Humans take supplements to increase the doses of vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their food. But does the same idea go for your pet’s diet as well? We think it should and we’ve put together some information for you on the benefits of adding dog herbal supplements. Here’s what you need to know about herbs for dogs.
Some of the more common herbals that you will want to investigate for your pet – and remember to discuss any changes to your pet’s diet with your veterinarian first – include: ginger, milk thistle, goldenseal, chamomile and even aloe vera.
It’s important to note that, when prepared correctly, herbs can be a wonderful supplement to your dog’s diet. But if they are prepared incorrectly, they can be poisonous and even fatal. Let’s see what each herb is used for and how it can benefit your favorite furry friend.
Has your dog recently been on any medication that could affect her liver? If so, adding milk thistle could protect this vital organ against any further damage. It’s also a critical ingredient to improve the functions of her liver.
Valerian, Chamomile and California Poppy
This is an herbal trifecta that can work for hyperactivity as a natural relaxant as well as lowering blood pressure and helping treat the effects of asthma. When using valerian, make sure to only use a few drops as it’s quite potent.
This is a spiky plant that produces a wonderful gel that salves burns or minor irritations on the skin. If given internally it can help treat gastrointestinal distress.
Calendula is an herb you can grow easily in your garden that has beautiful yellow flowers. Like aloe vera, calendula excels as a topical medicine for wounds on the skin.
It has marvelous antibacterial properties that can also be used as an antiseptic wash on your pet.
Ginger is a common herb added to foods, and did you know that this herb works well to settle your pet’s stomach? It’s true and it works equally well for humans.
This powerful antibiotic is a great fighter of bacteria. It’s great for treating stomach or bowel problems and can be used as an eye wash for infections.
Herbs to Avoid
It’s a smart idea to only use herbs that have been approved by your veterinarian and you have clear directions on dosing because that appears to be the biggest issue with herbal toxicity.
Here’s a list of herbs that can be toxic to your dog and, so, you should only give them to her if approved by your vet or an herbal veterinary specialist:
- Ephedra Garlic
- Essential Oils
- John’s Wort
- Tea Tree Oil
Finding a Veterinary Herbalist in Your Area
If your vet is unfamiliar with herbs used as a supplement, try finding a veterinary herbalist in your area. There is an association called The Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association – or VBMA – that can help you find an herbalist near you. It’s a group of vets and herbalists who are dedicated to increasing the acceptance of herbal use for animals.
Where to Get Herbs? Your Own Garden!
Are you wondering where you can get your hands on herbs once they’ve been approved by your vet? Simple answer: Grow them in your home garden.
Adding herbs to your dog’s diet can improve organ function, provide support to her immune system and amp up overall wellness.
Do you know of any other great herbs for dogs?