Did you know that over 50% of American households have a feathered, finned or four-legged family member? That’s right! Our pets give us so much love every day, if only we had a day to recognize and appreciate them. Oh, wait…we do! National Pet Day was this Monday, but if you’re an animal lover like me every day is National Pet day and what better way to celebrate your pet than with a fun surprise for them? Did someone say TREATS?!
You can buy all kinds of treats for your pet at the pet store, but just like human treats, mass produced treats have tons of processed ingredients and sometimes even contain filler ingredients that don’t benefit your pet at all!
Treats made from natural ingredients not only taste fantastic, they’re also full of nutrients that benefit your pet from skin and coat health to a healthy digestive system!
Today we’ve got five easy to make natural treats for your dog!
Frozen Pumpkin Cubes
The perfect way to cool down on a hot day, all you have to do is spoon canned pumpkin into an ice cube tray and let them freeze solid. Pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals and is also an excellent source of fiber for dogs, especially if they’re having tummy trouble!
Yummy yummy yummy. Did you know dogs can eat fruit?! Even more so…lots of them enjoy it! Fruit provides a lot of the same benefits for dogs as it does humans. A couple slices of apple (make sure seeds are removed) for fiber, a couple slices of banana for potassium, and a few blueberries for antioxidants makes the perfect fruit cup! You can even upgrade it to a parfait by adding one to two spoonfuls of some plain greek yogurt…a fantastic source of calcium and probiotics.
Bone Broth Popsicle
A great snack for your senior pup, “The glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid in bone broth are nutrients that support joint health and integrity.” (First Vet). All you have to do is pour the bone broth into an ice cube tray and get creative with what you use as a stick! You could try a longer dog biscuit, a Greenie or other dental chew, or even a carrot stick (some dogs love carrots)!
As you already know, here at AVNS we’re huge fans of natural alternatives when it comes to beauty and health-care products. We believe using natural ingredients like essential oils, apple cider vinegar, and plant derived butters on hair and skin can help decrease the risk of allergic reactions to synthetic products, provide an option for those with sensitive skin, and interact more effectively with our bodies. Of course, if these natural remedies work so well for so many people, doesn’t it make sense that they’d work for animals too?
Absolutely! Certain natural products can be used on pets for a plethora of helpful benefits such as, keeping your pet’s skin moisturized,helping to relieve itchy skin, and even repelling fleas. You’d be surprised how many of these natural antidotes are already in your cupboard! Today I’ll be going over 5 natural remedies for pets that will help them look and feel their best!
1) Use Natural Pet Shampoo to Decrease Dry Skin and Allergies
I have to wash my hair every other day, but I have friends who only need to wash once a week. Dogs are the same way and so are other pets. According to AKC, your dog’s coat type typically determines how often they need to be bathed.
Huskies have insulated coats and over-washing will strip their fur of important natural oils. On the other hand–sorry–paw, Chinese Crested have very delicate skin and actually need to be bathed weekly.
As a rule of claw, most breeds need a bath once a month. Dogs get dirty, so dog shampoo can be packed with some pretty heavy duty ingredients and over washing your dog can lead to dry skin…which is the last thing you want for your pooch or any other pet.
This poses a problem if your dog likes mud or stink. You shouldn’t keep your dog clean inside at the expense of them not getting proper exercise…so what do you do? Just like natural shampoo for humans, our natural pet shampoo is moisturizing because of its natural glycerin content. You’ll get the same deep clean without the irritation. We’ve formulated a special shampoo bar, just for pets, but some of our “hoo-man” shampoo bars work as well!
Our long lasting 4 oz round organic pet soap is free from artificial colors, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and synthetics, and may help restore your pet’s sensitive or allergy-prone skin to health. Your smallest 4 legged friend will love you all the more for using this safe & effective shampoo, plus you will love the sudsy lather which is effective in washing out all the grime from your dirt loving, mud rolling canine to equine. If you’re looking for natural dog shampoo, organic cat shampoo, or natural horse shampoo, you’ll love our pet shampoo bars.
In the creation of this bar, we have added specific oils, butters and essential oils which are safe for animals and will help both with skin and coat health, as well as keeping little unwanted pests away. As with all shampoo bars, this natural pet shampoo bar needs to be used with soft water for a thick sudsy effective bathing experience.
