The many benefits of using Astragalus for your dog are truly endless.

The primary medicinal applications of astragalus include as an anti-inflammatory, as a hypotensive to lower blood pressure, as a blood cleanser, and as a hypothyroid to mildly depress functioning of the thyroid.

It is also generally used to boost resistance in dogs due to its high antioxidant components.

What & When to Use it

The mature roots of Astragalus are used in treatment options as infusions or tinctures. There are many commercial options of the Chinese supplement available as well.

  • astragulus 10 for dogsOne of the primary (and most popular) uses of astragalus is it’s ability to greatly improve immunity including respiratory system, spleen, liver, kidney and circulatory health.
  • Stimulates T-cell activity and raises white blood cell counts, boosting the body’s defenses against disease and illness by improving the function of the liver.
  • Astragalus strengthens kidney function and is highly recommended.  Considered a favorite treatment in early states of infection, kidney disease or renal failure.
  • Also recommended for dogs with cancer.
  • Astragalus has been used in some applications to boost energy levels in debilitated dogs and human beings, which is a big plus for those taking on serious diseases such as cancer and looking for a way to formulate some functional balance. Astragalus can be used to help regulate the body’s levels and help alleviate stress put on the system by disease.

safely using astragalus for dogs


Seven Forests Astragulus 10 is considered top of the line by most Chinese Herb Practitioners.  See the guide below.  Depending on the severity of the disease, give your dog the recommended dosage 2-3 times daily.

  • Dogs weighing under 25 pounds: 1/2 – 1 tablet
  • Dogs 25-50 pounds: 1-2 tablets
  • Dogs over 50 pounds: 2-3 tablets

Preventative Measures

Using astragalus is generally considered quite safe, but some species of it are toxic to grazing animals. Roots, powders and preparations should only be purchased from reputable dealers like Seven Forests! Astragalus is considered a category 1 herb which means it is a safe “food” herb.

There is also a concern over selenium in some soils, as a higher concentration of it can be found in some soils where astragalus grows. If you plan on planting your own astragalus, it’s best to have your soil testing for selenium before you get started.

While many say to avoid this herb for auto immune disorders such as hypothyroidism or diabetes; it’s believed that it may help hyperthyroidism.  For hypothyroidism and diabetes, a safe alternative in this case may be Red Ginseng.  Read the comments below for dosage for the red ginseng.

Reasons to Use

Obviously the most popular reason to use astragalus is as an immune booster. It is available in most health food stores and can be rather easy to grow on your own if you’re into that sort of thing.

For those interested in the easier path to health, there are quite a few immune boosting products on the market that include a healthy dose of astragalus for dogs, but the best option is using a product like the one I mentioned earlier.

how to use astragalus root for dogsAstragalus History

Astragalus is actually a member of the pea family with divided leaves and small flowers and pods. The herb has been cultivated throughout much of the world, but it originated in China.

In that it has been used for thousands of years as a piece of traditional Chinese medicine, its commercial value is considerable and it has been marketed heavily in combination with other herbs.  It is a perennial that blooms from spring to the early summer.

As mentioned above, mature roots, at least three years old or older, are the parts of Astragalus used in medicinal applications that are an excellent addition to your dog’s regimen.

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen, Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, Veterinary Herbal Medicine by Mary Wynn, DVM

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Showing 54 comments
  • Gill

    I’ve been recommended Astragalus for my young Great Dane bitch who has skin allergy problems, I intend to breed her next year and wondered if this product was safe to give to pregnant bitches as I’ve been told peas and lentils should be avoided?

    • janie

      Hi Gill:

      I wish I could answer this for you, but quite honestly, I’m not sure.


  • Sharon nichols

    Hello, we have a westie…she’s 10 yrs old and has allergies…. plus this last year we found out she has dry eye! I am starting her on this herb as it comes very well reckoned! Hope u agree!!

    • janie

      Hi Sharon:

      So sorry to hear about your little old girl. With regards to the dry eye, I highly recommend Ocu Glo. It is very in antioxidants for the eyes and a product that we often recommend for diabetic dogs. You can learn more here.

      Look to build her immune system Sharon. The Daily Multi formula is excellent for that. You can read about that here.

      Take care and I hope you find this helpful. I also hope your little one does well.

