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 It

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

Wild Harvest Dandelion Root Capsules

using dandelion for dogsusing dandelion root capsules for dogs

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 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 rootPrecautions

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 68 comments
  • 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.


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