There are many applications for this common herbal treatment. Among the most commonly associated applications, is how well dandelion works on detoxing your dog’s liver and gallbladder.  It’s also believed that it can balance out the digestive tract and help with Cushings Disease.

If your dog has liver problems, look to dandelion and/or burdock root first.

Why You Should Use Dandelion for Dogs

Dandelion is one of the safest herbs in the world to use. It can be found almost everywhere and is gentle in nature. It can be used as a supplement and as a cure for various ailments for your dog, so it’s no wonder it’s considered as one of the great starting points for a herbal treatment arsenal.

If you’re not already using dandelion in your dog’s care routine, you might want to start. You really can’t go wrong with this plentiful and miraculous natural treatment option.

This article shares how you can use it and what you can use it for.

Use only pure organic dandelion like these ones: 

Starwest Botanicals Cut Dandelion Root For Dogs

Wild Harvest Dandelion Root Capsules

using dandelion for dogsusing dandelion root capsules for dogs

Are dandelions OK for dogs to eat?

Instructions for use:

Never use dandelion that’s dirty or is laced with pesticides or chemicalsWash ONLY when ready to use. You can pick it ahead of time and store it in a dry paper towel wrapped in plastic. Refrigerate and use within 3-5 days. You can simply crumble the dried herb onto your dog’s food and mix.

Directions for using capsules: Use the human dose of capsules are as follows:

  • Large dogs: 3 capsules
  • Med. dogs: 2 capsules
  • Small dogs: 1 capsule
  • Tiny dogs: 1/2 capsule

Directions for tea; add one teaspoon of dried dandelion to one cup filtered water or organic chicken or vegetable broth.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Give 1/3 cup for each 20 pounds 3 times daily.

Directions for adding dried dandelion roots to your dog’s food: You can also add one teaspoon per 20 lbs directly to your dog’s food.

  • As a dietary supplement, it is remarkably easy to use. This amazing herb is used to build appetites.  Thanks to the generous doses of vitamins A, C, K, D, and B complex as well as iron, manganese, and potassium (among other things), crumbling a little dried dandelion greens in your dog’s food is a great idea for supplementing the diet. If your four-legged friend doesn’t take to this, a tea can be made instead.
  • There is a “bitter tonic” effect when it comes to dandelion leaves that is really something. This bitter tonic effect actually warms up the digestive system’s metabolism, generating saliva. The herb works its way through the system to hit the stomach, bile and other digestive components and aids in the entire process of digestion. Dogs with chronic indigestion would certainly benefit from a little dandelion tea.
  • Dandelion also works as a diuretic. It’s a nice alternative to pharmaceutical diuretics, which are often too harsh on the system and often just push things out of the system quickly. Dandelion helps offset any significant loss of potassium with a solid dose of its own potassium, which in turn serves to regulate exactly how the diuretic works. Used as a strong tea, dandelion is more effective than many conventional drug treatments.
  • The stems of the dandelion can be used as a natural liver tonic. This safe and reliable tonic can be delivered in the form of a tea or a tincture and is said to correct any toxicity-related imbalance. Such imbalances can lead to conditions like chronic constipation which dandelion seems to work well for.
  • Believed to be helpful for the adrenal glands and normalizing their function from too much cortisol. This may be helpful for dogs with Cushings Disease.  While there’s no cure for Cushings Disease, dandelion can be beneficial by eliminating some of the symptoms.  If your dog has been diagnosed with Cushings Disease, please see Adrenal Calm here.  If you want to make your own dandelion tea or simply add dandelion to your pet’s food, please see the instructions above.

image for article about dogs and burdock rootAre dandelions poisonous for dogs?


Perhaps the best news about dandelion and its many applications is that it’s such a safe and gentle herb to use.

Due to its heavy dose of potassium, it’s capabilities in terms of liver tonic are certainly satisfying. And its use as a diuretic is beneficial, too, because of how it makes up for any lost potassium due to increased urine flow.

Dandelion will not further aggravate any condition because of its gentle nature and it won’t contribute to inflammation.

The only drawback is ensuring that the dandelion you use is clean. Make sure the leaves haven’t been sprayed with any herbicide and wash the leaves you have before using. Even the FDA says that dandelion is “generally regarded as safe,” so that’s as good an indication as any.

