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7 Home remedies for your dog

Vladimir is a regular contributor to PetMD, the largest global source of pet health information. PetMD's content is created by veterinary professionals and covers 9 different species.

Make your dog feel like a star

Holistic medicine is all the rage right now. You know eating locally grown honey will help you reduce the affect allergens have on you. Why won't it work on your pet?
Woman giving dog bath

From vitamins to items in your pantry, these seven staples will help you keep your pet healthy and happy without extra trips to the vet.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E isn't just good for treating those pesky wrinkles on your face, it's also great for your dog's dry skin. You can give a relaxing doggy massage by applying vitamin E oil to the skin or administer the vitamin orally. Just remember, if you give the vitamin orally, check with your vet on the recommended dosages for your specific breed and size.

Sports water

Flavorless electrolyte-replacing liquids (e.g., sports waters or pediatric drinks) not only help athletes replenish fluids and babies rehydrate after illness, they can also supply your sick pooch's body with much-needed fluids after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting. Again, consult your veterinarian about the appropriate dosage.

Plain yogurt

Delicious plain yogurt is a healthy treat for your dog. Just as it does for you, the live acidophilus in the yogurt keeps the bad bacteria in the intestines down to a manageable level. If your dog is on antibiotics, a little yogurt will help keep yeast infections at bay. Puppies are especially prone to yeast infections, so a little plain yogurt as a snack (or even dessert) can help keep things in balance. You can also give your dog acidophilus pills -- wrapping the pills in bacon is optional, but doggy recommended.

Epsom salt soaks

If your best friend gets a wound that results in swelling, try a bath of Epsom salt and hot water twice a day for five minutes. It can help reduce the healing time and reduce the swelling, especially when combined with prescribed antibiotics (under veterinary supervision).

If your pooch isn't thrilled about a soak or it isn't convenient for your schedule or the location of the dog's wound, a clean towel drenched in the same solution can be applied to wounds with an almost identical effect.

Oatmeal bath

If your furry friend is experiencing some serious itchiness, buy some finely ground oatmeal (i.e., baby oatmeal cereal) and stir it into a bath of warm water. This isn't just good for the occasional bout of the scratches. Dogs with skin allergies, infections and other diseases that cause itchiness will benefit from regular oatmeal baths.

Chamomile tea

The natural disinfecting effects of the chamomile plant settle upset canine (and human) tummies. It can also alleviate minor skin irritations. Just chill it in the fridge and spray it on the affected area on the dog's raw skin. The dog should feel an immediate soothing effect as the chilled tea kills the yeast and/or bacteria on the skin.

Borax powder

Next time you realize your pup has flees just after the pet store closes, try some borax powder. Borax will actually rid your dog of fleas by deteriorating the insects' exoskeletons.

Even if you've got pet store OTC medication to treat your dog, sprinkle the borax on your floor, then sweep or vacuum to ensure there won't be any re-infestations.

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