Many people take herbal or natural supplements to compliment their own daily health, and when taken in proper doses, herbs are very beneficial in improving the quality of health and life in humans. Some herbs are also great for giving your dog, and in the correct dosages can aide your dog in weight management, stress and anxiety relief, healthy skin and coat, and give them an overall nutritional boost beyond a healthy diet. Here are some herbs that are safe for your dog and can even improve their quality of life.
Many dogs, just like people, suffer from anxiety and stress, and have an annoying condition called Separation Anxiety Disorder, where they literally freak out whenever their owners are not home and follow their owners about the house like living shadows. To help calm your dog down naturally and ease their stress when you are away, you may give them small amounts of Valerian, which is commonly used in people as a muscle relaxant and a stress reliever. Valerian is also great for dogs that are prone to seizures as well and is perfect in calming your anxious dog down when you are away or while traveling. Adding Valerian to your dog’s daily regime is a great way to manage their anxiety and help them keep a calmer demeanor.
Parsley does for dogs what it does for people in curing terrible breath. If your dog has atrocious bad breath you can give them parsley to alleviate their stinky breath, as parsley kills the odor-causing bacteria that causes halitosis (bad breath) and has the ability to freshen the breath naturally with its scent. Improve your dog’s breath and kill the germs that may be harming their gums and teeth at the same time.
Hawthorn and Slippery Elm are great for relieving your dog of colon upset and diarrhea. Hawthorn is especially great for dogs with cardiovascular problems or blood pressure issues in its ability to repair heart valves naturally and help regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. For dogs with cardio issues, adding Hawthorn is a wonderful dietary aide for the best heart health.
Aloe is a topical aide (not to be ingested, as it does cause stomach upset) that when applied to your dog’s wounds or rashes will allow the wounds to heal quickly and discourage licking at the same time. The astringent qualities of Aloe will keep your dog’s tongue at bay while healing their wounds and keeping them free of infection at the same time. As a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, Aloe is perfect as a topical aide, but watch out! While safe externally, Aloe will cause stomach upset or worse if ingested by your dog, so if you catch them licking at their wounds while being treated with Aloe, discontinue use and monitor your dog for vomiting or other reactions, and call your vet if necessary.
Other helpful aides to help your dog heal better after being wounded or after surgery are Yarrow or raspberry leaves. Yarrow is an excellent blood clotter and aides in killing off infection, and raspberry is wonderful in warding off muscle spasms and strengthening muscle walls. Raspberry is particularly great for pregnant dogs in its ability to keep cramping and spasms at bay and building strength in the uterine wall for a healthier pregnancy. In addition to Yarrow or raspberry when treating your dog for injury, you can give them Valerian to help them stay calm and relax their aching muscles.
Dogs suffering from weakened kidneys or who are exposed to tainted water or pesticides (live next to fields or canals) will benefit from toxic-cleansing herbs that strengthen the kidneys and liver like Dandelion and Garlic. These herbs in proper dosages work to strenghten the kidneys and liver function in dogs while helping to flush out free radicals and daily toxins from their bodies. Dandelion also increases urine flow in dogs with kidney or bladder issues while cleansing the body.
For skin irritations in your dog like dandruff or eczema, herbs like Calendula, which is applied topically, are great. Calendula is perfect for minor skin irritations, like insect bites, burns, or scratches in warding off pain and infection, and when applied topically treats itching and irritation in the skin. It has quick-healing properties to get your dog’s skin back to normal quickly. For rashes and allergies or eczema, try adding Burdock to your dog’s diet. Burdock doubles as both a skin condition curer, and also a toxic-freeing agent in the body and dogs love the taste of it and will eat it straight from your hand. It’s perfect as a daily diet add-on in that it is not toxic in its properties so there is no fear of overdose, keeps the skin healthy and irritant-free and removes toxins from the body when ingested.
Ginger for car sickness works for people, and it works for your pets, too. If your pet shows signs of car sickness. give them ginger a half hour before traveling to ease their queasy stomach.
Keep in mind that while these aides (and many many others) work wonderfully to better your dog’s health and conditions, they must be used correctly. Call your veterinarian prior to adding herbal treatments and supplements to your dog’s diet and monitor your dog for signs of reaction while using any herb. The best way to introduce your dog to an herbal remedy or supplement is to use less than the recommended dose for your dog’s weight and increase it over time to the proper dosage as your dog gets used to it. You may be surprised how well your dog looks and feels when you introduce herbs into his diet.