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Using Herbs for Dogs is a helpful part of a holistic regimen that focuses on bringing an animal’s body back into balance. Herbal remedies can be used to alleviate symptoms, support weak organ systems or provide nutritious vitamins and minerals. Although herbs can be used in a reactionary manner similar to a Western Allopathic Medicine approach, e,g., to quell certain symptoms, herbal remedies for pets are better used in a holistic fashion. This means that herbs can be used to support weak areas in your dog’s constitution that need support to regain balance and proper function.
For instance, if you have a dog that experiences flatulence after eating you may focus on peppermint, Mentha piperita, for its ability to act as a carminative and eliminate excess gas. This would be looking at things in an allopathic fashion, using a medication (an herb in this instance) to eliminate symptoms. However, the best way to look at this situation would be to ask what could be causing the gas, because just to eliminate the flatulence does not get rid of the underlying problem.
A common cause of flatulence is incomplete or poor digestion. So, in this case it could be a few of things; one would be a lack of gastric secretions, such as hydrochloric acid; a lack of digestive enzyme secretions or a food sensitivity. So, instead of rushing to use an herb, or worse yet, hurrying off to the veterinarian for some medication, the best course of action would be to first try a dog food with a different protein and carbohydrate source. This would help to eliminate the possibility of a sensitivity to the pet food you have been feeding. It would also be helpful to switch to a raw food diet, if not feeding one already, because they are much easier for your dog to digest. A plant-based enzyme would also be helpful in this situation to aid your dog’s digestion.
You may be wondering how to use herbs for your dog in this instance. Well, after trying what was mentioned in the previous paragraph, if the symptoms such as gas and burping persisted, you could try a bitter tonic herbal remedy before each meal. In keeping with what was discussed earlier, you would want to try to support a weak organ system within your dog’s body. In this instance it would appear that your dog may have weak digestive secretions. What a bitter tonic will do is to strengthen digestion by firing up the digestive tract by promoting gastric, intestinal and gall bladder secretions. Whenever there is a flare up in the future, and your dog looks uncomfortable, now would be the time to use an herbal remedy with peppermint to help alleviate your canine’s discomfort.
I hope I have helped you get an idea as to the best way to use herbs for dogs, and that is in a supportive, holistic fashion, not as a stand alone panacea. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have concerning herbal remedies for pets, we will be happy to assist you further!