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Nettle (aka stinging nettle) is nutritive. It is rich in protein, vitamins A, C, K, B complex, as well as minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Due to its rich vitamin and mineral contents, Nettle is a good herb to give to dogs who need an extra boost of trace minerals and vitamins in their diets.
As an added benefit, Nettle also has antibacterial, astringent and antihistamine properties.
Because of its high iron content, it is especially beneficial to dogs with anemia. It is also an energy booster for dogs who are weak and lethargic due to chronic fatigue. The herb nourishes the body and balances the liver, glands, and nervous system.
The completely dried herb can safely be used long term as a tonic - just sprinkle it onto your dog's food (1/2 teaspoon/lb. of food fed to the dog).
Daily supplement of nettle leaves may alleviate the allergic symptoms in dogs. Alternatively, use a tincture of the nettle leaf.
Nettle nourishes a dog's coat and alleviates discomfort due to fleabites, eczema and other skin conditions.
Internally, nettle leaf can also be given to dogs with skin conditions as it can cleanse and stimulate the blood and clear chronic skin ailments.
Here's how to make an eye wash (by G. Tilford, author of Herbs for Pets):
Get a tincture of nettle leaf. Add ten to 12 drops of the tincture to one ounce (30 ml) of saline water.
Use a dropper to apply the nettle eye wash to the affected eye, 2-3 times daily, until the redness in the eye disappears.
This rinse (for dark-coated dogs only!) can improve your dog's hair and coat condition.
When handling the fresh leaves of this herb, be sure to wear gloves since the leaves can cause a stinging sensation. Thorough drying or cooking neutralizes the toxic constituents that cause the sensation.