Arnica is very well known among those of us who practice holistic and natural healing for ourselves and our pets. It’s popularity mostly comes from it’s incredible healing power for pain.
This amazing herb should be included in every dog owner’s first aid kit. Our article will teach you how to safely apply Arnica for your own dog.
What are the benefits of Arnica for Dogs?
Arnica is typically used in cases where pain such as osteoarthritis, sprains, muscle aches or bruising are involved. It’s economical and safe.
This herb is available in the form of a pellet, tablet, gel, cream or oil. Some things to keep in mind when administering Arnica or any homeopathic medicine for your pup; it’s not that same as administering a traditional medicine and it’s important to understand this. PLEASE READ THE PRECAUTIONS BELOW REGARDING ONLY USING ARNICA IN THE FORM OF HOMEOPATHY PELLETS FOR YOUR DOG.
Arnica Dosages for Dogs
- Arnica dosage for dogs and dosage frequency is not determined by how much your dog weighs. It is determined by your dog’s symptoms, frequency of the symptoms and the category in which they fall (recent, seasonal, chronic).
- 3 pellets are considered a typical dose, but this really depends on the dog’s condition and what the problem is. A dose can be anywhere between 1-5 pellets depending whether it’s arthritis, a sprain or muscle pain.
- The pellets do not have to be swallowed by the dog. While some say you should never touch the pellet, we have found that the pellets work regardless if you touch them or not.
- However, if at possible, you want to try and get them around the mucous membranes and allow them to dissolve. So, place below the front teeth on the gum line, or in the jowl pocket of the cheek. They will dissolve but it takes awhile. Dr. Elliot also shares a great idea of crushing the pellets and placing the powder into your dog’s mouth.
- If that doesn’t work, try this: once you’ve crushed the pellets, place the crushed arnica pellets into one tablespoon of distilled water and stir. Now place one teaspoon directly into the dog’s mouth. Save the other two teaspoons for later. Give your dog another teaspoon of the water every four hours until you see improvement.
- DO NOT GIVE WITH FOOD & FEED 15 MINUTES BEFORE OR AFTER FOOD.
- 200CK is usually recommended for osteoarthritis inflammation, pain, stiffness and swelling. Give 5 pellets 3 times daily until your dog’s pain is gone. Then stop. Start up again when the pain returns.
- If it’s a minor pain such as a slight limp from chasing a ball, Arnica 30C using 3 pellets 3 times a day for two days should work.
Arnica is Very Safe for Dogs, But Take These Precautions
- The only way you should give arnica to your dog is by using homeopathic pellets. This is because arnica can be toxic inside the body. The pellets contain very little arnica to cause any harm when you use the pellets, but they are still VERY effective.
- Arnica should NOT be applied to open wounds. This is because it works quickly to stimulate dilation and circulation of peripheral blood vessels, which can actually increase the blood flow of an open and bleeding wound.
- Applying arnica gels or creams to open wounds can also slow the natural coagulation process. Avoid gels and creams.
- If arnica is used too long, redness and irritation can result and dogs may lick or chew where it was applied.
- Side effects of using any type of arnica internally for your dog (except for the pellets which are completely safe) include stomach irritation, digestive problems, throat irritation, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea and even organ failure.
- Internal applications of arnica oil can result in stomach irritation and digestive problems if used too long. Throat irritation and mouth ulcers can also result, especially when arnica is used at a higher dosage than recommended. Other possible side effects include vomiting, diarrhea and even organ failure.
- NEVER apply arnica prior to any surgical procedure.
Reasons to Use Arnica
This herb has dramatic and demonstrable effects in the time period immediately after injury occurs when using the gel, cream or oil by helping to cut down on symptoms of pain and strain in dogs.
But because you have to be extremely careful when using gels and creams with dogs and them licking it off, we instead recommend following Dr. Weil’s protocol listed above using the tincture.
The History Behind the Arnica Herb
Arnica is actually a sunflower with bright yellow flowers and opposing leaves on the stem. Most arnicas have a satisfying aroma, existing as they do in the mountainous regions of North America.
The plant is a perennial that blooms in the second year of growth and is among the first flowers to bloom in early spring. Arnica is also known as Leopard’s Bane.
Arnica is usually used for dogs with muscle aches, strains and other associated injuries. It has also been used on dogs with emotional stress and can even aid in the rehabilitation process after dogs have experienced brain or spinal cord injuries.
As with all of the herbal treatments we’ve been discussing, you should monitor your dog’s reactions to arnica in any of its forms. When using arnica, don’t overuse it and always follow any written instructions to ensure your best friend’s safety and well-being and if unsure, talk to your vet before applying.
Other references: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs, Dogs & Cats by CJ Puotinen