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Herbs, Spices Good for Dogs, Cats, Bad for Dogs, Cats – Uses, Dosage


In this article
1. Introduction
2. General Cautions
3. Herbs and Spices for Dogs
    3.1 Herbs and Spices that are Safe, Beneficial for Dogs
    3.2 Herbs and Spices that are NOT Safe for Dogs
4. Herbs and Spices for Cats 
5. General Guideline for Daily Herbal Intake

1.0 Introduction
There are many herbs and spices that can be added to your dog’s and cat’s daily diet. Herbs and spices can be very rich in nutrients vital to the daily maintenance of your dog’s and cat’s health – for example…
  • Boost the immune system;
  • Repel and eliminate insects, parasites and associated symptoms and conditions;
  • Treat and remedy many health conditions – ailments, chronic conditions, viruses etc., help prevent degenerative effects of aging, help prevent  cancer;
  • Help heal wounds;
  • etc.
I use many different herbs and spices on a daily basis to support the health of my dogs and cats.

To ensure that the herb or spice you are using has maximum benefits and efficacy use organic products only.

 
2.0 General Cautions

Before you use any herb or spice on your dog or cat – as part of his’/her’s daily diet,as an ingested treatment/remedy or as a topical treatment – understand possible:
  1. Cautions, if any;
  2. Side effects if any; 
  3. Drug interactions if any – if your dog or cat is on any conventional drug;
  4. Interactions between herbs/spices if you are using multiple herbs and spices.

Failure to understand and do items 1. to 4. above can result in your dog or cat experiencing a health threatening adverse reaction.

While certain herbs and spices do not create a hazard by themselves they can interfere with conventional western medicines – for example but not limited to…

  • Aspirin
  • Antibiotics
  • Cardiac drugs
  • Central Nervous System drugs
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Diabetic / Hypoglycemic drugs (i.e. Insulin)
  • Diuretics (i.e. Furosemide, Diazide)
  • Drugs changed by the liver;
  • Hormones (i.e. Thyroxine)
  • Steroids
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) i.e. Rimadyl
    • Please note – Turmeric and Curcumin will notdegrade the effects of Glucosamine, Chondrotin or MSN, and can be used with Turmeric and Curcumin.
Not all herbs and spices are safe for pregnant or lactating dogs and cats, or for puppies and littens.
Make sure you do your homework or get advise prior to introducing herbs and spices to your dog‘s , cat’s diet/ health care regimen.
3.0 Herbs and Spices for Dogs…
 
3.1 Herbs and Spices That are Safe, Beneficial for Dogs

The following provides a partial list of herbs and spices that are safe for dogs to ingest. Some are also safe and effective for topical applications as well…as noted in section 2.0 above make sure you do your research prior to providing any herb or spice to your dog for ingestion or topical application…

Alfalfa
Aloe Vera multiple health benefits .
Anise multiple health benefits
Arnica Montana multiple health benefits
Astralagus
Bayberry
Barberry Bark
Bilberry
Burdock
Basil multiple health benefits
Beebalm
Bosweilla
Calendula

Catnip 
Cat’s Claw multiple health benefits
Cat Thyme
Cayenne
  • Should never be ingested but can be used topically;
  • Topical application:
    • Cayenne in small quantity can be used as a topical treatment; 
    • The Capsaicin from cayenne peppers can be added to creams and gels as capsacin is a natural pain reliever and also has excellent antibacterial properties to help fight infection.

