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Homemade Remedies For Pet Care

From greening my household cleaning supplies to choosing organic food to being mindful of ingredients in body care products, I try to shop thoughtfully and make the best purchasing decisions for my family and the planet’s health. That said, I recently discovered there’s one area I’ve erroneously overlooked – our dog.

Our big loveable Labrador Brophy is as loyal as he is energetic. He has always been the protective guard dog we needed and the cuddly playful pet we wanted. From morning through night, he has one eye on the whole family (and the other on his food bowl).

Recently though I have been wondering if I could have been paying better attention to him. Is it possible to green pet care? Are there less toxic (and perhaps less expensive) alternatives to conventional options for common problems like fleas, pet stains and seasonal allergies?

In hopes of learning a few homemade remedies for everyday pet problems, I asked around and learned a few tips and tricks from other pet owners. Here are a few everyday products that pull double duty around the house and your pet.

Note, always check with your pet’s veterinarian before treating your pet.

Baking soda: This all-purpose household item solves numerous pet problems. If you’re already using baking soda to freshen your fridge, carpet or trash cans, try a thin layer on the bottom of bird, rabbit and hamster cages too. Is your pet accident-prone? After an accident on a rug or carpet, scrub the area with club soda, and let dry. Then sprinkle the area with baking soda, and let it stand before vacuuming.

Nutritional yeast: Fans of nutritional yeast sprinkle it on their popcorn and stir it into their mashed potatoes, but it is also used to help keep pets’ coats healthy and makes them less tasty to fleas. The correct amount of yeast depends on the size of the dog, so seek guidance from your pet’s vet.

Essential oils: I heard from a few dog owners who swear by essential oils as nerve-calming remedies and anti-itch solutions. Like nutritional yeast, fleas don’t like the taste of some essential oils either.

But be careful, because some essential oils have been reported to be toxic to cats and dogs, so be sure to talk to your pet’s vet first to see which oils are best for your pet. Always remember that when essential oils are used, they must first be diluted into a carrier oil. I’m sure many savvy shoppers have other homemade remedies for pet care that helps them keep a leash on the cost of pet-care products.

What are your tips? I’d love to hear them.

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75 comments

Comments

Najma says …

I have a 16 year old beagle who suffers from arthritis and has spinal cord issues. He is still able to run, jump, and climb with some limitations. He takes cosequin ds and he is fed a (human grade) homemade natural diet (incl. treats) supplemented daily with flax seed oil, and a probiotic. I utilize ingredients that are anti inflammatory and heart healthy such as tumeric, yucca, and lentils to name a few. Good luck!

Kujosrose says …

My long-haired mini dachshund suffers TERRIBLY from yeast in his ears. 3 different vets have offered no solutions (other than "we can try cortisone shots"). Anyone have any ideas/suggestions? I have also tried an herbal remedy from Paw Healer, still no positive results (doesn't help much that my other 2 dogs LOVE to lick the inside of his ears - guess they like the yeasty taste - yum). Vets basically say there's nothing that has cured this condition. Oh, and I've tried garlic oil, and witch hazel. Nada.

Debbie says …

There's a pet supplement called Cranimals, cranberry extract (and other ingredients depending on which formula you get) that is in powdered form that you measure out and sprinkle over food. That might be easier than trying to get them to drink cranberry juice. I used coconut oil to heal one of my dog's chronic lick sore and scar tissue. The scar tissue would itch after walking or playing and she'd continually lick it even after her allergy was gone. I used coconut oil and covered it (changing dressing every few days) for 10 or 12 days and the scar tissue was completely gone and her fur grew back eventually. It was something she'd had for over 5 years. Coconut oil is good stuff!

Cheryl says …

Let me preface this by saying I have no idea if this is safe for pets. But, my mother has used tumeric, the seasoning, in her morning oats and it has completely gotten rid of her arthritis pain. She takes a tablespoon every morning. When she stops using it, the pain starts to return. I have no idea if dogs can or even would eat tumeric, or if it would work for them, but felt I should share this. I hope your dog feels better soon. I have two cats that cause me pain when they're in pain. :)

Danielle says …

I usually add a little bit olive oil to my dog's shampoo. It really helps keep the dandruff at bay and keeps the coat nice and shiny.

Bonnie Wright says …

Hi Kathy...our Golden Ret. was 13 and had really bad arthritis...a good friend told me to heat vinegar to warm in the microwave and soak a dish towel and lay or wrap the tender areas and to repeat as needed...it worked for short periods of time. The smell goes away very soon...

kathy says …

Does anyone have any remedies for arthritis? My 15-year-old lab is just now starting to show signs of pain from arthritis. I started giving him glucosamine and fish oils a few years ago, but i can tell he's having pain because his tail is tucked between his legs some days. He has normal energy and still enjoys walking even on those days when I know he's having pain. I'm trying to avoid the pain meds and steroids. Any other ideas?

