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TRAINING SUCCESSFUL PRACTITIONERS

Boost Your Pet’s Health

How to use herbs & nutrition for pet wellness

Just as proper nutrition is vital for human health, it’s equally essential for our furry companions. Integrating herbs and balanced nutrition into your pet’s diet can have significant benefits, promoting overall well-being and addressing various health issues.

Let’s explore how herbs and nutrition can support the health of our beloved pets.

Importance of balanced nutrition for pets

Providing pets with a well-balanced diet is essential for maintaining their health and vitality. A diet rich in high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals supports their overall well-being and helps prevent nutritional deficiencies. When choosing pet food, consider the following:

Protein – opt for animal-based protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish or lamb, as they provide essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair.

Healthy fats – include sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil, to support healthy skin, coat and joint function in pets.

Vitamins and minerals – ensure your pet’s meals contain a variety of nutrient-rich foods like vegetables and organ meats as they offer a range of vitamins and minerals essential for immune function and overall health.

Commercial pet food: what you should know

Are you aware of the contents of your pet’s food? When it comes to commercial pet foods, such as those found in sachets and tins for cats and dogs, there are a few factors to consider.

They typically contain a variety of ingredients, including protein sources like meat or fish, along with carbohydrates such as grains (corn, wheat, rice) or legumes (peas, lentils). Additives and preservatives are often included to enhance flavour and texture and extend shelf life. Pet food is also fortified with synthetic vitamins and minerals which isn’t a good thing as they may not be well-absorbed or utilised by animals and could potentially lead to imbalances or toxicity over time.

While commercial pet foods offer convenience and a wide range of options, pet owners should be mindful of the following:

Read the ingredient list and look for recognisable, high-quality ingredients at the top of the ingredient list. Avoid products with excessive fillers, by-products or artificial additives. Choose reputable brands with a track record of producing high-quality, safe pet foods.

Be cautious of marketing claims. Some pet food brands may use misleading marketing tactics to promote their products. Look beyond flashy packaging and exaggerated claims to ensure you’re making an informed decision based on nutritional content and ingredient quality.

Look out for allergies and sensitivities as some pets may have sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients, such as grains or specific proteins. Choose pet foods tailored to your pet’s age, size, activity level and any health concerns.

Monitor your pet’s health and behaviour when eating particular foods, paying attention to any changes in your pet’s health, coat quality, energy levels and overall well-being.

Be mindful of portion sizes. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues in pets. Follow the recommended feeding guidelines provided by the manufacturer and adjust portions based on your pet’s individual needs.

Rotate foods occasionally. Offering a variety of foods can prevent food boredom and provide a broader range of nutrients. Rotate between different protein sources and brands to ensure dietary diversity.

The role of herbs for pets

Herbs have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for their therapeutic properties, and their benefits extend to our pets as well. From soothing digestive issues to boosting immunity, herbs offer a natural way to address common health concerns in animals.

Some popular herbs for pets include:

  • Chamomile is known for its calming properties and can help pets with anxiety or digestive upset.
  • Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it useful for treating skin irritations and minor wounds in pets.
  • Dandelion acts as a natural diuretic and liver tonic, promoting detoxification and supporting liver health in pets.
  • Echinacea has immune-boosting properties that can help pets fight off infections and recover from illness more quickly.
  • Ginger is excellent for soothing nausea and improving digestion in pets, especially those prone to motion sickness or gastrointestinal upset.

How to use herbs and nutrition for your pet

Here are some tips for incorporating herbs and nutrition into your pet’s routine:

Herbal supplements

Herbal supplements offer a natural approach to pet health, addressing specific concerns and providing overall wellness benefits. Available in various forms like capsules, powders or liquid extracts, they contain carefully selected herbs known for their medicinal properties. For instance, supplements with turmeric or boswellia can aid joint discomfort, while those with slippery elm or marshmallow root support digestive health. While similarities exist between human and pet supplements, it’s essential to select formulations specifically designed for pets and follow professional guidance for optimal safety and effectiveness. Some commonly used supplements for both humans and pets include omega-3 fatty acids for heart and joint health, probiotics for digestive and immune support, herbal extracts like chamomile and ginger for relaxation and digestive health. Consulting a holistic pet practitioner to ensure you select the right products and dosages for your pet’s needs is important.

Homemade treats

Homemade treats are a fantastic way to pamper your pet while ensuring they receive additional health benefits. You can easily create simple recipes using pet-safe herbs like parsley, mint, or oregano. These treats not only taste delicious but also provide a natural boost to your furry friend’s well-being. Try making some homemade biscuits or snacks using these nutritious ingredients.

Use fresh ingredients

Opt for fresh, whole food ingredients when preparing meals for your pet. Include a variety of vegetables, legumes and lean proteins to ensure they receive a balanced and nutritious diet. Pay attention to how your pet responds to their diet and make adjustments as needed. If you notice any signs of digestive upset, food allergies or sensitivities, modify their diet or eliminate potential triggers.

Improve your pet’s vitality

Herbs and nutrition are essential for promoting the health and vitality of our pets. By integrating high-quality ingredients and balanced nutrition with beneficial herbs into their diet, you can naturally support their overall well-being and address specific health concerns. Making informed choices about your pet’s diet and lifestyle is key to enhancing their health. With the right blend of herbs, nutrition, and attentive care, you can help your furry friend thrive and enjoy a happy, healthy life.

To learn more about herbs and nutrition for your pets, join our next natural healing for pets short course.

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Blog/Article content reflects the author's research and diverse opinions, not necessarily CNM's views. Items may not be regularly updated, so represent the best available understanding at the time of publication.

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