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Rosemary in dog food
Rosemary is sometimes used in dog foods in its whole form which has a number of uses in herbal medicine, but more often its oil is used as a natural preservative. Rosemary oil (or as it is also known, rosemary extract) is a powerful antioxidant which is able to slow down the oxidisation process that turns fats rancid. As an antioxidant, rosemary oil may also help to reduce the risk of cancer.
Rosemary is widely regarded by herbalists as a natural stimulant. Although this is fine for most dogs, it is often suggested that it should not be given to epileptic dogs as it may increase the incidence or severity of seizures. Some nutritionists have also proposed that, because rosemary can effect uterine function and menstrual flow, it may be dangerous during pregnancy. Although there is some anecdotal evidence to support these claims, there haven't yet been any scientific studies on either issue in dogs so I'm afraid the jury remains out for now. In the meantime, I generally recommend avoiding rosemary if your dog is pregnant or prone to seizures, just to be extra safe, although it must be said that I haven't personally encountered any dogs that have definitely reacted badly to the herb.