Dandelions, also known as Taraxacum officinale, are wildflowers that bloom yellow flowers. They are part of the Compositae family and have even been used to treat diseases. You can even drink dandelion tea, as it has medicinal purposes. But what if your dog just ate one of these flowers? Should you rush your dog to the vet?
Thankfully, dandelions are not toxic to dogs, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. However, even though dandelions are not toxic, don’t let your dog eat them from a neighbor’s yard because they may have sprayed the dandelions with a weed killer, which is toxic. But if you see them in your own yard and you know you haven’t sprayed them with any weed killer, your dog is safe and will even reap health benefits from the flower.
Are Dandelion Leaves Safe for Dogs?
No part of a dandelion is poisonous to your dog. In fact, all parts of the flower are safe, and some parts have more health benefits than others. The blooms boost the immune system with their high levels of antioxidants, the leaves are nutrient-dense, and the roots improve liver function. This doesn’t mean that you should only feed your dog dandelions, though. Too much of this flower can cause digestive issues in some dogs.
There is some debate on whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores, meaning that they either eat all meat (carnivore) or can eat meat and plant matter (omnivore). Even though this debate lingers on and there’s no conclusive scientific answer, we know that dogs can eat some plants without causing harm, including dandelions. You can find a complete list of safe and non-safe plants here.
How Do You Prepare Dandelions for Dogs?
Now that you know dandelions are safe and non-toxic, you can also prepare them to give your dog occasionally as a supplement in their food so that they can reap the health benefits of these flowers. Before doing this, however, consult your veterinarian.
The dandelion leaves contain many vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, and K, and calcium, iron, and protein. To add the leaves to your dog’s food, simply take one to three leaves, wash them under running water, chop them up into a fine texture, and then mix them into the dog’s food.
Tea is another form that you can add to your dog’s food. To make tea, take the roots, wash them well, chop them finely, and then bake them in the oven for 2 hours at 400°F. After baking, add 1–2 teaspoons of the roots into hot water for roughly 10 minutes. Finally, after it has cooled, you can add this to your dog’s food. Be sure to save some for yourself, too!
When adding the tea to your dog’s food, pour roughly 1/3 cup per 20 pounds of your dog’s weight—you don’t want to give them too much. You can also do this with the flowers and leaves.
If you don’t want to prepare dandelions yourself, you can also buy a dandelion supplement to add to your dog’s food.
It’s wise to consult with your veterinarian before feeding dandelions to your dog, as it may cause digestive issues in some dogs. If your pup consumes dandelion, it’s best to monitor them to ensure it doesn’t cause problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, but most dogs should not have adverse effects.
If your dog has eaten some dandelions, we hope this article has set your mind at ease. Dandelions have outstanding medicinal properties that your dog can benefit from, and that goes for us humans, too!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay