Rob Silver, DO, DVM, and animal herbalist Greg Tilford say that herbs and supplements can be beneficial for routine health maintenance in healthy pets. Here are some of their recommendations:
Acidophilus helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, especially if your pet is on commercial foods or has received antibiotics.
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) is a good immune booster. Give echinacea to your pet prior to going to a kennel or the groomer, where it could be exposed to kennel cough or other infections.
Garlic (Allium sativum) powder added to pet food is a long-term immune system tonic and helps keep parasites in check.
Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale) is effective for motion sickness. If your dog is prone to car sickness, give him gingerroot 30 minutes to an hour before a trip.
Gingko (Ginkgo biloba) works well as a circulatory tonic, increasing circulation to the extremities.
Lecithin provides valuable fatty-type phospholipids that help keep skin and coat healthy and beautiful.
Nettle (Urtical dioica) added to your pet's food can provide a broad spectrum of iron, other minerals and protein.
Nutritional Yeast added to your pet's food provides B vitamins and trace minerals.
Omega-3 and other essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil, evening primrose oil and fish oils are necessary for healthy living but are often missing from commercial pet-food diets.
Psyllium Seed and Husk can help with hairballs in cats or digestive problems in dogs. It needs water to be active, so add extra water to your pet's food.
Pumpkin Seeds make good pet snacks. They provide a good source of natural vitamin E and EFAs. They also help repel and keep intestinal parasites in check.