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Posted on 11-18-2017

DIY First-Aid for Dogs

Eight Natural Home Remedies

by Karen Becker

Many pet parents check their cabinets first to treat minor health issues with their canine companion. Three helpful basics are canned, 100 percent pumpkin, povidone iodine antiseptic and 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, plus apple cider vinegar, ginger and coconut oil.

1. Constipation, Diarrhea and Other Minor Digestive Issues

Solution: Canned pumpkin. For occasional mild tummy upsets, give a teaspoon of pumpkin for every 10 pounds of body weight, one to two times a day, either in food or as a treat. Pumpkin’s soluble fiber can ease diarrhea and constipation.

2. Minor Skin Abrasions, Cuts, Infections or Hot Spots

Solution: Povidone iodine. The gentle Betadine brand can allay staph, yeast and most common bacteria. It’s safe if a pet licks it.

Dilute the povidone iodine until it looks like iced tea, soak a clean cloth and gently wipe infected skin areas. Rinse the cloth, wipe the skin, and then pat dry. Repeat twice daily for a minor issue.

3. Itchy, Irritated Paws

Solution: Footbaths. About 50 percent of a dog’s foot licking and chewing can be alleviated by simply rinsing off allergens and other irritants from its paws. For large dogs, soak one foot at a time in a bucket. Stand small dogs sink or tub or dunk one paw at a time in a small container of solution.

Dilute povidone iodine to the color of iced tea and add to the footbath. Swish it around while the dog stands in it for two to five minutes. Talk soothingly and offer treats as needed.

4. Fleas

Solution: Apple cider vinegar (ACV). It doesn’t kill fleas, but helps keep them off. Put a solution of equal parts raw, organic ACV and water in a spray bottle and spritz the pet before they head outdoors and dog bedding. Consider adding to a dog’s food as well; one teaspoon for every 20 pounds of pooch.

During baths, pour diluted ACV of one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water over a freshly bathed dog (avoid the head) for a flea-preventive rinse. Massage the ACV solution into their coat and towel dry. Don’t rinse. Alternatively, add about two cups of apple cider vinegar to their bathwater.

5. Upset Tummy

Solution: Ginger. Mix either fresh ground ginger or the dried herb into a meatball or other treat. Use one-eight teaspoon for dogs under 10 pounds, one-quarter teaspoon for medium-sized dogs, a half teaspoon for large dogs, and three-quarters to one teaspoon for giant breeds.

Give ginger-infused snacks one to three times a day as needed. Alternatively, add a quarter cup ginger tea per 20 pounds to food daily as needed. To prevent motion sickness, give it at least an hour before traveling.

6. Crusty Skin and Nails

Solution: Coconut oil. Skin treatments using 100 percent organic, cold-pressed, human-grade coconut oil can reduce flaking and improve skin quality, especially for seniors with crusty patches of skin and funky nails.

Bathe the dog, and then rub the oil into the skin all over their body, especially on dry areas. Let it absorb for about five minutes. Follow with another bath (not much lather) and a very light rinse. Also, dab it directly on hotspots, eruptions and rashes after disinfecting.

7. Skunk Encounter

Solution: Skunk rinse. In a pail, mix one quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, one-quarter cup baking soda and two teaspoons dishwashing liquid. For a large dog, double, triple or quadruple the mixture, based on their size and coat.

Apply the mixture to the dog’s dry coat, taking care to avoid the eyes. Massage the mixture into the coat and skin for about five minutes or until the skunk smell starts to dissipate. Use a sponge to apply the solution to the chin, cheeks, forehead and ears. Rinse thoroughly. When rinsing the head, tilt the dog’s chin upward to protect the eyes. It may be necessary to repeat the entire process up to three times. Rinse off the solution completely.

8. Toxin Ingestion

Solution: Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and give one teaspoon for every 10 pounds of dog weight. Add a little vanilla ice cream or honey to encourage swallowing or simply syringe it down their throat if necessary.

Walk the dog for a few minutes—movement helps the hydrogen peroxide work—which typically occurs within 15 minutes. If the dog doesn’t vomit in 15 minutes, give a second dose. If after another 15 minutes they still haven’t vomited, call a veterinarian.

Don’t induce vomiting if the dog is throwing up already; has lost consciousness or can’t stand; or it’s been more than two hours since they ingested the toxin. Harsh chemicals can cause burning both as they are swallowed and come back up. For these problems, seek veterinary care immediately.

Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative veterinarian in the Chicago area, consults internationally and writes Mercola Healthy Pets (HealthyPets.Mercola.com).

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