Dogs are naturally curious animals who tend to view the world through their mouths, and subsequently, their stomachs. Sometimes this can get your dog into trouble, and a call to the vet is always your first step if you suspect your dog has eaten something dangerous. Fortunately, there are some home remedies for dogs that can help 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, emergency vet, or Pet Poison Helpline. Never induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide without speaking with a vet. However, if the vet suggests inducing vomiting, having a bottle of 3% pharmaceutical hydrogen peroxide nearby will come in handy. 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, walk your dog around, and the vomiting should begin shortly after.
Baking Soda: To Stop Bleeding Nails
Trimming your dog’s nails at home is a great money and time saver, but it takes practice and know-how. If your dog’s nails are dark or black in color, it can be difficult to see the location of the nail’s blood vessels, or “quick.” If you’ve cut too far and draw blood, patting the area with a little baking soda will help clot the blood and stop the bleeding. Corn starch works, too.
Ginger: For an Upset Tummy or Car Sickness
For dogs that get car sickness or have an upset stomach, either a ginger biscuit or ginger capsules can help to settle their stomach. Dogs who get car sick will pant, move around, whine, and vomit while in the car. Giving your dog a ginger cookie or two, depending on the size of the dog, one-half an hour before the car ride can help keep their stomach settled.
Epsom Salt: For Sore Joints or Muscles
Not every visit to the vet falls under the emergency category. 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 unscented epsom salt bath for your dog to ease the sore muscle pain. Use one-half a cup of epsom salt in a warm water 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 a Wound
Dogs get skin irritations, nicks, and abrasions just like we do. It is normal to find minor cuts or scratches on your dog from time to time, just from normal play or explorations in the yard. Witch hazel is a great astringent to have on hand in the medicine cabinet to clean small skin injuries while you monitor the healing process. Some dog grooming wipes include witch hazel as an ingredient, along with other soothing components like aloe vera. If the skin injury worsens, looks swollen, or infected, speak to your vet.
Coconut Oil: Soothing Dry Skin
Coconut oil can help relieve dry skin issues as a food supplement as well as used topically on the skin. Coconut oil is only helpful if the dog’s dry skin issues are seasonal or situational, and not part of a larger allergenic issue. If you think your dog is experiencing dog allergies or allergic rashes, always visit a vet, but if your dog’s skin feels drier as a result of dry indoor air or chapping from the wind, applying coconut oil to the skin, or adding a small amount to your dog’s food, can help. Most dogs enjoy the taste of coconut oil as a food supplement.
Benadryl: For Bug Bites
Insects can be flying toys for your dog, which is fine if the bug your dog is chasing is a harmless housefly. But when that buzzing “toy” is a wasp or a bee, it’s no fun for anyone. For stings on the skin’s surface, you can use a credit card to try to scrape the stinger out, and apply ice or a cold compress to the area. If your dog swallows a stinging insect, call your vet. Benadryl can be helpful for the initial sting, but some reactions can be delayed, and it may not be right for every dog. A consult with your veterinarian is the best course of action.
Bread and Pumpkin: For Swallowed Objects
Broken glass and sharp objects are a scary proposition around dogs. If you believe your dog has swallowed a sharp object, call your vet and ask to have your dog X-rayed and checked. If the object was small, or you’re unsure if they swallowed it, your vet may advise you to try feeding your dog bread with pumpkin puree or sweet potato baby food to help your dog pass the object. 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. Consult your vet for the best course of action.
Imodium, Pepto-Bismol, or Pumpkin: Diarrhea
Dogs eat things they shouldn’t all the time, and sometimes they end up with diarrhea as a result. If you’re concerned your dog may have eaten something poisonous, consult with your vet or emergency vet first. For occasional diarrhea, human over-the-counter medications for diarrhea may help, but you should consult with your vet before you use them, especially if your dog takes other medications or has other health issues. Pure pumpkin puree is a home remedy for dog diarrhea that is generally safe for all dogs, and is something you probably have on the shelf. Just 1-4 tablespoons or pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) mixed with bland food like plain, white rice can help stop the episode.
Petroleum Jelly: For Wounds and Preventing Ice on Paws
Winter can be rough on dogs. The cold, ice, and street salt can wreak havoc on the paw pads. Petroleum jelly can help protect raw skin on the paw pads, and also prevent ice balls from forming between paw pads as you walk through the snow. The petroleum jelly locks moisture in, helping the wound to heal.