Natural and Herbal Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Natural Herbal Pet Remedies You Can Make at Home - Keeping your Pet Healthy

As people become more and more cautious about the ingredients in their own foods and medications, herbal pet remedies are starting to catch on, too. Lots of great herbal remedies can be purchased online or in neighborhood pet stores at reasonable prices. But did you know that you can also make good pet remedies and supplements at home using ingredients from your own garden and staples from your food pantry? It isn’t hard, and it can be a lot of fun for you and your pet.

If you keep an herb garden, you probably already know how much cats love catnip. But did you know that rosemary can be good for bad breath in dogs? If your dog will much on a piece of plain fresh rosemary, that’s great, but if he’s less than enthusiastic, make it more appealing by baking fresh chopped rosemary into a batch of homemade dog treats. Lots of great recipes are readily available on the web, and they make great gifts too.

Ginger root helps calm a sore stomach and can be given to dogs or puppies to prevent car sickness. Ginger has a strong taste, so it is sometimes easier to just ask for ginger capsules. Blackmore’s Travel Calm Ginger is a good choice. You can also add a little grated ginger to peanut butter dog treats if you bake your own. Slippery elm is another natural digestive calmative. Try adding a crushed tablet to your dog’s food to calm an upset stomach or halt diarrhea.

Garlic is one of the oldest treatments for worms and parasites, and dogs enjoy it as much as people do. You can add grated or chopped garlic directly to dog food to keep your dog’s intestinal tract clean and healthy. Cat’s like any variety of mint, especially catnip. Anyone can grow mint - borrow a starter sprig from someone who already has some growing in their yard and plant it in a place where it can take over (because it will!) Then bring a fresh sprig in for kitty to play with for summer-long fun.

Aloe vera can be used on pet cuts and abrasions the same way it is used on people. You can grow an aloe vera plant on your kitchen windowsill and just break off a piece when your pet has an injury. Squeeze the clear gel out of the plant onto the wound the same way you would any ointment.

Actually, a kitchen window garden is a great idea if you own cats or dogs. Include an aloe vera plant, some catnip, some rosemary, and a parsley plant. All can be used for pets and people alike.

Just take care to carefully and thoroughly research any new herb you're considering giving to your cat or dog. Some plants are toxic to animals, and some substances that human beings tolerate well are not recommended for dogs or cats. So don’t assume that if something is safe for you it is safe for your animal. Also, your pet's digestive system is shorter than yours and they can't digest fresh herbs, so use herbal tinctures, powders, essential oils or teas when possible. Be sure not to overdose your pet - give several small doses over the course of the day (as the remedy prescribes). Try two weeks on and one week off so your pets own immune system can have time to fight back, too.

Once you have learned what each herb does and how it works, and have properly assessed you pet's condition, you can quickly and easily help get your pet on the road to recovery! They'll appreciate it more than you know, and as a plus, you'll grow closer and strengthen the bond you share with them.

Here are some basic herbal home remedies to get you started. You can purchase these ingredients online or from your local health food store (like Whole Foods).

FLEAS & ITCHING

Eucalyptus, fennel, rosemary, rue, wormwood and yellow dock all have flea repelling properties. Blend together equal amounts of these herbs; mix well and sprinkle over the coat of your pet. Be sure to work in thoroughly down to the skin and avoid getting it in their eyes, inner ear, nose and mouth.

You can also add 1 teaspoon (or 1 tablet) per day of Brewer's Yeast to their foo.

For hot spots related to flea bites (and your pet gnawing the bites), rub a little bit of diluted tea tree essential oil on the skin (keep away from the eyes and genitals) - this will keep your dog from licking and making it worse. Use with caution on cats and small dogs.

Avoid using flea collars (ew! chemicals!) and make sure to always bathe your dog with only natural, chemical-free shampoos.

CUTS

Clean the wound with a Goldenseal wash and apply fresh aloe.

CARSICKNESS

To settle your pup's tummy, give them a few drops of ginger root extract before going anywhere. Peppermint essential oil is also great for nausea.

TIRED & SORE PAWS (and pads)

Mix a thick paste of pine tar and fuller's earth and massage gently onto the paw.

STRESS & ANXIETY

Try giving your pet a dose of Rescue Remedy, or mix the extracts of Oats, Valerian and Chamomile. Rub a little Lavender essential oil around their muzzle and spray a little on their bed. You can also give them a small dose of Melatonin to calm them during a thunderstorm. Aconite will also help ease occasional stress.

