How To Help Your Horse, Dog or Other Animal With Dandelion
Sunny yellow dandelion's. They're a common site across many fields and gardens in the northern hemisphere. But what do you view them as? A weed? For some, dandelion's are a yellow blot on a green garden! To others they're a great addition to salads (yes you can eat them!). But did you know they're also used as a medicinal herb?
What Part of Dandelion's Are Used for Animal Health?
The root, leaves and flowers are all used. They're thought to help as follows:
- Flowers - antioxidants (great for immune health).
- Leaves - help with digestion and with liver and kidney problems. They also contain potassium.
- Root - used to help as a liver tonic.
Why Use Dandelion in Veterinary Medicine?
Dandelions can help horses, dogs plus many other animals. They're believed to be gentle on the kidneys, which is beneficial for many conditions.
Some animals like rabbits just love the taste. So sprinkling dandelion through their hay is an enjoyable foraging experience for them.
I love seeing the sea of yellow dandelions in my horses fields. It means that they can have a tasty variation in their diet if they'd like. Or if they feel like they need a boost, then the dandelion will help that too! Remember in the wild, horses will forage for what their nutrition and health needs are at that time. So a pasture with variety of safe (ie not poisonous!) plants enables your horse, pony or donkey to have as natural lifestyle as possible.
Remember as with any herb or complementary therapy. Or any medicine. Always speak to your veterinary surgeon first. Including if your animal is already on medication, to avoid any negative effects. If your vet suggests a diuretic is needed for your animal, then ask them if you can use dandelion. Many vets are open to using herbal remedies when appropriate. And there are many veterinary surgeon’s who specialise in holistic approaches, including herbal remedies. If you’d like help finding one, please email me at info at taranet co uk
What's the Evidence For Dandelion in Animal Healthcare?
Like other complementary therapies for animals, there's limited research. As I explain on my veterinary research page here, there’s many reasons for this. (It doesn't mean that they don't work!)
But yes there is some evidence for benefits of dandelions for animals. (please note that I don’t endorse animals being tested and exploited for human gain!). This includes the following:
- The Effect of Taraxacum officinaleHydroalcoholic Extract on Blood Cells in Mice https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/653412
- Jinbiao Zhao, Gang Zhang, Xingjian Zhou, Wenxuan Dong, Qiuyun Wang, Chuanming Xiao & Shuai Zhang (2019) Effect of Dandelion root extract on growth performance, immune function and bacterial community in weaned pigs, Food and Agricultural Immunology, 30:1, 95-111, DOI: 10.1080/09540105.2018.1548578
Where can I buy dandelion for my horse, dog or other animal?
You can get them for free! Pick your own dandelions, and infuse into a tea, or even juice them. But do always ensure they’re free from pesticides or chemicals.
Buy from specialist herbal animal health producers such as Hilton Herbs. And there are many other companies too. Remember if you buy dandelion make sure they're organically and ethically sourced.
Sometimes complementary therapies can take longer to work on ailments. Than say conventional medicines. And this can be the case with dandelion. A holistic veterinary surgeon can advise you more on this.
You can get more information on many complementary therapies for animals here at Taranet. Take a look at the sitemap here for a list.