Dogs have become a part of our families and as such, we want to make sure they are happy and healthy. When they are hungry, we feed them. When they need to go to the vet, we take them. When they need a bath, we give them one. And when they get hurt or sick, we want them to get better and/or heal as fast as possible. We also want them to receive the best care. Part of getting that care is deciding what to do in specific events, such as your dog having fleas or dry, itchy skin or perhaps the cat next door got him, leaving several scratches. There are generally three paths we can take; one, do nothing at all and hope for the best. Two, treat with medication or medicated products. Three, use natural remedies for treating your dog. If you want what’s best for your dog as well as what’s probably better for your wallet, you’ll most often choose natural remedies. If a natural cure will work, there’s no need to give your pet medications or use medicated products that may have harmful side effects. Before taking that route, be sure to check if a natural remedy can be utilized instead. After all, we do want the best for man’s best friend! When your pup isn’t feeling well or has been injured, its best to contact your veterinarian first, just to be safe. What seems like something minor may in fact be a clue of something bigger going on. In the case of minor ailments, however, home remedies can be much more beneficial. Here are 20 popular home remedies for your dog.
1. Make lemon spray to ward off fleas.
Fleas hate lemon and it’s good for both repelling fleas and killing them on and around your dog. Many natural flea sprays contain D-limonene, which is a citrus extract which repels and kills these annoying, biting bugs. However, it’s easy to make your own lemon flea spray for keeping those pesky critters away from your dog, family, and home and it’s somewhat cheaper. Use the following recipe instructions for making yours at home now.
- 3 lemons
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups vinegar
- Slice lemons into thin slices. Place in large pot, mashing the lemons a little in order to release a bit of juice.
- Add the water to the lemons and place a lid on the pot. Bring the mixture to boil. When water starts to boil, reduce heat to medium, allowing the lemons to simmer for thirty minutes.
- Once the lemons have simmered, remove the pot from heat and set aside. Allow lemons to soak overnight or eight hours.
- Once the lemon water has soaked, remove the lemons and strain water. Throw used lemons away.
- Mix lemon water mixture with vinegar and pour into spray bottle. Shake before each use.
2. Use Vitamin E for maintaining healthy skin.
As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E fights the aging process by preventing free radical damage. Scientists believe this is one of the elements which contributes to aging. Okay, so you’re dog isn’t really worried about starting to look old, but he will appreciate not having dry, flaky, itchy skin. Furthermore, Vitamin E also protects from harmful UV radiation. If your pup spends a lot of time outside, Vitamin E should be used as a great preventive measure limiting his exposure. Just massage Vitamin E into your dog’s coat. If you are using this as a restorative for dry skin, you may want to use a fair amount. Repeat as necessary. Vitamin E isn’t harmful, so it won’t matter if he licks some of it off.
3. Re-hydrate your dog when he has diarrhea.
Just like with adults and children alike, diarrhea can leave dogs dehydrated and in need of electrolytes. Believe it or not, flavorless liquids that are electrolyte-replacing, such as pediatric drinks and sports waters, can help your dog not only re-hydrate, but also to recover more quickly and easily from illness. Re-hydration is very important to the healing process.
Dogs lose fluids the same way people do and are affected in the same ways. Giving them fluids with electrolytes is a good choice especially when their appetites haven’t came back yet. Talk to your veterinarian about what’s the right amount to give your specific dog. In addition, the vet will be able to tell you if and when serious treatment may be required.
4. Treat your dog to a healthy treat
Give your dog some delicious, plain yogurt as a healthy treat. Help keep the bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract in balance by utilizing the live probiotic organisms that are in yogurt. Just as eating yogurt is good for us humans, so it is with dogs as well. But because our digestive system isn’t the same as dogs, scientists have made probiotics supplements especially for dogs, which are generally available over-the-counter. If you can’t find any supplements that will work for your dog, talk to your vet. In addition, a nice, cool cup of yogurt as a treat for being good will be both healthy and welcomed.
5. Give your dog a bath
Fleas can’t hold on when submerged in water. So if you’ve noticed your dog scratching more often than usual, a bath certainly won’t hurt and most definitely will help! Obviously, it would also be a good time for washing your dog with a good flea shampoo, but even if you just use a regular, gentle shampoo or natural dish detergent, you will still get the same basic results. Get your dog in the tub and fill it up! Submerge your dog as best you can and scrub his fur well with shampoo. Rinse well…or as well as you can. The best time to begin baths is when your dog is still a puppy. Get him used to bathing and it won’t be as hard to do when he’s full grown.
6. Invite your dog for afternoon tea.
Chamomile is often used by those who need a soothing cup of tea. Your dog may feel the same way! Chamomile is actually also good for soothing muscle cramps and spasms. In addition, it also diminishes redness and swelling of the intestinal lining and stomach. You can give it to your dog in either a water bowl, by using a syringe for administering by mouth, or you can always get your dog his own tea cup! However you choose to serve it doesn’t matter as much as it does your getting your dog to try it, which may not be an easy feat to accomplish. As with most things, the younger your dog is when you introduce chamomile tea, the better.
