If you’ve ever owned a pet, you know that it is not always a walk in the park. Pets are just as susceptible to disease and injury as we are; the difference is that your pet can’t tell the vet what is ailing them. As pet owners, it’s our job to figure out the root cause of each issue based on their behavior, and set them on a path to wellness.
There are a ton of synthetic products out there to remedy health and behavioral problems in pets, but at what cost to your pets and family? For example, flea prevention chemicals might not be the best if you have young children in the family.
Here, we’ll take a look at holistic, naturally safe solutions to some of the most common problems in pets.
1. Fleas, Ticks, & Mosquitos
In addition to an irritating, itchy bite, these insects can carry diseases, like Lyme Disease, that can cause debilitating issues in both dogs and cats. Once a diseased insect takes a ride on your pet, they can then be transferred to your home and family. Mosquitos can pass heartworm larvae into your pets, which then mature and can eventually be fatal. The best option to keep your pet free of diseases caused by these pests is to prevent them from living on and biting your furry loved one.
The most popular flea prevention options today are in the form of drops, sprays, and collars. If you have small children, the chemicals in these products can be irritating or unhealthy for them. However, a spray can be an effective way of covering an entire animal’s coat.
Pills are another option. The insect bites the pet, then dies and falls off. Pet owners shouldn’t want to put any more chemicals into their pets than is necessary. If your pet is recovering from adverse side effects of any flea and tick treatment, you will want to supplement their diet with immune system balancers to help compensate for a challenged immune system.
2. Worms/Intestinal Parasites
Worms and parasites are a common problem for pets that are outside often. What may look like a tasty treat to a dog, could be something filled with parasites as well. Outdoor cats may like to hunt mice or birds, and ingest worms along with whatever they can catch. Pets with weakened immune systems, like older dogs, puppies, or ill animals may have adverse reactions to strong chemical dewormers. Holistic remedies are a much safer and more gentle way to rid your pet of pesky parasites.
3. Chewing & Peeing on Things
Most pets go through phases in their lives that involve chewing on things, like shoes and furniture, and urinating or defecating inside your home. There are many reasons pets do these things. Puppies go through teething just like babies do. Cats have a need to sharpen their claws, and they will do it on everything without a designated scratching post or area. Urinating inside can occur for many reasons, but once the deed is done, it can be difficult to remove the smell, and may encourage them to revisit the same spot and repeat their business.
These habits can be maddening, but can be corrected with training and training aids. For chewing issues, you can purchase sprays made from all-natural ingredients that taste bad when they bite, chew or lick it. Make sure you buy one that is washable and won’t stain your furniture. Sprays and powders that deter your pet from peeing in an area often use natural enzymes to remove smells and deter future visits.
4. Allergies or Atopic Dermatitis
A pet chewing on themselves is also a common problem and can have a wide range of causes. Allergies to their food or environment can cause eye irritation, itchy, red skin, and hair loss, which are also symptoms of atopic dermatitis. The best option is to remove the thing that they are allergic to from their diet or environment, but diagnosing the allergen isn’t always easy. Even then, removing them completely from the source of their allergy may not be an option.
Supporting your pet with a holistic allergy remedy will help them to naturally control their histamine response while soothing inflammation and itch.
5. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs are not always easy to identify in cats and dogs because they do not seem to show much pain or discomfort. If you see blood in their urine, though, this can be a sure sign there is a urinary or kidney issue present. The earlier a UTI is diagnosed, the less chance your pet will have of getting kidney damage. UTIs can be treated successfully using natural supplements. However, if the pet’s condition doesn’t improve, be sure to take them to a vet as soon as possible.
Hairballs usually occur in cats when they expel their own indigestible fur. Long-haired cats are more susceptible to hairballs. While hairballs are not entirely preventable, there are some things you can do to help. First, try changing their diet by adding fiber or switching to a hairball control formula. Or, you can try hairball remedies that lubricate the hair masses and help them pass through the digestive tract.
7. Bad Breath
Bad breath is a pretty normal occurrence for pets. But, sometimes it can get out of hand. Bad breath can be caused by poor oral health, eating something stinky, or another health issue. One way to help with this issue is to provide proper dental care. If that still doesn’t do the trick, try using a breath-freshening additive for their drinking water.
Remember to be sensible when giving your pets any chemical treatments and try to keep it to a minimum. All-natural remedies and supplements are a much safer and gentler way to keep your loved one healthy. And if your pet is having serious health issues, don’t delay in taking them to a veterinarian to be checked out.
Aaron is a writer and copy strategist for several companies and nonprofits, including NHV Natural Pet. He often covers topics important to pet owners, and is a dedicated dog dad to his three pups: Buddy, Roxy, and Kaya.