Natural Health for Dogs

For so many people, dogs have become a big part of the family. We play with them, snuggle with them, and take them everywhere we go. Dogs bring joy and companionship to our lives. For the most part, dogs are completely dependant on us for food and water. How we feed and water them directly affects their health and longevity.


Common problems dogs experience are skin issues, vomiting, diarrhea, ear problems, worms, and fleas. Let's look at some ways we can help our dogs live long and healthy lives.


Nutrition

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in your dog food? Often, even in beef-flavored varieties, chicken is the #1 ingredient. Chicken is also the #1 cause of allergies in dogs.

According to Wag!, these symptoms are common in poultry allergies:

  • Bald patches

  • Chronic ear infections

  • Chronic gas

  • Chronically inflamed feet

  • Coughing

  • Diarrhea

  • Hives

  • Obsessive licking

  • Paw biting

  • Pawing at face

  • Poor growth (puppy and adolescent)

  • Shaking of the head

  • Skin infections

  • Skin rashes

  • Vomiting

  • Wheezing

If your older dog begins to experience these symptoms, you might not consider chicken allergy because you've always fed them the same thing. But, allergies often develop in dogs over the age of three.


In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are "hot" dogs and "cold" dogs. Choosing the right food for them can bring balance to their bodies and help them live more comfortable lives.


"Hot" Dogs

Dogs that look for cool places to lay, pant even when at rest, have red eyes, dry skin, excessive thirst, tend to cough, and can't settle down or get comfortable are considered "hot" dogs. Cooling foods can bring relief to your pet. Examples of cooling food are:

  • Rabbit

  • Duck

  • Egg

  • Spinach

  • Broccoli

  • Cucumber

  • Strawberry

  • Brown Rice

  • Fish

  • Oil

  • Honey

  • Barley

When "hot" dogs are given warming foods, problems can occur:

  • Hot spots

  • Itching, licking, and gnawing

  • Hair loss

  • Panting

  • Anxiousness

  • Short temper

  • Digestive issues, gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc.

  • Fleas and other bugs

  • Urinary problems

  • Allergies

  • Joint pain

  • Gooey eyes

"Cold" Dogs

Dogs that look for warm places to sleep, are calm and relaxed, love blankets and snuggling, and have a lack of appetite at times are considered "cold" dogs. These warming foods can help bring balance and comfort:

  • Lamb

  • Venison

  • Ginger

  • Peach

  • Red/chili peppers

  • Pumpkin

  • Squash

  • Oats

  • White rice

  • Quinoa

Proteins that are considered neutral and appropriate for "hot" or "cold" dogs are:

  • Beef, beef liver

  • Goose

  • Pork, pork liver, pork kidneys, pork feet

  • Quail

  • Tripe

  • Bison

Natural Remedies


Supplements benefit dogs just like they do humans.

  • Vitamin C is best for unhealthy, stressed dogs. Stress depletes their bodies of vitamin C.

  • Probiotics are excellent for a healthy gut.

  • Digestive enzymes aid in digestion and assimilation of the nutrients available.

  • CoQ10 (ubiquinol) is great for heart health. Think prevention!

Most supplements come in a capsule and can be opened and poured into their dog food.


Homeopathy is very beneficial for dogs. It can help bring balance to disease and discomfort without toxicity.


Flower essences can help a dog with emotional problems.

The calming essence does just that. It calms them down and helps them relax. This is especially beneficial when a pet is placed in a stressful situation. Works great for dogs that are afraid of fireworks.


There are flowers available for dogs who suffer from:

  • Aggression

  • Fear

  • Separation anxiety

  • Excessive vocalization

  • Inability to learn or be trained

Herbals are also beneficial for dogs. There are many problems that can be addressed such as:

  • Allergies

  • Wounds

  • Circulation issues

  • Organ support

  • Cough

  • Fleas

  • Tummy troubles

  • Inflammation

According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, Apple Cider Vinegar (raw, unfiltered is best) is an excellent natural choice for dogs:

  1. Just like people, dogs can greatly benefit from ACV. It can be used on itchy rashes and skin issues. It will help stop the itch and, in most cases, will dry up the rash. Don't use ACV on open wounds.

  2. You can use a mixture of 1/2 ACV and 1/2 purified water to clean out the visible parts of your dog's ears. Do not pour the solution into your dog's ears and avoid poking anything down inside their ears.

  3. To keep fleas off your dog, spray them down with a solution of 1/2 ACV and 1/2 water before they go outside.

Natural medicine brings balance, wellness, and peace to our pets in the same way it does for us. It stimulates their body's self-healing properties and creates health without pharmaceutical side effects and toxicity.


Resources

  1. Stott, D. (2016, September 17). Poultry Allergies in Dogs. Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost. https://wagwalking.com/condition/poultry-allergies.

  2. Masters, J. (n.d.). Pet Health. Trinity School of Natural Health. https://trinityschool.instructure.com/courses/387/pages/week-4-lecture-pet-health.

  3. Common Pet Health Problems. Vetsource. (2019, May 1). https://vetsource.com/news/common-pet-health-problems/.

  4. Chittenden, B. (2021, April 16). 3 Simple Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Your Dog. Dogs Naturally. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/3-simple-ways-apple-cider-vinegar-can-help-your-dog/.

  5. Griswold, B., & Kerns, N. (2001, April 24). Benefits of Vitamin C to Your Dog. Whole Dog Journal. https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/food/benefits-of-vitamin-c-to-your-dog/.