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Rosemary Oil: A Natural Preservative in Dog Treats and Desserts

Pet owners and dog treat makers all want the best for their pets and customers. This includes providing them with nutritious and safe treats. However, the challenge lies in finding suitable preservatives for homemade or commercially bought dog treats and desserts. That’s where rosemary oil steps in as a natural and healthy alternative. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using rosemary oil as an all-natural preservative in dog treats and desserts. We’ll also address the reported risks, especially in specific breeds, to help you make an informed decision for your pet.

The Allure of Rosemary Oil in Dog Treats

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a fragrant herb used for centuries in various culinary and medicinal applications. Its essential oil, derived from the plant’s leaves, has gained popularity in the pet industry as a natural preservative. Here’s why it’s gaining recognition:

  1. Antioxidant Properties: Rosemary oil is rich in antioxidants, which help to prevent the oxidation of fats and oils in dog treats. This means that it can help extend the shelf life of your homemade treats.
  1. Natural Flavor and Aroma: Unlike artificial preservatives, rosemary oil adds a pleasant aroma and flavor to your dog’s treats. Most pets love the scent of rosemary, making it an appealing choice for humans and their furry friends.
  1. Health Benefits: Rosemary is known for its potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and digestive aid properties. When used as a preservative, it can offer additional health perks to your dog.

Seizure Concerns: Separating Fact from Fiction

While rosemary oil is generally considered safe for most dogs, there have been reports of seizures in a limited number of cases, primarily involving Border Collies and pets with a known history of seizures. It’s essential to clarify that the link between rosemary oil and seizures remains somewhat controversial, and the exact mechanisms behind this connection are not entirely understood.

Key points to consider when using Rosemary Oil in Dog Treat recipes

  1. Breed and Individual Sensitivity: The reported cases of seizures are mostly limited to specific breeds, particularly Border Collies, and dogs with a known history of seizures. It is essential to recognize that individual sensitivity can vary widely, and not all dogs are affected in the same way.
  1. Dose Matters: The risk of seizures is often associated with high doses of rosemary oil. As with any essential oil, it’s crucial to use it in moderation and according to the recommended guidelines.
  1. Quality and Purity: The quality and purity of the rosemary oil used can also play a role. It’s advisable to choose a high-quality product from a reputable source to minimize potential risks.

Rosemary oil is quickly becoming a go-to all-natural preservative in dog treats, especially in treats sold in specialty health stores and marketed for health-conscious pet parents. Its numerous benefits, including its antioxidant properties and potential health benefits, make it an appealing choice for those who want to provide the best for their four-legged companions. However, as with any ingredient, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks, as previously noted. Using rosemary oil in moderation (0.2-0.5%) of a mix to achieve anti-oxidant benefits).  

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2 responses to “Rosemary Oil: A Natural Preservative in Dog Treats and Desserts”

    • This is a great question – I tend to believe if fully dehydrated you are eliminating the root cause of spoilage of mold and bacteria versus attempting to slow it down or prevent it with preservatives in fresh treats. I think it is beneficial due to packaging as moisture may and likely will enter the bag or still be present if you use other toppings on the treats and mold and bacteria use that packaged moisture environment to multiply. Given the low-cost of adding a preservative versus the lost of revenue if you have spoilage I’d always seek to add an all natural or dog safe artificial mold inhibitor and or antioxidant. For instance if you’re a treat maker and have a local wholesale client that has one bag with mold they may seek to dump the entire batch even if the rest is fine and despite best intentions of avoiding such a product you end up in a lose-lose situation that is unfortunately too common.

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