Owning a dog is akin to having a toddler. You must have your eye on it, lest it causes a mess. Some of the mess may come from your doggo eating stuff that it shouldn’t. A visit to the veterinarian is inevitable if whatever your dog eats overwhelms it. It is safe to prevent your dog from getting overly curious about things it should not eat.
Can dogs eat dandelions? There is a high chance that your dog has had a snack of dandelions if you have such a query. Or maybe, you are just curious and want to know what will happen if your dog eats dandelions. Let us look at this subject to know more about dogs eating dandelions.
What Are Dandelions?
If you have a garden, you have probably spotted dandelions, even if you did not know it. It is a plant that some people consider a weed, while others value it as an edible and beautiful garden herb.
Dandelions are common in spring when you notice their bloomed yellow to orange flowers. Another distinctive feature of this plant, native to North America and Eurasia, is its seed head, also known as a lowball.
Are Dandelions Safe For Dogs?
Your dog may eat plants for many reasons, such as nutrient supplementation or to soothe an upset tummy. In this vein, you should not be surprised when you notice your dog snacking on dandelions.
No need to worry when you spot this as the plant is safe, and your dog may benefit from it. Besides, your nutritionist may recommend them. You may eat a dandelion raw or cooked, and sharing it with your furry friend is okay.
Why Your Dog Should Eat Dandelions?
The following are some of the perks your canine gets from eating dandelions.
Fight Free Radicals
Your dog will get a reasonable dose of antioxidants from eating dandelions. Antioxidants perform various roles in the body, a significant one being fighting free radicals that can cause cellular oxidative stress. The stress can lead to conditions such as cancer and other ageing-related ailments.
Dealing with the free radicals also keeps heart diseases at bay.
Dandelions will provide your doggo with various essential nutrients. This plant is rich in vitamins A, C and K. Dogs need vitamin A for vision, reproductive health, bone growth and boosting their immune function.
Vitamin C is vital for tissue growth and repair, while vitamin K helps metabolize calcium into bones and promotes blood clotting. Dandelion greens contain trace levels of E and B vitamins.
Dandelion also contains proteins suitable for body growth, tissue repair, and hormonal function.
The greens are excellent sources of fibres, which your pup requires for its gut health. A fibre-rich diet prevents diarrhoea and constipation by ensuring food mobility in the intestines.
Minerals present in this vegetable include calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese. These minerals take part in various physiological processes, like bone formation in the case of calcium.
Aids In Digestion
As earlier hinted, dandelion is a rich source of fibre, which aids in digestion. Additionally, dandelions will offer relief from digestive upsets like gas.
Pet experts recommend giving your canine some dandelion before its main meal for appetite stimulation. It activates digestive juices, making digestion hassle-free. Plus, the root promotes probiotic health, courtesy of the presence of inulin, a prebiotic fibre.
Dogs are also prone to inflammations, some of which can be too much for them, like arthritis. The good news is that you can get an affordable remedy for such inflammations in dandelions.
Regularly featuring this vegetable in your dog’s diet will offer relief from arthritis and allergic reactions.
Furthermore, it does an excellent job of controlling inflammatory bowel disease in canines.
Can Control Body Cholesterol Levels
According to studies, dandelion extracts showed promising results in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Your dog eating dandelions will help lower its cholesterol levels, preventing cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
Do not be surprised; dogs too can get diabetes. It is quite challenging to manage diabetes in dogs, as you should always be keen on their blood sugar levels. Good news! Dandelion has hypoglycaemic properties, meaning it can help control blood sugar levels in the body. In addition, dandelion increases insulin sensitivity.
Some pet doctors may suggest dandelion products, such as powder, juice or tincture, for managing diabetes in dogs.
Dandelion has antimicrobial properties; thus, it can deal with various infections. You can give it to your dog to aid in fighting ailments, mostly bacterial infections in the gastrointestinal tract.
In case of injuries, soak a cloth in dandelion juice and clean the affected areas. You will notice some changes in a short time. You can get the juice from either the root or flower.
