Natural Home Remedies and Alternative Therapies for Dogs and Cats

For most, our pets are valued members of our household. They, and we, are happier when they are healthy and energetic. If you can find one, a holistic vet can help you to care for your dog with natural treatments. for your dog or cat with natural treatments.

HOME CARE

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation.  To promote a healthy immune system in animals, it is important to feed them proper diets.

The AKC recommends feeding dogs primarily meat, but also grains, fruits and vegetables. Some sources suggest foods for your cat beyond meat, but cats are carnivores, so do a little research before you add vegetables and/or fruits.  You should be able to find quality commercial animal food canned or as dry kibble.  If you want to go the natural, and maybe tastier route, you can prepare the food yourself from whole foods.  The AKC says not to feed your animals raw meat but other sources might recommend either raw or lightly cooked. Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria.  Raw bones can splinter and cause injury.

This natural route may cost more and take more time but you can cook every few days and refrigerate in the same way you save leftovers for yourself.  As for cost, if eating whole foods keeps your dog healthier longer, you will save on vet bills in the long run.

Mother Earth Living has a recipe for your dog’s diet: https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/fine-dining-homemade-pet-food-recipes-dog-food-recipes-cat-food-recipes.

There are many sites with recipes for your cat but here’s one from The Spice of Life: http://thespiceoflife.us/recipe/home-made-cat-food-chicken/

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth might make kibble healthier and more appealing. It’s easy and cheap to make.
  • Brewer’s yeast added to food may boost appetite, make the food more appealing, and repel fleas.

FOODS THAT MAY/WILL HARM

  • Alcohol
  • Avoid pet foods with corn, wheat, soy, or peanut butter.
  • Caffeine
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Grapes/Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Milk and Dairy products
  • Onions
  • Raw meat, eggs and bones (may contain harmful bacteria)
  • Salty foods
  • Xylitol (sweetener)
  • Yeast dough

HERBS AND SPICES

Herbs can treat many animal health conditions but this post is just a reminder that you can research individual ailments and find one that might help your pet.  It doesn’t always have to be chemicals. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7151902/

ESSENTIAL OILS

Dogs have very acute senses of smell and it might take just a little lavender oil to calm an anxious pup. Find some lists of essential oils that are safe for dogs here: https://blog.planttherapy.com/blog/2019/05/01/ask-plant-therapys-experts-essential-oils-and-pets/?gclid=CjwKCAjw8-78BRA0EiwAFUw8LAyhjWp4cCOrC0QD4w_Kvfd1_pgG-9QcxXZ4Ibf5gnOrYWKehLHwpRoC3uYQAvD_BwE

  • Put a little lavender or cedarwood essential oil on your dog’s or cat’s collar to discourage fleas and rose geranium oil to repel ticks (for dog’s only).

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for animals just as it is for the human body.  Water transports nutrients throughout the body, protects the eyes and mouth, lubricates joints, regulates body temperature and removes waste. Hydration is directly related to brain functions. Pets should have 24/7 access to clean water.  Change water at least once a day and wash the bowl (which should be stainless steel, glass or porcelain) at the same time.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. How much exercise your pet needs will depend on species and breed but generally, every dog needs 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise each day.  Outdoor cats will take care of themselves but if they are living indoors, you will need to provide distractions and opportunities for play.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Our dogs and cats are sensitive to our moods and are affected by them so if you are calm and cheerful, your pet is more likely to be the same.  If you are not calm and cheerful, however, having a pet may very well help you to be less depressed, have lower blood pressure, get more exercise, and even live longer.

If your pet appears to be stressed out, you can try a little massage, some diffused lavender oil, or maybe some classical music.  You also can be sure that your own stress is low so that your dog doesn’t worry about you.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Apply Vitamin E topically to cuts and scratches.
  • Brewer’s yeast (a small daily dose of ½ tsp with food for a cat or small dog) helps to repel fleas and flies. Brewer’s yeast is NOT live.  Don’t feed live yeasts to your pet.
  • Covid-19 can affect your pets – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html
  • Wash your pets’ bedding frequently to control fleas, and keep a clean floor and rug.
  • A quick Google search for natural remedies for specific conditions will yield suggestions.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

 

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