Pet Care Tips to Improve Pet Health and Quality of Life

| Modified on Dec 22, 2023
If you're a pet owner -- whether your favorite pet be a cat, dog, snake, chicken, horse, iguana, canary, or llama -- you want to do everything you can to make certain your pet is happy and healthy. We'll do as much for our "fur children" as we would for any human child for all the love, affection, and fun that our pets provide us!

Pet care advice, especially natural pet care advice, however, isn't as readily available as child care advice. So Earth Clinic set up this page to gather all of your best pet tips for healthy pets and happy companions.

Natural Pet Care Remedies: You'll find pet tips here for scared dogs, declawed cats, poisonous foods, dog training, pet hydration, pet odor, nutritional supplements for pets, and much more!

Summertime Tips From Cesar Milan

Posted by Susan (USA)

Posted Fri, Jun 29, 2007, 12:26 pm PDT

Want your dog to enjoy the 4th of July festivities as much as you will? Here are some tips on keeping your dog safe in hot summer temperatures.

1. Keep him hydrated. Make sure your dog has access to water. If you're on the move, carry a portable bowl and bottle of water.

2. Different dogs have different needs. Darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats, and overweight dogs dehydrate faster. Keep this in mind when taking your pack on a walk.

3. Never leave your dog in a parked car. A car retains heat, even in the shade. Add an overexcited dog to the equation, and dehydration can result. On long trips, keep the AC on or roll down the window, and make sure water is available.

4. Be innovative. A wet towel, a water spritzer, a kiddie pool, a fan in front of a pan of ice: these are all great ways to help keep your dog cool.

5. Dogs cool from the bottom up. Lay a wet towel under your dog instead of on top of her coat. Don't forget your dog's paws and stomach when spraying water.

6. Be vigilant! Watch for signs of dehydration. These include excessive drooling, lethargy, bloodshot eyes, and loss of skin elasticity. If you're concerned, get your dog into the shade or go inside, provide water, and contact your veterinarian.

the Declawing Cat Issue

Posted by Susan (USA)

We applaud West Hollywood (the first city) and then California (the first state) for banning the declawing of cats, both big and small. Read more about the amazing veterinarians who started this successful and inspiring movement at

4th of July and New Year's Eve Fireworks Issue

2 User Reviews
1 star (2) 

Posted by Earth Clinic (Atlanta, Ga) on 07/02/2014

Hi everyone,

Please consider sharing our page on how to keep your pets safe this 4th of July with your family and friends on Facebook. Here's the url:

Thank you!

4th of July and New Year's Eve Fireworks Issue
Posted by Karen (Minneapolis, Minnesota) on 04/13/2009


Please Please spread the word : Dogs and Fireworks. Please don't bring your dogs around fireworks, dogs love to retrieve. A Friend of mine lost his dog this way, he will never forgive himself. Leave pets home and safe. Tell your friends please. Karen

4th of July and New Year's Eve Fireworks Issue
Posted by Earth Clinic (USA)


In the USA, the 4th of July and New Year's Eve are without a doubt the 2 blackest days in a dog's life each year. Emergency Services like 911 and animal shelters dread these two nights (as well as Halloween, when black cats are stolen & sacrificed by cults). We have heard many horror stories of dogs getting terrified by the sound of exploding fireworks, clawing their way out of the yard, only to escape onto a busy street and get hit by a car. Thousands of dogs die needlessly every 4th of July and New Year's Eve. What a tragedy.

If your dog has sound sensitivities (i.e., terrified of thunder), please consider keeping him or her inside once it gets dark on any holiday where there will be exploding fireworks. Do not trust your dog to be okay out in the yard!

Simple Solution for Sensitive Pets: We suggest you close the windows and drown out noises to the outside with loud fans or another kind of white noise. Speaking of white noise, you can buy an excellent cd for $10 on called, yep, "White Noise" that will give you over an hour of waterfall-ish sound. Put the CD on "repeat" and you're good to go. While the CD might give you a headache, it is an excellent solution for pets who are terrified of loud and sudden noises. It's a must in our household!

Replied by Jb
(Atlanta, Ga)

I use a cd called Canine Lullabys. It has a heartbeat embedded in music. Hate the music, children's nursery songs but, the heartbeat is the key. Very calming.