Furthermore, chamomile can also be used in another way, for easing minor irritation and rashes. Just pour some strong chamomile into a new spray bottle, or one that’s been thoroughly cleaned, and after allowing putting it to cool, using the refrigerator for quicker cooling, spray your dog’s raw, red skin liberally for immediate soothing without the sting.
7. Oatmeal: it’s not just for breakfast.
If you ever had chicken pox, or another kind of itchy rash, you more than likely took an oatmeal bath for soothing the itchy skin. Chemicals in the oatmeal, called phenols and avenanthramides, have anti-inflammatory properties, relieving itchiness. Dogs can have infections and skin allergies that are merely superficial get quick relief from using oatmeal. Vets recommend oatmeal especially for dogs who have itch feet. Not only is it completely non-toxic, it’s also delicious! For creating your own oatmeal remedy, first grind the oatmeal down until it resembes powder. Then mix it with a small amount of water, making a poultice which can be applied directly to areas which are inflamed. If your pup likes baths and can tolerate having one, add the oatmeal to warm water. Allow your dog to immerse in the oatmeal water for five to ten minutes for maximum relief.
8. Relieve sore muscles.
Has your dog been working out more than usual? Just kidding, but seriously, maybe you’ve been walking a lot more than usual or he’s getting older and seems to have a bit of trouble sometimes. Use an Epsom salt bath for relieving his sore muscles. In addition, Epsom salt also has anti-inflammatory properties which are great for soaking and cleaning sores. Furthermore, it helps abscesses to not only to open up, but also to drain, relieving wound pressure which allows the healing process to continue. To make an Epsom salt bath for your dog, just mix the salts with nice, warm water. Allow your dog to soak for five to ten minutes, three times daily until no longer needed.
9. Choose essential oils for your dog.
We don’t blame you if you’re somewhat reluctant to use conventional flea prevention products; it’s hard to say what is exactly in them and whether or not they may be harmful to your dog. Did you know you can use some of those awesome essential oils you love so much for your dog, too? Yes, essential oils can actually be very effective, but often need to be diluted first as to not cause harm to your pet. In addition, some which are okay for dogs may be harmful for cats, so be sure to check with Animal Poison Control before using any of them or talk to your vet, asking for their advice. Coconut oil is one essential oil that can be either given to your dog orally or externally applied to his coat. Additionally, coconut oil can be used as a sort of carrier for other essential oils, making them more easily acceptable. Another one that is great for dogs is tea tree oil. Adding a couple of tablespoons of tea tree oil to your dog’s bath can help keep fleas at bay.
*Remember, improper dilutions of even safe essentials oils may be harmful to your pet, so be sure to talk to your vet before using any.
10. Does your dog need deodorant?
Dogs love to chase after small animals; they don’t understand that some of them shouldn’t be chased until it’s too late. If your dog has gotten sprayed by a skunk, you need something strong to bath him that will remove that awful, strong smell. If you want to use a natural remedy, a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dishwashing liquid is what you’re looking for. This mix will work not only on fur, but also on anything else the stinky fur has come into contact with. Here’s the recipe:
- 4 cups hydrogen peroxide
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1 small squirt dishwashing liquid
Mix all three ingredients well. Apply liberally to your dog’s coat. Let set for five to ten minutes. Rinse well. Repeat as necessary. Good luck.
11. Relieve allergy symptoms with natural ”cortisone”.
Natural cortisone, in the form of licorice root, may reduce the urge to scratch by relieving skin irritations. Yes, it’s different from the kind of licorice you eat. You may have seen bottles of it in health food stores, but those are for human use. You can find licorice products which are formulated for dogs in a pet store that also sells pet products. In fact, some products made particularly for dogs may already contain licorice root. If after your dog has had a flea bath or dip, he still appears to be itchy, using licorice root will come in handy. Just use about five drops along with the same amount of both cat’s claw and dandelion root. Mix all three well. Once mixed, give your dog five drops by mouth once a day for two weeks in a row, not missing a day. However, talk to your vet before using licorice root since it is a type of steroid in order to prevent any type of harmful side effects or cross reactions.
12. Did your puppy eat something he shouldn’t have?
You know, dogs will eat just about any and every thing, especially when they are younger. What should you do if your dog eats something toxic? Call your vet immediately, but in the meantime, you can administer hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. When measuring out how much is needed for a dose, be sure to know how much your dog weighs. for every five pounds he weighs, add one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Administer by mouth. Repeat one time if needed. At least this way, you can get whatever it is out of your dog the soonest, which is what’s best for your dog.
13. Is your dog constipated?
We all know how uncomfortable being constipated can be. Well, imagine being constipated and not being able to tell someone and/or take something in order to relieve it. Digestion can be tough on dogs sometimes as well, especially older dogs. If your pup seems more mellowed out than usual, has been having a hard time going and having to strain, or if he’s taking incessant potty breaks, he may be constipated. You can help him get things moving by adding a can of either diced prunes or pumpkin to his diet. In addition, Milk of Magnesia can be added only in severe cases. Mix a tablespoon in with your dog’s regular food.
