- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Best Herbal Treatments for Pets
Healthy Pets = Happy Pets
Natural is Good for Pets and People
When we think of herbal remedies, often what comes to mind first are treatments for people. We think of the three G's - Ginkgo, Ginseng, and Ginger. There are also many natural herbal remedies for our pets. And, as you may know, having pets is very important to the mental and physical well being of people. It is a documented fact that people who have a pet live longer, happier lives.
In this hub I want to write about a few of the many herbs that are good for animals. Some animals may have allergies, so you may want to consult with your veterinarian first. These herbs have been used successfully by many people though, and are widely available. I will list the problem first, and then the natural herbal remedies that have been used to treat it.
Fleas and Ticks
Most store bought flea and tick treatments contain pesticides that may contribute to cancer in our pets. There are natural remedies with herbs that can help control flea and tick problems.
- Rosemary - A fragrant herb with evergreen like needles. It can be bought dried, or as an essential oil.
- Cedar wood - Cedars are fragrant trees often used as Christmas trees. The wood from the the larger trees is used for many things, including furniture, musical instruments, and shingles. It is a natural insect repellent which is why it has long been used for "cedar chests". It can be bought as an essential oil, or in chips.
- Thyme - A common herb that has been used since ancient times. Thyme can be obtained fresh, dried, or in the form on an essential oil.
- Lemon grass - From a bushy, grass type plant. it can be found dried, fresh, or in a oil.
A couple of drops of these essential oils can be used separately mixed with water, or in combination. The drops can be mixed with a cup of water in a spray bottle, and sprayed on your pet after a bath. you can also use the spray on bedding. Note: The oils are to be used externally only.
Another way you can use these oils is to mix a couple of drops of the oils with some cornstarch to make a powder. You can put the powder in shaker jar and use as a flea and tick powder.
The dried herbs and cedar chips are good to use in pet bedding to repel fleas. If your dog has a bed with a zippered covering, the herbs could be placed inside this covering.
Dogs and cats frequently have skin problems. Chamomile is a herb that may help. Chamomile often grows wild as a weed. It is a relative of ragweed, so occasionally allergies can occur. It can be purchased dried or as an essential oil. It is often used as a tea. It is thought to have anti- inflammatory properties. Shampoos with Chamomile can be purchased at pet stores. You could also try a dilute tea made with Chamomile, and put in a spray bottle to spray on itchy skin.
Like people, dogs and cats often have kidney problems as they age. Also, similar to you and I, fresh clean water is essential to kidney health for our pets. Dogs and cats should always have clean water available to them. Similar to humans, animals can also sometimes get too much salt in their diet. Check the labels on your pet food to make sure that the food does not contain too much sodium.
According to a post on "All Experts.com" Cranberry powder is useful for kidney problems in animals, just as cranberry juice is good for us. It can be obtained in pet stores. Use the specified dosage as written on the product.
Digestive Problems in Dogs
Dogs often get digestive problems. Some of this can be related to inactivity. Regular walks and time outdoors can help. When dogs spend time outdoors, they often instinctively eat grasses that they need for digestion. That is why it is important not to use toxic chemicals on our grass.
Often commercial dog food can be a contributor to digestive problems. Very cheap dog food often an be expensive in the long run if it causes health problems. There have been many recalls of dog food in the past few years. There are websites where you can check out the dog food you buy to make sure it is safe. One of these is the FDA, and I will include a link to this site below.
As far as herbs to help digestion, some pet owners claim that adding "green sprouts" to their dogs food helps with digestion. Green sprouts can be obtained fresh at the grocery store, or easily grown at home.
Arthritis and Joint Problems
Many dogs and cats develop arthritis as they age. We had a black lab that was hit by a school bus when she was young. Thanks to a great veterinarian, she recovered from the accident. When she got older though, she developed arthritis in her back hips where she was injured earlier in the accident.
We have always used Glucosamine for our elderly dogs to help with arthritis. Glucosamine is an amino sugar. It can be found in pet stores, and on the vitamin isle of drug and discount stores. There are also dog foods made for senior pets that have glucosamine added. The dog food brand "Max" for large senior breeds has it already added.
According to the website "AyurvedicCure.com", some other herbs that can be used are: Ashwagandha, Shallaki, Guggul, and Nirgundi. I will include a link below for more information.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Website
- Melamine contaminated Pet Foods - 2007 Recall List
Browse Melamine contaminated Pet Foods - 2007 Recall List
Do Your Homework
We never get too old for homework. Whether caring for ourselves, our children, or our pets, the best way to get good care is to research all the information available. Thanks to our computers, information on anything is easy to find.
Included below are some links with good information on pet health.
Wealth of Information Online
- Health and Behavior of Cats - Help With Common Feline Health and Behavior Problems
Most of the "help!" emails I receive are about either health or behavior problems in cats. Readers are often surprised that sometimes there is a connection between the two. Learn more here about the factors related to cats' health as well as how to t