Can dogs eat licorice? Is it safe?

Licorice is a plant of the pea family and it originated in Europe. Over the centuries, people used it for numerous properties and for treating various diseases. But, when it comes to animals, specifically dogs, most people believe the situation is completely different. First and foremost, in large amounts, licorice can cause high blood pressure in dogs, but in small amounts, it is beneficial. So, can dogs eat licorice?  Yes, but in moderate amounts.

Benefits of licorice root

Most of the benefits licorice has to provide is obtained from the root. Here, you can find three, extremely healthy compounds which have been used commonly in modern and traditional medicine. Just to add, dogs will benefit from these ingredients as well. Can dogs eat licorice deserves a simple answer, but a more complicated explanation, why this plant is so needed.

In essence, the most beneficial compounds found in the root are:

  • saponins
  • glycosides
  • flavonoids

Don’t forget that they are not the only ones. The actual list of useful ingredients is much longer and there you will be able to see plenty of useful compounds and substances which are rare among plants.

Glycyrrhizin, the main ingredient from licorice’s root has a few advantages to the health of your pet, but the most important one must be the same properties as corticosteroids. Basically, these steroids are used to reduce the inflammation in joints and to fight allergy. You can get corticosteroids for your dog at a veterinarian, but they are artificial, meaning that they are not very safe! Those from the plant in question are much safer alternative and they act in a different way. In essence, they will boost the anti-inflammatory processes in a body, making inflammation easier to defeat.

Dogs who must take corticosteroids on a frequent basis are recommended to take licorice instead of the therapy. The first results are visible after a few days and the end result is phenomenal.

How to make licorice oil for your pet

Above, we discuss using the root of the plant in general, but you can also make oil and use it in different ways. The process is simple, but you will have to wait for a month. All you have to do is to put a licorice root in a jar and cover it with olive oil. Once it is fully covered, leave it in dark area for 30 days. Then, remove the olive oil and squeeze the root. The liquid you got is licorice oil

This oil is beneficial for the anti-inflammatory benefits, like the fresh root, but it has something even more. It is used for treating ulcers, allergies on the skin and rashes. Furthermore, you will find it useful against complications caused by bronchitis, upper respiratory tract and useful for the digestive tract.

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Feeding a dog with licorice

Of course, most dogs like the taste or licorice, but not all of them have the same opinion. Eating it is the most common and the simplest method to provide all the benefits to your pet, but it isn’t the only one!

Other two methods which are practical and useful are tincture and tea. In the first case scenario, you should give to a dog 20 drops per 20 pounds of weight. The procedure should be repeated two times per day. In the second case scenario, provide 60 drops per 20 pounds of weight. Don’t be afraid if you give him less of the tea, even 30 drops will have the same effect. To make a tea, squeeze a licorice root in a glass of water and stir it.

Mandatory cautions to remember

Licorice is perfectly safe when used in smaller amounts. All dogs will like it and benefit from it. However, unless it is specified by a veterinarian, the entire process must last no more than 2 weeks. After that, some side effects may occur. We advise you to start with very small amounts and meanwhile to contact your veterinarian in order to get an advice.

Some side effects, which may occur in a case licorice has been used for more than 2 weeks are hypokalemia or low potassium levels, water retention (edema) or high blood pressure (hypertension). All of these conditions are known and common among humans, so you may know how to treat one.

Same as with human, dogs will need a prolonged period of time to develop those symptoms. As such, we strongly advise you to pay attention to the length of the therapy and the amount of licorice you have given to your dog. Just in case, have a consultation with a veterinarian.

Additional benefits of licorice

We gave you an answer to the can dogs eat licorice question, but now is the time to explain all, additional reasons why you should feed your pet with this plant. Besides the joint pain and treating allergies, licorice will:

  • Reduce itching caused by allergies
  • Help with the issues affecting the digestive tract
  • The best alternative for treating anti-itch troubles
  • Remove toxins from a body of a dog (especially useful for liver)
  • In a case of damages to the mucus membrane, licorice can be used for treating respiratory issues
  • Beneficial versus infections in the urinary tract

The best part of the licorice is the fact it can treat all of these issues at the same time. Using it for treating just one will be beneficial for the overall health and for numerous, additional reasons. We should add that licorice also reduces pain.

Conclusion

Still wondering can dogs eat licorice? There is no need to ask the question ever again. As you know now, this plant especially root is more than just healthy and recommended to all dogs. They like the taste and they will be happier once you start feeding them with the miraculous plant. At the end, we must add that licorice should be used for 2 weeks only and after that, it must be eliminated from the diet or stopped with usage. Other than that, you don’t have to worry about anything.