      Warm regards,

  • finthehoooman

    Umm my puppies got canine distemper virus (CDV) two died already and the other three are fighting no signs of of the virus going neurological yet (twitching etc.) so far vitamin c and vitamin b helped them since I red a lot of articles stating that vitamin c helps improve the immune sytem and
    Varius types of vitamin B support the nerves. I also red an article stating that Atragalus can help improve immune system is helpful with pupps with CDV, how much dose should I give ? I bought some but aint sure how much mg or g I should give them.

    • Bev

      Sorry about your pups. have you considered Black Seed Oil? it is $19 on Amazon and they will refund you if you don’t like it and you keep it. It is thousands of years old. Give 1/8 t to small dogs. I have a dog in Cushings now with yeast infection. Antibiotics ruin your dog’s gut. Stay with herbs. There are videos on youtube that say CDV can be treated.

  • Kayla

    Hello, my name is Kayla and I have a 3 year old rescue name Rico who is a pitbull mix. He is my entire WORLD, and I worry because I do not know his family history, that there is a chance of bad genes. I am looking to do preventative maintenance. He eats Canidae, and raw twice a week. I am looking to switch his diet, I just tried to switch him to Orijen, but his stomach was upset for days after, and as soon as I switched him back, he went back to normal. He is fully grain free and I avoid any ingredients that I can’t read (lol). I am a college student so my fund are short, but I am willing to do anything to keep him the happiest, healthiest boy possible. What do you suggest?

    • janie

      Hi Kayla:

      Nice job rescuing…. 🙂

      I would remove him from kibble period Kayla. This should be a big part of your preventative maintenance program to help with kidney and liver issues down the road. I would stick with dehydrated and raw.

      One food that I like and is very economical, and helpful to a student like yourself is this one from ONP. It comes in 3 different formulas including Fish, Red Meat and Poultry. Excellent price and it works well with any digestive issues that cause soft stool, etc. Here’s a link for the food: Only Natural Pet Food

      Last, I would definitely place your boy on a good multivitamin. Call me bias, but ours truly is the best on the market. We actually offer two though. Ours in powder and also NUVET which we share the link to their site where you make the purchase. I’ll share the links for both below. This will be a big help for general maintenance:

      Daily Multi

      Either is a good choice Kayla.

      I hope this helps you and your boy.


  • Carla

    Hi Janie,
    My 12.5 year old Australian Shepherd was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma 19 months ago and given 1-4 months to live by our previous traditional vet.
    19 months later he is still here with me and has a good quality of life.

    14 months ago I added bone broth to his grain free kibble and have been tinkering with it. I add kale, spinach, broccoli, carrots along with herbs from my garden about 1/2 before its done slow cooking.

    2 months ago I started feeding him raw beef and cut out all carbs and sugars. He has a very sensitive stomach and can’t tolerate poultry or and major diet change . I slowly added organ meats but that did not go over well and he had blow out diarrhea. I also added Animal Essentials Seaweed Calcium. Since we’ve gone to raw, I fear that I am not meeting all his nutritional needs to help boost his immune system to continually fight the lymphoma. What else can I add to his diet to help him?
    Thank you, Carla & Rio the wonder dog

    • janie

      Hi Carla:

      Wow, you’re doing an amazing job!!!! I’m thinking part of the problem may be that he needs some help with the diet change and digesting the raw meat, etc. This too happened to my girl this year and she’s 10. She started throwing up her food a lot and her belly rumbled. This is a scary sign with a big girl. We’re always on guard for bloating.

      I started her our on a good digestive enzyme formula called Premier Digest using 2 a day. You can read about it here on Amazon. However, I would include definitely include Colostrum Carla to help build his immunity. Colostrum contains more than 95 immune factors as well as 87 growth factors. These factors are extremely valuable to your boy’s immune system as well as his gut health. Colostrum is considered a WHOLE food and not just a supplement.

      The Colostrum we offer is a pure WHOLE food and the best option for Rio. You can learn more and also purchase it here in our store if you like. Also, if you’re not including a good multivitamin, then you definitely need to in order to help deliver much needed vitamins and minerals necessary. Our Daily Multi Complete is the best multivitamin you can buy for dogs. Besides vitamins and minerals, our multi includes 13 glandulars for the endocrine system and glandular health. This is not only vital for the general maintenance of healthy dogs, but critical for dogs fighting disease. It also includes 13 species of probiotics and 13 different enzymes. You can learn more and also purchase it here if you like. Even though our formula contains these enzymes, I would still include the Premier Digest as well.

