Fennel: Pet Food Ingredients A to Z

Today we move to the letter “F” in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring Fennel as our ingredient of the day.

What is Fennel?

Fennel L

Fennel is a perennial, aromatic herb with yellow flowers and a bulb like stem.  Although native to the Mediterranean, Fennel is now found throughout the world.  Fennel has a similar smell to licorice or anise.

Common names for Fennel

There aren’t many commonly used name variations although Fennel is often called sweet fennel, wild fennel, garden fennel or bitter fennel.  The Greek name for Fennel is marathon.

Why is Fennel included in pet food?

Fennel is added to pet food as a source of several key vitamins. It is also used as a digestive aid.

Common benefits or risks of Fennel

Benefits: Fennel supplies vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and potassium. It is also known to help with indigestion, bloating and flatulence.  Fennel can also help to freshen a pet’s breath.

Risks: As carnivores, cats are generally not fit to consume large quantities of any kind of plants or vegetables.

The oils in Fennel may cause a photosensitive dermatitis in some animals, but such occurrences are rare.

Miscellaneous facts about Fennel

  • Fennel can grow to be over six feet tall.
  • Fennel is used to prevent flea and other bug infestations and is a common ingredient in pesticide free flea treatments.

Sources and further reading

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-311-FENNEL.aspx?activeIngredientId=311&activeIngredientName=FENNEL

http://theanimalherbalist.com/?page_id=163

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