There’s nothing worse than seeing your pet ill and feeling like you can do nothing to help them. Thankfully, there are a few easy at-home remedies that you can use to help them if they fall sick.
1. Sports drinks
Flavourless electrolyte-replacing drinks like sports drinks, although mainly used by athletes to rehydrate and children to recover from illness, can help your sick dog for the same reason. It can fill them with some much-needed fluid and electrolytes if they’re suffering from diarrhoea. However, check with your vet to figure out how much you should be giving them.
Plain yoghurt can be a healthy treat for your dog. The creamy goodness has live probiotic organisms that may help keep the good bacteria in your dog’s intestines balance out with the bad. There are better options, but it wouldn’t hurt, in fact it might help, to let your dog lick your spoon when you’re done with those strawberries and yoghurt.
There are a lot of probiotic options on the market. They can be mixed or sprinkled into food or come in liquid form. Look out for the National Animal Supplement Council seal on the package to make sure you’re buying something safe and effective for your dog.
Benadryl works the same way in dogs as in humans: it blocks histamine, the body’s natural reaction to allergens in the body. If your dog is sneezing, has a runny nose or watery eyes or itchy skin, you can give them a Benadryl. It can also treat insect bites, motion sickness and anxiety as it has a sedative effect.
Don’t make a habit of it though, and check the ingredients for decongestants, Tylenol or alcohol, which are all toxic to dogs. Take a look at this guide for all the information on giving your dog Benadryl.
4. Chamomile tea
Much like we might take a chamomile tea to settle an upset stomach, dogs can partake in the tea party too. Chamomile decreases muscle spasms and cramps and decreases inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining by decreasing mucous membranes.
It can also be used to treat rashes and skin irritations. If you brew a strong tea, let it cool in the fridge and add it to a spray bottle, you’ll have a soothing balm for red raw itchy areas.
In the same vein, irritations can be aided with oatmeal. If you’ve ever had chicken pox or a bad sunburn you might remember taking a bath with ground up oats in it to soothe itchy skin. If they can handle it, add some oatmeal to your bathwater for a soothing spa night for your pooch.
But we know how dogs are with baths, right? There is a remedy online of grinding or blending oats into a fine powder then adding some water to make a paste. Smooth that on hot or inflamed areas to sooth the irritation.
6. Epsom salts
Sore muscles in all of us can do with some Epsom salts due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Letting your dog soak in the tub for five to ten minutes will help open and drain abscesses which will relieve pressure on a wound and allow healing. It will particularly help with a dog’s toe sores.
For the best results, create a soak for your dog by mixing Epsom salts with warm water and applying it to your dog’s wounds for five to 10 minutes, three times a day.
7. Coconut oil
There are a lot of options for oils if the conventional flea prevention products on the market don’t appeal to you. A lot of these alternatives can be toxic if not diluted and are not suitable for cats.
Coconut oil can be given orally or applied to your dog’s coat to prevent fleas but aim for a high lauric acid content in the ingredients.
8. Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, washing up liquid
Washing up liquid for dishes, mixed with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is an old concoction to deal with fowl smells. If your pup has had a bad encounter with a skunk, you will know about it for days.
Mix four cups of hydrogen peroxide, one third of a cup of baking soda and a squirt of dish washing liquid and get it on that pup’s coat as soon as possible. Don’t be shy with it. Rinse after 5 minutes and repeat if you need to.
9. Apple cider vinegar
If you have a long, flappy-eared dog, you can clean their ears with a mixture of half apple cider vinegar and half water. Soak a tissue or cotton bud in the mixture and gently wipe at their ear until it’s clean.
Fleas are known to not be a fan of citrus fruits, but neither are the stomachs of dogs, so don’t feed them it. Instead, for a sweet-smelling perfume, squeeze out some citrus fruit juice and either spray or rub it into your dog’s fur. Stick to lemons and oranges as they do not contain limonene and therefore won’t irritate your dog’s skin or liver.