Nutritive herbs for pets

Thu. Feb. 8, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Nutritive herbs for pets

WARNING:  Before you give your pet any herb – KNOW what you’re giving them and ask your veterinarian if you have ANY questions.  If your pet is not healthy – then make sure your vet says it’s okay.

Herbal pet care is becoming more recognized.  I know that I never really liked putting Frontline on my Golden Retriever to protect her from ticks.  It just didn’t seem right to put something on her that I had to wear gloves to do.

Gigi was SO excited to go bye-bye in the car!

Out of Organic Gardening Magazine (since the article in 2014, they are now Organic Life): Herbal Pet Care

For a flea and tick repellent, mix 2 tbsp. fresh or 1 tbsp. dried of any combination of these herbs:  rosemary, oregano, lemon verbena, lavender and/or spearmint:   Place the herbs in a medium pot.  Cover the herbs with 2 cups boiling water and let them steep until the tea has cooled.  Strain out the herbs.

For a repellent spray:  fill a spray bottle with the herbal liquid.  Spray your pet rubbing the liquid into her/his fur.  Start using the spray at the beginning of the flea/tick season and repeat several times a week.

For a shampoo:  In a jar or empty shampoo bottle, combine 1 tbsp. of baby shampoo or liquid Castile soap with the herbal liquid.  In a bathtub or large basin, lather up your pet with warm water and the herbal shampoo, wait 10 minutes (this should be interesting) then rinse. The shampoo will cause fleas to jump off and drown in the water.  Reapply once or twice each week until the fleas are gone.

Many herbs, in fact some we call weeds, are excellent daily additions to your pet’s diet, according to the article.  You can finely mince fresh, organic herbs and sprinkle over your pets food just before serving.

Dandelion, which most of us try to get rid of anyway, is rich in protein, potassium, vitamin A, iron and manganese which is good for the liver.  Use only leaves of NON treated plants.  If you or your neighbors have sprayed a herbicide, then don’t use the plants in your yard.  You likely know that, but I’m compelled to say it!


Purslane is another weed whose leaves are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.  Burdock is a root that is a son of a gun to get rid of…  fight it back by boiling down the root in water for 10 to 15 minutes, letting it cool and pouring the liquid over your pets food.  Burdock root is loaded with calcium, phosphorus and thiamine.