Payne Mountain Farms
Buy dried yellowroot and other wild herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.

Treating pets with herbal remedies - Herbs for dogs and cats

Pets should be active and have bright eyes

Just like humans, pets need a nutritious diet, plenty of fresh water, regular exercise, comfortable shelter, clean air, companionship, and regular health care. Healthy dogs, cats, and other warm-blooded pets are active with sparkling eyes. Since they can't tell us that something is wrong, pet owners must watch for anything out of the ordinary.

Pets should be treated like small children or babies

Symptoms to watch for include everything from lack of energy, cloudy eyes, and dull coat, to persistent scratching, diarrhea, poor appetite, and coughing. Final diagnosis usually requires a trip to the local veterinarian for tests and examination.

Use small doses of herbs on pets

Everyday problems can be treated with herbs. Pets should be given small doses – just like with babies and small children.

Treating minor wounds on pets

Minor cuts and wounds benefit from applications of calendula, goldenseal, yellowroot, myrrh, or comfrey salve. Dehydration calls for immediate attention. Try giving a bowl of weak chamomile or comfrey tea. If the pet refuses to drink, give liquids with an eye dropper.

Pets with diarrhea, skin problems, and eye problems

Diarrhea calls for a 24 hour liquid diet - give water and broth with a little activated charcoal sprinkled on top. Skin problems may benefit from a zinc supplement, vitamin E oil application, or a daily dose of cod liver oil. Eye infections can benefit from applying cod liver oil and eyebright tea to the eyelids. Also for the eyes, many pet centers and farm stores sell antibacterial ointment -- without a prescription. If infection persists, see a vet!

Treating ear mites, fleas, ticks, and parasites with home remedies

Ear mites in dogs may be removed with a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel and tea tree oil. Another ear mite remedy calls for half a cup of olive oil and one ounce of ground rosemary. Mix and let sit in warm place for three days. Shake daily. Strain and add 400 IU of Vitamin E. Put half a dropper full in each ear and massage gently for a few minutes. Then let the dog shake its head. Repeat every week to kill any mites that have hatched.

Fleas, ticks, and mites hate garlic. Sprinkle on pet's back and rub into fur. If this doesn't work, try Diatomaceous Earth which kills fleas. Do not breath in dust or get it near pets face. It is not good for the lungs! Fresh or dried pennyroyal may be sprinkled in pet's bed to deter fleas. (Pennyroyal essential oil is too strong to be used around pets and is not recommended). Cedar chips and cedar essential oils are also known to repel fleas. Be careful with cats, though. Phenols in essential oils can harm them. Read more about flea treatments at Wikipedia.

Treating pets for bad breath, gas, mange, and worms with herbal remedies

Occasional bad breath may be treated with parsley. Snip fresh parsley into pet's food. Constant bad breath may be signs of tooth decay and will require a trip to the veterinarian. Gas calls for alfalfa, ginger powder, or fennel seeds. Worms may be treated with cloves, mullein, myrrh, echinacea, black walnut hulls, or pumpkin seeds. For mange use tea tree oil in the bath. Small patches may be treated with direct applications of tea tree oil but do not use extensively on large areas.

Buy quality pet food

Many pet foods lack the necessary ingredients to sustain life - if the same amount that goes in comes out, then the pet just as well be eating saw dust pellets. If at all possible buy something besides the cheapest brand. Buy the best pet food that you can afford then stick to it (especially with puppies and kittens).

Pets, just like humans, need fresh food in their diet. Fresh meat and vegetables contain essential enzymes not found in processed pet food. A healthy diet includes quality dry pet food and some meats, grains, and veggies every day. (Cats need more raw meat than dogs.) Supplements like wheat germ oil, brewer's yeast, and bran may be sprinkled on food.

* Always consult with your veterinarian before using any herbal remedy.

Treating pets with herbs

© Steffen Foerster | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Treating pets at home with herbs requires patience. Treat you pets like small children and watch for signs of health problems.