As is the case with humans, there are plenty of dog health benefits offered by a daily dose of herbal tea! It should be common knowledge at this point that herbal tea is a very rich source of antioxidants, which help oxygenate the blood and clear it of toxins. Studies have proven that herbal tea helps fight almost every type of cancer (especially brain cancer), neurological disorders, and also drastically reduces risk of heart disease. Aside from those amazing powers, many types of teas are specifically formulated from natural plant matter in order to treat dozens of other minor afflictions ranging from insomnia and anxiety to stomach ache and heartburn! Of course, to cater to a dog’s tea needs, some slight adjustments have to be made in order to make sure it is safe for canines.
Firstly, you should *NEVER* give your dog hot tea, so it is not only recommended but INSISTED that if you brew your tea with hot water, to add cold water or let it cool to room temperature before serving. I personally prefer to cold brew my tea with loose leaf tea, so you may want to look into that. There are many cold brew materials available, including infusers of many adorable shapes, sizes, and colors – as well as water bottles with built-in infusers! Maybe one day soon they’ll even make a water bowl with a built-in tea infuser! If anyone wants to invent that and cut me in on the profits, let me know…
Another extremely important thing to make sure of before you decide to be your dog’s personal tea-brewing barista, is to be absolutely certain that the ingredients in your tea of choice are ALL safe for dogs to ingest. You can use tea bags if you are 100% certain that all of the components are dog-safe, but many times they have a bunch of stuff added that may be problematic. If you use the loose leaf tea method (which I highly recommend), you can formulate your own dog teas (and even cat teas) by researching which herbs, plants, flowers, and seeds are beneficial for your dog’s needs. For instance, if your dog is very hyper and/or stressed, then obviously Chammomile and Lavender are very effective calming remedies to utilize. Chammomile is also very helpful for upset stomachs, and improve heart health. Other herbs aid in physical relief, such as alfalfa and ginko (along with many others) that relieve joint pain and inflammation. There are also a BUNCH of different types of roots, such as Yucca root and ginger root that provide a ton of health benefits!
This article is extremely helpful to get you started on your doggie tea brewing escapades, and it details some very commonly used teas, such as green tea and echinacea tea that you probably drink already! Just don’t forget to carefully check the ingredients in your tea bags (especially Lipton or other such brands that could have a lot of additives) to make sure they are completely safe. If your dog isn’t feelin’ it at first, sweeten the deal (literally) with some natural honey or some fresh fruit – NOT sugar! Sugar should NEVER be added to ANYTHING given to a dog; not even a LITTLE BIT! Also, this should be obvious, but do NOT just pour your dog some Snapple or Brisk iced tea – it has a LOT of sugar and other stuff not healthy for dogs.
There are so many different herbs, roots, spices, seeds, plants, flowers, grasses, etc. available at the grocery store/holistic shop/spice store/farmer’s market/wherever, that you can concoct your own mixtures and specially formulated teas for literally anything! If you have a particularly effective tea combination already, please share with us your ingredients and your experiences.