As a movement toward greater health sweeps the country, people are not only taking a second look at their own lifestyles, but also at the fitness of their animal friends. Many are finding that their pets’ diets and lifestyles can be causing them to be overweight, distempered and plagued with disease. By using herbs and holistic healing, we can help our pets to be happy, healthy companions who will enrich our lives.
Though it has been found that people need diets which are low in fats, the opposite has been found for our pets. These animals have short intestines which are made to digest meat. A dog’s or cat’s diet should contain 20 to 50 percent fat. These fats help the animal to have a healthy coat and skin.
Many of the prepared foods for pets today do not contain quality protein necessary for our pets. Quality protein not only provides the fats our animals need, it also contains enzymes which aid the animals in the absorption of nutrients essential to health. You can ensure that your pet has adequate quality protein by adding raw meat and eggs to its food. You can also supplement the diet with nutritional enzymes.
Though meat is an important part of a pet’s diet, we can’t rule out plants. Animals in the wild who are meat eaters still have vegetation in their diets. They eat grasses, plants, and the intestines and stomachs of smaller animals who eat plants. Therefore, when buying food for your pet, don’t choose the “all meat” brands. You may even choose to feed your pets some vegetables and fruits.
When owners are frequently absent or not very active, the pets tend to become overweight. The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition in Leicestershire, England, gave several suggestions for feeding your pet to prevent it from becoming overweight. They suggest cutting out all treats and table snacks. Feed pets two to four small meals a day, taking the bowl away between meals, and feed pets one at a time. To help your pets get exercise, take them for walks, play games with them, or give them small toys with which to play.
Even with correct diet, our animals may come in contact with stress and disease. Animals in the wild instinctively find the medicinal herbs they need to cope with these problems. In a study of chimps, two researchers found that a sick female chimp wouldn’t eat her favorite food, but would only eat a bitter leaf called Veronic amygdalina. After 24 hours she was much better.
Holly T. Dublin, in a study of a pregnant elephant, found that directly before birthing, the elephant traveled much farther distances than it ever had before to eat the leaves of a Boraginaceae type tree which she had never eaten before. After study, this plant was found to induce labor.
You might see your own cat eating grass, which induces vomiting of hairballs which collect in the cat’s stomach from grooming.
Our pets don’t have the freedom of wild animals to find natural remedies, so we can help them with herbs. When using herbs, note that generally speaking, the herbs you use on your pets are the same herbs you would use on yourself only in smaller doses. Here are some specifics.
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Urinary tract infections:
Vitamin C and Cranberry/Buchu.
To relieve bloating, gas and a nervous stomach. Give 1 to 4 caps AG-X after meals.
Add liquid chlorophyll to your pets’ water or give them parsley capsules.
To aid allergies and mucous membranes take 1 to 3 caps o CBG or ALJ extract.
Use Herbal Pumpkin as a de-wormer and to soothe constipation. Take 2 times daily for 3 days, dose depending on size. Repeat if necessary.
To strengthen the heart and clear the blood vessels of build-up, use hawthorne berries or HS II, 1 to 3 caps twice daily.
Distress Remedy is a special combination of flower remedies aiding both physical and emotional injuries. Use when your animal has bruises, shock, pain, tension, stress or fear. Give 4-10 drops in water or orally.
Herbal alternatives believes in responsible pet ownership. Please spay or neuter your pets.