Natural remedies for dogs and cats

At my Vets All Natural clinic, as with my Vets All Natural range, we take a natural, holistic approach to animal care and welfare. Immediate veterinary care is the only option if your pet develops a serious illness or has an accident but, there is an ever-growing list of home remedies for more minor complaints that might just save you an unnecessary trip to the vet, and save your pet from unnecessary exposure to unnecessary medications.

Itchy dog

If your dog has itchy skin, don’t use any shampoo on it. It will often make the skin problem worse. Start adding flax seed oil, like our VAN Flax Seed Oil (an Omega 3 supplement) which promotes skin health and coat condition, to your pet’s diet instead. The addition of flax seed oil, and the cessation of pet shampoo usage will soon result in a visible reduction in your pet’s skin irritation, not to mention a shiny, healthy coat. You can also try a coat rinse using calendula tea to soothe inflamed skin.

Senile pet

If your pet is in its later years, the herb Ginkgo Biloba (pictured, below) may help prevent or reducing senility. Ginkgo Biloba is very popular in Chinese medicine and has been found to increase blood flow to the brain and extremities and, at the same time, been known to defer the progress of senile dementia and memory loss. A combination of Ginkgo and Ginseng forms a traditional remedy for senility and old age dementia. This can be purchased as a herbal tablet (for humans) and given at 1/2 to 1/4 of the adult human dose rate.

Nervous pet

If you have a very nervous animal, you can try treating it with Rescue Remedy (which can be purchased from a health food shop). Rescue remedy can help your pet through thunder storms, vet visits, fireworks displays and other stressful situations. Vitamin B6 and Magnesium Orotate may also have a soothing effect on your stressed pet and 5-hydroxy tryptophan (as a supplement) can also naturally improve serotonin levels and calm anxiety.

Foreign object

If your dog has a grass seed or other foreign object lodged in its ear, try filling the ear with lightly warmed olive oil and gently massaging the ear. Odds are the grass seed will float to the top on the oil where your dog can shake it free. And, if not, the oil will generally soften the seed, alleviating the pain caused by the seed tip while waiting to get to your local vet.

Minor wound or abrasion

If your pet gets a minor wound or abrasion, three percent hydrogen peroxide solution (the type you can buy at your local supermarket) is an excellent all-purpose wound cleaner for both skin and mucky ear canals. You’ll see the hydrogen peroxide foams up when it contacts infected material from a contaminated wound – that is quite normal and is the solution doing its work. A topical mix of aloe vera and Manuka honey is the perfect all-purpose wound treatment and will soothe infected skin, kill bacteria and promote rapid healing.

Remember, these home remedies are specifically for minor ailments. If your pet is suffering from a serious health issue, or sustains a serious injury, it is essential that you seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons), Founder of Vets All Natural.

Dr Bruce Syme is a practicing vet and expert in natural pet nutrition, has spoken at the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, and provides regular comment on TV and Radio.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this article are based upon the opinions of Dr. Bruce Syme, unless otherwise noted. The information is not intended as medical advice, it simply shares the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Bruce and his community. Pet health care decisions should be based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified pet health care professional.
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