Healthy Pets: Nutraceuticals and Herbal Medicines for Pets?

by Mary Haight on December 4, 2011

Healthy pets living longer active lives is what all pet lovers hope for – enter nutraceuticals and herbal supplements.

healthy pets

Nutraceuticals Make SuperDogs?

Proven to provide health protection for humans, popular  treatments for human health are often put to use to help dogs and cats. Using food as a way to prevent disease is a popular practice that is now going to the dogs – literally.

Back in 2009 it was known that a molecule in soy had a toxic effect on many cancers in humans, and when it was tried on canine lymphoma, it worked just as it did in humans. Like many “natural” methods of relief from physical and even mental ailments available to humans, special formulas to maintain healthy pets are now being produced.

When recently preparing to record a pet products podcast with Carol Bryant, the subject of dogs’ fears of thunderstorms and fireworks came up. We talked about how Dr. Bach’s line of handmade flower essences and plant extracts had adjusted some formula dosage for use in dogs, and it turned out we had both used the product. People are trying to keep at bay the need to use powerful drugs which can decrease the quality and even the length of life enjoyed by their dogs – side effects can be worse than the disease.

We know from people like Dr. Oz and Dr. Sanjay Gupta that antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, even whole grains, stops inflammation and the resulting damage free radicals cause to DNA that can lead to cancer. Shoring up your pet’s immune system to help prevent early onset of disease is a proactive measure we can take that could mitigate future health impacts. It can also result in using less of strong medications if and when they are required.

While we know these measures won’t replace conventional drug therapies,  Dr. Joel Murphy spoke with Dr Lorie Huston about nutriceuticals and herbal supplements as a preventive, staving off arthritis, cognitive issues later in life, taking care of some skin problems, and having a positive effect on other health issues.

Joint health and the impact of  Tibetan Goji berries, Dragon Blood (tested for 3000 years by Chinese medicine), Tumeric, Ginger, Juniper and other anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and pain relievers were discussed on the latest podcast at Animal Café.

Do you use food or herb-based solutions for yourself, and have you thought about using them on your dog?  What results have you seen that are measurable? We have so many alternative treatments for our dogs now – please share any success you’ve had =)

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One of our dogs was hit by a car over a year ago and suffered partial back and leg paralysis. Water therapy and physical rehabilitation helped her walk again, but she was not back to normal. We started herbal therapy back in the spring to help her deal with pain management and regain additional strength. We also started tu nai (a form of massage). Her progress has just been simply amazing to the point an outsider wouldn't even know there was an accident. Additionally, we've used herbs for itchy skin and growths and they always go away. These type of therapies may take more time to notice than traditional ones, but they are well worth it.

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