While some consider it an invasive weed, there is no discounting the usefulness of hawthorn berry for dogs. Known also as common hawthorn or single-seeded hawthorn, this member of the rosaceae family is native to Europe, western Asia and Africa and has subsequently been introduced in other parts of the world.
Common hawthorn is a small shrub or tree standing about 15 to 45 feet tall, with long obovate leaves. Flowers arrive in late spring and carry a moderate scent, while fruits known as haws come after pollination. The haws are like berries in a way and are scarfed down by birds and other wildlife in the winter months.
When it comes to hawthorn supplement for dogs, there is actually a fair amount of research on the subject. Hawthorn is among the most studied plants in western herbal medicine and that provides many benefits when it comes to seeking information. Placebo-controlled studies in humans have revealed success in treatments from leaves, flowers and berries of the hawthorn plant.
Therapeutic Uses Hawthorn Berry For Dogs
The antioxidant bioflavonoid is the main active ingredient in hawthorn. Bioflavonoids can be found in a number of herbal treatments and are known for their protective effects on certain tissue types. The bioflavonoids in hawthorn are noted for aiding in circulation to the heart muscle, which helps maintain normal blood pressure and reduces heart rate during physical exertion.
- Hawthorn fruit is renowned for its usage as a cardiotonic. Hawthorn berry for dogs improves the function of the heart and helps steady an irregular heartbeat while strengthening the muscle overall. hawthorn berry for dogs is safe to use and has been used in conjunction with heart medications in human subjects, with evidence suggesting that the same is true for our four-legged friends. The berries, flowers and leaf buds can be fed directly to your dog for the best results.
- Because hawthorn is a “tonic herb,” it will not work to suppress or replace bodily functions. It helps bolster existing functions, which makes it safe to use and beneficial over the long haul. While other herbal treatments can be quite invasive, hawthorn for dogs aids in improving bodily function and maintaining overall health. By supplying special nutrients and enzymes, tonic herbs help build a bridge to bring the body back to fuller functionality.
- Hawthorn’s immediate benefit for heart problems and its usage as a cardiotonic may make you think that it is most advantageous for aging dogs, but there is evidence to affirm its support for younger, working dogs as well. Hawthorn can help sled dogs, bird dogs and hunting dogs as a daily hawthorn supplement for dogs. It can help stave off things like heartworms and infections. It has also been known to bolster appetite and aid digestion.
- Hawthorn has been used as part of homeopathic medicine, too. The form Crataegus oxyacantha has been noted for its use in Chinese medicine and has been researched as a cardiovascular and gastrointestinal treatment. There are many issues surrounding Crataegus, however, and the product should be used in the presence of an experienced homeopath. This treatment, unlike herbal treatment, is very powerful.
Hawthorn Dosage for Dogs & Preventative Measures
As mentioned, hawthorn berries are relatively safe. There are no known side effects and high doses of the hawthorn seems to produce good results. Some humans have reported dizziness when using especially high doses of hawthorn over a long period of time, but these cases alleviate themselves and are not serious.
There are more risks associated with using hawthorn for dogs in the Crataegus form, however, and special care should be taken. This homeopathic remedy should only be administered in low doses to prevent some of the more challenging side effects, which lead to serious health difficulties.
Reasons to Use Hawthorn
Hawthorn is an exciting herbal treatment for dogs. It serves as a heart tonic and bolsters heart function without risk of side effect and the berries are easy to administer. There are gel caps and other products that use hawthorn on the market, making it easy to locate and easy to use. While some precautions exist on the homeopathic side of things, hawthorn can be appreciated for its versatility and ease of use.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen