Herbal Remedies for Your Pets

Many pet owners are using herbal medicines and alternative remedies for their animals. Before you run off and give Rover some complicated potion you spent hours brewing, it may be an idea to have your vet check your pet to make sure there are no serious underlying causes.

While at the vet you should tell them that you are planning to introduce natural remedies to your pet’s health options. Your vet may be able to help you with advice and correct dosage rates. You wouldn’t take your cats medication so it should not take human medication at human dosages either.

Some helpful remedies you may wish to try:

Does your pet get carsick?
Ginger tablets can be useful in the treatment of travel sickness in animals.

Is diarrhoea a problem?
Slippery elm coats the bowel and acts as a gentle calmative of the gastrointestinal tract. If worms, other parasites or a virus are causing the problem the animal will require other medication or treatment.

Pet skin problems?
Dogs, cats and other pets throughout Australia are plagued by this. There are actually quite a few herbal preparations that can relieve symptoms:

Evening primrose oil can help prevent many skin problems by providing essential oils to the skin.
Garlic oil is also useful for some skin problems and it boosts the general immune system as well.
Tea tree oil
or eucalyptus oil which must only be applied at a diluted rate also help with their antiseptic properties.

Do be careful of the dilution as they may kill the animal when the oils are ingested by grooming and licking. If you are unsure of the rate of dilution use products that have been specifically prepared for animal use as these contain the oils in lower concentration and so are safe for your pet.

If parasites are troubling your pet
Garlic is one of the oldest herbs used. If used internally it can control parasites such as worms in animals. You can use garlic in many forms. Try capsules, infused oil, garlic vinegar or add freshly chopped to food.

Is your dog’s breath on the nose?
Add some fresh rosemary and/or parsley to your dogs food.

Cuts and abrasions?
Aloe vera is a useful, naturally occurring antiseptic.
Tea tree oil (heavily diluted) also makes for a very effective treatment. Check caution above.

Natural can still be harmful

As with everything health related, make sure you have the right information before you start experimenting on your pet. There are many books out there which can point you in the right direction. Perhaps another idea would be to have a chat to your naturopath to get an idea what remedies are effective and which ones to stay away from. Of course your vet will be a great source of knowledge to tap into as well.