The History Behind this Pretty Little Yellow Flower

The dandelion comes from the taraxacum genus of flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. Mostly native to North and South America as well as parts of Europe and Asia, the dandelion is indeed an edible weed.

The name is French, coming from the word “dent-de-lion” meaning “lion’s tooth.”

Dandelions are, as most people know, incredibly common. They can be found virtually anywhere and have been gathered as food and herbs since prehistoric times.

They are perennial, but they are not, as is often thought, part of the sunflower family. The way to tell lies in the fact that dandelions don’t branch.

They sprout as a rosette from its taproot and never has spines on the midrib.

The best thing about it is that it’s one of the most versatile and readily-available herbal treatments known to man. It has a broad spectrum of applications and can be safely used without much hassle.

It was seen as a “cure-all” by early settlers in North America and this is indeed true. There’s very little that dandelion can’t be used for, including your dog.

Educational 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 86 comments
  • Susan Aston

    My 11 yr old dog has liver damage and fluid in his abdomen how many mg dandelion would i give him per kg of his weight

  • Patti Klavert

    Our dog has been diagnosed with an enlarged heart with previously diagnosed with #2 heart murmur. He is eight years old.His previous owner did not take care of his teeth – we had the bad teeth extracted leaving him with 10 teeth. We brought him to his Vet due to a hacking cough. No recommendations were given of the above diagnosis- only to lessen walks & rest periods. His cough occurs when he over exerts, early morning & sometimes when barking.
    I inquired to vet about the dandelion- agreed. Will this help with his cough? Side effects? He is currently on Rovera for arthritis pain in upper & lower spine.
    Thank u

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Patti:

      There is a lot you can do for your boy. He needs more than dandelion though. I will send you a personal email a little later with some help. What do you currently feed him and would you be willing to take him off of the Rovera for pain and go natural?

      YourOldDog Admin.

      • Patti Klavert

        He is on Nutro wet & dry – dry for seniors – wet because of missing teeth. Yes I would be interested in taking him off the Rovera.

        • janie knetzer

          Would you also be willing to feed a better diet? One that is geared towards heart health. Not kibble?


          • Janelle Marie Huntington

            Hi my name is Janelle I have a 13 year old male chihuahua, I previously had a 16 year old female Chihuahua too (that died April 15 2016) her murmur was at a 4- before I realized there was something seriously wrong with her( and yes I still kick myself daily for not seeing it before it was too late- I could have probably had her a couple more years because she still had ALOT of “sass” left in her-my fur babies are my life, I miss her every single day! Anyways- I am very interested in learning a new diet for my little guy other than kibble and wet canned food. I make him chicken and steak and liver (only once in awhile with the liver because of the vitamin A) but I always give him some organic meat with his meals,oatmeal,brown rice every once in awhile that I mix in with his food. Like I said before- I’ve never been fond of kibble!I literally spend hours researching trying to make sure I give him the best I can! but anymore these pet food companies are killing our animals right in front of our eyes!! like I said my babies are my life! My 13 year old niece asked me the other day when my Lil’ Acer dies am I going to get another dog and I told her I don’t think I can and she said, “Ohh I think you will, and I told her, You know it’s not because I’m not going to want another dog (there is always gonna be this big hole in my heart that only the love of a dog can fill) but I honestly don’t think I can because I don’t know how to make sure that they’re okay-not just okay- they are my best friend! they deserve the respect and care of 1! I became disabled in 2017 so things aren’t easy but I try to give him the best care I possibly can (way better than I care for myself) you just can’t compete with the 24 million dollar business industry that the pet industry has become! they don’t Care about our pets as matter fact they’re taking care of our pets literally! They’re killing them, they’re poisoning them..Please let me know anything that I could do to make my little guy feel better. He seriously loves to eat but he’s got such a sensitive stomach and now with all this pet food stuff going on I’m afraid that it isn’t just a sensitive stomach, I want to be positive that I am making him enjoy his “Golden Years” a little more & longer. I would be ever soo appreciative!! I Thank You in advance!!

