by A. Grano on August 18th, 2010 at 7:00 am
Just as we try and mitigate minor ailments of our own at home, we can do the same for our pets! While pet owners should always consult a veterinarian for serious health concerns and regular checkups, there are many at-home remedies you can try in between visits to help keep your dog or cat healthy!
Check out a few tips for general health in dogs and cats below, including some that were featured on a PetAlive by Native Remedies segment for WSFL-TV’s The Morning Show!
Freshen breath & aid digestion
Many times, pets may have bad breath as a result of eating certain foods, after exercising, or upon waking (just like people!). Help alleviate this problem naturally by putting a few sprigs of mint in your pet’s water bowl to help freshen breath. As an added bonus, mint also assists with digestion.
Other great natural remedies for promoting good breath include Cleavers, an herb which stimulates natural cleansing and aids in the efficient removal of waste products, and Sweet fennel, which is commonly used as a popular ingredient in herbal toothpastes.
However, make sure to exclude any health factors that may be causing your pet’s bad breath, which may be a sign of tooth decay or plaque. Conditions such as diabetes, respiratory disease and bacterial infections may also cause bad breath. Regularly brush your pet’s teeth, and if the problem persists, schedule a professional cleaning and evaluation.
Soothe your pet’s eyes
Just like humans, our pets are susceptible to many of the same eye conditions, including glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, and eye infections. However, not all eye problems are a cause for concern, and sometimes pets’ eyes may become mildly irritated from the environment, such as dryness caused by indoor air conditioning or outdoor allergens. Normal discharge from the eyes can also build up and lead to discomfort.
Help your pet by trying this at-home remedy: Soak a chamomile tea bag in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes, allow to cool to lukewarm temperature, and then clean the your pet’s eyes with a cotton swab. Wipe from the inside out and use a new swab for each eye to clean and soothe eyes and help to fight infection.
If you have any concerns with your pet’s vision or if they are still experiencing symptoms of discomfort after some at-home care, consult your vet.
Help prevent obesity
It can be hard to keep your pet’s weight under control, especially as they age. Often, we give in to allowing them to eat table scraps, which can quickly add up to empty calories. Be sure to feed your pet a balanced diet that is suitable for his or her weight, age, and activity level to avoid obesity, which can lead to many other health problems, from joint problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia to pancreatitis and liver disease. Also make sure that your pet gets sufficient exercise.
Using the same common sense as we would for ourselves, home remedies can occasionally provide quick, low-cost support for families on a budget and provide your pet with some fast relief! Note: When in doubt, always consult your vet.
Please post any home pet remedies you’d like to share!