Five Home Remedies For Pets That You Should Avoid

Home remedies for pets


Most veterinarians admittedly dislike when their clients admit to them they have tried home remedies for pets. But it would be foolish not to think that most pet owners haven’t tried a home remedy at least once on their pets. Probably the most common reason for trying a home remedy is to avoid a veterinary bill. Though I don’t  recommend  any home remedies for your pet, here are some you should definitely avoid in them.


Constipation is probably one of the most common ailments that owners attempt to treat on their own. Unfortunately, some home remedies for pets for this condition can have some undesired effects. Here are two home remedies for pets to treat constipation you should avoid.

Mineral oil: It seems logical that if a pet is constipated that adding lubrication would be a great help right? Unfortunately, since mineral oil is often administered by mouth, your pet is at risk for  aspirating this viscous fluid. If the mineral oil gets in the lungs of your pet, it is almost certain death due to the damage to the airways. So it is definitely not worth the risk.

Fleet enema.: It is also tempting to pick up a fleet enema to help with your constipated pet. The problem with fleet enemas is they can cause severe electrolyte disturbances which can lead to neurological disorders in your pet. Therefore the use of fleet enemas in your pet should be avoided .


It happens in all our pets. A common scenario is when a pet injures one or multiple of their limbs from either running, jumping or some other excessive activity. Most of us hate to see our animals in pain so it’s tempting to reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Over-the-counter pain relievers. Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are common drugs used by us to relieve pain.  The problem is that cats and dogs can’t metabolize  these drugs the same way we can. So even if these over-the-counter pain medications are  safe for us to use, they can be deadly if given to our pets.


Fevers can occur in pets for different reasons with the most common due to an infection. Because of this, it’s tempting to reach for Tylenol to provide relief for the fever. Just as the pain medications I mentioned can be toxic, Tylenol is the same way. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol can cause break down of the red blood cells leading to blood poisoning and liver damage.

Garlic for fleas

This could be one of the most disputed home remedies for pets. Irregardless, garlic contains chemicals that can potentially damage red blood cells in dogs and cats. This damage can cause severe anemia therefore reducing the oxygen capability of the body


Final thoughts: As a veterinarian I don’t recommend home remedies for pets without first consulting with your veterinarian. But I expect that many will not heed this advice therefore I thought this list would be helpful.

5 thoughts on “Five Home Remedies For Pets That You Should Avoid

  1. I have treated all my animals with garlic and other herbal remedies for over 30 years. My cats currently are 17 years old whilst the dogs reached 15 to 17.

    Vets should not try to get involved with nutrition when their skills are surgery. Granted the sub-quality commercial foods may be responsible for a poor digestive track but a healthy dog has a strong immune system and thus handles allergies the same way a human system does. I think you should focus on hormone replacement when altering animals too young or for all the wrong reasons. Furthermore, lower your fees so people can afford to visit a vet and help prevent the ‘self-help’.

    • Thanks Mercia for taking the time to comment. I felt it was important to address some points you mentioned in your comment. First I am confused why you even mentioned anything about nutrition when this article was about home remedies. I feel the nutrition debate is probably out of place in the context of this particular article. As far as you stating that veterinarians skills sets are just limited to surgery. While there are vets who are specialized in surgery, veterinarians skills sets are far beyond that. Veterinarian are surgeons, cardiologists, dermatologists, ultrasonographers, radiologists, physical therapists, ophthomologists, oncologists, behaviorists, anesthesiologists, and many more things which I could list. Nutrition believe it or not is a skill set as well. Some may not believe this because they may just focus on the “big” debate on commercial diets. But for veterinarians our knowledge on nutrition goes beyond that. We have to use nutrition in many aspect of veterinary medicine that many lay people may not realize. There are specific medical disorders that require a nutritional knowledge that a veterinary degree provide. In regards to your first sentence I have had many people who made similar claims about all type of nutritional supplements. Which brings me to another skill set veterinarian have that many people who make these claims do not have which is clinical experience. This is relevant because we see hundreds of animals a week from all walks of life. We see outdoor pets, well pampered pets, etc. What people who make these claims don’t realize is just because your pets may thrive from a particular treatment it does not mean other pets will. Pets are all different and there are multiple factors to consider when addressing their health. Without this clinical experience one may not realize that. Especially when they just depend on the experience with their own pets. Another factor is sometimes an owner’s perspective of health may be in error. So those making these claims for further validity I would need to see routine bloodwork ( at least every six months) and evidence of regular veterinary exams that coorelate to the “health” of these animals. Over the years I have seen many people claim that their older pets are healthy because how long they have lived. Then when I perform my physical exam I find quite the contrary. This may or may not be the case with your animals but it does happen.
      Just like you mentioned nutrition, I am not sure why you elected to mention altering animals but I will address your points as well. Not sure what wrong reasons you are talking about when referring to altering animals. Most veterinarians alter animals to prevent overpopulation and prevent medical conditions related to unaltered animals. It is definitely not fun performing an emergency surgery on a ten year old dog being afraid that they won’t make it through the surgery because they haven’t been altered. You can read the article to get more of my insight on the issue.
      Owning a pet has many great benefits for both an owner and the pet. But owning a pet is not a need. Therefore I think it would be unreasonable for people to expect veterinarians to lower their prices for something that is not needed. If some wants to take on the responsibility of owning a pet then they need to be prepared for the costs of taking care of them. I also provide more insight with these two articles.
      If certain pet owners want to take a risk of trying potentially harmful home remedies without consulting with a veterinarian first then the responsibility is solely on them not the veterinarian’s fees.

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