Licorice for dogs: uses, benefits and contraindications

Licorice is a medicinal plant that can work wonders in dogs, especially for its benefits on the stomach.

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What is licorice?

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to southern Europe and Asia and grown around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East and in the southern United States .

The plant bears purple flowers in June which bear fruit in the form of flattened pods and containing seeds in autumn.

But, if licorice is known, it is above all for its very developed roots with a slightly sweet flavor and which contain many active ingredients including flavonoids, polysaccharides, coumarins, saponosides, the main one being glycyrrhizin (which gives glycyrrhetic acid), phytosterols and essential oils.

What are the indications for licorice in dogs?

Licorice has many pharmacological properties. It is particularly known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-gastric ulcer, antioxidant, antibacterial, antitussive, expectorant and immunomodulatory.

Liquorice is therefore very suitable for dogs in case of:

  • gastric ulcers and gastritis,
  • respiratory disorders such as nasal aspergillosis, rhinitis, asthma, kennel cough, bronchitis or tracheitis,
  • skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and more generally all allergic dermatitis.

Licorice is generally associated with other plants to help treat these dog pathologies.


Just because licorice is a plant doesn't mean it's safe for dogs.If used over the long term and in high doses, it can cause hypertension, sodium retention and kidney failure. For these reasons, licorice is not recommended in dogs with heart disease. In general, its use in dogs must always be strictly supervised by a specialized veterinarian.

How to give liquorice to your dog?

Licorice can be administered to the dog in fluid extracts (or EPS), in powder or in the form of a decoction of a licorice stick reduced to shavings. Its sweet taste is generally quite appreciated by dogs.

As for the doses to be administered to your dog for a given disorder, they must be determined precisely with your veterinarian!

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