Home Remedies for Pets

Remedies for Fleas, Dry Skin, Cuts, Skunk Spray, and More

October 24, 2018
home-remedies-for-pets

Here are some valuable home remedies for dogs and cats that can keep your pet’s tail wagging and save you an unnecessary trip to the vet.

Home Remedies for Fleas

Use these home remedies to get rid of fleas on pets and in the home. Remember: He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.

  • Place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. Any fleas you sweep up will stay put in there.
  • If you don’t want to use a flea collar with insecticides, active ingredients such as cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, and marigold won’t exterminate fleas, but will deter them.
  • Give your dog a flea bath with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb him down thoroughly while he’s in the water so the fleas drown.
  • As a flea deterrent, try adding a teaspoon of vinegar to each quart of the animal’s drinking water. It helps keep pets free of fleas and ticks but is not harmful to the pet itself. Learn about the other helpful household uses for vinegar.
  • Sprinkle borate powder into crevices of couches and chairs.
  • Stock your yard with off-leaf larvae-eating nematodes (available at pet and garden stores). Nematodes will also help to bring down your Japanese beetle population.
  • Getting proper nutrition for your pets is the best flea prevention. Add brewer’s yeast to your pet’s food, as well as essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. Check out these tips for proper pet nutrition.
  • Spray window and door screens with distilled water containing several drops of bitter orange essential oil. (Fleas hate citrus scent and will avoid crawling in through the screens.)
  • Learn everything you need to know about fleas. Try this page for even more home remedies for fleas.

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Photo Credit: Crestock.

Itchiness: Dry Skin on Dogs and Cats

  • Oatmeal Bath: Put uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking and run a tubful of warm water over it. Soak your dog (cats will rarely let you do this) in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Oatmeal-based shampoos are also available at pet stores. Find out more about oatmeal’s soothing benefits.
  • Aloe Vera: Break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick juice directly to the raw area. Do not let your pet lick the area, as aloe vera can cause vomiting when ingested. Learn more about the benefits of aloe vera or how to grow your own aloe vera plant.
  • Aggravated skin sores, also known as hot spots, can make your pet miserable. If you see a hot spot developing, clip about one-half to one inch around the sore to prevent hair and other dirt from further aggravating it. Clean the sore with hydrogen peroxide on gauze or a cotton ball, and after it dries, spray the area with cortisone cream. Do this twice a day until the sore starts to dry out or a scab begins to form.

Home Treatment for Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions

  • Mix together 1 pint water, ½-teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon calendula tincture.
  • Soak an injured paw in the solution. If the wound is on the body, put the solution in a squirt bottle or large syringe and gently apply it to the injured area.
  • Repeat the soaking or application every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

Home Treatment for Bites and Scratches

For serious bites and scratches, take your pet to the vet. For smaller wounds:

  • Rinse out the fresh wounds and punctures with large amounts of this solution: 1 pint water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • Hydrogen peroxide may also be used to clean wounds, but it can damage delicate tissues.
  • Cat wounds are notorious for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, clean it with with Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Always wear latex gloves while handling an abscess.

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How to Heal Tissue Trauma

  • If your pet falls, gets stepped on, is in a fight, or is otherwise bruised, the common homeopathic remedy arnica can speed recovery. Give two pellets of arnica 30c once per hour for three hours following the injury.

What to Do if a Pet Is Choking

You can perform the Heimlich maneuver on animals.

  • Lift a small pet, or reach over the back of a large one and raise the back legs, so that the rear end is elevated over the head.
  • Place your hands around the lowest part of the chest and give a quick, gentle thrust inward and upward. 
  • Remember to scale the force of your thrust to the size of your pet. For small pets, imagine you are performing this on an infant or toddler.

Pet Indigestion or Loose Stool

  • When your dog scavenges something from the compost pile, it irritates the bowel, creating nerve impulses that signal the gut to speed up. When food moves too quickly through the gut, the result is loose stools. In dogs and cats with chronic inflammatory bowel disease, the gut responds as if irritated at the slightest stress or change of diet.
  • The herb slippery elm, available as powder or capsules, coats the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, counteracting the irritation and allowing stools to firm up. Put 1 tablespoon of the powder (break open capsules) into 1 pint of water and bring to a boil to thicken. Let it cool, and administer by mouth. Give a teaspoon or less to small pets and several tablespoons to large dogs every 2 to 4 hours, until the gut settles down (usually 8 to 24 hours).
  • Also, be sure to check our list of foods that are poisonous to pets so that you can keep your furry friends from too many stomach aches.

