Category Archives: home remedies for pets

Home Remedies for a Pet’s Itchy Skin

By Ruthie Bently

I have long been a fan of natural remedies whenever possible, not for only myself but my companion animals as well. I have become even more aware of the chemicals in my environment since I adopted Skye, a seizure dog. There are many factors that might trigger a seizure and as a responsible pet owner, I want to be very careful with anything used in and around my home.

A pet’s itchy skin can be caused by many things: bug bites and stings, fleas, ticks, infection, poison ivy, poison oak, poor nutrition, food allergies, and allergies to elements in the home. Pets can be allergic to air fresheners, carpet and floor cleaners, even the detergent used to clean their bedding. Itchy skin can manifest itself in many ways. Your pet may be constantly rubbing up against furniture inside the house or along fences outside the house. Excessive rolling in the grass may be another indication of itchy skin. Your pet may chew their paws or lick themselves frequently trying to relieve the itch. You may even see red patches of skin.

You can create your own natural remedies for your pet’s itchy skin. I have used oatmeal, plantain and baking soda, and this year I am growing chamomile. You can also use yellow dock, green tea and calendula.

Rinses can be made with plantain, yellow dock, chamomile and green tea. To make a rinse with chamomile or green tea, steep two teabags in two cups hot water and discard the teabags. Let the liquid cool, apply it to your pet and let air dry. To make a yellow dock rinse, add one tablespoon of dried yellow dock to two cups boiling water. Let it cool, discard the herb and apply the liquid. To make a plantain rinse, add two tablespoons dried plantain (or six tablespoons fresh) to two cups boiling water. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. When cool, strain off liquid and apply. The longer you allow plantain to remain on the skin the more beneficial it is.

You can make your own oatmeal bath for your dog at home, which can be used to wash the entire dog, itchy feet or applied to dry skin for relief. For a foot bath, add colloidal oatmeal to a bath with several inches of warm water in it. Let your dog’s feet soak for between 5 to 10 minutes. Remove your dog from the bath and dry their feet. The size of your dog will determine how much colloidal oatmeal you add to a regular bath. Skye weighs 57 pounds and I would use 1 cup of colloidal oatmeal to her bath water.

To make your own colloidal oatmeal, use regular oatmeal or quick oats. Grind the oats/oatmeal until it is a fine powder, without bits or pieces. It should have the consistency of powdered sugar. I use a coffee grinder, but a blender or food processor on the high setting works. To test the colloid attributes of your oatmeal, mix a tablespoon of oats in a glass of warm water. If the oats turn the water cloudy and it feels smooth, the consistency is correct. By grinding several cups at a time you’ll have it on hand when you need it; store extra oatmeal in an airtight container in your pantry.

If your pet isn’t itching all over, a thick paste made from either baking soda or colloidal oatmeal and water is good for treating insect stings and bites, as well as poison ivy or poison oak. Apply paste to affected area and leave on for at least 10 minutes for best results. Baking soda can also be used as a soothing bath. For a bath, I would suggest adding a cup of baking soda to the bath water.

Consult your vet if the itching doesn’t go away or gets worse, as it may indicate a more serious condition. Each pet is different and while these natural remedies may not work as quickly as a man-made product, the effects are more beneficial and may be longer lasting for your pet. No one wants to see their pet in discomfort and though they can’t verbally tell us, we know when they are. By having a few simple ingredients in your pantry, you can make your own remedy for your pet’s itchy skin if you can’t get to the vet.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Basic First Aid Supplies For Your Dog

By Linda Cole

If you have dogs, there are some basic first aid supplies you should keep on hand for minor accidents. Just like humans, our pets sometimes need a “band aid” for a minor wound. By keeping supplies on hand to treat your pet, you can save yourself an expensive trip to the vet. Products already sitting in your medicine chest or kitchen cupboard can be used to treat the majority of minor ailments your pet may encounter.

Most medicine cabinets contain over the counter creams and salves we use for minor wounds. Some of these products can also be used on your pets. Always monitor your pet after using any kind of medication for adverse effects, whether you use human medication or medicine made especially for animals.

Triple antibiotic is fine to use on minor cuts and scrapes your dog may get. As with any topical ointment, follow package instructions for use. Follow the same precautions you would if you were treating your child or yourself. If swelling, tenderness or redness occurs, discontinue use and seek medical attention with your vet.

A cream especially for cats and dogs that I keep on hand is a product called Biocaine. It’s an antiseptic first aid lotion for cats and dogs that helps prevent infection, reduce pain, swelling and licking. It’s also non-staining, so if your little buddy jumps up on the couch, it won’t leave a greasy smudge.

Liquid vitamin E does wonders for calming hot spots. Simply pour a small amount over the affected area and rub into the skin. A little dab is all you need. Vitamin E in liquid form is oily, however, so you will want to confine your pet when using this product. It’s worth the effort because if your pet suffers from mild hot spots, you know most over the counter products contain a certain amount of alcohol. Your pet will appreciate the cooling sensation of a vitamin E rub with no alcohol. The oil will also smother any fleas that haplessly wander into the area.

Boric acid works great for minor eye infections. I mix up a weak solution in a small covered plastic container to treat dog and cat eyes. Mix 1/4 teaspoon or less in 1/3 cup warm water and stir until the water is clear and the boric acid is completely dissolved. You can store it at room temperature and is good for up to a week. If your pet prefers a warm wash, simply place the container in a bowl of hot water until the solution is lukewarm. Dab a cotton ball in the solution and gently wipe around and over the infected eye. Squeeze the cotton ball as you wipe the eye so some of the solution runs into it. No double dipping. Re-soaking a contaminated cotton ball will compromise your boric acid solution.

Aspirin: a huge red flag concerning aspirin for cat owners. Never under any circumstances give aspirin to your cat. It is toxic for them. Dogs, on the other hand, can have aspirin. For minor aches and pains, a regular dose of aspirin can help them get through their day. If using aspirin manufactured especially for dogs, follow dosage recommendations on the bottle. You can also use baby and regular aspirin you already have in your cupboard. Ask your vet for advice on dosage.

Vaseline or Bag Balm: use this to treat dry, cracked pads on your dog’s feet. Bag Balm is also good for cuts, scratches and minor skin irritations and burns.

Other first aid supplies include gauze rolls, gauze pads, sports tape, ace bandage, Q-tips, tweezers, Pepto Bismol, any over the counter antihistamine and white tape.

If in doubt about how much medication to administer to your pet, consult your vet. The rule of thumb is to treat your pet like a small baby as far as dosage goes. As with any medication for people or pets, watch for any adverse or allergic reactions. Discontinue use if any occur and consult with your vet.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.