Herbal Pet Care, Part 1

November 27, 2017

   

 

 When it comes to our pets we want the best; the best food, the best supplies, the best supplements. When we think about the health needs of our cats and dogs it’s hard to know where to start. Do they need heart care, eye support, digestive aids or bowel cleansers? Or do they have chronic health issues like joint problems, weak kidneys or tooth decay?

 

Herbs for the right job:

 

Eyes:

     Our pets age, that’s a fact of life. Eye health becomes a greater concern for our elderly animals. Eyebright, it’s in the name. This herb is a specific for eye care. Lutein is a great supplement, as well as bilberry. They all support the eyes and work well for people and pets alike.

 

Joints:

     Stiff joints, overworked muscles, and tired ligaments and sometimes degenerative diseases affect the hips and limbs of dogs (more so than cats) and can make life hard for our furry family members. As they grow, supplements like MSM, Diatomaceaous Earth (high in silica) and Turmeric can ease the symptoms of soreness and inflammation.

 

Colon:

     We have a colon cleanser here at the store that is very effective for helping to cleanse the colon naturally. Dogs take this very well and when they have overdone it (my Lab doesn’t know when to stop eating sometimes) they need some help cleaning out. Constipation is not good for our pets. It creates digestion issues and tends to make them want to over eat even more.

 

Skin, Fur and Brain:

     Omegas 3, 6 and 9, these simple supplements go a long way in protecting brain function. Did you know that they are also very good for the skin and fur. Silky fur, supple skin, good nail health, these are all possible by adding some flax, chia seed or omegas in other forms like oils or capsules to your bet’s diet.


Strong Bones:

     Bamboo powder can easily be added to our pet’s diet to boost strong bones. Boiling the bones of the meats you eat is a good way to get the gelatin called bone broth. This supplement can be made at home for low cost and little time and go right into the fridge for several meals for your pet.

 

     Sometimes our dogs need to relax. You know this if you have ever tried to leave them for long periods of time. I recently went on a three week vacation that was well needed and well deserved. Unfortunately, this created a large amount of stress in our little Terrier, Pit Bull mix. She doesn’t like being away from us, so three weeks was a lifetime in her eyes! I expected her high strung reaction so preemptively made up some stress pastilles for the freezer so her caregiver could keep her emotions normalized. Stress is hard on the heart and keeping our pets happy and calm is important to their health.

     Here is the recipe for these wonderful little pastilles. They are very easy to make and store for several months in the freezer.

 

Freezer Stress Pastilles for Dogs:

 

  • 1 ½ Cups lard. ( I like Mantecca brand)

  • ¾ cup flour of choice (white, coconut, almond, any… this helps firm up the dough)

  • 1 Tablespoon Valerian powder

  • 1 Tablespoon St. Johns Wort powder

  • 1 Tablespoon Chamomile flower powder

  • 1 Tablespoon Ashwaganda powder

  • 1 Tablespoon  Hawthorn powder

  • 1 teaspoon Skullcap powder

  • 1 teaspoon Peppermint powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder (do not use if digestive issues are present, replace with ¼ tsp. ginger)

 

     Get a good sized bowl for mixing and scoop the lard in first. Next, add all of your herbs to the bowl and mix thoroughly. The lard will still be sticky. In order to roll it into pastille shaped bites you will need to add flour of any kind to firm it up. I use white flour or sometimes when I have it, Chicken broth powder, this gives it a great flavor! Mix this in well. You may need a little to dust your hands with so you can shape them with a spoon or roll in your palms. Place on a cookie tray and let freeze for 1 hour before removing and putting them into a bag. Keep in the freezer! These treats will melt if you leave them out. They can be re-rolled if the melt, but it is best to keep them frozen. The dogs don’t mind eating cold treats. We rolled them into tootsie roll shaped pieces, (it is hard to give exact measurements because we were very unofficial about it.) or roughly the size of your fingertip.

     

 They work within 15 minutes. When we first made them we tried them out on all of our dogs. We have 7, so plenty of test subjects! They were all eager and awaiting their turn. We have a larger dog (100 lbs) and a very small dog (12 lbs.) so it was nice to see the difference in body weight in proportion to how quickly the pastilles began to work. When I gave my little dog 1 pastille, she was asleep in 15 minutes. When I gave my big dog one… she was relaxed. So next time I gave her 2. It knocked her right out. Now she is a very laid back dog already so it may take more depending your needs and weight. (In a stressful situation it took 3 to get my little Terrier to finally stop yapping and ease into a nap.) The effects lasted 30 minutes to an hour when we ran our trial on our 7 dogs. For the ones that slept, they awoke feeling relaxed but not woozy. For those that stayed awake, they laid down and were calm. None experienced any adverse reactions using these herbs.

     

     Well friends, I hope you enjoyed this article. If you like learning about pets and natural supplements keep your eye out for more articles just like this one. We will be doing a series on pets that involves how to get pets to take herbs (cats are particularly tricky!) and different herbs that are perfectly safe for our four-legged-friends to take and in what quantities. We love our pets, and we know they deserve the best. We want them to live as long as they can with quality lives and good health.

 

     For more articles, recipes and other news subscribe to our Monthly newsletter. There’s still time before December’s letter reaches email inboxes everywhere. Be the first to be in the know! Also, share with your friends, sharing is caring. If you know someone who could benefit from this article, share it! Spreading the word is how change happens. It takes all of us. Health is wealth, let’s all live well.

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