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Elderberry leaves

A representation of Elderberry leaves

Elderberry leaves, obtained from the elderberry tree (Sambucus nigra), have been known for centuries in folk medicine for their many health benefits. While the berries and flowers of elderberry are widely recognized for their healing properties, the leaves raise some questions, especially when it comes to the health of our dogs. In this article, we explore what elderberry leaves are, examine their potential benefits and risks, and provide a comprehensive assessment of their suitability for canine nutrition and health care.

What are elderberry leaves?

Elderberry leaves come from the elderberry tree, a plant that is native to many parts of the world. They are known for their dark green color and jagged edges and contain various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, antioxidants and vitamin C. In traditional medicine, elderberry leaves are often prized for their anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

The potential benefits of elderberry leaves for dogs

Natural anti-inflammatory properties

The flavonoids found in elderberry leaves can help to relieve inflammation, making them potentially useful for dogs with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.

Supporting immune function

The antioxidant properties of elderberry leaves can boost the immune system and help to promote overall health and well-being in dogs.

Skin and coat care

The use of elderberry leaf extracts topically can help heal skin irritations and lead to a healthy, shiny coat.

The risks and disadvantages of elderberry leaf for dogs


Elderberry leaves eaten raw can be toxic to dogs. They contain cyanogenic glycosides, which can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea and, in severe cases, cyanide poisoning.

Allergic reactions

Some dogs can have an allergic reaction to elderberry leaves, which can result in skin rashes, itching and other allergic symptoms.

Interactions with medication

The bioactive compounds in elderberry leaves can interact with certain medications and influence their effects. Owners should consult a veterinarian before use.

Dosage problems

Dosing elder leaves correctly can be difficult as excessive amounts can be harmful. Determining a safe and effective dose requires expert knowledge.


Caution is advised

While elderberry leaves are prized in traditional medicine for their health benefits, their use for dogs is not without risks. The potential toxicity and risk of drug interactions make a cautious approach necessary. Before using elderberry leaf in any form for your dog, it is essential to consult a veterinarian. In some cases, alternative treatments or the use of other parts of the elder tree, such as berries or flowers, which may be safer under expert guidance, may be preferable. Ultimately, your dog's health and safety should always come first. With the right caution and under veterinary supervision, some of the benefits of elderberry leaves may be safe to use, but it is important to never lose sight of the potential risks.

Learn even more about Elderberry leaves

If you notice any signs of hypersensitivity or poisoning in your dog, you should see your vet immediately. We are not a substitute for a vet, but we try to be as accurate as possible. Every dog reacts differently and we recommend you get a second opinion or consult your vet if in doubt.

Stay healthy and take good care of your four-legged friend!😊

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