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4 Herbs for Natural Dog Pain Relief

Anna is a lifestyle writer who spends way too much time with her two dogs. When she is not writing, she is probably gardening, reading, tripping over dog toys, or trying to acquire more farm animals than she really needs.

If you're looking for a natural way to help ease your dog's pain, these herbs may help

Herbs have been used by humans to treat illnesses for thousands of years, and as more people show a renewed interest in herbal remedies, it makes sense that we also want to treat our pets the same way. If you want to use herbs for natural pain relief for your dog, however, there are a few things you need to know.

What is natural?

We have a tendency to assume that because something is herbal, it is also natural and safe. This can be a very dangerous assumption. Herbs can be quite potent, and in some cases, toxic at certain doses. The last thing you want to do is to give your dog a toxic dose of a natural remedy or to assume that a human dose will work for your dog. As you research herbs, remember that natural does not necessarily equal safe.

More: You use natural remedies on yourself — why not use them on your pet?

Holistic veterinarians

The best way to navigate herbal medicine and to keep your dog safe is to work with a holistic veterinarian or a veterinarian who has similar credentials, like a practitioner of veterinary Chinese medicine, a veterinary herbalist or a vet that incorporates both traditional and alternative therapies into their practice. Your veterinarian can help you choose which herb or combination of herbs is best for your dog. More important, they can also tell you the proper dosage that is both safe and effective. Many herbal remedies for dogs actually require a prescription, so play it safe and seek out a professional.

More: What exactly is a holistic vet?

Herbs for natural pain relief for dogs

Now that we’ve gotten the warnings out of the way, here are some common herbs that may offer pain relief for dogs.

Turmeric

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce inflammation and help reduce inflammation-associated pain in dogs.

More: Our favorite superfood spice should be added to your dog's diet

Ginger

Ginger, in small quantities, might help dogs with nausea and has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce pain. In large amounts, however, it can cause digestive upset in your dog.

More: Natural ways to prevent fleas

Cat’s Claw

With a name like cat’s claw, you might be surprised to know that this herb can help manage arthritis in people and possibly dogs as long as you discuss the proper dosage with your veterinarian.

White willow bark

White willow bark reduces inflammation and is chemically very similar to aspirin. However, the herb can be toxic to cats, and you should definitely discuss the dosage of this potent herb with your veterinarian before administering it to your pet. White willow bark for dogs can also interact with other medications.

More: Pot for pets sounds great, but it's missing one crucial component: Science

When to use herbs for pain

Herbs can be a great way to help your dog manage pain, especially chronic pain, but don’t let your pet suffer for your ideals. There may come a time when herbal remedies no longer take the edge off, and as someone who has worked in the veterinary field and seen both the positive effects of herbs and what happens when owners refuse to use traditional treatments, I ask that you trust your veterinarian. If you are not happy with the treatment options your vet provides, find another vet who you do trust to monitor your pet’s pain.

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