Holistic Health for Dogs: Exploring Natural Remedies and Therapies

Posted by Jackie Ly on

Dog owner cleaning their dog's ear

A dog in pain is one of the most upsetting things to see, even for non-dog owners. When your furry companion finds themselves under the weather, you’ll be pleased to know that, in some cases, you can help them immediately while you wait for the vet to open. 

Just as choosing the right dog breed complements apartment living, understanding the effective and safe natural remedies for your dog’s discomforts is part of providing them the best home they deserve.  

When to go natural and when to go to the vet

So how will you know if you need to go to the vet, or if you can treat your dog’s symptoms at home? Always consult your vet first on what natural remedies are good for your dog. If in doubt, ask for a second or third opinion. 

These are non-negotiable situations that require a trip to the vet:

  1. Symptoms start. Your first consult should always be the vet, not TikTok or Google. Find out the root cause of the symptoms before starting any treatment.
  2. You see blood. Seeing blood is never a good sign. Look out for any amount In their stool, rectal area, or urine.
  3. Your dog is limping or displaying other signs of pain. Whether it’s a physical injury or joint problems, your vet will be able to tell you the underlying causes of your dog’s condition.
  4. There are sudden changes in behaviour. If your dog loses appetite, becomes snappish with other pets at home, is lethargic or restless, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

On the other hand, you can go for natural remedies for known discomforts like:

  1. Diarrhoea: When it comes to diarrhoea, your first aid is to help your dog’s digestive system recover. Start with gentle diet adjustments. Make sure your dog is well-hydrated, and incorporate some natural fibre into their daily chow.
  2. Skin irritation and itching: Pay attention to how often and where your dog seems to scratch themselves. For mild and occasional cases, you can always treat them at home.
  3. High stress situations: Some dogs, when placed in unfamiliar or disliked situations, see their anxiety levels rocket sky-high. Though you can treat it with proper training and enough mental stimulation, some natural therapies are effective to keep them from harming themselves and causing unnecessary heartache.

Natural remedies and therapies for dogs

Natural remedies aren’t always just used for when the going gets ruff. You can go for these at-home cheat codes even as part of your dog’s daily wellness plan.

General wellness

For calming: Go for CBD oil. It’s important to note that most CBD oil products are derived from hemp, not marijuana. However, in Australia, you can only get CBD oil with a prescription from your vet. 

Interest in CBD oil has increased due to its calming properties. For a dog that’s constantly on their toes, the right dosage may do the trick to get them to relax. A safe alternative would be chamomile tea, which often comes in supplements.

For ear cleaning: A diluted solution of old apple cider vinegar ought to do the trick. Apple cider vinegar acts as an antifungal and antibacterial agent, which works wonders when removing all the gunk from your dog’s ears and killing a yeast infection.

For keeping ice away from paws: Petroleum jelly is the key! When stepping out in the cold with your dog, they should ideally have their booties on. But when you find that your dog bolts at the sight of those little shoes, you can opt to apply petroleum jelly on their paws instead.

Petroleum jelly acts as a protective barrier between their paws and the ground, stopping frost and salt from getting stuck between their toes and cracking their skin.

For a glossy, shiny coat: Look no further than coconut oil. Dogs love it! The fruit from the tree of life helps in making your dog’s coat glossy and shiny, thanks to its medium chain fatty acids that moisturise and protect hair proteins.

Start small. Get them to taste it from your fingertips. Once they’re used to it, add a quarter of a teaspoon to your dog’s meals daily if they’re small-sized, and one whole tablespoon for bigger dogs.

Injuries and illnesses

Dealing with your dog’s mishaps can be a real tail-chaser, but never fear—a well-equipped arsenal of natural remedies might just be your ticket to a speedy recovery.

For minor wounds: A mixture of Epsom salt and warm water creates a gentle potion for cleaning minor ouchies, while witch hazel keeps infections at bay.

For dog skin allergies and itching: An oatmeal bath is a popular solution. Instant, quick, or slow-cooking oats can be ground and used in your dog’s bath for when they’ve got an itch-fest going on.

But turning your dog into porridge may not always be the best solution, and it can even make the itching worse if yeast is the culprit. Applying witch hazel to the itchy spot and a touch of virgin coconut oil or olive oil in their grub can also lend a helping hand—or paw—from the inside out.

For diarrhoea: When your dog’s tummy is turning like a washing machine on a super speed cycle, it calls for a bland diet, usually boiled rice and chicken. When you make the rice, don’t throw away the rice water. Give that to your dog to mix into their food along with a spoonful of pure pumpkin puree to bring back order to the bathroom chaos.

For minor burns or sunburns: Go for aloe vera, the natural solution for both dogs and humans alike. Apply aloe vera to the affected areas of your pup’s skin to provide cool and soothing relief. 

Make sure they don’t lick it. After some time, rinse it off with a towel soaked in cold water. 

For fleas: Your dog picked up hitchhikers during your walk? In a pinch, a dish soap bath might have fleas running for their lives, and a dab of apple cider vinegar could make them think twice before returning.

However, it’s best to make sure your dog’s  spot-on or chewable from the vet is up-to-date so fleas and ticks die immediately before they can harm your dog.

Nature holds a treasure trove of remedies for various doggy dilemmas. But as much as they can work wonders, it’s crucial to remember that your vet is your best ally in your pup’s health journey, as their expertise ensures comprehensive care.

A holistic approach, using both powers of nature and veterinary science, is the surest way to ensure your furry friend enjoys a tail-wagging, vibrant life.

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