Coconut: adds moisture to your pet’s skin and prevents flaking. It has antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which mean that it will reduce fungus and yeast when used topically.
Castor oil: not only provides a thick fluffy lather, but is effective for soothing and treating skin problems, for repelling fleas in ticks when in combination with essential oils, and for treating tumorous growths or cysts.
Shea butter: moisturizes dry, itchy skin and adds luster and shine to the coat.
Colloidal oats: act as an anti-inflammatory treatment to calm your pets skin irritations.
Essential oils of lemongrass, frankincense & cedarwood: have a multitude of benefits some of which include soothing abilities and calming effects on the nervous system, treating and repelling common pests like fleas and ticks, plus properties which have antiseptic actions that can heal the skin.
This bar is loaded with naturally moisturizing oils and hair-protecting silk peptides. This is a perfect shampoo for wire-haired dog breeds, or dogs with coarse hair. This bar can also be used to give your horse a radiant mane and tail!
2) File your pet’s nails
Trimming your dog’s nails can be daunting. Many dogs get anxious if you try to trim their nails, and if you accidentally cut the dog’s quick they will bleed. Unless you know how to trim your dog’s nails, I would highly recommend letting a professional grooming service take care of it.
However, sometimes nail trims can leave your pet’s nails with sharp edges. These edges are usually filed down naturally when they come in contact with pavement during “walkies”…but if your dog can’t handle long walks you can use a typical nail file to round out your dog’s nails. I recently did this to my dog while she was napping and she barely even noticed. It saved us both a ton of anxiety and stress and I didn’t have to worry about her tearing through any furniture.
Dogs don’t need their ears cleaned regularly. If you notice your dogs ears seem waxy it probably means that your dog’s body is working to flush something out of its system. If you let nature run its course it will probably clear up on its own. If you notice that your dog is experiencing discomfort and is shaking his/her head and itching at the ear, that’s when you can step in. A 50/50 solution of water and apple cider vinegar can be swabbed inside your pet’s ear with a cotton pad to clean out any irritant.
4) Apple Cider Vinegar for Itchy Skin
The acidity of apple cider vinegar is useful in combating itchy skin or rashes like poison ivy or yeast. Just mix a solution of 50/50 acv and water in a spray bottle and spray down the affected area. Be careful to avoid spraying on open wounds, as this will sting.
5) Flea and Tick Repellent
Using your same spray bottle mixture of 50/50 acv and water, you can lightly spritz your pet weekly. The acv will taste extremely appetizing to any pest that decides to take a chomp on your dog!
I hope these tricks come in handy next time you’re in a pinch with your pet and need a quick solution!
Hello AVNS community! My name is Abigail Paige, and I’m a ballet dancer living in Washington D.C. I’ve been many places throughout my dance journey, but I was born and raised in Lakeville, Minnesota. Living naturally was a huge part of growing up, and a lot of those principles have stayed with me through the years. I am and have always been a huge animal lover, and am so blessed to have been able to find a job at a little pet store half a block’s walk from my apartment. The company’s focus is providing 100% natural pet food and products, so I really resonate with the objective and have learned so much in my time working there.
I remember the worst thing about getting sick when I was younger – essential oils had to be diffused in my room at night. This is by no means a bad thing, in fact it’s an incredibly effective solution, however it meant my beloved little dog Pippin wouldn’t be able to sleep in the room with me as he usually did. If essential oils are a large part of your daily lifestyle, you may have heard something similar to what my mom would tell me, that essential oils are toxic to pets. This is true in some cases, but fortunately for those of us who love both our furry friends and the benefits of essential oils, not always.
There are many factors that go into how safe it is to use essential oils around your pet. As we know, dogs and cats have extremely powerful noses, so keep in mind that a scent that is just barely perceptible to us may be incredibly strong and irritating to them. The type of oil being used largely varies the effect it will have on your pet. Some oils actually have calming or healing effects on pets, while others are highly toxic. It also depends on whether the oils are being used for topical treatment or being diffused in your home. Many oils, like tea tree, are beneficial when applied topically but harmful when inhaled or ingested by the animal.
