There are numerous 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 found on Amazon:

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 Wild Harvest capsules 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.
    • NOTE: IF YOUR DOG IS ALREADY ON A PRESCRIPTION DIURETIC; IT’S STILL CRITICAL THAT YOU CONSULT WITH A HOLISTIC VET BEFORE TRYING DANDELION ON YOUR OWN.
  • 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 of german shepherd for our article on using dandelion for dogs

Precautions

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 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 38 comments
  • Jill
    Reply

    My 10 yr old beagle has been taking carprofen for a bad back for many years. In his recent blood work his liver levels went up 9x in a six month period. His ultrasound showed something around his pancreas. I chose not to get biopsy since he is showing no symptoms. Took him off carprofen, levels decreased somewhat but he could barely move. For now he is back on carprofen along with Denamarin and milk thistle. Do you think dandelion might help? If so, which of all the ones shown on that website should I order? Thanks so much!

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Jill:

      I’m so very sorry to hear about your old boy. I take it he is on Carprofen for arthritis? I can see why his liver levels are so elevated. I would love to share some recommendations with you that I would do, if he were my dog. I definitely think he needs more than what dandelion can deliver, especially since there is something showing around the pancreas (or possibly).

      First, I would take him off Carprofen and try Tramadol which is much safer. This is a prescription medicine and can be given in fairly high doses. My own dog took it for a long time and it helps tremendously with pain. It is much safer than NSAIDS such as Carprofen.

      Did they try this on your dog Jill, before jumping to Carprofen? If not, tell your vet that you would like to try the Tramadol. It’s not expensive. Secondly, I strongly recommend that you place him on a good antioxidant formula. You might wonder why? Well, this natural formula is truly amazing and can do wonders detoxifying the body.

      I urge you to read the reviews yourself from dog owners who have used it for dogs after surgery, dogs with cancer and the list goes on. Here’s a link to read the reviews and check out the product for yourself.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions and I would really love to hear back from you as to what happens with your little old guy. I also wanted to share this page here on my blog that shares many different approaches for controlling your dog’s pain.

      Janie 🙂

  • Jeannette Pearce
    Reply

    My cavy honey is 9 been diegnosed with arthritis in spine and grade 2 heart merma with enlarged heart want to put her on dandylion drop already on hawthorne don’t know how much weight 17 pounds (8.3kg)

    • Anais
      Reply

      How is your dog doing on Hawthorne? I was going to put mine on it but then read that it can actually bring on CHF if they are not showing signs so I didn’t do it.

  • kathy meints
    Reply

    Every morning my 11 yr old chi & I have eggs over easy with cinnamon, ginger & tumeric (used as seasoning while cooking). I cook 2 eggs & he gets 1-2 tablespoons he loves it and dances around when I put it on a plate. His only problem is the vet says he is overweight. Is it ok to keep this routine? Have tried many different dog foods & he has not liked any of them.

    I have used these spices for the past 2 years as drs tell me my body is riddled with artheritis but I have no visible signs or symptoms. Is it safe for scooter? I use these spices in cooking and he now acts as though he is in trouble if I don’t share meals. Thanks for your help!

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Kathy:

      I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Good for you for sharing eggs, turmeric and ginger with him. And yes, by all means you should continue to do it. However, since he is overweight, what I recommend is that you cut back on kibble or whatever other food you are feeding (just a little) and replace it with a whole egg for him. Egg is very, very good him. High protein and low fat. Hope this helps.

      He’s not in trouble, share those eggs! 🙂

      Janie

    • Anais
      Reply

      My dog is now on low fat diet and egg whites are no fat. I’ve read that you don’t want to have just whites or just yolks because there’s something in them that balances each other out but you may want to do 1 complete egg (egg whites and yolk) with 1 or 2 egg whites only to decrease the fat considerably.

  • maribeth simcock
    Reply

    Can you use the capsules if so my dog is 80 PDS

  • Ruth Sherl
    Reply

    Hi Jane enjoyed your sight , I have an 11 yr old Siberian husky female we have dealt with seizures for over 6 yrs . She is on Phenabarbitol twice a day ( 60mg) also she takes Keppra 500 mlg 3x day since the phenbarb was not stopping the seizures we had out breaks monthy and they were clusters . She has not had a seizure in 7 months ( AMEN) She has had chronic diarrhea for over two weeks. She is under vet care. Lab work completed this week her liver levels were higher than normal I do not have the numbers at this time I got the results over the phone.. . Kidney functions were good no thyroid issues either . . She had her phenabarb levels checked about 6 weeks ago all were with in range. I want to get her off the meds prescribed. I stopped using them today they are not helping her she had been on the regimen for 5 days and was on Flagly previous to this . She takes Amoxicillian 250 mg twice a day for bacteria in her stool . She does not have giardia or coccidia was tested twice and again this week at the vets. I started her on Pumpkin, boiled chicken ,boiled white potato trying to slow down the diarrhea It saddens my heart to see her go thru this … I am unable to get Slippery Elm at the health food store till Monday (7/11) . What else would you recommend that would work with Slippery elm to slow down and eventually put a stop to the diarrhea. I plan to do an xray on Tuesday to make sure their is no blockage.. She is not vomiting she eats ok. She drinks lots of water more so over this past week and is well hydrated. No bloat in her tummy all looks good.. All my concerns lean towards a liver problem and want to cleanse the liver with good healthy herbs and suppliments and do what ever it takes to get her back on track . Just not sure on dosage amounts and how often they should be given and what is best to use …No more chemical drugs they are the cure as much as they are the killer . Thank you for you help

