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 57 comments
  • Kim Curtis

    Hi. ‘Murphy’ is my 13.5 yo Brittany Spaniel/Yellow Lab/German Wirehair mix. He weighs 41-42 lbs., is on Previcox daily for arthritis in his left shoulder and we’re trying Phycox. He was on Solid Gold in his first few years, FROMM the last 6 +/-, and we just switched to Nature’s Variety about 6-8 months ago. One and a half years ago he had a ‘soft tissue sarcoma’ removed from his left rear hip. The vet said there was a 50/50 chance it could come back and if it did, it would come back in the same place. Well, it’s grown back and we’re doing surgery at the Univ. of Minnesota in 4 days. Tonight I just happened to come across an article by Pamela Ovadje from the University of Windsor in Canada about dandelion root tea curing cancer. The article said the U of Windsor has been studying this since 2009. Have you heard of this? Your article talked about dandelion root for liver, gallbladder and digestive issues. If it can/does cure cancer, we’ll still going to go through with the surgery but then I’d like to start him on the dandelion root, however I can get it in him, in place of radiation. I saw your dosage recommendations and would consider Murphy to be a ‘medium’ size dog so to help with getting rid of any cancer cells that might get missed in the surgery, should I still stick with the daily recommended amount or increase it and how long should I give it for? I use essential oils and know that Frankincense is great for cancer but does not cure it. I’m looking into homeopathy to but the emails back and forth with that vet are slow. Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated!

    • janie

      Hi Kim:

      I’m sorry for the delay in approving your comment. You did everything right. We were swamped. I just approved it now.

      To be honest, I don’t know much about dandelion “curing” cancer. However, I WOULD NOT be surprised. I wish I had time to read it right now, but I have a little too much on my plate this morning. I will try and read it later.

      I highly recommend that you include dandelion into Murphy’s daily diet though. You can buy fresh dandelion at Whole Foods or other grocers that sell organic vegetables. If you prefer to use the tea as Pamela suggests then that’s another option. But, I prefer whole greens Kim. You can cut it up and gently steam a little for him each day along with a whole food diet free of carbs. You’ll figure out the process that works best for you and Murphy with regards to feeding it to him.

      If you’re looking for something to replace or support radiation, then I urge you to look into our Resvantage product. I’ve used it with success personally and I recently heard from another reader the other day whose dog has a tumor on his spleen. Steve didn’t want to have the tumor removed for fear of spreading the disease due to surgery. While the tumor is still there, Buddy is doing well he said.

      Resveratrol in the form of Japanese Knotweed is the key component in Resvantage. It’s believed to stop the spread of the disease, like radiation. You can read more about Resvantage here. Just remember, when dealing with cancer, using the Equine version is recommended. It won’t hurt Murphy. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a fortune because you’ll have to use a lot of capsules. With the Equine version, you would use one in the am and one in the pm.

      I hope this helps. We’re here if we can help at all. Feel free to ask okay.


  • Natalie

    Hi – I really hope you can offer some advice for the care of my 10 year old yellow lab, Sasha.

    Around 6 months ago Sasha was diagnosed with an enlarged heart as a result of heart failure. I initially suspected Cushings due to the distended abdomen – however this weight gain was a by product of the heart failure.

    She was instantly placed on Cardisure (10 mg daily) for the cardiac issue and Frusemide (40mg x4 daily). As she gained weight quickly, the frusemide was upped to 40mg x7 daily (the highest dose that she could be on).

    Sasha continued to gain weight following this medication review, and had to undergo an abdominal tap procedure which drained 8kg of water weight from her abdomen. (This was critical to relieve the pressure on her organs, joints and to ease breathing.)

    She had this procedure last week (now 3 days ago) and while she is not as big as she was on friday, she has visibly gained weight again over these 3 days.

    Desperate for an option that reduces the need for abdominal taps which aren’t just costly, but more importantly, distressing to Sasha – I wonder, would I be able to try Dandelion root / any other natural remedies?

    Sasha’s current medication: Cardisure 10mg x1 daily, Frusemide 40mg x7 daily, Lanoxin 0.25mg x1 daily, Tempora 100mg x1 daily

    Thank you

    • janie

      Hi Natalie:

      I would definitely try the dandelion. I’m sorry, what exactly is her diagnosis now?

      What do you feed her? Is she getting any supplements or herbs? Please use the contact form here Natalie so we can communicate by email. Contact Us


  • Karen

    Could it help with constant bladder infections? My pug gets the m all the time, he finishes antibiotics, then gets it again. The vets don’t seem to help, so the natural way I believe will be better (and cheaper).

    • janie

      Hi Karen:

      The constant use of antibiotics are most likely making his bladder infection worse by destroying healthy bacteria. Do you include any type of supplements for him and what are you feeding him? Diet plays a big role.


  • ky

    I want to wean my ten pound dog off furosemide and replace with either dandelion tea or extract. What is a safe dosage of extract? Can I combine that with og dandelion greens? He is on 6 mg of Furosemide twice a day. I didn’t realize that product drains the potassium and other minerals. He,was active until he went on furosemide, enalapril and vetmedinwhen. Now he was just stands outside and doesn’t want to move. He didn’t have an enlarged heart until I had his teeth cleaned a second time. He does have a heart murmur. Thank you very much for your time and help!

    • janie

      Hi Ky:

      I’m sorry to hear about your little old guy.

      The instructions and dosage for the the tea is in the article. Using the tea is recommended over using an extract. The tea works well if you give it a little time. You would most likely have to use an extract that provides dosage for humans and figure out the dosage. If your dog is good about eating, you can add the tea to his food.

      Checking with your vet first is recommended when your dog is already on all these meds. I personally too would not want my dog on any of them. I would start with a high protein diet (see our recipe book that includes easy recipes for heart disease), dandelion tea, COQ10 and Hawthorn Berry. Dosage for COQ10 using 20mg capsules would be one capsule for every 25 pounds of body weight daily. See this article for Hawthorn Berry dosage.

      Watch closely and see how he does while on the natural products and diet. I hope this helps.


  • Dennis B Barbarito

    Please inform all dog lovers and owners that the pet food industry is killing our beautiful children. Please inform all dog and cat owners to especially get off any dry kibble they are feeding their loving animals. A medium size bag of dry dog food has about 50 tablespoons of sugar in the bag !!!! Ask yourself, ” would you buy a loaf of bread that has more than a year before it expires” ???? The most important thing that all pet lovers and owners need to remember is that cancer feeds off of sugar !!!! That’s what you are feeding your dog when you feed your dog any dry dog food. Wet food is ONLY slightly better. Still not a good choice for your loved babies. You need to either home cook especially for them, or buy frozen organic dog food. That’s where you start and then use appropriate herbs and vitamins for your loved baby. You can go directly to the frozen organic food, you don’t have to progress slowly.

    • janie

      Hi Dennis:

      Thank you for sharing. This is something we’ve been sharing with our readers for many, many, many years now. We do not advocate kibble or canned dog foods at all.

      Homecooking, raw or dehydrated formulas are the best options with regards to nutrition for your dog.

      Yes, cancer does feed off of sugar and sugar can come from many places as well. So dogs with cancer should avoid whole foods that break down into sugar as well.

      Warm regards,

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