Raw Tips

The healing properties of dandelion.

Dandelion—that tiny yellow flower you probably notice growing just about wherever it can—is widely known as a weed, but it is so much more than that. Dandelion provides pollen and nectar for early spring bees, has therapeutic properties, and provides a nutrient-packed snack for both humans and dogs. That’s right, it’s edible! 

Dandelions are among the most common plants in North America, blooming in Spring and remaining until the Fall. Bright in color and prominent in nature, these plants support essential organs such as the liver, kidney, and skin. They are a complex powerhouse of nutrients like Vitamins A, C, K, B, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Manganese. 

The flowers and leaves are sweet in the spring, while the roots are bitter. Contrarily, in the Fall the leaves are bitter, and the roots are sweet. Dandelion contains cooling and drying TCM qualities which can be especially useful for dogs holding excess heat and moisture. 

Dandelion leaf actions – how are they beneficial.


Nutritive herbs nourish and relax the body by providing high amounts of nutrients and vitamins. Dandelion is an excellent source of Potassium! 


Dandelion leaf, particularly extracts, help to remove excess water from the body which may be helpful when fluid buildup is present.  

Mild digestive aid.

While not as strong as the root, the leaf stimulates the liver and movement of bile into the digestive tract. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, then released into the digestive tract to help with fat digestion. Dandelion may also be useful in cases of acute pancreatitis. In a research study, it reduced interleukin-6 and TNF-α production. This reduced the severity of the chemically induced pancreatitis in rats. 

Dandelion root actions – how are they beneficial.


Nutritive herbs nourish and relax the body by providing high amounts of nutrients and vitamins. 

Safe liver tonic.

Supports the removal of toxins from the blood via the kidney.

Digestive aid.

Stimulates the movement of bile into the digestive tract. It can also be a mild laxative. Lastly, dandelion root infusion has been observed to stimulate the growth of 14 strains of bifidobacterial in vitro, acting as a prebiotic. 

How can you incorporate dandelion into raw meals?

Make an infusion! Infusions are easier to make than they may sound—here are a few quick steps to turning everyday dandelions into an edible infusion: 

  1. Bring about a cup of water to a boil. 
  1. Add 2 teaspoons of dried plant material to 1 cup of water or 2 tablespoons of fresh leaves to 1 cup of water. 
  1. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes. 
  1. Strain herbs and serve infusion. The recommended dose is about 1/3 of a cup per 20 lbs of your dog’s body weight. 

It can also be added into meals fresh, dried, or juiced. If you want to incorporate dandelion more frequently and easily, add Four Leaf Rover’s Protect: Soil-based Probiotics to your next Carnos order! This supplement includes healthy soil-based probiotics, prebiotics, and features dandelion root working to protect, nourish, and detox your dog’s body from daily harmful exposures.

Important RAWminders when it comes to foraging for dandelions for your pets’ diet.

Know the area.

Always be alert and aware when it comes to any wild plants you are foraging for. Knowing whether your area has been treated with herbicides if you are wildcrafting dandelion is essential. Do not forage for dandelions on lawns that have been treated with any pesticides. For more tips on wildcrafting, visit canine herbalist Rita Hogan’s webinar on Dandelion for Dogs.

Up the frequency of bathroom breaks. 

Because dandelion is a diuretic herb, it will be working hard to remove excess water from your dog’s system. Make sure to give your furry friend more frequent bathroom breaks when dandelions are incorporated into their diet.

When in doubt, ask your veterinarian.

If your dog takes any medication, it is always safest to consult your veterinarian before adding dandelion to their feeding routine. Diuretics can thin the blood, and this may be dangerous if your pet is on certain medications.

When not to feed dandelion to your pet.

Therapeutic herbs are not always beneficial in every situation for every pet. There are certain health conditions that your pet may have that would prohibit the use of dandelion in their diets, or it should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian. Some of these health conditions include: 

  • bile duct obstructions, 
  • acute gallbladder inflammation, 
  • intestinal obstruction, 
  • urinary incontinence, 
  • or known allergies to dandelion. 

Have questions about dandelion and if it’s the right herb for your dog? We recommend speaking with a veterinarian, qualified herbalist, or sending us an email here.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended for educational purposes only. You are responsible for your pets’ health and safety. We encourage you to research topics further and consult with your Veterinarian or Pet Nutritionist before modifying your pets’ diet. If you’d like more one-on-one guidance, we offer consultation calls with our in-house raw feeding experts.