Can I Give My Dog Milk Thistle?

Can I Give My Dog Milk Thistle?Milk thistle can be beneficial for canine health. Also known as Silybum marianum, this flowery plant is something of a herbal miracle. It can cleanse your dog’s body of toxins, but it may also be an great multipurpose supplement.

This plant is used for a wide range of holistic remedies. Liver detoxification is the most common application but milk thistle can also help if your precious dog already has certain liver problems.

So this natural herb is promising, though some say the research isn’t conclusive. In any case, milk thistle is safe for dogs in reasonable amounts. We put it on the list of recommended plants for pet health.

Can I Give My Dog Milk Thistle? Answer: Yes

This natural detox can be very useful for people and dogs, alike.

Milk thistle has become rather well known and it now comes in powder, liquid and capsule forms. We recommend getting 100mg milk thistle designed specifically for dogs because it’s by far the easiest application.

Why this Herb is So Effective

This flower contains a flavonoid called Silymarin which helps to release toxins that may be congregating in the liver. It also assists by allowing the regeneration of cells. When the need arises, your dog may have their immune system strengthen as a result of taking a milk thistle supplement.

Heartworms & Milk Thistle

Heart worm disease is, unfortunately, a reality for some dogs. This is especially true when infected mosquitoes are present. It can do serious damage to the organs including the liver. Sometimes the medicines used to treat it can be very harmful.

That’s why supplementing your dog’s heartworm treatment with milk thistle can be beneficial. It may be the best natural liver detox and it is preferable to using a chemically-laced tick or flea prevention product during such a difficult time in a dog’s life.

Talk to your vet about incorporating milk thistle with a deworming treatment.

In Cases of Pet Poisoning

Since milk thistle helps to cleanse the body of toxins, it can be a life saver in certain situations. If your pet dog ingested poisonous mushrooms, providing this herb may effectively detoxify their system. It is also known to treat things like lead poisoning and likely many other cases of toxicosis.

Always contact a professional when a dog is poisoned since a different type of detoxifying method may be required.

Other Milk Thistle Uses

While known as the liver herb, milk thistle potentially helps with inflammatory bowel disease, many other canine digestive problems, skin problems associated with liver disease, slowing the spread of some cancers, reducing inflammation of the pancreas and for bacterial infections such as Leptospirosis.

Some of these health problems are common in dogs which makes milk thistle an attractive alternative medicine. Since it’s also an antioxidant, it promotes overall health and can support your dog following vaccinations, drug therapies and recovery from infections.

The Recommended Dosage

If your dog is pregnant then milk thistle is not recommended. You should only provide it to your dog if you have a good reason to do so. Sometimes an appropriate dose can be difficult to calculate because extracts contain varying levels of strength.

10mg per pound of canine body weight, taken daily, is usually sufficient. If your dog is in serious condition higher dosages may be advisable. In such cases you really should talk with a veterinarian first, preferably one who believes in alternative approaches to wellness.

Conclusion on Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle stands out in that it’s generally harmless yet dogs may greatly benefit from it. There are many excellent uses for this natural herb when it comes to your pet dog. While milk thistle results are not guaranteed, you may wish to try it while keeping an open mind. This natural supplement is worth a shot if your dog requires detoxification or has certain health problems.

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Tami May, 2016

I have a 13 year old Shiba Inu that is allergic to everything. She can’t even take meds for her allergies. What milk thistle do you buy for a 17 pound dog and does it have to be alcohol free? What is a good brand to buy? Her liver is in bad shape and she can’t seem it get enough water.


Jeni February, 2016

Excellent article! Everybody needs to know about the benefits of this miracle herb. It has worked wonders in detoxifying many sick dogs who have fell victim to Nexgard and Bravecto.


Loretta January, 2016

My dog has seizures and is a diabetic on insulin. She is on Potassium Bromide for her seizures and this has caused liver damage. Would milk thistle help her? She is 10 years old and weighs a little over 7 pounds.


Pat March, 2016

As your vet to prescribe milk thistle. My dog has Cushing’s syndrome and that really damages the liver. My vet gave him milk thistle daily for 2 weeks. Now he takes one tablet every 2-3 days for the rest of his life. Only 4 or 5 days after starting, he became more like his old self. He’s eating well and has a renewed zest for life. I swear by it.


Luis June, 2015

Does anyone know if I have to do a 2 week break after giving my dog Silymarin for 6 weeks even at low doses?


Marge September, 2015

I just read that milk thistle should not be given as a daily supplement. It is a medicine that should only be used when the liver is under abnormal stress due to drugs, vaccines, infections or chemicals. I also heard that it’s be given for 3 to 6 weeks with a 1 to 3 week break. There are numerous articles online that offer the same info. They suggest a dose of 10mg per pound of the dog’s body weight.


Colleen May, 2015

My dog is diabetic and is on insulin and also thyroid medicine. Does anyone know if milk-thistle is safe for him? Thank you!


Caledonia May, 2015

Hi Colleen. I just read about giving basil to dogs. You may want to read what it says about giving it to pets with diabetes. The article indicates that it may help this condition.


Deborah February, 2015

I have a small dog, weighting almost pounds, that takes heart meds. How much milk thistle can I give her?


Crosswind February, 2015

Deborah, good question. I have a cat. So, since I can’t find that answer, I’m probably going to get the Azmira brand milk-thistle made for pets.


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