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Household Remedies for Pets

The Martha Stewart Show, March 2008

If your pet suffers an emergency at home, chances are you have just what you need to remedy the situation in your pantry or medicine cabinet.

3 Percent Solution of Hydrogen Peroxide
This remedy, used if your pet has gotten into something poisonous, induces vomiting. Give 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight; the process may be repeated once. Note: Mineral oil and milk of magnesia can be used for toxin ingestion.

Credit Card and Benadryl
This home remedy will help with bee stings. Remove the stinger by scraping the area with a credit card; apply a baking soda paste as a poultice. For an allergic reaction, administer a dosage of Benadryl (1 mg/lb) every six hours. Benadryl comes in 25 mg capsules or as a liquid. For pets up to 30 pounds, use 25 mg. For pets 30 to 80 pounds, use 50 mg. For pets 80 pounds and up, use 75 mg.

Dryer Sheet
Use a dryer sheet to help with thunderstorm phobias. Anxiety in a pet during a thunderstorm isn't the flashes of light or the sound, but a buildup of static electricity in their coat. Rub a dryer sheet on the coat to remove the static electricity. It will reduce or eliminate the pet's extreme anxiety and discomfort. (This method works about 50 percent of the time.)

Pepto Bismol
Use Pepto to help with an upset stomach and vomiting. Use this only for dogs; it contains an aspirin-like substance that is bad for cats. The dose for a dog (either liquid or tablets) is a child's dose for every 40 pounds of body weight every six hours. For example: A 10-pound dog would receive one-quarter of a child's dose, and an 80-pound dog would receive twice the amount of a child's dose.

Kaopectate helps with diarrhea. You can also give your pet Gatorade, Pedialyte, or Ensure to rehydrate and replace potassium, sodium, and essential minerals after diarrhea or vomiting.

Canned Pumpkin (No Spices)
Canned pumpkin helps with constipation. Note: You can also use Dulcolax or Metamucil.

Use vaseline on cuts or to prevent ice formation. Rub it on the affected area to protect a wound from further contamination. You can also place it between the animal's pads or toes during the winter to prevent ice formation.

Epsom Salts
Use epsom salts for abscess/wound treatment. Use the salts in a soak for irritated, itchy skin.

Things to Remember When Using Household Remedies
You should always consult your vet first regarding your pet's situation and then he or she can suggest a home remedy for you to try. Depending on your pet's weight, your vet will determine what dosage you should give. Depending on what's wrong with your pet, the vet will have you give the home remedy, then consult back with him or her in a couple days if the situation worsens or doesn't improve.

Special Thanks
Special thanks to Dr. Marty Becker for demonstrating these household pet remedies.

Comments (6)

  • loggerhead 1 Apr, 2008

    This was one of the most helpful segments I have seen on any talk show. My daughter has a basenji, and she has reactions to foods and grasses. I will pass these techniques to my daughter. My own dog freqently licks her feet after a walk. She will getting some epson salt foot baths from now on! Hooray for Dr. Becker!

  • taitr 25 Mar, 2008

    Kudos to Martha for this segment. It's torture to see your pet shiver and shake during a thunder storm. I will pass the drier sheet info on to my friends

  • Chardust 24 Mar, 2008

    I have a Border Collie and can't wait to bathe her tonight in the Epson Salts. I give her Derm Caps daily, have bathed her in Relief and kept the shampoo on her for the desired time and still she has that terrible hot spot by her tail! I feed her Purina One Sensitive so any relief I can give her will be wonderfl. I am crossing my fingers Epson Salts will work! Thanks! Janet from Alabama

  • wazzu4vr 24 Mar, 2008

    Just a note for Dr Becker: GO COUGS!! It's great to have a fellow alum representing our alma mater: Washington State University. WSU has one of the best, if not THE BEST, vet school in the country! Thanks for all the good work, Dr. Marty!

  • LVaughn 24 Mar, 2008

    Wonderful tips for Pet First Aid. My Vet also said to use Benedryl for my Lhasa Apso when he couldn't stop sneezing. Worked like magic. Thanks Again

  • miller503 24 Mar, 2008

    Thank you for the hints. I wish we had more things like this about pets.