Administering Liquid Remedies

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by D.williams (Wilmington, Nc, Usa) on 10/13/2011

I am a life long lovers of cats and have found the most gentle and safe way to secure your kitty so that you can give them liquid meds is to take an old bath towel or small blanket and wrap them just like you would a human baby. This also works on small dogs and other small critters. Lay the towel over your cat's back from the neck down, you want the longer ends to it's sides, scoop them up in your lap and wrap the blanket securely around them tail end first then one side and the other. Make sure that their legs are tucked as if they were lieing on their belly with the tail tucked along their side or up along their stomach. Make sure it is tight but not strangling, especially around their neck, as they will squirm their way out if they can. Sit on the floor indian style with your kitty between your legs and gently but firmly hold their head with your thumb under their chin. I prefer a medicine syringe or eye dropper. Slide the tip of the syringe between their lips toward the back of the mouth and squeeze a little at a time into their mouth. They usually will open their mouth somewhat when the liquid enters and work their tongues to swallow, but don't stick it into their mouth any further than you have to or they will gag. Talking sweet to them and rubbing their head helps to calm them, especially if they start to freak out.

This also works great for ear cleaning/meds. This way their claws are away from you and they can't run like hell when they see the medicine! Even the most honery and psycho of kitties can usually be dosed this way. After reading so many posts of people being bitten and scratched by their beloved furry friends I had to share this with all of you. I've got my fair share of scars trying help my furry babies so I totally understand how hard it is to get their meds in them. I hope this helps and bless all of you, two legged and four legged.

Administering Liquid Remedies
Posted by Tickertin (Richmond, VA) on 07/19/2009

How to Easily Dose your Cat: I tried the ACV and read with smiles the struggles to get the cats to drink. I have had cats for over thirty years and here is an easy method. I THOROUGHLY washed a small clear tube in which water soluable hair product had come in. (you can use conditioner or shampoo, clear is best and nothing oily to be SURE you can clean it out). Mine is a small one ounce squeeze tube that a sample of hair gel came in. Squeeze the sides in and draw into the tube the dose of ACV (mine was 1/2 tsp. fill rest with water. Lay cat on back in your lap and place tube to side and back of mouth and squeeze gently. They swallow by reflex if you don't put too much it all goes down. Squeeze too hard and they can cough it back out (but some still goes in). Clear tube is important so you can measure how much you are giving them so as not to over/under dose. My vet told me this years ago, cats have to swallow when you hold them this way and put the liquid in this way, and I have done it for years.

Replied by Allison
(Houston, Texas)

ACV is very acidic so please be very careful that it does not go down wrong and enter the trachea or windpipe. This can cause alot of pain if your pet chokes on the acid. My mother had told me the story of how her friends once had played a practical joke on her by gaving my mother a drink with vinegar in it. As she started laughing with everyone else around her, she choked on the sour drink and it went down wrong into her windpipe. The result was WEEKS of miserable pain in her windpipe and lungs that she will remember for the rest of her life that she would warn us kids not to ever play this kind of pranks on anybody.

I totally believe in the healing power of ACV, but please, please be careful when forcefeeding it to your pet and know that if they choke on it and it goes down the trachea, the result could be pain that they can't tell you about.

Replied by Linda
(Toronto, On)

Instead of adding Apple Cider Vinegar to my dog's drinking water, I add it to their food.

Appetite Loss

Posted by Leenott (Edmonton, Ab, Canada) on 12/21/2012

Hi, I have a small dog of 16 years and I think he had a stroke a couple of days ago. I don't go to vets as all they will give him are drugs or steroids which I won't use.

He is stumbling around with his head on one side, and it seems he's almost lost what little sight he had, as he peers at me as if trying to find me.

He is NOT eating or drinking. This is the 2nd day he hasn't eaten. He always had a very good appetite, and nothing seems to appeal, it's as if his sense of smell is distorted.

I syringed a few mls of water this morning and it's now almost 1 pm and that's ALL the water he's had today. I also put a few pieces of REALLY good beef in his mouth, he swallowed about 3 tsps, and that's all he's eaten in 2 days.

I would really appreciate any suggestions! Beverley N in Australia

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh/usa)

I'm sorry to have to say this, but this really sounds as if it's the beginning of the end for your dear pup, especially since he's 16 and seems to have had a stroke. If money is tight for you, please find a low-cost vet in or near your area. He definitely needs to see a vet.

Appetite Loss
Posted by Patricia (Atlanta, Ga) on 08/13/2011

Help! Any suggestions for my 4 year old dog fighting for his life?
Originally went to local vet for lethargy, breathing issues and runny nose and notice of tinge of blood in discharge. Put on steroids and multiple antibiotics. Pigment color in one nostril turned pinkish white from black. They weren't sure but thought auto-immune. Couldn't do a biopsy b/c of infection so put on new antibiotic med. 1 1/2 months later, at ER vet b/c vomit was brown. They thought pneumonia, took him back for xray and 30 min later came rushing in w/blood splattered pants and told me he had been bleedidng profusely out of his nose, even throwing up clots. $$$$ spent on CT scan and rhinos copy. Diagnosis w/invasive aspergillosis - already ate away some bone and cartilage in his sinus cavity. Also diagnosed w/pneumonia. Placed on anti fungal med (itraconazole), pain pills, docycline for secondary infection and Chinese herbs to stop bleeding.

Bleeding finally stopped for 2 weeks now but he stopped eating. Learned he had high fever and now he is only taken small dose of steroid to help make him want to eat plus antifungal Med. They had also put him on denamrin b/c his liver numbers are going io due to side effect of anti fungal med. Got him to eat raw food yesterday and actually take his pill but want him to get better! Think he is sick of all his meds! He previously was eating Now kibble and Taste of the Wild. Any suggestions? Tried hot dog (whole foods of course), rice and chicken, soup, steak, grilled chicken, canned dog foods (premium brands, all types), cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream. I've been told the anti fungal is his only fighting chance so the disease does not spread to his brain cavity. The med is a capsule 2xday and so far he will only take in cheese but I need a backup plan b/c finicky now. Also want him to get well and beat these to any holistic advice for what I can do is beyond helpful. I've spent a ton of money thus far and can only manage something at home now.

Replied by Debbie
(Denton, Tx)

Most of our pets health issues are diet related. Do not give people food to animals, unless it is recommended like fresh veggies and lean meats and brown rice, etc... Do not give your dog grocery store food. Look up some good food alternatives.

It sounds like your dog may have been poisoned? Either someone deliberately did it or maybe it licked up some spilled antifreeze somewhere. It does not take much to kill an animal with antifreeze. It smells and taste sweet so they like it.

Dogs have a tendency to ingest things when their diet is not too good. If I don't watch my dog closely she will try to eat rocks or grass that may have been sprayed with poisons, etc...

Also, those rawhide bones can be very dangerous for some breeds, inc. Mine. She threw them up once and because it was in her stomach for awhile it was almost like pieces of glass coming up. It was a wonder it did not cut her intestines and she bled to death. No more for her.

I hope the best for your baby! Do your research before you feed him/her.

Avocado Poisonous to Birds

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Marilyn (Portland, Ore) on 12/18/2010


Avocado is lethal for birds, so much so that my avian veterinarian has a sign about it in the entry of her offices. This is avocado in ANY form, dip, guacamole, or just a tasty (to us) ripe avocado. Many of us who read this site's helpful tips are caretakers of beloved companion parrots and cockatoos or smaller winged merry-chirps. Let's keep them all happy, healthy and singing.

Be Careful

Posted by Nina (Chicago, Il) on 06/11/2017

I'm 70 yrs old & have had animal companions all my life. I've learned to be very careful following the advice on web sites. Cats should not be given Garlic or onion.( they do taste it even in the ears) It can cause digestive upset. Putting Peroxide in an animals ears can cause extreme distress. The bubbling is frightening, especially to a cat.So ids a spray bottle! One of the people that wrote in stated she was putting Garlic & water in a Kittens ears. The poor little kitten's ears were red & peeling from the garlic.Then she switched to Vinegar & water that must have burned terribly, even diluted. Many of the people that read these Blogs simply do NOT have common sense.They can do more harm than good trying to help their animal companions.

Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Posted by Janielam (Blackfoot, Id, USA) on 08/30/2009

I used one of those battery operated toothbrushes to brush my dog's teeth. It worked amazingingly well! You can really get to those hard to reach back places in the dog's mouth.

