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5 Herbs to Calm Your Stressed-Out Dog

There are entire aisles in pet stores dedicated to helping you find a way to ease your dog’s stress and anxiety, but did you know that you probably have just the thing your dog needs right in your kitchen?

  • Chamomile

Chamomile is the go-to herbal tea for all things stress-related. It can calm the nerves, induce sleep and soothe an upset stomach – even your dog will benefit.

“Among the herb’s attributes are anti-spasmodic, carminative (gas relieving), anti-inflammatory, sedative, antimicrobial, digestive, vulnerary (wound healing), tonic (strengthens body functions and/or structures) and antihelmintic (worm-expelling) activities, all of which can be safely and effectively applied to dogs, cats, and most other types of animals,” notes whole-dog-journal.com.

Give your dog chamomile the same you would take it – in a cup of tea – but let it cool first.

  • Echinacea

Stress can really do a number on the body, weakening the immune system and leaving it vulnerable to breaking down and open to viruses like the common cold, which is why echinacea is often recommended to help boost the immune system. It has the same effect on dogs as it does humans, with a few extra perks.

According to theanimalherbalist.com, “Aside from its immune-stimulating qualities, echinacea is a very good antimicrobial for the mouth and urinary tract.  It is very useful for treating bacterial or fungal infections of the bladder or urethra, especially when added to a demulcent and anti-inflammatory combination of herbs.”

Echinacea comes in liquid and capsule form. Just add a few drops to your dog’s food.

However, it should be noted that if your dog has an infection or virus, echinacea will not help. You’ll need to take your dog to the vet.

  • Oat

The oat has a long-standing reputation as a cure-all for many things including, high cholesterol and dry, itchy skin and, most importantly, jumpy pooches.

“Oats are considered a nervine, an herbal compound that acts as a general nerve tonic, calming the nerves when necessary, stimulating their activity when needed. Oats are used for treating a variety of nervous disorders,” states pet360.com.

Adding oatmeal to your dog’s food is the best way for him to feel the calming effects of the oat.

  • Valerian Root

Considered “nature’s valium,” valerian root is primarily used as a sedative for anxiety, and can be given to your dog to soothe his jitters.

Vetguru.com says, “The dried roots of the valerian plant (Valeriana officinalis) possess many active ingredients and act as a potent ‘nervine’ to produce a soothing and calming effect on pets and their owners. In addition to reducing tension and anxiety in pets, valerian can also be used to treat muscle pain, stress, intestinal cramps, nervousness, restlessness and muscle or bronchial spasms. In fact, many boarding kennels and veterinarian offices use valerian aromatherapy to soothe visiting dogs and cats!”

Valerian root comes in capsule  and liquid form that can be added to your dog’s food.

  • Reishi Mushroom

Reishi is an herbal mushroom known for its many health benefits. It has been used by the Chinese and Japanese for generations. This powerful mushroom can help alleviate a whole host of problems including pain, compromised immune systems and, of course, the nerves of anxious dogs. You can find reishi mushroom in all of the vitamins and supplements from i Love Dogs.

Natural cures for our furbabies are great, but before starting your dog on any of these herbs, please consult with your vet.

PHOTO: dosecreative


Sonya Simpkins

Sonya Simpkins is a contributing writer for i Love Dogs, Inc. In her spare time, she loves to take her dogs for long hikes and treks to the beach, out to eat and on long road trips across the county. She then turns those adventures into useful advice for other dog parents who also love to take their dogs with them wherever they go.

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May 3, 2013 By : Category : DOG NEWS Fight Infections Wellness Tags:
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