Chamomile Benefits to Dogs
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.
Some dog parents wonder if chamomile is safe for dogs.
Actually, the herb chamomile and its essential oil and hydrosol are very safe for 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.
Chamomile is also sedative, so chamomile tea 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 dogs whose indigestion is caused by 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).
- Inflamed Gums: A cooled chamomile infusion can be applied topically to soothe inflamed 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.
- Red Itchy Eyes: Chamomile can also be used to make an herbal eye wash (see below) to soothe a dog's red, itchy and dry eyes, caused by a mild infection (e.g. conjunctivitis).
Essential Oil and Hydrosol of Chamomile
Not only is the herb Chamomile safe and useful for dogs, the essential oil and hydrosol of Chamomile are also great for dogs!
For example, the essential oil of Roman Chamomile is extremely calming and can be used in a calming oil blend to calm an anxious or overly-excited dog.
You can also use the hydrosol of Roman Chamomile to make a cool compress to relieve puppy teething pain.
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.
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.
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).