      Instead of feeding ANY kibble, I would move to one of the grain free Honest Kitchen formulas if possible. They sell sample packs I think. You might have to call them. I would feed the raw meat, veggies and include a lightly cooked egg (with a little sea salt and pepper) with the yolk in tact if possible (not hard boiled) in the morning and the Honest kitchen with more meat (lightly baked or raw). Remember to use good cuts of beef. This is especially important because he is a cancer dog. The beef you buy should be organic if at all possible. I know this is expensive. Beef can be hard on the pancreas because it’s a fatty meat. So my recommendations are also for that reason. I would also start including organic coconut oil daily to his food by giving 1 rounded tablespoon. You can work up to the tablespoon if you want.

      As much as I like the seaweed option for calcium purposes, I find that it softens the stool of many dogs. So, in your case, I would try calcium carbonate (not bone meal) which you can get from GNC or other places. You have to add roughly 900mg per POUND OF FOOD. 900mg of calcium carbonate powder is roughly 3/4 teaspoon.

      1 pound of food equals 16 ounces. If you have a glass measuring cup, just place 16 ounces of your raw or home-cooked food in there and add 3/4 teaspoon of calcium carbonate.

      I would start with this Carla and see how it goes. All of this is good for him and will only add to what you are already doing. I hope this helps.

      P.S. All of his water must be filtered and any water you add to his food must be filtered.


  • T

    My 17 year old miniature dachshund has been suffering from some sort of nasal tumor or growth for the last two years. he constantly sneezed blood and fluid. Its a full time job keeping him cleaned up. The vets want several thousand $ for indepth scans, etc, which I cannot afford. What do you think I can do for the ol boy. I love him dearly. He is also losing his eye sight rapidly. Cataracts.
    Thank you for any info.

    • janie


      I’m sorry to hear about your old boy’s health issues. It sounds like you did a pretty good job though considering he’s 17.

      Can you by chance see the the nasal tumor?


  • April

    I’m curious if Astragalus will help my Colitis dog. I’ve tried several things like slippery elm bark, l-glutamine, bentonite clay, adding sweet potato or rice. I’ll also mention he is raw fed. Tried him on chicken, beef, turkey and pork and he does well on a single protein for about 10 days then he gets diarrhea. I’ve been giving him pretty much all proteins in a meal now because it’s helping but he still has chronic diarrhea. My traditional vet just wants him on prescription kibble and prednisone which I blatantly refuse to do to him.

  • Light

    Hi Janie, Thank you, oh yes, I got your meaning. Thank you for ensuring I understand. While I am happy with Butter’s neurologist and all they’ve done (they are trying as hard as I am), it is just that Butter may need an integration of treatments, if it is at all possible. One thing I know, is that if I am not open, I limit Butter’s options. I’m working on things to afford additional treatment. If money were no object, I would have had a lot of testing done to hopefully understand what her whole system is doing….if we can understand what it’s doing, we can see what it ISN’T doing. If we can understand her body’s internal communication in what is going on, we can better specialize her treatment. We all go with what we got at any time, right?

    I did read Dr. Dodd’s article last year (after Butter’s first SE episode) and a few times between. It has a ton of good information there. Triggers, well, it is strange how as example, medicine at times must be used to heal/help, and yet using them can cause other problems. Like the hose that breaks down and makes a hole in itself, and soon there are more holes in the hose to fix. Right now, Butter needs the medicine she is on, otherwise I am certain she would have succumbed to the disease much sooner. Two status epilepticus episodes, where she could have died…it’s so complicated. I will look into it all.

    I can’t thank you enough, Janie. Thank you for your time, help and suggestions, prayers, compassion and kindness. It has not fallen on deaf ears. I assure you. You will hear from me again in the future. 🙂 Until next time, take care and many blessings to you and yours.