Caraway Seed multiple health benefits
1Chamomile multiple health benefits

Chevril
Chickweed

    1Cinnamon multiple health benefits also…
    Cilantro (Corriander)

    Curcumin – multiple health benefits

    • Curcumin offers an vast array of health benefits

    Cress
    Dandelion
    Dill
    Dong Quai multiple health benefits
    Echinacea

    Eyebright

    Flax Seed multiple health benefits also…

    1Fennel multiple health benefits  
    Galangal
    Garlic multiple health benefits also…
    Ginger multiple health benefits also…
    Gingko
    Gloxinia
    Green Teadecafinated multiple health benefits also…
    Golden Seal

    Hawthorn
    Hyssop
    Irish Moss
    Indian Strawberry
    Juniper Berries multiple health benefits
    Lavender
    Gloxinia
    Lemon Balm
    Lemon Grass
    Lemon Verbena
    Licorice multiple health benefits
    Lovage
    Majoram multiple health benefits
    Marshmallow root
    Milk Thistle multiple health benefits
    Mint

    Mullein 

    Nettle

    Oat
    Oregano
    Oregon Grape

    Parsley multiple health benefits also…
    Plaintain
    Peppermint
    Penny Royal
    Red Clover
    Rooibos Tea multiple health benefits  also…
    Rosemary
    1Sage
    Sarsaparilla
    Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) 
    • safe for dogs that are not pregnant

    Skullcap
    Slippery Elm multiple health benefits

    Spearmint

    St. John’s Wort 
    Strawberry
    Tarragon

    Tea Tree Oil

    • Only use in diluted carrier such as almond or olive oil in a ratio of 50:50
    • Not for ingested use! 
    • Only for topical use with great caution and should NOT be ingested by dog via licking, breathing in vapor etc.

    Thyme
    Thuja
    Turmeric – multiple health benefits

     1note – these herbs are safefor pregnant dogs when used as a culinary herb.  Do not use essential oils derived from these herbs as part of a pregnant dog’s diet.
    Uva Ursi
    Valerian
    Wormwood (a dewormer that should only be used under the supervision of a holistic
         veterinarian)
    3.2 Herbs and Spices That are NOT Safe for Dogs

    The following provides a list of some of the herbs that are harmful to dogs…
    • Cocoa
    • Comfrey
    • Paprika
    • Pennyroyal
    • Pepper
    • Salt
    • Tea Tree Oil (must only be used in diluted carrier such as almond or olive oil in a ratio of 50:50)
    • Nutmeg
    • Mace
    • Ma Huang (Ephedra) use under supervision of a holistic veterinarian only.
    • Wormwood (a dewormer that should only ever be used under the supervision of a holistic veterinarian)
    4.0 Herbs and Spices for Cats…
     

    4.1 Herbs and Spices That are Safe, Beneficial for Cats

    The following provides a partial list of herbs and spices that are safe for cats to ingest. Some are also safe and effective for topical applications as well…as noted in section 2.0 above make sure you do your research prior to providing any herb or spice to your cat for ingestion or topical application…

    AlfalfaAloe Vera multiple health benefits .
    Anise multiple health benefits
    Arnica Montana multiple health benefits
    Astralagus
    Basil multiple health benefits
    Beebalm
    Bosweilla
    Calendula

    Catnip 
    Cat’s Claw multiple health benefits
    Cat Thyme
    Cayenne
    • Should never be ingested but can be used topically;
    • Topical application:
      • Cayenne in small quantity can be used as a topical treatment; 
      • The Capsaicin from cayenne peppers can be added to creams and gels as capsacin is a natural pain reliever and also has excellent antibacterial properties to help fight infection.

    Caraway Seed multiple health benefits
    1Chamomile multiple health benefits

    Chevril

    1Cinnamon multiple health benefits also…
    Cilantro (Corriander)

    Curcumin – multiple health benefits

    • Curcumin offers an vast array of health benefits

    Cress
    Dandelion
    Dill
    Echinacea

    Eyebright

    Flax Seed multiple health benefits also…

    Ginger multiple health benefits also…
    Gloxinia
    Green Tea – decafinated multiple health benefits also…
    Golden Seal

    Hawthorn
    Hyssop
    Indian Strawberry
    Juniper Berries multiple health benefits
    Lavender
    Gloxinia
    Lemon Balm
    Lemon Verbena
    Licorice multiple health benefits
    Lovage
    Majoram multiple health benefits
    Marshmallow root
    Milk Thistle multiple health benefits
    Mint

