Chinese herbal medication can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions in dogs and cats. These medications are concentrated formations of plant material that have been shown through the centuries to benefit certain conditions. Chinese herbs are generally very safe to give to pets, with minimal side effects and interactions with other medications or treatment modalities. The most common challenge to giving herbal medication is their sometimes pungent aroma or taste. Since animals have a heightened sense of smell, they can sometimes be resistant to herbal formulas. We have developed a very simple recipe, one that has worked well with even the most notoriously potent Chinese herbal medications, to have your dog enjoy getting their medications!

Who wouldn’t want a cupcake after each meal?

Recipe (makes 48 mini-cupcakes):

1 package of your favorite carrot cake mix (and ingredients as recommended on box)

15 ounce can of pure pumpkin puree

Chinese Herbal medication as prescribed by your veterinarian (scoop in Jing Tang herbals is 1 tsp)

Cream Cheese & Bacon bits optional as topping if needed to entice your dog



Prepare cake mix according to directions, but do not add any water

Add herbal medication prescribed to your pet

Add 1 can pureed pumpkin (15 ounces) to mix

Add a small amount of water to get consistency desired

Bake as directed on box for mini-cupcakes in lined mini-cupcake pan or using mini cupcake maker

Please keep in mind that these cupcakes (using Betty Crocker box mix) contain approximately 35 calories per cupcake (without topping) and 85 calories per cupcake (with topping). This will change with the type of boxed mix used and the amount of topping used. Therefore it is important to adjust your dog’s diet to reflect the increase in caloric consumption. It is also important to remember that Chinese herbal medications are concentrated plant material and the majority plants are ok to heat. This is not the case with traditional medications and supplements such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, glucosamine, etc… so this recipe should only be used for herbal medications.

You will need to speak with the prescribing veterinarian to discuss the recommended amount of each herbal medication to be added to this recipe. Generally the dose per cupcake is increased by 20% to account for any loss due to the heating required.

If you feel your pet would benefit from an integrative approach to health care, please contact Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice at 757-474-5968 or send us an email at HRvethospice @gmail.com to set up your consultation with one of our doctors.


Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice

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