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Burrs in Fur: Tips for Grooming

  • For dogs, comb the burrs in their fur with a metal comb immediately. If burrs are badly tangled, rub vegetable oil on your fingers and work the lubrication slowly through the fur until you can pull the burrs out.
  • Cats typically will want to take care of their own grooming, but you can help by gently working through the mess with a wire brush. Most cats won’t let you cut the fur or lubricate it the way a dog will. (We suggest wearing long sleeves… Maybe even two layers.)

Remedies for Itchy Ears

  • Aloe vera or the contents of a vitamin E capsule can soothe red or inflamed areas of the ear.
  • A gentle cleaning with a cotton swab or gauze dipped into vegetable oil can help to remove a buildup of wax and dirt.
  • Remember that dog and cat ear canals take a right-angle turn at the base of the ear, and be careful not to jam anything deep into the ear canal.

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Home Remedies for Sore or Runny Eyes

  • A simple rinse of saline solution can help a mild eye irritation. Continue eye drops every four hours, until clear.
  • If symptoms persist, consult with your vet.

How to Ease Pet Arthritis

  • Massage helps to relieve muscle tension that contributes to pain. Be gentle. Start from the center of the body and work your way outward. If feet are too sensitive, leave them alone.
  • Nutritional research suggests that supplements containing chondroitin sulfate and glucosaminoglycans can help inflamed or damaged joints. Check with your vet or health-food store.
  • Egg-crate foam and other creature comforts can bring relief to older and arthritic pets. Buy enough foam for two or three beds, cover the foam with washable covers (easy to make from old towels), and put them into the places your pet likes to sleep.
  • Find more tips about caring for an elderly pet.
  • How old is your dog? Find out your dog’s age in dog years with our dog age conversion chart.

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How to Get Rid of Skunk Spray on Pets

  • Bathe your dog in a mixture of 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap. Work the solution into the fur (avoiding eyes), then rinse.
  • To rid the stench from your pet, douse him with tomato juice, leaving it on for several minutes before rinsing it off. For a large dog, a single washing can require several cans of tomato juice. You may have to repeat the procedure, but the odor will eventually work itself out of your pet’s coat.
  • Get more tips for dealing with that gross skunk spray smell.

Check out these tips for pet home safety so that you never have to use these home remedies! Also, try our ideas for pet-proofing your home.

Is your pet a bit overweight? Check out these tips to help them lose the pounds.

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Note: The Old Farmer’s Almanac does not have professional vets on staff, so please do not inquire about serious pet health issues on this page. Contact a vet immediately if your pet develops serious symptoms, such as trouble breathing, urinating, or moving, or if s/he shows signs of shaking or weakness, seizures, confusion, fever, vomiting (unless it’s a hairball), swelling, deep wounds, bleeding in urine or poop, or other ailments that may indicate that the pet requires prompt attention. If your vet office is not open during an emergency, there are 24-hour veterinary hospitals that you can call for advice; check with your vet beforehand to get the number of one, or search online. If your financial resources are limited, your vet may be able to work with you to develop a payment plan. There are also other options for financial assistance, including pet insurance (for future ailments); for advice, consult a local animal shelter or local branch of an animal welfare association, such as The Humane Society.

What are some of your favorite home remedies for your pets?

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

My cat(5years) has a lot of

My cat(5years) has a lot of fleas and has been scratching to the point were she had been cutting herself while she scratches and little patches of hair is falling off in the parts she scratches. She also sleeps all day and only comes out from under the bed once or twice then goes back to sleep.

My cat's wound does not heal.

My cat's wound does not heal. She has a wound in her tummy. I took her to the vet and the vet gave her the cat cone. It worked for the first two weeks but now she can reach the scab and once again she began licking it.
Are there any home remedies that will prevent her from licking her wound? I don't know what else to do. I've tried bandages, plasters with bitter taste etc....
Thanky you

Hey Andrea! In my experience

Hey Andrea!

In my experience cat's don't fiddle with a wound unless there is a problem; its entirely possible the wound is abcessing and your cat is attempting to reopen the wound to release the pus and trapped toxins. This might be worth a return trip to the vet to rule out an abcess.

