9 Natural Home Remedies for Your Dog

 

6. Epsom Salts for Wounds

 

You might use magnesium-rich Epsom salts to relieve sore muscles. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are also useful for soaking and cleaning wounds, Morgan says. “They cause abscesses to open and drain, relieving pressure in the wound and allowing healing. We use these a lot for soaking feet of horses and also dogs with inter-digital sores.”

 

To create a soak for your dog, Morgan advises mixing the Epsom salts with warm water and applying the soak on your dog for five to 10 minutes, three times a day.

 

7. Oils for Flea Prevention

 

If you are reluctant to use conventional flea prevention products, you might have looked into natural options. “There are a lot of recipes out there—some good, some bad,” Morgan says. Essential oils can be very effective, she says, “but must be diluted so they do not cause harm to the animal.” (Note: Some oils that are safe for dogs may be toxic for cats. Check the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control for guidance and consult with your veterinarian.)

 

Morgan likes coconut oil, which you can either give your dog orally or apply externally on his coat. “The higher the lauric acid content in the oil, the more effective it will be,” she says. “Many inferior coconut oils have very low lauric acid content.” Coconut oil can also be used as a carrier oil for essential oils.

 

After using a flea comb daily to help remove fleas from a dog’s coat, Integrative Veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne recommends bathing your canine companion with a natural pet flea shampoo. “Start, for example, with a pint of organic oatmeal shampoo, and then add two tablespoons of either neem or tea tree oil, shake well and begin bathing. Pets may be bathed weekly or as needed.” Keep in mind that improper dilutions of tea tree oil and other essential oils can be toxic for pets, so consult with your veterinarian first. And while natural options like these may help repel fleas, they are unlikely to solve a full-blown infestation on their own.

 

8. Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, and Dishwashing Liquid for Deodorizing

 

Aside from the redness, swelling, sneezing, and other symptoms a skunk encounter can create for your dog, is the offensive smell. A de-skunking remedy Khuly suggests is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid, which she says works on skunked fur and everything the skunked fur has contact with. Mix four cups of hydrogen peroxide with one-third cup baking soda and a small squirt of dishwashing liquid, and apply it liberally to your pet’s coat, she says. Rinse well after about five minutes and repeat if necessary.

 

While it’s not the most glamorous topic, this solution also works well for stinky anal glands, Khuly says.


9. Licorice Root for Itchiness

 

No, this is not the same as the licorice candy you eat. Licorice root is actually a form of cortisone, and cortisone relieves skin irritation and reduces the urge to scratch, says Osborne, who practices in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

 

You may see bottles of licorice root in stores that sell health products. Pet supply stores also offer licorice products formulated for dogs. Some dog-specific products designed to treat allergy symptoms in dogs may also include licorice root.

 

If you’ve given your dog a flea bath and dip and she’s still itchy, Osborne suggests the following herbal, home remedy: “Take five drops of licorice root, five drops of dandelion root, and five drops of cat’s claw. Mix all three together and give five drops of the final solution to your canine by mouth, once daily for 14 days in a row.”

 

“Since cortisone is a type of steroid, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian before giving these products to your dog to prevent any potential cross reactions and/or side effects with any other medications your pet may be taking,” Osborne advises. Also, some licorice root formulations have been associated with low blood potassium levels, muscle breakdown, and kidney damage. Make sure you are working with a veterinarian who is well-trained in holistic medicine before you reach for any herbal remedy.

 

Baking soda, dishwashing liquid, hydrogen peroxide, and chamomile tea are a few items you may keep in your home that can also double as home remedies for your dog. Remember to first talk to your vet about any unusual symptoms your dog has and whether these products are appropriate for her situation. Taking away your canine companion’s discomfort may already be well within your reach.