herbs equal vitamins

Dog owners are becoming more interested in using herbs to support their dog’s immune system to treat illness.

Many are aware of the value of using echinacea for something like a cold, slippery elm for an upset stomach and calendula to soothe scratches or skin irritations.

However, few dog owners use herbs for nutritional value. Herbs can pack a big nutritional punch and can be used to supplement your dog’s diet.

Have a dog with allergies or arthritis? Try some vitamin C in the form of chickweed or comfrey.

Or is he iron deficient and now anemic? Grab some kelp.

Is he having circulation problems? Give him some vitamin E from slippery elm.

The great thing about deriving vitamins from herbs is that the body is better able to digest and use vitamins and minerals that come from plant sources as opposed to those that come from synthetic and processed sources. Plus, they are inexpensive and easy to use.

They typically come in tablets, capsules or liquid tinctures. It’s preferable to administer them away from food if you can swing it. But if your dog isn’t game, you can mix it in with his food.

According to The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs by Martin Zucker, a very general rule of thumb is:

Give a 1/4 capsule/tablet (if one is the human dose) to small dogs.
Give half a capsule/tablet to medium and large dogs.
Give 4 to 8 drops of an herbal tincture twice a day (much less than the human dose).

However, if you are unfamiliar with the herb or uncomfortable with dosing yourself, consult a holistic vet.

Here is a list of some herbs you might want to try:

VITAMINS
Vitamin A
Alfalfa, Black Cohosh, Cayenne, Eyebright, Red Clover, Saw Palmetto Berries, Yarrow, Yellow Dock

Vitamin B Complex
Blue Cohosh, Cascara Sagrada, Fenugreek, Hawthorne, Licorice, Papaya

Vitamin C
Bee Pollen, Chickweed, Comfrey, Echinacea, Garlic, Goldenseal, Juniper Berries, Peppermint, Rose Hips

Vitamin D
Alfalfa, Dandelion, Red Raspberry, Rose Hips, Sarsaparilla

Vitamin E
Burdock, Comfrey, Dong Quai, Kelp, Skullcap, Slippery Elm, Yarrow

Vitamin K
Alfalfa, Gota Kola, Yarrow

MINERALS
Calcium
Aloe, Cayenne, Chamomile, Fennel, Marshmallow, Sage, White Oak Bark

Cobalt
Dandelion, Horesetail, Juniper Berries, Lobelia, Parsley, Red Clover, White Oak Bark

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Iodine
Bladderwrack, Kelp

Iron
Bladderwrack, Kelp, Burdock, Chickweed, Ginseng, Hops, Mullein, Nettles, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sarsaparilla, Skullcap, Yellow Dock

Magnesium
Alfalfa, Catnip, Ginger, Gota Kola, Red Clover, Rosemary, Valerian, Wood Betony

Potassium
Aloe, Blue Cohosh, Cayenne, Cascara Sagrada, Chaparral, Dandelion, Fennel, Goldenseal, Parsley, Rose Hips, Slippery Elm, Valerian, Yarrow

Zinc
Burdock, Chamomile, Dandelion, Eyebright, Hawthorne, Licorice, Marshmallow, Sarsaparilla

TRACE MINERALS
Alfalfa, Black Cohosh, Burdock, Cascara Sagrada, Chaparral, Dandelion, Hawthorne, Horsetail, Kelp, Lobelia, Parsley, Red Clover, Rose Hips, Sage, Sarsaparilla, Valerian, Yellow Dock