Podcast Episode 43: Natural Remedies for Dogs
This episode discusses natural remedies for dogs. I am not a veterinarian and this is not health advice. I am sharing my own experiences with natural approaches that have worked well for me for over a decade. If these approaches are right for you and your dog is your personal decision. This is a purely informational episode. I review my practices and experiences dealing with parasites, ticks, fever, cleaning sprays, and ear mites.
Time Codes for Natural Remedies for Dogs
- 01:02 Parasites
- 09:23 Ticks
- 14:33 Fever
- 17:15 Cleaners
- 18:57 Ear mites
References for Natural Remedies for Dogs
- Noni: Buy Noni Fruit Leather for Pets
- Noni: Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Linn. Reduces Parasite Load (PDF) by Almeida-Souza et al., published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, August 2016, Volume 10, Issue 8
- Article: What is Poisonous to Dogs?
- Article: Treating Whipworms in Dogs Naturally
- FDA: Flea and Tick Products Warning
- Hemopet: More Concerning News Regarding Flea and Tick Products for Companion Dogs and Cats
- Vet’s Best: Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs
- Vet’s Best: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Repellent Collar for Dogs
- Article: Natural Dog Ear Yeast Infection Treatment
Play the Audio
Watch the Video
If you are ready to get help with your dog(s), please use our dog training contact form to schedule a free phone consultation.
Podcast Transcript: Natural Remedies for Dogs
This podcast transcript was created using Sonix.ai.
Hello, this is Ralf from Happy Dog Training, and welcome to another episode of Dog Talk. Today I want to talk about natural cures or natural approaches to health, I should say. So obviously, I’m not a veterinarian, and I’m not suggesting that you should not see your veterinarian when your dog has an ailment. But I want to share with you a couple of things I had wonderful experiences and success with over the last ten years of helping my dogs in this fashion. Whether you’re comfortable doing this or not is a personal choice. I’m not saying you should do this, but I recommend exploring and looking at these things.
We also have articles on all of these on the website, and I will put links in the show notes so you can take a closer look. But here are a couple of things that I think are helpful to understand, and I will tell you why we’re doing it this way. And these are, again, my personal choices and my personal experiences. If this is right for you is a personal choice, you must make for yourself.
So first thing, let’s start with one of my favorite things: Noni fruit leather. Noni is a less-known fruit on the mainland of the United States, but in Hawaii, it’s abundant, and you can buy Noni everything.
So if you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you’ll find Noni lotion, cream, sunscreen, juice, Bio bandage, and Noni Fruit leather. Noni grows in Hawaii. And here is the thing about Noni. Noni is a super high antioxidants fruit; off the charts. It is so far and above stuff you’re probably familiar with, antioxidants like pomegranate or acai. Noni is just off the charts when it comes to that. And it has been studied quite extensively at this point. So there are tons of studies on humans. There are tons of studies on animals. You can read these all on the National Institute of Health website.
Noni for Parasite Treatment and Prevention
I will also put the one relevant to dogs in the show notes. But it has effects on blood sugar. It can help with eye pressure—Glaucoma prevention. I’ve personally actually experimented with that. I won’t discuss this here, but I had an optometrist measure my eye pressure using Noni. Interesting. He was pretty baffled by the results. So was I. I didn’t expect that. But Noni is a very powerful and potent approach. Now for dogs, it’s excellent for overall health and has some benefits for tick and flea prevention. But parasite prevention and eradication is the main thing it’s suitable for, and it works beautifully.
A study has demonstrated that Noni will reduce the parasite load in dogs, and that’s the one I’m going to link to. So it’s a scientific fact at this point. It’s no longer anecdotal, but here is something that I’ve personally experienced with one of my dogs, my late dog Max, a German shepherd who was 19 years old. He passed away two years ago. He came from the shelter with a whipworm infection. And whipworms are just nasty things. And the shelter didn’t know. I had a red sheet for Max that stated we don’t know if this dog is healthy. They literally told me: we don’t know. And it turned out he had a whipworm infection.
Whipworms are Nasty
Whipworms are worse than heartworms because these damn things don’t die. They will live in the soil of your backyard for seven years. This means once you have an infestation in your backyard with whipworms, your other dogs will walk over them, lick their paws, get infected, and all your dogs have it. And we don’t have just one dog. The traditional approach would be you go to your vet, who will tell you you need a particular version of Heartgard that addresses whipworms, which costs you $100 a month per dog. Welcome to financial hell.
