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Growing a Home Garden for Your Pet

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Growing a Home Garden for Your Pet

Some animal experts have asserted that pets intuitively eat plants according to their specific medicinal value — that is, as long as they have several plants to choose from. The problem, however, is that we choose our plants for beauty rather than edibility. So when a pet has only household plants or landscaping to choose from, it can lead to something more serious than a bellyache, especially if the plants are toxic or sprayed with chemical pesticides and fertilizers. But, given the right plants to choose from, your pet will be able to treat itself and you won’t need to worry about potential side effects.

Whether you have a large yard space, a small four-foot by four-foot plot, or a windowsill, you can grow a healing garden for your cat or dog. Most of these plants are simple to grow and inexpensive to boot. Even better, many double as home remedies for you and your family.

So without further ado, here are a few tips that will earn you an honorary green thumb.

For an outdoor garden, the burdock herb is an ideal plant. Known for its ability to treat allergies and digestive and kidney issues, the burdock is a traditional medicinal plant used worldwide. A rich soil works best, but be careful to not let this plant grow too large, for it will take over your entire garden when given the opportunity.

Milk thistle, good for liver disorders, is low on demands. It can be grown in wet or dry soil, and in a sunny or partly sunny location. However, remove the flowering heads to prevent it from becoming too weedy.

Peppermint is another easy-to-grow herb. Go to the store, buy the plant, and place it in rich, moist soil — that’s it. Your pet will find the leaves of the peppermint herb, which does well in both sun and shade, useful for indigestion and nausea. Just donít forget to cut the springs back regularly to encourage healthy growth.

The Astragalus herb, meanwhile, is useful for lowering blood pressure, decreasing blood sugar, improving digestion, and promoting healing. The Astragalus seeds need to be scratched before planting in a sandy soil.

Similarly, garlic is a well-known immune booster. Garlic grass is easy to grow, indoors and outdoors, and can be started from a bulb bought at your local grocery store. Just push the cloves under a quality soil, pointed side up. Keep in mind that the garlic clove, eaten in large amounts, can make your dog ill, and it is toxic to cats. Garlic cloves should not be given to your cat under any circumstance, but the grass that grows from the clove can be nibbled on as your cat feels the need.

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Read more: Cats, Dogs, Pet Health, Pets, Remedies & Treatments, ,

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Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit petMD.com.

89 comments

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10:56AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Thanks for the ideas.

8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Some plants are toxic to cats and dogs but I grow a ton of catnip on the balcony and only give one plant to the cat to grass on in the container, switching pots so they are not totally gobbled up-with the surplus I dry the leaves and remove all the stems and my girl has catnip for the entire winter and spring with enough left for two visiting neighbour kitties who drop by every day for their stint on the cat tree and nipfest.

12:36AM PDT on May 31, 2012

interesting info..thanx! will try them...nothing too good for my 'kids"...

1:51PM PDT on May 13, 2012

Thanks for sharing, was just looking for some plants we could put in our back yard which are dog-proof!

8:26PM PDT on May 8, 2012

sweet idea

3:24PM PDT on May 8, 2012

Thanks for the info, I did not know that some of these plants were good for pets.

4:35PM PDT on May 1, 2012

My cat is picky. I've never seen her eat a plant of any kind!

10:16AM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

interesting article :)

6:49PM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

Interesting info. Thanks Nicolas.

12:32AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

thank you for the info, great ideas

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