Dogs are naturally curious animals and tend to view the world through their mouths, and to that extent, their stomachs. This can lead to some panic moments for many dog owners when they discover their reading glasses have gone missing with a very suspicious trail of broken shards leading to the dog bed. A call to the vet is always the best idea, but there are some items we have around the house that can ease your dog’s pain until you get to the vet’s office.
Hydrogen Peroxide: To Induce Vomiting
If you suspect your dog has consumed something poisonous, the first thing to do is call your vet or emergency vet and speak with her about it. Never induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide without speaking with a vet. However, if the vet suggests inducing vomiting, having a bottle of hydrogen peroxide nearby will come in handy. Always use the 3 percent pharmaceutical kind, not the hair dye. Never attempt to induce vomiting if it has been longer than two hours since your dog has ingested the poison, as it will already have moved to the small intestine. Never induce vomiting if the substance is bleach, drain cleaner, or a petroleum distillate, since all of these poisons will create a secondary burn on the way back up. Use only 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight given orally and walk your dog around, and the vomiting should begin shortly after.
Baking Soda: To Stop the Bleeding When You Trim Too Close to the Quick
Trimming your dog's nails at home is a great money and time saver. But sometimes the darkness of the nail makes it difficult to see when you've cut too close to the quick until that little drop of blood informs you that you've gone too far. Patting the area with a little baking soda will clot the blood and stop the bleeding.
Ginger: For an Upset Tummy or Car Sickness
For dogs that get car sickness or have an upset stomach, either a ginger cookie or a few natural form capsules of ginger can help to settle their stomach. Dogs who get car sick pant, move around, whine, and vomit while in the car. Giving him a ginger cookie or two, depending on the size of the dog, one-half an hour before the car ride will help keep his stomach settled.
Epsom Salt: For Sore Joints or Muscles
Not every visit to the vet falls under the emergency tab. For example, your dog might have a slight limp, but you can't get an appointment for several days. For the days prior to the vet visit, you can use an Epsom salt bath to ease the sore muscle pain. Use one-half a cup of Epsom salt in a warm bath twice a day. For dogs that might not be convinced that a warm bath is a good idea, use the same concept by soaking a warm washcloth, and gently applying it to the area of discomfort.
Witch Hazel: To Clean and Disinfect a Wound
Dogs get hot spots, and they may get into all manner of trouble some days. It is natural for you to find little wounds on your dog from time to time. Witch hazel is a great disinfectant to have in the medicine cabinet to clean up the little things as you monitor progress of the healing process. There are little pads of witch hazel you can use for dogs, if the dog is a little anxious about being treated.
Coconut Oil: Dry Skin and Antibacterial to Wounds
Coconut oil can relieve dry skin issues because it works inside and outside the dog. This remedy works only if the dry skin issues are seasonal or situational, and not part of a larger allergenic issue. For dog allergies or rashes, always go visit a vet, but for the times when the radiator heat becomes too much, or to soothe your dog’s skin before a vet visit, applying a little coconut oil to the skin or mixing a few drops into his food can reduce some dryness.
A bonus is that coconut oil is also an antibacterial and can be applied to raw wounds, as well.
Antihistamine and Benadryl: For Bug Bites
Insects are nothing more than tiny flying toys for your dog. Which is fine if the bug is a harmless common housefly, but when that “flying toy” is a wasp or a bee, it is a little more dangerous. For external stings, use a credit card to try to scrape the stinger out and apply an antihistamine to the area. For the times when your dog swallows a stinging bug, call your vet. Benadryl is good for the initial sting, but some reactions could be delayed, so a quick visit to the vet's office is for the best.
Bread and Pumpkin: For Swallowing Sharp Objects
Nothing strikes fear into a dog owner's heart the way broken glass around their dog does. Once you realize your dog has swallowed a sharp object, call your vet and have your dog X-rayed and checked. If you’re not sure he swallowed something, or it wasn’t a very large object that might require surgery, try feeding your dog whole wheat bread or white bread with a little bit of pumpkin or sweet potato to help him pass the object. The bread bulks up the stool to protect your dog’s digestive tract, and the pumpkin or sweet potato helps to keep everything moving along quickly.
Imodium/Peptobismal: Can't Stop Going
Dogs eat things they shouldn’t all the time. Sometimes, we as the owners know what they ate, and sometimes we have no idea why our dog has suddenly turned into a little bathroom machine. Imodium or Pepto-Bismol® can help to stop the continuous flow and reset the internal system. Make sure to give only gentle foods when you do give your dog food again, like plain rice and low-sodium chicken broth, and keep your dog hydrated with water or ice.
Petroleum Jelly: For Wounds and Preventing Ice Formation
Winter can be rough on dogs. The cold, ice, and street salt can wreak havoc on the paw pads. Petroleum jelly can help treat the raw wounds on the paw pads, and also keeps ice formations from forming on the pads as you walk through the snow-covered streets. The petroleum jelly locks moisture in, allowing the wound to heal.