According to countless veterinarians, many of the holistic remedies that you use to soothe aching joints, ease digestion, lessen inflammation, and beat stress will also work safely and effectively on your pet.
Veterinarians who focus on the holistic healing of cats and dogs commonly prescribe the following nine natural remedies:
1. Lavender Essential Oil
New York-based veterinarian, Jeffery Levy, prescribes lavender oil to soothe the stress of a traumatic car ride or trip to the vet for pets. Natural lavender oils work as a sedative when inhaled by humans and pets. For instance, studies show that dogs and cats exposed to a few drops of lavender (out of their immediate reach), the odor calmed the pet quickly and resulted in less whimpering and pacing compared to pets not exposed to its aroma.
2. Oatmeal Bath
If you suffer from dry, itchy skin, you’ve likely drawn yourself an oatmeal bath to soak away the irritation. Well, spending a mere 5-minutes in an oatmeal bath will have the same calming benefit for dogs prone to irritated skin. Simply place rolled (uncooked) oats into a sock, tie the end, and place it in the bath of warm water.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The essential fatty acid is a common remedy for joint health in humans—and also in dogs, according to animal an animal study conducted at University of Montreal’s Department of Veterinary Biomedicine, which linked omega-3 fatty acid supplements to diminished osteoarthritis symptoms in cats and dogs. When a test group of 30 pets were prescribed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, locomotor disability (or mobility issues) decreased while gait and daily performance increased substantially.
4. Slippery Elm
If Fido or Fluffy eats from the garbage regularly, chances are indigestion and irregular bowel movements are an issue. Luckily, the Mueller Medical International Translational Medicine Research Center claims a single teaspoon of slippery elm (administered in powder or capsule form) is considered the Pepto Bismol for pets. The herb will coat and protect the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract, easing digestive upset and preventing diarrhea within 24 to 48-hours.
5. Glucosamine and Chondroitin
California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness in Los Angeles found that Glucosamine and Chondroitin administered together can have the same positive effects on pets as it does in humans—aiding the repair and protection of cartilage surrounding joints. However, scientists caution that the natural remedy can take up to 30-days before showing signs of improvement and recommend using supplements with Canadian and American sourced ingredients to cats and dogs.
6. Pet Massage
We’ve all witnessed the miracle effects of love on our pet’s health—just look into the sparkling eyes of a senior cat or dog that still greets his or her owner at the door when they return home from work. This is why a little TLC administered in the form of massage can banish all traces of anxiety and muscle pain in cats and dogs. Begin gently massaging your pet from the center of the body outward. Remember to be conscious of tender and ticklish areas (i.e., belly and feet).
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is often used as a natural and topical treatment for skin irritations and burns in humans. However, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Shawn Messonnier, who authored the pet-focused publications Animal Wellness, Whole Dog Journal, and Whole Cat Journal, points to herbal Aloe Vera ear drops as an effective way to soothe inflamed and irritated pet ears, and to speed up the healing of wounds.
8. Saline Solution
My red, irritated eyes will often find relief in a few saline eye drops. It turns out that saline rinse can safely soothe mild eye irritations in cats and dogs as well. To apply, gently pour saline solution over the affected eye several times a day or clean the eye area of dirt, discharge, and debris by wiping with a clean cloth dipped in saline solution.
9. Olive Oil
Waxy buildup in your dog or cat’s ears can be banished with a clean cotton swab dipped in a little bit of olive oil. The oil won’t only remove wax buildup and draw wax and dirt to the ear opening. Just be careful not to irritate your pet’s ear further by jamming or scratching the inner ear canal.