So that that that will work. I’m sure that works. I didn’t try that. I didn’t know if that would work. I’m assuming it does. Heartgard generally works. But it’s not what I did. And here is what I did. And it worked just fine. So obviously, my dog was very infested with whipworms. He did need to get dewormer medication. So I went to the vet, and they tested him. They said Max had a whipworm infestation and needed meds. I gave him the meds. So this is not something I would not do. So it’s not that I just ignored that.
He got the meds, but the regular approach to deworming is you do three rounds. So you give the meds. It deworms the adult worms in the dog. They come out, but the meds don’t affect the larvae. So you have to wait a couple of weeks, and then you give the second round because now the larvae matured, and then you can flush those out, and next you do one more for good measure to ensure you got everything. That’s the general route you take. That’s what the vet will do. So if you go to the vet, that’s what they will prescribe, which will work.
If you have just one dog, you can go, okay, but the things will still live in your backyard, and every time your dog walks over it and licks its paws, it will re-infest itself. So know that. I’ll get back to how you can deal with them in the backyard because there’s an approach that can help with that process.
Adding Noni to the Treatment
I gave Max the medication, and I was already giving my dogs Noni fruit leather at the time for parasite prevention. But this dog was now majorly infected, and I had three other dogs then. I doubled the Noni dosage for all my other dogs for a month. And I also doubled it for Max. So we went through the dewormer round. After the first dewormer round, I returned to the vet five weeks later. And it would have been time for the next deworming. Before we do that, I told them I would like to do a stool test on the dog with the infestation and all my other dogs to make sure they didn’t catch it.
So I hauled four stool samples into the vet, and they asked: Why are we doing this? Because we need to do two more rounds. I want to try because I did something else besides the medication. I’d like to see if that worked or not. My vet was okay. Fair enough. Probably a waste of money, but it’s your money, so we don’t care.
The Power of Noni
So we did a stool test on all of them, and my other dogs never got it. But Max was completely clear of all parasites after one round of the dewormer when he was previously off-the-charts infested. He was so infested that they couldn’t even tell me how bad it was. They said it’s at the maximum of our scale, but it’s probably more. But after one round plus the double dose of Noni, it was entirely cleared out of his system, proven by a stool sample. And my other dogs were also completely clean and didn’t get it.
So now I know that Noni can protect my dogs because it was clearly in the yard. And it helped speed up the process and clear it out of Max completely after one round of dewormer. I didn’t need the other two; my vet wanted to know what I did because that was unusual. So I told her. I put them in touch with the manufacturer and gave her the materials. I don’t know if that’s ever something they picked up on, but I shared with them what I did, the studies, and everything else.
So I gave them everything I did. And we never discussed it further. But that is something that worked. I also wrote an article on how to treat whipworms in dogs naturally. I’ll link to it in the show notes. That worked very well; none of my dogs ever contracted whipworms.
Killing Whipworms in the Yard
You can use diatomaceous earth in the yard; ensure it’s a food-grade variant. So when the dogs lick it, it’s not a problem. There’s non-food-grade, and there’s food-grade. So if you get a food-grade version of diatomaceous earth, which is generally a parasite killer, sprinkle that in your yard; it will kill the whipworms. You have to put it everywhere. So that then depends on your yard, if that’s even possible. You probably don’t want to put it on your lawn or elsewhere. So it depends on your yard if that’s an option or not. I didn’t do that because it would not have been feasible in my yard. But that is an option if that is doable for you. Now there is another product you can buy on Amazon called Paratrex.
Those are capsules with food-grade diatomaceous earth. And they are also used for parasite prevention. That’s another approach. I’ve never tested that. I read about it. It makes perfect sense because, again, Diatomaceous Earth kills parasites as well. But the Noni Fruit Leather 100% works from personal experience. So that’s number one.
Ticks and Fleas
Now, number two. Ticks. Ticks, depending on where you live, are a problem. And they can be a problem anywhere. In Southern California, where I live, it’s not as bad with ticks, but I have certain trees that do attract ticks, and it’s certainly an issue. If we have a lot of leaves in the fall and they get wet, and I don’t rake them up, that’s a breeding ground for ticks. One year we had a tick problem in our house. And ticks are nasty, so you’ve got to watch out. With them, Lyme disease is a concern there.
