Natural Herbs for Dog Pain, Inflammation and Anxiety
Dexter, my 10-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel suffers from Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. The good news is he is doing quite well and lives a pretty pain-free and active life. I work closely with his team of veterinarian specialists. He is thriving due to his anti-inflammatory fresh raw diet, physical therapy sessions, various rotating herbals and supplements and getting out and about.
However, there are times when he isn’t his usual self and needs a little help. Sometimes I can even predict when this time may occur due to weather patterns. In these cases, I grab an herbal blend I prepared to help decrease inflammation and help calm Dexter into relaxation.
As I’ve said many times throughout my blog, this is what I’m doing for Dexter. I am not a canine herbalist or veterinarian, and each dog is different in their needs, health, and their current medications. Herbs may be natural, but they do have an effect on the body and other medications. Please contact your veterinarian prior to making your dog’s own blend. If you don’t have a veterinarian who is well-versed in herbals for pets, check out this website.
Next, this dog herbal blend for pain and anxiety is used as needed and not very often. I would not suggest using this on a daily or regular basis. If you are having a difficult time controlling your dog’s CM or SM pain, or any other pain, please set up an appointment with a holistic veterinarian who specializes in physical therapy.
Cayenne Pepper for Dog’s Pain and Inflammation
Surprisingly, dogs don’t seem to mind this hot spice. Cayenne pepper has been used by many people for pain relief. Over the years, the dog community has also caught on to the anti-inflammatory benefits for dogs. Dr. Randy Kidd, author of Herbal Dog Care, explains, “Cayenne is an outstanding carrier herb that helps transport other herbs and medicines to various parts of the body, especially the heart, stomach, and brain.”
Cayenne Pepper Side Effects
Dr. Kidd does caution, “ Very high doses over long periods of time can cause gastritis, kidney and liver damage, and neurological effects. “ Once again, I urge you to speak with your veterinarian and to use dog herbs sparingly and on a rotational basis.
Chamomile for Dogs
Chamomile tea has been used for dog anxiety as long as I can remember. People with insomnia often drink a glass of chamomile tea before bed, as it is considered a gentle and safe sedative. But, did you know that chamomile is also a good anti-inflammatory herb? The best part is this dog-safe herb has no known side effects. However, the more often it is used, the more likely a dog will develop a tolerance to the herb.
Kava Kava for Dogs
According to Dr. Kidd, kava kava reduces anxiety, relaxes tension (including muscle tension), and calms restlessness—without a loss of mental sharpness or the kinesthetic senses (strength and balance) of the muscles.” Kava kava also reduces pain.
Dr. Kidd does state that long-term use can cause a rash or equilibrium problems. He also suggests contacting a canine herbalist if your dog is on barbiturates, antidepressants, or other drugs that act on the central nervous system. And do not give during pregnancy.
Rosemary for Dogs
Is rosemary safe for dogs, or can it increase seizures in dogs? Well, that is a good question and one that seems to have a variety of answers if you look around the Internet. As always, please do what is best for your dog, and you can omit any of these ingredients. 😉
Dexter has not had seizures, so I feel comfortable using rosemary in his anti-inflammatory and calming herbal mix that I occasionally sprinkle on his food. As a side note, herbs in general are not as potent as essential oils, giving them a much safer application.
Rosemary has a lot of known herbal benefits including being an excellent anti-inflammatory herb, antioxidant, and improves brain health. This makes it a nice fit for Dexter’s pain management.
Turmeric for Dogs
Turmeric supplements for dogs have been all the rage in the natural pet care market. It’s not with good reason. Turmeric is such an outstanding anti-inflammatory herb that some people dump their cortisone for this powerful herb.
Side effects of too much turmeric can include nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. This is typically seen when given high doses for extended periods of time.
Valerian Herb for Dogs
Valerian is another herb that is often used to help dogs with anxiety, cats too. I know both our family cats love to roll around in valerian spray. This safe herb for pets not only helps calm the mind and body, but is also good for relieving pain.
Valerian is safe for both dogs and cats. A small percentage of pets and people react to valerian with hyperactivity vs. calming. I would suggest sprinkling a small amount of valerian on your dog’s meal prior to adding to this calming mix to ensure you are getting the reaction you are looking for.
Dexter’s Anti-Inflammatory and Calming Supplement Mix Ingredients
- 1 tsp Organic Cayenne (Capsicum spp.)
- 1 TBSP Organic Chamomile (Roman, Anthemus nobilis; German, Matricaria recutita)
- 1 TBSP Organic Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)
- 1 TBSP Organic Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- 1 TBSP Organic Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
- 1 TBSP Organic Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
In a glass bowl, mix the above organic herbs then place mixture into a glass spice shaker.
My goal when I set out to create Dexter’s herbal mix was to find the right herbs that would help relax Dexter and fight the pain from his disease. I have to say, this works extremely well for Dexter. When he’s having a bad day, I sprinkle approximately ¼ tsp. on his fresh food and mix. I will do this up to two times a day, two days in a row.
Cavaliers with Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia tend to also be affected by weather fronts. When I think we are getting a big change in weather, I will sprinkle the herbal mix on his food in hopes of preventing a painful episode.
I hope you find this dog anti-inflammatory and calming herb supplement mix helpful. Again, if your dog is suffering from regular pain, please seek the help of your holistic veterinarian. If needed, you may need to get a second opinion on your dog’s care. Remember, your dog only has you as his advocate.
Do you treat your dog’s pain naturally? Tell me in the comments.
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