It’s no secret that quality veterinary care is pricey. However,
there are plenty of simple ways to care for your pet that don’t
need to involve a vet bill at all! And many veterinarians
agree. Save gas and save time, all by caring for your pet
yourself as much as possible while still being safe.
Whenever possible, avoid chemical treatments and go natural.
Keep it simple. When you’re ready to kick it up a notch, there
are hundreds of herbal tincture and decoction recipes out there
for the very holistically inclined.
When attempting to treat your dog for an ailment or health
issue, please consult with your vet first. Many reputable vets
will exchange an email with you, or will get on the phone for a
ten minute conversation, without putting a bill in the mail.
Run all home care ideas past your vet for the green light, no
matter how benign they may seem.
Apple Cider Vinegar
In addition to being a useful ingredient in homemade dog shampoo, apple cider vinegar
is lauded as an excellent alternative to chemical care for many
pet related maladies and ailments.
Some veterinarians recommend adding a few teaspoons to a dog’s
food to help boost their appetite. Other apple cider vinegar
enthusiasts recommend applying it directly to a dog’s skin to
help soothe itchy hot spots. (If skin is broken, dilute the
vinegar with water so it doesn’t sting.)
Some dog groomers who adhere to green practices will follow up
a bath with an apple cider vinegar rinse in order to ward off
fleas. It might make a dog smell like salad dressing, but
enthusiasts swear by the tricks the vinegar plays on a dog’s
skin pH, with many saying the vinegar makes a dog’s skin
inhospitable to fleas.
Pay attention, though. “For ages,” cautions Jenna Stregowski,
RVT, “people have tried to come up with home remedies and
natural products to ward off fleas. While natural remedies are
useful for a number of issues, generally flea treatment is not
one of them.”
And don’t forget about ticks. While fleas may not like an
acidic environment, ticks can tolerate your dog’s unfriendly
Creating and Maintaining Balance
Sometimes a particular necessary or urgent treatment will throw
off a dog’s natural biology. Attempting to keep balance in your
dog’s body can be as simple as adding or removing a single
If your dog is taking antibiotics, no matter the reason, it
makes sense to add a probiotic to their diet. Many
veterinarians recommend yogurt with live acidophilus cultures.
However, Dr. Erica Mollica, DVM, of Carroll Gardens Veterinary
Group in Brooklyn, NY says that regular yogurt is not
appropriate for dogs, as the microorganisms so effective for
human GI tracts don’t affect dogs in the same way. She
recommends a probiotic made for dogs and says, “Probiotics may
be used when a dog is on antibiotics or even during an isolated
If a dog’s breath is bad, it could mean their food isn’t right.
Their digestive system could be rebelling. Then again, it could
just be genes. If you’re sure your dog’s diet is good, add a
handful of chopped parsley to your dog’s dinner to freshen
If your poor pooch has suffered from a bout of diarrhea or
vomiting, after you’ve diagnosed the culprit of the ailment,
you’ll want to rehydrate your dog. Offer some flavorless,
natural, electrolyte enhanced water - like something you might
drink to cure a hangover. Pedialyte is recommended by some
Treating a Bladder Infection at Home
Unless you’re a trained veterinary medical professional, never
diagnose your dog on your own. See a vet, and discuss with him
or her the following options.
Many holistic pet care practitioners will add a mixture of
yogurt and apple cider vinegar to their dog’s daily pet food to
resolve a urinary tract or bladder infection. This mixture is
well regarded as a remedy, but could be tough on your dog’s
stomach. If diarrhea or discomfort presents, reconsider going
with an antibiotic. Other alternative treatments may include
cranberry extract, taken in pill form.
Note of caution: Take care with your diagnosis. What at first
might present as a bladder infection could be something more
serious, like diabetes. Always be sure to be in touch with your
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
Cleaning your dog’s ears is usually something the vet does
during check ups. Save the forty dollar add-on and do it
yourself. There are several natural ear cleansing products on
the market. Be sure your ear solution is alcohol free, and use
natural cotton pads.
For a homemade alternative to a purchased ear cleanser, Dr.
Erica Mollica, DVM recommends mixing equal parts white vinegar
and water, and using a natural cotton ball to remove debris.
Synthetic “cotton” swabs might irritate the ear, so be sure to
use natural ones. With your dampened cotton pad, wipe around
the visible curlicue areas of the ear. Continue wiping till
your pad comes out clean. This can be done as often as once a
Some more remedies for you to consider are listed below for
Home Remedies for Dogs
When you are feeling out of sorts, you may find that the
perfect treatment for your ailment is already there in your
kitchen. But did you know that you can also treat your dog
using simple home remedies? Here are a few great natural cures
to make your dog healthy and happy again:
Vitamin E –
This is good for preventing the age lines on the face and it
is also great for dry skin. You can massage your dog's skin
with vitamin E oil, draw him a bath with vitamin E in the
water, or give him a pill. If you are
going to administer it orally, talk to the vet about the
Sports drinks are not only meant to help athletes in
replenishing their bodily fluids, they can also replace the
electrolytes in your sick dog's body after a bout of vomiting
or diarrhea. Consult the vet on the correct dosage amounts
before you give it to your dog.
Plain yogurt –
The acidophilus bacteria found in yogurt is good for
maintaining the intestinal balance in your dog's gut and
knock out the bad bacteria. If your pup is on antibiotics for
an infection, yogurt can also help in keeping yeast
infections away. Puppies especially are vulnerable to yeast
infections. Plain yogurt can help the intestinal system in
tea – Chamomile plant is a natural disinfectant
and is great for upset tummies. It is usually recommended for
gas, colic and anxiety. It also alleviates minor irritations
to the skin. Just cool it in the fridge and spray it on the
affected area of the skin. You will notice that your dog
feels a soothing effect as the yeast and bacteria on the the
skin are killed by the tea. You can also use a warm tea bag
for soothing irritated or infected eyes.
Finely powdered oatmeal is a great remedy for itchy and
irritated skin. You can grind it in a food processor and stir
it into a warm water bath, and let your dog soak in it. Dogs
with infections, skin allergies, and other conditions that
cause itchiness respond very well to this treatment.
Epsom salt –
Dogs tend to suffer from unexplained wounds and swelling. You
can treat this ailment with an epsom salt soak and a heat
pack the next time. A bath with warm water and epsom salt
helps in reducing the healing time and swelling, especially
when you combine it with veterinary supervision and
Borax powder –
If you dog has fleas, Borax powder works wonders by poking
holes in the exoskeletons of the fleas. Sprinkle some borax n
the floor, and then vacuum or sweep up the excess. The borax
crystals will kill the fleas without you having to even lift
a finger. It is non-toxic and inexpensive compared to hiring
the services of an exterminator.
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This information is for informational purposes only and
is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or
diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian. Always seek the
advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional
with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to
what you may have read on our website.