Your pet is a member of the family, so just like when your kids get sick or hurt you likely tend to fret over your furry family member when they do the same. Millions of dollars each year are wasted on veterinary care for minor problems that can easily be solved by you, the pet owner. While it is better to be safe than sorry, even vets will tell you there are a few things you can do without needing to bring your pet in for care.
There are a few common pet ailments that can be treated naturally with common sense and even some herbal remedies. Of course, you should employ these treatments with caution and some advice from your vet, given they know your pet’s health condition the best. At your next pet wellness checkup, ask your pet’s veterinarian about the remedies below before stocking up on natural ingredients for your pet’s next ailment.
Pets may occasionally develop diarrhea from switching their brand of food, intestinal upset, infection, pancreatitis, poisoning, worms or even allergies. At the first sign of diarrhea, withhold meals for at least 24 hours to allow the stomach and intestines to calm down. When ready, feed your pet for a day or two a bland diet of plain white rice and unseasoned cooked chicken or hamburger.
A slippery elm tea can soothe the digestive system so your pet can feel better faster. Mix one teaspoon of powdered slippery elm into a cup of water and bring to a boil. Next, simmer the mixture until it thickens before removing from heat to cool. Small dogs and cats can typically tolerate up to one teaspoon every four hours while mid-sized pets can take anywhere from two teaspoons to two tablespoons. Large breeds can tolerate up to four tablespoons in four hours.
If your pet is limping, inspect the protective pads on the bottom of their feet. Sometimes, they may have a foreign object or even a sticker or thorn embedded in the pad. Remove the object with tweezers and wash the area in soap and water to kill any germs. To speed healing and reduce inflammation, you can brew some calendula tea and use the liquid as a compress for the wound, applying it several times a day for up to a week or until the area is well on its way to healing. This solution is also beneficial for pets that fight and sport battle wounds.
To ward off infection, you can brew an Echinacea tea to boost your pet’s immune system. A small pet can handle about ½ teaspoon up to three times a day while a large size pet may be able to handle up to one tablespoon three times a day.
Ear mites are tiny pests that love to take up residence in your pet’s ears. If you see your pet scratching repeatedly around the ears, inspect them for these mites. A slightly astringent herb called yellow dock can be used to kill the mites. Add three drops of yellow dock to a tablespoon of filtered water and place half a dropper into each ear, rubbing the ear gently. Your pet will then shake its head to get rid of the excess. Using a cotton ball, dab the ear canal (what you can reach) with the yellow dock solution. You can repeat this process every few days for several weeks.
If your pet is older or is recovering from an accident, it is likely going to be sore. If it is moving around slowly, you can give them a massage with a cream containing capsaicin, the spicy ingredient in peppers. The capsaicin helps block the neurotransmitters that transmit pain and works to reduce inflammation as well.