Herbs do wonders for your pets
For centuries humans have been aware of the many health benefits of herbs. But did you know that some medicinal plants can be just as helpful for your furry friends? Herbs can keep your pet’s skin healthy, repel fleas, improve digestion, boost your dog or cat’s mood and even enhance their memory.
Create a pet-friendly herb corner in your garden
Here are some ideas for what to include:
- Health-boosting herbs
- Herbs that give your pets pleasure
- Herbs that provide shelter and shade
- Memory-boosting herbs
Herbs for healthy pets
- Tonic herbs such as parsley, comfrey and borage are good for the general health and wellbeing of your pets.
- Fennel and mint help to promote healthy digestion.
- For arthritis and inflammation in older pets, try feverfew, comfrey, celery, parsley and yarrow.
- To help ward off problems with worms and parasites, try adding chopped yarrow, thyme or oreganum leaves to your pet’s food once a week.
- Calendula, thyme, chamomile or lavender can give your pet’s skin a boost. These herbs can be added to their food or made into a tea and sprayed directly onto your pet’s skin using a plant mister.
Herbs for pleasure
- Cats love cat grass (Dactylis glomerata), which is high in nutrients and good for their digestive systems.
- Catmint (Nepeta mussinii) and catnip (Nepeta cataria) are popular with our feline friends. Both will boost your cat’s mood and put a spring in their step.
Shade and shelter
- Large, bushy perennials like lavender and rosemary can be used to add shady spots to your garden, which your pets can use to seek shelter from the sun. Both these shrubs also repel fleas.
Herbs to boost memory
Nervines are herbs that can help to support your pet’s nervous system. These can be divided into relaxants and stimulants.
- Relaxants promote calmness and relaxation, which can help your pet to memorise things better. An example is lemon balm.
- Stimulants such as ginkgo and rosemary can also aid your pet’s memory by improving circulation to the brain.
A note on dosages: If you’re not sure what sort of dosage to give your pets when it comes to herbs, it’s generally safe to follow this rule: use 1 teaspoon of fresh herbs per 10kg of your pet’s body weight.
Read more: Hassle-free gardening with herbs