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Using Natural Herbs for Dogs

Share the herbal benefits with your favorite pets by sticking to a few herbal doggie tips and treats.

| April 2018

  • Herbs also have many health benefits for dogs, so feeding your pets these herbal treats will give them a good health boost.
    Photo by Amy K. Fewell
  • “The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion” by Amy K. Fewell is a full guide to living a more natural lifestyle through herbalism.
    Photo courtesy of Lyons Press

The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion (Lyons Press, 2018) by Amy K. Fewell helps beginners and experts alike make the most of their homegrown herbs. This guide takes readers through the basics of using herbs in their home. Fewell speaks from experience, after growing her own herbs for years. The following excerpt is her advice on using herbs for your dog’s health.

My biggest “ah-ha” moment in terms of farm dogs came from watching our Black Mouth Cur named Delilah. She had come down with a urinary tract infection, as many female dogs do. I had given her one antibiotic capsule but, hours later, I noticed she was outside chowing down on my echinacea plants.

I began to freak out a bit. My precious echinacea was being destroyed by a crazy dog. After noticing that each time she went outside she’d start eating echinacea leaves, I realized that nature was actually at work right in front of me. Delilah was self-medicating.

Because Delilah is closer to a wild dog in the gene pool than our goofy Labrador Retriever, Samson, she hasn’t completely lost touch with nature like he has after years of breeding for conformation.



I didn’t give Delilah any more antibiotics and watched her closely. She rested frequently, ate echinacea three times a day on her own, and within seven days she was completely healed. As an herbalist, I felt honored to have witnessed this so closely firsthand.

This simply proved my theory that if given the proper natural tools, animals can heal themselves in many situations. While I lost three echinacea plants in the process, I witnessed something far greater at work.

Reprah689
1/15/2020 1:11:39 PM

I also have several issues with this article. As mentioned in previous comments, be VERY careful with feeding a grain free diet. Please read the research on this. Do not depend upon your domesticated dogs to "heal thyself" with free range echinacea! And garlic can be toxic to dogs!! While this may have worked for the author of the article, it seems to me that a phone call to my veterinary professional (who by the way has studied 8 years on the subject) may be a better source for the care of my beloved family member's health.


lbowman
1/12/2020 8:52:40 AM

Watch feeding grain free dog food to your pets. My vet said that you should only feed grain free if they are allergic to grains. There is a grain that dogs need for heart health. Use only feeds with healthy grains not corn or wheat.


SUSAN
1/8/2020 2:31:39 PM

I have several issues with this article. First, an untreated urinary infection can lead to sepsis and death in any animal. I would not want to count on echinacea to keep a sick dog alive. There are too many variables. There is also no mention of the different kinds of echinacea in the article. Echinacea purpurea is useless when dried and only good fresh. So, anyone trying to cure a UTI with dried e. purpurea is going to be disappointed. Also, grain free dog foods have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy. The study was done with Golden Retrievers but any dog can develop heart problems and they aren't really sure what about the grain free foods causes it but they think it might be the legumes in the food blocking taurine absorbtion. Lastly, the article states that they don't give herbs every day, but many herbs, Turmeric for example or things being used for arthritis or to reduce inflamation, do a much better job if give daily. Some herbs have a cumulative effect and need to be give daily to be effective.






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