TIP: Be sure to remove all prune pits which are not only toxic to dogs, but also to humans as well. Be sure your prunes are pit-free before giving them to your pet.
14. You may need to change your dogs bowls
Does you dog suffer from allergic reactions, irritation, or chronic hot spots on or around his face? Does your pet eat from plastic bowls? That may be the problem! Plastic can harbor bacteria as well as other nasty stuff which can irritate your dog. Instead of using plastic, try using glass or metal. Once you’ve switched, also be sure to wash bowls thoroughly with antibacterial dish soap at least once a week. You never know what might be lurking around.
15. Take care of your dog’s feet.
Some dog’s have feet that are just more sensitive than others. Sometimes, the weather or terrain may play a part in causing feet problems for your dog. Perhaps the pavement was too hot or too cold, or the terrain was extremely rough, either way, your dog’s feet can be irritated unless you keep an eye on them. After walking outside, check your dog’s feet thoroughly. Remove any debris. Wash his little feet gently and lightly add a mild moisturizer. If there are open wounds on your dog’s feet, administer antibiotic ointment instead and bandage them well afterward.
There are several scenarios which can be harmful or hurtful to dogs’ feet, such as ice, snow, or ragged, rocky terrain. It may be best to invest in some dog booties in order to protect your dog’s tender feet, especially in the winter or when hiking on rough terrain. Some dogs may not like wearing booties, but they’d not like having hurt feet even more. Plus, the more you put them on, the more they will get used to them.
16. Put your dog in pants
Whether you want to order some cute pants specifically made to fit your dog or you just make some out of an old shirt or socks, pants will not only help keep your dog warmer, but it’s main purpose is too also keep ticks from latching all when he’s running in tall grass or the woods. We’re not trying to make your dog more fashionable, but if you want to get him cute little pants, go ahead. You can also make DIY leg warmers for your dog as well. Neither pants or leg warmers will keep your dog from getting ticks entirely, but it will diminish the chances that one will hitch a ride. Help keep your safe (and stylish!) Put him in pants!
17. Use essential oils to make a tick collar.
If you’ve ever heard that using rose and geranium essential oils help get to repel ticks from dogs, you’re half right. Rose is ineffective and will just end up making your dog smell like flowers, which they don’t like. Geranium, however, can be used, along with basil and cedarwood in a blend of essential oils. These effective oils will combine to repel ticks which can spread lime disease. If you want to use a cloth collar, simply add a few drops of the above listed oils right on to the collar and let the oils soak into it. In addition, you can make a spray by adding twenty drops of these three essential oils, also adding 30 ml of glycerine. Be sure to mix well, blending the oils with the glycerine. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle which is 250 ml or is marked. Fill the remaining space with water (or fill to 250 ml in larger bottles.) Remember to shake well before using. Also, be extra careful not to spray in your dog’s eyes.
18. There is something you can do about that bad doggy breath
If you’ve ever smelled a dog’s bad breath, you know how bad it actually can be. No one wants bad breath panted into their face! Since digestion can play a part in your dog’s having bad breath, first try helping his digestion by adding some whole grains. Brown rice can be added to his food easily and is not only good for him, but will also help alleviate his stinky breath. Another trick from your kitchen that will help with doggy bad breath is carrots. Give your dog a carrot after his meal. Since a carrot is a mild abrasive, it will aid in removing smelly plaque. In addition, the chewing action will help produce saliva which helps to wash away loose particles of food around the teeth and in the mouth. Last, you can make your own doggy breath spray by steeping parsley in hot water. Once cool, remove the parsley. If your dog will drink it, that’s best, but if not, just fill a spray bottle with the parsley tea and spritz your dog in the mouth.
TIP: Don’t use breath-odor products made for humans on your pets. They’re way too harsh and can be harmful.
19. Kill ear mites while relieving the itchiness.
If your dog has been digging at his itchy ears, more than likely he has ear mites. These little critters can infest your dog’s ear canal by the thousands. Additionally, he can pass them on to other pets as well. While ear mites are mostly bothersome, the scratching which will result from having them can cause an infection. Luckily, there’s probably something in your kitchen you can use for your dog’s relief as well as for killing the mites. Crush one garlic clove, soaking it in a quarter cup of olive oil for eight hours. Once the time is up, remove the garlic. Heating the oil until it’s barely warm, use a dropper in order to place a few drops in each ear. Rub the ear long enough for the drops to penetrate the ear canal. Store the oil in a bottle with a lid as it can be reused, just remember to heat it first. Repeat daily until the mites are gone.
20. Clean your house
Last, but not least, if you want to keep fleas from hanging out in your home, keep your house clean. Vacuum the spots your dog hang’s out in frequently. In addition, vacuum rugs and cloth furniture as well, at least on a weekly basis. Keep your dog’s blankets laundered as well as any towels and bed linens he may use or lay on. Furthermore, keep your floors clean by using a natural disinfectant that isn’t harmful to animals. Keeping your house clean will go a long way in keeping the fleas at bay. Obviously, you don’t want them on you anymore than your dog does, so clean your house and keep both of you happy and healthy.