You are probably familiar with the many herbal products and treatments for humans. We discovered several plants and herbs can be used to treat ailments of our furry friends too. Whether used internally or topically, there are many avenues to helping your canine companion. Get started with these 17 herbal remedies for dogs that we found are safe for your pet.
Table of Contents
- 1. Aloe Vera
- 2. Calendula Flowers
- 3. Cetyl Myristoleate
- 4. Ginger
- 5. Goldenseal
- 6. Milk Thistle
- 7. Cannabis
- 8. Chamomile
- 9. Black or Green Tea
- 10. Catnip Plant
- 11. Dandelion
- 12. Oregano
- 13. Garlic
- 14. Parsley
- 15. Sage
- 16. Slippery Elm
- 17. Turmeric
- Our Final Thoughts
- Read Next: The 3 Best Herbs to Naturally Treat Your Dog’s Upset Stomach
1. Aloe Vera
Our first choice is Aloe Vera. The medicinal properties of Aloe Vera have been well documented since ancient times. It helps with skin wounds, stomach ailments, and more. Topically, this spiky leaf herb can be beneficial to dogs too. The aloe vera gel can aid in healing scrapes, minor burns, and irritations, thanks to its antibacterial and cooling properties.
Caution: It’s important to know that Aloe Vera can cause gastrointestinal problems and toxicity when ingested in large amounts. Never apply this herbal remedies for dogs to an area that they can reach, making sure they don’t lick the area.
2. Calendula Flowers
The Calendula flowers are bright and sunny, making them a beautiful addition to any garden. While they may look beautiful, it’s the anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and cooking pot properties that make it beneficial to both humans and canines. Most commonly, the Calendula flowers are used to treat wounds, scrapes, and cuts. That makes the calendula flowers one of the top 17 Herbal Remedies for Dogs.
Simply apply the flower petals directly to the wound as a dressing or brew a tea of the flowers as an effective antiseptic wash. Once cooled, the wash can be applied to most wounds, inhibiting bacterial growth and preventing infection.
3. Cetyl Myristoleate
This ester is commonly found in fish oils, butter, animal fat, and dairy products. Although it was initially sourced from animal origin, most commercial versions are now synthetic. Its most common use is for those pets that suffer from osteoarthritis. The treatment may improve mobility, increase range of motion, and alleviate pain.
As a joint supplement, herbal remedies for dogs, does well when it started early than later. This ester can be applied topically, given orally, or in some circumstances, it can be provided by injection. If your dog has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, speak to your vet about starting a pain management program with Cetyl Myristoleate.
Whether used as a fresh herb, tincture, tablet, or fresh root, ginger is an excellent aid when your dog’s stomach isn’t settling. Limited studies suggest that this herb back be used to treat nausea and vomiting in dogs. Ginger has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for dogs, making it a reliable herb when something isn’t sitting right.
To use ginger, either mix the ginger with their food, steep the ginger to make a tea, or create a tincture. Give the mixture to your dog orally. This herb can be given with or without food, but if vomiting occurs on an empty stomach, ensure small amounts of food are provided for future doses.
Traditionally used by indigenous people of North America, Goldenseal is often used as a “cure-all” herb. It’s famous for its medicinal use for both humans and pets. This herb works by impacting the respiratory tract’s mucous membrane, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, mouth, and eyes. It has also been used as an insect repellant and for wound treatment.
Goldenseal can be used as a wash, tea, or tincture for dogs. It can help treat stomach and bowel issues and also works well for eye infections or weepy eyes. Goldenseal is also one of the top 17 Herbal Remedies for Dogs.
Caution: Do not use this product on pregnant or lactating dogs. It can cause uterine contractions and can be passed via breast milk. This herb can be dangerous in large doses; always speak to your vet if you have any concerns.
6. Milk Thistle
Often used to treat liver problems in humans, this herb is beneficial to dogs as well. milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant and brings anti-inflammatory properties. This herbal dog remedy works by stimulating the flow of bile from the gall bladder. It also promotes kidney function and has been documented to have anti-cancer effects in specific environments.
Milk thistle is available as a tincture or an extract, making it an easy-to-implement herb for your dog. Constantly research any herbal product for both efficiency and potency, as this can vary greatly online. To use milk thistle, consider speaking to your vet first. They will often have a list of reputable suppliers and distributors.
While we often associate cannabis with the marijuana plant, cannabis for dogs is typically derived from the Help plant (Cannabis sativa). These plants contain a cannabinoid called cannabidiol (CBD) that is therapeutic. CBD can help treat many acute and chronic ailments with your dog, ranging from arthritis, stress, aggression, digestive issues, and pain management.
Pain relief will typically start within a few hours of the first dose; however, the optimal impact may occur after several weeks of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the CBD oil for treatment dosing. Some dogs may become drowsy, it’s the most common side effect. On rare occasions, mild vomiting or excessive itchiness may occur. If your dog reacts with these rare side effects, stop giving this herbal remedies for dogs.
This herbal supplement is used in dogs as a sedative, muscle relaxant and brings anti-inflammatory properties. Internally, it’s been used to treat inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions. It also has benefits as a topical treatment for inflamed skin. The use of this herb depends on the ailment being treated. It is available as a powder, capsule, or liquid as an internal treatment. As a topical treatment, chamomile is found as a salve, cream, or ointment.
Caution: Due to the sedative effect, it’s essential to give chamomile in it’s prescribed amount. Always speak to your veterinarian prior to administering to pregnant, debilitated, sick, or very young pets.
