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) and some smaller pets (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 Mix Supplement for Pets

© Formulated by

1/8 cup mixed seaweed powder (red, green, brown and spirulina)
1/4 cup dandelion leaf powder
1/4 cup parsley leaf powder
1/4 cup nettle leaf powder
1 TBSP rose hips powder
1 TBSP calendula powder
1 TBSP turmeric powder
1 tsp thyme powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

We rely on Starwest Botanicals for quality herbal powders.

In our house, we’ve 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 LifeHerbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet's Life. 2009.


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5 thoughts on “Using Nutritive Herbs for Pet Dietary Supplements (with Recipe) ©

  1. @janainespapa it ends when our pets are healthy and living long lives. I’m happy to do anything to keep my dogs with me for as long as possible.

  2. Just a LITTLE overkill to me, they’re just dogs. 😮 Seriously when does it end?

  3. I think I’m superdogmom just for giving them your seaweed LOL but I may try some of the other suggestions if I get around to it.

  4. It’s tough to know which herbs are for what prpose & which are for each condition. I know a lot of them are nutritious too but I’m glad to have some suggestions. I respect herbs as medicine so I’m always afraid to use them willynilly. I bake treats for both my 2 dogs & 3 cAts & like the idea of adding more healthy stuff. I already use your seaweed in tuna treats and I ordered some of the recipe ingredients to try. Keep up the good work.

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