  • Light

    Ps, Janie, thank you for your compassion. Of course I am devastated about her diagnosis. I’ve never had a pug with her condition. It’s very scary, unpredictable, expensive, and heartbreaking to see her endure. She does have normalcy between episodes, thankfully, and has good times. And she is the one I think about the most because she has to physically go through the seizures, the treatments, side effects etc. I want to do what will help her the most and I understand there is no guarantee in any treatment. I’m pretty scared most of the time. My Buttercup is braver and stronger than I am. I must learn from her. 😉

    • janie

      My pleasure Light….. Stay confident and optimistic. But, don’t place her health entirely in the hands of the vet and the intern was the point I was trying to make earlier.

      I’m so glad that you did NOT get the vaccinations and that you do NOT use chemical flea and tick products on her.


  • Light

    Thank you, Janie for responding. I incredibly appreciate the time you have taken to help.
    Once my dog started having seizures, I adamently refused vaccines because I felt she had a serious enough condition to refrain. Her regular vet felt otherwise and advised to “vaccinate regardless”. I was furious and stood by my decision. Good thing because upon neuro consult, we were advised no vaccines ever. So I was thankful to have made that decision right.

    As far as fleas and ticks, no traditional chemical topicals at the moment, because of her condition. So, I tried lots of natural stuff, most weren’t strong enough or ok to use on her. Then, I tried organic coconut oil (cold pressed, non gmo, not refined, consumable, and can be used on body). I have used it on her fur for 4 months now, and NO fleas at all, not even a behavioral hint or evidence on her skin. Her neuro commented on Butter’s awesome condition of fur and skin, saw no evidence of fleas, and said to keep using it. “Whatever works” she said. Daily intake, but for her fur is as needed. As for deterring ticks, it depends on fresh application. For anyone reading, if you are going to try coconut oil, introduce slowly->>It’s a natural laxative. I introduced slowly.

    I think I have read Dr. Dodd’s article on encephalitis before but the link doesn’t work, so I can’t say for sure. If you could recheck the link, I’d be able to say. I know a consult with Dr. Dodd is as the fee for her neurologist. Dr. Smith is in TN, but I am in Northern US, East coast however, it couldn’t hurt to talk to him. It depends on a few things including cost of consult, how far this has progressed, how to transition if it is possible the chinese stuff has potential to help her, and whether her neuro will approve etc. I have to watch finances as her treatment can be expensive pending emergencies (which I can’t always bring her to ER). It’s not a matter of having the money and not wanting to spend. It is not having the money and needing to spend it on her.

    As for the seizure products you mentioned, I understand why you say one or the other, as it would be quite an overdose-> taking too much of something that treats the same problem or taking stuff that should never be mixed.
    I have to really think about this. My dog’s seizures can be pretty severe as she’s demonstrated. She’s had: 51 seizures in 11 episodes in 16 months since onset, two of those were status epilepticus episodes. She can go either 4-6 days to 4 months between episodes. She can have anywhere from 1-14 seizures over the span of 30 min to 10-12 hours per episode. It’s not as severe since her neuro has been treating her, shorter seizures, fewer number of seizures but not as long between seizures. I don’t like her being on these drugs, but it was the only option I had and knew of since her onset.
    Thank you so much for all your suggestions, as I will look further into it all. I cannot thank you enough. Blessings to you. (Sorry for the long post.)

    • janie

      Hi Light:

      You’re very welcome and I hope that the suggestions will truly help in the long run. I know there’s a lot of consideration that goes into any of the decisions for her. I can hear your compassion through your words.

      Here’s the link to Dr. Dodds article that I mentioned as asked that you pay close attention to the triggers she mentions in the article: Dr. Dodds Encephalitis article

      I hope that all goes will for you and your girl. I would love to hear back from you in the future to hear more about her story and yours. 🙂

