The benefits of rooibos tea for dogs

Rooibos tea has been shown to help with allergies and hot spots, digestive issues and stress in people and dogs. Some holistic veterinarians are even recommending rooibos as a safe alternative to allopathic cortisone!

Rooibos is finding its way into a growing number of health products for dogs, including treats, shampoos and anti-itch oils. You can also buy rooibos as loose leaves or powder and make your own tea at home. For that reason, it’s no surprise that rooibos tea has become a highly sought- after ingredient in the pet industry. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this healing brew!

What is rooibos?

If you’ve ever tried rooibos tea, you’ll know that it offers numerous health benefits for both pets and people. African Red Bush or Aspalathus linearis, also known as rooibos, is an indigenous plant from South Africa, where a herbal tea made from the leaves has been enjoyed for generations. More recently, rooibos tea has become popular in other parts of the world, including North America, largely for its antioxidant properties as a nutraceutical.

“The biggest potential benefits are antioxidant content in general, and some liver protection,” says veterinarian Dr. Nancy Scanlan. “Rooibos tea contains no caffeine or tannins.”

It’s rich in vitamin C, and boasts two flavonoids called quercetin and luteolin, which have cancer-fighting properties. “Quercetin is (also) nature’s natural antihistamine,” adds dog behaviorist and wellness advisor Karen Rosenfeld.

Rooibos has been shown to help with allergies and hot spots, digestive issues and stress in people and dogs. Some holistic veterinarians are recommending rooibos as a safe alternative to allopathic cortisone.

“All the dogs in my own pack have organic rooibos tea added to their meal once a day,” says Karen. “This rich red tea is an anti-inflammatory with the power to help fight allergies and cancer, and boost the immune system.” She adds that rooibos may also help with skin and bone health, supports the heart and renal systems, and eases psychological stress.

How to give rooibos tea to your dog

Rooibos is finding its way into a growing number of health products for dogs, including treats, shampoos and anti-itch oils. You can also buy rooibos as loose leaves or powder and make your own tea at home.

“Simply brew the tea, allow it to cool, store it in a glass jar in your refrigerator, and add it to your dog’s meals,” says Karen. “The liquid tea can also be used topically in the form of a soothing rinse or soak to help ease skin discomfort like itching, scratching and hot spots, or as a soak for irritated paws. The tea powder can be combined with a little Aloe Vera juice to make a soothing compress.” Karen adds that you can also add rooibos to your dog’s diet by making your own rooibos treats.

Summary of rooibos benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral
  • Relieves stress – it’s naturally relaxing
  • Anti-spasmodic and can help soothe an upset stomach
  • Rich in minerals such as calcium, manganese and fluoride for good bone health
  • Anti-mutagenic properties and may fight cancer
  • Boosts blood circulation and helps prevent hemorrhaging
  • Great for skin and helps with the treatment of hot spots, itching and dry skin

As we’ve seen, rooibos offers countless benefits to your pup – and it’s good for you, too! Pick some up at your local health food store and enjoy the soothing benefits of this health-giving tea.

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