But so what I have observed personally with garlic is that it generally does not prevent your dog 100% from getting bitten by ticks, but it will repel them and kill them if they bite them. I’ve seen a couple of ticks biting my dogs during this infestation year. They died on their body, which was interesting. They died and fell off.
Prevention with Garlic Powder
I found a lot of half-dead ticks lying around from that. So it doesn’t kill ticks per se on impact. There will still be tick bites, but it is a repellent. So, for the most part, it will keep them off your dogs. And if it gets bitten, garlic will eradicate them, from what I’ve seen. So I’ve never had tick problems outside this particular year in 20 years. We had dogs for 20 years, and there was only one year when we had this issue, and it never occurred before or after. But generally, we don’t have ticks on our dogs. We don’t have ticks anywhere in the yard except for this one time. And it’s been a successful strategy in dealing with it.
The vets will tell you that garlic is not proven to kill ticks, and that’s true. But you don’t have to kill them. Repelling them is sufficient. And that works quite well. So garlic is another thing. Now, you may say garlic is toxic. Too much garlic is toxic. Some garlic is not harmful. So we have an article on toxicity that shows you how much of everything is poisonous and gives you the exact formulas. You can see how much garlic a dog would have to eat before it’s a problem, and it’s quite a bit. We’re talking about minuscule amounts of garlic here.
Garlic Dosage and Safety
In the raw food, we feed our dogs, we have German shepherds in the 75lb to 100lb range. They get two teaspoons of garlic throughout the week, distributed over their food. And that’s been a beautiful addition to health in general. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic, but it’s an excellent additive to food. If you feed dry, you could spray your food a little bit, sprinkle it with water, then sprinkle garlic over it daily, and make sure you use up two teaspoons throughout the week. That would be an approach to it that will not cause any harm whatsoever to a 75-100lb dog. Use less if your dog is smaller. If you have a 10 lb dog, use half a teaspoon or something like that throughout the entire week, not at one time. But that’s also an approach for dealing with ticks.
The Risks of Tick and Flea Medications
Why would you do that instead of using commercial tick and flea medication? Why not just put the stuff on the back? Or give the pills? Why not give the orals? Why not give whatever. Right? Well, the FDA has issued several warnings for the oral tick and flea medications for most of these ingredients. They are not harmless and pose many health risks over the years.
They’re pesticides you put inside your dog’s body. There are reasons not to do that, right? There is a reason the package says, or the vet tells you not to let your dog sleep in your bed after you apply the topical to the back of their back. And the reason is this stuff is toxic. You shouldn’t put that on your dog if it’s that toxic. In case everything I suggested doesn’t sound appealing because you don’t want to dabble with it. Here are some commercial product suggestions for you.
There is a company called Vets Best. You can buy this stuff at Petco. You can buy it on Amazon. I’m sure you can buy it at Chewy and all the other places online, but Vets Best has an essential oil-based tick and flea spray, essential oil-based tick and flea collars, and that is entirely harmless and uses essential oils to repel ticks and fleas. It’s also an excellent solution you can apply if you don’t want to go the garlic route. That’s another option with a commercial product you buy. And it has some manufacturer guarantees that it repels ticks and fleas. I never looked at the label description, but essential oils generally work for this. There is no reason why it wouldn’t.
Okay, so let’s switch gears. Another remedy is more in the first aid category, but it’s essential to know. Let’s say you find out that your dog has a fever. And you can’t get to the vet right away, or it’s late at night. You want to monitor a little bit, maybe. I brought down the fever in one of my dogs. It was Sylvester.
It was early on in our life together. I think I had him for a year or so when this happened. No, it was sooner. I think it was the same year I rescued him. He needed a root canal. I got him out of the shelter there was a little black spot on one of his teeth. We went to my vet, who said I should go to a dog dentist or an endodontist. I went to a canine endodontist, who did an x-ray and said, your dog needs a root canal, or we could pull it out. It was one of his K9s. I decided to do a root canal, and it was all scheduled. It was all set up. But now I know there was an infection in the tooth, which had to be addressed.
Fever from a Tooth Infection
So I knew there was an infection. I had that additional knowledge. This was on a Tuesday or Wednesday. And the procedure was scheduled for the following Monday. The fever happened on a Sunday morning. My dog Sylvester was moping around. He wasn’t himself. He was lethargic. Had no energy. He was lying there and not feeling well. So I took his temperature, and it was elevated. It was not in a dangerous range but definitely outside the regular range. I could see he had a raised temperature.
