Saw Palmetto for Pets: Benefits, Dosages, and Side Effects

| Modified on Jun 04, 2024

Saw palmetto, a small palm native to the southeastern United States, has gained popularity for its health benefits in humans. However, its use extends to the animal kingdom as well, particularly for pets. This article explores the benefits, recommended dosages, and potential side effects of saw palmetto for pets.

What is Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a plant known for its therapeutic properties, primarily due to its rich content of fatty acids and phytosterols. It has been traditionally used to treat various ailments in humans, including prostate health, urinary tract function, and hormonal imbalances. Recently, veterinarians and pet owners have started using saw palmetto for similar benefits in pets, especially dogs and cats.

Benefits of Saw Palmetto for Pets

  • Prostate Health: Male dogs, particularly those that are unneutered, can suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Saw palmetto helps in reducing the size of the prostate, alleviating symptoms such as difficulty in urination.
  • Urinary Tract Health: Both male and female pets can benefit from saw palmetto's ability to support urinary tract health. It helps reduce inflammation and supports normal urine flow.
  • Hormonal Balance: Saw palmetto has been noted to assist in balancing hormones, which can be beneficial for pets experiencing hormonal imbalances, such as those caused by spaying or neutering.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: The anti-inflammatory properties of saw palmetto can help manage conditions like cystitis and other inflammatory conditions in pets.

Dosages for Pets

Determining the correct dosage of saw palmetto for pets is crucial to ensure its safety and efficacy. Here are general guidelines:

  • Dogs: The typical dosage for dogs is based on their weight. A common recommendation is 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams per pound of body weight, given twice daily. For instance, a 50-pound dog might receive between 5 to 10 milligrams of saw palmetto twice a day.
  • Cats: Cats generally require smaller doses. A recommended dose is around 0.1 milligrams per pound of body weight, given once or twice daily. For a 10-pound cat, this translates to about 1 milligram per dose.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before starting saw palmetto supplementation to determine the appropriate dosage for your pet's specific needs and health condition.

Potential Side Effects

While saw palmetto is generally considered safe for pets, some potential side effects may occur:

  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Some pets might experience mild gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea or vomiting, especially when first starting the supplement.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some pets may have an allergic reaction to saw palmetto. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
  • Interference with Hormonal Medications: Saw palmetto can interact with hormonal medications, so it's crucial to consult a veterinarian if your pet is already on such treatments.
  • Changes in Urination: As saw palmetto affects the urinary tract, some pets might experience changes in urination patterns. Monitoring and consulting with a veterinarian is advised if any concerning changes occur.


Saw palmetto can offer significant health benefits for pets, particularly in supporting prostate and urinary tract health, balancing hormones, and providing anti-inflammatory effects. However, careful attention to dosage and potential side effects is essential. Always consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new supplement to your pet’s regimen to ensure it is safe and appropriate for their specific health needs.

By understanding the benefits, proper dosages, and potential side effects, pet owners can make informed decisions about incorporating saw palmetto into their pets' health care routine.

Saw Palmetto Dosage for Dogs

Posted by skyshark (Tampa, FL) on 06/03/2024

Edited 6/06/24 at 12:03 pm
After reading the available information, I would like to try saw palmetto on my dog, a 25lb/14yo Bichon Frise. My purpose in doing that would be to try to alleviate some frequency and lack of bladder control. Aside from the more well known use, treatment of benign prostate enlargement, it is apparently a good anti-inflammatory for the urinary tract (and more). What I don't know at this point is what is a safe dose to initiate with and how should I manage it from there. I welcome any constructive input and wisdom that is offered.

*I am learning. After posting this and waiting for a reply, I realized that the answer to my question was already available in the Pet Remedies section. Oh well, I'll continue living and learning. I'm still open to personal/anecdotal experiences and comments.