So, why shouldn't our canine companions benefit from some of Mother Nature's gifts as well? Herbs, plants and plant essences can be used for dogs internally and externally, but please read my warnings and suggestions at the end of this article.
Holistic care needs moderation and should be considered a complementary therapy only. Regular vet visits and grooming, a very health diet, obedience training, plenty of workouts and playtime, can make any puppy grow into a healthy, happy and a well-rounded dog. Using herbs, aromatherapy and other natural substance in conjunction with above canine-regime will complete and complement your canine's health.
Since external use is one of the gentlest and the safest way you can use herbs, other botanical goodies and essential oils on dogs, I have decided to share some simple recipes with you in this article.
Doggie Body and Coat Tea
Herbal teas make wonderful rinses for canine coats and I will give a few recipes for you to try out and of course when comfortable you can start adding your own touches.
- 1 Tbs. of organic cider vinegar
- 2 cups of herbal tea (chamomile, rosemary or peppermint)
- Nettle, comfrey leaf, calendula leaf (loose herbs)
- A few drops of glycerin (optional)
If you are using roots, seeds or barks (hard plant parts) such as ginger, fennel, valerian root, soak your them in cool water overnight and than boil them for 10-15 minutes. Then follow the above steps.
Once it's cold add organic vinegar and glycerin. Dilute this solution with 1-2 cups of bottled water. Use this mixture as the last rinse water for your dog. You can wipe your dog's face with it as well. It's light and the scent is so mild that it will not bother her/his sensitive nose.
You can also put this doggie body tea in a spray bottle without diluting it and mist lightly while brushing your dog. I use both peppermint and chamomile all year around and it's makes our German Shepherd's coat smell great and helps the itchies she gets after hiking and excessive swimming.
Make sure to label (date, ingredients used) and refrigerate left over tea.