Herbs To Support Your Dogs Lungs During Wild Fire & Smoke Season
If you live in a place that has to deal with the effects of wildfire's every year, then this is the blog post for you. Just like us, our dogs will be experiencing long term smoke exposure that cause inflammation in the lungs and creates oxidative stress within the body. Along with that, when the body breathes in particles, the lungs produce mucus to trap the particles that we then try to expel.
We're going to dive into what herbs and different foods we can feed to our dogs to help them combat oxidative stress and reduces inflammation and damage of the lungs from chronic smoke exposure.
- Mullein leaf helps the lungs to expel unwanted particles that have been inhaled into the lungs.
- Mullein flower can help soothe and coat the lungs.
- Alfalfa leaf contains high amounts of chlorophyll which support the respiratory tract under distress due to its high antioxidant properties.
- Spirulina & Chlorella is also very high in chlorophyll which helps bring more oxygen to the cells.
- Turmeric is anti-inflammatory for the lungs
- Slippery Elm bark helps to soothe and coat the mucus membranes from the mouth, down. It can help protect the throat that is affected by continued smoke inhalation.
- Nettle tea works as an antihistamine, soothes inflamed tissue and helps calm irritated airways.
- Omega 3's are anti-inflammatory to the lungs. Some great sources of Omega 3's are salmon, sardines, tuna, olive oil, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds.
- Antioxidants are nutritious powerhouses that protect the body from oxidative stress. Vitamin C is a common and important antioxidant that is found in strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, collard greens and spinach.
- Quercetin is a phytonutrient that combines the two categories above. It helps reduce inflammation and fight free radical damage. Quercitine is found in fresh cilantro, apples, different lettuces and is also available in the form of a supplement.
- Probiotic foods help to improve the immune system. Some great food sources are sauerkraut, greek yogurt and kefir. Probiotics can also be commonly found in supplemental form.
- Bone broth is a great addition to almost all situations that your dog needs to be nurtured nutritionally. Bone broth is great for the immune system, the digestive system, skeletal system and skin.
If your dog is picky and you want some tips on how to help them consume some of these foods, I have some ideas for you.
- Blend these foods in a food processor with some water, bone broth or tea of choice. When these foods are blended together, you can mix them with your dogs food, which makes it harder for your dog to pick around for only the "goods" aka - the meat they want!
- Add a type of food that your dog considers a little more "special". Bone broth is a great option because it has healing, soothing and building qualities while tasting delicious! Most dogs will eat anything if bone broth is involved. Some other ideas are greek yogurt, adding real meat and the juice of meat to their kibble.
There are also a few supplements that you can get for your dog as well that will help with the chronic exposure to smoke.
- Glutathione is an amino acid that can detoxify specific toxins that are accumulated during chronic smoke inhalation. It can also be used to help prevent long term damage to the lungs.
- NAC is also an amino acid that helps loosen mucus and makes it easier for the body to release. NAC is also a precursor for glutathione, so your pup can get the benefits of both.
- Quercetin is a potent antioxidant and possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can positively affect the lungs.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that reduces the oxidative stress from chronic smoke exposure.
- All of the herbs above can also be given in supplemental form.
If you live in an area where wildfires are prominent at some point throughout the year, it is important to support not only yours, but your dogs body. Smoke inhalation can cause serious or chronic lung problems, especially over time or if you end up around a fire that produces a lot of smoke. Incorporate these foods and herbs into your dogs diet in whatever way is easiest for you and your pup.
There is no right or best way. The best way is any way that works!