Did you know these 10 natural remedies for dogs?
Have you noticed any minor health issue with your dog that is a cause for concern but does not require a rushed trip to the vet? Say, perpetual bad breath, or dry skin, or heaven forbid, a gassy stomach? While you might not be too worried about these issues, these should not be ignored in the long run. Instead of making an appointment with the vet, you can consider some of these tried-and-tested (and vet recommended) natural remedies for dogs.
Where do you start?
You will be quite surprised to know that many of these safe natural remedies for dogs can be found in your back garden or in your kitchen cabinet. But the rule of the thumb is, whatever you are giving your dog, you must keep your vet aware of all the supplements and herbs that your dog is getting because some of these could interfere with any prescriptions that your dog might need for any other ailment.
Here are 10 natural remedies for dogs that every responsible pet parent must be aware of.
#1. For bruised or sore muscles
Keep the homeopathic medicine arnica handy to treat your dog’s bruised or sore muscles.
Perhaps he overdid at the agility trail, or you went camping over the weekend, or he just got into a not-so-friendly scuffle with a neighbour’s dog. There might be no physical injury to note, but there could be bruising. Your dog, being the brave soul that he is, might not even show signs of pain.
Arnica is a natural treatment option that can take care of pain and mild inflammation. You get this in liquid form and a few drops can offer relief to your furry friend.
#2. For minor wounds
Green tea is great not just for you but also for any minor wounds on your dog. The antiseptic properties of green tea can begin work immediately. Apply a 50:50 mix of green tea and water using a clean gauze pad.
#3. For wax in the ears
Wax build-up is normal, except when it smells or you notice the presence of mites (look for coffee flakes). Then a trip to the vet is warranted.
But to tackle regular wax build-up, you can make a 1:2 mixture of white vinegar and water, to which you add half a teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol. Shake well and gently wipe the outer ear with cotton balls dipper in this solution. Do not deep clean; just wipe the areas that you can see.
#4. For dry or cracked paw pads
Most dogs do not take to booties. And their paws face the brunt of their walks daily. If you notice your pooch’s paws are cracked, you can dab those precious paw pads with coconut oil or vitamin E oil to naturally restore them to their ideal condition.
#5. For a dry, flaky coat
A dry and flaky coat can be cured with omega-3 fatty acids. You can look for liquid, human-grade omega-3 products that are tested free of mercury and other toxins. Check with your vet for the exact dosage.
#6. Gas issues in dogs:
A fart is no laughing matter, after you’ve stopped gagging that is. Flatulence is often a result of dietary issues. Check if your dog is allergic to any food substance or there are mal-absorption issues.
You can take care of this problem by adding probiotics, digestive enzymes and low-fat yogurt to his meals. Make sure that you look for products that contain a minimum of 4-5 different bacterial species. If in capsule form, open and sprinkle it on the food.
#7. For digestive issues:
An escalated stomach problem is a digestive upset. Nux vomica is another homeopathic remedy that works wonderfully on dogs. Other than helping with minor gastrointestinal issues, it also helps combat nausea due to motion sickness.
You can also consider adding ginger root extract to manage your dog’s occasional tummy ache or nausea. If the vomiting does not stop after this then you need to consult your vet to determine the exact cause.
#8. For minor sunburn or hot spots
Yes, dogs can get sunburned. The gooey gel from an aloe vera plant is an excellent natural remedy. This can also prevent a hot spot from flaring up. It is the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the gel that help. Do not use any commercial creams as those could contain white sap from the plant which is toxic to dogs. Consult your vet in case of any uncertainty.
#9. For bad dog breath
It’s not just the fact that our dogs don’t brush that can lead to bad breath; there could always be an underlying reason for bad doggie breath. If you have ruled out gingivitis or a broken tooth, you can begin to add 1-2 drops of peppermint or spearmint oil into your dog’s water bowl to help freshen up his breath.
#10. For general anxiety or stress in dogs
Whether it’s separation issues, thunderstorms or a visit to the vet, if your dog gets anxious, you can use Zylkene, a natural remedy made from a milk protein,to induce calmness. Lavender-infused collars or Rescue Remedy (a commercial blend of flower extracts) can also reduce stress in your dog.
Before you head to the vet
The idea is not to play doctor to your dog. Always keep your doctor aware of what home treatment your dog is receiving. If the home treatment does not seem to be working, you must visit the vet. Always check for fact-based evidence before dispensing any home remedy to keep your dog safe and healthy.