I’m sure everyone has had fennel tea for stomach pain during their childhood. Eating the fennel bulb itself as a vegetable side dish is also becoming increasingly popular – not least because it is very healthy. The unusual taste surely does not delight all dogs, but what about those who like fennel?
Can dogs eat fennel?
Dogs are allowed to eat fennel because it is very healthy and also helps dogs against coughs and indigestion. However, the typical taste of fennel sometimes makes it difficult to treat.
Can dogs drink fennel tea?
Dogs are allowed to drink fennel tea because it has a very similar effect on you as on humans. However, tea should not be given constantly because it often contains essential oil (estragole), which could be carcinogenic.
Do dogs have allergies to fennel?
Allergies to fennel are not uncommon. There is also a link between the umbelliferous plants, which include fennel, and mint plants such as thyme, sage, and peppermint that often leads to cross-allergic reactions in dogs.
Mint pollen is hardly widespread in this country, so an allergic reaction to fennel is more likely to be the result of a primary allergy.
Symptoms of a fennel allergy can include itchy skin, diarrhea, and a runny nose.
Fennel as a vegetable for dogs
Dogs can tolerate the fennel bulb very well. If it is going to be fed raw, it is better to puree it beforehand. Cooked or steamed fennel is also good dog food.
The intense taste of the fennel does not appeal to all dogs.
When chopped up and mixed with the feed, the fennel sometimes meets with less resistance. However, your dog may set a personal limit on how much fennel he can cheat before he stops touching the food.
The leaves can be fed just as well as the tuber. They should also be either cooked or mashed to help the dog digest them.
The nutritional content of the fennel is really impressive. First of all, it provides a lot of vitamin C, which a healthy dog does not need, but which can be quite helpful if the fennel is prepared as a light food for the sick.
In addition, there is vitamin A, which ensures healthy skin and good eyesight, and vitamin K, which the body needs for blood clotting – i.e. for wound healing. Fennel also provides vitamin E, which as a natural antioxidant protects cells from aging processes and harmful changes. Some B vitamins support the nervous system.
The combination of minerals in fennel is suitable for dogs because fennel contains twice as much calcium as phosphorus. This makes fennel one of the foods that can help balance the calcium-phosphorus ratio.
This is almost always necessary with dogs since meat meals regularly have a high phosphorus content and the calcium-phosphorus ratio, which should be as balanced as possible, shifts unfavorably towards phosphorus.
The most important mineral in fennel is potassium. As an electrolyte, potassium ensures the transmission of stimuli within cells and is also involved in regulating the water balance. Large amounts can have a strong dehydrating effect because potassium is something like a natural counterpart to sodium, which binds water in the body.
In addition, fennel contains a lot of magnesium, which the dog needs for its muscles. If the dog is an athlete, he constantly needs more magnesium than other dogs. The trace element manganese rounds off the mineral mix of fennel. The metabolism needs manganese for various processes.
The high mineral content makes fennel a food that remains basic during the digestive process and is therefore particularly healthy. A balanced acid-base ratio is always important, but not easy to achieve.
Meat, for example, always looks sour. That’s why alkaline vegetables are generally very healthy for dogs to compensate.
Fennel seeds and tea for dogs
Fennel tea is made from the seeds of fennel. The seeds have a particularly high content of essential oils, which give fennel not only its characteristic taste but also its healing properties.
The anethole, which is also contained in anise, is responsible for the aroma. Anethole acts as mucous and antispasmodic. This makes fennel a miracle weapon against coughs in dogs. The bronchial secretion liquefies and can be coughed up at the same time without spasms.
Is the tarragon in fennel tea dangerous for dogs?
Fennel tea often contains another essential oil. Estragole occurs primarily in fennel tea because a different type of fennel is used for teas than the one that is eaten as a vegetable. Estragole is suspected of being carcinogenic.
That’s why you shouldn’t give your dog fennel tea permanently.
What’s the best way for your dog to drink tea?
One or two dog owners will rightly ask themselves how best to give their dog fennel tea. This requires a certain willingness to cooperate on the part of the four-legged friend.
Some are quite tolerant and accept a slight addition of fennel tea in normal drinking water.
Other dogs are not enthusiastic about fennel tea, but they are always hungry. Here you can try to stir some feed into the fennel tea. For dogs on light food, it occasionally works just to put a few pieces of rice or a spoonful of honey in the bowl with the fennel tea so that they soak it in together.
Especially when your dog is sick, you shouldn’t experiment with fennel tea in drinking water for a long time if he doesn’t want to drink it at all. Any existing dehydration could increase and, especially in the case of diarrhea or constipation, worsen the symptoms.
Fennel oil for inhalation
The essential oils of fennel are also available as medicinal oils. The use of oil is particularly suitable for dogs who do not like vegetables themselves or fennel tea. Fennel oil can be used to make the dog inhale when he coughs.
To do this, you can simply put a few drops of the oil in an aroma lamp and place it near where you sleep. Just make sure that he doesn’t knock over the lamp with the burning tea light.
However, it is essential to clarify the use of fennel oil beforehand with your trusted vet!
No fennel oil for pregnant or lactating bitches and pups
Since fennel tea is very popular with young children to prevent colic, and fennel tea is often recommended to breastfeeding mothers as a milk-promoting agent, one might think that this would also be a recommendation for bitches and their puppies.
This may also apply in small doses, but fennel oil is too concentrated and would have some undesirable side effects because of its highly stimulating effect.
Can dogs also drink tea with aniseed and caraway seeds?
Most of the tea blends for gastrointestinal complaints available on the market contain a combination of fennel, anise, and caraway seeds. Dogs are also allowed to drink tea made from such mixtures.
The active ingredient in aniseed is the same as in fennel tea (anethole) and the caraway oil it also contains does not harm dogs at all. However, the strong aroma of caraway seeds can mean that some dogs like the tea blends even less than pure fennel tea.
Canned dog food with fennel
Some convenience food producers have already recognized the benefits of fennel for dog nutrition and have added fennel vegetables to their canned foods. For example, Nutricanis has beef with fennel and Alsa-Nature serves chicken with fennel, rice, and pear.
Terra Canis offers a light gastrointestinal diet with fennel. In the can with the label “First Aid,” there is veal with fennel, cottage cheese, carrots, and chamomile. The Tackenberg company has prepared raw lamb for barfer with fennel.
Fennel is really good for dogs
Fennel vegetables are extremely healthy and if your dog likes them, you can prepare his food with fennel more often. Fennel tea is excellent for coughing or indigestion, but should not become a habit because of the possible estragole content.
Inhaling fennel oil also helps with coughs. Puppies and pregnant or lactating bitches should better avoid fennel tea and fennel oil altogether unless a veterinarian or another therapist carries out the treatment.