chamomile for dogs

You probably heard of chamomile already.

It’s light, gentle, and calming.

Chamomile is also a staple medicinal ingredient, with records of its use dating back to ancient Egypt.

And with tons of research backing up the claims of chamomile’s effect on human health, can we say the same for our dogs?

Can dogs have chamomile?

That is what we will answer in this blog article as we tackle everything about chamomile for dogs.

Additionally, I’ll be answering these questions below to give you the gold nugget information about chamomile:

  • “Is chamomile good or bad for dogs?”
  • “What are the benefits and risks of chamomile to dogs?”
  • “How do we give chamomile to our dogs?”

All of these and more!

Stick around and read to find out whether your dog should have chamomile or not.

can dogs have chamomile

Chamomile for Dogs: Can Dogs Have Chamomile?

Let’s head straight to the question of this blog: Can dogs have chamomile? Is chamomile safe for dogs?

And the answer to that is both a yes and a no.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals places the plant chamomile in its official toxic plant list.

What this means for you and your dog is that the plant can make your dog ill—even kill it.

So, does that mean my dog should stay away from chamomile from now on?

Not quite.

A lot of vets still recommend the herb to dogs.

One of the vets, Trina Hazzah, DVM, says:

Generally, chamomile is safe in dogs when dosed appropriately

Heck, they’ll get a lot of health benefits when you let your dog have chamomile at a recommended dosage.

Some of the health benefits that your dog can get from chamomile are:

  • Stress-reliever and calmer to anxious dogs
  • Muscle relaxant for dogs
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Improves gastrointestinal health

what is chamomile

What is Chamomile?

We’ve been talking about the chamomile plant for a while, so let me fill you in with what chamomile is.

Chamomile is a white flower plant with a yellow disc head that came from the daisy family.

The name was derived from the Latin and Greek words chamomilla and chamaimelon respectively, which means “earth apple.”

As a tea, chamomile has a sweet floral taste topped with mild apple notes, a flavor palette that the British people favored until now.

Today, over a million people are sipping a cup of chamomile tea every day (including me!)

chamomile safe for dogs

Benefits of Chamomile for Dogs

Aside from being a tea, chamomile has a lot of medicinal properties for humans.

And with the right dosage, your dog can enjoy a lot of the plant’s health benefits too!

So, what are the benefits of chamomile for dogs? Let’s find out!

Chamomile is a Stress Reliever and Calmer

We all know that chamomile has natural calming properties for humans, and yes, for dogs too!

But exactly how do these calming properties affect us? How does chamomile calm our dogs?

Well, it turns out that chamomile plants indeed have sedative-like components inside them.

A 2010 study was done to know what compounds are present in Chamomile plants.

The study revealed that chamomiles contain a flavonoid named apigenin.

These apigenin compounds act to inhibit or slow down activity in the brain, essentially calming dogs.

This sedative-like effect from chamomile are excellent reliever of any dog’s stress and calms their anxieties.

Chamomile Relaxes Your Dog’s Muscle

Chamomile does not only relax your dog’s mind, but it also serves as a relaxant to your dog’s muscles!

It turns out that the same sedative component in chamomile—apigenin—is also responsible for relaxing your dog's muscles.

The result of a 2021 study that proved the muscle-relaxant properties of apigenin in animals.

Not only did apigenin help relax the muscles, but it also reduced the amount of muscle spasms in their subjects.

Chamomile Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Another health benefit that chamomile has for dogs is its anti-inflammatory properties.

Study reveals that chamomile contains terpenoids that reduces cytokine production in your dog’s body.

But how does all of it relate to terpenoid’s anti-inflammatory properties?

We’re getting all scientific here, so stick with me!

Essentially, cytokines are hormone-like proteins that signal the immune system to cause inflammation.

So, reducing the cytokines also reduces the inflammation in your dog.

Chamomile can also indirectly decrease another hormone-like protein, prostaglandins.

Like, cytokines, prostaglandins signal the affected areas and tissues to swell and be inflamed.

Chamomile helps reduce prostaglandins by blocking the effects of COX-2, an enzyme that helps make the protein.

Lastly, terpenoids, and other flavonoid compounds in chamomile, are also antioxidants.

So expect that the same compounds will reduce the free radicals in your dog.

Indirectly, these compounds reduce inflammation since free radicals are known to cause inflammation.

So, not only do these compounds fight cancer, but they also reduce the effects of inflammation in your dogs!

Chamomile Improves Your Dog’s Gastrointestinal Health

Chamomile had been my go-to herb to soothe and improve my stomach issues.

So, it’s unsurprising that this floral herb can help soothe your dog’s upset tummy too!

There is a 2015 study that shows chamomile has anti-diarrheal, antisecretory, and antispasmodic properties.

The same research suggests that chamomile’s anti-diarrheal properties are equally effective if not more than loperamide.

how to give chamomile to dogs

How to Give Chamomile to Dogs?

Dan, I’m now convinced of the health benefits of chamomile to dogs. So, how can I give it to my beloved pet?

Indeed, there are two common ways to give chamomile to dogs.

You can give chamomile to dogs as a drinkable tea where they can enjoy its floral notes just like you do.

Alternatively, you can give chamomile to dogs in supplement capsules instead.

is chamomile tea safe for dogs

Chamomile Tea for Dogs

Let me guess, your first instinct was to brew your beloved pet with chamomile tea.

