Home remedies for 4 common pet health issues

Your pet relies on you to keep it in good health. Try these simple remedies at home to help your pet avoid or deal with teeth problems, urinary tract infections, diarrhea and constipation.

Home remedies for 4 common pet health issues

Teeth problems

  • Give dogs and cats raw meaty bones and crunchy vegetables regularly to chew on. The scraping action helps prevent tartar build-up, which can lead to gum disease.
  • Gently massage your pet's gums and teeth if it will let you. This helps to clean teeth and gums if done regularly. Finger toothbrushes and dog and cat toothpaste are available from both pet shops and vets.
  • Relieve your puppy's teething pain by giving it an old linen tea towel or a cotton face cloth to chew on. Wet the cloth and twist it before putting it in the freezer for an hour. The cold will help relieve the pain of sore, swollen and irritated gums.

Urinary tract infections

  • Stir a small amount of cranberry juice into your pet's food. This can help to acidify the urine and stop the infection-causing bacteria multiplying in the bladder. Citrus juice has a similar effect and may also ease painful urination.
  • Consult your vet if there is blood in the urine. This is usually a sign of infection and your pet may need to commence a course of antibiotics immediately. Leaving it too long may worsen the situation and cause unnecessary suffering for your pet.

Diarrhea

  • If your pet has diarrhea, don't give it any solid food for a couple of days.
  • Provide plenty of water and an electrolyte solution to avoid dehydration. Give your pet ice cubes to lick or chew on if it won't drink water.
  • Soothe your pet's upset stomach during the first day of fasting by giving about 10 grams (2 teaspoons) of slippery elm powder mixed with apple juice to form a paste. This will encourage the growth of gut-friendly bacteria in the intestines.
  • Try changing your pet's diet from red meat to a white meat such as chicken. Some animals have specific allergies, usually to proteins or preservatives.
  • Once the diarrhea has stopped, offer bland food such as boiled rice with a little poached, skinless white chicken meat for one to four days. Gradually reintroduce your pet's usual food.
  • Diarrhea can also be caused by intestinal worms, so treat your pet for an infestation, especially if this is the likely cause.
  • Consult your vet if the diarrhea continues for more than two days, if it is bloody, or if it seems painful.
  • Overeating and scavenging can cause diarrhea. To avoid this, don't overfeed your pet and be sure to secure your garbage bin against raids.
  • Remove all milk products from your pet's diet when it is suffering from diarrhea. Milk can cause or aggravate the condition.

Constipation

  • Provide your pet with more water and add a small amount of cooked pumpkin and green vegetables to its diet.
  • If your pet is a reluctant drinker, add a little salty gravy to its food to help it work up a thirst.

With simple home remedies and plenty of love, you can often help your pet overcome common teeth, urinary tract and digestive problems. However, you should always seek professional help from a vet if your pet is suffering from any serious health issues or if you are unsure about the appropriate treatment.

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