    Mullein 

    Nettle

    Oat
    Oregano
    Oregon Grape

    Parsley multiple health benefits also…
    Plaintain
    Peppermint
    Penny Royal
    Red Clover
    Rooibos Tea multiple health benefits  also…
    Rosemary
    1Sage
    Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) 
    • safe for dogs that are not pregnant

    Slippery Elm multiple health benefits

    Spearmint

    Strawberry
    Tarragon
    Thyme
    Thuja
    Turmeric – multiple health benefits

     1note – these herbs are safefor pregnant dogs when used as a culinary herb.  Do not use essential oils derived from these herbs as part of a pregnant dog’s diet.
    Valerian
    Wormwood (a dewormer that should only be used under the supervision of a holistic
         veterinarian)

    5.0 General Guideline for Daily Intake

    Based on Dog’s, Cat’s Weight

    As noted in section 2.0 above make sure you understand all cautions, interactions, side effects, etc. before deciding to use.
     

     Weight
    Powder
    Teas
    Capsules/Tablets
    Tinctures
    1-10 lbs
    a small pinch
    less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
    1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
    1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
    10-20 lbs
    a bigger pinch about
    1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
    1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
    3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
    20-50 lbs
    2 pinches-1 teaspoon
    1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
    1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
    5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
    50-100 lbs 10-
    2 pinches-2 teaspoons
    1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
    1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
    20 drops, 2-3 times/day
    Over 100 lbs,
    up to 1 tablespoon
    up to 1 cup 3 times/day
    adult human dose
    adult human dose
    ᵔᴥᵔ
    Related Articles & Advisory Services

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    About Karen

    Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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    46 comments

    1. hi love your site! quick question, what about garlic chives? i have a dog who is very fussy when eating the garlic chopped up but she’ll eat the scapes, but after awhile i know the scapes get depleted, so i was wondering if i could give her the garlic chives? thanks!

    2. Is Lemongrass and Galangal good for dogs? can be eats or uses? how much dosage is safe?

    3. Hello, my 70lb lab x is having major skin allergies :(. I was thinking of incorporating Echinacea, oil of oregano, milk thistle and golden seal. Is this all ok to give together and about how much a day can i give? Thx!!

      • To address major skin allergies the approach should be three-fold –
        1) Root cause should be discussed;
        2) Overall diet needs to be looked at and addressed properly;
        3) Topical treatment should be addressed properly.
        Anything less will not resolve the problem. Adding herbs in isolation of 1, 2 and 3 is not a solution.

    4. Your website is great, thanks so much for all the good info. My dog Ginger is in the hospital with pancreatitis, we are supposed to pick her up today but the doctors cant get her to eat at all…

    5. Is juniper, Uva ursi, and yellow burdock safe for my dog?

    6. I’ve heard calendula has many benefits, not only topically but also when given internally. How could calendula be used? could it be fresh (flowers? stalks?) or maybe dry (sprinkled in food or as a tea?)

      thanks a lot!
      Ana

      • Hi Ana – add to food at meal time in: tea form, dried flower, or dry powder form or tincture. It is the flower from which medicinal properties are derived.

        Yes topically it is good for ear infections, eye infections, skin infections etc.

        Do not give as an ingested supplement to pregnant dogs. Interacts with sedative drugs.

        Cheers, Karen

    7. What about italian seasoning that includes marjoram and thyme.

    8. Hi Karen, I have recently made some liver cake containing dried rosemary and sage. My dog was sick yesterday after eating some (although it wasn’t the first time and hubby had also just given him an ice cube) and my friends dog had a seizure this week (I had given them some). Now I’m worried I have poisoned them but your site, to my great relief, says these two herbs are ok. Could it be the combination, perhaps I added to much and too much of the cake was given to the dogs. Or maybe it’s just a co-incidence and I’m panicking over nothing? Very useful site, I shall be coming back. Many thanks

      • Sage and rosemary are not toxic in and of themselves but if they were from a poor source they could have been contaminated with a toxic substance (i.e very high pesticide residue).

        The same could be said for the liver – it could have salmonella, it could be contaminated with a toxin.

