Herbal & Natural Healthcare for your Dog
may have heard of dogs “detoxing” when they first start a raw diet. This
all depends on the current health levels of the dog, particularly how
many toxins it has been exposed to, and this in particular includes the
number of vaccines, heartworm medications, flea preventatives etc they
have been given which all have chemicals in them that are difficult for
the dog to expel from the body.
With the increased health that raw provides, occasionally this build up
of toxins will start to be excreted, usually through the body’s largest
organ; the skin.
Typically, this will present itself as
unexplained itchy skin, itchy ears with or without discharge and runny
These are all signs that the body is cleaning
itself naturally and no oral steroid or injections, antibiotics or
topical treatments are needed, and in fact, if used, will suppress the
detoxification process and cause it to internalise into the major organs
to cause organ disease later in life.
For this reason, they usually need to detoxify and the
following natural healthcare methods will enable them to do so safely,
slowly and naturally without intervention with chemical veterinary
medicines and preventatives.
We have many years experience of using natural and
herbal methods in animal healthcare and have learnt that utilising these
methods in the short-term, saves a lot of money in the long-term as
veterinary bills are dramatically reduced (to almost zero in many
instances) in line with the increased health of the dog.
Skin, ears and eyes
- To soothe itchy skin:
Bathe in Lavender which will help calm
the itching – use something similar to Dr Bronners organic lavender
liquid soap range.
Make a strong tea with dry lavender
flowers. Allow to steep for a couple of hours. Put the tea in a sprayer
bottle, and spray a couple of times a day.
Spray with Aloe Vera juice with or
without some Lavender tea added.
EYES - To bathe/soothe weepy eyes:
Half teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in a cup of
Spring Water and then bathe the eyes with a soft fibre free cotton
EARS - To clean itchy ears:
Olive Oil and Lavender Essential Oil - take about
1/2 cup of olive oil and add about 10 drops of lavender essential oil
and wipe the ears with a soft fibre free cotton cloth.
Flea, Tick & Worm
Repeated use of preventatives such as Frontline, Advantix etc
actually cause skin problems, cancer, nervous system damage and
other diseases as they are neurotoxins (this is how they kill fleas
and ticks, they disrupt the nervous system) and an accumulation of
these neurotoxins in the body will cause disease later in life. This
is why owners are told not to get the product on their hands as
people have more legal recourse than animals.
For more information please see this report:
A dog fed on a natural, species appropriate raw diet
without toxic chemical preventatives is not as attractive to fleas or
ticks as these parasites prefer unhealthy bodies.
A raw fed, healthy body will also not fall ill with tick borne
diseases. However, whilst
that level of natural health is being achieved:
To prevent fleas:
Comb regularly with a simple flea comb
and kill any fleas in a cup of washing up detergent
Bath with a Neem oil shampoo as a
preventative – don’t be tempted to use standard “medicated” or “flea pet
shampoos” as these have toxic pesticides in them.
Use a Neem oil based herbal flea spray –
see recipe below
Or use a 50/50 mix of apple cider vinegar
and water spray which repels (not kills) fleas.
For walks in woodland or other areas
where high numbers of ticks may be present use a herbal anti-tick/flea
spray that contains Rose Geranium Essential Oil or simply put just two
drops (no more) of pure Rose Geranium Essential Oil on each dog’s cloth
collar every week. Also comb
the dog whenever returning from tick prone walks as ticks take a while
to “latch on”, so can often be caught whilst crawling on the dog.
Citrus repellent – Cut a lemon into
quarters and put into a 500ml jar. Cover with boiling water and steep
overnight. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray all over the
dog, especially behind the ears, neck, arm pits and base of the tail.
For infestations, such as taking in a
stray dog, use the suffocation soap-sud bath method – wet the dog
thoroughly and then shampoo using a natural liquid dish soap, i.e. one
that is advertised as being very gentle, as well as natural. Seventh
Generation is a favourite among dog owners, as well as Ecover, Dove,
Ivory, or Dial.
