yucca for dogsThis article will help you to understand the benefits of yucca for dogs and how you may be able to safely use for your own dog.

There is some argument about where exactly yucca belongs in the plant family, but most botanists are in agreement that it is not a cactus. Most modern botanists actually consider it part of the lily family.

Yucca plants are typically native to the dryer parts of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Some yucca plants have been found as far north as Alberta in Canada, due in large part to the dryer desert areas of the province.

A lot of yucca persists in Mexico and even into Guatemala, with the plant having evolved to handle a lot of varying climates.

Because of all the different properties included in the yucca plant, it is considered an excellent herb for dogs with arthritis.

But, be sure to read the preventative measures section of this article as well.

Therapeutic Use

The roots of yucca hold its therapeutic properties, with a chopped variety of yucca root or a dried herbal variety often used. Tinctures are also recommended for specific applications.

  • Yucca is useful because of the considerable quantities of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorous, protein, and B vitamins included. The saponin compounds form the bulk of yucca’s beneficial properties in animals, however.
  • Saponins are plant glycosides that foam up when met with water. These can help aid digestion with their foaming properties, helping the integration of minerals and vitamins by helping them pass through the intestinal walls. This gives the nutritional value of your dog’s food a little boost.
  • Bathing your dog with a shampoo made of yucca can help with psoriasis and other skin issues.
  • Yucca has also been included in dog food formulas because it reduces some of the more, shall we say, unpleasant odors in urine and feces. This is because yucca has properties that inhibit the dog’s production of anhydrous ammonia, the foul-smelling component to waste. The trouble here is that people turn to yucca as an alternative for actually feeding the dog a properly-balanced diet, choosing to eliminate the symptom (foul-smelling excrement) in favor of meeting the needs of the pet.
  • Yucca has also been used to alleviate some of the pain and inflammation of arthritis, with the saponin extract forming the beneficial component. According to naturopaths and veterinarians, yucca has a 50 to 80 percent success rate when it comes to alleviating symptoms of arthritis in dogs.

Dosage for arthritis symptoms: To stimulate appetite or alleviate symptoms of arthritis, add about a half teaspoon of dried or powdered root for every pound of dog food. It supposedly works very well when combined with Alfalfa for arthritic pain due to inflammation.

I only buy ORGANIC herbs that I trust and you should too!

Click here to purchase Organic Yucca/Root Powder from the supply house that I use.

Preventative Measures

Yucca is considered to be a category 2 herb which means that it’s safe in SMALL DOSES. Avoid feeding more than 4-5 times weekly, more than a month or two at a time or if a female is pregnant.

The saponins in the plant may reverse effect and slow down nutritional absorption. If you plan to use yucca, use it sparingly and give your dog a break between inclusions in the diet.

As mentioned above, yucca should not be used as a substitute for a balanced diet. If you’re worried about the odor of your dog’s stool or urine, do something about it by providing a balanced diet and proper exercise. Yucca is not a catchall solution to bad smells, although those effects are certainly neat.

Because of yucca’s foaming action and the ability it has to help assimilate nutrients into your dog’s digestive system, it should not be overused due to risk of possible irritation to the stomach lining. It has been known to cause vomiting in some cases, but it has conversely been used to induce vomiting in others.

Too much yucca causes digestive distress and bloating in dogs which is deadly.

Reasons to Use

The best use of yucca root appears to be as a nutritional aid to help your dog get the most from his or her food. Available at most herb retailers and even landscaping outlets, yucca can be safely but cautiously integrated into a dog’s dietary routine.

In its dried or powdered form, it can be used as part of dog food to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and aid in digestion, but it shouldn’t be overused and you should monitor your dog’s reactions to yucca.

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen

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Showing 19 comments
  • Vanessa Murray
    Reply

    Hi Janie – the recipe for Hoof Soup – easy, inexpensive and works for arthritic joints, etc. This recipe is a combination of the two links below. Cow hoof, sheep or goat. I use cow because that is what I can easily get in my area. Turnip root, yucca root, rutabaga if you can find it, ginger root, 1 cinnamon stick, garlic and soy sauce. I use my crock pot, it will boil and I let it simmer all day. Remove the bones, fat and tendons & ligaments. I save the tendons and ligaments and puree with the veggies, mix back into the broth and put into containers. I get 3 2 quart containers, freeze 2 and use one. Two of my Goldens get 2T with each meal. They love it. Here are the links.

    http://www.cookevet.com/2012/02/10/make-your-own-glucosaminechondroitin-tendonligament-soup-for-dogs-cats-people/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16anSTXKv6c – they make it on this link. Kathleen Stryeski was my veterinarian for many years. She has moved and I so miss her.

  • janie knetzer
    Reply

    Hi Vanessa:

    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe for hoof soup. I’m sure others will benefit greatly!

    Janie

  • Diana Nortje
    Reply

    yucca for my dogs itchy skin. how do I prepare it from the tree in my garden.

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Diana:
      You’ll have to research that; I honestly don’t know.

      Janie

  • Auroa
    Reply

    Does yucca root cure fatty tumors in dogs and how do I prepare this?

  • Auroa
    Reply

    What can you give a small dog to dissolve bladder stones?

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Auroa:

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was on vacation. For bladder stones I recommend that you feed a good food such as The Honest Kitchen (add warm water and your dog has a home made meal). Dump the dry food! Secondly, I recommend that you include Potassium Citrate.

