Using herbs as a natural way to maintain good health and fight disease used to be seen as mere folklore. Take a look at the shelves of any health food store, however, and it becomes clear that humans are now acknowledging the boon herbs can have to the improvement of their health and the health of their family members, including their pets. Using herbs for dogs is becoming a safe and effective means to helping canine companions live long, quality lives.
Therapeutic herbs come in a variety of forms and strengths including tinctures, teas, decoctions, poultices, capsules, tablets, dried herbs, and fresh herbs. The physiology of dogs and humans is quite similar and barring few exceptions, most herbal preparations can be used in canines as they can in humans. There are many companies manufacturing herbal supplements and preparations tailored to the canine patient and these can take the guesswork out of using them on the family dog.
For those folks interested in employing their own herbal preparations for their dogs, there are a few guidelines to remember. If an herb is safe for a child, it is generally safe for a dog, but make sure to check reputable resources before using the herb. The dosage of herb for a dog is usually akin to that for a child and can be adjusted based on the size of the dog. Herbs can be used topically as well as used internally and are often much safer to use in this way. Chamomile, for example, is an very safe and familiar herb that helps soothe minor wounds while promoting their healing. Lemongrass and peppermint are herbs that can help repel insects while the herbs lavender and witch hazel can effectively and gently clean ears.
Getting a dog to accept herbs may be challenging at first and several different preparations may need to be tried before finding one that is suitable. Once an acceptable herb is found, people often find it rewarding to be invested in the health of their dogs by using the safety and proven efficacy of herbs. History has shown that herbs for dogs is nothing new, as ancestral and domesticated canines will regularly seek out herbs to soothe their ailments. Devoting a little study and a little time can make anyone proficient in maintaining the health of their dogs using herbs.