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Ruth:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your old girl. Can you share a little more history? Do you vaccinate or use chemical flea and tick products — when was the last time? What food or type of food have you fed in the past year? Do you feed any chicken jerky, rawhide, etc? What type of dog treats?

      I would like to especially know about the diet you’ve been feeding before you started the pumpkin, chicken and potato. Let me know. I will get back to you with a private email tomorrow once I hear back from you, okay. Are you willing to home cook regularly and give her a few supplements Ruth?

      Janie

      • Ruth Sherl
        Reply

        Hi Jane , Riley has been on Fromm Four Star grain free Ala Beef for about 2 yrs she was on the Holisitic Adult gold prior to that . My dogs normally get kibble for their treats as well as carrots and broccoli squash and zuccini , My dogs do not get rawhides !!! , I also make my own cookie treats,as well as Frozen treats with canned pumpkin and mashed bananas . Riley is not our only dog we have several Siberians and they are our kids… I would not have a problem feeding her a special diet anything that would help her. The vet prescibed a prescription diet by Royal Cannin ( she had been on her Fromm prior to that) . I did purchase the Prescription food as it was for short term use only during her bout with diarrhea . Riley was also on canned ID by Science diet to help with the Diarrhea . She did not like the Royal Cannin so I am not giving it to her. I know in my heart it is junk!!! I have been feeding her small cooked meals thru out the day… not overloading her . No vaccinations for Riley this yr doing Titer tests so we can get away from the chemicals. I do not do lepto for my dogs either . , The dogs are all on Front line Gold and Heart guard we live in a tick infested area of the Ozarks we have woods all around us Not so much with fleas …I treat my yard with 100 percent human grade Diatomaceous Earth . I would like to use more natural preventative products and I have been looking at some by Mercola, All Natural Suggestions appreciated, as I do not know the safety on alternative treatments for the dogs.. I also test them for Heart worm every yr.

    • Anais
      Reply

      Propylene glycol in dog treats is a common cause for seizures. 90% of dog treats should be removed from the market as toxic and poisons.

  • Ruth Sherl
    Reply

    Hi Jane I should add this note to to my comment as it sounded a bit confusing on the meds. … I want to take her off the medsthat were prescribed for her diarrhea issues as they are not helping her !!, If I could ever take her off the Seizure medicine I wouldbut for now I know it is not possible . I think that has kept her a live over the yrs . If their were something else to keep her healthy and a live I would consider other alternatives.. Her seizures could be very bad at times.. I know the regimine prescribed for her has kept her alive… along with regular lab testing. Sorry for the confusion from my first comment.. Thank you for all your help.
    Ruth

  • Mike
    Reply

    My dog on Lasix twice a day 12.5 milligrams I want to give her dandelion capsules how much she is 15 pounds

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Mike:

      I would give 1/4 of the human dose. HOWEVER, you have to remember that Lasix is a diuretic and so is Dandelion, so I wouldn’t do both. Keep in mind that teas, herbal extracts and tinctures work better and faster.

      Janie

      • mike
        Reply

        thanks

        • maggiemontana
          Reply

          My pleasure Debi.

        • maggiemontana
          Reply

          You’re welcome Mike.

  • Amelia
    Reply

    Hello. I am trying to figure out amount/dosage of dandelion leaf equality to lasix. Like mg to mg…

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      I’m sorry, I can’t answer this for you Amelia. I don’t know.

  • Kristal
    Reply

    I have a large 70 pound 11 year old husky mix in heart failure. She is horrible to go to the vet so they recommended trying Hawthorne berry last month. She takes 2 capsules in the am and 2 in the pm . They said tk just do an adult dose. She is doing well but still has some edema. I got dandelion caps today. I want to try and decrease the hawthorn a little and add in some dandelion. What are your thoughts? I want her comfy but she HATES leaving the house and won’t let anyone who isn’t family touch her. Thanks!

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Kristal:

      I wouldn’t decrease the Hawthorne, I would keep it the same. In fact, I would also add COQ10 to the mix.

      Dandelion is diuretic, so yes, I think it’s a good idea to include it as well.

      I hope your old girl does well and please keep us posted. Your story can help others here. 🙂

      Janie

    • Anais
      Reply

      I read about something called Young at Heart. Have you read about it?

  • Joann cortese
    Reply

    I would like to start my Siberian Husky My Little Chihuahua on some burdock root which way do you recommend giving it to them

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Joann:

      I would use the dry dandelion and just add a little to her food daily.

