Ingredients A to Z: Dandelion Greens in Dog Food

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dandelion greens

Before we begin today’s “D” entry of our Ingredients A to Z series, we wanted to share a statistic on our previous “C” post on calcium carbonate.  We searched for “calcium carbonate” in our food database and found that it was an ingredient in 45% of all dog foods. A similar search on the term “calcium” showed up in 83% of all foods.

Today we are on the letter D and are featuring dandelion greens as our ingredient of the day.

 

What are dandelion greens?

Dandelions are part of the Sunflower family of plants and are officially known as Taraxacum.  Dandelion greens consist of the stem and leave components of the plant.   Although often considered a ‘weed’, dandelions provide numerous health and medicinal benefits to humans and dogs alike.

 Common names for dandelion

The common names for dandelion include lion’s tooth, witch’s gowan, milk witch, and blowball.

 Why are dandelion greens included in dog food?

Dandelion greens are added to dog food because they are an inexpensive source of essential vitamins A, C, K, D, and B complex.  Dandelion greens are also a source of minerals such as iron, manganese, and potassium.

 Are dandelion greens are commonly used ingredient in dog food?

No, not really.  We searched our food database for “dandelion greens” and found it in only 1.7% of all dog foods.  A broader search on “dandelions” matched in 2.3 % of the dog food ingredient lists.

 Common benefits or risks of dandelion greens

Besides providing a whole assortment of vitamins and minerals (see above), dandelion greens are also relatively high in protein (around 15%) although recall that due to a dog’s short digestive tract, dandelion greens are not a suitable source of protein.

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.

Despite the many benefits of dandelion greens, too much can cause diarrhea.

 Miscellaneous fact about dandelions

Dandelions can be found on all continents.   They are an important source of nectar for bees in the Northern Hemisphere and provide a multitude of garden benefits that can help other plants grow and flourish.

 Sources and further reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum

http://theanimalherbalist.com/?page_id=129

 
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We’re joining the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop sponsored by Sugar, the Golden Retriever and Kolchak from Kol’s Notes:



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24 Comments

  1. Very interesting! We love dandelion salad in the spring, but I’d never thought of even offering some to the dogs.
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…Adopt Wendy a Boxer Mix Dog at Stray Rescue St LouisMy Profile

  2. You mean to tell me that those blasted weeds are actually good for the rest of the lawn? 🙂 And for the dogs? Well, they might be ok if they haven’t been sprayed with weed killer. And knowing one of our neighbors…well, I won’t go there.
    Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s Mom recently posted…FOLLOW UP FRIDAYMy Profile

  3. On my post today, I shared my dog food, got Dandelion on my food. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Understanding Your Dog’s Food LabelMy Profile

  4. Ma has eaten dandelion greens in her salads before but didn’t even think it would be in dog food, though I bet dollars to donuts you are right…it is probably a cheap ingredient (gosh they do grow everywhere) that has good health benefits (in moderation).
    Keep up the great work on this series! Love it!
    Oz
    Oz the Terrier recently posted…Merrick Jerky Strips: A Chewy.com ReviewMy Profile

  5. Dandelions are yard wreckers, but kids love them and recently we found that puppies do too. Bailie at one of the flowers that had turned to fuzz, she realized too late that it was a bad idea getting all that fuzz in her mouth. We have heard of people putting the greens on salads.
    emma recently posted…Stink No More | GBGV | #ScoopThatPoopMy Profile

  6. I love greens in general and dandelion is one of my favorites…only caution is if gathering them wild make sure they come from an area that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides and wash really well …You can make your own produce wash to remove pesticide residue
    by mixing one teaspoon of sea salt per cup of water, or by diluting vinegar with water.
    Soak your fruits and vegetables in the mixture, then rinse.
    GizmoGeodog recently posted…Be Pawsitive, Treats With a Big Heart…Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  7. I buy these for the guinea pig and I’ve given them a try in my salads, not too bad!
    Jen recently posted…AKC GoodDog! Helpline. Stop The Barking. #AKCDogLover #SponsoredMy Profile

  8. Pawsome limmerick! I bet there some of these in mama’s herb garden!

  9. I never knew dandelions were included in dog food. I wonder if Mr. N would eat them. He doesn’t even really eat grass.
    Tenacious Little Terrier recently posted…Tasty Tuesday #1 – Waiting is so HardMy Profile

  10. Both dandelion greens and root are beneficial. Dandelion root supports liver and dandelion leaves support kidney. I was adding dandelion to Jasmine’s food.
    Jana Rade recently posted…JD’s Turn To Be Lame And The Difference In PersonalitiesMy Profile

  11. We used to grow dandelion for our horses to graze on, so Koly has been harvesting himself this fresh delicacy for YEARS and loves it. Thanks for sharing more about it.
    Jodi, Kolchak & Felix recently posted…the Second Annual #HumanShaming Blog HopMy Profile

  12. With their short digestive track; if they won’t benefit fully from the protein, will they benefit from the other health benefits?
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…Freshpet Challenged Me to Eat Fresh and Go Fridge Free #FridgeChallengeMy Profile

  13. My mother used to always cook dandelion greens when I was a kid….but I was not a fan. I’m surprised, as plentiful as they are, that more dog foods don’t include them! I’m guessing my dogs wouldn’t go for them if I tried cooking some for them, just because of the way they feel about most veggies. I remember feeding them raw to our rabbits all the time though!
    Jan K recently posted…The Real Guilt TripMy Profile

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