Pet Care herbal remedies
It is important that you don’t treat any animal with an herbal remedy unless you fully understand what is wrong with your pet. Always check with a vet first to confirm the diagnosis. The suggestions made here are not a replacement for that of a qualified veterinary practioner, but may be of use treating your pet in a more natural way for a number of minor complaints.
There are a number of considerations to take into account when treating animals with herbal remedies. Firstly their digestive systems are considerably shorter than humans so fresh herbs have less time to be ingested into the system; tinctures and infusions are a more effective way of ensuring therapeutic amounts of the herb enter the system. The size of animals vary more than that of humans, so a common sense approach is needed, smaller amounts for small animals , larger amounts for larger animals. It is also better to try and administer herbs several times a day rather than in one dose.
NOTE: There are some herbs that are dangerous for animals. Echinacea has been known to damage canine immune systems. Aspirin is fatal to cats, so Willow and Meadowsweet both of which contain salycin, should NOT be given.
Anxiety & Stress - Valerian is nature’s sedative , a small amount of the Essential Oil on a cotton wool pad will calm a stressed animal, as will Lavender. Valerian Veterinary tablets are also available online
Cuts & Sores – Calendula and St John’s Wort are both good to cleanse cuts and sores. Use either as an infusion dabbed on the skin or as a cream. Aloe vera is also a natural antiseptic , the gel of which can be applied directly to any abrasion
Eyes – an infusion of Eyebright can be used as a wash on all animals to ease irritations of the eye.
Immune System – garlic is the number one herb to give animals to boost their immune systems. Fresh garlic or Veterinary pills are equally as good. Animals also benefit from eating a daily dose of ‘greens’ – include parsley, spinach , dandelion leaves , finely chopped in their diet.
Itching - usually caused by fleas and ticks. A daily dose of garlic will help repel fleas. An herbal shampoo that contains pennyroyal will repel fleas without any risk to the animal. It is also a good idea to treat animal bedding with dried herbs such as pennyroyal, sage, rosemary, lavender and mint.
Travel Sickness - Ginger is one of the best known herbs to counter travel sickness. A few drops of Ginger extract given prior to the journey should help. Valerian could also be given to reduce anxiety associated with journeys.
Worming – a number of remedies are available online, containing herbs such as garlic, wormwood, and thyme