My dog has IBD. Can I give

My dog has IBD. Can I give her baking soda? I have heard that baking soda is used to cure cancer and I am afraid my dog can end up having cancer.

We'd recommend that you talk

We'd recommend that you talk to your vet about this; they may know how/if baking soda can react with dogs internally; if it might help/hinder IBD; and if it is safe, what the recommended dosage and frequency would be for your dog's health condition, size, age, and breed.
As for humans, the American Cancer Society says this about baking soda and cancer:
http://www.cancer.org/treatmen...

Do not live in fear; fear

Do not live in fear; fear does not protect-faith does. Our wonderful God who created us and our pets, loves our pets as we do. Pray over you pet. Receive Jesus into your heart. As for IBD, I would personally try using Colloidal Silver orally for your pet. I have a cat who had/has systemic fungal infection and a red growth in his mouth. I have been treating him for awhile but the fungal infection was really showing on his coat. I just about 2wks ago decided to try colloidal silver as it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti a lot of other things. I have been giving him about 1cc a day in a syringe without a needle 2xday & his skin is clearing up magnificently. I have lost at least 2 or 3cats to IBD in the past, now knowing about the colloidal silver then. I really feel this could help a lot. After much research and looking at a comparison chart done by a company not associated with any particular brand, the brand which shows the best ratings is Mesosilver 20 ppm. I usually get it from Colloids for Life-lowest shipping and great service.

Hey Angela! You can safely

Hey Angela!

You can safely give your dog baking soda - one half teaspoon into one litre of water is a maintenance dose to help balance PH; a crisis dose would be one teaspoon into one litre for up to 5 days.

The bigger issue for a cancer concern is a correct diagnosis; if your concerns are valid, then quick surgical intervention may be needed to spare your dog further pain and discomfort and save his life.

Hello my dog got bit by a dog

Hello my dog got bit by a dog & his wound is closed and healed but i noticed this ball were his wound is , its inflammation or something im not sure/: please help !

Hey Kimberly! It sounds like

Hey Kimberly!

It sounds like your dog's healing wound is abcessing and infection is trapped inside the healed over wound. You *might* try to lance it, but unless you know what you are doing you might just ended up getting bitten. If it does not go down in a day or two I would take my dog to the vet as worst case scenario the abcess goes septic/blood poisoning and you could lose your dog.

I have used Pet Alive Detox

I have used Pet Alive Detox Plus formula for my one cat, who is neutered, but in summer often gets in spats and ends up either with an abcess or one time, I felt some large tumor like growths on him; I was scared at 1st thinking the C word-I gave him the Detox formula as directed and they went away. I am thinking now it could have been internal abcesses & my budget would have been too small for major vet intervention, anyway. The thing for me was to keep giving the remedy for several days after I could no longer feel the lumps. This has happened twice with this cat & the 1st time, the lumps came back quickly. I believe I did not give him the remedy long enough. Also Pet Alive makes C-caps for any pets who may have been diagnosed with cancer. Just for knowledge-my one cat years ago was savagely bit/mauled by a dog. He had 2 major surgeries from this and several years later developed cancer in the injury area. So I would use the Detox for sure to make sure toxins & such are out of a pet's system. Hope this helps!

Have old cat now deaf, has a

Have old cat now deaf, has a limp, sleeps most of the time. Appetite alright as long as food pointed out to him. However the last 24/48 hours has seen a new and unpleasant problem arise. Yesterday the crows were up in the tree over him.Today he has been covered in flies which I discovered are horribly laying eggs on him. I've put diluted penny royal on him but this did not work altogether. Tomorrow I shall try apple cider vinegar (as noted in a post elsewhere for dogs). Some would say the solution would be to keep him in doors but he would absolutely hate this and be more distressing to him than the flies (which he doesn't seem to notice, yet anyway). Him being covered in flies however distresses me therefore if anyone knows a good fly deterrent that I can use on him, I would gratefully appreciate the input. I can't seem to find anything on line about flies on cats (lots for dogs). He may be sleeping the rain sometimes,(sometimes he takes shelter in the carport) I'd rather he didn't sleep in the rain but can accept it, I cannot accept the flies covering him however as if he were already dead. Bartholemew has been a great cat, he was a rescue cat and has had 11 years with us on acreage after an earlier life as a farm cat. So please no 'keep him indoors' as advice, that is not who he is. Also there are no flies anywhere else, just finding him. I've had a few cats (older rescue ones who have passed) but never come across such a problem before and asking around I haven't found anyone else whose experienced it either. Thanks.