      Janie

  • sharon
    Reply

    Hi
    I have a 9 year old daschund weighs 9.5kg
    He is on Furosemide 1/4 am already and the vet has just added 25 mg Spiranolactone
    I would like to try the dandelion to replace the Spiranolactone
    The one I have found has Dandelion root 10%. purified water and Ethanol (Tincture)
    How much would I use

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Sharon:

      What is your dog on Spiranolactone for? Is this for heart problems? Share the exact brand a link please.

      Janie

  • Kate
    Reply

    Hi!
    My 9.5 year old retriever mix just finished palliative radiation for analsac adenocarcinoma.
    I had been giving him dandelion root, as I had read that it help combat tumor growth.
    In the last week, he has been wetting his bed or randomly urinating in the house, sometimes even while drinking.
    I stopped the dandelion when this first started.
    Is there a dose of dandelion that is safe to continue with that won’t exacerbate this other issue?
    (I am trying to get him in to the vet to be checked for a uti etc…)

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Kate:

      I’m real sorry to hear about your old boy. Dandelion is a diuretic and can do that.

      What else are you giving him with regards to herbs, supplements, etc?

      Janie

  • Ricky Chandra
    Reply

    Hi my dog is suffering from liver, spleen and lymph nodes cancer. They gave him 2 days but it’s been 3 weeks now and he’s still fighting. We’re giving him k9 immunity plus, milk thistle, cbd oil and barley grass powder. I noticed that his tummy is quite large I think this is due to the fluids in his tummy. He’s also having issue with doing no.2. I’m thinking to give him dandelion root to help with this issue. He’s about 9kg approximately. Do you think this will help?

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Ricky:

      I’m so very sorry to hear about your dog. I know how hard it is to hear this diagnosis. The dandelion will certainly help cleanse the liver. It’s one of the best herbs for the liver.

      Can I ask what you are feeding him and how old is he?

      Janie

      • Ricky
        Reply

        Thank you. I’m feeding him good protein like chicken, beef and salmon with some brocolli. He doesn’t want to eat commercial food. He’s only 8.5 years. Im just confused about dandelion or dandelion roots. I want to clear some of the fluid in his tummy and the same time help him with no.2 too

        • janie
          Reply

          Dandelion acts as a diuretic, so it may help with the fluid. With regards to his constipation, you might want to look into magnesium.

          You can use magnesium citrate which is cheaper, although not really my choice of magnesium. Depending on his size, you can dissolve 1/4 – 1/2 tsp into hot water. Stir to dissolve it. You can use a syringe to feed it to him. It’s a liquid, so you really only need to get in the jowl area and it will go down. You can try 2 times daily until he goes, then back off.

          I hope this helps. Take a look at this article and maybe consider some other options as well. You have nothing to lose. http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/healing-leukemia-brain-cancer-with-veggies-vitamins/

          Janie

  • Eliza
    Reply

    My old poodle wouldn’t stop coughing for about 5 hours straight all night long. Took her to the vet where they told me she has an enlarged heart problems. and they put her on Meds that really did not work and she got worse !and that may end up with seizure side effects. I thought we were going to have to put her down. I googled everything for 2 weeks and finally came across a dog holistic doctor on you tube recommending cinnamon and dandelion root. I add it to her food every morning.and night. Just a small portion. She still coughs now but …for only a few minutes during the day but sleeps the whole night through now ! I am a big believer this has changed our lives plus we can sleep through the whole night !she will be 16 years old soon and I love her so this has worked for us to eliminate her cough so far so good ♥️

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Eliza!

      Thank you soooo much for sharing your wonderful experience with dandelion root and cinnamon. Stories like this help others.

      Hugs to your old girl and keep up the good work!

      Janie

  • Bette
    Reply

    My dog is experiencing heart issues and now kidney levels are showing protein in the urine (kidney disease?) She’s been on both conventional meds just recently and chinese herbs for her heart and coughing. Can I safely add dandelion? How much for 7 lb and how often. Fyi the heart meds are vetmedin and enalipril just recently. Any other suggestions please. Thank you!

  • Erin
    Reply

    In the past year my 50lb Australian Shepard/Kelpie Mix has had a 9x increase in ALT. The vet put her on Denamarin. Is there anything else I can do for her?

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Erin:

      When your dog’s liver enzymes go up; you need to go to work quickly and diligently. The first place to start is with diet and dry food is definitely NOT recommended.

      I would definitely include milk thistle. I usually recommend Starwest Botanicals because it’s organic and economical. You can learn more about Starwest Botanical Milk thistle here.

      Next, I would move to a home made diet or a dehydrated diet. If interested, our cookbook offers some simple recipes that you can make in the crock pot for dogs with liver disease. It offers other valuable information as well including the best herbs, supplements and a recommended multivitamin. You can learn more here if you like Erin.

      I hope this helps. You can decrease the numbers, but you have to stay consistent.

      I wish you and your girl the best.

      Janie

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