  • Jemima Premkumar

    Hello, I’m in India. I have a pet Julie, 7 years old. She’s having Cushing disease. She’s having the following problems, ear scratching, head shaking, licking paws. I’m giving wysolone tablet for that problem. Now she gain weight, hungry, skin rashes, loss of hair, poor skin coat. Shall I try dandelion root for her?

    • janie

      Hi Jemima:

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog. This is now an epidemic with dogs everywhere. Many believe it’s related to vaccines. Dandelion won’t hurt or burdock root, but your dog must be fed a high protein diet with FRESH foods including lots of meat, eggs, fish and steamed green vegetables. NO KIBBLE or canned dog foods. Human foods. The dandelion root might help, BUT, she needs a lot more than that. If you can, this is the product she needs and has a VERY HIGH success rate, helping almost all dogs. It’s guaranteed:

      Plus including flaxseed lignans in addition to the above product can help. You can purchase it from Amazon here, but I’m not sure if they ship to India. You would have to check.


  • Lisa Brown

    Hi, my name is Lisa and I just saw your article on dandelion for dogs. Our 11yr. Old little girl was diagnosed with a gallbladder infection, possible liver infection, and a urinary tract infection. She is on clavomox antibiotics. I started her on milk thistle when I found that out. We had x-rays and a ultrasound, but no definite answer. They think there is a blockage, but no stone or tumor showed up. I want to try the dandelion, and bentonite clay. I have also just started her on Rhus tox, a homeopathic toxin remover. She gets pau d’arco every other day. She is eating brown rice with cooked skinless, boneless chicken with goats milk yogurt and a pinch of powered wheat grass. She is going to the bathroom fine, drinking water fine. We are really desperate for answers, the vet is talking about exploratory surgery, which is dangerous for her, and we do not have the money. Any help will be appreciated !!! What do you think ??? Thanks

  • Jennifer Venus

    Hello, how would you recommend using the root of the dandelion. Should I make it into a tea? Is it safe for my dog to chew it and eat it?

  • Lora

    You state you can add dandelion root directly on the dogs food. Does it need to be ground up

    • janie

      Hi Lora:

      It’s best to make sure it’s ground if it’s dried root. If it’s fresh, you can easily dice it up with kitchen shears.

      Regardless, it should be either ground or chopped small enough to mix nicely in with wet food.


  • Kathy

    Hello, my name is Kathy from Korea.
    My dog is puddle and he is 10 years old now.
    My dog ​​is suffering from pulmonary edema due to abnormalities of the heart and is taking the diuretics furosemide and spironolacton, the RAMIPRIL, and the animal medicine PIMOBENDAN.

    However, due to diuretic use, the nose is too dry. After many searches, I am feeding him with health supplement such as NHV HEARTYHEART and TUMERIC. In addition, we are feeding cardiac nutrition, probiotics, flaxseed oil. Also meal is wet form mixed with sweet pumpkin, carrot and salmon. I am a pharmacist, so I took a prescription for a dog and prepare his medicine on my own.

    I want to reduce diuretic. After many searching I found that dandelion leaf is powerful diuretics. But my cousin brother, who is a oriental doctor, advised me to feed only once a week because dandelion leaves may have side effects.

    I am wondering if the dandelion leaves could be an effective diuretic substitute. Ask for advice !! Thank you!!!

  • Michelle Murdoch


    My beautiful 15yo Maltese x jack has been diagnosed with a tumor/mass in her bladder which is taking up nearly half of her bladder. Obviously she’s having troubles urinating and she also has a heart murmur. What would you recommend to assist her. I’ve been reading up on Graviola and thought this may be a viable option as I don’t want to put her through chemotherapy. She’s been prescribed Meloxicam and I’m concerned about this due to her heart murmur also. I would really appreciate some advice as I’m at a complete loss at the moment and the thought of losing her is just too much to bare. Thanks.
    Kind Regards,

  • Julia Miller

    My black lab/german shepherd mix suffers from what I call urinary dripping, because he just drips now and then. He did have an enlarged prostate so we got him fixed at age 10 and he has been on vet prescribed Proin and Urinary SO dry kibble, but seems to still drip and keeps getting bladder infections. I want to try the dandelion root but am concerned it may cause more incomtinen e due to the diuretic properties. He is 12 now and otherwise pretty healthy, but we are concerned that he isn’t really healing. What are your recommendations?

