Is your pet as healthy as you are? Did you know that some of the things that keep you healthy are great for your pet, too? Doing a little research can help you expand your options for keeping your pet at his or her best. Be sure to check with sources you trust and use supplementation from a reputable company that does thorough research and has impeccable quality control.
Here are 10 natural remedies for the most common pet concerns. (Some of them may surprise you!)
This is huge! It’s important to identify the cause of our pet’s ailments. We see the symptoms, then we test for the cause. If the test results aren’t clear, the cause may be a lot simpler than we realize — a significant cause of stomach issues, allergies, and skin sensitivities is what goes into your pet’s mouth.
A few years ago I took my cat into the vet when he began throwing up daily. $2,000 later my cat had run the gamut of suggested tests, medications, products, an ultrasound, etc at the vet’s office, and we still hadn’t found the cause. Throughout the process I watched my once cheerful, easy-going cat go from woozy and lethargic to miserable, snarling, and constipated. We ended up in the emergency room at midnight and were advised to take yet another test. In the midst of desperation, I remembered a cat food that my friend had said she used for her foster cats. I immediately changed his diet; the vomiting decreased, and he returned to his old self.
The best food for your pet is the most natural diet for your pet. In the case of cats and dogs, that is raw food (meat products). There are various suggestions for raw food diets out there, and the people who have tried it have seen amazing improvements in their pets. However, if you’re like me — and all that seems like a lot of extra expense and messy prep and cleanup — natural store brands may be a better option for you. If you have a pet store in your area that specializes in natural foods, that is the way to go. If you don’t, ordering on-line is an option. Just as you do for yourself, check the ingredients in the foods for your pet. Those extra ingredients that aren’t good for you are also bad for your pet. You may also want to get your pet tested for allergies so that you know what ingredients to avoid. Certain grains can upset your pet’s stomach, and you may need to avoid certain meats, too.
You also need to consider the liquids your pet is taking into the body.
Unless you live by a natural spring, it’s likely you’re using some sort of filtration system for your drinking water. And what’s better for you is also better for your pet. There’s no need to go crazy with this. Consider your options and budget. Most of us have seen and tasted funky tap water, and we don’t want all of those metals and chemicals soaking into our pets’ bodies either. Your pet will thank you!
Exercise and Fresh Air
Keep that body moving! If you can, get yourself and your pet outdoors. Your pet will benefit from the fresh air and vitamin D, just as you do. You will improve your pet’s mood and stimulate the senses and the brain. Allow your pet some time outdoors. There’s probably a lot more going on outside your house than indoors, and your pet will benefit from the extra circulation and stimulation. Extra movement also helps with elimination, so don’t rush! Allow time for things to work through the system.
If going outdoors isn’t an option, make some time for indoor play. You can go with anything as simple as a shoestring to some of the fancy motorized pet toys. A laser pointer can be a favorite for both dogs and cats, and so is an old fashioned game of hide and seek or tag!
What, vitamins? Yes! As our soil has become more nutrient deficient, it has affected our food supply. Pets need those missing nutrients, too. Remember to research the quantity and quality of the vitamins that you use for your pet. Some common supplements that pet owners use are B, C, E, Magnesium, and Zinc. Some use the full multi-vitamin, too. For example: liquid multi-vitamins can help cats with hairballs. Vitamins strengthen the whole body, helping your pet stay healthy and whole. Adding particular vitamins to the diet can help with anything from skin sensitivities to arthritis to cancer to getting rid of little critters.
Recently our dog started itching and biting at his skin. When he came back with 3 different medications and no clear cause, we immediately started up the home remedy machine. The first item on our list? Alfalfa.
If you have never heard of this herb, get yourself acquainted! Alfalfa is great for humans and pets, particularly when it comes to allergies – even allergies to pets! When we have game nights, some of our friends take alfalfa so they can enjoy the evening. Along with a combination of other supplements, alfalfa can also help with such concerns as arthritis, weight issues, and cancer.
Pumpkin is a superfood for humans and a great remedy for pets! This has been a big help for our dog. It works great for diarrhea, and conversely, it helps with constipation. It keeps things moving through the bowels and eases the stomach. Don’t use too much — a spoonful mixed in the food will do just the trick. Pumpkin is another great source of vitamins and also a great source of fiber. Some have mixed in pumpkin with pet food as part of a weight-loss program for cats and dogs. Pumpkin is also useful for hairball control for cats.
There’s some controversy around this one, so again – do your research! We’re using garlic right now for our dog’s skin sensitivities. Don’t use too much. Quantity varies on the size of your pet, and we’re using half a pill for our little one. Garlic can be especially useful for allergies, cancer treatment, and getting rid of critters, but it can be a useful addition for both you and your pet during any sickness.
Food Product Supplementation
Just as it can for you, drinks with electrolytes can help your sick pet when he or she has lost some nutrients. Quality protein powder is also a boost to the body. Protein powder can help with allergies and skin sensitivities, arthritis, and cancer.
Skullcap or Scutellaria laterifolia
Does your dog bark (bawk) like a chicken when you take him for a car ride? Maybe it’s just our dog. . . Skullcap is an option I’d like to try. Skullcap or Scutellaria laterifolia is a useful herb for soothing the nervous system and easing anxiety. It has been useful to humans as well for anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and other issues. Make sure you have the Scutellaria laterifolia version and that there aren’t any extra unwanted ingredients like germander and teucrium. Take a look around for other herbal/flower remedies to help with anxiety. There are many different types and combinations.
Just search “benefits of fish oil”, and you’ll see why you may want to add it to your diet! Of course, it’s great for pets, too! It can improve the coat and skin of your pet, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. It can improve mental development and capacity, lower blood pressure, aid in organ function, and promote weight loss in dogs.
This is just the beginning! Your breakfast oatmeal can double as a useful soak for your pet’s itchy skin. Your lemon water can be sprayed on your dog to deter fleas! There are so many different options open to you – many that are readily available in your own home! I wish you and your pet well on your path to a healthier, happier life.