Supplements derived from whole foods offer benefits that synthetic supplements do not. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are fractions. They’re one part of a group of compounds that make up a whole nutrient. These compounds may influence each other or work together in ways we don’t yet understand. Nutrients derived from fresh, whole foods offer a more complete, bio-available profile with minimal processing degradation. There is also a seriously reduced risk of hypervitaminosis (vitamin overdose) when administering natural vitamins. Any nutrients the animal doesn’t need are easily eliminated without taxing the digestive tract, liver and kidneys.
The benefits of natural nutrition supplements for pets are greatly increased when we use nutritive herbs as the source, because herbs offer additional benefits (such as healing properties and detoxification). Many herbs are exceptional sources of some nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and phytonutrients. Seaweed, for example, offers more nutrients than any other plant in the world and Nettle is an excellent source of potassium.
The nutritional support of herbal supplements can play an important part in the holistic approach to pet care. Proper nutritional support allows your pet’s body to fight infections and prevents debilitating conditions such as arthritis.
Virtually all pets can benefit from the use of herbs as nutritional supplements, including dogs, cats, horses, ferrets and fish. You can easily formulate your own blend that is suitable for the species in your care. It can be further customized with the guidance of a veterinarian to avoid interactions or complications resulting from illness or existing conditions. We recommend consultation with your veterinarian before making changes in your pet’s diet.
Following is an example of a nutritive herbal mix for horses (1/4 cup per pound of food), dogs (1 tsp per pound of food), cats and other small animals (1/4 tsp per pound of food). It’s important to use high quality, gently dried herbs in this recipe for a full range of benefits and optimum nutrition. This DIY supplement can be mixed with a favorite wet pet food to ensure your pet will eat it, or add it to your favorite treat recipe. If your pet is suffering from any conditions, you can research safe herbs for pets that treat the condition and blend them in.
Natural Herbal Nutritional Supplement for Pets
© Formulated by AllNaturalPetCare.com
1/4 cup mixed seaweed powder (red, green, brown and spirulina)
1/4 cup dandelion leaf powder
1/4 cup thyme powder
1/4 cup parsley leaf powder
1/4 cup nettle leaf powder
1 TBSP rose hips powder
1 TBSP calendula
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
In our house, we have moved away from the traditional view of supplementation, instead viewing the diet as a whole. We determined what rich, natural source(s) of the nutrient in question can be incorporated into the diet. That’s how we discovered seaweed, calcium montmorillonite clay and krill for our pets. After seeing undeniable results, we expanded the concept to include herbs and super-foods.
Do you use natural supplements as part of the holistic care of your pets? Please share your experience in the comments below.
Cooksley, Valerie Gennari, RN. Seaweed: Nature’s Secret to Balancing Your Metabolism, Fighting Disease, and Revitalizing Body and Soul. 2007.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
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