Pucker Up: The Sweet Benefits of Lemon Balm for Your Dog

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Lemon balm, known scientifically as Melissa officinalis, is a non-toxic herb that can be used on dogs, cats, and even horses. As a supplement for your dog, lemon balm has many benefits  that may help with many different conditions. As always, consult your veterinarian and use caution before substituting an herb like lemon balm for your pet’s medicine.

Anxiety

The most common way lemon balm is used on dogs is as a calming agent, or to treat anxiety. Anxiety and stomach sensitivities are often tied in closely together. Luckily, lemon balm is also great for your dog’s digestive system. Because of their anxiety, many dogs in turn have stomach issues such as diarrhea or stomach pain. Whatever the cause of your dog’s nervousness, whether a long trip, relocation, or boarding, lemon balm can treat a sensitive stomach and is a natural sedative. One of the most popular characteristics of lemon balm is that, although it has sedative properties, it does not make the animal groggy or incoherent, but instead makes them more aware and focused. Because of this awesome benefit, many dog owners use lemon balm as a supplement for older dogs who suffer from dementia or confusion.

Respiratory Health

Many dogs suffer from COPD or other respiratory conditions. The most popular medicinal treatment for any type of respiratory issue is usually lasix (sometimes known as salix). Many pet owners are unaware of the dangers of long-term lasix use. It is a diuretic, which means it rids the body of fluids by increasing urination. It is used because it does drain off fluids from the lungs, but it also drains fluids from the entire body. Long-term usage can cause damage to the kidneys, heart, and overall health. Although there is no true substitute for lasix, lemon balm is a good start. Lemon balm naturally wards off respiratory infection, and helps to secure the elasticity of the lungs naturally. With the consultation of your veterinarian, you might be able to help your dog feel his best by supplementing lasix with lemon balm. Please be sure to consult your veterinarian before changing the doses of your pet’s prescription medicine.

Wound and Skin Care

Lemon balm can be used as a healing herb for wounds. It also is dual-action in this respect because it is a natural fly and insect repellant as well as a healing agent. When your dog has cut, flies and insects usually follow, making it hard to keep the wound clean so it can heal quickly. Lemon balm is a great ingredient found in many dog coat and shampoo products.

Application and Administration

The most cost-effective way to add lemon balm to your dog’s diet is to buy leaves or grow your own plants. You can either chop up the leaves in small pieces and put it in your dog’s food, or brew tea with with the leaves and mix it into your dog’s food. Usually, a very small amount of one or two tablespoons with do. Adjust this according to your dog’s size and weight. The more expensive option is using the essential oil, called melissa oil. Read the label to make sure it is pure melissa oil. Chances are, that if it is $10 a bottle, you can be certain that it is not pure. True melissa oil costs about $1 per drop.

 

 

Lemon balm is a safe, effective herb that is considered very mild, so the allergic reaction rate is relatively low. There are so many great benefits to the use of lemon balm on animals that it is hard to ignore it potential benefits for your dog. However, if your dog has an adverse reaction to the herb, please consult your veterinarian immediately.