We all dote on our beloved pets and want to do the best for them. Without doubt, we couldn’t survive in the dog world without our highly trained vets, but do you always need to see a vet with something considered mild, with no need for medication such as antibiotics etc?
Prescriptions cost a lot of money and obviously there is a need for them in life threatening cases or long-term illnesses such as diabetes – but what if your dog has dry skin on his or her nose, or perhaps a bit of doggy dandruff! Here are some homemade remedies for simple maladies that our dogs encompass every day which are worth trying first before spending a lot from your wallet. Our dogs are priceless for sure, but some herbal or homeopathic additions to your ‘dog cupboard’ that you make yourself, can often do the trick.
Not all dogs suffer from dandruff, and it can be caused by several factors. Seasonal dandruff is particularly common in the winter, when there is a lack of humidity in the air, but it can also be caused by allergies that are prevalent in the spring and summer months.
Firstly, you need to rule out any underlying illnesses (visit your vet), and once you have done this, it is fairly simple to treat your dog’s skin and coat. Grooming your dog thoroughly once a day, to remove dry or flaky skin is the first point of call. This will ensure that the natural oils are released, and the skin is stimulated by massage.
You also need to ensure that your doggie’s diet is well balanced, as this can also cause skin problems.
Never use human shampoo, as ingredients contained within can often cause dandruff or irritation and be very harsh on your dog. The pH balance of dog’s skin is by no means the same as human skin. Instead, make your own shampoos using an oatmeal base, and a touch of essential plant oil or herbal oil (diluted with water), such as rosemary. There are a multitude of recipes from veterinarians available on the web.
Try never to leave any dog shampoo or homemade shampoo on your dogs’ coat, even if you use certified dog shampoos or herbal. Many vets recommend using lime juice mixed with water to rinse the coat after shampooing. What’s even nicer, is doggie smells so delicious after!
Have you ever investigated buying nose butter for your dog, to keep his or her nose smooth and lubricated? You will find many expensive brands on the market – but you can easily make it yourself at home.
Noses exposed to the elements in wintry or hot weather, can frequently become dry and cracked, which can be painful for your pooch.
Many dog breeds are susceptible to Nasal Hyperkeratosis (very cracked noses)such as the following :
There is a theory that dogs that have extreme features such as their bodily size, large protruding noses or flat-faced, very sturdy and heavy bodies, are more likely to suffer.
As you can see, we are looking from one end of the scale to the other in facial shape and bodily size, but no dog is really safe when it comes to climatic conditions. Simple nose butter contains elements such as shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil and beeswax, which when gently boiled up together and poured into a container is very soothing and effective when cooled down and set in the fridge. Once again, this is recommended by several vets, many of whom have their own recipes for it!
Imagine all the contaminants that your dog encounters on a daily basis – everything from lawn feed and chemicals, allergens, pesticides, ragweed and even just ordinary pollen. Dust mites can also cause painful paws that become dark pink/red and itchy.
Just like us, who want to scratch if we have a bite or an irritable spot, dogs are the same, and they manifest it by chewing their paws for ages, making them even worse.
Some vets will recommend soaking your dog’s paws in Epsom Salts which is effective, but amazing results can be achieved using Povodine Iodine which is safe for your dog’s skin – in fact, not only is it great as a paw soak, it can also be applied to general skin irritations or wounds. In most cases, it will all but stop your dog licking and chewing his/her paws. Mixed with water, it is a soothing way to repair paws at the same time as being antifungal, antibacterial and yeast intolerant. Perfect paws with little effort! Depending on the size of your dog, you can make the soak in a small container, a bucket, bowl or bath. You can buy or order Povodine Iodine from most chemist outlets – it’s worth it. A soak should last for between two and five minutes for maximum effect. Remember to dry the paws thoroughly on a clean towel.
Ear infections are a very common problem in dogs, and can stem from allergies, bacteria and even yeast (fungal). You can generally tell easily if your dog has an ear infection by their behaviour, such as persistent scratching in the area, head shaking (above and beyond when they are simply having a good, overall shake). A nasty smell emanating from in and around the ear is often present. You should check your dog’s ears regularly, even every day if they are exposed to environmental issues on a daily basis.
One thing to remember – never delve into your dog’s ears with cotton buds – this can increase the infection and push it further into the inner ear. Use droppers, cotton wool pads or gauze for swabbing instead.
Simple solutions are:
All of these ingredients can be mixed with water and gently warmed through for maximum effect. Apply with a dropper or on cotton wool balls and swab the ear. There are many natural remedy recipes available from vets and the web to soothe and cure ear infections rapidly and healthily.
If in doubt, do consult your vet if the infections persist or you deem them to be chronic. Repetitive infections may warn you of underlying problems, including dietary deficiencies.
These homemade tips have been tried and tested by dog owners all over the country but are not a substitute for veterinary advice – always seek your vets’ advice if you are concerned.