Herbs have traditionally been used for improving the flavor of dishes and improving the aroma. Herbs have also been used in curing certain illnesses among human beings and also for maintaining good health, mood and ambiance. Less known fact is that herbs not only provide multitude of health benefits for human beings, they may also be used to keep pets healthy and happy. In this article, we will see some herbs that are good for pets in various ways and also the best herbs to grow indoors for pets that don’t harm them in anyway. As with any remedy or medication, make sure you only use the herbal preparations meant for specific pets.
Oregano is much more than pizza flavoring. It is rich in antioxidants and provides energy. Oil of oregano is also known for its fungal properties. Use a drop or two in the bath water to help your dog stay safe from fungal infections. Take care to use very little oil because it is highly concentrated and excess may cause irritation.
Alfalfa is a versatile herb that has a multitude of benefits. Alfalfa can be used in dogs to prevent arthritis, to fight anemia, dry skin, constipation, and problems associated with the urinary tract. It is available in the form of capsules, dry powder and liquid extract. Based on the form, the concentration of the herb varies. Your vet or an experienced and reliable herbalist will recommend you the appropriate dosage based on the form of the herb, the breed, age and weight of the pet, and the ailment.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a miracle herb that can cure burns, irritation, and all skin problems in human beings. It is as effective for dogs as it is for humans. Use fresh extract from the plant to help relieve your dog of itching, burning and pain caused by cuts, scrapes, allergies and other skin related issues. Aloe Vera can also be administered internally to help prevent gas and constipation. But fresh extract of aloe Vera is poisonous. If you intend to use aloe Vera, obtain capsules or jelly from the pharmacy. Read the label and ensure it is safe for pets.
Lavender has a calming affect on pets, as on humans, and it is also a natural insect repellent. This will help keep your pets calm in high-strung situations and also generally healthy by preventing insect bites and flees. Use lavender bath, or home-made lavender water as a spritz to ward off fleas. Lavender shampoos can also be used on cats and dogs.
A certain species of parsley called Spring Parsley causes toxicity in pets. However, other species are beneficial. They are rich in antioxidants and some essential vitamins. You can have your pet chew a few leaves of parsley to naturally freshen its breath. It is also one of the best herbs to grow indoors for pets because it is not dangerous upon consumption and also has benefits in the form of freshening their breath and aiding digestion.
6. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are a good source of dietary fiber and are good for digestion. They also have several antioxidants for energy and have many vitamins and minerals needed for good health of your dogs. They prevent urinary tract infections and help keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy.
Garlic has a multitude of benefits the first of which is the ability to fight cancer, making it one of the best herbs for pets. It can also help regulate blood pressure, improve immunity, fight allergies, and regulate the blood sugar levels. Garlic also has trace quantities of vitamins that promote good health and immunity in your pets, especially dogs. Appropriate dosage of garlic can help ward of heart and kidney disease. It is also a natural flea repellent. You can safely grow garlic in your house despite having pets.
Goldenseal has antibiotic properties and prevents the bacteria from latching onto the cell walls. You can make a tea of Goldenseal, procure a tincture or use it in the pet’s bath water to keep eye infections away. It can also be used to cure stomach illnesses like diarrhea.
Apart from the well-known herbs mentioned above, several traditional Chinese herbs for pets may also be used to promote the health of the skin, muscles, bones, lungs, and the bladder. They can be used topically or ingested based on recommendation from an experienced herbalist. Traditional Chinese herbs are also useful to calm anxiety in pets, especially in dogs. Although the name suggests that the herbs are Chinese in origin, the philosophy has gained acceptance in North America and many herbalists also grow herbs right here in the United States. It is however not true that herbs, Chinese or otherwise, can be administered by pet owners themselves without any training and study. Always consult your vet and /or experienced herbalist before you administer an herbal remedy to your pet.