Depending on what type of

The Editors's picture

Depending on what type of flies these are, they may be biting flies or flies that are attracted to sores, feces/urine/saliva, matted fur, etc. Check to make sure that he does not have any wounds that might be attracting them; these would require immediate treatment.
If no sores/wounds are found: Older cats may not groom themselves as often. Therefore, there might be something on the coat that is attracting the flies. You might try bathing the cat (be sure to dry him thoroughly, for his health) to clean him of any possible material that might be attracting the flies. Ask a vet as to the best way to go about it (use lukewarm water), or have a pet groomer bathe him. He might also be visiting an area that flies like, and that plant residue or other material might be getting on his coat.
In case you haven't seen it, this Web site discusses various fly problems of animals:
http://www.merckmanuals.com/pe...
Hope this helps!
Best wishes,
The Old Farmer's Almanac team

I found this site on line,

I found this site on line, tho their product does not seem to say the product for cats keeps flies away. You could try sending them an email tho: http://atlastflyspray.com/
If your cat has a tumor, you could try the Colloidal Silver I mentioned in another recent comment to another person. It is amazing for a lot of different ailments-from very serious to not so serious. The product I have researched as being top notch is Mesosilver 20 ppm. Hope this helps

I don't see a home remedy for

I don't see a home remedy for mange mites, be they sarcoptic or demodectic, so I thought I would offer one that has worked for me.

This is Ted's Mange remedy, found on the Earth Clinic website.

Ingredients:
Borax laundry booster - the plain stuff with NO scent.
1 -16 oz bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide

I get both of these from the grocery store.

Process:
Empty hydrogen peroxide into larger bottle - I use an empty 1 gallon vinegar jug. Add to this 32 oz filtered or distilled water - I just refill the hydrogen peroxide bottle twice - and dump into the jug. What this does is change your 3% hydrogen peroxide into 1% hydrogen peroxide.

Next add 1 cup of the borax crystals and shake. There should be some undissolved crystals in the mixed solution - this is just right. I try to use hot water from the kettle on the stove, that or sit the jug of mixture in the sink full of hot water while I bathe the dog.

NEXT:
Bathe the dog - use whatever shampoo and rinse well. Squeeze out excess water and make sure the tub is drained. I then plug up the tub. Now pour the mixed up solution over the dog. I use a small sponge to soak up the solution from the bottom of the tub and squeeze it out onto the dog again and again, making sure I get the head and underneath. Keep squeezing solution over and over onto the dog for about 15 minutes - 30 minutes is better. Then pull the stopper from the tub and let the excess drain. DO NOT DRY THE DOG OR RINSE THE DOG. The solution has to remain wet as it is still working. Allow the dog to air dry. I just pop mine into their crates and I remove any absorbent bedding.

If you are worried about poisoning your dog keep in mind that borax has the same toxicity as table salt. The solution doesn't seem to hurt the eyes or sting any sores on the skin. Some dogs feel instant relief!

Dip the dog 2-3 times the first week, and then once per week for up to 2 months; 8 dips should resolve the issue and if it does not, then you likely are not dealing with mites OR the environment is reinfecting the pet and needs to be addressed as well to resolve the issue.

Hi, I have had cats and dogs

Hi,
I have had cats and dogs all my life, and I am absolutely puzzled. Inside my home currently I have four cats, and one Sheltie, this dog has been with us for over a year and is a rescue animal. She is about nine years old and is very attached to me. We have worked together to decrease her anxiety. The last three weeks she has been peeing in the house, and will even walk as she goes. There is no warning, and often it is right after she drinks. She does not act as though she is in pain. Right now our funds are so tight that I don't have enough to go to a vet, even our own vet will not allow payments. So, I am open to ideas and suggestions. Thank you.

Although we are not

The Editors's picture

Although we are not veterinarians, could it be that your dog might have a urinary tract infection? You can search online for "urinary tract infection" and "dog" for some more information about this. Or, it could be something else that is upsetting her (physical or emotional).
Would your vet (or vet technician) be able to at least offer some advice over the phone? Would there be another vet in the area that would allow payments over time?
The ASPCA has some advice on financial aid for vet bills. See the following, then under "Pet Care" see "Financial Help With My Vet Bills"
http://www.aspca.org/about-us/...
The Humane Society has a page as well:
http://www.humanesociety.org/a...
Local animal shelters may also be able to advise you about care or aid.
Hope this helps!

