Pet lovers never want to think about their dogs getting sick or needing to undergo medical treatments, but even the healthiest dogs have days when they aren’t feeling well. However, it’s always best to consult a trained professional who understands the health needs of dogs well before administering any new pills or applying new creams on dogs.
Here is a closer look at which medications are commonly used for dogs and how to talk to your vet about natural approaches to dog care.
Common Dog Medications
Over-the-counter pain-relieving medications that you have at home are not necessarily a good choice for your dog’s health issues. For example, ibuprofen, Tylenol, and any product containing acetaminophen are not safe for dogs’ pain relief and should be avoided. However, common allergy medications, such as Benadryl, are usually considered to be safe as long as they only contain an antihistamine and not a decongestant.
Some vets may recommend giving dogs Pepto-Bismal for an upset stomach or Imodium for diarrhea relief. CBD drops and dog treats are becoming increasingly common among pet owners for a wide variety of health issues, including anxiety, nausea, and inflammation. Meanwhile, probiotics for dogs may help with canine digestive problems.
Prescriptions for Dogs
There are also prescription medications that vets prescribe to dogs for specific purposes. For example, Famotidine is a common prescription for upset stomach, and Diphenhydramine is used to treat allergy symptoms. Tramadol is a common canine pain medication, while Ketoconazole can treat fungal infections in dogs. Of course, there are less-chemically-based and more natural medications that can be explored with your holistic vet if you want to go a more natural approach for minor symptoms and avoid common side effects in your dog.
Natural Health for Dogs
One of the best ways to keep your dog naturally is to choose fresh and whole foods at feeding times. Commercially produced dog foods are often high in preservatives, additives, and hormones. Preservatives give dog foods a long shelf life but could potentially impact the long-term health of a dog. The grains that cheaper dog foods contain have low nutritional value and perhaps genetically modified organism too. Read dog food labels carefully and choose products made with organic, grass-fed meats instead. After consultation with a canine health professional, you might also consider a raw food diet for your dog.
Focus on preventative measures rather than just treating symptoms by providing a toxin-free environment for your pet and a healthy balance of food, water, exercise, and mental stimulation. In addition to your normal vet checkups, you might also consider dog massage for the calming and healing benefits to improve blood flow, reduce anxiety, and heal injuries. Chiropractic treatment for dogs is also a possibility to help dogs overcome pain and become more agile without the use of medications. Other natural alternative treatments to consider include natural remedies for joint care, acupressure, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and sound therapy.
Talking to Your Vet about Natural Canine Wellness
Many vets take a standard and traditional approach to canine care, which involves a steady dose of vaccinations, medications, and yearly checkups. But not all vets are the same, so don’t assume that your vet isn’t open to natural alternatives.
Ask your vet for an opinion on vaccinating your dog with core vaccines, such as distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus, less frequently because these vaccines have shown in studies to last seven years or longer. Another good question to ask your vet is if there are any recommended alternatives to standard heartworm pills and flea and tick meditations that are safe and effective for your pet, given his or her health history.
Every small step towards a more natural lifestyle can give your dog a significant advantage, so do what you can and don’t stress about being a “perfect” pet parent as long as you’re trying your best. If you adjust your dog’s diet, medications, vaccination schedule, or types of activity, keep a dog-specific journal to record changes in behavior so that you’re better able to share this information with the dog expert in your life.