As natural home remedies for humans enjoy increased popularity, many pet owners are searching for ways to help make their dogs’ lives a little more natural, too. If you’re interested in finding simple, effective, non-toxic ways to relieve your pet’s occasional aliments, the following list should prove helpful:
1. Soothe itchiness.
An itchy dog can cause your family all sorts of problems (not least among them: annoyance), but, luckily, there are a number of natural remedies for itchiness. Warm oatmeal baths, for example, are just as effective for dogs as they are for humans. Finely ground oatmeal made especially for use in baths can be purchased from most drugstores, or you can grind the oatmeal yourself using a food professor. Vitamin E oil is also effective for relieving itchiness caused by dry, flaky skin. Like oatmeal, the oil can be added to a warm bath, or you can simply massage it directly into your dog’s coat and skin. Vitamin E capsules can also be fed to dogs to promote healthy coat and skin, although you’ll want to consult your veterinarian for the proper dose.
2. Treat digestive issues.
Just like for humans, yogurt can have serious digestive health benefits for your dog. The “good bacteria” found in yogurt helps to balance the digestive system and can also help to prevent yeast infections (which are remarkably common in dogs, especially puppies). Be sure to buy plain yogurt, however, as the large amounts of sugar in flavored yogurts are not at all healthy for your dog.
3. Eliminate fleas.
Try as you might, sometimes there simply isn’t any way to ensure that your dog remains flea free. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cure your dog’s flea infestation without spraying him or your home with dangerous pesticides. Although Borax is often cited as a natural remedy for fleas, the effectiveness of the cleaner has received mixed feedback, and, worse yet, it is still quite toxic. One of the most effective natural remedies for fleas is called diatomaceous earth (food grade, not pool grade). Diatomaceous earth is comprised of very finely ground pieces of ancient microscopic organisms’ fossilized skeletons, and, while the powder is harmless to humans (and is actually safe for ingestion), it is extremely deadly to fleas. The powder crystals are razor sharp at a microscopic level, so when fleas travel through the powder, which can be poured on your dog, lawn, and carpet, their exoskeletons become pierced and destroyed, leading to death. As an added bonus, diatomaceous earth is also effective on ticks.
4. Calm irritations.
Chamomile, in addition to helping to anxiety in humans, can also help to balance your pet. Colic and anxiety in your dog could be caused by gas, and chamomile serves to relieve the discomfort. What’s more, the plant also has natural disinfectant properties, so a warm chamomile tea bag can do wonders for your dog’s irritated or infected eyes. Yet another use for chamomile is for soothing minor skin irritations. By pouring chilled tea into a spray bottle and using it to spritz your pet, you can kill the bacteria and yeast on his skin, which can help your pet become more comfortable immediately.
Although admittedly, not all natural treatments will be equally effective on all pets, the above tips are some of the most beneficial home remedies available. Chamomile, vitamin E, diatomaceous earth, and yogurt are four safe and effective ways to relieve some of your pet’s most common ailments.
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