Tips for treating pets with medicinal herbs, diet, and home remedies

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 playful and attentive. Since they can't tell us that something is wrong, pet owners must watch for anything out of the ordinary.

Dogs and cats can benefit from herbal remedies.
Picture of dog courtesy of

Since they can't talk, treat pets like small children. Watch for signs of health problems such as dull eyes and lack of energy.

Treating minor pet health problems with herbal remedies

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 plain water at room temperature with an eye dropper. Do not ever force feed your pet unless ordered to do so by a veterinarian!

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, whining, wheezing, and coughing. If symptoms continues over a day or two or become severe seek medical help. Final diagnosis usually requires a trip to the local veterinarian for examination and tests.

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.

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 since diatomacreous earth can damage lung tissue when inhaled. 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 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). A pet needs good nutrition to stay healthy.

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 especially if your pet is pregnant, nursing, or taking other medications.

Payne Mountain Farms

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Herb Articles by Janice Boling

"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... , herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer

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Every Green Herb is a place to learn about medicinal herbs and essential oils. Visit my online store to buy wild harvested yellowroot, mullein, bee balm, and other herbal products at Payne Mountain Farms.

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