Are Dandelion Greens Good for Dogs?

Redbarn Team January 31, 2016
Wait, aren’t we talking about a weed?! How could dandelions be safe for my dog?

What is a Dandelion Green?

Dandelions, whose scientific name is Taraxacum officinale, is part of the Sunflower family of plants. Dandelions are perennial flowers that can grow to be almost a foot high! Dandelion greens (aka what we’re concerned with!) are made up of the stem and leaf parts of the plant. These plants are often considered a weed due to its tenacity and ability to overtake a lawn or garden. This classification is relatively recent and only used since the 20th century.

Common names for the plant include priest’s crown, lion’s tooth, witch’s gowan, swine’s snout, milk witch, and blowball. One of the most common plants on the planet, species of dandelions grow in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Are Dandelion Greens Good for Dogs?

Dandelion greens aren’t just good for your dog; they’re a great ingredient in dog food. Not only are dandelion greens a natural source of vitamins A, C, K, D, and B, but they contain protein, and important minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese. Compared to broccoli; dandelion greens have 3 times more calcium, 3 times more iron, 15 times more Vitamin A, and 3 times more Vitamin E.

Additionally, dandelions are a mild liver and digestive stimulant which supports optimal digestion and waste elimination. Basically, dandelions aren’t a despised weed; they’re the cream of the crop!

An easily found plant, different cultures have long considered dandelions to hold medicinal properties. To this day, some herbalists call dandelions the “perfect plant medicine.” Native Americans in North America used Dandelion tea as a treatment for kidney disease, inflammation, heartburn, stomach issues, and skin problems. In Europe, dandelions greens were used to treat fevers, diarrhea, and diabetes. In Chinese medicine, dandelions were used to treat appendicitis or other stomach issues. Modern herbalists use dandelions as a mild diuretic to increase urine production and flush out the liver and kidneys.

Dandelion greens also have medicinal properties and have been used to improve liver function, as a digestive aid, and a mild diuretic. They are thought to be an anti-inflammatory agent as well.

How Should I Give My Dog Dandelion Greens?

Convinced that you should be adding dandelion greens to your dog’s diet? You can supplement their food with dandelion tea or dried powder. One of the easiest ways to give your dog dandelion greens is to pick a food that features it as an ingredient to help complement their overall nutrition!

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