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When I think of dill, the first thing that comes to mind is tzatziki sauce. Yes, that Greek yogurt dip that goes great with pita, any kind of meat and charred veggies.

I may also think of pickles … and potato salad.

(Your mouth watering yet?)

What may not quickly come to mind is dill as a stomach-soother and breath freshener – and certainly not as an antibacterial.

But that’s the beauty of food, isn’t it? If you find the right one, it might just be the thing that fixes what ails you – or in this case, your dog.

Part of the parsley family, a sprinkle of this fun little herb could benefit your dog in one or more of these three ways:

Digestion

If your dog is a living vacuum cleaner – picking up any food seconds after it falls on the ground – or if the garbage can is his idea of a buffet, it’s a good idea to keep some dill on hand. It’s known as an overall digestive aid, helping with gas, nausea, cramping and appetite.

Breath Freshener

Since dill is a member of the parsley family, it’s really not that surprising that dill would also work as a breath freshener. According to Herbs for Pets by Gregory L. Tilford and Mary L. Wulff, dill’s breath freshening action comes from its antibacterial powers that work well in the mouth for foul breath caused by bacteria and even gingivitis.

Antioxidant

Dill contains antioxidant flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin. Kaempferol has been linked to health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, cardio-protective, neuro-protective and anti-diabetic; whereas vicenin helps protect cells and chromosomes from oxygen-based damage, radiation and damage caused by free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to chronic disease like cancer, joint and organ diseases. And antioxidants are the antidote to out-of-control free radicals.

Learn more about free radicals, antioxidants and how food can help, here

Dill also contains volatile oils like limonene that may help increase production of cancer-fighting enzymes (Herbs for Pets).

How to Feed Dill

Make dill seed tea with 1 tsp. of dill seed to 8 oz. of water and feed 2-8 oz. to your dog once it is cooled. If your dog isn’t fond of the taste, you can use unsalted broth instead of water (Herbs for Pets). As always, if you have any questions, check with your holistic vet, and use with caution in pregnant or lactating animals.

If you’re a fan of dill and keep it handy in your kitchen, consider it the next time your dog gets gassy after garbage surfing or is in need of a little bit of breath freshening.