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Sep 21, 2018

Herbal Remedies for Dogs

Holistic herb remedies have been around since mankind first stepped on the planet. Documents pertaining to medicinal herb practice and preserved herbal remnants dating back thousands of years have been discovered by archeologists around the globe.

As modern medicine took off, essential herb knowledge no longer passed down from one generation to the next. Although modern medicine has done wonders by eradicating or treating certain medical conditions, there are many who look to natural approaches to helping themselves and their pets.

It is important to note that they should not be used as a substitute for veterinarian guidance and they cannot be guaranteed safe for all dogs. Many herbal remedies should not be used longterm or with nursing or pregnant mothers. Learn about their uses below and see why many are turning towards these age-old remedies.


Chamomile is known to ease stress, soothe upset tummies, and aide in healing wounds. This gentle remedy can be used topically or ingested when in tea form. Using a chamomile tea bag, steep it in hot water for a 2 minutes and then let it cool down to the touch. Once it is cool, use it as compress on the eye to relieve swelling and treat eye infections.


This highly accessible flower can be used to treat minor cuts, scrapes, or wounds. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Using calendula for dogs is as simple as brewing tea. You can make a calendula wash by adding 1/2 cup of fresh dried flowers to a quart of water. Strain the petals and use this infusion as rinse once it has cooled down. 

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is known to protect the liver against damage in both dogs and humans. This herb is often used when dogs have been on medications that may affect the liver or with breeds that are prone to liver damage such as Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, or Dalmatians. As a power antioxidant, it protects against free radicals. Milk thistle extract typically contains about 70 to 80 percent silymarin (the combination of chemical compounds found in milk thistle). It can be administered with a dose of 1/4 tsp. for every 20 lb. of your pet's body weight. This dosage should be divided between 2-4 separated doses during the day.  


Ginger is commonly used to treat nausea and to aide in digestion. You may be familiar with the use of ginger ale by humans to settle upset stomachs and nausea. This is because ginger ale contains ginger - the actual ingredient that helps prevent nausea. If your pup gets car sick, this may be a great solution for their woes. Administer it 30 minutes before and give them 1/4 tsp. of raw minced ginger for every 10 lb. of weight. Alternatively, you can use homemade grain-free ginger dog treats to incentivize them to eat it since ginger can be spicy. 


Turmeric is well known for it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This ancient root is highly revered for it's healing properties. It is best utilized by dogs when given in small quantities throughout the day since turmeric doesn't stay in their system long. A great way to incorporate into your dog's diet is by making a golden paste.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm comes from the inner bark of a red elm tree. It is known for lubricating the intestinal system. This is great for pets with gastrointestinal disease and those experiencing diarrhea or constipation. Mix about a quarter teaspoon with water for every 10 lb. of body weight.

Incorporating edible herb remedies into your pup's diet is tricky because they can sometimes have a bitter taste. Utilizing a wet food or freeze-dried dog food is an excellent way to mask the bitter taste.

Please consult with your dog's veterinarian to see whether herbal remedies can help your pet. This article is meant to be purely informational and does not offer medical advice.