Six Herbal Teas for the Health and Delight of Our Pups!
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Throughout the centuries, we humans have not only enjoyed herbal teas for their flavor and fragrance, but also (and so importantly) for all the beneficial qualities they offer us!
We’ve sought them out for help with our stomach issues and indigestion, to calm us down when our nerves are on edge, to rescue us when nausea sets in, when the throw up begins, and even when we just can’t seem to get to sleep. We’ve even turned to them for topical use when skin irritations are what we need to address.
So why is it that it seems we had not considered sharing these terrific benefits with those very special members of our families, our beloved pets? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I sure am very grateful that something finally clicked, and now we have realized that it is not only okay but also brilliant to have them share in the fantastic, natural healing benefits of these plants.
Several of the herbal teas that we brew for ourselves, it seems, can also positively impact the health of our pups in the same way that it does ours! They can help to improve their digestive and immune system, alleviate inflammation, calm itchy skin, put a spring in their step, detoxify when needed, and so much more!
I’m listing a few of the herbal teas that we can share with our furry family members, but please be careful and never, ever offer hot tea (or any hot liquid or food), as doing so can cause a lot of damage! Either have patience and wait for the brew to cool or to speed it up, add some ice or cold water.
Also, although these herbs are safe (in moderation) and beneficial for them, just as they are for us, you should always check with your veterinarian, especially if you’re concerned about your pet having a particular issue (such as allergies). If you happen to have a holistic veterinarian, well, I gotta say; that’s just very cool!
Brewing instructions are the same for all the herbal teas listed. I like to use a glass measuring cup because glass is safe since you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals leaching into the brew. If you prefer to use plastic items for heating, please make sure that they are BPA-free and won’t be releasing any carcinogens. I know you’ll agree that their health is just as important as ours!
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BREWING
Place a bag of the herbal tea you have chosen into a glass measuring cup (or BPA free cup).
Pour about 8 ounces of boiling water over the bag.
Let it sit and steep for 5 minutes.
Go ahead and remove the bag and stir the tea.
At this point, it is crucial that you either let it cool to room temperature, or drop in some ice cubes or a little cold water. Make sure that tea is cool before offering it to your pet!
If you think your pup would enjoy it, you can even stir in a little teaspoon of raw honey for sweetness!
SIX HERBAL TEAS TO CHOOSE FROM
This tea is the one that I use the most for our little dog. She’s a nine pound loveable Shih Tzu, who occasionally likes to nibble on lizards (when she can catch one). If I am ever doubtful as to whether or not she has been successful in her hunt, I will brew her a little chamomile, and she thoroughly enjoys it (almost as much as she did the poor lizard). Sometimes, if I have watermelon on hand, I will pour it over the pieces of the melon as an extra special treat!
This delicious tea can help our pups get over an upset stomach, vomiting, and indigestion. If you notice a persistent unpleasant odor when the dog’s around, and you know it wasn’t you, brew up a little cup. You’ll both be happy that you did!
Chamomile soothes, calms, and it also has antimicrobial properties which can help with itching, skin rashes, and inflammation. When applied to the skin, chamomile can also speed up the healing process of a wound.
The smooth muscle tissues found in our pup’s bodies (as well as ours) have been shown to benefit from chamomile by becoming stronger. That would mean healthier hearts, bladders, and uteruses for our faithful friends. Chamomile is so safe and offers so many great benefits for our pups too!
If you don’t want to brew the tea, you can also still have your pet benefit from chamomile by chopping up the flowers and sprinkling it over her food. I haven’t tried it that way yet but intend to at some point (just to see if our pup likes it that way too).
2. ECHINACEA (Also known as Purple Coneflower)
I’m sure you’re very familiar with this one! We’ve all been using it for years to help our immune systems by giving it a healthy boost. Well, it’s no surprise that our pets can benefit from the same thing. We can offer them some nice Echinacea tea to help them naturally fight viruses and bacteria. Echinacea helps to speed up the rate that white blood cells attack possible nasty bacteria in the blood. It also energizes the lymphatic system, so that toxins are eliminated along with other waste products.
More info. on Echinacea here (just click)
3. GINGER TEA
Like Chamomile, ginger is very soothing to the digestive system and can control vomiting. But you have to be careful to offer small doses of the tea so that you don’t accidentally worsen the condition. Apart from using a ginger tea bag, you can also choose to take just a few thin slices of ginger root and steep in boiled water (1 cup) for five minutes. Take out the ginger, and when cooled, give a small amount to help with stomach issues.
Click here to learn a little more about Ginger
4. GREEN TEA
In Asia, Green Teas have been consumed for centuries. From helping to speed up metabolism to helping ward off some cancers due to its polyphenols, it is a highly beneficial tea. As long as you are using a decaffeinated Green Tea, you can give an amount prescribed by your veterinarian and always with food. This tea should always be decaffeinated for a dog and never given on an empty stomach. The ability of this tea to fight off some cancers in humans has not been thoroughly studied or confirmed in the case of dogs. Neither have the Metabolic benefits.
I have never given Green Tea, but I wanted to list it because I have known some people who have given it to their pets, but only under a veterinarian’s care.
5. LICORICE ROOT TEA
Licorice belongs to the family of legumes (think, beans) and Licorice Root Tea has nothing to do with that terrible ( my personal opinion) black candy stuff! Licorice Root is a plant whose root contains many health benefits for both dogs and us humans. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help clear up sinuses and alleviate joint discomfort. It can be used in place of cortisone treatments (consult your vet), as we all know that cortisone can be a double-edged sword.
Our pup has recurring back issues due to a fall that she took a few of years ago. When her flare-up is extreme, we immediately take her to her vet and give her the prescribed cortisone medication. However, when I first notice symptoms, and it is not too severe, to try to stay away from more cortisone, I have given her a little bit of this brew, and it has seemed to help. And to “sometimes” not have to give cortisone makes me happy! That is just my personal experience. But I sure wish she could talk!
This tea is also noted to assist with the healing of ulcers in dogs. And the cooled off tea can be applied to the skin to ease the pain of a bite from parasites like fleas and ticks.
6. ROOIBOS TEA
Another personal favorite (Chamomile being #1) that I love to drink and share with our little dog as well.
Rooibos comes to us from South Africa and the word means “Red Bush.” This lovely tea is full of antioxidants which we know help to slow down aging effects and also contributes to the prevention of certain cancers, boosts our immune system, and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Similar to my beloved Chamomile, Rooibos (cooled down of course) can be applied to your dog’s skin to help with irritations. And just like it can help ease our anxieties, it can also calm a nervous dog.
If you like a little kick of cinnamon in your tea, as I sometimes do, you’ll be pleased to know that a lot of dogs do too. You can let them enjoy this added tasty benefit by adding a cinnamon stick to the brew for a few minutes (no more than five) and then remove it and let the tea cool before offering it. Cinnamon, apart from being tasty, has a host of other benefits for our pooches just like it does for us.
Please keep in mind, it is vital that you first talk about the health of your pet with your vet or holistic veterinarian. They know your pup and the medical history as well and will always be able to offer you the best advice and recommendations when it comes to herbal teas and your beloved pooch!
HOPEFULLY, I’VE MANAGED TO CONVINCE YOU TO SHARE THE WONDERFUL BENEFITS OF TEA WITH YOUR BELOVED PUP.
AND SINCE I’M SURE HOPING I HAVE…JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THIS ADORABLE LITTLE TEAPOT BY WORLD FAMOUS BRITISH ARTIST, PAUL CARDEW.
YOUR BEST FRIEND WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE SHARING SOME TEA USING ONE OF THESE!