Detoxing your dog’s liver is the key to health and longevity
Dogs are notorious for having elevated liver enzyme values. The best way to prevent problems is to look after your dog’s liver before this happens. For thousands of years, the canine species evolved in a relatively pure and non-toxic environment, but that has changed.
Food and environmental toxin exposure are the most common reasons for dogs suffering from liver problems.
They drink water from puddles, they scavenge and eat things that they should not and are also exposed more to car fumes and general pollution because their head is closer to the ground.
People have been asking me why I put certified organic dandelion in SoulFood, the certified organic multivitamin for dogs. There are many good reasons that I want to share.
Interesting facts about dandelion
- The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves
Up until the 1800s people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, malva, and chamomile
- Today, people spend millions on toxic lawn pesticides to destroy healing plants such as the dandelion
- Dandelion seeds are often carried as many as five miles from their origin
- In many ways the strength, tenacity and the ability to survive reflects in “dent-de-lion’s” medicinal properties
Medicinal properties of dandelion
According to modern naturopathic medicine, dandelion has the ability to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, reduce the side effects of toxins and medication processed by the liver and relieve symptoms of diseases in which the liver plays a role.
There is also emerging evidence that dandelion has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and it has been also used for balancing the digestive tract.
Wondering if your dog’s liver is ok?
There are two ways of finding out.
- Examine the liver association points along the spine.
- Ask your veterinarian for an annual blood test for all dogs that are six to seven-years-old and older.
Liver and gall bladder association points
These are located along the spine at tenth and eleventh thoracic vertebra. I suggest you count from behind the last rib. If you press at the liver points and find that your dog twitches, sinks back or looks back repeatedly, it may be because the liver is toxic or out of balance.
Annual blood test
I must confess that I have a love/hate relationship with blood testing. I am sure that most dogs would be quite happy to skip the blood collection part. It is hard to explain a needle and a syringe to a dog.
However, without testing, it is impossible to get a clear sense if your dog’s liver need more attention, in addition to the essential supplements that every dog needs.
Early detection of a slight liver enzyme elevation is much easier to treat than a full blown case of hepatitis or even a liver tumour. However, even if your dog's liver enzymes are normal, it does not mean that the liver does not benefit from a cleanse.
Dandelion has been put in SoulFood to gently tune the liver throughout the year. This together with a semi-annual liver cleanse will go a long way.
Related Articles: Holistic approach to liver disease in dogs
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM