Inexpensive Remedies for Common Dog Ailments

When it comes to dogs and cats, I take a pretty holistic approach to health. My philosophy with otherwise healthy animals is, natural is always better. Particularly in the Nashville region, I’ve noticed that more and more veterinarians are giving their clients a choice between western and holistic medicine approaches to their pet care.

Over the years, I’ve found several great articles on natural remedies for common dog ailments. Not only do they make sense (I’ve used them all), the ingredients to the remedies are pretty inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere. Keep in mind, I’ve discussed each of the remedies listed below with my Veterinarian before using them. Because each dog is different in breed, size and weight, I urge you to do the same. Regardless, below is a snapshot of easy and inexpensive solutions to help any dog who might be feeling a little under the weather:

Dry and Itchy Skin

Go to your favorite health or vitamin store and get yourself a bottle Scratchingof vitamin E oil. You can apply it directly to the dog’s skin or mix it with bath water when giving Fido a bath. I’ve read articles that suggested that you can also apply vitamin E orally. However, I’d be a little careful with that. I would certainly check with my Vet before giving my dog a vitamin E pill since dogs come in all sizes and weights. Yes (believe it or not), it is possible to overdose on vitamin pills, particularly fat-soluble pills like vitamin E.

Vomiting and Doggy Diarrhea

If your dog is experiencing mild to moderate vomiting or diarrhea but is still drinking water (if not, call the Vet immediately), consider adding flavorless electrolytes to Fido’s water. Vomiting and diarrhea causes dehydration. And severe dehydration can watercause problems. Electrolytes will add essential minerals including calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium and sodium ions) that are essential to health.

However, WATER is still the most important nutrient for a body. Before going out and investing money on an expensive electrolyte supplement, boil some water and mix in a couple of pinches of quality sea salt (a primary electrolyte) and let it dissolve. Cool it down by placing it in the freezer for a few minutes. Then mix it in Fido’s water.

If you want to add commercial electrolytes to your dog’s water, you can find some inexpensive, quality pediatric electrolytes (unflavored) at neighborhood stores like Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens. Still, I would mix one part electrolyte water with one part regular water just to be safe.

Intestinal Health

I can’t say enough about plain yogurt. PetMD, for instance, recommends it and I’ve given it to Skye. When Skye was younger, he would sometimes get yeast infections. By giving him some plain yogurt (as a treat), his yeast infections would clear up pretty quickly. The live acidophilus in yogurt keeps the good bacteria in the dog’s intestines in balance, so that bad bacteria is eliminated.

Upset Tummies or Irritated Skin

Does your puppy have a tummy ache? Give him a little Chamomile tea. It’s great for colic, gas and anxiety. The tea is also great for minor skin irritations. Make up a mixture, chill it to cool it down and put it in a spray bottle. Simply spray onto the affected area on the dog’s skin. Your dog should feel its immediate soothing affect. Also, a warm tea bag can be used for soothing irritated eyes.


I hate it when my dog itches. He goes around rubbing his sides and back against the couch and it drives me crazy. At first, I used the backscratcher (if you can believe it). But after a while, using a backscratcher gets a pretty old. I found an article that suggested grinding up some oatmeal in a food processor and mixing it into a bath of warm water. By letting your dog soak in it, the relief is almost instant.

Dog WoundsBath

Epsom Salt is wonderful for healing wounds for both humans and dogs. A bath consisting of Epsom salt and warm water will reduce the swelling and healing time, especially if it’s combined with prescribed antibiotics. If that’s not convenient, dip a clean towel in a mixture of warm water and Epsom salt and place it on the wound for the same effect.


I may be criticized for what I’m about to say, but a lot of these horribly expensive parasiticides are questionable in safety (the dog might experience severe side effects) and actual performance. I finally found two brands (one for fleas, mosquitoes and heartworm prevention and one for ticks) that Skye could take without any side effects. Unfortunately, I had to take out a small loan in order to afford them.Flea

If your dog is already on flea and tick prevention and you’re satisfied, then ignore this section. However for those of you looking for an alternative, I highly recommend lemon.

First let me qualify a few things, Skye is kept mainly inside the house. I do not put him on a chain in the back yard for hours at a time. We take our regular walks; play ball and do potty breaks, but afterwards he’s brought indoors. So, fleas aren’t normally a problem. But if I do see one, I make up a lemon spray mixture.

I buy a half dozen of lemons, roughly cut them up, place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them, allowing them to steep overnight. The next morning, I’ll spray the mixture all over Skye’s body. Not only does he smell great, fleas are repelled by the citrus. Sometimes I even add a little Brewer’s yeast to his food (powdered form). This also seems to work well.

Admittedly, ticks are a pain in the butt. Whenever we get back from walks I do a thorough tick inspection. Most of the times I can get rid of them before they embed themselves onto his skin. Even if I find one that’s embedded, I remove it immediately using tweezers and a little Vaseline. Consider, it actually takes at least 5 hours before a tick can do any harm to a dog.

I urge you to discuss any of these remedies with your Veterinarian before trying them. Remember, all dogs are different. Your Vet, who already knows your dog, can best guide you towards the right direction.

If you have any home remedies you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment or go to my Facebook page for others to read. The more information we have as pet owners, the happier our pets will be.


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