One loves her, the other hates her: licorice. Not even our dogs agree on what they should think of the black liquorice mass. Some dogs love the distinctive taste and others just turn up their noses.
In any case, it would be healthier for your dog not to eat licorice. Small amounts are not toxic. In larger quantities, however, a component of the licorice root is harmful to dogs.
Licorice is a medicinal herb
The licorice plant is a medicinal plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and has therefore been used in medicine for centuries. It is well known that liquorice extracts have an antibacterial and expectorant effect . They are used primarily for the treatment of cough and respiratory complaints.
Even in ancient times, people trusted the healing properties of licorice and used the juice of the plant in many ways to treat diseases. In addition, liquorice is often still contained in cough syrups today.
Is licorice toxic to dogs?
Licorice contains the substance glycyrrhizin, which is part of the licorice root. Glycyrrhizin in large quantities can be harmful to humans. Consuming too much licorice can trigger high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and water retention.
Your dog may also experience these effects after consuming licorice. Glycyrrhizin is dangerous for dogs. However, the exact effects on the dog’s body have not been sufficiently researched.
Licorice affects the water and electrolyte balance
What is certain, however, is that liquorice affects the water balance and promotes potassium excretion. Potassium is one of the electrolytes. As ions, these are important for many of the functions in your dog’s body.
If there is an increased excretion of potassium, this has a negative effect on the water balance and the nervous system of your favorite. The result is high blood pressure and water retention.
In the worst case, too much glycyrrhizin can even cause kidney failure in your dog. Under no circumstances should you give your four-legged friend licorice.
My dog ate licorice, what to do?
The quantity makes the poison. If your fur nose has only caught two or three licorice thalers, you have little to fear. Your dog usually recovers quickly from digestive problems and mild stomach pain.
However, if your four-legged friend has eaten a large amount of licorice in an unobserved moment , a visit to the veterinary practice is advisable. This will avoid serious consequences for your dog and your veterinarian can prevent worse things from happening.
What is liquorice made of?
Licorice is available in all possible forms and variants. While it is primarily known as a snack, we like to drink liquorice as a drink in other corners of the world. Especially in Egypt and Syria, people like to drink liquorice as a refreshing drink and traditionally drink it with the last meal before Ramadan.
We Europeans love liquorice especially in the form of sweet confectionery, as a stick or as a thaler. Licorice is obtained from the roots of the real licorice . The licorice plant is found mainly in the Mediterranean and in Asian regions.
A thick juice is obtained from the root extract. With the additions of sugar, gelatin and flour, the producers use it to make a chewy mass that must not be missing in many candy cupboards. Anise, pectin and fennel oil provide the unmistakable, bitter taste. The black color is further enhanced by the addition of colorants.
Read Also: What vegetables can dogs eat?
Licorice for dogs?
Licorice definitely has no place in the dog bowl. The healthy properties are quite beneficial for us humans in moderation.
However, an adult should not consume more than a handful of licorice a day. The European Commission’s Food Committee recommends consuming a maximum of 100 mg glycyrrhizic acid per day. For this reason, there must be a note on food since 2004:
“Contains licorice – excessive blood consumption should be avoided if the blood pressure is high”
But also make sure that licorice remains a little snack that you only treat yourself from time to time. Gummy bears are much safer there.