Medicinal Plants for Dogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. January 2, 2017
Medicinal Plants for Dogs

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Since the times of Galen (regarded as the father of pharmacology) to the present times, pharmacological treatments have advanced at a frenetic pace, becoming an excellent help against numerous pathological conditions both in human medicine and veterinary medicine.

However, it is not all advantages, because drugs cause the liver to make an extraordinary effort to metabolise them, often also interfering with immune responses of the organism. There is always the risk of developing various adverse effects.

Due to this problem, there is a growing number of pet owners that are considering avoiding drugs as a first line treatment. Our pets can also benefit from the effects of numerous natural resources such as phytotherapy: therapy with medicinal plants.

In this AnimalWise article we help you naturally treat your pet and we provide you with information about medicinal plants for dogs.

You may also be interested in: My Dog Is Acting Weird After Flea Medicine

Medicinal plants are not harmless

There are numerous toxic plants for dogs, in the same way we can also find several plants that are useful for their health. A therapeutic plant is not always a harmless plant.

Medicinal plants are characterized by the presence of a vegetable drug component, which is the part or parts that are used therapeutically. These obviously hold one or several active ingredients that change the physiology of the organism.

The active ingredients contained in medicinal plants follow the same process as drugs: on the one hand the body of the animal releases the active ingredient, absorbs it, distributes it, metabolises it and finally excretes it; on the other hand the active ingredient has a specific mechanism of action and a pharmacological effect.

Medicinal plants for dogs, if used properly, are of valuable help. However, you should know that these may be contraindicated on numerous occasions and will interact with different drugs.

Medicinal Plants for Dogs - Medicinal plants are not harmless

Medicinal plants for dogs

The medicinal plants we show you next posses properties that make them useful to treat various conditions in our beloved pets in a way that is natural and respectful of their body:

  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera juice, applied externally, reduces inflammation of the skin, has anaesthetic properties and also favours the regeneration of the cells of the dermis. You can also apply it internally to improve the overall health of the dog, relieve gastrointestinal diseases and improve the response of the immune system.
  • Valerian: Valerian for dogs is an excellent choice to calm nervousness, relieve insomnia and also decrease pain and inflammation. Although this property is not as well known as the calming property, Valerian acts as an excellent muscle relaxant.
  • Hawthorn: Hawthorn acts as an excellent cardiac tonic, being very useful to prevent congestive heart failure in older dogs, it is not usually used in young dogs unless they suffer from cutworm, in which case Hawthorn can help survive this disease.
  • Milk Thistle: Milk thistle contains a potent active ingredient called Silymarin, which acts as a protector and regenerates liver cells. It is useful to improve the health of dogs in any context, and is particularly necessary in cases in which the dog is taking multiple medications as it helps the liver metabolise the drugs without damaging them.
  • Mountain Arnica: It is an excellent plant to treat injuries as it relieves pain, reduces inflammation, and prevents the formation of haematoma. It should be used topically or through the application of a homoeopathic remedy.
  • Chamomile: Dogs can also benefit from this popular medicinal plant, it is very useful as a mild sedative and is particularly suitable for stomach problems such as heavy digestions or vomiting.
  • Devil's claw: The devil's claw is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories for dogs. It is useful in any condition causing inflammation, being particularly suitable for muscle and joint problems.
Medicinal Plants for Dogs - Medicinal plants for dogs

Use these plants under the supervision of a veterinarian

Medicinal plants for dogs can be applied in different ways, either by infusion, capsule, fluid extract or topically. Each presentation contains a different concentration of active ingredients. Therefore it is imperative that a veterinarian supervises the treatment, preferably a holistic veterinarian with good knowledge of herbal medicine.

The dose of the treatment is not the only reason why veterinary care is essential. What must also be assessed is whether the plant presents a contraindication for the health of the dog, or whether it may present interactions with any of the other medication the animal may be taking.

Medicinal Plants for Dogs - Use these plants under the supervision of a veterinarian

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Medicinal Plants for Dogs, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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