      I’ll say some prayers for you both Light……


  • Light

    Hello, I was reading this because I need some help with my dog, a 5 year old female pug. She has been enduring seizures since the end of Jan 2016. Her neurologist said my dog’s symptoms all point to Pug Dog Encephalitis (Necrotizing meningoencephalitis), thus it’s her presumed diagnosis since Feb this year. The neurologist second impression was something intracranial, but because my dog has additional symptoms not accounted for any of those diseases/issues, it is why we’re going with her first impression. I have not done a MRI/CSF yet to confirm as it is very expensive and have to save for it. My dog is on phenobarbital (40mg twice daily), zonisamide (100mg twice daily), diazapam gel (18mg/ml) and clorazapate (7.5mg) for emergencies, prednisone (7.5mg) for the presumed underlying cause of her seizures, and Denamarin (for her liver and some brain support). I know there is no cure for PDE/NME, but I am looking for additional support in her fight against this disease. Her diet is Dr. Harvey’s veg to bowl (on it since she was a year and a half old) and it’s done wonders for her even before her illness. When I spoke to Dr. Harvey regarding my dog’s diet (they have a new diet for cancer and diabetic dogs) and if she should change to that, he suggested astragulus (phytophatidylserine and vit c too) for brain and immune support and said her current diet is fine. We’ve been in weekly contact with my dog’s neurologist because her disease is rare and requires close monitoring. My question to you, is: can astragulus help my dog with her presumed disease? Of course, I have to discuss it with the neuro, but, any assistance is greatly appreciated. TY

    • janie

      Hi Light:

      I’m very, very sorry to hear about your pug. That’s a terrible diagnosis.

      With regards to Astragalus helping your dog, I don’t think it would hurt, but it definitely might help her immune system. That’s what it’s known for.

      Do you use chemical flea and tick products on her or vaccinate her? There’s natural herbal help for seizures and calming vs using phenobarbital, diazapam and other synthetic prescription drugs. You’re dog is seeing a neurologist that of course practices Western medicine which is what all the drugs are that your dog is taking.

      Here is an excellent article by Dr. Jean Dodds about Encephalitis and Meningoencephalitis. Pay very close attention to the triggers she mentions in the article. You can read it here.

      I can’t tell you that Astragalus will make a huge difference since your dog is taking all these prescription drugs. I can tell you what I would do if it were my dog though; I would seek out natural ways to help her condition. In fact, here is a vet who I would contact about a Chinese Herbal Blend called “Damp Heat in Mind” that treats Encephalitis and Meningoencephalitis in Dogs, Cats and Horses. Read the entire article here. There is a contact number for Dr. Marc Smith on his website at Franklin Vet.

      I would explore ALL natural methods and Eastern medicine as well. Let me know if this helps. You can view our own list of natural formulas for seizures and calming here if you like. However, don’t do both. It’s either natural or these prescription drugs you list.

      I also recommend that you call Dr. Marc Smith since he discusses how Damp Heat in Mind specifically treats your dog’s condition and hopefully you can get your dog away from all these synthetic prescription drugs which are definitely not good on an ongoing basis.


  • mike

    I have a 65 lbs rottie mixed. she is seven, and has first stage bone cancer in her left back knee. I am going to start her on astragalus, and would like to know what dosage of the capsule to give her. each capsule is 420mg. each. I am also going to start her on curcumin. it is 1100 mg. per capsule. how much should I give her of this……both herbs com from natures sunshine.

    • janie

      Hi Mike:

      I’m very sorry to hear this. My own girl had fibrosarcoma (tumor) and she is now cancer free. That was over a year and a half ago.

      I would use much more than just Astragalus. To answer your question regarding Astragalus dosage, I would give 1 in the AM and 1 in the PM.

      Nutrition MUST play the largest role being high in protein and very low in carbs IF any, as well as including several supplements. Try to eliminate carbs completely. I would definitely include Essiac Tea (I used this as well). You can read more about it here if you want. You’ll find dosage instructions here as well. You can make the actual tea formula (instructions come with it) or just add the dry tea to empty capsules (you would have to purchase) and give it your rottie. Our brand is recommended due to it’s purity.

      Also used Resvantage and while I no longer use the Essiac for Maggie, I still include the Resvantage daily. It can be expensive, but if you afford it, it’s recommended.

      If you need help with diet, you might want to consider our cook book as well Mike. I would also massage cold pressed castor oil onto the knee once daily.

      You MUST avoid all chemicals and vaccinations completely for good…

      Let me know if this helps Mike.


  • Olivia

    You say that you give your 75 lb Dobie one pill but you don’t say how many mgs are in the pill you are using. It would be helpful.

    • yourolddog

      Hi Olivia:

      If you notice in the article, I mention that I used Seven Forest Astragalus and mentioned that I gave her one daily.

      I hope this helps.


