Which Herbs Can I Feed My Dog?
Herbs make food taste more delicious. They have been used for millennia as medicine. They smell great. They add personality to a garden. And, you can give them to your dog with some wonderful health benefits. In fact, the holistic benefits of herbs make them a worthwhile addition to their diets. Herbs for dogs.
Herbs for Dogs – Herbs That Are Safe For Dogs
Here are 17 yummy, healthy herbs you can safely feed your dog:
- Basil has antibacterial anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, and is often used to promote overall good health. It can be given fresh or dry, sprinkled on your dog’s food.
- Catnip. It’s not just for making cats euphoric! Catnip is an appetite enhancer, supports the gastrointestinal system, and soothes anxious and nervous dogs. It even promotes good sleep and repels mosquitoes! For dogs, sprinkle it on their food, or steep two teaspoons of dried catnip or four teaspoons of fresh catnip in boiling water, and add it to their food once it’s cooled. You can also put some fresh catnip leaves in drinking water or sprinkle dried catnip on your dog’s food.
- Chamomile tea or tinctures can be used as a sedative to alleviate a dog’s anxiety. It is also useful to treat indigestion (especially stomach upset due to anxiety and nervousness), gas, and vomiting. Limit the use of chamomile on pregnant dogs.
- Cilantro (Corriander) is a digestive aid, moderates the secretion of gastric juices, stimulates the appetite, and relieves gas and indigestion. Cilantro is also rich in vitamins and minerals. Chop and sprinkle!
- Dandelion leaves support liver function, support the cardiovascular system, and strengthen tooth enamel. They are packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a wonderful dietary addition for you and your dog. Dandelion root is a great source of inulin, which promotes gut health. The root stimulates bile production by more than 50 percent, and increases bile flow to the gallbladder, making it helpful for dogs with liver problems or gallstones. The flowers and greens can be dried and then sprinkled on the dog’s food as a supplement, and the root can be chopped up and added to any stew (dogs love this).
- Dill is used to stimulate appetite, improve digestion and ease flatulence and bloating. It’s an antispasmodic, and has antimicrobial properties that help freshen the mouth and prevent “dog breath.” It also effectively neutralizes carcinogens, detoxifies the body, and clears respiratory congestion caused by allergies or colds.
- Echinacea: echinacea has long been used to prevent and treat colds and respiratory infections. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and can be given as a tincture or as a tea.
- Fennel (plant): is used as a detoxifier and digestive aid. You can chop up a fennel plant and add it to your dog’s food. Fennel seeds are used as a digestive aid, as an appetite regulator, liver tonic, and to detox the body.
- Licorice is an effective anti-inflammatory. It also stimulates adrenal function, supports the digestive system, heals ulcers, treats liver toxicity, and soothes coughs due to its demulcent, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties. Licorice tinctures can be given orally. Caution: do not use on dogs with heart disease, and with extreme caution on diabetic dogs.
- Milk Thistle is well known as a liver tonic. Its primary active ingredient is “silymarin” which is effective in treating liver disease, kidney disease, and even mushroom or lead poisoning.
- Oregano is a “super herb” well known for its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic properties. Oregano soothes an upset stomach, inhibits the growth of bacteria, and can even help relieve muscle pain. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, and more antioxidants than blueberries! Take one teaspoon dried or two teaspoons fresh oregano, steep in boiling water for ten minutes, and drizzle on your dog’s food. You can also use oil of oregano, but it’s highly concentrated so use very small amounts. I personally use Oregamax, it works great and replaces antibiotics.
- Parsley is considered a “chemoprotective” food that actually neutralizes carcinogens due to high concentrations of myristin (a volatile oil) and histadine (an amino acid). It’s a great kidney tonic that helps your dog’s body excrete toxins. You can feed your dog dried parsley, or add a few chopped parsley sprigs in her food.
- Peppermint has a wonderful soothing effect on upset stomachs, respiratory infections, viral infections and skin conditions. It’s an herb that can be used orally or topically. It is antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and stimulates circulation. It also has anti-parasitic medical properties and can be used to treat worms. Because menthol, the key ingredient in peppermint is quite strong, keep peppermint away from your pets’ eyes and sensitive skin areas.
- Rosemary is high in fiber and rich in vitamins. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.
- Sage is commonly used to treat skin disorders and digestive issues. It has antiseptic, astringent, antispasmodic, and antihydrotic qualities, and helps prevent infection from E. coli and Salmonella. It has also been shown to effectively treat ringworm. Do not use, or use with extreme caution, on dogs with epilepsy.
- Thyme: thyme has antiseptic, antispasmodic, and anti-bacterial properties, and may also prevent cancer. It inhibits the growth of bacteria and thyme tea can help your dog recover from a fungal infection. It’s also high in antioxidants making it a good all-around tonic.
17. Turmeric root: we know it as the spice that makes curry yellow. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory qualities, making it a great herb to use with arthritic dogs. You can sprinkle up to ¼ teaspoon per 10 lbs body weight daily.
Introducing Herbs To Your Dog’s Diet
Every dog is different and every herb is different. The effects may not become apparent without consistent use.
The best way to introduce herbs to your dog’s diet is slowly and in very small amounts, always keeping a sharp eye on any negative reactions.
Most herbs can be sprinkled on your dog’s food and some can be applied topically. Please always use caution. Stop using any herb immediately if your dog has an adverse reaction or just doesn’t like it, and consult your veterinarian about introducing specific herbs for your dog’s health condition. Holistic veterinarians are a great source of detailed information about dosages and uses of herbs.
With proper use, most dogs will experience long-term benefits including gastrointestinal health, enhanced immunity, stronger bones and more.
Which Herbs Can I Feed My Dog? – Herbs for Dogs – Now it’s your turn, which herbs do you use for your dog? Please share your stories with us.