Why spend all of your money paying for expensive trips to the vet when there are home remedies that are just as effective? Come check out some money-saving tips on nursing your pet back to health.
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 skin.
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 ingredient.
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 diarrhea episode.”
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 breath.
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 vets.
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 veterinarian.
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 week.
Some more remedies for you to consider are listed below for your refernce.
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 recommended dosage.
- Electrolytes – 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 building immunity.
- Chamomile 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.
- Oatmeal – 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 prescribed antibiotics.
- 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.
What are some effective home remedies for dogs?
There are several do-it-yourself remedies for common dog problems. For minor skin irritations or hot spots, you can apply a diluted apple cider vinegar solution topically to soothe the affected area. To promote digestive health and healthy gut flora, adding a tablespoon of plain, unsweetened yogurt to your dog's food can be beneficial. If your dog is experiencing an upset stomach or diarrhea, a bland diet consisting of boiled white rice mixed with boiled chicken or lean ground turkey can be gentle on the digestive system. To alleviate itchy skin or allergies, you can give your dog a bath using warm water and oatmeal to soothe the irritation. Moreover, because it contains antifungal and antibacterial qualities, coconut oil can be used topically to nourish dry skin or as a natural treatment for ear infections. It is important to note that while these home remedies can provide temporary relief, they should not replace veterinary care. If the symptoms persist or worsen, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How can I provide home care for my sick dog?
Providing care for a sick dog at home can be challenging, and it is important to remember that professional veterinary care is always the best option. However, there are a number of things you may do to comfort and assist your canine companion. Make sure your dog is first in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Create a quiet space with soft bedding and maintain a regulated temperature. Offer fresh water and entice your dog to eat by providing a bland diet, such as boiled chicken and rice. Monitor their water intake and offer small, frequent meals to prevent dehydration and an upset stomach. Keep a close eye on their symptoms and make a note of any changes or worsening conditions to share with your veterinarian. Follow the veterinarian's instructions when giving any recommended drugs. Make sure your dog takes the prescribed dosage as directed during the whole period of treatment. If your dog is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, fasting for a short period (12-24 hours) can help rest their digestive system, followed by a gradual reintroduction of small, bland meals. However, you must note that these actions do not replace veterinarian treatment.
Is it safe to apply coconut oil to my dog?
Yes, coconut oil is safe to use on dogs, but only in moderation and under careful supervision. As a natural treatment for several canine ailments, coconut oil has gained popularity. To hydrate dry skin, calm mild irritations, and perhaps even stop itching, it can be used topically. In addition, coconut oil could contain antibacterial qualities that are beneficial for treating some skin problems. When applying coconut oil, ensure that you use unrefined, organic, and virgin coconut oil. Start by putting a little bit on a particular spot, then watch your dog's reaction. If there are no adverse side effects, you can gradually apply more as needed.
What medications can I administer to my dog at home?
It is always advisable to provide drugs to your dog at home with a veterinarian's supervision and prescription. While some over-the-counter medications are considered safe for dogs, it is crucial to consult a professional to ensure the appropriate dosage and suitability for your dog's specific condition. Common medications that may be prescribed by a veterinarian and administered at home include antibiotics for bacterial infections, pain medications for short-term relief, anti-inflammatory drugs for reducing inflammation and pain, and antihistamines for mild allergic reactions. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that some drugs can be hazardous to dogs, so they should never get human prescriptions without a doctor's approval.
Does turmeric help dogs?
Yes, it can be. Curcumin, an active ingredient found in turmeric, is well known for having both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Some research suggests that curcumin may have similar effects in dogs, indicating that turmeric could serve as a potential supplement for managing certain health conditions. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties that might aid in alleviating arthritis, joint pain, and other inflammatory conditions in dogs. Additionally, turmeric might be an antioxidant with benefits for the immune system and general health. However, it is crucial to note that the efficiency of turmeric in dogs has not been thoroughly confirmed by scientific research. Furthermore, the bioavailability of curcumin in dogs may be limited, meaning that its absorption and utilization might not be efficient.
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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.