The Nutrient-Packed Herb for Your Dog: Dandelion!
Depending on where you are in the world, you might have noticed that tiny, yellow flower popping up everywhere – the remarkable dandelion!
Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale is known for its weed-like capabilities, but what if I told you it was much more than that!? Dandelion provides pollen and nectar for early spring bees, and they provide a nutrient-packed snack for dogs. That’s right, dogs! Read more on the benefits below.
Dandelions are among the most common plants in North America, blooming in Spring and remaining until the Fall. Bright in color and prominent in nature, these plants support essential organs such as the liver, kidney, and skin. They are a complex powerhouse of nutrients full of Vitamins A, C, K, B, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Manganese.
In the Spring, the flowers and leaves are sweet, while the roots are bitter. Contrarily in the Fall, the leaves are bitter, and the roots are sweet. Dandelion contains cooling and drying qualities which can be especially useful for dogs that hold onto excess heat and moisture.
Dandelion Leaf Actions:
- Nutritive – Nutritive herbs nourish and relax the body as they provide high amounts of minerals, trace minerals, and vitamins. Dandelion is an excellent source of Potassium!
- Diuretic – Diuretic herbs remove excess water from the body.
- Mild Digestive Aid – Stimulates the liver and removal of unwanted waste material from the body.
Dandelion Root Actions:
- Nutritive – Nutritive herbs nourish and relax the body as they provide high amounts of minerals, trace minerals, and vitamins.
- Safe Liver Tonic – Supports the removal of toxins from the blood via the kidney.
- Digestive Aid – Increases bile production in the liver to stimulate digestion.
How to Incorporate Dandelion into your Raw Meals: Make an Infusion!
- Bring about a cup of water to a boil.
- Add 2 teaspoons of dried plant material to 1 cup water or add 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves to 1 cup water.
- Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain herbs and serve infusion. The recommended dose is about 1/3 of a cup per 20 lbs of your dog’s body weight.
If you want to incorporate dandelion more frequently, add Four Leaf Rover’s Protect: Soil-based Probiotics to your next Top Quality Dog Food order! This supplement includes healthy soil-based probiotics, prebiotics, and features DANDELION ROOT working to protect, nourish and detox your dog’s body from daily harmful exposures.
- It is essential to know whether your area has been treated with herbicides if you are wildcrafting dandelion. Do not forage for dandelion on lawns that have been treated with pesticides. For more tips on wildcrafting, view Canine Herbalist Rita Hogan’s webinar on Dandelion for Dogs.
- Give your furry friend frequent bathroom breaks while serving dandelion.
- If your dog is taking medications, consult with your Veterinarian before adding dandelion to their routine, as it is a diuretic and can thin the blood.
Have questions about dandelion and if it’s the right herb for your dog? Contact our on-staff Herbalist here.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for educational purposes only. You are responsible for your pet(s) health and safety. We encourage you to research topics further and consult with your Veterinarian or Pet Nutritionist before modifying your pet(s) diet.
Canine Herbalist Rita Hogan: https://www.canineherbalist.com/notebook
Dogs Naturally Magazine: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/dandelion-much-more-than-a-weed/
Nutrition Data. Dandelion Greens, Raw Nutrition Facts and Calories: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2441/2