Cat and Dog Products

1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by Katie Aymin (San Diego, USA) on 01/11/2009


When you ever go to the pet store to get shampoo or something else for your pet, make sure it does not have any chemicals. If you do not know what things are bad that are on the ingredient list most of them are hard to pronounce so if you see something be sure to look in up on the internet or in some books. These chemicals usually do not work or work for only a short time or increase the discomfort of your pet. Also to new pet owners, before you use a remedy always make sure your pet is not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Replied by Had
(White River Jct, Vermont)

I will confess, I had short haired dogs, great danes. I NEVER shampooed them. In most instances a damp washcloth wiping down was sufficient. Of course, rinsing just w/ water and rubbing gently w/ hand for mud etc.. My dogs had gorgeous coats, lots of shine and no skin issues. All the chemicals they put in pet products are not good for the hair or the skin (just like w/ people)

Charcoal for Spider Bites

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tina (Mabank, Tx) on 07/20/2011

My dog, lab mix, got bit by a spider. I was not sure what kind of spider but it swelled up within 6 hours. I would not have even seen the bite if it had not been for the bloodish/pus spot on his back. It had 2 distinct puncture wounds and there was a red ring, discolored skin where the punctures were, his hair fell out around the site and it was seeping a kind of pus/blood discharge. It was hot to the touch and ALL kinds of pus came out of it when I tried to apply a compress to it. Needless to say, I freaked out! Just so many things went through my head... Can't afford a vet, would my dog die?, how could I help him, how long ago did he get this bite? etc. , etc...

First I tried to wash the wound out with peroxide and some antibiotic ointment. Probably NOT a good idea because I didn't want the bite to be sealed up and was not sure how the peoxide would affect the poison. Then I thought about what I had on hand here at the house. I mixed up a saltwater solution and washed the wound. I tried to get the saltwater in the puncture holes. Then I grabbed a box of baking soda and added a few drops of water to make it pasty. I applied this over the wound and covered the area around the wound. Next I got on the internet and scanned vet sites, spider sites, just ANYWHERE for a picture to help me identify WHAT had bit him.

Next, I got on EC and started scanning everything I could find about spider bites. I found the charcoal post and thought it may be worth a try. I went to Walmart and in the pet section they have activated charcoal for your fish tank. Comes in a large plastic jar. (asked the pharmacist about charcoal but they only had some capsules. ) I took some charcoal, about a tsp. , crushed it and added a few drops of water, and applied it directly over the wound. It seemed to stay on pretty good. I thought it might fall off but it didn't. I left it on for a day and when I went to check it and change the charcoal I found the wound had formed some kind of scab with the charcoal. It seemed bonded with it and I didn't want to tear it off, so I left it on. This was 48 hours after the bite and I could see the red ring was gone, the swelling was gone, and the wound area seemed to be much smaller. The next day the scab seemed like it was hardened and smaller. By the evening it had fell off and there was no swelling, no redness, no discharge, in fact, there were NO HOLES either. It was almost like he had not been bit! Like it had totally healed up under the charcoal and was gone. Total time from finding bite to scab falling off was three 1/2 days.

I am so glad that I found this site and so glad that my dog is okay! I still don't know what bit him, but it was just wonderful to have him healed up and alive. I hope this helps someone else. If I had to do it over, I would probably remove the scab and add fresh charcoal to the wound daily. As this was my first time dealing with spider bites, and as the charcoal was working so well, I was hesitant to mess with the process. I also live rurally and don't have access to a GNC or health food store, so Walmart pet section had to be the choice. Good luck to all....

Replied by Rose
(Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Usa)

I had a nasty spider bite like that a few years ago. It turned out it was a wolf-spider bite. I used a triple antibiotic and it healed quite nicely!

Charcoal Use

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Ky Mama (Clinton, Ky, Usa) on 07/30/2012

When my goats get sick we use charcoal. Once a baby goat was bloated and wouldn't drink. We put 1 T. Charcoal into her milk bottle and gave it to her. She was better within hours. We continued treated her with this at each feeding for a couple of days. When a mother goat had diarrhea and was off her feed and lethargic, we mixed charcoal 1:1 with blackstrap molasses. We gave her 2-4 T. Of this in a large syringe several times a day. It took several days but she was slowly getting better and recovered completely. When a goat had an infected hoof, we mixed charcoal with flax seed and water to make a paste and packed the hoof. We covered ith with a sock and a bandage. That was all that was ever needed for her to recover. We use activated charcoal, like we use for ourselves.

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