Medications and Home Remedies: Important Guidelines

When looking at our medicine cabinets, there are many medications and home remedies we can give our pets. However, we need to be very careful about the products we choose, for several reasons.
Medications and Home Remedies: Important Guidelines
Juan Pedro Vazquez Espeso

Written and verified by the vet Juan Pedro Vazquez Espeso.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Most of us have a variety of medications and home remedies on hand at home. But that doesn’t mean that we should use these products–which are meant for humans–in order to treat our pets.

Note: The information in the following article is merely informative and does not substitute a consultation with a veterinarian. If your animal is ill, you should NEVER administer any product without the advice of a trusted veterinarian .

When our pets are ill, it’s normal to worry and want to bring them relief. However, when the time comes, it’s vital that we keep several issues in mind.

Medications and home remedies that may be effective in human beings can be fatal to animals. Not only because the dosage is different, but because of the composition itself.

Whether it’s because of their small size or their physiological differences, animals are very susceptible to certain substancesIt’s not uncommon for veterinarians to tend to pets that are suffering the consequences of having been treated with medication or home remedies without the approval of a veterinary professional.

Medications and home remedies that are suitable for pets

In order to understand what we need to know about medication and home remedies for our pets, we’ll divide the products based on their purpose.

Skin treatment

There are several options available when it comes to treating dermatological problems in pets. Some of the most common are the following:

  • Aloe vera: This is a plant which is abundant in beneficial properties. Aloe vera can be used for scars, burns, superficial wounds, skin irritations, insect bites, etc. In its composition, it contains anti-inflammatory, healing, calming, and hydrating properties.
  • Honey: Honey is considered a superfood and can be a great home remedy. It possesses antiseptic, antibacterial, and healing properties. For that reason and others, it’s ideal for the treatment of superficial wounds. It’s important to maintain hygiene in the area since honey can be very sticky and, therefore, accumulate dirt and grime.
  • Olive oilOlive oil can be very useful for hydrating chapped skin, such as on the pads of an animal’s feet. It can also be a helpful resource when removing ticks, since soaking these parasites in oil can cause them to release on their own. The olive oil doesn’t need to be extra virgin.
  • Vinegar: Given vinegar’s acidic pH, it’s useful (always diluted in water) in the treatment of some infections. It can also be a beneficial treatment for some types of ear infections.

Treating the digestive system

Dog food mixed with rice.

Intestinal problems are frequent in pets, so it’s important for owners to know which medications and home remedies can be helpful in their treatment.

  • Rice: Rice is a common recommendation for treating non-specific gastrointestinal problems that involve diarrhea. The high content of rice starch helps to control the diarrhea process.
  • Oral saline: In cases of dehydration, oral saline can help animals to recover their electrolyte balance. Just add one teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and the juice of half a lemon to one liter of water.

Treating the respiratory system

  • Physiological saline solution: Saline solutions are useful in respiratory processes that produce mucus (which are numerous). It helps to decongest pets’ nostrils. With the help of a small syringe, we can apply small amounts of physiological solution to your pet’s nasal passages. Then, clean up the content the animal expels with a tissue.

Medications and home remedies that are NOT safe for pets

It’s also important to mention medications and home remedies that are NOT safe for pets. Below, you’ll find a compilation of common scenarios related to the misuse of products.

  • Anti-inflammatory medications/pain killers: Without a doubt, this is the most common situation–poisoning due to the administration of ibuprofen, Tylenol, and aspirin in pets. These pharmaceuticals, in general, are totally prohibited for pets as they can lead to fatal poisoning.
  • Tea tree oil: This is a popular product these days, especially in the treatment of external parasites. When used correctly, it offers certain benefits. However, an overdose or accidental ingestion can be poisonous to pets.
  • Homemade cough syrups. Homemade cough syrups that consist of onion and garlic can also lead to poisoning. These two foods are very toxic to animals, so pet owners should avoid them.

The advice of a veterinarian is fundamental

A veterinarian treating animals.

As you’ve been able to observe, it’s never a good idea to use medications and home remedies to treat pets without professional guidance. In the case of any illness or malaise, the best thing you can do for your pet is to consult with a veterinarian

Without the indications of a professional, it’s easy to fall into the misuse of products. This puts the health and even the lives of our pets at risk. Therefore, it’s best not to rely on medications and home remedies designed for humans.

Once again, remember that there are numerous products that may be beneficial to pets, but there are also many that can put them in serious danger. Before administering any sort of treatment, check with your veterinarian.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.