About a year ago, I was making an Indian recipe that called for a spice I was unfamiliar with: fenugreek. I live near Mexico, so trying to find it at my local grocery store was a no go. Instead, I ended up ordering a package of it from Amazon.
The herb has a slightly bitter flavor that I find to be somewhat similar to celery, so I don’t use it in many dishes, though it works well in soups and curries. Fenugreek is also touted as one of the healthiest herbs, so I’ve been trying to incorporate into more of my meals even though I’m not crazy about the taste of it.
As I’m writing this article, I’m cooking split pea soup for dinner, which my dogs love, and that got me wondering: If I add fenugreek to the soup, can I still give it to my dogs? It turns out, not only is it safe for them, it’s actually really good for them – side note: fenugreek is a member of the pea family, so it works wonderfully in pea soup.
Small amounts of fenugreek – seeds and leaves – is a safe and healthful food for dogs. You can feed it to them by adding some to their wet or dry food. However, fenugreek extracts and oils contain concentrated amounts of compounds that may be harmful to them. Continue reading to learn more…
Health Benefits of Fenugreek for Dogs
The fact that fenugreek can benefit a dog’s health is not news. In a 1984 study, dogs with diabetes and high cholesterol were fed a small portion of fenugreek seeds with their dog food for eight days, and experienced a significant reduction in their blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Fenugreek is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and can improve digestion. This means fenugreek could be beneficial to dogs with arthritis, upset stomach, and/or digestive problems.
Fenugreek is also a good source of fiber, and contained the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Fenugreek Leaves vs. Seeds vs. Powder vs. Extract
Fenugreek comes in a variety of different forms, including leaves, seeds, powder, and extracts. The leaves, seeds, and powder are all safe for dogs to consume. The seeds and the powder, which is just ground up seeds, are the most nutritionally dense.
I like the powder because it is cheap to buy in bulk, easy to store, and easy to use in a variety of different recipes. It is also the easiest to give to my dogs, because unlike the leaves and the seeds, they can’t eat around it. If they are being finicky, they will pick whatever they don’t want out of their dish, and spit on the floor.
However, I don’t usually sprinkle the powder directly on their dry food; instead, I add it to other whole food recipes I make for them, and mix that with their regular dry dog food.
NutritionData. Spices, Fenugreek Seeds Nutrition Facts and Calories. Retrieved from https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/189/2