Many dog owners prefer to treat their dogs with natural products whenever possible. They believe that many of the pharmaceuticals which vets prescribe for animal ailments can cause more problems than they solve. For these dog owners, using yucca root to treat various ailments can effect cures above and beyond what conventional drugs can do.
About the Yucca Root
The Yucca plant grows in the desert of Mexico and the Southwest United States. Herbalists turn its root, which contains phosphorus, sodium, selenium, iron, zinc, calcium, manganese, copper, iron, potassium and Vitamins A, C and B-complex, into a powder or tea for use in a variety of inflammatory ailments and conditions. Herbalists add the yucca powder to soaps and other cosmetics to help with healing skin disorders and allergies.
Uses for Dogs
Dog owners, veterinarians and healers suggest administering yucca root orally as a treatment for hip dysplasia, arthritis and other degenerative joint and bone diseases. In addition, natural animal healers suggest adding yucca root to a dog's diet to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain of the dog's digestive tract. Giving the dog yucca root orally can help soothe the dog's itching or inflamed skin which results from flea bites.
How to Use
Boil the root of the yucca plant and make a tea. All of the nutrients and minerals contained in the yucca herb will steep into the tea which you can pour on the dog's food. Alternately, grind the root into a powder and sprinkle it onto the dog's food. The dosage changes according to the dog's size, but a middle-sized dog (up to 25 lbs.) may receive 1?4 tsp. of yucca root powder twice daily. Administer yucca root capsules by placing the capsule toward the back of the dog's mouth and holding the dog's muzzle closed until he swallows. Many natural animal healers promote yucca soaps and shampoos as good natural cleaning agents for dogs.
Sources of Yucca Root
Buy yucca root at health food stores or order online through a yucca root supplier or distributor. You can buy the yucca root in its natural form and grind it or brew it yourself, or buy the products such as powders, teas and capsules from the suppliers.
When to Consult the Veterinarian
As with any herb or natural medicine, consult with a veterinarian before administering yucca root to the dog. Many herbs, including yucca root, can neutralize another medication that the dog takes or it can cause the dog to react adversely to an already-prescribed medication. Do not give any form of yucca root to a pregnant or lactating bitch or to a dog with a kidney problem.
Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.