Your neighbor told you they were adding fennel to their pup's food because it gave him fresh breath. Never hear of giving your dog fennel before? You're not alone. But, you might be surprised at how many pet foods already include a small amount of this herb. It is added for the various important vitamins found in the seeds and as a digestive aid.
In the event someone has told you that fennel is bad for your dog, the reality is that this herb and its seeds are perfectly safe for your pup. With that in mind, you can certainly add extra fennel to your dog's food without worry. Before adding any type of supplement to your dog's diet, though, be sure to talk to your vet and consider having him perform an examination to make sure it is safe to do so.
Like many herbs we use on our own food every day, there are several benefits to adding fennel to your furry friend's diet. Among these are:
High in iron
High in vitamins A and C
High in potassium
Aids in digestion
Aids with bloating and gas
Gives your dog fresh breath
Along with these, certain issues with your dog's digestive system can cause spasms that are not only painful, but can also lead to digestive problems. Fennel has been found to help calm the spasms and relax the gastrointestinal tract. When your dog's digestive system is out of kilter, it can have a significant impact on his immune system that can lead to illness and disease.
The high level of antioxidants in fennel has been found to help fight cancer cells and to help maintain the health of the entire cardiovascular system. Fennel seeds can also be used to help your dog's arthritis and help with Crohn's disease.
As you can see, there are many preventative reasons to add fennel to your pup's daily diet. Maybe the best reason is to help give your furry friend fresh breath. But all joking aside, any time your dog has indigestion, nausea, gastrointestinal spasms, or parasites is the perfect time to add fennel to his diet. Of course, before you try using fennel for these illnesses, be sure to contact your vet to make sure it is safe to do so.
You can buy fennel fresh in the vegetable cooler of your local supermarket or buy the dried seeds in the herbs and spices section. Use either to make a tea for your pup by adding one teaspoon of either to 8 ounces of boiling water. Leave the mixture to steep, then strain. You can give your dog two to four teaspoons of the mixture in his water bowl.
Bear in mind you need to judge how much to add to his water bowl based on your pup's size and weight and after talking to your vet. One way you will know if you are giving your dog too much fennel is that it will give him diarrhea.
As you can see, there are plenty of very good reasons to add fennel to your dog's diet. As long as you don't overdo it, the outcome of adding fennel to his water bowl should very pleasant for both of you.