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Household Pet Remedies

Veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker tells Martha about some household products you should always keep handy in case of a pet emergency.

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.

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