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Licorice Root – Herbs For Dogs and Cats

Safe to use as a daily dietary supplement,
alternative medicine for most dogs and cats.

In this article…
1. Licorice Root
2. Health Benefits 
3. Cautions  
4. Side Effects  
5. Drug Interactions
6. General Guidelines for Daily Herbal Intake 
1.0 Licorice Root
Licorice has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to treat a wide variety of issues. The medicinal properties are derived from the root of the licorice plant. Licorice is an effective, fast acting anti-inflammatory which can completely replace or greatly reduce the need for corticosteroids. The chemical glycyrrhizin is the active anti-inflammatory agent in licorice. Glycyrrhzin is and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.
Cats and dogs usually enjoy the taste of licorice, making this herb perfect for use to mask the taste of less attractive tasting herbs.
Licorice can be used in various forms:
  • Dry powder;
  • Fresh sliced or finely minced root;
  • Tea – infusion;
  • Tincture – use alcohol-free only;
  • Supplement – capsule, pill.
2.0 Benefits, a partial list…
Uses – Ingested
  • Helps to relieve:
    • Arthritis;
    • Itching including inching from allergies;
    • Digestive issues;
    • During detox allergy treatment to cleanse the blood treat the skin with licorice as noted below;
    • Endocrine issues;
    • Inflammation;
    • Infection resistance stimulator – supports the reticuloendothelial system;
    • Liver health supporting;
    • Liver detoxer;
    • Liver disease;
    • Pain;
    • Respiratory issues such as colds as licorice soothes mucous membranes;
    • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs);
Uses – Topical
  • Use licorice tea, salve or oil for…
    • Flea-bite allergies;
    • Dermatitis (contact type);
    • Eczema;
    • Psoriasis;
    • And other skin disorders.
  • The anti-arthritic actions of licorice is comparable to that of hydrocortisone – the difference is that licorice does not suppress the immune system – hydrocortisone does.
  • Licorice does not interfere with corticosteroid drugs therefore licorice can be used as a supportive adjunct as it has a strengthening effect which allows for lower doses of corticosteroids. This is important for dogs in long-term therapies as the serious debilitating side effects of steroid drugs may be mitigated by taking lower doses. Licorice can also be used to wean the dog off of steroids safely.
Preparation, Dosage, Duration and Adjustments
  • Licorice is naturally sweet and has a flavour that most dogs enjoy;
  • You can use licorice to mask the less favoured taste of other herbs that your dog may need to ingest but not like the taste of;
  • Use a low-alcohol or no alcohol licorice root extract tincture.
    • Tincture – 12 to 20 drops per every 20 lbs of body weight two times daily.
    • Tea – 24 to 40 drops per every 20 lbs of body weight two times daily.
Don’t use for more than 2 weeks at a time – unless your veterinarian has instructed otherwise.
If you must use for more than two weeks make sure that you add dandelion to the diet so that increased potassium requirement is met and elimination of excess sodium is enabled.
3.0 Cautions
  • Use in moderation for pregnant or lactating dog or cat.
4.0 Side effects…
  • As noted further above.
5.0 Drug Interactions…
  • Licorice may interfere with blood thinning drugs;
  • Medications changed by the liver;
  • Medications for high blood pressure;
  • Diuretic drugs.
6.0 General Guidelines for Daily Herbal Intake
Daily Herbal Intake Based on Dog’s or Cat’s Weight

Dry Powders

1-10 lbs
a small pinch up to 1/8 tsp
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
1 larger pinch – 1/8 to ¼ tsp
1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches – 1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs 10-
2 pinches – 2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs,
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose


About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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  1. Hi Karen, my 6 week old kitten has a cold. She’s been on anti-biotics for 2 weeks now so we don’t have a URI. She’s just sneezing clear fluids and eyes watering. She had a pretty rough trip to me. She somehow got in the underbelly of my co-worker’s truck and traveled 24 miles before we found her. I am blaming this all on stress! I’m using HomeoPET now but it doesn’t seem to make to much of a difference. I think the licorice root serum could help. What do you think?

  2. Hi,

    I would like to make the Herbal Licorice tea for my senior Chihuahua. The tea you’re talking about..is that
    regular” tea bags ” that I would steep into boiling water into a cup? I have a health store I will see if they have.

    Thank you so much! Love what all you do to help us and our precious pets.

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