10 Must-Know Alternative Medicines for Pets
When I rescued my puppy Ghost, I woke up one morning to find her paralyzed. She had tested negative for distemper after being rescued from a shelter that had had an outbreak. When our family vet told us her condition was untreatable, as it had already reached her nervous system, we turned to a naturopath. After a cocktail of colloidal silver, herbs, and minerals, she was fully recovered in five days; on top of that, it cost virtually nothing. After Ghost's recovery, I was sold on holistic cures for man's best friend. Keep scrolling to read my favorite fixes. (Bonus? They're affordable.)
Colloidal silver is a liquid antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal that is safe for humans and pets alike. Composed of submicroscopic silver particles suspended in a liquid base, it prevents a range of conditions from bacterial and viral infections to eye and lung infections. It can be used topically as a wound cleaner or taken orally. I can attest firsthand it will cure distemper in puppies.
If your pet ingests something it shouldn't such as aspirin or chocolate, treatment for a poisoned dog or cat can be a simple dose of activated charcoal. My dog will swallow an activated charcoal pill without even wrapping it in food. It’s tasteless. If your pet is more finicky, wrap the pill in a small piece of cheese. Do not give your dog charcoal if they have been poisoned with oil. Otherwise, charcoal may be given multiple times if necessary. You will need to give them about 10 times as much charcoal as poison to detox their system fully. If the poisoning results in vomiting, the animal will be dehydrated. Give them a small bowl of coconut water every few hours to replenish electrolytes and minerals. About 25% of poisoned pets recover in two hours, if their symptoms persist, consult your vet.
Ear infections are among the top non–life threatening illnesses to prompt a vet visit. A variety of factors can contribute to sporadic or chronic ear infections in pets. Anything from a malnourished diet to water trapped in the canal post-grooming could be a factor. Chronic ear infections can also stem from food allergies. If left unchecked, candida, an overgrowth of bad bacteria, causes yeast to grow. Your pet could also acquire an ear infection from hormonal imbalance, stress, over-scratching, a buildup of earwax, or a suppressed immune system.
Allopathic veterinarians generally prescribe antibiotics for an ear infection. While this may clear up the topical infection, it will not address a systemic candida problem and can damage your pet's overall intestinal health if the medication is not immediately followed by a probiotic. Garlic oil can be used to treat bacterial infections, eliminate ear mite infestations, and treat inner-ear swelling and fluid.
For any ear infections, you can make a homemade remedy by combining olive oil with a clove of garlic. Add to an eyedropper and apply a few drops to the ear canal two to three times a day.
Your pet’s healthy flora in their intestines is the linchpin to health. Probiotics not only protect against gastrointestinal problems, they ensure your pet is effectively absorbing vitamins and minerals. The immune-boosting properties will ward off infections, improve overall health, and fight weight gain. If your pet undergoes a round of antibiotics or you have just taken home a rescue, placing them on a probiotic is a great way to realign their digestive heath. In addition to supplements, often administered in powder form sprinkled over food, you can also feed your pet raw goat's milk to replenish good flora. In my experience, puppies love it.
This detoxing clay helps animals overcome many of the same conditions as humans. It aids in a host of illnesses including arthritis, allergies, rashes, digestive issues, and parasites. It can be ingested as a parasite detox or applied topically to cuts and infections. Just add a few drops of water to a tablespoon of clay to make a soothing salve for bug bites.
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally formed sedimentary mineral rock composed from the cementation of microscopic algae-like plants. A natural source of silica, it promotes vital organ function, heart and skin health, and is a natural pesticide. It is an organic pest control—sprinkling a bit on your pet's food will discourage fleas and other harmful bugs. No more flea collars!
If you’re traveling with a pet or just have an animal prone to high anxiety, lavender oil has a calm, soothing effect. Apply a few drops to the back of the neck or top of the head for a relaxing spa moment for man’s best friend. Bonus, they’ll smell lovely.
Pets metabolize toxins and oils differently than humans. Be sure to purchase safe essential oil remedies from a reputable source. The wrong purification can stress their liver and kidneys. I personally use Young Living essential oils on my pet. Clove oil is naturally antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral. It can burn the skin if not diluted. Mix with a bit of coconut oil and apply topically to spider bites to avoid infection.
A blend of lemongrass, citronella, rosemary, lavandin, myrtle, and melaleuca essential oils, Young Living’s Purification Oil is a homemade remedy for pet odor. Gentle on the skin, it can be applied topically or diffused into the air. If entertaining, it’s the perfect before and after tincture. Topically, it acts as an insect repellant. Use a small drop on your pet's skin to treat flea and mosquito bites.
Good fats and omega-3s are pillars of any well-rounded diet. Adding a tablespoon of cod liver oil to your pet's meal will improve overall brain health as well as give them a full, silky coat. Naturally high in vitamins A and D, it boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, promotes weight loss, lowers blood pressure, and supports organ health. Safe for humans and pets alike, consult your vet to calculate the appropriate dose based your dog's health history and body weight.
Have a natural pet remedy to share? Tell us in the comments below.