      With regards to fatty tumors, I recommend a good detox formula vs yucca root.

      Janie

  • Karen
    Reply

    I bought a yucca root from the grocery. How do I prepare it for use as an arthritis supplement for my dog?
    Thanks!

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Karen:

      I’m so sorry for the delay. I missed your comment. 🙁 Quite honestly, I’m not really sure how to use fresh yucca root. The dried herb is dosed at 1/4 teaspoon per ten pounds of your dogs bw.

      Janie

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    Thank you for supplying the great information. I have a Labrador mix, Bella that has gained weight. She lost her “husband ” due to a heart disease and needless to say we’ve all been mourning losing our baby boy. We of course want to give Bella the best of the best. We have started exercise and natural balance for Fat Dogs is what its called. I have noticed that her hips are bothering her and we know that it is bc of the weight gain. So my question is what do you recommend for her hips and do you think Natural Balance is good for weight loss? I want to be sure she is getting proper nutrition. I also noticed that she is sitting on her rear and turning, like she is scratching her anal glands, she’s been doing this before we start the food as well. If Yucca could be used ss apart of her regimen, how do I use it and which brand/formula do you recommend. Thank you and have a blessed day.

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Stephanie:

      I’m so sorry that Bell has lost her “husband”, and you’ve lost your baby boy. I know this pain all too well. 🙁

      Stephanie, before I start sharing ideas, can you please tell me how old Bella is, and do you currently give her any supplements? What about flea and tick products; what do you use if anything?

      Janie

  • a gregory
    Reply

    i give my pom intensive yucca ,as she has a foreign object in her spinal cord near her neck, i use it as a antinflammatory and have used it for 12 months 2 drops a day ,she is now on 1 steroid every other day down from 2 a day ,i would like to now how long is the shelf life ,as i am still using the same bottle after 12 months and is it okay to keep it in the fridge thank you

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hello:
      Is this the product made by Azmira? If so, you need to contact them directly and ask.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help.

      Janie

  • Andrea
    Reply

    Hi my name is Andrea I have a 15-year-old pug name Sakura.🌸

    My question is since dogs can Yucca can they eat Otoe root?

    As you may know when a dog is young they seem perfectly capable to eat dog food but as they get older it seems to cause them more problems then benefits.
    I began mixing human food with my dog food when she began having health problems.
    Which may seem weird to some people because wouldn’t you do the opposite?

    When she was around 9 or 10 years old she I noticed while walking her that in the pee there was bits of blood mixed with it!
    When I took her to the vet they told me the dog food she eats had so many nutrients that her body could not digest or the liver couldn’t filter it and they were causing sand to form inside.
    If I do you control it rocks would form inside and she would need surgery.

    They gave me a special dog food brand that was ridiculously expensive. (not going to mention price).
    She got better I stop buying the expensive dog food and began to buy regular dog food she got pee mixed with blood again.
    One day I was taking care of my grandmother and she had some burned rice around the pot I put it in a bowl and gave it to my dog I thought would be a nice treat.
    The next time I walk her there is no blood in her pee.
    From then on I mixed rice with her dog food sometimes I put bits of carrots and potatoes as well.

    After a visit to the vet she said that her heart was a little bigger than the average size and she would have to take pills and eat special dog food because of how old she is and cardio problem.
    I buy her a special can of dog food that gives her the exact amount of protein she needs with the exact amount of salt.
    I did not want her to live on can dog food alone.
    So I boil potatoes, carrots and beets.
    Now she seems more perkier than ever and she barely cough as much as he used to.

    Eventually I had to puréed her vegetable food because she was choked on the chop bits I put in her dog food.
    Each time I would chop it little bit smaller but she still choke.
    (One time she choked even on rice I was waiting for her to spit it out but she refused when she began to Lie down on the floor I literally forced her mouth open and scoop the rice out!
    All while saying “I understand if you want to choke on a piece of meat but I refuse to let you die choking on rice!”)

    She still has all her teeth so there’s no excuse but after the fifth time it happened I decided I’m not going to take chances.

    Sincerely Andrea

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Andrea:

      Sorry to hear about your old friend, but it sounds like you’re doing a great job.

      I’m not sure what you were feeding before your dog ended up with blood in the urine, but if it was some sort of dry dog food, then it definitely could have played a role in your dog’s urinary issues. Kibble is very hard on the kidneys and liver. Dogs aren’t designed to eat kibble as their main source of food on a daily basis. Feed fresh foods and include very well cooked super soft vegetables. Always include meat or fish.

      I don’t know too much about Otoe Root, but according to boquetequide.com, Otoe Root is considered inedible when raw and toxic because it contains calcium oxalate crystals (as raphides). If your dog is already having issues with blood in the urine, I definitely DO NOT recommend feeding Otoe Root Andrea.

      You can however look into Uva Ursi for your dog’s kidney issues. Read my article here. Another excellent herb for kidney and liver health is Dandelion Root. Read my article here. I would include parsley daily (diced small).

      Hope this helps.

      Janie

  • Susan Roe
    Reply

    I bought Yucca Schidigera for myself. Can I give it to my 9 year old lab who has some joint pain? My serving amount is 490mg. Is it safe to give her one pill a day?

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Susan:

      Quite honestly I don’t know how much 490mg is in comparison to a half teaspoon per 10 pounds of the dried powder root.

      Janie

      • Susan Rowe
        Reply

        Thank you for your reply. I think I am going to ask the pharmacist.

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