Herbs to Go

Keep Travel Companions Calm

Traveling can be hard on the family dog or cat. This holiday season, you can help ease your furry friend’s distress with these natural herbal remedies from The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care and Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats, both by C.J. Puotinen.

He cites chamomile, valerian and scullcap for relief of animal anxieties related to travel or new situations. Combining equal parts valerian, scullcap and chamomile tinctures. Use an eyedropper to place three drops of this blend per 10 pounds of body weight into each ear. Tilt the animal’s head to the opposite side, hold the ear closed and gently massage the ear to distribute the tincture.

Ginger can be used to prevent nausea and motion sickness. Find a tincture especially formulated for pets, or make one by filling a pint jar with coarsely chopped fresh ginger root. Fill the jar to the top with vegetable glycerin, available in natural products stores, then let it sit in a warm room for six weeks or longer. Puotinen notes that glycerin has a sweet taste that is palatable to many dogs and cats. Administer orally.

Flower essences are soothing and take the edge off of travel jitters. Puotinen recommends dill for hypersensitivity to the environment; walnut to ease transitions; and Rescue Remedy (see BachFlower.com/Pets.htm) to alleviate fear. Administer them orally or massage into the animal’s ear.

Traveling with a calm animal makes long-distance trips easier. Herbs offer a gentle, effective alternative to traditional drugs when traveling with our favorite four-footed friends. Then we will feel more relaxed, too.

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