Ingredients A to Z: Dandelion Greens in Dog Food
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