It’s time to plan and our herbal gardens and get those seeds ordered. Don’t forget to include some premium supplements for pets. Dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, ferrets, rabbits, small rodents, reptiles and fish can all benefit from suitable fresh herbs for nutrition, immunity, and healing. Nothing could be more natural – animals have instinctively sought out herbs since the beginning of “Thyme”.
Today’s efficient drying methods preserve a lot of the nutrients and active components in herbs but just as it is with vegetables, fresh is always best. Fresh herbs can be sprinkled into homemade pet food and treat recipes, fed whole, steeped in water for herbal tea, or be made into herbal extracts for pets.
Fresh herbs offer the same benefits as fresh vegetables:
- They’re packed with optimum nutrition
- They’re bursting with flavour
- We can grow them organically
- It’s less expensive to grow and dry your own herbs
- Herb growing is an enjoyable hobby that benefits your whole family.
Keep in mind that not all herbs are suitable for all pets, so some research may be in order depending on how sensitive the species is. Consultation with a veterinarian before making dietary changes is always advisable, especially if your pet is taking medications or is pregnant/nursing.
Here are five common herbs for pets that are easy to grow:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Antibacterial, astringent, analgesic, and antispasmodic. Lavender supports the nervous system, joints, respiratory tract, and skin.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – Expels internal parasites, flatulence, intestinal colic, nausea, astringent, antiseptic, moderates nerve transmission.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – Expels gas, stimulant, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, insect repellent. Rosemary supports the circulatory system, digestive system, nervous system, respiratory tract and skin. It’s often used as a natural preservative.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) – Antiseptic, astringent, antispasmodic and expels gas. Supports the mouth and gums, skin, and digestive tract.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) – Antimicrobial, expels gas, antispasmodic, expectorant, astringent, expels internal parasites.
??? Do you give fresh herbs to your pets? Please share your recommendations in the comments below.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
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