AFTER SURGERY

Arnica helps minimize bruising, speed healing and relieve minor pain. Hypericum helps prevent infection, relieve pain and promote healing. Alternate doses of both - start with Arnica and follow with Hypericum - give a total of 4 doses, 1 to 2 hours apart immediately after surgery. Follow with 4 to 6 doses the next day if your dog is still showing signs of discomfort.

Other homeopathic remedies: Phosphorus for bleeding, Bellis for prolonged pain, Ledum to heal tendons and ligaments, and Symphytum to mend bones.

You can also give 1 to 5 pills of Yunnan Pai Yao, twice daily for a week after surgery, to enhance healing and limit bleeding and bruising. Try Echinacea or Astralagus before surgery to build up the immune system.

VOMITING

Use Nux Vomica for nausea, retching & vomiting (especially after overeating).

Use Phosphorus for vomiting water or undigested food or vomiting after surgery.

Veratrum Album can be used for profuse vomiting made worse by drinking.

Or try adding a teaspoon of Chamomile flowers to a cup of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. You can also simmer afew slices of fresh Ginger root in water for 15 - 20 minutes. Add honey or molasses to sweeten it. Start with a dropperfull for small dogs. Large dogs may need up to 1/2 cup.

DIARRHEA

Nux Vomica is good for diarrhea after overeating. Use Pulsatilla for watery stool. Phosphorus can be used when your dog passes large amounts of stool and is then exhausted by it or has involuntary diarrhea.

If diarrhea is explosive and watery, try Veratrum Album. If the stool is dark, bloody and very stinky or is related to ingestion of toxins or decayed food, use Arsenicum. If he has diarrhea with straining, opt for Mercurius.

Slippery Elm is a nutritive herb that soothes and heals inflamed intestines. You can give 1 to 3 capsules twice a day (depending on size). You can mix it in a little bit of broth or make a tea or tincture with it.

These are just a few of the hundreds of herbs and homeopathic remedies that are out there to help your pet heal and recover - naturally.

As with anything, be cautious and careful and do your research. Never give your pet anything you wouldn't take yourself, and always start out with small doses and low strengths.

Herbal extraction in an eyedropper bottle, dried herbs in a mortar and Arnica Montana homeopathic medicine.
Herbal extraction in an eyedropper bottle, dried herbs in a mortar and Arnica Montana homeopathic medicine.
Cut Aloe Vera plant and Aloe gel.
Cut Aloe Vera plant and Aloe gel.
Homeopathic remedies and treatments (found at your local health food store).
Homeopathic remedies and treatments (found at your local health food store).

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Comments 26 comments

Lou Purplefairy profile image

Lou Purplefairy 8 years ago from Southwest UK

What a fabulous and informative Hub! I have a rough coated patterdale terrier bitch who is 5 months old, and Ihave been giving her wild garlic to control worms and aid digestion (in small doses). I used to have an airedale x who used to suffer dry itchy skin ( not helped by fleas) and found that a decoction of marigold (calendula) helped in the summer months. I used to use it as a final rinse when I bathed her. And our cat Twizxle love catnip! She goes doo-lally when she gets hold of it!!!lol!


ConnorMathews profile image

ConnorMathews 8 years ago

Great hub! A congrats to you and your furry little army :o) Keep feeding us the info, ok? Take are


pgrundy 8 years ago

Great hub! I started an herb garden last year and it was so easy. I've got catnip for our cat and parsley, chives, oregano, majoram, lettuce, and scarelt runner beans (not an herb but so pretty.) Thanks for all the great animal info. (o:


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

great info. I like using natural remedies for myself, but it never occurred to me that I could also use it for my dog! thanks for sharing.


Mark Bennett profile image

Mark Bennett 8 years ago from Citizen of the Globe

We do love those furry members of hte family, don't we? And prefer not to load them up with possibly poisonous stuff!


Inspirepub profile image

Inspirepub 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

It's great that we are starting to take natural remedies so much more seriously - great work!

Did you know that you can sit the pictures in amongst the text if you make the photo capsule move right using the little green arrow? You can then move it up and down using the up and down green arrows.


moonstarry 8 years ago

Catnip is to cats what cigareets, alcohol or marijuana is to humans. But, is it a home remedy? You don't say how it would be used as such.


bobw profile image

bobw 8 years ago from Laurel, DE

Very informative! Great hub. We love our dogs and we will be trying some of these.


