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Can Dogs Eat Fennel?

Can dogs eat fennel? Find out if all parts of this vegetable are safe for your dog when raw or cooked or, if it’s toxic to their bodies before you add it to their diet.

Raw fennel bulb with fronds.

As a vegetable that’s highly regarded in helping aid human digestion, wondering if you can safely feed your dog fennel is a great question.

The short answer is that fennel is safe for your dog to eat!

High in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and potassium among other minerals, fennel can actually be a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet.

Close up of whole fennel, bulb and fronds.


Humans love to munch on raw fennel (sometimes called Italian licorice) after a meal to help the digestion process as well as cooked in a variety of ways.

If you’ve never tried cooked fennel, I suggest these grilled pork chops with grapes and fennel – it’s outrageous in flavor! Just make sure not to give your dog any as grapes are toxic to them.

So, can dogs eat both raw and cooked fennel too?

Yes, they can.

Whether you throw a small piece of raw fennel to your pup as you’re prepping your own food, cook it to add to theirs as a nutritious “topper” or, incorporate it in some homemade raw dog food, you can safely feed your dog raw or cooked fennel.

The entire plant is edible too from bulb to fronds! Just like dogs can eat the entire celery plant, the same applies to fennel.

With its polarizing licorice like flavor, however, fennel can be a divisive food for humans.

Dogs are no different.

So if yours happens to turn his or her nose up at the vegetable don’t be worried or surprised. The strong flavor just might not be their thing. This is common when feeding dogs radishes as well due to their strong peppery flavor.

Try cucumbers or jicama instead for a similar refreshing crunch without the strong flavor.

Fennel on a cutting board being chopped.


While it’s fine to eat the seeds of a fennel plant directly, oftentimes they’re used to make a digestive tea.

Ground fennel seeds can be soaked in hot water and then given to your dog as a tea.

This may help with an upset tummy or reduce flatulence.


Besides a digestive helper, fennel can also help with bad breath in dogs. In fact, many bad breath aids use fennel oils in their ingredient list for this reason.

It’s a good source of antioxidants (with all the vitamin C and vitamin A) and said to have calming effects on inflammation as well.

As with all vegetables you feed yourself and your dog, it’s best to source organic varieties to avoid pesticide residue.

Regardless, fennel should always be washed thoroughly or, soaked in a vinegar/water solution and rinsed before consuming.

Chopped fresh fennel on a cutting board.


As with any food you give your dog, it’s best to start in small doses.

Dog friendly vegetables should never make up the bulk of a dog’s diet so a few small pieces as a treat or incorporated into their dog food is plenty.

Some commercial dog foods may actually already have it in their ingredient list.

As always, monitor your dog for any negative symptoms after feeding fennel and contact your vet if any arise.

Hopefully this gives you all the information you need to know if your dog can eat fennel!

Dorothy Macomber

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

Thank you for this information. Caraway seed is sometimes called fennel and is toxic to dogs, as in your sauerkraut information for dogs, I wasn’t sure about fennel.