6 DIY Recipes for a Healthier Dog
Clifton Park pet parents are no different than pet parents throughout the US in that they spend an exorbitant sum of money on their four-legged friends every year. Would it surprise you to learn that as a nation we spend close to $50 billion on our dogs annually? And approximately $14 billion of that cost is spent on pet supplies and over-the-counter remedies.
Yet there are some pet products on the market that contain questionable and potentially harmful ingredients for our pooches — along with a hefty price tag, according to the pet health experts at insidepetsworld.com.
Here’s a natural alternative to buying some of these dog products: why not make your own instead? When you go to your favorite pet shop for grooming supplies, for instance, you will see shelf after shelf of shampoos, conditioners, deodorizers, sprays and soaps. In order for your dog to maintain a healthy lifestyle, grooming is as important as physical exercise and nutrition. Because some of these products contain chemicals that may be toxic to your dog it’s a good idea to make as many products yourself as possible.
Try these 6 Do It Yourself solutions:
1. Dry Dog Shampoo — Dry dog shampoo is a good, quick fix between deep cleansing baths, cold winter days or routine trips to your dog’s favorite groomer. A box of baking soda is safe for most dogs and doubles as a great dry dog shampoo. However, before applying baking soda to your pooch’s coat you should test for a potential allergy or skin sensitivity. It’s recommended that you place a small amount of baking soda between your pup’s ears and leave it there for approximately five minutes. If no signs of irritation occur during that time it’s most likely safe to rub a generous amount into your dog’s coat. But take care to avoid the ears, eyes, mouth and nose. Wait one minute before brushing all of the baking soda out.
2. Low-Fat Chicken and Rice — Here’s a great change from your pooch’s regular meal routine. This healthy recipe is high in nutrition, additive-and preservative- free unless you choose to add either, appetite satiating and fairly low-cost. Here’s the recipe: 3 pounds of chicken, cut into small cubes (microwaved, baked or poached), and 1.5 cups of cooked brown rice or oatmeal. Suggested portion serving is half a pound of combination of chicken and rice for every five pounds your pooch weighs.
3. Healthy Salad — A healthy salad recipe for your pooch is as follows: Mix one-third cup of cooked brown rice with one cup grated carrots. (Carrots are very good for your pooch, providing her/him with vitamins and digestive benefits). Next mix one-quarter cup of vegetable oil with one-half cup of plain, fat-free yogurt. Pour the salad dressing over the salad and it’s ready to serve. You can offer one-quarter cup of this combination each day as a treat or as part of your dog’s meal.
4. Dog Wash — Would you believe toothpaste doubles as an effective dog shampoo? This grooming recipe is a good rescue remedy for a dog that has rolled around in something foul smelling. (If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk there are remedies made specifically to deal with that horror. See below). Apply toothpaste to your pup’s coat down to the skin, from head to tail during their bath. It’s best to use a white toothpaste to prevent discoloration to their coat. Allow the toothpaste to dry, rinse it out with water and then apply shampoo and rinse. The final step is to mix one-quarter cup of vinegar with one gallon of warm water and apply the solution to your pet’s fur. You can repeat the process until the smell is completely gone.Do not
5. Ear Mite Oil — Ear infections and even health complications can occur when ear mites infect our dog’s ears. If left untreated, ear mite infections can actually lead to hearing loss. Treatment at the veterinarian can be costly and may be avoided altogether with this simple deterrent you can easily make yourself. Here’s the recipe: Pierce a 500-IU vitamin E capsule with a sterilized needle and pour contents into a dropper bottle. Next add one-quarter cup of mineral oil and shake. Store at room temperature. Warm bottle between your hands before use and apply a few drops of oil into your pup’s ear canal. Massage the ear gently for 10 seconds. Next clean your dog’s ear of dirt and excess oil using a damp cloth only. (Do not use a cotton swap or any other object that might incur your dog’s ears.)
Use the oil every other day for a week. Be sure to consult your dog’s vet if the problem recurs.
6. Skunk Spray Remedy:
The Humane Society of the United States, in its online article titled De-Skunking Your Dog, recommends keeping remedies on hand that include Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover or the ingredients to quickly whip of your own batch of de-skunk tonic.
Making your own tonic
- 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any pharmacy)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap
Apply to your pet
Be sure to wear rubber gloves and wash your dog with this solution immediately after he or she has been sprayed. DO NOT get the solution in your pooch’s eyes. (If you don’t have peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap on hand, use vinegar diluted with water.)
Caution: Do NOT store this mixture or make it ahead of time, as the mixture could explode if left in a bottle.