Claibornel says …

Hi Pamela 42, My cat started going outside of the litter box too and it turned out he had a kidney infection. Sometimes going outside the box can indicate a health issue and should be checked out. Also keep an eye on the volume of urine they have as well as if they are straining-can also be indicators. I have used vinegar and water to treat hardwood floors and it works pretty well. I sometimes have treated the same area more than once. Also for a lot of the issues people have been mentioning-there is a great all natural website called earth clinic.com full of very useful tips for humans and animals! I use it all the time.

CC says …

Janet, chronic UTI's could be related to food aversions. Have you ever checked into running a food test?

Tara says …

A friend just told me that flax seed is great for pets' joints. Mine is still a pup, but I am going to start putting some flax in her food now, and hopefully try to put off the arthritis. Good luck with your baby. :)

Jill Silverman says …

Mu dog has a yeast infection between his paw pads, which smells awful!!! He has been on antibiotics. I just switched him to grainfree food (duck/potato). What else can I do homeopathically? Teatree oil? Eucalyptus oil? Anything to alleviate this and get rid of this horrible odor? Thank you.

fleasbegone says …

Borax is a good non-toxic flea killer too. Try it on carpets before vacuuming. It's cheap too. That and plain salt will scratch the fleas exoskeleton and dry them out. Worth a try.

Gayle says …

Does anyone have a solution for Feline Urinary Tract Infection?? I've seen several remedies online, but I need something i can go get NOW! I've been giving my cat 2 tsp. noni juice, and water through out the day with a syringe to at least make sure she's getting enough water, although she hasn't stopped drinking. If I could afford a Vet, I'd take her, but i won't have that much money for several more weeks.

Helen says …

I've used food grade DE around my fence line and in the garage to deter fleas, it works. Also Orange Oil, mixed in a spray bottle with water (about 1-2 inches, rest is water), I spray this around the inside of the house....plus it makes the house smell nice. I have wall to wall and it doesn't stain the carpet. I've recently read about apple cider vinegar for the dogs' drinking water, just a tablespoon swished around, for overall health, so I plan to try that also.

Sherry Richardson says …

Do you have any information on whether mineral oil is healthy for a dog's itchy skin?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SHERRY - I have researched varying responses to the use of mineral oil so I would encourage you to check with your vet before using this for his itchy skin.

Meredith says …

My boyfriend and I have discovered that our Great Pyrenees have a tic and flea issue. We have upped their visits to the groomers but we are also open to a new flea/tick shampoo when we bathe them at home. They love being indoor/outdoor dogs and we certainly love giving them that life. I want to find options besides the heavy chemicals our vets recommend to protect our dogs as well as our home. Any suggestions? Thanks.

Marlene says …

Do you sell Wheat grass juice for cats ?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARLENE - Our products vary between stores. Check with your local store to see what they have in stock. We should carry liquid wheat grass but I would check with your vet before giving it to your cat!

Barbara says …

My cat is losing hair, He is eating and seems to be alright otherwise We did have a big redorating project done at home and it did upset him however that was 3 weeks ago. Still he has bald spots on the back and neck and one ear. I cannot afford a vet bill at this time. How else can I treat this condition.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@BARBARA - I would suggest reaching out to a health care professional that is an experienced vet. Unfortunately we cannot give advice on specific medical issues.

Beverly Murphy says …

My Italian Greyhound has kidney disease. It is very difficult to find very low protein treats. Also, he has never been a bone chewer. He only likes soft treats. I will try the parsley in his food for bad breath. He cannot have his teeth cleaned as going under anesthesia is dangerous to his kidneys. He is currently on a medicine to help the kidneys process the protein. Thanks.

TAMMY says …

NEED HELP WITH THE OIL REMENDY FOR MY DOGS FLEAS.. PLEASE HELP ME I HEARD OF LAVENDER AND CEDARWOOD WITH WARM WATER .. SPRAY ON THEM ..DO YOU CARRY CEDARWOOD OR IS THERE ANOTHER TYPE? THANK YOU TAMMY

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@TAMMY - Our product options differ between stores. Check with your local store to see if they have this in stock.

K says …

Are there any homemade remedies to clean dogs eyes or homeopathic for dogs eyes? My dog has a problem with one eye the vet says that is not cataracts but it might be a fatty or calcium deposit. She is a toy poodle.

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