Five Herbs to Improve Your Dog's Health

Written by:

PetMD Editorial
Published: November 30, 2011

Herbs for Common Dog Ailments

Herbs have long been used to treat and prevent ailments in people, and apart from smelling good and adding an extra something to your cooking, certain herbs can help out your dog, too. Here are five that are very likely to help you save a few bucks on vet visits -- and saving money is always a good thing.

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1. Aloe Vera

This spiky leafed herb's medicinal value has been appreciated since ancient times. You'll be glad to know it's also good for your dog. Aloe Vera can be either applied topically -- using the natural gel in the leaves as a treatment for burns, scrapes, and minor irritations -- or given internally to help with conditions such as gas, constipation, and infections.

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2. Calendula Flowers

The bright and sunny flowers of this easy-growing herb may be used to treat cuts, scrapes and wounds, both on you and your dog. The flower petals, meanwhile, can be applied directly as a wound dressing, or made into a tea to be used as an antiseptic wash. The antiseptic quality of the herb helps prevent bacterial growth, which is good news for your dog and bad news for the bacteria.

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3. Ginger

We’re not talking about the movie star stranded on Gilligan’s Island, but the herb. Not only is the root of the ginger herb delicious, but it’s been highly prized for centuries as a medicinal herb. It can be made into a tea or tincture, and is excellent at settling a doggy's upset tummy.

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4. Goldenseal

Sadly, goldenseal has nothing to do with gold, seals, or even a magical seal made out of gold (that would just be silly). This herb is a powerful antibiotic that prevents the bacteria from latching onto the cell walls. It can be used as a tincture, tea, or wash for dogs with eye infections or weepy eyes. It’s also useful in treating stomach and bowel ailments.

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5. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle protects the liver against damage and also improves liver function. In fact, it’s an important extract to use if your dog has been on any medicine that may affect the liver.

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Before You Go-Go

Of course, with any treatment, herbal or otherwise, make sure you consult your vet prior to treatment. Like you, your dog should benefit from these natural wellness boosters, but only under professional supervision. Happy herb growing!

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