Author: Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG
I have always had dogs. Most of them lived long healthy lives. Just like us, dogs can benefit from the use of herbs throughout their life spans.
Herbs provide several nutritional benefits for dogs. Various herbs benefit each system of the body.
Garlic may be added to your dog's food to ensure healthy circulation and fight infections. It also makes your dog less palatable to fleas. Garlic helps to rid your pup of worms as well. Elecampane root and epazote also eliminate worms.
Kelp is seaweed which is rich in trace minerals and vitamins. Try adding small amounts of it to your dog’s food.
Herbs may also be used to relieve illness. Purslane, parsley, marshmallow root and dandelion heal the digestive and urinary tracts of dogs. A tea made of chamomile may prevent and relieve car sickness.
Coughs can be relieved by making a cough syrup of peppermint, sage or thyme. To make the syrup, cover 1 ½ tablespoons of dried herbs with 1 cup of water. Let it infuse, covered for 30 minutes. Discard the herbs, add 2 teaspoons of honey to the herb tea. For a 40 pound dog, give 2 teaspoons of the tea every 3 hours as needed. Adjust the amount according to your dog’s size.
Try rubbing aloe on minor wounds and skin irritations. It's non toxic and promotes healing.
Chamomile, burdock, purslane and chickweed may be used internally or externally to relieve itching.
Fennel, cleavers and celery promote good oral hygiene. A healthy mouth is essential to being able to consume adequate nutrition. These herbs relieve “doggy breath” and strengthen the teeth and mucus membranes.
Rosemary, alfalfa and oils of black current seed, evening primrose or borage seed reduce inflammation and joint pain. Rosemary also improves brain and circulatory system health, and is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants prevent aging. They protect the body from cardiac disease, blindness, cancer and many other disorders. They are essential tools that will add years to your dog’s life.
Eleuthero is an adaptogenic herb that benefits the entire body. It is a potent, yet extremely well tolerated ancient herb. Eleuthero will help your pet to stay healthy and have improved energy levels. Your dog’s immune system will also benefit.
Spirulina is a green powerhouse full of protein, B vitamins and other nutrients. Spirulina is an algae. It helps facilitate iron use within red blood cells. The iron in the red blood cells is responsible for transporting vital oxygen to every cell of your dog’s body. Healthy oxygen levels are needed for endurance, brain function, and all processes within your dog’s body.
Herbs are good medicine for dogs. They are safe and effective. Herbs provide nutrients required to prevent illness, and ensure that your dog lives happily and healthy for many years.