By Darlene Stott
Published: 06/23/2017, edited: 09/14/2021
Save on pet insurance for your pet
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Hawthorn is a super herb that is known for its uses as a heart health tonic. A tonic is something that supports the body’s overall function, making it run better so that diseases and other problems do not develop or get worse. If your dog is in their senior years, you may find that hawthorn makes for a stellar daily supplement to fight against heart problems like an abnormal heartbeat, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure.
Dogs who suffer from kidney failure may also benefit from hawthorn, as it causes blood vessels in the body to dilate, increasing circulation and bringing new, fresh blood to the suffering organs. If your dog is a working animal, or if they are extremely active, giving them a daily tonic with hawthorn can help to fortify smooth muscle tissues in the body. The herb works well with most medications and has been found to have almost no negative effects. While you can buy hawthorn supplements, creating and administering your own concoctions is an easy and affordable way to help your ailing pup. As with any supplement, consult your vet before giving hawthorn to your dog.
Using pretty much any part of the hawthorn plant, you can brew a tea to give to your dog orally. Berries make for the best-tasting tea, however, tea made from the twigs, leaves, buds or even thorns has great medicinal value. These plant parts have to be simmered on low heat for some time until the water is infused with the properties from the plant. The berries can be brewed at a rate of 1 teaspoon per one cup of water. The brew can then be poured onto your dog's food at mealtime.
When hawthorn berries are ripe, you can pick them, place them on a sheet of paper and allow them to completely dry out. These dried fruits can then be ground up using either a heavy-duty coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. Once the berries have been turned into powder, you can spread them into your dog's food. One teaspoon of powder for every one pound of food is the recommended dosage.
If your dog is on the picky side, you may find that a glycerin-based tincture containing hawthorn is the easiest way to get the herbal goodness inside. Depending on the size of your dog, somewhere in between ½ and 1 ½ teaspoons of the solution will do. You can also put liquid or powder form hawthorn into gelcaps and wrap then in a healthy treat to convince your pup to take their herbs. If your dog likes fruit, try giving them fresh berries picked right from the tree!
Including hawthorn into your dog's daily diet is a great way to combat many of the health issues encountered in aging dogs. Dogs going through chemotherapy or those recovering from infections can also benefit greatly from a daily dose of this herb. Hawthorn isn't a miracle drug, it works gradually with regular use to improve the overall health of your animal. Consider giving it to your dog after discussion with your vet.