and bones are essential to your dog’s overall health. Fennel is also rich in calcium, manganese, and phosphorus that promote strong teeth and bones.

Fennel can help reduce tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth by helping the body absorb calcium better.

It also prevents kidney and bladder stones that can cause discomfort and pain.

What You Need To Know Before Feeding Fennel To Your Dog

As with any new food you introduce to your dog, it’s important that you do a little research beforehand.

Many believe that fennel can be beneficial for dogs, but some others think it’s harmful and should never be given to them.

So before you start feeding your pup fennel or making them a dish with this vegetable in it, keep these things in mind.

Where Was It Bought

If you’re feeding the dog fennel that you bought at the grocery store, it’s more than likely safe for them.

However, if it came from a place where pesticides are used or where chemicals are added to it during processing, there is the potential for side effects appearing. Knowing where it came from is important.

Fennel is safe, as long as it is clean and not contaminated in any way.

Consult With Your Vet

As with all new foods, especially if your dog is suffering from a medical condition, it is best to consult with your vet first.

Your vet will be able to provide you with the information needed so that you can make an informed decision about feeding fennel to your pup.

Avoid Giving Them An Excessive Amount Of Fennel

Though fennel is okay for dogs, that doesn’t mean that you can give your pet an excessive amount of it.

Too much can cause stomach upset, gas, shaking, and discomfort.

It also depends on their size and weight. A bigger dog will be able to handle more compared to a smaller one, so know the limits. Everything in moderation!

Ensure Your Dog Doesn’t Have A Rare Fennel Allergy

It’s important that you take note if your dog begins to experience swelling or hives, as this might be due to an allergy.

If the symptoms are severe, contact your vet immediately. Some dogs are allergic to fennel, so it’s best to take caution.

As with any new food, start by introducing small amounts to see how the dog’s body reacts to it.

Best Way To Serve Fennel To Your Dog

There are various ways to serve fennel to your dog. Here are our 4 favorite ways that are both healthy and safe:

As A Seasoning In Your Dog’s Treat

You can add a little fennel to your dog’s treats. This will amp up their taste while providing them with essential nutrients.

fennel leaves

Fennel can be mixed with other veggies to create a healthy dish for your pet. Mixing it with carrots is always nice, as they go together well.

On Top Of Your Dog’s Dinner Bowl

Add a bit of fennel to your pup’s dinner bowl. You can serve it with some meat, rice, or any other food that you know they’d love.

By serving it on top of their food, it’s more visible. This way they know to eat it, with no complaints!

Boil The Fennel Seeds In Water

Another way to serve fennel is by boiling it. The seeds are safe for dogs, but make sure that you remove them before serving to your pet.

The boiled water can be used as a tea or used as a base for their dinner bowl food. For example, you can use the broth to simmer some vegetables and then mix it in with their food.

The boiled fennel seeds can even be used as a snack for your pet that they might not even notice they’re eating!

Make A Fennel Tea

While boiling the fennel seeds is one way, another way to go about it is by making a fennel tea.

This can be done in two ways: either with the seeds themselves or using the boiled water mentioned above. Either way, it works great!

Just remember to remove the fennel seeds before giving this to your pup.

Fennel can be given to your pet, but it has to be done the right way so that they don’t experience any side effects.

People Also Ask

Is Fennel Poisonous To Dogs?

No, it’s not poisonous. However, it can pose some health risks if the fennel is contaminated or too much has been given to your dog. It’s always best to consume fennel in moderation.

How Much Fennel Can I Give My Dog?

The amount of fennel you can give your pet depends on their weight and size. As a guide though, you can give 2 or 3 teaspoons of fennel to your pet. Always use caution when it comes to feeding them anything, as some dogs might be allergic to certain ingredients.

What Part Of Fennel Can Dogs Eat?

They can eat the entire fennel plant, from the leaves and bulbs to the stalks and seeds. Just make sure that no pesticides have been used on it and ensure that it is clean.

Can A Dog Be Allergic To Fennel?

Yes, there is a possibility that your dog can be allergic to fennel. This is especially the case if they start showing symptoms such as itching and swelling after ingesting it. These symptoms can also include gas, lethargy, and discomfort.


Fennel is safe to feed your dog.

In fact, fennel has many health benefits for dogs. It’s rich in calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Fennel also contains antioxidants that will help fight diseases while preventing your pup from getting sick.

It can be served to your dog in various ways, depending on what they like the most.

As with any new food, be sure to try it out a little at a time and see how your furry friend reacts. If they don’t show signs of an allergic reaction or discomfort, then they’ll likely love it. If not, you know that fennel might not be the right addition to their diet.

As always, take care of your furry friends and give them what they need!

Do you give fennel to your dog? How do you serve it? 

Let us know in the comments section below.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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