Well, that’s sweet! Allow me to expound on your idea about chamomile tea for dogs.

When it comes to brewing the tea, 250mL of hot water will do to extract the essence of the leaves.

Let the leaves steep in the water for 15 minutes and taste it afterward.

Sometimes, the tea will taste too pungent and strong, even for you.

In that case, adding more water to dilute it is an easy fix to the problem.

Just take note that not all dogs will enjoy and drink the tea.

After all, drinking chamomile tea is an acquired taste, especially for dogs.

Instead, you can externally apply the extract when the chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties can help skin irritation.

Place the chamomile tea extracts in a spray bottle where it’s easier to spray it on your dog’s skin.

Another option is using the chamomile tea bags as a hot or cold compress as a first aid solution for dogs.

You can use the tea bags as a hot compress right after you let it steep in the warm water.

Hot compress for dogs is better when your pet is experiencing cramps or muscle stiffness.

Chamomile tea bags also work as a cold compress when placed inside a fridge.

You can then apply the tea bags to your dog's visible swelling skin to reduce the inflammation.

RELATED: How To Treat Dry Skin On Dogs

chamomile supplements for dogs

Chamomile Supplements for Dogs

If your dog doesn’t like the taste of chamomile tea, then you might consider supplement capsules instead.

Chamomile supplement capsules are great alternatives since they can deliver the benefits without the taste.

Even better, these supplements are formulated with the correct dosage for your dog.

One of the best seller supplements for dogs that's worth checking out is the EverRoot Dog Supplements for Dog Stress and Anxiety Relief By Purina. It's a chewable tablet that has chamomile as one of the main ingredients.

Simply follow the instructions in the package for the daily dosage that your dog needs to take.

Additionally, research or consult a veterinarian for more details about chamomile supplements.

RELATED: How To Give A Dog Pills or Medication

Other Ways to Give Chamomile to Dogs

Aside from giving chamomile in tea form or as a supplement, there are still other ways you can administer it to dogs.

Here are some of those ways to give it to them:

  • Powder form
  • Topical solution
  • Essential Oil
  • Cream

Just make sure to administer the herb-infused products according to the package instructions.

Also, research and consult your local vet to guide you with applying the products for your dog.

is chamomile bad for dogs

Is Chamomile Bad for Dogs?

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: chamomile for dogs really seems like a good herb!

Surely, chamomile is nothing but pure health benefits for my dog, right?

Woah there, not so fast!

In case you forget, chamomile is still considered toxic to dogs. 

And no, that's not only according to us. That's what ASPCA said!

If you’re not careful with giving your dog chamomile, you’ll risk harming your pet instead.

So, when can chamomile be bad for dogs?

Overdosage of Chamomile

The right dosage can help bring your dog indispensable health benefits.

Too much of it, however, can lead to chamomile poisoning.

A mild chamomile poisoning case in your dog can lead to:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

However, severe cases of chamomile poisoning can lead to:

  • bleeding
  • anemia
  • other gastrointestinal illnesses

Luckily, chamomile supplements are designed with the correct dosage per capsule.

Just don’t go overboard with chamomile and use it to cure your dog’s diseases.

Christie Long, DVM, recommends getting the exact diagnosis on your dog and addressing it.

She says:

Skin inflammation and itchiness can be a symptom of food or environmental allergies, an insect bite or sting, fungus, or mites.

Likewise, she also added:

I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what is causing the GI issues, as there are many causes in dogs and only treating at home with chamomile may delay making an important diagnosis.

Commercial Chamomile Tea Contains Other Plant Extract

Just because you drink tea doesn’t mean your dog should.

Chamomile tea products—those that come in tea bags and are commercially available—can contain other plant extracts.

That seems well and all, until you realize that some of the plant extracts may trigger your dog’s allergies, if not fully harm it.

If you really want to give your dog chamomile tea, I recommend finding a source of the chamomile yourself.

Better yet, grow some in your backyard and use the flowers for your tea!

That way, you know you're only getting pure chamomile extracts and nothing else.

Side Effects of Chamomile

Your dog can still experience side effects from chamomile even without overdosing it.

Allergic reaction is the most common adverse effect of chamomile on dogs. And the reaction can come in the form of rashes and swelling.

Your dog can also show symptoms of chamomile poisoning, even when the dosage is correct.

When any of these happen, discontinue giving chamomile to your dog and take it to the nearest local vet for blood work.

Chamomile for Dogs: Final Thoughts

So, can dogs have chamomile? And Is chamomile good for dogs?

Yes, it is!

But give chamomile cautiously as it can also be bad for them.

In small amounts, chamomile for dogs works well in calming their minds and soothing their tummy problems.

The research on chamomile for dogs may be limited, but anecdotal evidence does back the benefit claims.

On the other hand, go overboard with the dosage and your dog will severely bleed.

Not only that, but it’ll also suffer from rashes and upsetting gastrointestinal problems when you overdose it with chamomile.

That’s why it’s important to do extensive research on the plant before administering it to your pet.

Follow a chamomile supplement brand that you trust and consult a vet if you must.

Make some extra precautions when dealing with chamomile to make sure that your dog gets the health benefits while minimizing the risks.

Want to learn about other plants that work wonders with your dogs?

Then read more plant articles and their benefits in the link below!