    • janie

      For a dog that has frequent urinary bladder infections and incontinence; feeding a dry food is NEVER a good idea and those prescription dog foods are garbage. While the leaking & dripping may be an issue for you, the bladder infections should be a bigger concern and you should aim to feed him the diet that he’s meant to eat and that is NOT a dry food!

      Would you consider feeding raw and/or homecooked or a partial mix. They are NOT meant to live a dry food and the canned dog foods are not good either.


      • Julia Miller

        I would consider feeding a homemade diet, and have one that a friend is making for her dog. The recipe is from the dog cancer diet book. Do you have a recommendation for a homemade diet?

  • Jamila

    My blonde lab was misdiagnosed by 4 different vets. At the beginning the first two said that he had allergies and that his poor skin condition was done by it. The third one opt to do say that it was an infection and prescribed him steroids and 10 day supply of antibiotics. The fourth vet said that what he had was sarcoptic mange since the very beginning and that was causing the unbearable skin condition. She prescribe him a strong parasite medicine which worked to cure his skin condition. THAT IS UNTIL ALL FOUR VETS FAIL AT TELL ME THAT PREDNISONE WAS GOING TO CAUSE HIM SEVERAL SKIN AND INTERNAL PROBLEMS. They all prescribe him prednisone for 30 days for past 6 months. I was devastated when I saw that my dog was not getting any better. I am gradually weaning him off. But I want to know if the dandelion can help him with his internal recovery after taking cortizoids for a long period of time. I don’t want to take him back to the vets ever again. My pooch has been in distress for too long and now he looks like a cow.

    • janie

      Hi Jamila:

      I’m sorry to hear about your blonde lab. We too have a blonde lab. They are lovely….

      The dandelion can certainly help support his liver and cleanse it and so will burdock root, but I don’t think either alone will heal him at this point. Below I discuss diet and recommended ongoing supplements, but, I also recommend using Bentonite Clay to detox him and eliminate all the toxins from the steroids, etc and flush out the liver, kidneys and the blood. Just remember that it can also remove any good things you include like the other supplements, so if you can, try to give the clay with a little bit of his breakfast and then feed the balance of his breakfast two hours later or so. You can figure this out, but wait two hrs.

      It’s cheap and effective for helping eliminate toxins that otherwise stay in the body. He’s a big boy, so give 1 tablespoon daily. Make sure it is given with wet food such as home cooked, raw or dehydrated. It has to be wet to activate the electrical molecules in the clay. When feeding the clay, do not feed it in a metal bowl. Feed in a glass bowl. This is the brand we recommend: Earths Natural Bentonite Clay. Keep giving for several weeks or until your dog doesn’t want it anymore and shows improvement.

      I’m not sure what you’re feeding him, but I would make sure that it’s a whole food diet. The diet can consist of both home cooked and raw or partially raw. The diet is critical to his recovery and long term health. Let me know if you need help. You can use any of the recipes in Home Cooking for Sick Dogs since he hasn’t been diagnosed with any specific disease and is most likely dealing with a weak gut and weak immunity. You can learn more here if you like. Most recipes in the book contain grain, but, you can easily eliminate them and increase the other ingredients or include ingredients in your boy’s diet such as well cooked quinoa, sprouted grains or sprouted seeds. There is an exceptional product made by Carna4 and it is from sprouted seeds. Very, very good for the skin. You can learn more here. Sprouted grains and seeds are a healthy choice because it means all of the healthy parts of the grain are included and not just the junk. They are also processed differently which too makes it healthier.

      If you follow my advice above with regards to home cooking/raw, etc., be sure to include calcium. It’s simple and the cookbook explains what to do.

      I would also include Repair & Strengthen which works very well for food allergies, leaky gut, yeast overgrowth, muscle wasting, GI tract issues and other conditions that cause deterioration throughout the body. This plays a big part in skin AND immune repair. See Repair & Strengthen

      Include Daily Multi to provide vitamin/mineral support from WHOLE holistic foods. You truly can’t go wrong with this whole food blend of nutrients. You can read the testimonials here if you like.

