Benefits of Fennel Seeds for Dogs & Cats
Parts Used: Seeds, leaves, roots.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum (treated as the sole species in the genus by most botanists). It is a member of the family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae). It is a hardy, perennial, umbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.
When Raw To The Bones designs a recipe, digestion is the foremost of importance. No matter how nutritious an ingredient is, if it can’t be digested then its basically useless. In some cases however certain nutritional values of an ingredient can be mandatory. Take our Irritable Bowel Recipe®, its main focus is on relieving digestive issues. Most of the ingredients within that recipe are great for bowel issues but aren’t the recommended bland flavor. That’s where the powerful benefits of fennel seed come into play.
The health benefits of fennel seed for pets is due to its strong similarities with catnip and mint. It relaxes the pets GI tract, allowing the muscles that push food through the intestines to not contract violently. When the intestines spasm, it causes the food to not digest properly. Since 70% of the immune system is located in the outer lining of the GI tract, this can wreak havoc on your pet’s health. In chronic cases, it serves as a gentle anti-gas and antispasmodic agent that can be added directly to the animal’s food, to bring symptomatic relief while you investigate for the deeper cause of the problem. Fennel may help to reduce the subsequent bloating caused by intestinal gas build up in both cats and dogs as well.
Fennel also helps increase appetite, and freshens the breath by minimizing belching. It also keeps your pets clean through its antibacterial activity in the mouth.
Even tho it is actually considered a mint, its flavor is more favored toward pets who don’t care much at all for mint. For the twenty percent of cats who don’t care much for catnip, tend to take fennel seed without any issues. Those of you that have picky cats with gastric upset and irritability, fennel seed is your answer.
Directions of use:
A cooled tea works very well — one teaspoon of the fresh or dried seeds (fresh are better) in eight ounces of boiling water, steeped until cool. The tea can be fed at a rate of two to four tablespoons for each 20 pounds of the animal’s body weight, or it can be added to drinking water, as generously as the animal will allow.
A glycerin tincture works very well, and allows the convenience of a smaller dosage for finicky animals— 10-20 drops (or more precisely, up to 0.75ml) per twenty pounds of the animal’s weight, as needed.
Fennel is high in vitamin C, A, calcium, iron, and potassium, and varying amounts of linoleic acid. It is an especially good nutritional adjunct for dogs and cats with chronic indigestion which cannot be attributed to a specific disease entity.
Flea and mosquito repellant:
The leaf tea is said to be an effective skin and coat rinse, for repelling fleas. Traditionally, fennel is fed to increase milk flow in nursing mothers.
Fennel is widely employed as a carminative, both in humans and in veterinary medicine (e.g., dogs), to treat flatulence by encouraging the expulsion of intestinal gas. Anethole is responsible for the carminative action.
In the Indian subcontinent, fennel seeds are also eaten raw, sometimes with some sweetener, as they are said to improve eyesight. Ancient Romans regarded fennel as the herb of sight. Root extracts were often used in tonics to clear cloudy eyes. Extracts of fennel seed have been shown in animal studies to have a potential use in the treatment of glaucoma.
Blood and urine:
Fennel may be an effective diuretic and a potential drug for treatment of hypertension.