Every pet will respond differently to various oils, so be sure to always monitor your pet’s outward signs while using essential oils in your home. Essential oils should be used with special caution around cats and flat-faced dog breeds, who are more prone to respiratory issues. If you have access to a vet, ask them about which specific essential oils are safe for your pet.
Which Oils Are Safe?
In general, the most important oils to avoid with all animals are high-phenol oils and those with high concentrations of pinene. These can cause liver toxicity, skin irritation, or respiratory issues for your pet. Some of the most common include:
Some essential oils that are generally safer to use around pets and may actually have some benefits are:
Lavender (AVOID with cats) – skin soothing, calming, insect repellent
As may be obvious, there are a plethora of essential oils out on the market. It may be overwhelming to know that no “dos & don’ts” list is completely foolproof, but rest assured that the best person to ask regarding the safety of your pet is a licensed veterinarian. Some vets are even able to do blood tests to see if your pet will have an unusual reaction to a certain oil.
Topical vs. Diffusion
Topical application of certain essential oils can have many benefits for pets, and sometimes oils that you would otherwise avoid may be recommended for medical benefits for your pet. For example, tea tree oil is often used as a flea and tick repellent or hot spot relief. However, it is incredibly important when applying any oil to a pet’s fur or skin to remember to heavily dilute the oil with a carrier oil. This brings the strength of the oil down to a more manageable level for your pet and decreases the risk of any unwanted reactions. AVNS carries a high-quality virgin jojoba oil that works as a wonderful carrier oil for topical application. In addition, it also comes with its own benefits of soothing, conditioning and healing your pet’s skin and coat. Just be sure to order the unscented one when using on pets, so there are no unnecessary ingredients other than the intended oil being applied.
Young Living Essential Oils’ website recommends using a 9:1 ratio of carrier oil to essential oil for small dogs and cats, and a 4:1-3:1 ratio for medium and large dogs. It’s best to apply the oils by rubbing them together in your hands and stroking your pet gently. Be careful not to apply oils in an area where your pet could easily lick them off, as ingesting oils may seriously harm your pet. On their back or base of the neck is usually the best place to apply.
If you’re like me and love to use an essential oil diffuser in your home all day every day, you’re probably wondering how safe that is for your pet. Like topical application, there are ways to the reduce the chance of a negative reaction from your pet and help them stay feeling comfortable in their own home.
Try to stick with pet-safe essential oils.
Use less concentration than you normally would – only add 1-2 drops to your diffuser at a time.
Don’t run the diffuser constantly, only for intermittent periods of time.
Place the diffuser high up or in an area where it’s not dispensing directly near your pet or where your pet might be able to knock it over.
Always be sure your pet has another area to go and leave the room that oils are being diffused in if they are uncomfortable or irritated by the scent.
When using a new oil around a pet, do a test run of the diffuser for 10-15 minutes and closely monitor your pet’s reaction. Watch for scratching, excessive drooling/panting or sneezing, lethargy, redness around face, or vomiting. If all seems well, continue using it in short time periods while always keeping an eye out for any of the aforementioned symptoms.
Essential Oils in Pet Shampoo
Just as is with human beauty products, fragrances in pet shampoo can be a common irritant for many pets. Fortunately for us natural-conscious pet owners, AVNS has designed a pet-safe shampoo bar packed with priceless natural ingredients specifically for your furry friend! Olive, castor and coconut oils along with colloidal oats rejuvenate, soothe and moisturize any dry or irritated skin. Shea butter does the same while also conditioning your pet’s coat for a shiny, healthy finish. Last but not least, natural pet-safe essential oils of lemongrass, frankincense & cedarwood add their own healing, calming and insect repelling benefits. This bar is more than just a bath, it’s a smorgasbord of valuable and helpful ingredients to keep your pet happy, healthy and looking beautiful.
If you’re looking for a different scent or maybe even for something you might already have in your AVNS soap stockpile, check out all the other bars that are safe for use with pets:
Pets are an integral part of our home lives. Although the responsibility can be daunting, we take every effort to make sure they have the longest and happiest life possible. When we make the choice to “go natural” in our own lives, we do it because we care about what we put in our bodies. Our pets share a home with us, so why not use the same intention with them?