Category Archives: Pet care

Catnip: Kitty crack, kiddo calmer

Catnip: Nepeta cataria

Catnip is an herb in the mint family commonly used to make cats twitchy and insane. Every time I have had a bag of catnip in my herb stash not properly stored in an airtight container, my cats have completely annihilated it and gone on a crazy kitty catnip binge that rivaled WWI. Cats have receptors for the chemical nepetalactone that enhance emotion that people do not have, which is why we do not roll around in piles of the stuff making a mess all across the house. Fair warning, cats will destroy the live plants as well, so protecting your plant if your home is around cats may be something to consider when growing it.

Catnip is commonly used with humans to treat colic, headache, toothache, colds, and spasms. It is a calming nervous tonic and USUALLY will help a person fall asleep. Some people might have an opposite effect so if you are trying it as a calming agent, try it the first time during the day to see if it calms you so you are not accidentally up all night.

It is effective for treating anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness, and is also great for easing migraine headaches, stomach complaints, and also reduces swelling associated with arthritis, hemorrhoids, and soft tissue injuries.

An oil infusion of catnip is useful in baths and good for massages for children suffering from measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, colic, fevers, hives, insomnia and hyperactivity.

It is one of the best herbs you can find to use with children because of its gentle calming nature.

I add catnip to my daughter’s chamomile tea when she is teething. The combination helps alleviate pain and calm her so she can sleep. It also adds a slight minty flavor which is pleasant. I keep a sippy cup with the tea in her crib at night for when she wakes up. I also add it to a teething glycerite I make for her, and add it to my husband’s sleepy time tea.

You can see why this wonderful, gentle herb has made it into my “medicine cabinet“. How do you use Catnip in your home?

Shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday, and Simple Living Wednesday.


Itchy Dog Oil: Oil for the itchy dog.

*This is not intended as medical or veterinary advice. Please consult your vet if your pet has any persistent or concerning problems.*

My parents have a dog named Baby. Baby has a nasty skin issue that “looks like elephant skin”, which he is pretty sure is caused by allergies. He chews on him self because he is super itchy and this chewing is causing Baby to get fungal and bacterial skin infections. His skin on his belly and parts of his chest are black because of skin damage he has from these persistent allergies. The vet has my parents giving him benedryl once or twice a day to help with the allergies, antibiotics for the bacteria, and a topical cream for the fungus. They have given him steroids, cortisone and all sorts of other stuff as needed too. Poor Baby just has it bad.

They are visiting this week and poor baby is so itchy! I felt so bad for him I mad him a itchy skin oil to help relieve some of the irritation. I don’t have any books about using oils on dogs so I used the same philosophy as I do with people. 40% of anything that comes into contact with your skin absorbs into your body, so I will not put anything on my skin that would hurt or injure me internally. I also did not choose anything that could be harmful to the dog unless he had an allergy to the ingredients.  I did a spot test on the dog skin a day before applying the oil over all his parts to check for redness and irritation. I would suggest doing this on anyone with sensitivities.

In the oil (10 oz container) I put:

4.5 oz Nettle infused olive oil

4.5 oz Plantain infused olive oil

40 drops Lavender essential oil

40 drops Tea Tree essential oil

40 drops Calendula essential oil

Apply the oil with clean cotton pads or balls, never double dipping in the oil. Always use a new cotton ball for every new area of application. Apply liberally to the effected aria (after spot testing to check for allergic reaction).


The reasons I chose these ingredients:

Nettle oil: Anti-Inflamitory,  very effective in scalp related problem like scaly scalp (dandruff) and psoriasis, increases blood circulation, great tonic to revitalize body, organ functioning and blood purification.

Plantain oil: used for bruises, bug bites, swellings, scarring, strained ligaments, muscles or tendons, rashes and skin irritations. Plantain is often used as a drawing agent, to draw out thorns, splinters or other foreign material.

Lavender essential oil:  lavender helps abscesses, acne, allergies, athlete’s feet and fungal infections, boils, bruises, burns, cold sores, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hives, inflammations, insect bites, lice, psoriasis, rashes, ringworm, scabies, scars, shingles, stretch-marks, sunburns, and wounds.

Calendula essential oil: Good for dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, diaper irritations, and other skin disorders.

Melaleuca (Tea Tree) essential oil: Disinfectant, acne treatment, bug bites, repells lice and ticks, dandruff, minor cuts, scrapes bruises. Antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties have been found in various studies as well.


If I had other ingredients I would have also liked to use chamomile essential oil for the calming properties and vitamin E for a preservative and skin benefits but I did not have these handy. After three days of application the oil seems to help calm Baby’s itchiness and his black area seems to be lightening up in places. This calming healing oil seems to be helping. We have been applying the oil once a day to his belly, chest (he has a bald spot where he rubs a lot), on his paws and on the outside of his ears. I would like it applied twice a day but it doesn’t seem to be happening. That is life!

Did this help? I will post pictures and follow up as the use continues. I think it is reducing the blackness on his belly but we will have to wait and see with comparison photos. I will see my parents and their dog again in about two weeks after Thanksgiving.