You can optionally add some
warm Neem oil too for an added bug repellent effect.
Lather well to create a lot of suds, smooth over to create a “sud
blanket” effect and then leave on for 15 minutes to suffocate the fleas.
Rinse thoroughly and comb out the dead fleas with a flea comb.
We use this method extensively when taking stray dogs off the street in
our work with K9
If fleas do become a problem, use Food
Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) as a flea powder, taking care not to
create dust that can be breathed in – takes up to 3 days to kill fleas.
Neem oil has been used for hundreds of
years in controlling pests such as mosquitos and fleas.
It works both as a repellent and
an insect growth regulator, thus preventing the larval stage to molt
into an adult – so either a teaspoon of neem leaf powder mixed into food
per day (1/2 teaspoon for puppies) or a spray made from neem oil are
both effective pest controls.
(& TICK) SPRAY:
You will need:
Recycled spray bottle that has a nozzle
that can handle oil without getting clogged
100ml Spring water (Devin, pink label
5 teaspoons Vodka (to disperse the oil)
10-20 ml Neem oil (depending on how
strong you want it)
5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
5 drops Rose Geranium Essential Oil (if
you want to make it an anti-tick spray as well)
Shake vigorously before spraying each time.
Please note, this spray is NOT suitable for cats
because of the essential oil content.
– raw fed dogs are at low risk to Tick Borne Diseases (TBD) as
TBD is a Rickettsial disease, meaning it only affects animals
with lower quality nutrition.
GRANNY'S TICK SPRAY:
Boil 500 grams of dried thyme with 1
litre of water and one sliced lemon for several minutes
Run it through a coffee filter
Put in a spray bottle and keep in the
– ensure you have a tick removal tool, for any ticks that do get
on your dog. For example:
Note, ticks bite in a slight corkscrew, so the twist
(anti-clockwise) reduces the risk of leaving mouth parts behind.
Alternative pre-made products on the market are
Ark Naturals Flea Flicker! Tick Kicker! and
CSJs Billy No Mates
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH (DE) AS A FLEA POWDER:
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a powder comprised of
micro-skeletons of deceased diatoms, which are a type of algae (both
fresh water and sea water varieties occur).
Reported to kill 75% of flies, fleas and ticks that
come in contact with it within 72 hrs.
HOW DE WORKS AS A FLEA POWDER:
When applied to the animal’s fur, DE scrubs on the
hard exoskeletons of fleas. The tiny granules of silicon (like finely
ground sand) work in the tiny holes of the flea’s respiratory system and
in the joints of the fleas. Every time the flea moves or breathes, the
silicon grinds away at the exoskeleton, eventually killing the flea
through blocking/maiming the respiratory holes or by water loss, as the
exoskeleton helps keep in the flea’s body water. It works the same way
when applied to carpets.
HOW TO USE DE:
Take care not to breathe in the fine dust
– rub gently so that it does not become airborne or wear a mask and put
one on your pet. Even though it’s non-toxic, you don’t want to get it in
your lungs as it will cause a nasty cough.
Sprinkle the DE along your dry pet’s
spine. Massage it along the body, working your way carefully to the
extremities, avoiding the eyes. Pay attention to warm areas – under
ears, neck, arm/leg pits.
Spread some diatomaceous earth on the
carpets, brush it in and leave for about four days. Then vacuum it up to
remove most of the fleas in the carpet.
Repeat the application frequently during
an infestation. You should notice a decrease in fleas within a couple
DE FOR INTESTINAL WORM CONTROL:
A dog fed on a natural, species appropriate raw
diet is not attractive to intestinal worms as these parasites also
prefer unhealthy bodies.
Food Grade Diatomaceous earth (DE) is excellent for internal and
external parasite control. It is ADAS trialled and approved in the UK
for insect control and as a feed additive for farm animals.
De-worming should only ever be done based on the
results of a faecal exam.
