Upon first hearing that I am a canine herbalist, the response is usually something like “I’m sorry; a what?” Yeah, I know. Not exactly a lucrative profession.
But have you wondered how herbs can help your dog stay healthy? When and why would they be used for your dogs’ health issues? Herbs are useful…
- as an adjunct to medical treatment
- to address miscellaneous issues such as anxiety, detox, etc., which are often overlooked by conventional medicine
- as a preventive to maintain good health
It seems we have somehow gotten away from raising dogs in a healthful manner. We over-vaccinate, we feed dry, processed food, and we administer antibiotics and steroids when they show any sign of illness. Is it any wonder that our nation’s pets are developing more and more chronic and auto-immune conditions?
Let’s get them back in balance. Let’s go back to the roots (no pun intended!) of health and re-introduce whole food nutrition, exercise & sunshine, and green plants. There are plants for every system of the body and every condition. Most pharmaceutical drugs were derived from (or inspired by) the plant world, but science has yet to comprehend the complexities of the plants. When certain constituents are extracted in laboratories, the healing properties are often lost or gain harmful side effects. Plants are designed to function as a whole, not as a scientifically extracted derivative or synthetic.
So, I formulate my preparations in the traditional manner. I try to utilize native herbs as much as possible, and I wildcraft as often as I can for my herbal formulations. With dogs, loose teas are often the easiest method of administering the herbs — just steep the tea and pour it right over dinner. I also make tinctures and low-alcohol tinctures, as well as oils, salves, and ointments for external healing.
If you are dealing with health issues with your dog, herbs may be able to help. If you are trying to detox your dog from drug therapy or are looking for natural treatment as an adjunct to drug therapy, herbs can help. If your dog is happy and healthy and you want to keep him or her that way, herbs can definitely help!