Gardening for your pet is as easy as gardening for yourself; in fact many of the herbs and plants we grown in our gardens for ourselves are already beneficial to our pets. This list is not all-inclusive; there are many herbs and plants out there that can have a beneficial effect on your pet’s health and well-being, from curing chronic issues to preventing illness.
It is important not to use any pesticides/chemicals on your plants as they can be toxic to our feline and canine friends. If you must spray plants with pesticides/chemicals, make sure you wash the plants and herbs before giving them to your pet.
Aloe – Helps soothe cuts for dogs
Alfalfa Leaf – Contains a wide range of minerals and vitamins
Catnip – Cats love it, reduces stress and nervousness, can be turned into a bath to help soothe cat’s skin
Cat Thyme – Soothing for cats
Chamomile – Helps dogs sleep better; anti-anxiety; digestive aid
Calendula – Antibacterial properties
Dandelion (Roots and Leaves) – Diuretic, good for liver and kidney as it removes toxins; contains potassium
Echinacea or Purple Cone flower – Immune system builder, used to treat fevers and wounds
Fennel (Seeds) – Helps expel intestinal parasites in dogs
Garlic (Bulb) – Provides same effects to pets as humans; helps regulate blood sugar and helps prevents illness
Goldenseal – Natural disinfectant on wounds
Ginger (Root) – Helps relieve nausea from travel sickness
Lavender – Removes a buildup of excess oil on greasy pets and a stress reliever
Parsley – Freshens stinky dog breath!
Mint (Leaves) – Prevents travel sickness, eases flatulence, insect repellent
Spinach – Superfood for pets
Valerian (Roots) – For Dogs as a treatment of insomnia and anxiety; for Cats acts as a Stimulant
Vervain (Leaves) – Calms anxious animals and strengthens immune system
Wheatgrass (Leaves) – A wide range of vitamins and minerals, body cleanser to support kidney and liver function
Many of these options are also available as a liquid herbal or pre-packaged, but the best option is to always grow them yourself! If you happen to grow an abundance of herbs in the coming seasons, you can also store them for future use. Herbs can be dried, frozen, or mixed with olive oil to preserve (olive oil is good for your pet also!). For long-term storage of herbs, drying and storing them in airtight containers (vacuum-sealed glass jars or vacuum-sealed foil/metallic bags) works best, along with keeping them in an area that is low in moisture.
As for administering these herbs/plants to your pets, there are several options:
Crush them up and put them in their food, mixing with wet food; put them in peanut butter for dogs
Brew herbs into a tea, let it cool, then either put it in pet’s water or administer with a dropper
If you would like to read a comprehensive book on herbs and herbal remedies for Pets, here are several options:
All you Ever Wanted To Know About Herbs For Pets – Mary Wulff-Tilford
Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life – Mary L. Wulff
Natural Remedies for Dogs – Martin Zucker
Natural Remedies for Cats – Martin Zucker
Remember, a healthy, well-fed and stress-free pet is a happy one!