Just like us, pets may experience a healthier life from natural care. Finding ingredients to alleviate your pet’s ailments may already be in your kitchen and medicine cabinet. The herbal remedies used to treat common pet issues may surprise you.
Whether it’s a case of the fleas or irritated skin, seeing your pets in an uncomfortable state is not a pleasant sight. If you notice your pet scratching more than usual, you’ll want to examine for any signs of fleas or ticks. If Fido or Fluffy starts to scratch more frequently and bite their own skin, make sure to take them to the veterinarian. In the meantime, avoid itching in pets with these natural remedies. And if you’re ever unsure, talk to your vet.
Some of these apply to both dogs and cats, while others are strictly for dogs. Who would have thought?
1. Witch hazel: Use a cotton ball and dab on hot spots (red, irritated lesions) to help relieve itchy skin.
2. Apple cider vinegar: You can apply it directly on your pet by using a spritz bottle or sprinkle over food. Not only does this help with itchiness and beginning hot spots, it may help improve overall skin and coat condition, along with digestion.
3. Aloe vera: This herb helps soothe your pup’s irritated skin and may even alleviate other skin conditions such as eczema and allergies.
4. Epsom salt: According to veterinarian Dr. Greg Magnusson, Epsom salt helps infected or itchy skin, reduces swelling and promotes healing. If you have difficulty bathing or grooming your pet (or have a cat), Dr. Magnusson says to use a folded cloth and apply gently to affected area.
5. Corn, safflower, peanut and sunflower oil: Not just for cooking, these oils contain all the essential fatty acids which may help treat dry, flaky skin. Dr. Magnusson says cats can take half a teaspoon per meal, while dogs can take up to three (depending on their size). Beware of overdoing the oil – some pets may develop pancreatitis if fed too much fat.
6. Oatmeal: Mixed with water, this breakfast staple can be used to rub on your dog’s skin to help soothe itchiness. Leave the mix on for 10 minutes.
7. Citrus: We know vitamin C is good for our immune system, but it can also help Fluffy and Fido with those pesky fleas. Fleas don’t like citrus, so try applying a small amount of fresh lemon or orange juice (or rub their coat with citrus rinds) to scare them away.
8. Wet towel: By simply wiping your pet down with a damp towel, it can significantly reduce itchiness and allergies.
9. Rose geranium tick collar: Rose geranium oil is successful for repelling ticks from dogs. Apply a few dabs to the dog collar (not recommended for cats).
10. Old clothes: According to treehugger.com, you can fashion your pup with old socks, a kid’s sweater or even DIY legwarmers before they romp around in the woods or fields.
11. Chamomile: Drinking chamomile tea is great when we’re winding down the evening, but it works well with pets too. Make tea, put it in a spray bottle in the refrigerator and spritz onto pet’s skin. Also, if your pets have itchy eyes, you can even place a warm chamomile tea bag to soothe them. The trick is keeping them still during the process!
12. Vitamin E: This vitamin works wonders on dry skin for dogs.
Additionally, it’s important to bathe your pets (or have them groomed) regularly. The water alone can help keep the fleas away and soothe irritated skin. Also, since plastic bowls might be the reason for your pet’s hot spots, consider switching them out with stainless, glass or ceramic bowls. By combining good pet hygiene with these easily accesible products, your furry friend will be a happy camper.