There are lots of ailments that can affect your dog, and calling the vet every time can get awfully expensive. As more and more people turn to alternative medicine to heal themselves, they are going in the same direction for their pets.
Home remedies are a good place to start if your dog has recently begun having an issue. If they have a health problem that is severe or persists, a vet should always be contacted.
Here are some ideas for canine health problems:
KENNEL COUGH: Most cases resolve without medical intervention in about two to three weeks. Here are some ways to help your dog fight the bug:
- Give them vitamins C and E. Vitamin C is an antiviral and vitamin E provides immune system support.
- Oregano oil has antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Raw garlic and olive leaf are natural antibacterial and antiviral agents.
- Raw honey will ease throat irritation from coughing, and licorice root and marshmallow herbs will suppress a cough.
- Essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender and chamomile, especially when used with a humidifier, can help calm nasal and chest symptoms. Dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, so only a small amount of the oils would be needed.
STOMACH ISSUES: Just like people, dogs can have a variety of stomach problems. The following are tips to keep your dog’s digestive tract healthy:
- Dogs should eat an appropriate diet. That means no junk food, rocks, sticks or kitty litter. The food you provide should be quality…with most cheap foods, you get what you pay for.
- Digestive enzymes and probiotics will help with maldigestion, which is the cause of intermittent bouts of constipation or diarrhea.
- Exercise keeps everything moving efficiently. Also, clean drinking water should always be provided.
- Dietary fiber acts as a binding agent. It can be added to your dog’s diet through psyllium husk powder (half-teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight once or twice a day), or canned pumpkin or ground green leafy vegetables (one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight one to two times daily).
- Organic apple cider vinegar is known to improve many conditions in both people and pets, including digestion. One-quarter teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight 1-2 times daily is recommended. Many dogs do not like the taste, so only give them a little at a time.
- Aloe juice (not the topical gel), one-quarter teaspoon per 10 pounds, can be given once or twice a day.
- Raw honey can settle an upset stomach. If they won’t eat it, you can put a little on your finger and slip it into the side of their mouth.
FLEAS AND TICKS: Many commercial treatments purchased at pet stores or through your vet have been found to cause adverse reactions in many dogs, particularly those weighing 10-20 pounds. These reactions have occurred in the skin, GI tract and nervous system.
This said, preventing attacks on your dog from fleas and ticks is extremely important for your dog’s safety and comfort. Some natural ideas include:
- Essential oil sprays containing lavender, peppermint, geranium, lemongrass or citronella.
- Cedar oil is very effective, and there are special formulas for dogs and cats.
- Fresh garlic can prevent internal and external parasites.
ALLERGIES: Dogs can develop allergies just the way people do. They are the immune system’s response to irritants either in the air or through the diet. It is recommended that dog owners with allergic dogs refrain from smoking in the home- dogs are much more sensitive to the smoke. Air purifiers also help remove dust mites and improve air quality.
Bathing your pet helps remove allergens that he may pick up on his coat or his feet. Paws can easily attract pollen, ragweed and mold, which many dogs remove through licking.
It is also a good idea to look at your pet’s diet. Many dogs are just as sensitive to gluten and dairy as people are, and grains, in most cases, are not good for them. Typically, once the digestive system settles down, other immune responses do as well.
TEETH AND GUMS: It is something most of us don’t want to think about…what has been in our dog’s mouth! The teeth and gums of dogs take a lot of abuse, and it is very hard to keep them clean. Some breeds in particular are more prone to dental problems. Some natural ideas to help heal your dog’s mouth:
- Vitamin C boosts the immune system, helping dogs fight gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Applying goldenseal or myrrh with a cotton swab to the dog’s teeth and gums inhibits bacteria and tartar growth.
- Brush your dog’s teeth with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. It can be flavored with a small amount of peppermint oil.
- Colloidal silver kills viruses, fungus and bacteria. It can be applied topically or ingested.
Information in this blog is compiled from several sources. If you have concerns about your pet’s health, you should consult your veterinarian.