  • Emily

    Hi! I have a ten year old golden mix that has suffered from atopic dermatitis for years. He has been on prednisone on and off for years and I also tried cyclosporine but he kept developing secondary bacterial skin infections. I would really like to try something herbal. I know astragalus is good for humans with autoimmune disorders but seems contraindicated in dogs. Any suggestions and doses would be fantastic! He weighs around 75lbs.

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Emily:
      First, what food are you feeding? I recommend that you first look at the food and if you’re feeding dry, look to an alternative such as The Honest Kitchen, Dr. Harvey’s or Grandma Lucys. You add warm water to it and you have home cooked food. This alone will be a huge help. Second, include organic, cold pressed coconut oil and a B-complex vitamin daily which can be purchased on Amazon.

      Astragalus can also be added providing he doesn’t have any auto immune disorders such as hypothyroidism or diabetes. See my article and use the same brand of Astragalus and dosage. Next, add Quercetin combined with Bromelain daily using the capsule form Emily. This way you can sprinkle on his food if you like. This combination can help a great deal with allergies.

      If you decide to go this route, we can discuss dosages later. I would get him off of the prednisone for good. Goldens develop cancer more than any other breed. Avoid chemical flea and tick products as well.


  • amy

    Hi, I am looking to find out the recommended place for kidney disease supplements

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Amy:

      I typically recommend two products for dogs with kidney disease and renal failure. One is called Epakitan and can be purchased here on Amazon. The other is from Pet Well Being and it is their own kidney support formula which you see here. Both get excellent reviews and I suggest that you take a minute and read them.

      I also strongly recommend that you purchase a guaranteed toxin free form of Omega 3 fatty acids like this one from Kronch. Or a supplement that includes all 3 fatty acids (3,6,9).

      I hope this helps.


  • megan

    Hi Janie
    I have a older female rotweiller with arthritis . She has a good appetite and is slightly overweight. She is healthy otherwise( eyes skin teeth ok). Do you think astragalus would be good for her? Thanks

  • Gigi

    Thank you very much, I needed this urgent. My dog has been operated on mast cell cancer and is taking medication which is affecting her liver and her platelettes, I need urgent this product, because her kidneys are in danger also, but most is the liver.
    Thank you again for this information.

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Gigi:
      I’m glad I could help and I hope that your girl recovers just fine. I would keep her on the Astragalus 10 (Seven Forests) indefinitely.

  • sonja

    Hi Janie,
    Thanks for the article very interesting.I have an older dog with liver issues more than kidney but she also is hypothyroid. She is on thyroid meds at this time so is there anything else good for liver and kidney to give her since this herb isn’t good. I wasn’t going to treat the thyroid at this time but she is so lethargic and skin and ear issues aren’t good.


    • janie knetzer

      Hi Sonja:
      I’m not sure if you read my initial response, but I’ve changed it and I think that this might be more appropriate for you.

      I would personally like to see you consult a holistic vet who could really guide you here. First, I can’t recommend to you enough that you place your girl on a freeze dried food such as Oracle or Grandma Lucys (if she’s not already). These foods are excellent for dogs with kidney and liver issues due to the water content. Or, you can opt to purchase my new cookbook which includes easy recipes for dogs with these conditions. I’m not trying to sell you Sonja, but I want you to know what’s available for your girl. The right diet is critical for your old girl right now.

      Regarding an alternative for Astragulus, “Ginsing” is probably a better option for your girl since she has an auto immune issue. You also MUST make sure she’s on a good form of fatty acids like this one which is also good for the heart and a good source of probiotics. Both of these products are essential for your dog’s issues.


      • sonja

        Thanks for the reply and i am trying home cooking for her but she isn’t into it much. Appetite not the best.I am not sure what to do as far as taking her off the thyroid meds, i am very close to my vet but i don’t think it will fly very well. Her BUN is 45 and her ALKP is 1623. Have you heard of Denarmarin used for dogs with liver issues?

        • janie knetzer

          I would NOT take her off of her thyroid meds – EVER. That’s not really an option. The probiotics and fatty acids will help with the skin and ears that are probably symptoms related to the thyroid issue. Again, look to a good form of ginsing. But, right now you have to get her to eat — that is so very critical. What does she like?

          • sonja

            She does like chicken especially on the grill or any kind of fish, hard boiled eggs. I have tried scrambled that hit and miss.