Cold Head and Paw Wraps
And I did cold paw and head wraps. So I got cold, wet towels, and he was just lying there. He wasn’t moving much; he was lethargic. So I put two wet towels on his paws and one on his head. And throughout the day, I replenished and replaced them. I was sitting with him, and I monitored and watched it. And if it had gotten worse, I could have taken him to the emergency vet. But I was sure it was an infection from his tooth because he was going to surgery the following day. I broke the fever that day. It took six to seven hours, but the fever broke with two cold paws and a head wrap, just like it can in people because that’s also the old remedy we used to use.
My mother used to do it when I was a kid. It was always the first thing with a fever instead of the aspirin or whatever. Trying cold head, hands, and foot wraps was common when I was a child in the 70s. It works on animals just as well.
Next one. Cleaners. I like not to inhale toxic fumes if I can help it. So I’m not a big fan of the Lysol sprays, but I know they work. I know they kill 99.99% of bacteria. I don’t doubt that for a second, the way they smell. But I don’t want to inhale that stuff. So I, at one point, looked, well, what else could we do? And I came across the way that people used to clean their homes. This was the typical way of doing it for many, many decades. Before, commercial spay cleaners were sold in stores.
Cleaning with White Vinegar
It is white vinegar and water. One part vinegar, three parts water, or add more vinegar if you like. Add some essential oils of tea tree and lemon to give it a pleasant scent if you want, or other essential oils, and you have a very potent cleaner that will also kill 99.99% of all bacteria and pathogens, just like Lysol.
It will not stink. When you inhale it, it will not make your lungs burn. So using white vinegar and water is as effective as commercial cleaner sprays. It will cost you way less money and is far less harmful than commercial cleaning products. It is a very effective way of cleaning. And you can also Google this yourself. Look it up. It is the way people used to clean their homes. This was the standard way of doing it until commercial products got you to spend more money. But it is what people have done for a long time before we had these other products we could purchase. So it’s something worth exploring and doing.
Treating Ear Mites
And the last thing is ear mites. You might need to get medication from the vet, and that may be how you have to go. I’ve seen mixed results with this remedy over the years, but it is worth a shot if you know you have ear mites and are out of the medication. Or you can’t go back to the vet yet, or you want to try something else first, or you can’t get a vet appointment right away, and you want to do something already.
So it’s worth exploring. You can make yourself a solution of apple cider, vinegar, and water, get a syringe, and put that into your dog’s ear where the ear mites are. It can’t be too much apple cider vinegar. So you have to have a lower dosage. And I will put a link in the show notes describing how to make that solution yourself. But that is a natural remedy you can use for ear mite treatments.
Apple Cider Vinegar Kills Ear Mites
If the infestation is not too bad, it may just work. Mites can’t live in vinegar. Vinegar is something ear mites do not like. It is not something that fosters survival for these creatures. So that will kill them. But I’ve also seen cases where it was a combination of ear mites and other bacteria, and it won’t work. And that is something you don’t know until you go to the vet, and they get some gulp out of your dog’s ear, test it, and tell you precisely what you’re dealing with. If it’s just ear mites, that’s an approach.
If it’s anything other than ear mites, that won’t do it. I recommend you go to the vet, get your dog at least tested, and then get the medication. If you want to try the ear mites solution before giving the medication, you could do that.
Or if you run out of medication afterward, you could do that or try it the next time you think it’s mites, but it’s worth exploring. Just know it is not as surefire as the other things I mentioned.
Okay, that’s it. These were the natural remedies I wanted to share—the things I do and use. And there are also articles on all of this on our website. I hope you find this interesting and maybe try one or two.
Again, I’m not a veterinarian. I’m not telling you that you should not go to the vet or replace these instead of veterinary examination and treatment.
These are things I have personally used with my dogs. I’ve seen great success with them. I recommend you explore these but make your own decision. Please don’t follow my advice mindlessly because it is health care for your pet. And I am not a vet.
I have had dogs for a long time, and I like to do things myself if I can. And I want to keep things natural if I can. So I explore options like these for myself and my dogs.
Okay. So I hope you found this interesting and informative and got something out of it. I’ll see you again next time. Bye.