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Puppy Paws Foot Pad Salve

Are you a dog person? A cat person? An all-around animal lover (that's me)? One of the many great things about being an herbalist is that my pup gets to enjoy all of the yumminess of dog-appropriate homegrown, health supportive herbs along with us. Since this month’s issue of AromaCulture Magazine is focusing on the subject of herbal / aromatic care for our furry friends, I thought it would only be fitting to include an article or two about using herbs with pups here on the blog!

This recipe is my go-to when our German Shepherd steps on a thorn or scuffs the pads of her feet somehow. It very rarely happens, but for those moments that it does, it’s a handy recipe to keep on hand for her. I like to keep it in my bag when we're out hiking and foraging just in case it's needed. It's people-friendly too, so it's a great multi-purpose recipe for your first aid kit.

This recipe is excerpted from the May 2018 Issue of AromaCulture Magazine.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 parts Calendula infused oil
  • 2 parts Plantain leaf infused oil (Plantago major)
  • 1 part beeswax

To Make:

Melt the beeswax over low heat using the double boiler method, then stir in the herb-infused oils. Remove from the heat, pour into tins or jars, add your label, and stash a jar in your pup first aid kit or apothecary so you’ll have it available when it’s needed.

Tips for Use:

Spray the pads of your pup’s feet with diluted Lavender or Yarrow hydrosol before gently massaging a small amount of the salve into the pads of the foot.

I like to leave essential oils out of this recipe, especially for puppies. The essential oils aren’t needed to make the salve effective and since dogs will naturally lick their feet, especially if they’re bothering them, it’s just a good idea to leave them out.

What else do you keep in your pup’s first aid kit?

Much love,
Erin

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Herbal Flea Repelling Powder Recipe for Dogs

When my German Shepherd was a puppy, she had an allergic reaction to a flea medication. Fleas can be an issue here in southern California, so I worked on developing a natural, effective protocol that would work for us and I think I've finally perfected the process. I shared the recipe for my Herbal Flea Repelling Powder for dogs in the March issue of AromaCulture Magazine, but I thought I'd also share it with you here as a bit of a peek inside the magazine.

I want to start by saying that this is what works for us, but every family is different. Feel free to experiment (with caution and common sense). Pick up a book or two about herbal remedies for your pets (make sure it's written by a practicing veterinarian/herbal veterinarian) and start researching the herbs that are commonly used for various pet remedies. As you try different options, you'll discover what works best in your situation. This is the blend that works well for our pup.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 parts organic Lavender buds
  • 2 parts organic Chamomile flowers
  • 2 parts organic Rosemary leaves
  • 2 parts organic Thyme leaves
  • 2 parts organic Calendula flowers

INSTRUCTIONS

Powder the herbs using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder that produces a fine powder and store the finished blend in an airtight jar.

To use, apply the powder to your dog's fur after a Neem shampoo bath and a Calendula tea (cooled to room temp) rinse. Test a small amount of the powdered mix on a small area first to make sure your dog has no allergic response or aversion to any of the herbs used in this recipe.

This powder can also be rubbed into the dog's bedding to deter fleas that might want to hang out there.

The powder smells great and is non-toxic, so it can be a great alternative to chemical-laden options for minor flea problems. Creating an environment that fleas won't like (using the herbs in this recipe - they don't like them - and the tips below) is the easiest way to keep them at bay naturally.

Note: For more aggressive flea infestations or situations in which your dog is experiencing skin issues or other symptoms related to fleas, please seek the advice of your veterinarian before trying any herbal remedies. Do not use herbs to which your dog is allergic and ask your vet before using herbs if your dog is on medication. Essential oils may NOT be substituted for herbs in this recipe.


ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR ERADICATING FLEAS

  1. Brush your pup at least once a day. Fleas don't like to be disturbed and if they're already on your dog and realize that he's not going to be a very comfortable place to stay, they'll be more likely to leave on their own. If your pup already has fleas, you'll want to use a flea comb in addition to daily brushing.
     
  2. Keep your dog's bedding and play areas vacuumed and clean. Pay special attention to creases in dog beds and toys where fleas could hide. Wash bedding often if you're dealing with fleas in the house.
     
  3. Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (not the kind used for pools) is often recommended for killing fleas. It dehydrates and kills the fleas pretty quickly, making it effective for treating carpets and things. Sprinkle it over (or work it into) the carpet in problem areas, let it sit for a little while, then vacuum it up. It's non-toxic, but can be irritating to lungs, so you may want to wear a mask while vacuuming and keep little ones away from it.
     
  4. Use Neem pet shampoo as a natural alternative to a chemical flea bath. Neem is a natural insecticidal herb.
     
  5. End baths with a Calendula tea rinse (cooled to room temperature, of course). It will help to soothe your pet's irritated, itchy skin.

March's issue of AromaCulture Magazine is now available! Click here to see what's inside!

 
 

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Please exercise caution and use common sense when using herbs on your animals. We are not responsible for adverse reactions you or your pet may experience. Check in with your veterinarian before trying new remedies with your pets.