Winnie, and herbal nervines for dogs

After bringing Winnie, our newly adopted ten-week-old Australian Shepherd, home with our beloved Beagle, Dot, we were soon surprised to find that our two-year-old beagle had started frothing at the mouth, and behaving completely out of character from her typical jolly self. She was avoiding eye contact and shaking nervously whenever Winnie would come near her.

Now, if you knew Dot before this, you’d probably be surprised to hear she was responding this way – and we were too! But in hindsight, we hadn’t considered that she had only ever been around dogs that were bigger than she was, so being around a puppy was a completely new experience for her!

This made me curious… how might she respond to herbal nervines in a situation like this?

Incase you were wondering, nervines are a classification of herbs that help nourish and support our nervous system, and this group of herbs are trusty allies for the hustle and bustle of our modern lives!

So in a situation like this, seeing Dot in noticeable distress, I’d like to hope nervines could be as supportive for her as they have been for Brandon and I!

I mean, just think. When we’re in an uncomfortable situation, we might behave in very similar ways. We might also avoid eye contact, become fidgety, or even start drooling – just like she was! Needless to say, the symptoms of stress are just about as unique as we are. The more important thing is noticing your body’s response and inquiring further. So given our reaction is very similar, maybe our response will be too!

After confirming that a few of the herbs I had on hand were indeed animal-friendly, I decided to make some Nervine Nutbutter for Dot in hopes it would bring her some relief.

When it comes to nut butter, you’re dog will likely gulp down whichever one you choose to give them. Though, I’d keep in mind that the more natural the better! Oftentimes unnecessary amounts of sugar and additives get thrown into the mix – so try your best to choose one with few ingredients (one would be ideal… nuts alone!) and organic if possible, to avoid any pesticide or toxins.

In this case, I used the peanut butter on hand – combining 1/2 cup of nut butter, with 1 tsp of each Chamomile and Passionflower. Then, I rolled the mixture into little balls so I can try small amounts at a time, giving them to her as necessary.

Now again, the response to these herbs will only be as good as the quality of the herbs themselves. So being mindful of this, choose the highest quality herbs you can get your hands on. Keeping in mind, of course, something’s better than nothing! So if all you can get your hands on is whatever’s at your local grocer or health food store, that works too!

In this case, even just the aromatics of these flowers may be therapeutic to your animal companions! I know the smell of chamomile calms me down almost instantly.

So now you’re wondering… did it work? And full disclosure, Dot loves nut butter, so I have to give credit to the peanuts too and of course, as they say, time heals all wounds – but she was noticeably calmer within a short window of time! And by the time I’m sitting down writing this, they’re running around and playing with each other as we had hoped they soon would.

Have you tried any herbal dog remedies, or something similar? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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