Dog weed? Understand if there is “catnip for dogs” – Vida de Bicho

Herbs can relieve anxiety, tension and offer health benefits for your pet (Photo: Canva/Creative Commons)

If you thought only humans sought fun through herbs, we’re here to show you otherwise. In the animal world, dogs and cats can also feel the relaxing effects of some plants. Catnip, for felines, is already famous. But, after all, is there such a thing for dogs?

Dogs are not sensitive to nepetalactone, an organic compound responsible for cats’ extremely pleasurable sensations. On the other hand, they can be affected by plants such as chamomile, valerian, lavender, mulungu, fennel and lemongrass.

“Valerian, for example, is known even in human medicine for its mildly sedating action. In the central nervous system, it acts on a specific receptor, GABA, reducing its excitatory action and promoting a feeling of calm”, he explains. Petronilho Jadeveterinarian and content coordinator for a network of pet shops.

Chamomile is one of the plants capable of calming dogs (Photo: Canva / Creative Commoms)

Chamomile is one of the plants capable of calming dogs (Photo: Canva/ Creative Commons)

Unlike catnip, which in some cases gives cats hallucinations, for dogs, the leaves serve as a natural medication to relieve anxiety, pain, insomnia and digestive problems. “It is possible to offer them in the form of tea, manipulated phytotherapic capsules and plant them in the garden or in pots, depending on the space of the house”, he explains. Jessica Mouraa veterinary specialist in natural nutrition.

In addition to the natural options, it is also possible to find snacks with the respective actives in specialized stores. Important to remember: the teas served to animals cannot be those found for humans in supermarkets. If the industrialized option is not specific to the species, the tutor can produce the drink at home with natural herbs and fruits suggested by the animal’s veterinarian. The addition of sugar is also not allowed, as it poses a risk to the health of the pet.

“Natural medicine is not only used from ingestion. Medicinal plants can be used to soothe the skin through baths, serve as essential oils or be part of aromatherapy, for example. There are thousands of possibilities thinking about canine well-being”, guarantees Aline Araújonutritionist veterinarian.

in the view of Claudia Ruga Barbierispecialist in homeopathy and phytotherapy for animals, the consumption of the fresh plant can offer more advantages, since all the components are present there, however, the capsules are usually safer in most cases.

“When we encapsulate the extracts, we can determine the most suitable dose for each dog. In addition, when using reputable compounding pharmacies, we are sure of the good origin of the plants and safety and manufacturing standards required by the norms of the Brazilian pharmacopoeia”, he indicates.

Herbs and medicinal plants, unlike catnip, need a medical indication and cannot be offered on demand (Photo: Canva / Creative Commoms)

Medicinal herbs and plants for dogs, unlike catnip, need to be referred by a veterinarian and cannot be offered on demand (Photo: Canva/Creative Commoms)

Another advantage raised by the professional is the possibility of creating specific formulations for each case – combining the potential of each active, in order to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

“Medicinal plants should never be administered without a proper veterinary diagnosis. We must forget that old belief that ‘if it’s natural, it’s good and it doesn’t hurt’, because it’s not true. When improperly administered, they can harm the pet’s health, cause undesirable effects and adverse drug interactions”, points out Claudia.

Jade lists vomiting, excessive drooling, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea as the most common symptoms of poisoning. “The signs can be nonspecific and usually vary according to the amount ingested and the body of each animal. In more severe cases, tremors, loss of consciousness, incoordination and death can also occur. Therefore, respecting the dosage and consulting a behaviorist veterinarian before using them on the dog is essential to achieve the treatment objective”, she concludes.


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