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:
Instructions for use:
Never use dandelion that’s dirty or is laced with pesticides or chemicals. Wash 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.
- 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.
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