Yarrow is a perennial herb generally native to Europe and Asia, but it can be found alongside roads in many regions of the world. It remains in bloom throughout the spring and summer months and has a strong aroma often compared to mothballs.

In this article, we’ll be checking out some of the benefits of yarrow for dogs and explore how you can safely use this natural herbal treatment for your own pet.

Yarrow is usually identified by their yellow, red or peach flowers and is sometimes known as stanchweed or soldier’s woundwort.

Old Man’s Pepper  is used for a number of applications, including as an antiseptic, analgesic, an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and even an insect repellant.

It has also been used to lower blood pressure and promote sweating, while some have noted applications as a diuretic.

Therapeutic Use

Yarrow’s flowers, leaves and stems are used to create treatments in formats like teas, tinctures and oil infusions.

  • Yarrow got its “soldier’s woundwort” nickname because it was used by warriors on the battlefield to stop bleeding and disinfect wounds. It was also used on horses for the same purposes.
  • A powder of the dried or fresh plant can be used to treat open wounds and even foot pad lacerations. The herb should be crushed as fine as possible and applied directly to the open wound.
  • A cool tea of yarrow has been used as an itch and pain reliever and skin rinse. It is also believed that this rinse can be used to repel flies, mosquitoes and even flies due to its aforementioned aroma. Directions for rinse: The tea can be made by using one teaspoon of dried yarrow with one cup of boiling water. It should steep for about 10 minutes and cool before use.
  • Yarrow can be taken internally to help aid in circulation to skin and arms and legs. This can also be done with the tea recipe above or a tincture. The tea can be served with about a one tablespoon dosage. Some have reported using one or two strands of fresh yarrow in a salad, although the bitter taste may dissuade your dog from consuming it.
  • Yarrow is one of the first herbal treatments used by holistic vets for treatment of pneumonia because of its properties at aiding in healthy circulation. It can help eliminate microbes and foreign bodies from the lungs and has been noted as being useful in early stages of kidney infections as well.

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Preventative Measures

The ASPCA lists yarrow as a toxic plant, but poisoning from this plant is rare. Tannins in yarrow give it a bitter taste and dogs are usually instinctively discouraged from consuming too much of it should they locate it by the side of the road.

Pets would have to consume an extremely large amount of yarrow in order to be poisoned by the plant.

Symptoms of yarrow poisoning are generally limited to the digestive system and consist of vomiting or diarrhea. Some pregnant animals have miscarried because of yarrow usage, however, and animals who are nursing should not consume it just to be on the safe side.

There also have been reports of dermatitis and other skin allergies in some dogs after yarrow usage, so it’s best to limit its usage to topical applications.

Discontinue use if any symptoms arise.

Reasons to Use

Yarrow really is one of those magical herbs that seems to treat a whole bunch of things at once. Its healing properties are extensive and its benefits in a number of applications can’t be overstated.

Its broad usage potential makes it a favorite among herbalists and holistic veterinarians everywhere, so it definitely should be part of your repertoire.

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen

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Showing 9 comments
  • Cindy

    I have a 20lb dog with Lymphoma. Will this oil help!

  • Dawn Knight


    I have read that yarrow is also good for yeast infections .. My dog has food allergies that cause yeast infections
    in her ears.. I would like to use the yarrow to help her as nothing else seems to but have heard and read that it is poisonous.. would using this herb (powdered ) in her ears hurt her ?

  • Ann

    Hi, I am wanting to give dried yarrow to my golden retriever as a supplement because she has elevated liver enzymes. I am a little concerned because of the amount of information on the internet saying it is poisonous, but what amount would you recommend I give to her to be safe.
    I am also giving milk thistle, dried artichoke leaves, turmeric and liquorice root (although I have seen that liquorice root should not be given for more than two weeks – is that correct?).
    Thank you!

    • janie

      Hi Ann:

      What are you feeding your dog with elevated liver enzymes as far as diet goes?


  • Donna Rohmann

    How do you brew yarrow tea as a flea repellent for dogs.

    • janie

      Hi Donna:

      I’ve never heard of brewing a yarrow tea as a flea repellent. While it can be soothing to the skin, yarrow is usually mixed with Diatomaceous Earth and and Neem powder in equal parts for treating fleas. A good rule of thumb would be to use roughly a teaspoon of the dust for a dog of medium size.

      Hope this helps.


      Mix these three dry ingredients in equal parts and pour them into a shaker jar. To apply to your dog, ruffle the hair back to expose the skin and apply small amounts working your way from the rear to the front. If you are using this mixture for ticks, be sure to cover the neck area. Rub it in briskly. For a medium sized dog, you should only need to use about a teaspoon of the dust. Apply the dust to your dog every month.

  • Brenda

    I have 3 girls Boxer 6 with arthritis in front shoulder
    Boston going to be 5 just diagnosed with pancreatitis
    & a Chihuahua 2 would it be a good thing to start them on yarrow tea?

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Brenda:
      Your dogs are very young to have these types of conditions. The first thing that comes to my mind is food and what brand are you feeding and does it include good protein and a large amount of protein. Also, feeding a good multi-vitamin like the one Nature’s Farmacy makes here can make a huge difference. However, they offer a product called COMPLETE which is even better and includes probiotics, enzymes, fatty acids, etc. all which help with arthritis.

      Although I don’t know what your budget is, if you can afford it, get it. This product was developed with Newfoundlands in mind due to bone and joint issues. It’s worth the money.

      I don’t think yarrow tea will hurt, but I don’t think it’s going to solve your problems. When 2 dogs have issues, that tells me that something is going on with the diet. Let me know if you want me to recommend a food for you Brenda; I’d be glad to.


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