        • janie knetzer

          Yes, I have heard of Denamarin for liver issues, but never used it. I’ve always tried to stay closer to natural alternatives. Remember, when home cooking, you must give your old girl a multi vitamin as well if your not including all the vitamins and minerals individually in the meal.

          Have you read my articles on liver disease? If not, please do. There’s a link for the series in the right hand column. You’ll see it. I have to run, but if you have any additional questions, post them and I’ll get back to you later. ~Janie

      • sonja

        Hi Janie,
        I will try one of the mentioned foods above as i am not having much luck with home cooking. I do have her on fish oil 1200mg 2x daily and vitamin e 800mg daily. As far as the probiotics, i need one with digestive enzymes as well. I make kefir and add that to her food when she will take it. I would love to find a holistic vet but unfortunately where i live there aren’t any and not any close by either so i do a lot of research on line and help from people like you to guide me as the best way to help my little girl.

        • janie knetzer

          Just a quickie before I run, Sam-E is an excellent option for your girl. I’ll check back with you later.


        • janie knetzer

          Hi Sonja:

          This is a good product that I use for my dogs. It contains both plant enzymes and probiotics. You can check it out on Amazon.

          I would recommend checking into Sam-E which is an over the counter version of prescription Denamarin. I would also include milk thistle in her diet as well. If she doesn’t like all the pills mixed in her food, then pill her yourself and leave her food alone.

          Since she likes the grilled chicken and hard boiled eggs, I would try including them in the foods that I mentioned above. But if she’s real particular, then you may have to find a way to make her own individual routine that works just for her, but includes everything she needs. Including a meat source like you already are is very important. Initially I recommended Ginsing as well, but because she may have borderline kidney issues, I think you’re better off with a whole green food. Please see the following list okay.

          Lets break it down:

          1. One of the foods I mentioned
          2. Include a good meat source like you already are or use Wellness Ninety Five Percent
          3. Give her an egg DAILY
          4. Give her a multi vitamin
          5. fatty acids
          6. Sam-E
          7. A whole green food is very important for her Sonja
          8. Milk Thistle
          9. Thyroid meds

          Hopefully, I didn’t miss anything….

          Janie 😮

          • sonja

            Hi Janie,
            Thanks so much for all your help very much appreciated. I hope the vitamin e isn’t to much that is what my vet prescribed and actually i could give 400mg 3 x daily if i wanted. I do have barley grass that i sneak in her food but sometimes she won’t eat it if she smells it, very picky.The ginseng is that the Korean Red? Also, my vet mention Cushings disease but not 100% sure.

          • janie knetzer

            Hi Sonja:
            I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It would be the red Ginseng in place of Astragalus for your dog who is hypothyroid. Again, be very careful where you buy your herbs. I like and recommend Starwest Botanicals which I use myself. They carry both the dried herb and the tincture.

            Dosage would be as follows:
            Dried herb: 25-300 mg/kg twice daily
            Tincture: 1:2 or 1:3 — 0.5-1.5 ml per 20 lbs diluted or combined with other herbs and supplements. So, dilute 1 part tincture to 2 or 3 parts filtered water or you can simply combine it with the other herbs.

            I hope this helps.

          • sonja

            Have you ever heard of Holistic Select digestive remedies for pets? It has digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics in it. Looking at this at The one you suggested is a pill or do i put in her food.

          • janie knetzer

            Hi Sonja:
            The one that I recommended from Animal Essentials is actually a powder and has both plant enzymes and probiotics, but no prebiotics. I’ve never heard of the holistic selective digestive remedies for pets, but I checked it out for you and I’m not a fan of Eagle Pack products – PERIOD and I don’t like the rice bran as a digestive aid.


          • sonja

            I ordered what you suggested but curious on the Sam e there are so many products and varying dosages. I thought Sam e was all the same. She weighs 34 lbs some say the 200mg one is good up to 35lbs others say 10mg per pound.

          • janie knetzer

            Hi Sonja:
            It’s probably going to vary depending on the amount of SAM e in the tablet. For instance, one product including 100 mg of SAM e gives a dosage of 2 tablets daily for your size dog, but if the SAM e included is 225 mg then this drops to 1 tablet for your size dog. It should vary more on mg than anything and not on manufacturer. I hope this helps. This brand has good reviews on Amazon but I can’t find the dosage for that particular brand. I’m not sure if this helps or not.

            P.S. Keep me posted how she’s doing okay Sonja.

          • sonja

            Hi Janie,
            Hope you had a nice Memorial day. Anyways, i ordered the Grandma Lucy’s dog food and she will not eat it not sure why any suggestions on what else maybe good. I thought of maybe a topper to add to it to entice her. I’ve had to puree the food and syringe feed.

          • janie knetzer

            Hey Sonja:
            Is she used to eating kibble only? Sometimes the texture of the food throws them off. If you didn’t do this already, I suggest adding the Wellness Ninety Five Percent to it which is a topper and is 95% meat – very good for her. Then try and add more of the Wellness 95% first and eventually add more and more of the Grandma Lucy’s daily. See if that helps. If she’s a meat eater, this might do it! Let me know your thoughts. Also, try scrambling some egg and adding that long with the Wellness to the Grandma Lucy’s. Yumm, good stuff!


          • sonja

            Hi Janie,
            Will try adding the Wellness to her food if i can find it around here but i’m sure someone has it. She has always eaten kibble but some days won’t touch that. She will eat at times my husbands homemade chicken noodle soup. I’ll try the eggs as well since she love her eggs. Thanks

          • janie knetzer

            Hey Sonja:
            You’re very welcome. And, if you can sneak some fresh blue berries into the mix of Grandma Lucy’s – do it. Try and give her a little variety. Mix up the Wellness Meat (turkey, beef, chicken). Try rotating and switching the meat with sardines (packed in water not oil).

            I know you mentioned that the vet gave her a vitamin to take. But, vitamin B like this one (Heart Gems) can be a big help. Vitamin B is soooo important for the heart, brain, energy, muscles and enzyme process and can help stimulate eating (not always, but it can). I used to give Jenna the Heart Gems (one daily for her at 75 lbs.). Or you can try a liquid B complex. You gotta watch the brands. NOW is a good brand Sonja.

            Is she maintaining her weight?

          • sonja

            Morning Janie,
            I think i have the pickiest dog of all and i could cook a full meal for her and she will never touch it she sniffs everything. I’ll try the blueberries as well. I found Merrick 95% meat but no wellness can i use this?Let’s see last night i gave her the Grandma Lucy’s mixed with chicken from the grill ate the chicken left the other so then gave her Taste of the wild an egg and deer steak not a thing left in her bowl go figure. Her weight is maintaining at 34 lbs. She does has Cushing’s Disease too so my poor old girl is a mess. I’ll look into the B vitamin complex. I really do appreciate all your help.

          • janie knetzer

            Hi Sonja:
            Okay, well let’s not try and force her to eat what she doesn’t want too. I’m sorry that you wasted your money on the Grandma Lucy’s; not every dog likes it.

            If she likes the Taste of the Wild, egg and deer steak – then that’s okay. It sound like your girl is true carnivore. Using the Taste of the Wild as a base food since we know she likes it; lets feed her that as the base adding other ingredients like you did with the egg and the deer steak. Keep it diverse if that’s what she likes, but I want you to ALWAYS add the egg. We want to make sure that the protein sources she’s getting are hiqh quality like they are (not necessarily more protein – but better proteins).

            Give her less of the Taste of the Wild and more of the other ingredients and see how this goes. I know you appreciate my help Sonja. 😮 Let me know okay.


          • Tammy

            I have a Yorkie that was diagnosed with mass cell tumor. What’s good to give him. I have already changed his diet

          • janie

            Hi Tammy:

            I’m sorry to hear about your little Yorkie.

            Astragalus is always a good addition to a cancer routine. You didn’t say what kind of diet you are feeding, but I hope it includes fresh meat and steamed (very soft) greens including green beans, brussel sprouts, kale, zucchini, etc with 3/4 meat and 1/4 veggies based upon the amount you feed. Rotate the veggies.

            Resveratrol is believed to help stop spreading of the disease. It keeps it local. The resveratrol should be from Japanese Knotweed like ours here.

            I highly recommend that you add burdock root to your dog’s diet to cleanse the blood and the liver. Don’t ignore this step. You can read my article on Burdock Root here.
            Here’s a youtube video from Dr. Jasek who has worked with many dogs with mast cell tumors which may help:

            I wish you all the best,


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