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  • Writer's pictureBear & Kind

Spilling the Tea: 5 Herbal Teas That are Good for your Dog's Health




There’s nothing like unwinding at the end of a long day with a nice cup of tea… am I right? Humans have been enjoying a hot cuppa for literally thousands of years to relax, catch up with friends, and relieve countless common ailments including insomnia, stomach upsets, colds and flu and more. Herbal teas are also a great way to improve the health of our dogs. Here is a quick breakdown of five of our favourites.


Chamomile


A well-known calmative, chamomile is great for soothing anxiety, nausea, muscle tension and even dry eye. It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which makes it effective at treating skin irritation as well. Make a tea and add a little to drinking water or a meal. Can also be used on skin to reduce redness and itching or as a wound wash. Cool chamomile tea can also be used as an eye rinse for irritated, itchy eyes.


Ginger


Another powerful anti-inflammatory, ginger root is effective at treating skin conditions, arthritis and nausea. Ginger can be used to soothe the digestive tract and even speed up digestion, making it useful in treating bloat and intestinal blockages. It’s also packed with vitamins B6 and C, iron, magnesium and calcium. Add ginger to meals raw, powdered or minced or brew a tea and add a couple of tablespoons. Can be used topically to soothe inflamed skin as well.


Green Tea


A popular choice for people for its immune boosting and anti-cancer benefits, green tea is also effective in treating itchy skin and other ailments due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its also packed with goodies such as vitamins A, D, E, C and B, zinc, manganese and fluoride which makes it great for fighting tooth decay. It’s equally healthy for dogs spooned onto a meal, in drinking water or as a topical treatment for irritated skin, including hotspots… just remember to purchase the caffeine-free version.


Peppermint


Terrific for a number of health issues such as bad breath, upset tummy, excess gas, sore muscles and allergy relief. It’s anti-bacterial so it kills the mouth germies that cause bad breath, and also repels fleas. Add tea to a meal or use in the bath or a soak for sore muscles or to keep the fleas away.


Slippery Elm


Slippery elm is many people’s first choice for stomach upsets, and with good reason. It’s a laxative, supports normal gut function, helps with loose stools, acid reflux, and urinary tract infections among other things. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it effective in reducing pain and swelling, and can also be used to soothe and soften the skin. Slippery elm also boasts vitamins A and B complex, calcium, magnesium and sodium. You can make a tea using slippery elm bark or powder… just add a teaspoon to a cup of water and stir while bringing to boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes then cool.


A few things to remember when giving tea to your dog... always allow a freshly brewed tea to cool to room temperature. This one seems obvious but better safe than sorry. If you choose to add tea to drinking water, always make sure your dog has an alternative water source... this ensures he is able to remain hydrated even if he doesn't like the taste or smell of the tea. And finally, always opt for a caffeine-free version. Caffeine can be toxic to dogs and causes some unwanted side effects from increased heartrate to vomiting and tremors.

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