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Heal Care Ointment for dogs

All-Natural Dog Paw Pad Ointment & Muscle Aid

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NHV Base Ingredients: From Glycerin to Olive Oil for Dogs & Cats

NHV Behind The Scenes 4 min read
A dog getting supplements from a dropper with inactive ingredients.

What are inactive ingredients, and why does NHV use olive oil for dogs and cats in their natural supplements?

As you clicked on this blog post, this question probably popped into your head. And why wouldn’t it? Learning about the supplements you feed your precious furkiddo, especially the ingredients, shows you are a diligent parent.

What Does “Inactive Ingredients” Mean?

Inactive ingredients (a.k.a excipients) are inert substances that serve non-therapeutic purposes. In other words, they don’t offer herb-derived benefits like the active ingredients.

While active ingredients contain therapeutic properties that can help support pet health, inactive ingredients help them achieve that.

Let’s take NHV Ey-Eas as an example. Extracts from Chamomile flower, Eyebright herb, Goldenseal root, and Rosemary ground work together to help restore your furkiddo’s eyes to their healthy state. However, this herbal blend also includes purified water and glycerin.

These two additional components don’t affect your little one’s body nor help with any symptoms. Even though these ingredients aren’t therapeutic, they are crucial and sometimes necessary to form the supplements and help keep the formula stable. Some are even key to extracting benefits from herbs.

Why Use Glycerin, Alcohol & Olive Oil for Dogs and Cats?

As pet parents ourselves, we understand how hard it can be to give something in pill form to our little ones. With that in mind, our master herbalist and holistic veterinarian responsible for our formulations created liquid-based herbal blends that are easy to mix directly into your pet’s food.

Through years of research and dedication, NHV developed its own proprietary method of extraction to ensure that the helpful constituents of the herbs are being extracted to ensure a full spectrum herbal extract. To make that possible, our team had to consider the best method amongst the most traditional extraction practices, including water, alcohol, and glycerin. 

However, the ideal method of extraction depends upon the herbs being used in each formulation. For example, some herbs have their bioactive compounds infused in hot water easily. Some are poorly water-soluble and might need alcohol to break down the plant material and release the active compounds. While many herbs may be extracted using vegetable glycerin.

The Main Excipients NHV Uses

Non-GMO vegetable glycerin 

As mentioned, we need inactive ingredients, a base, when extracting the properties out of our herbs. Since NHV is committed to vet-formulated supplements that are 100% natural, most of our formulas are “glycerin-based.” Non-GMO vegetable glycerin is an organic alternative to other bases commonly used. This colorless, naturally sweet substance contains plant oils and the following list of benefits:

  • Safe for long-term usage, especially for furkids with chronic disorders.
  • Palatable, with a naturally sweet taste, and preferable by most pets.
  • Contains zero net carbs, which makes it perfectly safe for diabetic furkids to consume.

This ingredient also helps increase the shelf life of our formulas without added preservatives. In fact, the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have classed glycerin as functional and safe when added to food as a natural preservative ingredient. However, don’t forget to refrigerate the herbal extract after opening it.

Alcohol-based Supplements

There are only three of our oral supplements (NHV ES-Clear, NHV BK-Detox, and NHV Hairb-Ez) and two topical supplements (NHV First Aid Spray and NHV Target Spray) that require the use of alcohol as a solvent to extract the benefits of the herbs used. Even then, we use only a minuscule amount of alcohol (6%).

There are only several NHV formulas that use a small amount of 6% of alcohol in their base.

The reason we add alcohol is that this compound is instrumental in extracting and maximizing herbs’ health-supporting properties. So, adding alcohol to our main cancer support formula, ES-Clear, and our natural detoxifying formula, BK-Detox helps ensure that all the vital compounds of the herbs are extracted.

We added alcohol to our two herbal sprays because it is often used for its antiseptic properties. Alcohol helps disinfect and clean wounds.

But if you wish to get rid of the alcohol in the supplement, all you have to do is add the dosage to a tablespoon of boiling water. The hot water will evaporate the alcohol content in the supplement. After that, let the water (with supplement) cool down, and feed it to your little one.

Olive Oil for Dogs and Cats

an inactive ingredient, olive oil, being poured into a glass bowl

Another one of our bases can be easily found in your kitchen. The benefits of the nutritional use of olive oil for dogs and cats are highly accepted in the veterinarian community. But this ingredient also helps with extraction purposes and can be used to dilute volatile oils. We do not recommend applying volatile oil directly on your furkid’s skin because of possible irritation and allergic reactions. That is why we always add carrier oil (olive oil) to supplements like NHV Heal Care Ointment.

On top of that, olive oil is a natural, safe ingredient, so you don’t have to worry about the risk of your furkid licking the ointment. Besides that, it helps to soften your little one’s skin and may improve dry skin and cracking.

And there you go! Hopefully, this helps you understand more about the inactive ingredients we use in our supplements. If you want to learn more about our active ingredients, check out our other blog posts about different herbs used in our formulations.


If you have any other questions or need further clarification about the ingredients of our vet-formulated supplements, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of pet experts by clicking the button below! We are always happy to help pet parents in need! 

NHV Pet Experts

NHV Pet Experts

We have a dedicated group of pet expert professionals, including veterinarians, vet techs, and other pet professionals to guide you through any questions. We’re committed to your pet’s wellness and can offer additional tips, resources, nutritional advice, and more.

Published: February 7, 2024

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