A member of the mulberry family, the value of hop for dogs cannot be discounted. There are several varieties of this Eurasian plant grown throughout the world, but many have settled to so-called “waste areas” and can be found by roadsides and in ravines. The plant is a perennial that blooms mid-to-late summer, with lobed leaves reminiscent of grapevines.
Hop is probably mostly known for hops, which are the flowers of the plant. These flowers are used in the brewing of beer and indeed the strobiles of this plant will be used for our purposes, with herbal treatments using hops found all over the world. Hop for dogs is a fascinating treatment option because of its use as a sedative, diuretic and digestive stimulant.
Hop for dogs principally impacts the digestive system, urinary tract and nervous system. It is a strong sedative in that it functions as a hypnotic and soothing agent for the nervous system. This runs in contrast to other ostensible sedatives, which function more as muscle relaxants. Hop, consequently, is great to use for nervous dogs who have difficulty going to the veterinarian or other upsetting locations.
Therapeutic Uses of Hop for Dogs
The main use of hop as a sedative is in treating the symptoms of anxiety and other troubles in dogs. There is no evidence to suggest that hop treats the causes of these symptoms, but, and there may be other difficulties under the surface that should be addressed. Hop does not treat metabolic imbalances or hyperthyroidism, for instance, so you should seek further assistance in those cases.
- Hop is useful for nervous dogs and those with separation anxiety. Used cautiously, hop for dogs can calm even severe episodes of anxiety. A few handfuls of fresh strobiles can make all the difference in the world for a dog having trouble getting to the groomers, while a tea can also have the same effect. Some dogs may struggle with the unpleasant taste of the fresh herb, which makes the tea of particular value.
- Hop, combined with a little Valerian, can help your best friend cope with physical pain. While hop and Valerian will not treat the underlying causes of that pain, these herbal treatments are advantageous in helping overcome pain naturally. One-eighth of a teaspoon of tincture for every 20 pounds of your pet’s weight should do the trick to assuage acute pain or anxiety.
- Certain constituents in hop, like lupulone and humulone, can fight bothersome bacteria and fungi. Studies in humans have shown that hop may have some application in treating gallbladder problems and urinary incontinence, with a treatment amalgamation including hop, vitamin E and uva ursi illustrating excellent results for 772 of 915 patients. This heartening study may lead to progress for how we treat dogs with incontinence.
- Hop is a brilliant therapeutic option because it is so readily available. You can acquire hop by heading to herb retailers or even to stores where beer-making supplies are sold. Concentrated hop syrups and compressed pellets must be avoided, but you can purchase the whole dried hop. These can be made into a tea or a tincture, while the compressed pellets may lead to a toxic reaction in your animal.
Preventative Measures Using Hop for Dogs
This is where it is again imperative to note the difference between hop for dogs and the beer-brewing hops that you’ll find in stores. While you can acquire the whole dried hop strobile, you want to make sure you don’t purchase compressed pellets instead. There have been instances of dogs perishing after consuming hops used or thrown away during the brewing process, with dogs passing away due to malignant hypothermia.
Discarded or used hops from the brewing process are sweet in taste, which makes them a first-rate target for snooping pups. While the herbal option of hop for dogs we are talking about is generally safe for consumption, it’s best to exercise caution and ensure that you are utilizing the right kind of high-quality recipe.
Reasons to Use Hop
Hop is an easy-to-grow, easy-to-use treatment option for nervous dogs and for those suffering from physical pain. While it will not treat any fundamental conditions, hop for dogs is great for calming down your four-legged friend and helping those delicate visits go a little smoother. It’s also been used for adopted pets, especially those with some form of trauma. This makes hop for dogs an attractive option for treating the all-too-common problem of stress.
References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen