So you are a dog parent who loves his/her furry more than anything in the world? We’re sure your pet’s health is your topmost priority.

Whether it is about keeping diseases at bay for a happy, long and healthy life of your pet or about minimizing those extra hard trips to the vet, supplements like milk thistle do the job of keeping your pet’s health in check. How? We’ll discuss all along the composition of milk thistles, their benefits, usage, side effects, and methods of selection in this blog.

Ready? Let’s dive straight into it!

What is Milk Thistle?

Firstly, let’s understand what milk thistle is. Milk thistle is a flowering plant that contains three chemicals called silychristine, silydianin, and silybin. The mixture of these three chemicals is called silymarin. It is a flavonoid compound present in the plant’s seeds. 

Silymarin and milk thistle are often used interchangeably but the former is a part of the latter. In early times, milk thistle has been used as a herbal remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

According to various medical reports, milk thistle can be used to treat liver disorders like cirrhosis and hepatitis as well as gallbladder problems in dogs. There can be several causes of liver damages like toxins, free radicals, bacteria, viruses, inflammation in dogs.

The signs of liver damage or disease include sudden weight loss, loss of appetite, jaundice, lethargy, pale gums. Breeds like great Danes, Labrador retrievers, and dalmatians are more susceptible to liver diseases.

How Is Milk Thistle Good For Dogs?

When we said keeping diseases at bay, we truly meant it! Milk thistle is an excellent health supplement for dogs with liver problems and other diseases. It helps with the following conditions:

  • Pancreatitis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Acute or chronic hepatitis
  • Cushing’s disease

The results of giving milk thistle to various dog breeds have been promising. A study by the Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics revealed that the use of milk thistle can cure liver dysfunction in beagles.

Silymarin in milk thistle inhibits inflammatory properties which act as an antioxidant by scavenging damaged cells, increasing protein production in the liver, and ultimately, promoting the bile flow. Thus, in the case of pancreatitis, milk thistle protects the liver from pancreatic inflammation and promotes the smooth flow of bile. 

Moreover, milk thistle has been shown to decrease the effects of cancer in a pet’s body. There is enough research to prove the same.

What’s more, it may reduce the insulin needs in a diabetic dog. It can not treat the cause of Cushing's disease but can help in protecting the liver from increased levels of cortisol for dogs with the Cushing disease.

How to Give Milk Thistle To Your Dog?

Understanding how to give milk thistle to your pupper is another important aspect you should know about. Well, you don’t need a prescription to buy milk thistle. However, you should speak to your veterinarian before starting the supplements. Take a look at the composition of different substances in milk thistle. 

TheAnimal Essentials Milk Thistle Dog & Cat Supplement, 2-oz at Natural Pet Warehouse has certified organic milk thistle seeds (Silybum marianum), 250mg/ml, and silymarin 25mg./ml. Other Ingredients include vegetable glycerin, USP, distilled water, grain alcohol USP not to exceed 40% by volume. Only choose a brand that clearly mentions its ingredients like the one mentioned above.

Milk thistle can be consumed in different forms such as liquid, capsules, or powder. Also, it is important to be fully aware of the dosing recommendations of a specific breed. You should always ask your vet before giving any medicinal supplements to your pet. Usually, the recommended consumption is 10-20 drops once or twice every day for dogs and cats. Again, you should seek advice from your vet to know what’s best for your pet.

Are They Any Side Effects of Milk Thistle for Dogs?

Yes, your dog might face side effects after consuming milk thistle. You should always keep an eye for symptoms after the use of milk thistle. Silymarin is generally safe for pets. However, high doses can lead to diarrhea in dogs. See your vet in case your dog gets diarrhea after its consumption.

While silymarin in milk thistle helps your dog, it may not be the complete cure for any disease. Consider it a liver protectant that should be given alongside appropriate therapy, especially in the case of chronic diseases. Also, lactating and pregnant women should not be given milk thistle.

Do not use medicinal herbs like milk thistle for extended periods of time. Use it to cleanse the liver after exposure to toxins or as a remedy for liver damage, not as a preventative.

How To Select Milk Thistle Supplements for Your Dog?

When selecting a milk thistle supplement for your dog, keep the following things in mind:

  • Do your research on reputable brands and only choose the best for your four-legged baby. Natural Pet Warehouse’s Animal Essentials Milk Thistle Dog & Cat Supplement, 2-oz works as a brilliant liver tonic to prevent and treat liver damage. 
  • Consult your vet to know the important ingredients and best sources of pet supplements. 

The Bottom Line

The use of milk thistle can do wonders as it is great for immune health and supports liver function in both cats and dogs. However, make sure to read the labels carefully, discuss the doses and visit your vet before starting the supplement. 

At Natural Pet Warehouse, we aim for happy and healthy puppers. We use premium quality ingredients for pet supplements. Our Animal Essential Milk Thistle Supplement for dogs and cats has some amazing reviews from pet parents themselves. 

We are a one-stop destination for all your pet’s needs. Dog vitamins and supplements, food, collars, treats, grooming tools - we have everything you might need. Want to purchase milk thistle or other supplies for your pet? Click here!