In today’s world of Google, Pinterest and do-it-yourself projects, it’s important to be aware that many at-home pet remedies can be rooted in questionable information. From early folk medicinals to holistic claims of instant cure-all’s, don’t gamble your pet’s health and wellbeing on a potentially dangerous medical myth.

Popular DIY Pet Remedies Debunked

Maybe you’ve tried one or know someone who has, but these popular DIY remedies often come with a bigger price. Some are simply ineffective, while others are possibly toxic.

  1. Garlic to rid your pet of fleas – Perhaps one of the smelliest solutions to flea removal, garlic can be harmful in large doses, leading to red blood cell damage in pets. So, while you can use it to keep vampires away, please do not give garlic to your cat or dog. Instead, ask the team at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital about safe, effective flea control solutions.
  2. Salt to deworm – Salt does nothing to remedy parasitic worms and can actually damage a pet’s kidneys and be quite toxic in larger amounts. Plus, many pet parents don’t know when a pet is dealing with intestinal worms, which is why annual screening is so important (and why we request a fecal sample during your pet’s wellness visit).
  3. Over-the-counter medications – While there are some human supplements and medications that can be useful, these should only be given per recommendation from your veterinarian. Common over-the-counter meds, like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be deadly. If your pet is in pain or displays symptoms of illness, please have him or her examined right away.
  4. Essential oils – From skin problems to parasite removal, essential oils have been used on a wide array of pet problems. Unfortunately, they’re also highly toxic when ingested. Since it’s impossible to prevent your pet from self-grooming, never use essential oils on your pet’s skin or coat. If you keep them around for your own use, always stash them out of reach, since they often smell like food to curious pets.
  5. Dairy for tummy upset – Many pet owners (especially cat parents) believe a bowl of milk is a good dietary choice. In reality, cats and dogs are lactose intolerant, and adding eggs or dairy to an already upset belly will likely result in a worse situation.
  6. Good ol’ apple cider vinegar – Among humans and animals, apple cider vinegar seems to be the go-to cure for anything and everything that ails you. For pets, many swear by its effectiveness for itchy skin and parasite control (among other miracles). The truth is, however, there’s no empirical evidence for its medical use.

Although it’s understandable why so many rely on at-home pet remedies, it’s important to be wary of all the false information out there. When in doubt, the best approach is always to seek veterinary care over homemade concoctions.

Before trying anything at home, please contact us for a consultation. Our team is always here to help.