At Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic, we are all about the DIY trend, and we love to peruse websites like Pinterest for home repair and craft projects. Our excitement falls short when it comes to do it yourself pet remedies, however. Read on to learn why DIY is better suited to revamping that old dresser than it is to treating your pet.

Do It Yourself Pet Remedies?

You can find almost anything on the Internet – some of it true, some of it not, and some of it perhaps loosely based in reality. It is hard to sort out who you are getting information from, what their background might be, what bias exists, and how rooted in science the advice truly is.

When your pet comes to visit our expert veterinary staff, you know who you are talking to. Our staff has your pet’s interest at heart and has a professional education behind their names.

We find that many times when pet owners are using do it yourself pet remedies, the pet ends up suffering. This occurs because:

  • Appropriate treatment may be delayed
  • The DIY treatment may actually be harmful
  • The DIY treatment interferes with more appropriate treatments
  • Serious problems go undiagnosed longer

If your pet is having a problem, we encourage you to call us before searching the web for at-home alternatives.

DIY Fails

We encounter do it yourself pet treatments that go awry almost every day. Some of the more common things that we see include:

Using garlic to treat fleas — If you spend any time searching for flea treatments and prevention, you are apt to see garlic mentioned. Not only is this not a scientifically backed method for effective flea prevention, but garlic can actually be toxic to dogs and cats at high enough doses.

Coconut oil for everything — Feeding coconut oil or putting it on the skin is popular remedy for skin irritation and allergies. Coconut oil doesn’t treat underlying skin infections or have high enough numbers of the appropriate ratios of omega fatty acids to have a huge benefit, though.

Mail in food allergy testing — There are plenty of people on the Internet willing to take your money and saliva or hair samples from your pet to tell you what underlying allergies exist. These scams are absolutely not scientific and have no value whatsoever.

The dreaded Dawn dish soap — Washing your pet with Dawn dish soap to rid them of fleas and other skin trouble is a big no-no. Not only will this not effectively control fleas, but dish soap is awesome at stripping the protective oils from your pet’s skin and coat.

Pet food roulette — While skin problems may occur related to a food allergy, just changing your pet’s food without guidance is unlikely to solve the issue. In fact, changing foods willy nilly can make it much harder for us to do an effective food allergy trial.

Ear cleaners — We hope that you will keep your kitchen concoctions food related. Putting peroxide, apple cider vinegar, alcohol, and other at home ear cleaners in your pet’s ear is likely to cause irritation and pain.

Knowledge is power, and while you may learn a lot on the Internet, we encourage you to use us as your first-line resource when it comes to your pet. We don’t think that you will be disappointed!