DIY Pet Care in the Age of the Internet
Few can argue against the many important advances the internet brings to our daily lives. To be sure, we’re granted more than enough information with a quick Google search.
However, when it comes to DIY pet care, don’t take any chances by relying on anecdotal advice passed off as medical research, experience, or knowledge. Sure, the benefits of home-based internet counsel are clear enough, but the ramifications of Dr. Google can be huge.
DIY Pet Care Myths
Early folk medicinals have been passed down for generations, but if a solution to a problem sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, the following are DIY pet care remedies that have not only been debunked as ineffective, but they’re also potentially dangerous:
- Essential Oils – Many people swear by the oils produced by cedar, eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary for their curing properties. While they are widely known to ward off pests like external parasites, the oils are highly toxic if ingested by a curious pet. Similarly, never spray an oil/water mix or apply oil directly to your pet’s coat for DIY pet care. Keep herbs and plants where they belong: the garden and kitchen.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The “mother” or strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria found in unfiltered ACV is a natural cure-all. Some pet owners will never deviate from the use of this in their own version of DIY pet care. However, there isn’t any evidence to suggest it works better than conventional medicine. Proceed at your pet’s own risk, and feel free to call us for advice or with questions.
- Garlic – We’re happy to advise you on the safest, most effective methods to protect against fleas, but this bulb is not one of them. Prevent real damage to your pet’s red blood cells by avoiding garlic or making it unavailable to him or her.
- Salt – Contrary to popular DIY pet care methods, giving an animal salt to combat worms isn’t worth the potential injury to your pet’s kidneys. Instead, bring your pet in for annual screenings and to get on the right parasite preventive.
- Supplements – Like all things you decide to give your pet, we recommend checking with us beforehand. Many over-the-counter supplements, such as fish oil capsules containing healthy omega-3’s, are worthwhile. Other products like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can cause death.
When to Call Us
There’s a great deal to say about other DIY pet care strategies, such as nail trims, first aid, sub-cutaneous fluids, insulin injections, etc. Just remember, while it’s always good to support your pet in various ways, make sure you’ve done your homework and know the facts.
At the Maywood Veterinary Clinic, what we know for sure is that regular veterinary exams once or twice a year are absolutely vital to your pet’s wellness, vitality, and longevity. Our staff understands the benefits of DIY pet care on the internet, and we encourage you to use the information you find online in tandem with supportive veterinary care.