        As well, organ meats are beneficial in small quantities daily – however can cause issues if ingested in large amounts daily.

        Cheers, K

    9. Hi Karen, I have a male dachshund that was diagnosed with sards on 8/8/13. I have started making his food and treats, increased certain vitamins and digestive enzymes. I have researched and in the natural vet field it is believed that this is a auto immune disease, adrenal fatigue/thyroid issue. The only signs he had before were seasonal itchy skin but not bad. I am saddened but would like to keep something further from going wrong. Also believe this could be turned around with proper nutrition as I do with most problems, even with us. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can add to his food that would benefit him. Thank you!!

    10. Which part of Anise, Cilantro, Fennel can use to dog diet? Seeds or plants?

    11. Dear Karen;
      First time on your page. Liked your mission statement.
      Question: Three no no’s on your list, hot cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt.
      I use hot cayenne and black pepper, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt, garlic and ginger extensively in my own diet, for their many health benefits.
      I make my dog’s food (meat, whole grain, vegetable, spice). I assume that my dog will derive the same benefits that I do from those spices.
      Tumeric needs the pepperine from black pepper to work efficiently (anti-inflammatory).
      Hot cayenne pepper acts as a natural anti-parasite, among other things.
      Sea salt contains many minerals and trace metals, lacking in ‘agribizfood’.
      Could you address these three spices in the context I presented them, ie., a dog’s need for (sea) salt and how much, if turmeric works enough without the pepperine, etc. and offer alternatives to pharmacological produced wormers, etc.
      Thank you,
      Dan Mancuso
      Chilanko Forks, BC

      • Hi Dan,

        HERBS & SPICES

        My dogs get turmeric, basil, sage, camomile, mint, ginger, garlic, rosemary, anise, fennel, rooibos tea, etc.

        While hot cayenne is a natural dewormer, it is very strong and can cause inflammation of the intestines, GI tract as can pepper (black, red, green etc.) While some dogs can tolerate pepper and cayenne many cannot. There is a vast host of other natural dewormers that also provide many other health benefits to dogs you can read all about the many natural interventions for worms and other parasites, insects. Go to my index page http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/p/index-of-articles.html, scroll down to ‘PART 4 – HEALTH CARE’ keep scrolling until you come to 4.2.2 INSECTS & PARASITES, prevention, treatment, remedy. There you will find an entire series of articles providing you with a multitude of herbal, homeopathic and food options for deworming, insects repellents etc. Here is just one in the series of articles http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/07/foods-that-help-your-dogcat-naturally.html There is also one on deworming and dewormers.

        My article on turmeric and curcumin http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/11/turmeric-and-curcumin-good-for-your.html recommends that the bioavailability of turmeric can be supported by serving the turmeric with coconut oil – so you do have another alternative to black pepper for this as well, take a read of the article, you can also read my article on coconut oil http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/coconut-oil-is-good-for-your-dogs.html

        PEOPLE FOOD IS GOOD FOR DOGS – people food is animal food :>) but…

        Your assumption that your dog will derive the same benefits from all the foods stuffs that you do is primarily right – but there are some differences…

        1) Grains are not the best choice for a dog – although grass is part of a dog’s natural diet the seed of the grass (grain) is not. While dog’s in their natural state would ingest small amounts of grain when they consumed the stomach contents of prey, grain represented an infinitesimal portion of daily food intake. A dog’s GI tract is not set-up to derive nutrition for grains and while some dogs do ok on grains there are many healthier more nutritious alternatives – the grain-free recipe in this article provides good examples… http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/06/home-made-diy-dog-food-recipes-grain.html

        2) There are many fresh foods that are good for your dog – this article provides a good list http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/fresh-whole-food-for-your-dogs-health.html

        3) There are other foods that should never be given to your dog or should be used with caution – this article provides a comprehensive list and the reason behind why the food is on the list http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2012/02/foods-that-dogs-should-never-eat.html

        SALT (SODIUM) and IODINE
        In their natural environment, on their natural diet dogs derived sufficient salt from the food that they ate. I don’t add additional salt to my dogs’ diet. They ingest sufficient salt from the various foods in their daily diet – foods such as cottage cheese and cheese. Salt must be ingested with iodine. My dogs also eat on a daily basis – fish, berries such as strawberries, cottage cheese, etc. from which they derive iodine. If a dog is on a naturally well balanced diet they will ingest enough salt from the food and will not require additional salt in their diet.

