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DIY Pet Remedies: Separating the Fact from the Fiction

Who doesn’t want to save a few bucks? When it comes to do-it-yourself at home pet remedies, there is no shortage of suggestions. But, how do you separate the good advice from the mythical, or even downright dangerous?

Join us at West Park Animal Hospital as we put some ineffective DIY pet remedies to rest.

Taking on Pet Skin Woes

A common and often frustrating woe for many a pet parent, skin trouble is the focus of several DIY pet remedies. Many of these suggestions, however, are less than effective and a few may cause more harm than good. Take for example:

Changing your pet’s food – Dogs and cats can certainly have food allergies, although they are not as common as the pet-owning public might believe. For pets with food allergies, simply switching store brands is not a good idea for a few reasons. Over-the-counter diets are not manufactured in the same manner prescription diets are, leaving your food trial to be inconclusive. Also, exposing your pet to a variety of novel proteins, such as lamb, fish, or venison, can limit our options when conducting a true food trial.

Battling fleas with garlic – While garlic is touted all over the internet as a natural way to repel fleas, there simply isn’t any scientific evidence that this is true. In high doses garlic can also be toxic to pets. With the number of safe and effective options for flea preventatives available to us, there simply isn’t any reason to chance it.

At home concoctions for treating ear trouble – It may be tempting to use a homemade solution to clean your pet’s ears, but sometimes these are not all they are cracked up to be. In particular, the rubbing alcohol in many of these solutions can be drying and burn irritated ears. The bubbling action of hydrogen peroxide can startle may pets, making handling the ears more difficult down the road.

DIY Pet Remedies for Tummy Trouble

Pets also tend to experience their fair share of tummy troubles. Think twice before trying at home remedies for an upset stomach.

Offering milk – For some reason people like to think that offering a dish of milk is good for an upset stomach. Animals are lactose intolerant, though, and milk (other than that of their mothers) is liable to cause stomach issues rather than help them.

Inducing vomiting – There are times when administering hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting is recommended. It is important to always do so under the guidance of a veterinarian, however, as there are some objects and substances that should not be vomited. Hydrogen peroxide can also cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract and, depending on the situation, it is usually safer for the pet to come to the hospital to have vomiting induced in a safer manner.

Giving the pink stuff – Pepto Bismol used to be a go-to for pet owners with animals who had queasy stomachs. The formulation now contains salicylates, however, which are aspirin derivatives that may result in serious side-effects.

Trying to troubleshoot pet problems yourself may be tempting, but many times they just aren’t worth the trouble. DIY pet remedies rarely result in a fix, and often just delays your pet receiving the proper care.

In the case of some itchy skin, besides your pet needlessly being uncomfortable, there may be no harm done. In other situations, though, such as a foreign object being stuck in the digestive tract, trying to fix things at home wastes valuable time and may result in a poor prognosis.

We want your pet to be at his or her best and are always happy to help you achieve that goal. Give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s care and for advice about any DIY pet remedies you may be tempted to try.

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