Animals

5 Natural Tips to Keep Your Cats and Dogs Happy and Healthy

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Keeping our fur babies healthy and happy makes us happy. Thankfully, these easy, natural tips outsmart common health problems that tend to crop up this time of year — for pennies!

Get Buddy to take a pill with cottage cheese.

You’ve tried hiding your pal’s pills in his food, but he somehow finds a way to pick around them. Next time, simply take a spoonful of cottage cheese, blot any excess liquid with a paper towel and form the curds into a ball over the pill. Since it’s not high in lactose, the cheese won’t upset a dog’s stomach, and he’ll happily gobble it all up.

Heal minor cuts with a catnip balm.

If your cat scraped herself while outdoors, steep one cup of catnip in boiling water for 10 minutes. Let cool, then wipe the area with a cloth dipped in the mixture. Catnip’s antiseptic thymol speeds healing. (If your cat reacts strongly to catnip, skip this tip, as the scent may make her lick the wound.)

Soothe smelly ears with apple cider vinegar.

If you notice a smell when your dog or cat jumps in your lap, it may be his ears. Warm weather can lead to yeast or ear mites — both of which cause odor. To remedy, combine one tablespoon each of rubbing alcohol, apple cider vinegar, and bottled water, then dip a cotton ball into the mix and clean each ear (don’t go deep). The alcohol kills mites while the vinegar wards off yeast. If your pet resists, he may be in pain, so consult your vet.

Help your pup breathe easy with lemon juice.

In this heat, it’s natural for dogs to pant. But if you notice foam at the corners of your pooch’s mouth, he may have a buildup of phlegm. To clear it, mix three tablespoons of lemon juice with one tablespoon of water in a spray bottle and spritz the back of his throat. Lemon’s citric acid will help eliminate mucus, allowing your dog to catch his breath and cool faster.

Relieve constipation with bran.

Cats jumping in and out of the litter box and meowing while squatting may be experiencing uncomfortable constipation. Kitties are infrequent water drinkers by nature, and they also groom themselves more in the hot summer months — two factors that slow down the movement of waste in their digestive system. To get your cat’s system moving well again, mix one teaspoon of wheat bran per 10 pounds of body weight into her wet food per day. (If she eats dry food, mix the bran into wet food and offer it as a treat.) If there’s no improvement after two days, consult a vet.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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