My 7 years old daughters two

My 7 years old daughters two 8 month old kittens have worms, safest home remedy needed asap

Please contact a vet. Worms

The Editors's picture

Please contact a vet. Worms can be dangerous in kittens and young pets. It is important to treat intestinal parasites in your pet because they can be transmitted to humans. The vet will identify which type of worm (as there are several) and the worms can easily be removed by the administration of a dewormer prescribed by your veterinarian.

Do a search on FOODGRADE

Do a search on FOODGRADE diatomaceous earth. It is natural and used for worms/ parasites. Find the correct dosage. It can be used on dogs, cats and also humans. It is real cheap and lasts a long time.
You can use this in their daily food. And people can also eat it in their food or drink it in juice or smoothies.
It's much better and natural for all.
Just make sure it is foodgrade and NOT for pools.

My dog has been takin what I

My dog has been takin what I think it is called a (turn) where he looses his train a thought, can hardly walk and has the shakes that lasts for about 5 mins . I was wondering if anybody knew any home remidies to help cure it . Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

My cat is an indoor/outdoor

My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. He came home stumbling, shaking, throwing up stomach bial, constipated, can't urinate, won't eat or drink, he's leaving drops of blood and is laying in the litter box. If anyone has any advice I'm all ears :(

If your cat can't urinate

The Editors's picture

If your cat can't urinate (whether from urinary tract problems, something toxic that he ate, or other problem), that can be very serious. His other symptoms also suggest that he needs prompt attention. We recommend that you take your cat in to the vet immediately.
Best wishes,
The Old Farmer's Almanac staff

my cat has been real sick

my cat has been real sick lost over 15lbs wont eat drinks very little weak and has flem running out the side of his mouth and is gagging flem up its all over his chest it hardened and smells bad he has been sick for over 2 weeks now can someone please help idk what to do our try dont know if its stomach or what he did have a runny nose and sneezed alot then got to this

You better hope your pet is

You better hope your pet is not rabid, take it to the vet sounds like it may be suffering, worse, could be contagious too. Good luck I hope and pray for you and your pet.

My dog has ear mite what can

My dog has ear mite what can I do to get rid of them?

According to

The Editors's picture

According to http://ipm.ncsu.edu: 
Examination of material from the ears by a veterinarian will confirm the presence or absence of ear mites. One type of treatment consists of washing the auditory canal with an alcohol based solution of "ear cleaner." After the pet has removed the solution by violent shaking of the head, an emulsion of a miticide, antibiotics and mineral oil is dropped into the auditory canal to kill the mites, stop any secondary bacterial infection and to soothe the ears. Such a treatment should be applied several times as prescribed by the veterinarian. If a pet has mild symptoms, the application of mineral oil alone to the auditory canal is sufficient to control ear mites.

I clean the ears with QOne

I clean the ears with QOne good cleaning lasts a long timetipps dipped in peroxide

I remember when my dog angel

I remember when my dog angel was so irritable for a couple of days. I know something was really wrong but since I'm still a new pet owner at that time and no idea what's going on, I brought her to the vet and found out that she's feeling itchy all over. If I only know before that I just need an oatmeal to alleviate her itchiness, then I'm sure I was able to save a couple of bucks.

Thanks for the great tips!

Julie
http://talktothevet.co.uk

my little chihuahua is 7

my little chihuahua is 7 years old and is heart worm pos i have her on trifexis vet told me the heart worms wood not get any worse but she has a bad cough more like a hack i take her to the vet and they give her a shot not sure what it is but it stops the hacking right then it use to last 3 months now its once a month if that long this shot is just not working anymore this has been going on for years and every time she gets the shot its 45 bucks witch if it wood last longer than a month i wood not mind it.can anyone help me and my little bonnie with any advice

Infection in the floppy part

Infection in the floppy part of the ear.
I have recently taken over the care of a dog that belongs to a friend of mine. She has a weird birth defect. She has no ear canal or ear drum in one ear. The problem she has now is the ear flap itself is full of infection it's hot to the touch, she whines all the time. I don't have the money to take her to the vet. My friend said he has had the vet lance the ear before but the infection just keeps coming back. I don't know how to help her and it's driving me crazy. Any & All ideas would be appreciated.
Thank you
Sonya

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