Taking a Holistic approach to your dog's health is something that not many of us have ever looked into. It occurred to me one day that if I don't like to medicate myself then surely there's a more natural way to treat my dogs? It all started when everytime I had to worm my dogs, the tablets would make them vomit. Some dogs do get quite severe side effects due to the ingredients in the medication. It was at this point that I opted for a garlic and lemon juice approach-as you'll see below! Bye bye flea and wormer treatment! Saves me a bit of money as well. Don't get me wrong, this does not mean that I frown upon taking my dogs to the vets (that would be silly) but I do believe in balance. In serious instances, a vet must and should always be your first point of contact. A lot of people don't realise this, but you can register your dogs to as many vets as you like! Mine are registered to 5! I have my usual 'go to' vets, my out of hours vet (that are open 24 hours therefore don't charge an out of hours consultation fee) and I have my vets who I use for surgery. Many vets offer the same procedures for very different prices so be sure to do your research-you could save hundreds of pounds!
In this section, I will talk about alternative ways to treat some of the common issues that our dogs suffer with such as fleas, worms, skin irritations and stomach upset.
At this point I will point out that whilst I am happy to advise, I am not a Holistic Vet. Any treatment in this section that you choose to follow through with is done so at your own risk. Holistic treatment works by healing the body as a whole, not just by treating the problem area so do not expect immediate results-they take time depending on the treatment at hand. Make sure that any ingredients listed come from a trusted supplier-cheaper isn't always better! Be cautious when buying online.
Minor skin irritations
Chamomile has soothing properties so a good method is to make Chamomile tea, remove the tea bag before chilling in the fridge. When its cool, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray on the irritated area. The liquid kills the bacteria on the skin.
Neem seed is another easy solution. To relieve the itching of flea bites and to also discourage them, add neem seed oil to oatmeal dog shampoo and use 2-3 times a week to clear up the problem.
Canned pumpkin is good to get things moving again for a dog suffering with constipation. Id recommend removing the seeds first if any and add a small amount of pumpkin to the food.
Fennel can be added to food to ease the symptoms of upset stomach, bloating, colic and wind. For picky eaters, it will also help increase their appetite.
Lemon juice can be utilised to help with the prevention of fleas. Simply pour boiling water over chopped lemons and leave overnight. In the morning, pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spray on your dog. They'll also smell fabulous!
Adding garlic to their food also helps keep fleas and worms at bay! You can crush a small amount of garlic or buy capsules. Garlic can also assist in the prevention of ticks and worms.
WARNING: An overdose of garlic can be toxic to dogs. Use with caution.
Help repel these nasty critters by adding afew drops of Rose Geranium Oil onto your dogs collar.
Aloe Vera has many wonderful healing properties. Adding capsules into your dogs food will help to ease the symtoms. Dogs have shorter digestive tracts then we do so the capsules may pass through without being fully absorbed. Another option is liquid form-add 25ml to food.
Stress and Anxiety
Make your own calming mist (it smells lovely but may stain so be careful spraying near furniture). Mix 20 drops of Sweet Marjoram, 8 drops of Lavender, 4 drops of Orange Oil and 8floz of water. Spray when needed.
Devil's Claw is good for dogs suffering with stiffness as it's a natural painkiller and anti-inflammatory.
It is available in liquid or tablet form, approximately 7ml once per day for a medium sized dog is sufficient.
Black Walnut capsules once per day. This is the kindest natural wormer there is.
Raw carrots help to remove plaque and bacteria from your dogs teeth, plus their a healthy snack!
Long grass and Forest areas are perfect places for ticks so be sure to check your dog (and yourself) regularly.