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Coconut oil is great to use if your dog has an ear infection. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and all-around amazing! For an extra boost, you can add in garlic, which is also anti-bacterial.
- 2 tbsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil
- 2 fresh cloves garlic (optional)
- Simmer the oil in a saucepan on low heat.
- Add the garlic cloves to the saucepan while the oil is simmering (you can just peel them and drop them in–no need to chop, smash, or mince them).
- Once the oil has simmered for a few minutes and is completely liquid, let it cool enough so it won’t burn your dog’s ears, but not so much it goes back to being solid.
- Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and gently apply it to the infected ear.
Another great option if your dog has an ear infection is to use essential oils. They’re non-toxic, support the body and immune system, and are super powerful.
- Essential oils of your choice. Good options are Myrrh, Thyme, Wintergreen, Thieves, Mountain Savory, or Basil.
- Carrier oil (good options are fractionated coconut oil or olive oil).
- Dilute 10 drops of your chosen oil with carrier oil. I like to use roller bottles so that it’s easy to apply. If you use a roller bottle, add the essential oil first, then fill the bottle the rest of the way with carrier oil.
- Gently apply to your dog’s ear. If you didn’t use a roller bottle, you can dip a cotton ball in the oil mixture and gently apply it to your dog’s ear. Avoid pushing the cotton ball into the ear canal.
This flea and tick spray uses essential oils to make a powerful but non-toxic spray for your dog. Do not spray on or around cats without doing your research though. Certain essential oils can be harmful to them.
- 1/2 cup distilled water or organic witch hazel
- 8-12 drops each of the essential oil(s) of your choice. Good options are Tea Tree, Lemongrass, Pine, Cedarwood, Peppermint, Lemon, Lavender, Thyme, and/or Citronella.
- 1 drop Castile soap (omit if using witch hazel instead of water)
- Add the water, oil(s), and soap to a dark glass spray bottle.
- Alternately, add the witch hazel and oil(s) to a dark glass bottle.
- Shake vigorously to combine.
- Spray directly on your dog (avoiding the eyes, ears, and snout). You only need to spray a few spritzes, because a little bit goes a long way.
- Spray as needed.
Note that you can combine several different oils to provide protection against several pests at once. For example, I like using lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint oils together to repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. And, since cancer and other diseases start with inflammation, it’s important we as pet parents do everything we can to decrease and prevent inflammation.
Turmeric paste (also called golden paste) is a great supplement to add to your dog’s meals. To make turmeric paste, follow this easy recipe (widely available on the web, but I got this version from the great folks at Vibrant K9). This recipe makes about 2 cups.
- 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup raw (unrefined) organic cold-pressed coconut oil
- 2 tsps freshly ground organic black pepper
- Organic ginger powder (optional)
- Organic cinnamon powder (optional)
- In a saucepan, bring the water and turmeric powder to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 7-9 minutes (until you have a thick paste). If you need to add additional water to achieve the right consistency, do so.
- When you have a thick paste, let cool until it’s just warm to the touch.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Note: Very rarely, pets that are fed this paste will start to smell. The ginger and/or cinnamon may help this, so if your pet gets stinky, try adding them. Otherwise, there’s really no need to use them in this recipe.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Store in glass mason jars. You can freeze most of the jars and keep 1 in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 2 weeks when refrigerated.
- You can give the paste with every meal. Start out with 1/8 tsp and gradually build up (to a heaping tablespoon). Giving too much too quickly can give your pet diarrhea, so take it slow. And be careful when you’re cooking it–the paste will stain.
Some people swear by bone broth. And there are definitely benefits; for one, it’s an incredible source of additional nutrients and calcium for your pet. If you want to make your own, here’s a recipe I’ve used in the past (I usually use poultry bones, but you can also use bones from hoofed animals).
- Poultry or other bones (they can still have some meat on them)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Put the bones in a Crockpot (or another slow cooker) and cover with water.
- Add a generous pour of apple cider vinegar.
- Bring to a boil, then set your Crockpot’s temperature at simmer for as long as possible. Keep an eye on it: if the water drops below the top of the bones, add more.
- Simmer for about 36 hours. You may need to restart the timer to get to 36 hours.
- Once the concoction has simmered for about 36 hours, put the now-soft bone chunks and “floaters” into a high-powered blender. Blend on high until it’s a smooth, paste-like consistency. Put the remainder of the broth into a container and refrigerate.
- Put the paste into containers. Refrigerate one container and freeze the rest.
- Add the paste to your dog’s meals as needed. At first, only add a small amount, and only increase as you see how your dog handles it. If the paste is too thick, you can stir in some of the bone broth you retained.
- Essential oil(s) of your choice
- Carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil or olive oil work well)
- Dilute equal parts essential oil and carrier oil, then apply a few drops on the skin covering the bladder 3-6 times per day.
- Dilute 2-4 drops of the essential oil(s) of your choice with carrier oil, then use the blend in a warm compress over the affected area 1-2 times per day.
I especially love homeopathic remedies for urinary tract issues. The trick is knowing how to get the remedy into your dog! But don’t worry–we’ve got you covered here.
The beautiful thing about homeopathy is that, if you don’t get the remedy right, there are no bad side-effects. So try a remedy that seems to fit, but if you don’t notice an improvement after 24-48 hours, try a different remedy. I’ve suggested a few remedies that are often useful in the Ingredients section immediately below.
Homeopathic remedy options to try
- Nux vomica 30C (pellet form): A good choice if the dog was given an over-the-counter flea/tick preventive or a heartworm pill shortly before presenting with UTI symptoms. It’s also often helpful if your dog strains when urinating or seems constipated.
- Mercurius (either Mercurius vivus or Mercurius solubilis) 30C (pellet form): Particularly useful if your dog shows blood in the urine, is urinating frequently at night, is especially restless at night, and/or is straining (either for peeing or diarrhea).
- Cantharis 30C (pellet form): Particularly useful if your dog seems dejected and lethargic, or if they seem extra grumpy and aggressive. Also helpful if the dog exhibits mucousy diarrhea or excessively hard stools, and/or exhibits frequent, ineffective urination or seems to be in pain when peeing.
If I have to give my one of my dogs a homeopathic remedy, I first try the following method:
- Take 3 pellets (no matter what size of dog) and crush them to powder.
- Add the crushed pellets to 1/2 cup purified water.
- Stir for about 30 seconds (some people recommend stirring with a non-metal spoon, while others I’ve talked to say it doesn’t matter. To be safe, I use a non-metal utensil.)
- Dribble a bit of the stirred solution into my dog’s mouth. The goal is to wet their mucous membranes.
- If the symptoms are severe, I generally give 3 doses total, 15 minutes apart. For more mild symptoms, I give 3 doses 30-60 minutes apart.
- Repeat as needed for 2-3 days. If you don’t notice any lessening or cessation of the symptoms, try a different remedy or take your dog to see a holistic veterinarian or animal naturopath.
Disclaimer: All information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only. It is not provided to diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition for any human or animal, and Mother Nature’s Truths, as well as the author(s), contributor(s), publishers, and owners accept no responsibility for such use. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury, or who has an animal suffering from such, should consult with their physician or veterinarian. The statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.