Ashwagandha for Dogs (Is it safe?)

By Britt Kascjak

Yes! Ashwagandha is a safe herbal remedy for dogs! But, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions. If used responsibly, it reduces stress and anxiety in pets. It also contributes to a healthy heart and immune system.

Have you heard of the benefits of ashwagandha? Are you wondering if it can be used to improve your dog’s health?

Not all natural herbs are recommended for dogs. But, this is one that can support the health of both dogs and pet owners.

Before you offer ashwagandha to your dog, there are some important facts to consider.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an herbal treatment that has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine.

It is an evergreen shrub with an orange-red fruit, also known as “Indian Ginseng” or “Winter Cherry”. The plant grows naturally in the Middle East, India, and parts of Africa.

Both the fruit and the roots of the plant are said to have medicinal properties that promote health and wellbeing.

The most popular use of this incredible herb is its natural calming effect. But, it is also packed with vitamins and minerals that support the basic functions of the body.

For this reason, it’s sometimes referred to as the original “superfood”.

Is Ashwagandha Safe to Give to Dogs?

When used properly, your dog can take ashwagandha. But, like any her or medicinal treatment, you should use it with caution.

There are many benefits that your dog can gain from this herb. But, there are also some risks and possible complications to be aware of.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is packed with vitamins and essential minerals. These valuable nutrients support the body’s biological functions and organ health.

This includes:

  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium
  • Carotene
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Amino Acids
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C

It is an adaptogen. This means that it helps the body to adapt to both outside and internal stressors.

This balancing influence can be felt physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Ashwagandha for Dog Stress Relief

When your dog becomes stressed, the cortisol levels in his body become elevated. This is known as the body’s stress hormone.

If you have ever felt so stressed that you felt your heart racing, that is the hormone responsible.

Ashwagandha works to help normalize the body’s cortisol levels.

This stops the body from going into fight or flight mode. Not only does it reduce stress and help your dog cope, but it also helps to avoid the physical side effects.

This can work on stress or anxiety from a new situation or a change in environment.

It can also be used for the management of ongoing stress and mental health concerns. For dogs with chronic anxiety or separation anxiety, it has a calming effect.

Immune System

When the body remains in fight or flight mode for an extended time, it can put stress on the immune system. This is why people often get sick after a time of high stress.

As the immune system struggles to function normally, the chance of illness rises.

By reducing the stress that your dog is experiencing, you stop the cycle. This helps to keep your dog healthier over time.

Normal Blood Pressure

Another physical side effect of stress, as the heart races your dog’s blood pressure can rise.

High blood pressure can lead to several health complications, including:

  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Heart Failure
  • Difficulty with Memory or Understanding
  • Dementia
  • Weakened or Narrowed Blood Vessels

It is often advised that reducing stress can promote balanced blood pressure. This is true not only for humans but also for your dog.

The use of ashwagandha can help to keep your dog calm and maintain normal blood pressure.

Nervous and Cardiovascular Systems (heart and brain health)

Ashwaganda helps to regulate your dogs biological functions. This means that it supports the body, allowing each of the key systems to operate properly.

This includes both the nervous system and the cardiovascular system.

It works to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease. This will also relieve any chest pain that your dog may be experiencing.

It also works within the nervous system as a pain reliever. The natural herb prevents the pain signals from traveling to the brain.

This means rapid relief for those seeking pain management.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Studies show that ashwaganda possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

High stress levels have also been known to cause inflammation. By reducing  your dog’s stress levels, the herb targets inflammation at the source.

This means that it both alleviates inflammation and helps to prevent it.

For this reason, the natural herb is often recommended for those with arthritis. Coupled with the above mentioned pain relief benefits, it can make daily functions more comfortable.

Our Recommendation 

To experience the benefits of ashwagandha, you need to find a reliable and high-quality product. 

We recommend The One from Front of the Pack

Made with organic ashwagandha extract, this supplement offers 8 great benefits for your dog. 

Simply sprinkle it on your dog’s food or add it to your homemade dog treats. 

Health Risks of Ashwagandha for Dogs

Reactions and complications with ashwaganda are very rare. But, you should be aware of the possibilities and what you should do in the event of an emergency. 

Ashwagandha should not be given to dogs that are pregnant. It is also not recommended for those on other medications or recovering from surgery.

What are the Side Effects of Ashwagandha?

As with any medication or treatment ashwagandha could trigger unwelcome side effects.

For most dogs, the risk of side effects is fairly low and the side effects themselves are mild. But, there is always a chance of complications.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Before giving your dog any ashwagandha, contact your veterinarian. They can recommend dosages and warn you about potential individual problems.

Your vet may also recommend other changes to your dog’s diet or lifestyle. This will help to reduce the risk of complications.

If you notice any worrisome changes to your dog’s behavior, call your veterinarian. Make sure to tell them the exact dosage that you provided and what form of the herb your dog has taken.

Your veterinarian can then suggest the best next steps.

Can Ashwagandha Be Toxic to Dogs?

While some dogs will experience minor side effects, ashwagandha is considered safe. This means that it is not likely to be toxic to dogs.

But, you should always consider the risk of allergic reactions or sensitivities. This is incredibly rare.

You don’t need to avoid ashwagandha due to the risk of allergy. Keep an eye on your dog after he has consumed the herb and contact your vet if you notice problems.

How Much Ashwagandha Can I Give My Dog?

The correct dosage for your dog, like any medicine or supplement, depends on your dog’s size and weight. The larger your dog, the more that it will take to feel the effects.

A baseline recommended dosage for dogs is between 500 and 1500 mg, twice per day.

If this is your first time giving ashwagandha to your dog, you should start on the lower end of the spectrum. This will help to cut down on any side effects or issues.

If you are feeding a prepared supplement like a treat or capsule, read the suggested dosage.

Can Dogs Eat Goli Ashwagandha Gummies?

The short answer is yes, your dog can take ashwagandha gummies. But, there are some health conditions that could result in complications.

Avoid it if your dog has diabetes, autoimmune disease, ulcers, or thyroid disorders.

You should also steer clear if your dog has low or high blood pressure. The herb can affect blood pressure, making an existing problem even worse.

There are some conditions, like hypothyroidism, where ashwagandha can be helpful. Before giving it to your dog, talk to your veterinarian.

Can Ashwagandha Help with Separation Anxiety?

Recognized for having calming properties, ashwagandha is often used to address anxiety.

While it won’t completely solve separation anxiety, it can help with management. But, it should be used in combination with counterconditioning or training.

Before leaving your dog at home, you can give your pet ashwagandha supplements.

This will help to settle your dog’s nerves, working to keep him calm until your return. Pair this with other comforting options like a favorite toy or blanket.

Final Thoughts – Ashwagandha and Your Dog’s Health

If used responsibly, following the manufacturer’s directions, ashwagandha is safe for your dog.

It offers many pet health benefits, supporting the optimal function of essential organs. Plus, it can be used to address mental health concerns like stress and anxiety.

But, be cautious and always supervise your dog after use. It can trigger unwanted side effects.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.