A living fossil, equisetum, horsetail to you and I, is the only extant genus of a class of plant believed to be over 100 million years old. In the case of humans, horsetail has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Much less however is known about horsetail for dogs!
Benefits of horsetail
Horsetail has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful as an astringent and as a diuretic, meaning it is a useful herb for any dog suffering from urinary tract problems.
The plant is exceptionally rich in silicon, the matrix for the formation of connective tissue, bone cartilage and skin. Unlike most of the silicon on the planet, the silicon in horsetail is capable of being metabolized by the body for tissue repair.
From your dog’s point of view, this means it has the ability to repair bone an connective tissue injuries. This makes it ideal for the senior dog whose own silicon levels have decreased, making it more susceptible to joint problems.
Horsetail is not suitable for every dog. It should not be given to dogs suffering from hypertension or heart problems. Neither should it be given to dogs who suffer from bladder stones.
But for the more senior dog, horsetail offers many benefits. As a canine nutritionist, I believe we should all be giving horsetail a lot more love. Particularly any of us with older dogs. Horsetail for dogs has a bright future ahead of it!