Have you ever let your dog into your backyard, only for them to begin munching on every dandelion in sight? If so, you’ve probably experienced an intense level of panic — wondering whether they are safe for your pet to consume or not.
Dogs are renowned for their curiosity, especially their incessant need to eat anything that lands in front of them. And while it’s only natural to be concerned for your canine friend, you truly don’t have to worry!
Dandelions are viewed as a type of weed, as they are non-toxic and won’t have an adverse effect on your pet if consumed in any quantity.
Though the plant itself isn’t poisonous to your dog, there is a possibility that the weed killer you have undoubtedly sprinkled along your grass is poisonous. This alone could be an extreme health risk to your friend, so it’s best to try to keep as many chemicals away from them as possible!
If you have any doubts about the gentle nature of the dandelion, look no further. This guide will explore the reasons why this popular plant has garnered a reputation for being poisonous, but will also consider the benefits of your dog ingesting a clean and chemical-free dandelion.
About The Dandelion
Dandelions are one of the most common flowers found in the US. The name derives from the French, meaning ‘lion’s tooth.’ These flowers are among a subset of weeds referred to as broadleaf perennials, which are notoriously challenging to remove from soil.
In terms of their appearance, dandelions are stunning yellow wildflowers that usually appear at the onset of Spring. With a single blossomed flower head atop a leafless stem, and leaves that typically form a rosette pattern when at ground level, Dandelions are easily distinguishable.
Are Dandelions Poisonous To Dogs?
Generally, the dandelion plant is not toxic for your dog. In moderation, the stem, leaves, and flower are all safe for your dog to consume. However, if your dandelions have been treated with weed killers, they could pose a slight risk to your pet – but only if they are eaten in a large quantity.
Using Weed Killers on Your Lawn
A lot of people tend to use herbicides on lawns as they are an effective way to control unwanted weeds. Weed killers can have many additional side effects and risks for people who have pets, especially curious dogs.
These products have the potential to be extremely toxic to your dog if fully ingested. Additionally, this could cause gastrointestinal upset, seizures, and breathing problems among other symptoms. Therefore, herbicides and dogs are an awful combination!
Weed killers reduce the number of flowers and weeds in an area of land. Many of these products contain the chemical glyphosate, which, if consumed in high concentrations, can be very poisonous for your dog.
In light of this fact, it’s clear that these herbicide-covered flowers could pose a significant risk to your dog should they eat them.
However, almost all cases of flower and plant poisoning in dogs either occur because of accidental spillages, or after direct exposure to a weed killer. They are very unlikely to be poisoned directly from eating a treated dandelion plant!
Weed Killer Poisoning in Dogs
Weed Killer, or herbicide, poisoning usually occurs either when weeds are oversaturated, or in circumstances where your dog may come into direct contact with the liquid before it has had time to fully dry.
But, if used as directed, herbicides will not pose a large risk to your dog. This is especially true if you keep your pet away from the area for at least an hour after spraying the weed killer.
Dogs eat grass for a variety of reasons, whether that is to improve digestive issues or simply as a form of entertaining themselves. However, they are still extremely vulnerable to herbicide poisoning. This is because they can’t register the fact that the area they may be grazing in has been sprayed with a chemical.
In some circumstances, dogs can be slowly poisoned over time if herbicide becomes integrated into a water source. Therefore, it’s extremely important to maintain careful storage of your lawn chemicals to make sure your dog is safe.
You can protect your dog from such chemicals through careful application and a thorough cleanup. This will also help to reduce the likelihood of accidental poisoning.
Symptoms of Weed Killer Poisoning
To completely prevent your dog from being exposed to herbicide poisoning, it’s best to make sure your canine friend remains indoors and away from all chemicals. But, if you are unable to keep them away, and they have been exposed to the herbicide, you should keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms:
- Heart rate issues
- Difficulty breathing
- A rash or itchy skin
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Fits or seizures
- Burns or sores around the mouth and paws
If any of these symptoms occur in your pet, you should consult a registered veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the exact cause of their discomfort.
Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Dandelions?
Yes, they can. Some dogs may experience bouts of vomiting after eating grass containing dandelion leaves because of the strange, unfamiliar texture.
So if your dog becomes ill after eating dandelions, it is unlikely to be because of the plant itself — but may be due to the fact they have eaten some grass, too.
Are Dandelions Good For Dogs?
Yes, they are. Dandelion root contains high levels of dietary fiber inulin that will help your dog to regulate its blood sugar levels. Dandelion root may also aid in achieving healthy digestion. It can help to remove bile from the gall bladder and may increase movement through the gastrointestinal tract.
Reasons To Give Your Dog Dandelion
Dandelions can also provide a whole host of health benefits for your dog when ingested! We have listed some of these below.
- Antioxidant – Antioxidants fight free radicals to prevent life-threatening diseases like cancer and arthritis. The leaves and flowers of a dandelion both contain high levels of antioxidants, meaning that ingesting this plant will help your dog to fight free radical damage while boosting its immune system.
- Digestive Assistance – Dandelions can stimulate the appetite to help your dog with digesting their food. Therefore, dandelion leaves are great for dogs with chronic indigestion or other gastrointestinal issues. You could even sprinkle one teaspoon of dried dandelion per 20 pounds of body weight into your dog’s meals to aid digestion! Dogs suffering from indigestion would undoubtedly benefit from having some dandelion tea incorporated into their diet!
- Anti-Inflammatory – Dandelions can be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Dandelion will not further aggravate any condition because of its gentle nature, and it won’t contribute to inflammation.
- Liver Tonic – Dandelion root acts as a liver tonic, which helps to cleanse toxins from your dog’s body. Not only that, but it stimulates bile production and increases circulation in the liver. Dandelions contain a large amount of potassium, meaning they will provide your dog with everything they need to maintain the health of their liver.
The best news about dandelions is that they are safe and harmless herbs for your dog to digest. Overall, dandelions are gentle.
If they are cleaned properly and dried, they will not contribute to poisoning your dog if they are consumed at a later date. They also won’t instigate any major medical issues or become a hindrance to your dog’s overall health.
Dandelion flowers may offer many medicinal benefits for your pet, including acting as a digestive aid and increasing antioxidant levels in your little pal.
Again, the only drawback to using dandelions in any situation is their cleanliness. You must ensure that it is clean, which can be achieved by thoroughly washing the leaves to make sure there are no lasting traces of herbicide.