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Seven Easy At Home Solutions to Common Dog Problems

June 18, 2019

senior dog pain relief home remedy
It's Sunday night and your dog is not feeling well; the vet's office is closed - what do you do? For some minor problems such as dry skin, hot-spots, mild upset stomach, and even flea and skunk irritants, there are a number of do-it-yourself natural home remedies that can alleviate your dog's immediate discomfort.  However, if your dog continues to not feel well, has a serious ailments or a problem that just won't go away, or you are not sure about how the remedy will affect your dog, you should always consult with your vet.

If you are still looking for some natural home made remedies for common pet problems, here are our top seven.

1. Vitamin E Oil for Healthy Skin

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight aging, but Vitamin E oil can help protection against UV radiation, which is especially beneficial if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors., says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian based in New Jersey. (Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, which scientists believe contributes to aging.)

It can also be used to moisturize your companion’s dry skin. Morgan recommends massaging Vitamin E oil on your dog’s coat. “Vitamin E capsules can also be broken open and used on warts, calluses, or dry spots,” she says, adding that there is no cause for concern if your pet licks off the small amount of the oil.


2. Turmeric

A little spice can be a major benefit to your dog - turmeric (the spice used in curries and mustards) with over 6,000 studies to its credit, is found to be more effective than a lot of expensive drugs. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin – which is essentially its active ingredient. Curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities. It can help fight diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, gastrointestinal issues, Alzheimers and more.

So if you’re ready to give your dog turmeric, there are a few things you need to know. The curcumin in turmeric is hard for your dog to absorb if it’s given by itself so it’s important to combine turmeric with a healthy oil like coconut oil. This can increase the absorption significantly. You can put the mixture on a wound or hot-spot, or add it directly to your dog’s meals by mixing it with some water or kefir. Most dogs don’t mind the taste at all!

Starting dosage (can be increased up to about a Tbsp for larger dogs). 

  • Small dogs should start with about 1/4 teaspoon per day

  • Medium dogs can start with 1/2 teaspoon per day

  • Large dogs can start with 3/4 teaspoon per day

  • Giant dogs can start with 1 teaspoon per day. 

Turmeric is also a great pain reliever for joint pain, and is found in many dog joint supplements. However, if your dog is on existing medication, check with your veterinarian before giving turmeric to your pet.


3. Chamomile Tea for Upset Stomach and Minor Irritation

Chamomile soothes the stomach by decreasing muscle spasms and cramps, Morgan says. “It also decreases inflammation of mucous membranes, so it decreases inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining.” Chamomile tea can be added to your dog’s food or water bowl, or given by mouth with a syringe, she says.

Chamomile can also be used to treat minor rashes and irritations.  Brew a strong chamomile tea, pour it into a clean spray bottle, and let it cool in the refrigerator. Once cool, the tea can be sprayed liberally onto red and raw skin for an immediate soothing effect.


4. Oatmeal for Itchy Skin

If you’ve had the chicken pox, you may have taken an oatmeal bath to soothe your itchy skin. “Oatmeal contains chemicals called avenanthramides and phenols, which have anti-inflammatory properties,” Morgan explains.  Pets with skin allergies and really itchy feet can get immediate relief from oatmeal.  And it's 100% non-toxic.

To create your own remedy, Morgan suggests grinding the oatmeal to a fine powder and mixing it with water to apply as a poultice (drying agent) on hot spots or inflamed areas. If your dog tolerates baths, you can add the oatmeal formula to warm water, and let your dog soak for five to 10 minutes.


5. Oils for Flea Prevention

"Essential oils can be very effective but must be diluted so they do not cause harm to the animal.” says Morgan. (Note: Some oils that are safe for dogs may be toxic for cats. Check the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control for guidance and consult with your veterinarian.)

Morgan likes coconut oil, which you can either give your dog orally or apply externally on his coat. “The higher the lauric acid content in the oil, the more effective it will be,” she says. “Many inferior coconut oils have very low lauric acid content.” Coconut oil can also be used as a carrier oil for essential oils.

After using a flea comb daily to help remove fleas from a dog’s coat, Integrative Veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne recommends bathing your canine companion with a natural pet flea shampoo. “Start, for example, with a pint of organic oatmeal shampoo, and then add two tablespoons of either neem or tea tree oil, shake well and begin bathing. Pets may be bathed weekly or as needed.” Keep in mind that improper dilutions of tea tree oil and other essential oils can be toxic for pets, so consult with your veterinarian first. And while natural options like these may help repel fleas, they are unlikely to solve a full-blown infestation on their own.


6. Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, and Dishwashing Liquid for Deodorizing after a Skunk Encounter

Aside from the redness, swelling, sneezing, and other symptoms of a skunk encounter, is the offensive smell. A de-skunking remedy combines hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid, which is then worked into the dog's fur and everything the skunked fur has come in contact with. Mix four cups of hydrogen peroxide with one-third cup baking soda and a small squirt of dishwashing liquid, and apply it liberally to your pet’s coat. Rinse well after about five minutes and repeat if necessary.

7. Licorice Root for Itchiness

Licorice root, not the one you eat, is actually a form of cortisone, and cortisone relieves skin irritation and reduces the urge to scratch, says Osborne, who practices in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  The root is sold in most health food stores.

Pet supply stores also offer licorice products formulated for dogs. Some dog-specific products, like the BestLife4Pets Skin and Allergy for Dogs remedy are also designed to treat allergy symptoms in dogs.

If you’ve given your dog a flea bath and dip and she’s still itchy, Osborne suggests the following herbal, home remedy: “Take five drops of licorice root, five drops of dandelion root, and five drops of cat’s claw. Mix all three together and give five drops of the final solution to your canine by mouth, once daily for 14 days in a row.”

“Since cortisone is a type of steroid, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian before giving these products to your dog to prevent any potential cross reactions and/or side effects with any other medications your pet may be taking,” Osborne advises. Also, some licorice root formulations have been associated with low blood potassium levels, muscle breakdown, and kidney damage. Make sure you are working with a veterinarian who is well-trained in holistic medicine before you reach for any herbal remedy.


Things to stock at home: 

In order to be prepared in case your dog gets sick there are a few key items you should always, and probably already do, have a home: Baking soda, dish washing liquid, hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil and chamomile tea are a few items you may want to keep in your home for when you need a home remedy for your dog.

Remember to first talk to your vet about any unusual symptoms your dog has and whether these products are appropriate in your particular situation. Easing your pet's suffering, naturally, is right under your fingertips.


Note: Sections of this article are taken from a post in PETMD

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