Last Updated on January 1, 2020
If our dogs have a problem and it doesn’t seem all that serious, before we start looking out for dog medications or to go and see a vet, we tend to seek advice from Dr. Google.
And even though there is some good reliable advice that can save you time and money, there is also a lot of wrongful information that can jeopardize the health of your furry best friend.
When looking for pet care advice, you can indeed resource to the internet, but don’t treat your dog without consulting your vet over the phone first – after all, they are the ones who do know best.
It is always wise to get pet health insurance in the case something more serious comes along, so if you don’t have it, maybe think about looking for how much is pet insurance and try to find out which pet insurance plans might work for you and your best friend.
If you consider to treat your dog at home, then at least you should know how to treat your dog right. So, consider these 8 mistakes you might make when trying to treat your dog at home.
#1 – Giving non-prescribed drugs that are not meant for pets
There are human medications that work for pets, but this is up to a veterinarian to prescribe, so don’t think about how to treat your dog’s allergic symptoms and decide that the best course of action is to give them your antihistamines – consult your vet and get proper allergy medication for dogs.
People and dogs do not share the same physiology, so that needs to be considered. It’s tempting to use human pain killers on dogs because they are so generic and work so well for us – but the truth is this is going to bring a lot of side effects to your pet, so if they are in pain you actually need to purchase pain medication for dogs.
#2 – Getting the dosage wrong on unprescribed medicine
You can take the risk and give over the counter drugs to your pet anyway, but this lack of care can lead to the wrong dosage, and this can go wrong in two ways.
One, you give them too little and it won’t have any effect at all, or two, you give them too much and it can lead to harmful side effects. Factors like how much your dog weights need to be taken into consideration – you can’t give the same quantity of medicine to a chihuahua that you would give to a giant Doberman.
#3 – Giving them something that interferes with prescription drugs
If, before you pay a visit to your vet, you go on and medicate your dog with something basic, like aspirin, this can be problematic. Why?
Because the number of drugs that can be prescribed to your dog while they are under the effect of aspirin is reduced, since the combination of the prescription drug and the aspirin can reveal itself to be inflammatory, as aspirin is linked to the increase of stomach and intestinal ulcers. Always tell your veterinarian what “home remedies” you have given your dog.
#4 – Treating the wrong problem
Imagine it with humans – a headache can mean a million different things, and treatment for those things is going to be different each time. The same happens with dogs.
You can seek treatment for a symptom that is related to a problem, and you can end up creating a problem your dog doesn’t even have. Worst, you will lose money and you will end up delaying the treatment for their actual problem or even make it more complicated. This is one of the reasons dog medical insurance is always a good thing.
#5 – Giving them your other pets’ medication
You have a cat, and your cat recently suffered from diarrhea. You take them to the vet and they prescribe you cat medicine to treat it. You do the treatment and your cat is fine.
Does this mean you can use the same drugs for your dog when he gets sick? No, you should get diarrhea medication for dogs. Medicine that is good for cats can be toxic to dogs, and it works the other way around.
#6 – Incorrect use of natural products
We try to keep things as natural as possible for ourselves, and we extend this will to our pets – try to give them biological food, make your own dog treats, and use natural dog shampoo.
But when it comes to herbal remedies, there is an extra need to be careful. Many medicines are derived from natural products, but they are processed until they are purer. Some contain ephedrine, which is very toxic for dogs, and if it isn’t processed and prepared for pets, it can be deadly.
#7 – The ingestion of natural oils by accident
You can actually use essential oils as a resource to treat skin irritations or as a repellent for parasites, like fleas or ticks.
But you need to be careful as to how you apply them, because your dogs (or your cat) will tend to groom themselves, and this can lead to intoxication through the accidental ingestion of essential oils.
Also, if you don’t dilute the oils properly, this too can be toxic for your pet, and this is serious, since dogs that have been treated with tea tree oil, for example, have developed neurologic problems that can translate into depression.
#8 – Taking too long to seek professional help
There are some health problems manifesting in pets that can represent a bigger risk and need immediate veterinarian treatment.
If there is a foreign body on your pet’s intestinal tract, this can represent a risk of intestinal perforation, and this is something that needs urgent care because it can even kill your pet.
You need to measure how serious your dog’s problems are before choosing a course of action, but remember to always put the well-being of your pet first.
In case of a doubt, the best decision you can make is to give your vet a call. Never neglect your pet’s health and always seek the opinion of a professional before making decisions that can influence their health.