If you’re frustrated because you’ve been spending a fortune buying pet products that sometimes don’t even work, then here are some home remedies and suggestions that may be helpful in these days of hard times and high gas prices. As a rescuer and breeder for several years, I have learned a few tricks of the trade that your local veterinarian probably won’t tell you. Most veterinarians won’t tell you these secrets because they’d rather sell you their high dollar specialty products. But for those of us who love dogs and cats and have multiple household pets, those high dollar products may not be an option.
- One of the first things I learned is that all pet food that claims to be nutritionally complete is not necessarily nutritionally complete. Most actively growing dogs and lactating bitches need at least 27% protein in their diet to adequately support their needs. The higher the fat content the better. Any brand can be used if it has at least this much protein, though some of the name brands may contain a higher quality protein. Some dog foods use chicken products such as the feet, beak, and feathers, along with “road kill” products.
- A great nutritional supplement is a mixture of 1 pack of lemonade mix, 3 or 4 Tablespoons powdered or grated garlic, 2 cups of some type of oil (preferably olive or canola), and finely crushed egg shells. The lemonade powder provides a high concentration of vitamin C, the garlic is a natural wormer and flea repellent, the oil provides extra fat in the diet, and the egg shells provide extra calcium. Used bacon grease can also be used for the fat and is a natural wormer. Give your dog(s) about 2 tablespoons of this supplement mixed with their meal when that extra nutrition is needed. I used this home remedy for a dog with hip dysplasia and she was walking normally after just a few days on this supplement. It’s great for lactating bitches, and growing puppies, too.
- Dogs also need to be bathed regularly to stay comfortable during the summer months especially. High dollar dog shampoos can be used for this purpose but why pay more than you have to. (Dawn or Ajax) antibacterial dish washing liquid is great to bathe dogs in and has flea and tick repellent properties. Just make sure to use the orange antibacterial formula. Other formulas do not provide the same protection from fleas and ticks.
- Another trick of the trade is the use of old fashioned powdered garden sulfur as a flea, tick, and mange dip for dogs and cats. It’s what they used in the “old days.” It works better than the newer permethrin based dips, which provide little protection alone. Mixing sulfur and permethrin works better than either of them alone. Follow the instruction on the permethrin dip if you add this. Dip at least once a month for the best protection using about 1 cup of powder for a large container of water. (a small child’s pool works great)
- Lime dust is another good old fashioned remedy as a lawn supplement to help rid your yard and garden areas of these unwanted pests. Be sure to dust heavily around dog houses and much used areas.
- Chlorine bleach is a great disinfectant for yard and kennel areas when used in a yard and garden type sprayer
- Some (Heartguard) horse wormers use the same ingredients as the dog and cat wormers and is much more cost effective. Just put a small amount on your fingertip and let the dog or puppy lick it off.
These home remedies and suggestions are not guaranteed to work as suggested and the products named are not intended for the purposes stated. Strong caution is recommended when trying any unconventional methods with your beloved family pets. If you have any questions about trying these or other unconventional methods, seek the advice of your pet’s veterinarian.