      This in combination with the right diet and Repair & Strengthen work very well together in dogs that have undergone this kind of trauma that your boy has undergone. It’s a process Jamila. A process that repairs internal and external problems.

      Vaccines and chemical flea and tick products cause a lot of problems and should be avoided. Seek out a holistic vet or go to and get a titer test if you want to see how much of the rabies vaccine is left in the body and have Dr. Robb do the testing. You will need someone to draw the blood and forward it to him. You can always consult with him too on these issues. He is leading the fight to end over vaccination which is causing disease, skin problems, seizures, paralysis and death in our animals. Use TripleSure for flea and tick prevention. It works well.

      I hope this helps.


      • Naia

        Pet wellbeing GOLD drops are like a miracle in a bottle. ALL of their products are AMAZING. Saved my dog after a deer attack and the vet told me that she had trauma induced cancer… well her bloodwork came back NEGATIVE so… I’d get over to right now and order whatever you need. I’ve tried EVERYTHING and their stuff WORKS! I bought 2000 mg of alcohol free organic Dandelion root and am hoping that will also support everything else that we’re doing. I know it will help, cause it helps me and I’m super sensitive. GOOD LUCK!

  • Kristen

    I have an 11 yo golden retriever, who since he was a pup has had loss of urinary continence. I have him on a diet that works for us. He has a really compromised immunity, and issues with digestion. I was thinking of the dandelion, however; I don’t want him to have more loss of urine while he sleeps, poor guy. I have him on a natural bladder control formula, but that doesn’t help with other natural remedies I have tried. Will this add to the urine continence issues?


    Kristen and Tate, woof

    • janie

      Hi Kristen and Tate:

      Woof! Dandelion shouldn’t cause additional incontinence especially since it’s a natural diuretic and not synthetic. With that said though, you might want to give it a shot, but just let your old guy out even more than you usually do. I would test it out and see if you notice a difference. You have nothing to lose.

      Best of luck to you both!

  • Yvonne

    How soon does dandelion start to work or would you notice that it is starting to make a difference in your pet? Our dog was diagnosed with Cushing’s, she only has 1 symptom, that’s drinking a lot of water! She’s been on Veterol, but the side effects are so bad, we are taking her off of it. The Vet suggested lowering her dose, she’s on 10mg’s right now, but honestly only having the one symptom, we don’t feel she needs the pill. She’s always been a very happy , playful little girl, even with everything she’s been through, until they put her on this pill!! Want my little girl back!!

    • janie

      Hi Yvonne:

      I’m sorry to hear about your dog. While dandelion can help your dog, all dogs are different and it just depends. I think you would be better off looking into Cushalin which is ALL NATURAL and customized for your own dog. They also offer a 100% money back guarantee with no questions asked.

      Here’s a link if you want to take a look: Cushalin

      I hope this helps you and especially your little girl! It’s a nice, natural, safe alternative.


  • Christina

    My dog was prescribed enacard for an enlarged heart, and lasix for water retention in her lungs. She was not diagnosed with CHF, but the vet did say she needs to stay on enacard for life. Her coughing is back after over half a year, so I started looking into some natural diuretics. For the capsules, the ones in the article are for the roots—should I be looking for dandelion leaf capsules to use as a diuretic? You also mentioned steamed or dried dandelion–if steaming, would you also recommend one teaspoon per 20lbs? I stopped giving her the lasix (concerned for the kidneys) after getting vet’s approval, and after her coughing stopped.

    Right now my 13yr old dog is on VetriScience Cardio-Strength (for the CoQ10 and taurine), Bayer omega-3 (recommended by vet) and enacard. She’s done a 360 ever since I’ve started her on meds and supplements, although I’m not sure which one is the most impactful. She used to walk slowly and lethargically, but now she’s doing spins as she races down the hallways. 🙂 The only problem is that her cough has returned, although her energy level is still very high.

    Appreciate your advice and thank you for the helpful article!

    • janie

      Private email sent to you Christina.


      • Patti Klavert

        He is on a supplement called Cardio Plus. Most definitely about the heart healthy food.

        • janie knetzer

          Okay. The supplement might be fine, but he definitely needs a better diet and a few better supplements for the heart and pain.

          I’ll email you later Patti. Later tonight.


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