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Nature’s First Aid

In this age of “everything natural,” many dog owners are turning to natural or alternative treatments to treat common canine ailments. Patrick Mahaney, a veterinarian and certified acupuncturist in Los Angeles, says that natural first-aid remedies are free of manufactured compounds. He warns that researching the remedy and your pet’s condition is the key to success with natural first aid. Visiting your veterinarian should always be your first priority if you don’t know what your pet is suffering from or if you notice bleeding. In this article I’ll give a few published natural remedies.

De-stress the natural way. Lavender can have a calming effect on dogs. Apply a few drops of lavender extract to a cotton ball and place it in your dogs area – but not where he can reach it – or make a lavender bandanna with the scent and place it around his neck in times or stress.

Natural home remedies you can use as first aid. Clean room temperature water or saline solution can be used to flush debris out of a wound. Cool water can be applied to a cloth and held to the skin’s surface to reduce swelling and effect. Soak a cotton ball or buy a spray, lotion, or wipes and apply to a minor rash, scratch, or shallow wound. Hemorrhoid wipes can treat irritated skin on paws between digits or on the dog’s perineum. Flour or cornstarch can stop a clipped toenail from bleeding. Baking soda made into a paste with water can neutralize the toxin from a bee or other insect stings.

Ginger root capsules can reduce nausea if given 20 minutes before a car ride. Crystallized ginger is more palatable, as are ginger snap cookies. Natural pumpkin puree’ can help with vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. It’s smooth, so it pushes things through, while the fiber firms things up in the event of diarrhea. To heal a hot spot, steep a cup of black or green tea, gently squeeze out the bag, and place the cooled bag on the sore. Do this several times a day for about five minutes at a time, and the tannic acid might dry out the sore. Going natural can be an efficient and cost-effective way to treat minor injuries and ailments, but don’t skip the veterinarian, especially if you don’t know exactly how to treat what might ail your dog.

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