I was raised by my grandparents on a small farm in rural Michigan. I was taught from an early age that your pet was a very important family member, and also a huge responsibility. To properly care for that pet, it took a strong commitment, a dash of common sense, and most importantly, a massive dose of selflessness. Their needs came first. High on that list of needs was medical care. Vets were few and far between. Thus, when an animal became ill or injured, we made do with medical supplies on hand. Keeping a well stocked “pharmacy” was the answer. Things haven’t changed that much for me. A well stocked “pharmacy” is still the answer. Not to worry, for you, simple solutions for aches, ills, and owies may be close at hand. In your pantry, refrigerator or medicine cabinet, you might find a treasure chest of simple home remedies to treat your family pet. Are you ready? Let’s take a peek! Oh, my, look here at what we’ve found – remedies galore!
Let’s start with your pantry:
-There’s a rice pack for a quick, easy and inexpensive hot pack. Just fill a sock ½ full, make a knot. Now, microwave and apply to any sore joint or muscle.
-Clipped that toe nail too short? Stop that bleed by dipping the nail into cornstarch, baby powder, vegetable oil, or a bar of Ivory soap. OK, baby powder and Ivory soap shouldn’t be in your pantry, but let’s try them anyway.
-A white vinegar flush will stop an ear infection dead in its tracks.
-Honey works great for relieving a cough and tastes much better than cough syrup.
-Chicken or beef broth work well to rehydrate when dealing with diarrhea or dehydration.
-For itchy skin, a mild apple cider vinegar or diluted Skin-So-Soft rinse relieves that itch.
-For bee stings I’ve used wet tea bags or white vinegar. A sugar or baking soda paste work well also. Apply directly to the sting.
-Grape Nuts flakes will aide in constipation and improve digestion. Also, my favorite, canned pumpkin in their food daily.
-Olive, safflower, or tuna oil will keep your kitty free of hair balls. One sardine per week will do the trick and is also a yummy treat.
On to your medicine cabinet:
-Say goodbye to hotspots – try cleaning the area with castile soap, aloe vera, betadyne solution or Murphy’s oil soap.
-Baby aspirin or buffered aspirin will bring down an elevated temperature or soothe arthritis discomfort.
-Pedialyte is a must to keep on hand for dehydration or prolonged diarrhea.
-An Epson salt soak is a great old standby for itching.
-A mild betadyne scrub will cure ringworm.
-Benadryl will reduce the swelling of an insect bite, help reduce itching and allergies.
-Dramamine will ward off car sickness.
-No pharmacy is complete without Pepto Bismo. It soothes an irpy stomach, diarrhea and vomiting.
-Try Vicks in a steamer or a dab under the nose for sniffles or mild congestion.
-Witch Hazel can be used for minor burns.
-Bag Balm works great for minor scrapes or scratches.
-Six crushed aspirins mixed with baby shampoo rids your pet of dandruff. Bathe and then rinse well.
-Mineral oil will suffocate ear mites – a few drops in the ear once daily for one week.
And last, your refrigerator:
-Plain yogurt relieves diarrhea or try it daily for skin allergies. It also relieves gas.
-Butter on your cat’s food prevents and removes hair balls.
-A squirt of Rediwhip will relieve constipation.
-Gatorade or Pedialyte replaces electrolytes, treating diarrhea.
-Pill taking becomes much easier when it’s buried deep in a dab of peanut butter, yum!
There you have it. As you can see, a well stocked “pharmacy” of supplies can treat many aches, ills and owies, or keep your pet comfortable until a vet can be reached.
Remember, if you’ve tried home remedies and the symptoms persist, it’s time to see a vet. Of course, tell him what you have tried on your own.
Questions or comments?
Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary
4301 Lower Gas Point Road
Cottonwood, CA 96022