9. Black or Green Tea
High-quality teas are derived from young shoots found at the highest point on the plant. If allowed to oxidize, they become black tea. It decreases the levels of catechin, the active ingredient in tea. Green tea, being less processed than Black tea, has higher levels of catechin. This chemical contains strong antioxidant properties, preventing damage to DNA.
It also reduces cancer cell formation. It may also prevent inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and liver. As green tea contains caffeine, it’s important to remember that nervousness, insomnia, and other excess caffeine intake symptoms may occur. These side effects are more likely to be seen in pets consuming multiple cups of tea a day.
10. Catnip Plant
Most of us assume the catnip plant is only suitable for euphoria in felines, but there are a few other uses that you may not know. It stimulates the appetite, calm nervous dogs, aids in restful sleep, and aids digestion.
The easiest way to implement the catnip plant into your dog’s diet is through tea. Simply boil a cup of water with four teaspoons of fresh catnip. If you’re using dried catnip, use two teaspoons instead of the fresh amount. Allow it to steep for ten minutes and give it to your dog once cool.
Did you know dandelion leaves are rich in vitamin A? The root of this plant is also edible, as a provider of inulin. The dandelion supports cardiovascular health, improving tooth enamel, and optimizing liver function.
To use this supplement, add dandelion tea or powder to the dog’s food. By mixing it with the dog’s food, you’ll provide the added health benefit without having to get the dog to swallow pills or tinctures.
As a source of fiber, iron, calcium, fatty acids, and more, oregano earns the title of “cure in the cupboard”. It contains volatile oils carvacrol and thymol, which limit the growth of bacteria. Finally, it’s a powerful antioxidant, providing more nutritional value than both blueberries and apples! Oregano is an excellent choice as one of the 17 Herbal Remedies for Dogs.
The anti-fungal properties of oregano will inhibit bacteria’s growth, making it ideal for also treating wounds. If preparing a tea, oregano can be used to aid in stomach upset and sore muscles.
With over 100 beneficial properties, Garlic is not only potent, it is antibacterial, anti-microbial, antibiotic, and antiviral. It can also be used as a deworming agent. It supports the formation of good bacteria in the digest system, making it an excellent supplement to regular antibiotics.
Garlic is most potent in its fresh and natural form, although you’ll likely have to experiment with making it palatable for your pup. Start by adding small amounts of the herb to your dog’s diet, increasing the amount over a few weeks. Ideally, medium-sized dogs would need half a clove or ¼ teaspoon of powder. Dogs on the smaller end of the scale will require half of this amount.
Considered the most popular herb worldwide, this herb is the most concentrated food source currently available. With iron, folate, vitamins A, C, and K, parsley is a fabulous addition to virtually all dog diets. Providing natural sources for the development of your pet’s vision and immune health, maintaining healthy blood clotting, and liver health, parsley is a rich herb that offers plenty of nutritional value.
We have learned that parsley is known as a “chemprotective” food, able to neutralize a variety of carcinogens. The parsley herb can be made into a tea by steeping four teaspoons of fresh or two teaspoons of dried, parsley into one cup of boiling water.
Sage was initially introduced to China from Europe as a very popular herb in early medicine. Containing Vitamins A, E, and K, sage helps support a healthy immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits that may help alleviate arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. It also contains anti-microbial properties that may help reduce free-radical damage and protect against oxidation in cells. Sage leaves are known to ease gas and bloating – helping to treat gastrointestinal tract infections.
The easiest way to give your dog sage is using fresh or dried herbs mixed into their food. Likewise, you can also bake sage into homemade dog treats. If you’re wanting to use it as a topical application, boil dried sage leaves with Epsom salts and water to create a topical application. This topical wash can help heal skin infections.
16. Slippery Elm
Fantastic for old, weak, or young dogs, slippery elm contains plenty of vitamins to encourage healthy growth and development. It works to coat and heal inflamed tissues within the body (stomach, kidneys, and ulcers) while also helping resolve digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea.
We have seen slippery elm used internally and externally to aid burns, rashes, and wound care. To administer the herb in healing, mix one teaspoon of the dried inner bar with a teaspoon of water and honey.
Known for its bright orange-yellow color, turmeric belongs to the ginger family. This herbal remedy is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory solution for in both humans and dogs. It also works to increase bile production and to protect the stomach and liver. Acting as an aid in heart and liver function, it’s also a notable pain reliever.
To use, simply sprinkle small amounts of this herb on the dog’s food and mix it in. We suggest that you always start this remedy with small amounts and then slowly increase it as their tolerance is understood.
Our Final Thoughts
Although these 17 Herbal Remedies for Dogs have been scientifically proven safe for dogs, every animal is going to react differently. Always start any herbal remedy slowly and with small increments orally or topically. Make sure you note any side effects and allergies while administering any supplements in your pet’s diet.
Always talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s overall health and wellbeing before beginning any of the 17 herbal remedies for dogs. Some herbs can interact with prescription medications. As such, always speak to the vet about new health regimens before ensuring it’s the best course of action.
Always considered your dog’s size, age, and health when administering the proper dose of herbal supplements. Some herbs can hold toxicity at high volumes. Ensure the dosage you are giving your dog is the appropriate amount for their overall weight and health. It's important that you purchase herbs and tinctures from a reputable company to ensure proper potency and quality. When in doubt, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.