Hawthorn for Dogs: Natural Heart Health

hawthorn for dogs

Hawthorn for dogs is an herb that’s been used to treat heart problems in Chinese and other traditional remedies as far back as the 1st century. Hawthorn berries aid with a wide range of heart problems in humans including irregular pulse, high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, and heart failure. It’s also been used for intestinal difficulties. And, it’s been found to be incredibly beneficial for dogs.

Hawthorn For Dogs: The Benefits

Hawthorn (Crataegus species) has sharp thorns that can pierce dogs’ feet. Despite being dangerous for dog paws, hawthorn trees have healthy red berries. In most of North America, you’ll find hawthorn trees in thickets and meadows. 

hawthorn for dogs
Hawthorn Flowers

Antioxidant Properties in Hawthorn for Dogs


Hawthorn contains antioxidant polyphenols. Free radicals are unstable molecules created by regular metabolism. Uncontrolled free radicals cause oxidative stress and illness. Antioxidant-rich foods can prevent early aging and minimize disease risk.

Digestive Health

Hawthorn berries are known to aid in digestion due to their prebiotic properties.  Prebiotics nourish and encourage good microorganisms in the gut, improving immunological function and reducing disease risk. Hawthorn compounds may also enhance digestive enzyme production to promote digestion.

Reducing Anxiety in Dogs

Hawthorn has shown promising anti-anxiety properties in animal models. These plants presumably have fewer adverse effects than anxiety and depression medicines.

Hawthorn has antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, and blood glucose-lowering properties. Hawthorn improves liver and renal circulation without raising blood pressure.

hawthorn for dogs
Hawthorn Berries

Hawthorn’s greatest benefit is as a tonic to support heart health.

How Hawthorn Helps Your Dog’s Heart

Hawthorn is cardiotonic. Hawthorn promotes cardiac function. A weak or irregular heartbeat can be stabilized. It lowers BP and cholesterol. Its most beneficial trait is helping dogs with heart failure.

Hawthorn For Dogs With Congestive Heart Failure

Dogs with congestive heart failure can’t pump blood effectively. Due to inherited heart valve issues, King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are known to be the most prone to CHF. Hawthorn can help the heart pump blood more effectively.

Hawthorn helps dilate the coronary vessels in addition to those in the brain. Flavonoid, the compound that provides hawthorn berries with their red color, is the primary component that assists with smooth muscle tissue.

Hawthorn may reduce heart disease, especially in working dogs. This herb helps sled, agility, herding, and bird dogs. Daily hawthorn berry tonics can boost heart health and are often recommended by holistic professionals, especially for dogs most prone to heart conditions. Heartworm infections, viral or bacterial infections, or chemotherapy can also damage your dog’s heart.

Hawthorn Dosages For Dogs

It’s easy to spot a hawthorn tree. If you have a hawthorn tree, you can feed your dog the berries. You can alternatively dry and ground the berries with a pestle or coffee grinder. Give about 1 tsp of this powder per lb of your dog’s food per day.

Make tea if your dog doesn’t like berries. 1 tsp dried berries per hot cup. Add the tea to your dog’s food bowl. Or, you can buy hawthorn tincture (glycerin-based tinctures are tastier) and follow the directions on the product. But, remember, not all tinctures are created equal so do your research before purchasing. And, look for a 3rd party testing source to verify what the company claims.

Is Hawthorn Safe For Dogs?

Hawthorn is well-known as an extremely safe herb with a low risk for side effects. But if your dog is on any heart medications, ask your vet about possible interactions with high blood pressure drugs or beta blockers. Dogs who are nursing or pregnant should also avoid this herb.

Read more:

Hawthorn | VCA Animal Hospital

Hawthorn Herb Improves Cardiac Function in Dogs

Compelling Reasons to Give Your Senior Dog Heart-Healthy Hawthorn – Dogster

Published by AmberLDrake

Dr. Drake is an award-winning author and well-known cancer specialist in her field. She is best known for her extensive research on canine cancer prevention and nutrition, her dedication to help dogs live a long, happy life, and for teaching veterinary medicine. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, in addition to being a respected figure in the dog world, she has earned the respect of thousands of dog lovers worldwide.

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