environment / Food / Health

Natural remedies for furry friends

On a sunny afternoon while my dog, Poplap, and I were taking a walk in botanical gardens, I noticed she kept taking little breaks to eat the grass, and she seemed to enjoy it – her ears flopping upwards and tail wagging wildly. The use of herbal and homeopathic remedies are generally confined to people’s use as an alternative medicinal aid, but there is a lot more to natural remedies; its benefits for animals, particularly your pets.

As a puppy Poplap had digestive issues and her gastro-intestinal tract gave her lots of hiccups. The vet recommended Protexin Soluble, a multi-strain probiotic powder which I had to sprinkle on her food, but after some homeopathic research, I found that plain yoghurt is a healthy alternative, as the live acidophilus in the yoghurt knocks all the bad bacteria out and balances your pet’s intestines. Not only is this a lot cheaper, but it stays away from the synthetic abnormal remedies that list things like ‘Streptococcus salvarius subsp. thermophilusa’ as ingredients, and Poplap’s tummy got much better, and it was a delicious treat for dessert! I remember as a child my mother would always give me ginger tea but I felt nauseas or ill, pets aren’t much different and ginger helps their digestive system too. The chamomile plant has natural disinfecting properties that also settle sore doggy tummies. Another great use for chamomile is for all sorts of skin irritations.

Cats are a lot more sensitive to herbal and homeopathic remedies, so low dosages must be managed and your pet carefully observed. But if your cat is suffering from arthritis, the indian spice tumeric helps wonders, it alleviates arthritic pains in humans too. 1/4 teaspoon a day should do the trick.

Now, when I get home in the afternoons, Poplap tumbles me over with kisses and playfulness, but doggy breath is terrible! I’ve tried those chew toy toothbrushes but they don’t help much at all, and she doesn’t enjoy the taste. But, carrots! Give your doggie a carrot to chew on (not baby ones), and it not only gives their teeth a good scrub, it freshens their mouths and they have something to play with.

I’ve only ever once seen a cat cough up a hairball and it didn’t look comfortable or pleasant at all. If you’re a kitty-lover and your cat struggles with hairballs, then remember the basics first: brush a lot. This will prevent the excess of hair build up and you can help your kitty out with their grooming. Other things like a ¼ teaspoon Vaseline drop on their paw for them to lick off will prevent future hairballs, and half a teaspoon of butter given for about a week will provide soothing relief after hairballs too.

Of course any self-treatment options, especially holistic remedies, need to be done with consultation from your vet.

But, check out more sites and read up about it. There are hundreds of natural remedies you can use for your pet to make life a little healthier.

http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_home_remedies?page=2

http://bestpethomeremedies.com/cat-arthritis/

www.petalive.co.za

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