Herbal Infusions for Dogs
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Infusions and teas are a common remedy that we usually resort to in order to alleviate various types of illnesses. Our pets can also benefit from the effects of some medicinal plants in the form of an infusion, as long as they are administered in the proper form and quantity and under the supervision of a veterinarian.
The following AnimalWised article explains what are the most effective infusions for dogs.
Is it safe for my dog to drink infusions and teas?
Medicinal plants have been traditionally used for centuries to treat various diseases in humans and animals. Some of them can also be used in dogs. The preparation of these infusions for dogs is not very different from the preparation of an infusion for humans. As a rule, boil water, add the plants, let it brew, take it out and let it cool.
We do not recommend using tablets or preparations for humans. The main reason is that the dosage is tailored to humans (weight, digestive system, hormonal function, ...) and you can cause a big problem. It is best to go to a veterinarian who will prescribe the right product at the right dosage.
Remember that if your dog is not well or not feeling better, you should not hesitate to see your veterinarian. We want this information to help improve your dog's health or supplement treatment. Veterinarians can best advise you on how to care for your dog.
Chamomile herbal infusion
Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita, commonly known as chamomile, is a herbaceous plant of the composite family Asteraceae that usually grows in dry and sunny soils.
Chamomile, known for its soothing properties, is safe for dogs and has many health benefits. In fact, it is one of the safest herbs you can offer your pet. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, sedative and antispasmodic properties.
Chamomile helps relieve severe indigestion and soothes upset stomachs. So if your dog has a mild gastrointestinal problem, you can try giving them an infusion with chamomile. For a perfect, soothing rinse, soak chamomile in hot water and let it cool.
Chamomile's anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties also make it an effective alternative for treating periodontal disease, as it is able to reduce bacterial plaque and relieve gingivitis. In this case, you should prepare an infusion of 20 grams of chamomile flowers in 80 milliliters of boiling water.
Once it has cooled down, you should apply it to the teeth and gums twice a day for a month.
Continue reading this other article if you want to learn more about the many benefits and uses of chamomile for dogs.
Dandelion herbal infusion
Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, consisting of species commonly known as dandelions. Although considered by many as a "weed", it is actually a medicinal plant with numerous properties, for both humans and dogs. It's digestive, antibacterial, and a liver tonic. And it's even known to help treat diabetes.
Dandelion is an almost perfect source of vitamins and minerals for a complete diet. It is also easily absorbed by the body, making it a great addition to any dog's daily diet.
In dogs, the extract of dandelion has been shown to be useful for the treatment of some liver diseases in dogs. On one hand, it has a choleretic effect, which means that it promotes the production of bile in the liver. On the other hand, it has cholagogue effect, which means that it promotes the excretion of bile contained in the gallbladder.
Dried dandelion can be given to dogs in the form of an infusion. This helps with digestion, so you should give some to your dog before eating. Mix the leaves with some broth to encourage your dog to drink. If that does not work, just add a teaspoon or 2 to their meal. Since dandelion is diuretic, make sure your dog has ample opportunity to go outside to pee during the day.
Although Dandilion has many benefits for dogs, there are certain situations in which this medicinal plant may be contraindicated, such as:
- Dogs with an obstructed bile ducts
- Dogs with high blood pressure and heart disease
When your dog's liver is not functioning properly, it causes problems with digestion and blood clotting and can lead to disease. However, liver disease is often treatable and controllable. Continue reading this other article to learn more about the most common liver diseases in dogs.
Valerian herbal infusion
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a perennial herbaceous species belonging to the Valerianaceae family. It is a medicinal plant used since ancient times for its effectiveness as a relaxant and sedative.
People often use this plant as an infusion to calm anxiety and excitability and to combat insomnia. For this reason, many caregivers wonder if the infusions of this plant are also suitable for relaxing dogs.
In fact, valerian also has a relaxing and mild sedative effect on dogs, helping them calm down when they are anxious, panicky, or tense. This type of relaxation tea for dogs can be useful to reduce separation anxiety or to prepare for stressful situations (e.g., vet visits, rocket or fireworks shows).
To prepare the infusion, boil a glass of water and add a tablespoon of valerian. Once the water is tempered, add a few tablespoons of the infusion to its usual feed until it is moist (without moistening it too much). It is not recommended to administer the infusion directly with a syringe, because its taste is usually not to the taste of dogs.
Continue reading this other article if you want to know more ways to relax a nervous dog.
