Echinacea is a flower that is known to have some medicinal value, and is mostly used to help support the immune system. Most of the testing that has been done on it has referred to use in humans, so how about for dogs?
A dog typically won’t need help boosting their immune system, as they get all of the nutrition they need from their dog food, and their immune system should be functioning fine since they don’t have to deal with the same stresses that we do. Some owners say they’ve used it to treat infections that their dogs have, as well as urinary tract infections, but most vets seem to recommend against it.
And aside from those two uses there’s not really any reason why your dog needs an echinacea supplement to lead a healthy and happy life. The good thing about dogs is that they get the nourishment they need from a well-formulated dog food so it’s pretty easy to keep them at their healthiest. People use it for all sorts of things, even for skin problems like wounds, burns, and eczema, as well as insect bites and psoriasis. If your dog comes down with any of these you might think of using it on them.
Can I Give My Dog Echinacea? Answer: Not Recommended
There are better ways to treat your dog for an infection than using echinacea, and your vet can give you prescription antibiotics that will be more effective and better tolerated. The reason echinacea is popular with us humans is that it’s all natural, and many people believe it can help keep you healthy when there’s colds and the flu going around.
A Dog’s Immune System
Echinacea is known for its immune system strengthening properties, but that’s for people, and a dog’s immune system is different than ours. Most of the time it should be functioning properly, as long as your dog is well-fed and getting regular exercise. It’s possible that a dog might have trouble with their immune system, and there are herbal remedies that can work, most popular of which is milk thistle, which acts to cleanse the liver, providing trickle down cleansing benefits to the rest of the body.
As a Laxative
Humans sometimes take echinacea to help with a case of constipation. For a dog you this isn’t really the best treatment, and you can either let the condition pass on its own, or give your dog something like canned pumpkin to help move things along. Many owners opt to just let it pass since dog has a relatively fast metabolism it usually doesn’t remain a problem for long. If it does happen more than occasionally you should consider upgrading their dog food so that they get a better mix or ingredients with less filler.
For a UTI
Some vets have been known to give dogs echinacea while others recommend against it. There’s no hard and fast rule about whether this is something you should give your dog, but it’s best to err on the side of caution rather than give them something they can’t handle. The best thing you can do is get a recommendation right from your vet if your dog comes down with a urinary tract infection.
As the owner you want the best for your dog, and natural remedies will often pop up as possible solutions for the things they come down with. Many times these herbal medicines might show signs of efficacy with humans, but it doesn’t translate to dogs. They usually have all that they need from simply giving them a good quality dog food, fresh water, and lots of love. For more extreme problems your vet’s got your back.
Dogs are very natural creatures and although they share many similarities with us because we’re both mammals they lead very different lifestyles than we do. Namely they don’t have the same sort of stress levels that we have, nor do they eat the sort of diets that we do. They also don’t worry about the future or regret the past, so they keep in a constant state of presence, which keeps them healthy and their immune system up without the help of things like echinacea.