Control Of Blood Pressure
This vegetable is the answer to several cardiovascular conditions. It shows excellent results in controlling blood pressure in dogs. This is possibly due to its abundance of potassium, which decreases blood pressure due to its diuretic property.
Boost Liver Health
The liver is a vital organ responsible for getting rid of toxins in the body. It should be healthy for its proper function, which is something dandelion can aid. This plant acts like a liver tonic, boosting circulation and bile production. Moreover, it does a great job of treating gall inflammation and gallstones.
Feeding Dandelions To Dogs
Dogs can eat raw dandelions; you will notice this if they grow around your home. If you cook dandelions, your pup can have a little serving on top of its regular dog food.
While your doggo can eat all parts of dandelion, you should give it flowers, leaves and roots. These parts are very nutritious and have several therapeutic effects.
Dandelion juice and powder are good for dogs. You can directly give the juice to your dog or mix it with its food. Mix the powder into its food.
When cooking dandelions for dogs, make it plain – without any spices or oil. However, you may add a pinch of dog-friendly spices, such as cinnamon and coriander. Avoid salt on dog food due to its toxicity.
Can Dandelions Be Harmful To Dogs?
All parts of dandelions are safe for dogs to eat. Nevertheless, this plant may have side effects on your doggo that you should know about. Let us look at some of them.
Dogs are not allergic to dandelions. The problem is the lots of pollen in dandelions, which can be problematic to canines allergic to pollen. Inhaling the pollen can cause reactions like sneezing, red eyes, tearing and excessive licking.
Many people regard dandelions as weeds, as their growth can be uncontrollable. They grow fast and may outcompete other plants. Additionally, getting rid of them is pretty challenging. Herbicide treatment is the go-to solution for most people with a dandelion problem.
Your dog may eat dandelions sprayed with herbicide, resulting in poisoning. Signs of mild poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, irregular heartbeat and general weakness. Symptoms of excess herbicide exposure are burns and sores around the mouth, seizures and death.
Contact your vet if you suspect your dog ate herbicide-treated dandelions. Fast action will contain the situation.
Parasites On The Plants
In this situation, dandelions are not the culprit but more like an unlucky scenario. Some disease vectors like slugs and snails may reside among the plants. Your dog may contract ailments like salmonella and lungworms from vectors on the plants.
Many canines react to foods when they eat them for the first time. The initial encounter with this plant may bring about diarrhoea, tummy upsets and constipation. No need to worry, as your dog will recover from the ordeal in a short time. Visit your pet doctor if the symptoms persist.
Your dog may react similarly if it has a sensitive digestive system.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Sick From Eating Dandelions
Dandelions are not bad for dogs, but you must be keen to prevent your dog from eating tainted plants. Please keep your dog away from dandelions and other plants if you sprayed them with herbicide.
Furthermore, watch your doggo to prevent it from eating random dandelions. It is a sound measure, especially if it is allergic to pollen or has respiratory issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can My Dog Eat Dandelion Supplements?
Dandelion supplements are safe for canines, though it is wise to talk to your veterinarian first. You must check the supplement’s ingredients to ensure it doesn’t have toxic additives.
Your furry friend can eat dandelion supplements directly or mixed in their dog food.
2. Are Dandelion Roots Safe for Dogs?
Dogs can eat any part of dandelions, from the flowers and leaves to the stem and the root. The root has several therapeutic effects, like stimulating appetite and alleviating stomach upsets.
3. How Much Dandelions Should My Dog Eat?
Dandelions are excellent nutrient supplements for your pup. While it is very nutritious, it should not be your dog’s primary source of nutrients; more of a top-up. Add it to your dog’s food, maybe twice or thrice a week.
Verdict: Dandelions are More than Weeds to Dogs
While we may consider dandelions to be stubborn weeds, dogs see them in a different light. You might spot your doggo casually snacking on dandelions growing in your compound. Do not panic unless someone treated the herbs with herbicide.
Dandelions have plenty of benefits. A good way of getting rid of a dandelion problem is by preparing a hearty dish for you and your furry friend.