There are many herbs and plants that are considered to be quite useful for animals’ diets and ailments. Try the following recommendations from herb guru Margaret Roberts:
Rashes, itchy skin, eczema and coarse dandruff can all be treated with the gel of bulbinella plants (Bulbine frutescens). Simply apply gel from the leaves directly to the affected area.
You can also use comfrey. Boil four cups of chopped leaves in four litres of water for 20 minutes, then allow to cool and strain through a sieve. You can wash the affected area with this infusion, or simply regularly dab it on with cotton wool.
Comfrey lotion can also be used as a final rinse when washing your dog, while a tea of chopped comfrey leaves infused in boiling water can be poured over your pet’s daily meals.
Pour a little comfrey tea over your pets’ meals two or three times a week. Add one cup of boiling water to a half a cup of chopped leaves and allow to cool. Then pour a half to one cup – depending on the size of your dog – over its evening meal. For cats, particularly older ones, add two teaspoons of tea plus a few pieces of chopped leaf to their meals twice a week.
Wash your pets’ mouths with an infusion of rosemary. Finely chopped parsley and mint can also be added to their meals to sweeten their breath.
TICKS AND FLEAS
Rub handfuls of fresh camphor twigs and sweet basil onto the fur of your dogs, cats and horses, and onto their paws and hooves – fleas and ticks will head for the highway. Chop up blackjack plants and marigolds and add them to your pet’s bedding, or hang the plants in stables, near chicken runs and in birdcages. The oils have powerful insecticidal properties and can even be used indoors. If your carpets are infested with fleas, scatter the plants over the carpets before going away for a weekend.
NOTE Consult your veterinarian before adopting any of these remedies.
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