Basil herbal infusion
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an aromatic herb of the Lamiaceae family, used in cooking all over the world.
It has anti-inflammatory effects and contains high levels of antioxidants that help prevent many types of diseases, including cancer. Basil also helps prevent cell damage, calms your anxious dog and relieves arthritis pain. Although it does not replace painkillers, it can be used in combination with them to enhance their effect, always on veterinary prescription.
One way to administer this herb to dogs is in the form of an infusion. To prepare it, all you need to do is boil a sprig of basil in water for 3-5 minutes, wait for it to cool, and then give it to your dog with a syrup or through food.
Continue reading this other article to learn more about arthritis in dogs, its symptoms and other ways to relieve the pain.
Ginger herbal infusion
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an aromatic plant of the family Zingiberaceae, whose underground stem is highly valued for its aroma and flavor.
Ginger, which contains the chemical compound gingerol, contains antioxidants that can prevent cell damage that can lead to cancer and improve a dog's cognitive abilities and memory.
Feeding your dog a small amount of ginger can help relieve nausea and motion sickness during long car rides. The natural anti-inflammatory property of gingerol can help relieve joint pain and arthritis and ease the discomfort associated with these conditions.
You can mix a small pinch of powdered ginger into their water. Alternatively, you can make your dog ginger tea or a dog-friendly smoothie. You can offer ginger as an infusion by cutting a slice about half a centimeter thick, peeling, cutting into small pieces, and boiling them.
Thyme herbal infusion
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a shrub of the labiates family, widely used as an aromatic herb and as a medicinal plant.
Small amounts of thyme can be consumed by your dog, and it will reap a number of health benefits.
- Thyme contains antispasmodic properties that allow it to aid digestion and relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion, among others.
- Thyme is rich in vitamins A, C and K, all powerful antioxidants known for their ability to fight free radical damage.
- Thyme contains thymol, the main active component, which has been shown to have a strong antibacterial effect. The substance is effective against bacterial and fungal infections known to affect dogs and other pets.
In dogs, it can be administered as an infusion. To do this, boil a sprig of thyme in a glass of water. Once it is warm, a teaspoon of it can be administered 3 to 4 times a day.
Rosemary herbal infusion
Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is another aromatic herb that dogs can consume, as it is not toxic to their bodies. Throughout history, the herb has been used in medicine to support brain function, for joint inflammation, and to relieve stress.
In addition to its use in human history, rosemary may also be beneficial for your dog. These are some benefits your dogs can obtain from rosemary:
- Rosemary has antimicrobial properties and acts as a natural preservative when used in dog food. In addition to its antimicrobial properties, rosemary can also act as an antioxidant.
- Consuming rosemary in your body or your dog's body can help eliminate free radicals that can cause long-term damage.
- Rosemary is also believed to be beneficial for your dog's digestive tract due to its antimicrobial properties.
- It can help keep bad bacteria out of your dog's intestines, which can cause gastrointestinal infections and problems like indigestion.
To prepare the infusion, simply cook a sprig of rosemary in boiling water and offer to your dog once it has cooled down.
Sage herbal infusion
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a species known for its use in gastronomy and as an ornamental and medicinal plant.
It is a plant with antiparasitic, antifungal and antispasmodic properties, which also has digestive and antispasmodic properties.
Sage not only has a wonderful taste and aroma, but also has natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial and astringent properties.
- The astringent properties of sage reduce redness and inflammation to heal skin infections.
- Antioxidant properties that can help protect against oxidation in the cells and reduce free radical damage.
- Sage leaves can be used to relieve flatulence and treat infections of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Rich in trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc to support a balanced diet.
To give it to your dog, all you need to do is boil a few sage leaves in boiling water and mix a tablespoon of the infusion with drinking water.
However, it should be noted that the administration of sage is contraindicated in pregnant and lactating dogs, as it affects the hormone prolactin.
If you want to read similar articles to Herbal Infusions for Dogs, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.
- Gimeno, J.M. (2000). Dandelion. Taraxacum officinale weber . Naturopathic medicine; 1:20-23
- Medina, D., Chang, D. (2017). Chamomile tea (Matricaria chamomilla) as a treatment for canine periodontal disease . Rev. Electron. Vet. 18(9):1-21
- Villar, A., Carter, ME . Officinal valerian. Phytochemistry, pharmacology and therapeutics. professional pharmacy; 15(9):98-107