        Hope this helps. Dan I think you might enjoy reading the many articles on nutrition which you can find on my index page – you will find other good things to add to your dog’s diet…

        Cheers, Karen

    12. is self heal,prunella vulgaris,safe for dogs?

    13. Hi Karen, I was wondering if you could give me safety info on any of these herbs- I did not see them on either list: ,Irish moss, chickweed, marshmallow root, bayberry and barberry bark, plantain, golden seal, and rosemary. They are in a lymph cleanse for humans that I would like to give my girl that has lymphoma. Thanks!

    14. Congrats on an excellent job! I have a question: I read many websites saying tea tree oil is great for dogs if you add the oil to dog shampoo. Isn’t that correct? Cheers!

    15. I like this site. It is very informative, and I found what I was looking for right away. Very impressed:)

    16. My small 5# pomeranian loves cherry bomb peppers, and she greedily eats them. She will eat a whole one. It seems like it does something good for her. Should I let her eat those? They are hot, and she eats one faster than I can. They are quite hot.

    17. Hello,
      Can you tell me if any of these herbs are not good for dogs? Wasabi Japonica, Dioscorea, Wild Cherry Bark, Pleurisy Root, Wood Betony. They are included in a supplement called pH balancer 8.0. He is a cancer patient and cancer prefers an acidic environment in which to thrive, so I am carefully raising my dog`s pH as I need to alkalize his body for a while.

      Thank you,
      Andrew

    18. What is the spray-on application of ACV, lemon, garlic, and cloves for?

      • 1) An insect repellant;
        2) A broad spectrum antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic on an area of the skin which you do not want to become infected. Although with the lemon juice and ACV it would be very important to test a spot to make sure that the sting of the application did not create temporary discomfort and pain.

    19. Ground cloves safe to ingest? I recently read that it is effective in killing the demodex mite eggs. true?

      • Cloves are a natural dewormer, can also be combined with garlic and lemon – you can do a search on my blog to read the article on garlic, and the article on lemon.

        Cloves – 1 clove per every 10 lbs of body weight to deworm.

        As a spray on application – mix some apple cider vinegar (see the article) with some fresh lemon juice, a few cloves of minced garlic and cloves, let sit overnight then sift the liqued and pour into a spray bottle – spray your dog (avoid the eyes).

    20. I got some salve from a holistic vet for my Dog’s hot spot and comfrey is an ingredient in the salve. Should I not use it? Why is Comfrey not safe for dogs?
      Great website by the way! :)

      • Comfrey contains small quantities of alkaloids. Alkaloids can cause liver damage and/or cancer if ingested in large quantities or if absorbed via the skin in constant and generous application. For pregnant dogs and their fetus the danger is increased.

        Dr. Harvey’s healing Cream for Dogs (which may be what you are using)contains Comfrey along with a host of other herbs…calendula, aloe, rosemary, thyme, chamomile, comfrey, etc. – all of which promote healing. It can be used to help heal cuts, rashes, hot spots and itching. The amount of comfrey in this cream is fine for use on non-pregnant dogs. The inclusion of comfrey would only be an issue if it was applied in large amounts on the dog 365 days a year. Comfrey should not be ingested by dogs so just make sure your dog is not in the habit of licking the cream off.

        Cheers, Karen

    21. But hot peppers like cayenne don’t?

      • Cayenne in small quantity as a topical treatment – Capsaicin from cayenne peppers can be added to creams and gels that, when applied to the skin for pain relief and contain excellent antibacterial properties to help fight infection. Should not be ingested but instead can be used topically.

    22. What’s wrong with paprika or pepper?

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