Tuesday

Grow Some Herbs For Your Dog



Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine and Thy Medicine Be Thy Food...so said Hippocrates around 500 B.C.

While I am normally leery of taking diet advice from anyone whose name begins with Hippo, this quote has been ammunition for herbalists since, well, probably 500 B. C.
As for myself, I have used herbs most of my life, and on my dogs too.
If you have been a reader for a while, you know that I have spoken of using Slippery Elm tree bark powder and other herbs such as Kelp and Alfalfa, regularly in my dogs' diets. And I grow a little bit of herbs for Puff because I believe that all of us, dogs included can benefit from some live herbs. Juliette De Bairacli Levy,the extraordinary dog breeder, and gypsy herbalist said that adding just picked herbs transfers some of the cosmic life force needed for good health.
I don't have much space to grow herbs living in the city, but I do grow Rosemary and Peppermint.
Rosemary has a variety of uses. I don't put it in his food but I like to have it around as it works well made into an infusion ( which means make a tea out of it) and the infusion is a great antiseptic. It can be sprayed on dogs with skin inflammation and I have used it on canine gum inflammations as well. It also has anti-fungal type properties.I used it on a clients' Doberman I showed. She had the worst skin and was going to a veterinary skin specialist who naturally wanted to pump her full of drugs...spraying her with Rosemary infusion and wiping her coat down with a leather chamois did wonders. With a longhaired dog you would have to forgo the chamois and just massage it onto the skin with your fingers.
If you like, you can add a few drops of Listerine,especially in Summer as it has some mosquito repellant properties.
For digestion problems, Peppermint is quite good. (It is yummy mixed with cream cheese and spread on a bagel,I don't give it ALL to the dog))I grow it in the garden with the rosemary (pictured above) and give it to Puff in his food, just a tad. He never ever has mucous in his stool and he can eat anything without a digestive upset. I attribute that to the Peppermint (but I don't feed him crazy junk either)...maybe this summer you will consider growing some herbs for your dog.