Different types of herbs can be used as natural supplements to potentially treat several common issues that dogs may face. Many of the herbs are the same as those used by humans, such as flaxseed oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Gingko biloba and rosemary can potentially help to prevent or reduce the mental symptoms of old age in animals, while certain herbs such as peppermint, licorice root, and cat’s claw can be used topically to reduce itching. Ginger root can be used to prevent carsickness and chamomile can help to reduce a pet’s anxiety due to common fears.
Flaxseed oil, which is obtained from an herb known as the flax plant, is one of the most common herbs for dogs. Adding a small amount to dry dog food can provide animals with essential omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve the health of their coats and eyes, as well as reduce cholesterol. It may also aid in preventing blood clots in dogs, which can be potentially debilitating or even fatal.
Oftentimes, herbs for dogs are used throughout the animal’s life to prevent dementia and other old-age issues. Gingko biloba can help to improve circulation and memory in dogs, and can aid in preventing or treating dementia. Some vets also believe that this herb can help to prevent issues with vision or hearing as a pet ages. Rosemary is also thought to prevent symptoms of old age by helping to prevent the breakdown of chemicals in the brain that can lead to dementia.
For dogs that suffer from itching due to contact dermatitis, fleas, or allergies may benefit from a topical application of peppermint, licorice root, or cat’s claw. In most cases, these herbs for dogs are infused into warm water, similar to the manner in which one makes tea, and then used as a rinse following a bath. Cat’s claw and licorice root can also be added in small amounts to a dog’s food in order to prevent and treat recurring itching commonly due to seasonal allergies.
Many dogs suffer from carsickness, which can make it difficult to take him or her to the vet or on trips. Ginger root extract is one of the best herbs for dogs in this situation, and comes in liquid form that is also used to ease nausea in humans can help to settle a dog’s stomach when given thirty minutes to an hour prior to getting in the car. For long trips, additional ginger root a few hours after the initial dose can aid in settling a dog’s stomach.
Another of the popular herbs for dogs is chamomile. For animals that suffer from anxiety due to any number of stressors, including loud noises, storms, or owners leaving the house, chamomile can help calm them down. Wetting the dog’s food with a small amount of chamomile tea prior to him or her becoming anxious or during an anxiety attack can help the dog relax.