Free Car Quotes 8 years ago

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Aileen 8 years ago

Hi Absolutely do not give dogs Garlic or Onions from the AVMA breaks down there red blood cells!! a list of items NEVER TO FEED OR GIVE TO YOUR PETS. Animal Health > AVMA brochures > Household hazards What you should know about household hazards to pets December 2005; reprinted October 2007

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Every home contains a variety of everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats. You can protect your pet's health by becoming aware of the most common health hazards found in many pet-owning households.

HAZARDS IN THE KITCHEN

Foods Many foods that are perfectly safe for humans could be harmful or potentially deadly to dogs and cats. To be safe, keep the following food items out of your pet's menu:

coffee grounds grapes/raisins chocolate onions yeast dough tea macadamia nuts alcohol fatty foods salt avocado garlic chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners containing xylitol

Always keep garbage out of a pet's reach, as rotting food contains molds or bacteria that could produce food poisoning.


Aileen 8 years ago

Hi Absolutely do not give dogs Garlic or Onions from the AVMA breaks down there red blood cells!! a list of items NEVER TO FEED OR GIVE TO YOUR PETScoffee grounds grapes/raisins chocolate onions yeast dough tea macadamia nuts alcohol fatty foods salt avocado garlic chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners containing xylito


Aileen 8 years ago

Hi Absolutely do not give dogs Garlic or Onions from the AVMA breaks down there red blood cells!! DO NOT FEED coffee grounds grapes/raisins chocolate onions yeast dough tea macadamia nuts alcohol fatty foods salt avocado garlic chewing gum, candy and breath fresheners containing xylito,grapes/raisins onions tea alcohol garlic salt


Britt 8 years ago

Aloe vera is reported as toxic to dogs and cats.


Kay 8 years ago

I have recently finish vet tech schooling. Although dogs may enjoy the taste of garlic this is toxic to them. If you are looking up natural ways to help your pet do not let this be the only site you look at for answers! A majority of the information on here is very incorrect!


Natural Remedies 8 years ago

Who would of thought that these could even be administered to animals, great hub!


Andrea 7 years ago

Be careful with catnip! My cat gets hungover and grumpy for 2 days after playing with catnip. She also withdraws from people.


nebraska66 profile image

nebraska66 7 years ago from Grand Island, Nebraska USA

Thanks for such a great hub. My miniature husky loves Italian food, so I suppose the garlic in that actually helps him despite the fat and other harmful ingredients. I will have to try a little raw garlic in his pet food maybe.


bonny2010 profile image

bonny2010 6 years ago from outback queensland

great hub, will try the remedy for fleas thanks for the read


Erin 6 years ago

My Yorkie ate onions today and now is lethargic. What national remedy can help?


Paulart profile image

Paulart 4 years ago from 2510 Warren Avenue Cheyenne,Wyoming 82001

Great information on hub.These natural remedies are very easy to use at home.


Sam concerned 4 years ago

SOME NATURAL REMEDIES IT HAS BEEN RECENTLY FOUND; CAN BE POISONOUS. PLEASE ASK YOUR VET FIRST

http://cats.about.com/od/housekeeping/a/aromathera...


porcha 4 years ago

thanks a lot u saved me so much money by not going to the vet great info


greg walden 4 years ago

my dog has small tumers in her can ginger help


Janice 3 years ago

Do not give any herbal until thoroughly researched and even better, vet approved. Peppermint oil, recommended here, has been found to be poisonous to your pet. So have a care. No garlic either. There is some relly bad advice here. Janice


Silvia 2 years ago

Please do not feed your dog or cat garlic or onions. They are toxic just as chocolate and other foods listed under this link: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behavior...


paulette anderson 2 years ago

My dog was twelve years on a diet of regular wet and dry dog food and he was rapidly losing his fur and energy. He was also always hungry. I decided to change his food to a cooked food diet of chicken I would buy on sale, collards and brown rice. I baked the chicken in about a half to 3 quarters cup of water to 8 to 10 pices of chicken, steamed the collards and boiled the rice. Once finished, I would cut up the chicken and collards, mix with the rice and the chicken broth. For the first 10 days I fed this to him twice a day from then on once a day. He lived to be twenty-one people years and had the energy of a 3 year old dog. He constantly raced up and down the stairs of our 3 store home and ran all over the yard. He met his demise when the front door was left open and out he ran only to come back quite sick. Doctors thought he came in contact with anti-freeze and put him to sleep but the above is a recipe for a healthy pet. This recipe also works for cats but use KALE instead of collards. Good luck!

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