DIY Tummy Remedies for Dogs & Cats
Tummy upsets are very common for our dogs and cats. Food sensitivities, age (very young or old), eating too much, eating the wrong things, eating bones or raw foods without the proper preparation, illness and stress are many of the reasons we find our beloveds having constipation, diarrhea, gas and vomiting. Many times it's better to go with a gentle herbal remedy than reach for powerful drugs like metronidazole or flagyl. These strong drugs can have a negative impact on gut microbiome, which in turn, weakens the immune system, especially in very young animals whose immune systems are still developing.
Some Excellent Remedies
1) Dill. Crushed dill seeds are excellent for treating gas. Grind a teaspoon of the seeds and steep in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Let cool, strain, then offer straight or mix in 1 teaspoon for a cat or small dog and up to 2 TBS for a large dog into a portion of their food to be sure they'll accept it.
2) Slippery Elm Bark and Marshmallow Root. The powder of these two herbs are excellent for balancing the colon and addressing everything from ulcers and inflammation in the GI tract to restoring balance from constipation AND diarrhea. (I recommend these A LOT!) Purchase the powdered herbs in capsules to retain freshness. Open a capsule and put about 1/2 in your hand or on a dish. Mix with water or low sodium broth to a baby food consistency and feed first or mix into food. You can also measure 1/4 teaspoon of either herb and mix with water for each 10 lbs. of body weight. Both herbs are "demulcent," which means they get slippery when wet. This is part of why they help so much. These should only be used until the "problem" clears up unless your Holistic Vet recommends more frequently or your animal does!.
3) Ginger. You know how good and warming ginger is for your tummy. Well, it's helpful for relieving gas and nausea in dogs (not cats) as well. (Remember that it is very warming, so I don't recommend it if there is inflammation in the GI tract.) Make a ginger tea with some sliced or grated raw ginger (or use an organic ginger tea bag). Add 2 Tbs. to 2 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Cool. Add a little to a portion of your dog's food to be sure it's not too strong and he'll eat the food with the ginger. Add by 1/4 teaspoon up to 1-2 TBS for big dogs. Note: I wouldn't make it too strong at first. Taste it before adding it to your dog's food.
As always, it's important to know the cause of any tummy upset. It's also wise to check any DIY remedy with your Holistic vet. Normally these herbal remedies are safe. Just be wise and conservative with amounts to be certain your companion is happy and the herbs are helping.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,