If, for some reason, there is a heavy worm burden, then de-worm just
once with a chemical de-wormer and then follow up with Food Grade
Diatomaceous Earth daily in food for 30 days.
If the worm burden is low, simply feed Food Grade Diatomaceous
Earth for 30 days without resorting to a chemical de-wormer.
Quantities per day:
Puppies 5kg to 10kg - 2 teaspoons
Dogs 10kg to 25kg - 1 to 1.5 tablespoons
Dogs 25kg+ - 2 tablespoons
Dogs 50kg+ - 3 to 4 tablespoons
Food grade DE eliminates roundworms, whipworms, and
hookworms within 7 days of being fed daily.
Make sure not to use the kind of DE used in swimming pools which
is toxic. Use natural food grade diatomaceous earth; it is
available in gardens supply centres, some health food stores,
and from natural-pet catalogues such as
http://diatomx.co.uk for Europe or
SLIPPERY ELM BARK POWDER
- Use for irritated Gastrointestinal Tract,
Diarrhoea or Constipation
Slippery Elm Bark Powder aids digestion through a
soothing and healing action on irritated mucous membranes of the stomach
and intestines, and is especially useful if encountering problems when
first switching to a raw diet.
When mixed to a paste with a little tepid water it has
a mucous consistency to it which is soothing internally.
It also has a great taste so dogs usually love it too!
Alternatively, you can dust the meat with it.
You don't need much - one teaspoon up to 3 times a day should be
more than enough.
Slippery elm is a highly nutritious wholesome food
product. The bark of the Slippery elm contains mucilage which is a
soothing nutritional food, similar in texture to oatmeal and rich in
nutrients. Slippery elm is very easy to digest and can be tolerated when
other foods can’t. It is, therefore, an ideal food during times of
digestive discomfort and for those recovering from illness and is
considered a “survival food”.
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL POWDER OR GRANULES
- Use for mild gastroenteritis, food poisoning and
Activated Charcoal can eliminate fungi, viruses,
and bacteria and may also promote recovery from some types of food and
Activated charcoal is simply burnt wood that has
had all its oxygen removed leaving it extremely porous. This results in
each granule of activated charcoal possessing an extremely large surface
area - a single gram of activated carbon has a surface area greater than
500 square meters! It is a non-toxic universal antidote that can be
taken internally or applied topically for insect bites and stings. In
powdered form, activated charcoal is one of nature’s most efficient
adsorbents—a powerful aid in eliminating toxins, gas and many poisons
from the stomach and intestines.
It works by adsorption by collecting substances in
a condensed form on a surface, and then slides through the stomach and
intestines without itself being absorbed. On its way it binds with
toxins, wastes, and other substances and then is excreted along with
them by the body. It also effectively adsorbs gases, especially in the
lower intestine, and thus helps relieve flatulence and gas pains. Not
all chemicals are attracted to carbon though, such as sodium and
nitrates, so this would need to be borne in mind.
Warning: Do not use charcoal regularly or as a daily supplement, as
in addition to adsorption of toxins, activated charcoal also adsorbs
food nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Activated Charcoal — Directions for Use:
It can be obtained in granule or powder form (e.g.
Simply mix a dessertspoon of the powder with a little milk or raw
egg; most dogs will lap it up willingly.
General intestinal distress and gas: Give up to six times daily as
needed. Follow each dose with water.
Diarrhoea (due to causes other than when first switching to a raw diet):
Give upon first noticing the complaint and again with each bowel
movement. Follow each dose with water.
Note: Stool darkening is normal and may continue
for a few days after use.
Poisoning: Charcoal is most successful if used within the first hour
of swallowing poison. In severe poisoning cases, several doses of
charcoal might be required. Ordinarily, activated charcoal should not be
used to treat the ingestion of corrosive poisons (lye, acids, fuel oil,
alcohols, et cetera). In the event of accidental poisoning, please call
your vet before using activated charcoal. They will advise as to the use
of charcoal after taking info on the type of poison.