Chamomile Benefits for Dogs

Learn more about how chamomile benefits the health and wellbeing of dogs. Chamomile is a safe herb and can be used both topically and orally for numerous dog health issues.

Chamomile
Chamomile, Roman
Matricaria recutita
(Sunflower family)

We all know that chamomile tea has calming effects, and if you cannot sleep at night, a hot cup of chamomile tea may just be the thing that can lead you into slumberland. But did you know that chamomile benefits our dogs as well?

The herb chamomile and its essential oil and hydrosol are very safe for use on dogs, although some dogs are allergic to the plant. Therefore, always check for sensitivity first before applying it to your dog.

A strong infusion of chamomile has medicinal properties, such as antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory. It can be used to heal wounds, relieve pain, and calm an upset tummy.

It is also sedative; therefore, it can be used to calm an anxious, nervous, or hyperactive dog.

Common Uses in Dogs

Chamomile is versatile and can be used to help with a number of dog health issues, such as:

  • Anxiety: As this herb is safe and mild, it can be used as a sedative even for puppies to alleviate anxiety and other symptoms associated with anxiety, such as insomnia.
  • GI Problems: The herb tea or tincture is useful for indigestion, gas, and vomiting. It's calming property is particularly helpful for cases of indigestive upset resulting from anxiety, nervousness and hyperactivity (Dosage: 1-3 teaspoon of the tea twice daily with food, 1-3 dropperfuls of the tincture twice daily with food, depending on your dog's size).
  • Inflammed Gums: A cooled chamomile infusion can be applied topically to soothe inflammed gums in dogs and relieve teething pain in puppies. Use a cotton swab to apply the infusion to the affected areas.
  • Skin Inflammations: A cooled infusion of chamomile is also an excellent topical rinse for the treatment of skin inflammations such as those caused by fleabites, contact allergies, hot spots, and various bacterial or fungal infections.

Puppy

Essential Oil and Hydrosol of Chamomile

Also see these pages for benefits and uses of chamomile essential oil and hydrosol for dogs:

How to Make a Chamomile Infusion

This infusion is easy to make and can be used both internally to improve digestion, relieve stress and insomnia, and topically as a wound rinse and coat treatment.

  • Add 1 cup hot water to 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile blossoms (or 2 tablespoons fresh).
  • Cover and let stand 10-15 minutes or until cool.
  • Strain.

To help digestion, relieve insomnia, or alleviate stress, add the chamomile infusion to your dog's drinking water or food.

You can also use this infusion to as a wash to clean debris from minor cuts and wounds, and as a rinse to improve coat and skin condition.

How to Make a Chamomile Eye Wash

If your dog has red, itchy and dry eyes, try making a chamomile eye wash:

  • Combine 1/4 teaspoon each of the dried herbs of chamomile, dandelion, and calendula.
  • Add one cup of boiled water to the mixed herbs.
  • Let steep and cool.
  • Strain through a coffee filter.

Use this eye wash and drop into affected eye 2-4 times daily.

References
J.A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Comprehensive Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing (Rodale Books, 2000).
C.J. Puotinen, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats (Keats Publishing, 1999).
M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Herbs for Pets (Bowtie Press, 1999).