Can Dogs Eat Pesto?

Pesto is a sauce that originally comes from Genoa, Italy. It traditionally consists of crushed garlic and basil leaves mixed with olive oil and pine nuts, walnuts, or cashews. Some modern versions of pesto include Parmesan cheese and/or ground pepper as well.

Can Dogs Eat Pesto?

The short answer is yes, dogs can eat pesto in moderation but it is not advised because it is made largely of oil which can give your dog digestive problems and garlic which can be harmful to your dog if eaten in large amounts.

How Much Pesto Is Too Much for Dogs?

This will depend on the size of your dog and how much pesto you give them. Many dogs can eat some pesto without any issues at all. However, if you do notice side effects or problems with your pet after they dig into some pesto, bring them to a veterinarian ASAP. There could be having a negative side effect, so always play it safe when giving food to pets.

Can Dogs Eat Basil?

Yes! Basil is a healthy plant for dogs. The leaves and flowers of the basil plant contain several health benefits and can be fed to your dog without any worries. Dogs eat basil leaves often in the wild when they are seeking out greens to eat. It can also be anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants. Basil can also help reduce flatulence or gas issues with dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

Dogs can eat some types of walnuts safely including English walnuts. However, be careful as walnuts also contain a toxin that can be harmful to dogs known as juglone. Black walnuts have the most juglone of all walnuts and are not as safe to feed dogs. Do not give dogs any walnuts if they have a nut allergy as it can cause an extremely serious allergic reaction.

Can Dogs Eat Pine Nuts?

Pine nuts are safe for dogs, but should only be fed to them in moderation as they do not offer many nutritional benefits and could give your dog an upset stomach if you feed too many. Pine nuts contain a lot of oil and fat, which means they are not a great dog food option.

Dog Eat Pesto

Can Dogs Eat Cashews?

Cashews are a great choice for dogs to eat in moderation, but only if they do not have a nut allergy. Cashews contain antioxidants that can help with your dog’s overall health and they also contain essential minerals for your dog such as copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

No. Garlic is one of several foods that are toxic to pets. Eating garlic can cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells and eating too much garlic can even be fatal for some dogs! Do not feed your dog garlic.

Can Dogs Eat Olive Oil?

Yes! Dogs can eat olive oil in moderation as it is a healthy food for dogs. However, give your dog olive oil sparingly as it is high in calories and fats that could upset your pet’s stomach if overfed.

Homemade Pesto Recipe

Pesto is a delicious sauce that can be invented in many ways. There are no specific guidelines for making pesto so it is important to look up the ingredients you want to use before attempting this recipe.


  • Basil leaves (as much as you like)
  • Olive oil
  • Pine nuts
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Ground pepper (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until the pesto is well-combined and smooth. You can add water or olive oil to make the pesto thinner if desired.
  3. Pesto should be stored in the fridge and used within three days for best freshness and flavor.

Are Pesto Ingredients Bad for Dogs?

The ingredients in pesto are all safe for dogs to eat but should be given to them in moderation as they are high in calories and fats. Pesto is often made with pine nuts, olive oil, garlic cloves, basil leaves, and Parmesan cheese.

What About Other Herbs?

Many other types of herbs can be safe for dogs to eat such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley. If your dog has a specific health issue you would like to address (such as arthritis), try giving them herbs that can help with that such as turmeric and ginger.

What Else Should I Know About Can Dogs Eat Pesto?

If you want to give your dog some pesto, try mixing a bit on top of their food or mixing it with another type of food they already enjoy. You can make your own pesto by mixing basil leaves, olive oil, garlic cloves, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.

However, if you are making it for your dog, leave out the garlic cloves and cheese as these are the two ingredients that are most likely to make your dog sick.

The oil in pesto will also likely give your dog digestive issues. So, in the end, it is better to make the decision to not give your dog any pesto at all.

If you have a dog with a nut allergy, be sure to never give them walnuts or cashews. They could cause an extremely serious allergic reaction that can even be fatal. If your dog has a nut allergy, they should receive emergency medical treatment immediately if they eat nuts of any kind.

Pesto is very high in calories and fat, so if your dog is overweight or has heart issues you should not feed them pesto.

What if my Dog Eats Pesto Anyway?

If your dog accidentally eats some of the pesto after it is made, they may experience an upset stomach or could possibly become nauseous for a short time. If they become lethargic or show signs of pain, it is best to take them to a veterinarian immediately.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Pesto?

Dogs can eat pesto in very small amounts but it is not advised. There are some ingredients that should not be given to dogs such as garlic cloves and Parmesan cheese and the oil in pesto can irritate your dog’s digestive system.

When in doubt, ask your veterinarian before feeding your dog food you have created yourself or any food outside of their normal diet.

Carrie Becker

Carrie has two dogs of her own and also volunteers her time fostering senior dogs and renewing them until they find their forever homes.

Recent Posts