Did you know that all animals have an innate ability to self-medicate on plant medicine?Aka Zoopharmacognosy.

This means that they know what they need to re-balance their body. We aren’t talking about food. We are talking about medicine.

So if a dog has a stomach upset, they will be drawn to certain plants which will help settle the stomach. If they have an infection, they will choose plants which contain anti-bacterial properties. Amazing right?

The biggest difference between wild and domesticated animals is opportunity. Wild animals are free to roam and seek out that they need, but their domesticated counterparts, are essentially captive. So although they still have the ability to self-medicate, they mostly don’t have the opportunity.

The good news is, we can change this.


By offering them a range of medicinal herbs and nutritional powders to allow them to prevent and resolve any imbalances in the body.

coconut oil for dogs My Animal Matters

Let your dog lead the way

There are 4 key points to remember when offering natural remedies for self-medication:

1 Do not add it to their food – offer it in a separate bowl so they can choose if they need it or not and so they can choose their dosage.

2. Respect individuality. One animal may choose Barley Grass powder which is packed full of vitamins and minerals while another may choose Spirulina powder. This is because animals, like us, have a unique physiology. There is no ‘one size fits all’

3. Offer choice. Offer the remedies together so they can select the order they need the remedies. For example, a lot of dogs will take spirulina powder and rosehips together (in separate bowls) possibly as rosehips are high in vitamin C and can help with efficient absorption of other nutrients. Their choices may change.

4. Some dogs won’t take the remedies from a bowl initially so offer them on your finger first. This can help build trust.

zoopharmacognosy for dogs

Puppy checking out the seaweed

Click here for more information on how to offer natural remedies

An anxious or hyper dog may be lacking certain fats, vitamins or minerals from their diet.

Many of the dogs I see as a Zoopharmacognosy practitioner are displaying a level of anxiety in certain situations. Stress can inhibit many functions in the body, one of them being digestion and nutrient absorption.

Offering a range of botanicals gives your dog the opportunity to rite this imbalance and prevent problems further down the road.

Clients report that their dogs are calmer, happier, have more balanced energy on walks and their coats are softer and shedding less.

Natural remedies for dogs

“It’s like Christmas has come early”

We have developed a range of Starter kits to meet the variety of different needs of dogs today.

From skin problems, digestive issues, pain, anxiety or simply a selection of herbs and oils to optimise their health and well-being in the short and long-term

“It’s like Christmas has come early” and “She seems to be able to relax more deeply…. and her coat it glossier” are just a couple of the comments made by recent customers.

To order your Well Dog Starter Kit today, simply click here

If you have a particular behaviour or health challenge, I also offer private consultations in your home.

Note, this is NOT a substitute for veterinary medicine.

If your dog is on medication, consult with your vet before offering any remedies.

Rachel Windsor-Knott’s goal is for the beautiful process of animal self-medication to become a natural part of sharing your life with your animal.  She is a qualified practitioner in Applied Zoopharmacognosy and a qualified Dog Behaviour Therapist. She runs regular workshops, speaks at events and offers consultations in person and by Skype.  Her online shop has natural remedies and starter packs for your animal.

My animal matters canine workshop dog