Herbs for Pets

white and brown short coated dog on gree

Herbs we use in Goldie’s kitchen:

 

Catmint

Mimics feline sex hormones, so cats enjoying this substance will often display behaviors similar to a female cat in heat. This can include signs of affection, relaxation, and happiness. Some cats will show playfulness or sometimes even aggression. For those with a positive experience with catnip, it can help reduce anxiety and relieve pain. Veterinarians often recommend using catnip to help with separation anxiety if your cat will be home alone for an extended period of time.

Lavender

A fantastic natural way to stimulate your dog's appetite. Often used as an aromatherapy tool for sleep problems and to relieve stress.  There’s scientific evidence from studies in animals that indicates both lavender aromatherapy and oral lavender may offer protection to cognitive health and function, including memory. This wonderful herb may relieve anxiety, bring about sleep, help quiet the brain, and reduce anger, aggression, and restlessness. It also has anti-bacterial capabilities and can reduce inflammation.

Some dogs can have negative or allergic reactions to lavender, so be sure to try lavender out in small amounts initially. 

Remember also, that while lavender and other essential oils are safe for use around dogs, they should not be used around cats

Parsley

The world’s most popular herb and one of the most concentrated food sources. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, iron, folate, and a variety of minerals, and contains a variety of volatile oils and amino acids, which are thought to inhibit tumor formation and growth. Parsley is great for any animal that is recovering from an illness, surgery, or toxic kidney problems.
* Cat: add boiling water to a heap of fresh parsley and let steep for 20 minutes, cool, then give one/two teaspoons daily (in food or by mouth) for a week.
* Dogs: Use larger amounts of parsley tea – 1- 2 tablespoons 3/4 times daily. Can also add finely chopped parsley into their daily meals once or twice a week to help keep their kidneys cleansed and free of disease.

Rosemary

High in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. Rosemary contains antioxidants that may prevent your dog from cancer. This plant promotes heart health through its antispasmodic abilities that could be helpful for animals recovering from a traumatic event. Rosemary is known for its digestive system support, especially when it comes to gas, indigestion, and other related problems; and because of its antimicrobial abilities, it can come in handy for gastrointestinal infections. Rosemary can also improve the memory and mood of your pet, improve their wellbeing, and in many cases extend their lifespan. 

 

Thyme 

Contains vitamin K, iron, manganese, calcium, and dietary fiber. Its primary active ingredient, thymol, helps inhibit the growth of fungus and bacteria. This herb also contains a variety of flavonoids which increase its antioxidant properties. Thyme is used to treat sore throats, colds, and coughs. It is also useful in improving digestion and treating flatulence.

 

Turmeric 

Showing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, calmative, and cholesterol-lowering effects. It has more antioxidant properties than vitamin E, and its potential as a cancer preventive has been supported by many studies. It increases bile production and flow, and protects the stomach and liver. It is the perfect herb to sprinkle on your animal’s food.

 

Things to keep in mind when using herbal remedies:

  • Herbs take time to build in the system, so do not expect immediate results.  It can take from several days up to a week or more to know if the herbal remedy is effective depending upon the severity of the issue being treated and the overall vitality of the animal. A more frequent dosage – say 3 times per day, is typically more effective than a large dose once per day.  The herbs need to remain and build in the animal’s system.

  • There are many poisonous plants and herbs around, pet-owners have to be aware of and avoid. Most of those are listed by ACPCA and include: Lilies, Marijuana, Sago Palm, Tulip/Narcissus Bulbs, Azalea/Rhododendron, Oleander, Castor Bean, Cyclamen, Kalanchoe, Yew, Amaryllis, Autumn Crocus, Chrysanthemum, English Ivy, Peace Lily, Pothos, Schefflera 

  • Check with a knowledgeable veterinarian if your companion is on any conventional medications that herbal remedies could interact with.

 

Sources:

https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/

https://holisticanimalremedies.com/

https://www.onlynaturalpet.com/

https://www.aspcapro.org/

https://theherbalacademy.com/category/botanical/

https://yourolddog.com/how-to-safely-use-the-herb-lavender-for-dogs/

https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jcoates