When I let my 13 week old Yorkshire Terrier pup, Tufty, out onto the lawn, the first thing he did was decimate the dandelions. Munch munch munch. I spoke to my vet about it and she said to get my other dog to do it too as they were so great for liver support. Suggested I pick them, puree them and add them to their food, also freeze to keep after the season is finished.
Well the other day the dogs were out and I thought lets see how my diabetic foster dog reacts when I try to feed him a dandelion flower. He gobbled it right up. Wonderful.
Well Teegy won’t touch them, but now I have two lawn maintenance caretakers in the house who gladly devour every dandelion they see on the lawn. Thank you Tufty and Toby.
I thought I would share an article from Dogs Naturally magazine which outlines the wonderful nutritional benefits of dandelions.
Dandelion For Dogs – Much More Than A Weed!
Dandelion or Taraxacum officinale, is also known as Lion’s tooth; Priest’s crown and Swine’s snout. Anyone who’s ever cared for a lawn has tangled with these stubborn, bountiful weeds. What may surprise you is that dandelions hold that same tenacity as an herb.
Nutritional Benefits of Dandelion
The entire plant can be used, flowers, roots and all, and it packs a nutritional punch. Dandelion is rich in vitamins A, C, K, D and he B complex, as well as iron, manganese, phosphorus, and many other trace minerals. This nearly perfect whole food source of vitamins and minerals is easily absorbed by the body and is a great supplement to any dog’s daily diet. You can easily collect dandelion leaves from your lawn (make sure they are never sprayed with herbicides or pesticides), dry them and sprinkle a teaspoon per 20 pounds body weight directly onto your dog’s food.
The Health Benefits Of Dandelion For Dogs
If your dog suffers from digestive issues, dandelion may be a great herb to consider.
The dandelion flower may be used for its antioxidant properties and may improve the immune system. It is also high in lecithin.
Dandelion leaves are loaded with potassium. They also stimulate the appetite and help digestion along with kidney function. They are an ideal choice for dogs with chronic indigestion or those with gas.
Dandelion leaf also acts as a diuretic, making it useful in cases of arthritis, kidney stones, congestive heart failure and gallbladder disease. And best of all, dandelion leaf contains lots of potassium, which can be lost through urination. Dandelion leaf also stimulates the liver and promotes the elimination of waste material from the body.
Dandelion root is also quite useful and nutritional. The root is a liver tonic and helps to remove toxins from the body, via the kidneys. Signs of toxicity can include skin disease, dandruff and chronic constipation. Dandelion root can also treat gallstones and gallbladder inflammation.
Dandelion can be used as a dried herb, a tea or as a tincture. To make dandelion tea, use 5g to 30g dried herb infused in 8oz water. You can use 1/3 of a cup per 20 pounds of your dogs body weight, up to 3 times a day. For dried herbs, use a teaspoon per 20 pounds.
Since dandelion is a diuretic, make sure your dog has ample opportunity to get outside to relieve himself during the day.