[Infographic] How to create your urban garden?
We’re not alone in enjoying the pleasures that our yard can give us. Our pets live it at its fullest too: they run on the grass, they play, they sneak through among the trees, and cats even climb them. These are some of the reasons why it’s important to know they like some plants and herbs more than others. Some of them can improve their health too. An example above all others? It’s no coincidence that catnip has this name: cats go crazy over it, as it has digestive and antispasmodic properties.
If you’re asking yourself how your furry friends can recognise plants that are good for them, just trust them. Instinct never fails them, and they know which plants can help them solving the most common ailments.
Even if they are not able to speak, your pets will be grateful if you pick up a selection of beneficial plants and make it available for them. Choosing carefully and effortlessly, we can have a garden that is perfumed and useful, both for us and for them.
As for digestive properties, herbs other than catnip dogs and cats love are dill, lemon balm, thyme and rosemary. Great cleansing herbs are garlic, chicory and vervain.
The so-called cat-thyme (Teucrium marum L.) has soothing properties on cats, but in the past it was also used as a disinfectant. If your cat is a “restless soul”, you’d want to be sure you plant a lot of it as it has a rather slow growth time.
Also have some liquorice planted, as it is good not only for us but also for our cats: liquorice roots, in fact, are great at soothing the itch allergies can cause, acting as a natural cortisone. In addition to that, liquorice helps digestion and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Some vets recommend it as they believe it’s a great detoxifier for the liver. Even if these plants and herbs can be taken by dogs and cats with no extra help, as they are independent, sometimes they require their owners to prepare natural remedies from herbal extracts.
Stings can be very dangerous: ticks and fleas, in fact, other than being annoying and irritating parasites, can also spread diseases. A possible mean of prevention is lavender (Lavandula officinalis), as its essential oil has repellent properties. It’s recommendable not to use it pure though – better to have a piece of cloth soaked in salty water and have it rubbed on the fur or sprayed on the kennel.
Some useful remedies for curing bees and spiders’ stings are calendula (Calendula officinalis) tincture or the powder extracted from the roots of pyrethrum (Chrisantemum cinerariaefolium). As the latter, you want to be careful when using it with cold-blooded animals (such as tortoises), as it can be toxic for them.
To have ticks removed, you can mix parsley seeds with some almond oil (but also olive oil or oilseed will do).
Oils from peppermint (Mentha x piperita), lesser calamint (Calamintha nepeta) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) have amazing soothing properties.
With a nice yard and the summer incoming, it’s nice to treat themselves with some good barbecues. In such occasions, be careful about your animals and watch out for them so they don’t get burnt: it’s not unusual they run into some burning woods and to scald themselves. In the case this occurs, it’s extremely important to suddenly intervene to avoid infections.
Lavender essence (Lavandula angustifolia) proves to be very useful to treat burns and to speed healing up. Calendula tincture is recommended in the case of small wounds and to speed up the healing of scars, while blackberry leaves (Rubus fructicosus) are recommended for dogs.
A few drops of calendula tincture, dissolved in boiled and then cooled down water, and aloe tincture are recommended to disinfect and allow healing of small lesions and stings.
We often get so close to our pets we can smell their breath. Nettle leaves (Urtica dioica) are strongly recommended to get them a fresher breath. No need to worry about the best way to have it given to them: if you have it mixed to some broth, your furry friend won’t even notice.
Herbs have properties that apply both to us and to our furry friends. If they have some digestive ailments, let them have parsley (Petrolelinum hortense) and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Garlic (Allium sativum) helps the good functioning of their liver and kidneys, and mixed with some honey it can be of help in the case of intestinal parasites. Infections of dogs’ urinary system can be treated with an infusion of bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva ursina).
By embellishing your garden with these plants, you will help your inseparable friends staying healthy and fit. However, in the case of enduring ailment symptoms lose no time and enlist a skilled veterinary.
Three pieces of advice for a Pet-Friendly garden
We’ll give you three pieces of advice for a pet-friendly garden:
by Alessandro Da Rin Betta
Alessandro Da Rin Betta is a contributor from international network Gushmag. Passionate about Food & Beverage, Sports and Gardening, he always carries around a notebook to fixate his thoughts and his observations.
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