It’s common for pets to fall sick or get into minor accidents. Small bruises, cuts, stomach upsets, scratches, etc. happen frequently and are mostly treatable at home.
Whether you’re a new pet parent or an experienced one there are times you would wonder which home remedies to trust. Here are a few for common dog illnesses from our in-house experts.
Itchy or dry skin
Dry, itchy skin is common among dogs especially during winter. Your dog’s skin can get red, flaky, and irritated. Here are a few quick-fix remedies you can try for skin problems.
Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and also provides instant relief for redness or swelling on the skin. Since it's non-toxic, it’s okay even if your dog licks it. Powder up sugar-free oatmeal, make a paste and apply on affected areas. Rinse after 10-15 minutes. You can even mix the oatmeal formula with warm water and let them soak in it for 5-10 minutes.
Aloe vera works just fine for dogs too. Give your dog a wash and apply aloe vera on the affected spots twice a day until the skin heals. Just make your dog wear a t-shirt or cone to ensure they don’t ingest it and also try not to use alcohol-based aloe vera products.
Chamomile tea is a great anti-inflammatory. Prepare some, cool it in the fridge and spray it on the affected spots. You can also let your dog soak in chamomile infused warm water for a few minutes too.
Apple cider vinegar protects them against bacteria and fungus. Mix it with water and then follow the same procedure as mentioned for chamomile tea.
Coconut oil and Vitamin E oil can provide them relief during skin infections and protection against UV radiation, respectively. The latter also prevents their skin from drying. Simply take a few drops and massage into their fur to leave it smooth and moisturized.
Preventive Tip: Don’t give them frequent baths as they might remove the natural oils from their skin, making it dry.
If it’s minor tummy trouble, try skipping a meal and giving them a bland diet. Usually, stomach upset issues get resolved within no time. But do monitor them to make sure the symptoms aren’t worsening.
Chamomile tea helps to decrease the inflammation of the stomach and their intestinal lining. Add it to their food or water for easy ingestion.
Plain yogurt without artificial sugars or other additional ingredients is another great option. Do note though that this is not suitable for lactose-intolerant or dairy-sensitive dogs.
A little ginger and honey will also give them relief during these times.
Pumpkin is rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, E, potassium, and iron. It aids the growth of good bacteria in the intestine and absorbs a lot of water from your dog’s stool. Add 1-4 tablespoons of pureed pumpkin to their food and mix it with water.
Preventive Tip: Keep your pets well-exercised, give them fresh dog food, and ensure their vaccinations are updated.
Try wiping your dog’s ears with a warm damp cloth first. If that doesn’t seem sufficient, dip a cotton ball clean in a solution of apple cider vinegar mixed with water and gently wipe their ears.
As an alternative, you can also use a non-alcoholic cleansing solution.
If there’s no itching and you just wish to clean the wax build up then wipe their ears with some almond oil.
If it looks like they have bites, an intense bad smell, or suspect inflammation, it’s better to consult a vet.
Preventive Tip: Don’t forget to dry your pet’s ears after a bath or romp in the water.
Coconut oil is a great anti-bacterial solution and very beneficial when applied on gums.
Aloe vera gel is also found to be soothing in case of dental irritation.
Add Vitamin C rich foods to their diet which will help to reduce swelling or pain in their mouth.
Prepare an eggshell toothpaste using eggshells or calcium tablets, peppermint powder/oil, coconut oil and baking soda.
Preventive Tip: Brush their teeth every single day before they go to sleep and after they have finished their meals for the day. Schedule annual dental checkups even if you don’t see evident problems.
The D-mannose sugar in cranberries lowers the pH levels of urine and also prevents the growth of bacteria in urine. Ensure you don’t give them extra sweet cranberry juice which might lead to their weight gain. Confirm with the vet whether your dog can have it.
Apple cider vinegar can be added to their food. For small dogs, add just one teaspoon. For older dogs, 2-3 tablespoons can be added. Add the vinegar to their food twice a day for around 7-10 days depending on the severity of the disease.
If your dog’s pH level is above or below the range 6.5-7, there is potential for some bacterial growth. Balance their pH levels by adding fresh lemon juice to their water. Vitamin C supplements, in small doses, lower their urine pH and prevent bacterial growth in the bladder.
Preventive Tip: When you see early signs of urinary infections, make them rest, regulate their diet, and give them lots of water. Make them urinate as frequently as possible.
Minor conditions like the ones we listed are treatable at home but it’s always best to check with the vet before trying some of these remedies. If the symptoms are intense, it might not be a good idea to rely only on these remedies either. What looks simple can escalate quickly too so it’s best to play it safe!