DANDELION FOR Detoxing your dog’s liver is the key to health and longevity
People commonly ask why I put certified organic dandelion in SoulFood, the certified-organic multivitamin for dogs. There are many good reasons that I want to share.
Dogs are very prone to having elevated liver enzyme values, ALT. The best way to prevent liver disease and liver failure is to support your dog’s liver by taking simple preventive steps.
For thousands of years, the canine species evolved in a relatively pure and non-toxic environment, but that's changed.
Food and environmental toxin exposure are the most common reasons dogs suffer from liver problems.
They drink water from puddles, they scavenge and eat things they should not and are also more exposed to car fumes and pollution because their head is closer to the ground.
Medicinal properties of dandelion
According to modern naturopathic medicine, dandelion root detoxifies the liver and gallbladder, reduces the side effects of toxins and medication processed by the liver, and assists the liver in relieving symptoms of disease.
There is also emerging evidence that dandelion has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and is also used for balancing the digestive tract.
Wondering if your dog’s liver is ok?
There are two ways to find 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 and older.
Liver and gallbladder association points
These are located along the spine at the 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, I have a love/hate relationship with blood testing. I'm sure most dogs would be quite happy to skip the blood collection part. It's hard to explain a needle and a syringe to a dog.
Without testing, it's impossible to get a clear sense if your dog’s liver needs 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 tumor. However, even if your dog's liver enzymes are normal, it doesn't mean the liver will not benefit from a cleanse.
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 pulled 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 far 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
Dandelion has been put in SoulFood to gently tune the liver throughout the year. SoulFood along with a semi-annual liver cleanse, will go a long way.
Related Articles: Holistic approach to liver disease in dogs
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM