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Sage, an herb belonging to the mint family, is a common spice around the world.
It possesses an earthy, smoky flavor that takes any dish to the top.
But in recent times, the popularity of sage is shifting from its cooking benefits to its spiritual and healing benefits.
Native Americans and other cultures around the world now practice a ritual known as smudging, or burning sage to derive these benefits.
Burning sage is a science-backed practice that is claimed to improve your overall being. With anti-microbial properties, this nature’s miracle can keep viruses, bacteria, and fungi at bay.
It may also help you fight headaches, sore throat, inflammation, depression, memory loss, and reduce oxidative stress in your body. Some people use it to get rid of negative emotions.
However, the big question for any pet parent is: Will burning sage harm my dog?
This is what we seek to answer in this guide.
Is Sage Safe For Dogs?
As aforementioned, sage has anti-microbial properties. It is a great herb for infections of the skin, mouth, and digestive tract.
If you are wondering whether you can use it to prepare your dog’s food, it’s totally safe.
Adding sage in your dog’s diet may help with allergies, inflammation, indigestion, and arthritis. The best way to use sage is to mix dried or fresh leaves in your dog’s food.
You can also make a sage application by boiling the leaves and Epsom salts in a water bath then applying the mixture to your dog’s infections.
Finally, sage can also be baked into homemade treats.
Is Burning Sage Safe For Dogs?
Using sage in your dog’s food is one thing, burning it is entirely another.
Unfortunately, smoke of any kind is generally harmful to dogs. When burning sage to remove the energy out, people often open the doors and windows. This is fine for the most part.
However, if you are doing it for the scent, the smoke can rise to toxic levels. This can irritate your dog’s lungs. If he has a pre-existing respiratory illness such as bronchitis and asthma, the smoke may irritate his system.
Although rare, too much smoke can also build up in a dog’s ears and lead to an infection. This is especially true for dog breeds with floppy ears.
Besides, smoke can damage a dog’s sense of smell. Ideally, a dog has a very sensitive sense of smell, which may get damaged when over-stimulated.
When all is said and done, sage is beneficial for dogs. However, when smudging, you might want to keep the smoke away from your pup.
In other words, it is only safe to burn sage around your dog in an open area that is well ventilated.
And simply use some common sense while at it. For instance, if the smoke is somehow irritating to you or your family members, it is also very likely to irritate or even harm your dog.
What’s more, if your dog starts sneezing or having watery eyes, quickly move him to a well-ventilated room.
Related Post: 10 Dogs with the Worst Sense of Smell
How Do You Burn Sage?
People do this differently but ideally, the leaves of dried sage are bundled and burned up.
All you need to do is light one end of the bundle while holding it and let the smoke fill your space. If you are cleansing your room, walk around with the burning wand. You can also order an abalone shell and place the burning bundle in it.
Although there are several varieties of sage, most herbalists use white sage during smudging. Other varieties with helpful qualities include blue sage, lavender sage, black sage, and common sage.
You are likely to find white sage tied in bundles in physical health food stores or online.
On Amazon, for instance, there are several sage smudge sticks that you can use to clear away stagnant energy or make your space feel lighter and welcoming, including:
NC Naturals White Sage Smudge Bundles: 4″ to 5″ long and comes in a pack of 3.
Sarimoire White Sage Smudge Sticks: 4” long and comes in a pack of 6.
New Age Smudges and Herbs White Sage Smudge Stick: 5-6” long and comes in a pack of 2.
The Bottom line
Although there are no studies to prove whether or not smudging benefits dogs, burning sage is not dangerous to dogs beyond the potential effects of smoke.
So, for the safety of your canine companion, smudge in isolated or well-ventilated areas of your home, and always remember to open the windows to help your dog breathe.
Most importantly, if your pooch begins to display abnormal symptoms—like watery eyes, sneezing, respiratory issues, etc—contact your vet immediately to discuss the situation.