Lemon Balm for Dogs: 4 Benefits & How To Use It

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a popular ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products due to its refreshing lemon-mint aroma and flavor.

However, lemon balm has many medical applications as well. Did you know it’s so harmless that it can even be administered to dogs?

Take a look at the uses and advantages of lemon balm for our canine companions.

Is Lemon Balm Safe for Dogs?

As was previously mentioned, lemon balm is a very benign herb; the only known side effect is that it may affect the thyroid if taken in excessive quantities.

However, lemon balm doses given to dogs are too low to cause hypothyroidism.

Benefits of Lemon Balm for Your Dog

Melissa officinalis, more commonly known as lemon balm, is a safe herb that can be used around pets like dogs, cats, and even horses.

Lemon balm has many potential health benefits and may help with a variety of conditions if given to your dog as a supplement.

Always check with your vet first before giving an herbal remedy, like lemon balm, to your pet.

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Anxiety

The most common use of lemon balm in canine medicine is to treat anxiety. There is a strong correlation between anxiety and gastrointestinal sensitivities. Fortunately, lemon balm can also help your dog’s stomach.

In turn, many anxious dogs experience gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and abdominal pain. Whether your dog is anxious because of an upcoming trip, a move, or boarding, lemon balm can help soothe his stomach and calm him down.

Although it has sedative properties, lemon balm does not make an animal groggy or incoherent; rather, it heightens their awareness and concentration.

This fantastic benefit is why many pet parents give their senior dogs a supplement of lemon balm when they start showing signs of dementia or confusion.

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Respiratory Health

Illnesses like chronic bronchitis are a problem for some dogs’ respiratory systems. Lasix (also known as Salix and Furosemide) is the medication most often prescribed for treating respiratory problems.

Many people who have pets do not realize that their pets can be seriously harmed by being given Lasix on a regular basis. The increased urination it causes is how this substance earns its diuretic name. It is employed for the dual purposes of removing fluid from the lungs and the rest of the body.

Potential kidney, cardiovascular, and other health risks with prolonged use. While lemon balm isn’t a perfect replacement for Lasix, it’s a step in the right direction.

The antibacterial and antiviral properties of lemon balm also make it useful for preserving lung health and elasticity.

A combination of Lasix and lemon balm may help your dog feel better, but you should discuss this with your vet first.

Do not stop giving your pet its prescribed medication without first consulting your veterinarian about the possibility of using lemon balm in conjunction with the medication.

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Wound and Skin Care

If you have any cuts or scrapes, try using some lemon balm on them. It serves dual purposes in this context as both a natural insect repellant and a therapeutic agent.

A dog’s cut is a breeding ground for flies and other insects, making it difficult to keep the wound clean so it can heal quickly. Some of the best dog shampoos and conditioners include lemon balm as a beneficial ingredient.

Application and Administration

Adding lemon balm to your dog’s diet can be done relatively cheaply by purchasing or growing the leaves yourself.

You can either brew some tea with the leaves and add that to your dog’s food, or you can mince up some of the leaves and put them in your dog’s food. One or two tablespoons is usually sufficient.

Make necessary adjustments to accommodate the size and weight of your dog. Using the essential oil, known as melissa oil, is the costlier choice. Seek out 100% pure melissa oil by checking the label.

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If a bottle costs less than $10, it is probably not 100 percent pure. Genuine Melissa oil goes for around $1 for 10 drops.

The incidence of allergic reactions to lemon balm is low because it is a mild herb with beneficial properties.

There are many potential advantages to giving lemon balm to your dog, and the list keeps growing.

If your dog develops any symptoms after taking the herb, however, you should contact your vet immediately.

Although lemon balm is effective for treating canine anxiety, respiratory issues, and wounds, there are times when more potent medications are required.

Costs associated with alternative veterinary care can add up quickly, but luckily there is Wag! Wellness to help cover those costs.

Wag! Insurance companies that specialize in wellness plans typically pay for routine veterinary care within 24 hours. Looking for health insurance or a wellness program? Get your pet the best wellness coverage by comparing plans.

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Common Uses of Lemon Balm on Dogs

The components of lemon balm include volatile oils, tannins, and flavonoids. Therapeutic effects, such as sedative and anti-anxiety properties, as well as effects on the immune system, on bacteria, on muscles, and on pain, are attributed to these components of the herb.

Stress, anxiety, depression, and digestive issues, especially gas, are just some of the conditions that lemon balm can treat in dogs.

To treat sleep problems and the restlessness and anxiety that come with canine cognitive decline, try using some lemon balm on your senior dog.

Also, when applied topically, it helps relieve muscle pain and works as a disinfectant for minor cuts and wounds.

How to Use Lemon Balm on Dogs

In a variety of contexts, we can provide our dogs with the health benefits of lemon balm. Depending on your dog’s condition, you can give the herb orally or apply it topically. As an illustration:

For Oral Use

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped fresh leaves (or 2 tablespoons dried herb per cup of water) to make a therapeutically potent cup of lemon balm tea.

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Since this herb is completely harmless, precise measurements are not as important as using the right amount.

Do not remove the tea’s cover until it has reached room temperature.

Put the tea in your dog’s food, water, or both!

You can take the tea up to three times a day, at a rate of 1 tablespoon per 20 pounds of body weight. It is recommended to double the dosage if you are attempting to alleviate symptoms of a specific health issue, such as bloating or stress.

For Topical Use

Disinfecting Rinse

It has been found that a fresh rinse with brewed lemon balm tea can help prevent infection in minor cuts and other wounds.

If you want a more powerful rinse, try dissolving 2 teaspoons of unrefined sea salt in each cup of tea. The tea can be poured directly onto the wound (but only if it is not hot).

Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress made from iced lemon balm tea (helpful for acute injuries) by soaking a clean washcloth in the tea and holding it on the injury for several minutes is recommended. Rewet the compress and reapply it to the affected area to maintain the cold.

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Hot Compress

Already established, lemon balm’s antispasmodic and muscle-calming properties are worth noting. Dogs with conditions such as arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia, or old sports injuries may find relief from its use.

For this purpose, a hot compress infused with lemon balm tea can be very helpful. The ideal temperature for drinking tea is between tepid and boiling.

Place a damp washcloth on the affected area and hold it there for a few minutes to let the tea’s antiseptic properties take effect. Apply a new layer of compress after soaking it in water and reapply it to the affected area every 10 to 15 minutes.

Herbal Honey

Herbal honey made with lemon balm, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties, can be applied topically to heal wounds and treat skin infections, and taken internally to ward off infections, ease digestion, and fortify the immune system.

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