Sep 04 2019

DIY Pet Remedies: When Good Intentions Go Bad

While Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital is a big fan of a good life hack, we also know that the internet isn’t always the most reliable place to turn to when it comes to professional advice. 

Pet advice is abundant on the internet with a quick search, but when it comes to medical issues in your furry family member, please remember that not all DIY pet remedies are worth it – or even safe. 

DIY Pet Remedy Fails

While it isn’t possible to address every single DIY pet remedy on the web, but there are some that we run across on a fairly routine basis. Before you find yourself in the middle of a DIY fail, we thought we would share some epic do-it-yourself pet care fails that we see all too often:

  • DIY flea prevention – You will find several recommendations for preventing or treating fleas online. Let it be said by veterinary professionals, though: Garlic has no scientific backing as use as a flea prevention, and can be toxic! Likewise, using Dawn dish soap does nothing to prevent fleas from coming back and can strip the oils from your pet’s coat, creating itching and irritation. Finally, while Diatomaceous earth can certainly kill fleas and other parasites, inhaling it has been linked with respiratory problems and even cancer. 
  • Cure-all potions – A quick internet search might lead you to believe that apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, or essential oils will fix just about anything. This simply isn’t true. Likewise, homemade concoctions for ear cleaning, bathing, etc. often are not effective or, worse, are harmful. Can you imagine putting alcohol into a sore ear?
  • Food allergy testing online – There are lots of people and companies who will take your money and samples from your pet and tell you what foods they are allergic to. Unfortunately there is no way to really test for food allergies aside from restricted dietary trials.
  • Human medications – Animals are not people. While it is true that some human medications are appropriate for pets, many times the required dosage is drastically different. Some human medications can be very harmful and even fatal to pets – and yes, we’ve even seen those recommended online, too. Always give us a call before reaching into your medicine cabinet. 

Dangerous Waters

There are many reasons that we don’t recommend taking matters into your own hands when it comes to your pet’s health care. We want the absolute best for your animal, and taking shortcuts or following the advice of internet strangers can:

  • Delay your pet receiving from proper treatment
  • Prolong discomfort or pain
  • Lead to a worsened prognosis, especially if the diagnosis is delayed 
  • Limit our options when it comes to prescribing proper treatments
  • Make our ability to diagnose properly more difficult
  • Waste money
  • Cause unwanted side effects or even harm

A thorough examination and diagnosis performed by our licensed veterinarians is absolutely essential to keeping your pet healthy. Our training, expertise, and genuine love of animals is key in providing the best in veterinary care. No website can offer that.

It might seem easy to use common sense when turning to the internet for DIY pet remedies and advice, but many sites seem to have reasonable and safe solutions. Remember they aren’t written by vets. Above all, don’t forget that we are here to be your resource as well and truly have your pet’s best interest at heart. 

pawspurrsandexoticsah | Pet Care, Pet Safety, You & Your Pet

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