Canine antibiotics are overused. Do you know their side effects? Do you know there are natural antibiotics you can keep in your home remedy medicine chest that strengthen the immune system?
This is my grand-dog Sofie. Isn't she an adorable Pomeranian? The first tiny dog in the family, she may just rule the roost.
Whether for dogs, cats or humans, prescription antibiotics have their place - to cure a bacterial infection. That’s it.
do not cure a viral infection, and should not be taken for a cold, the
flu or any other viral infections such as kennel cough. Many of us
expect to use them for everything under the sun thinking we are helping
our dogs, yet here is the truth. Antibiotics can shorten the life of our dog because of their side effects.
Dog antibiotics, which are the same as those used for humans, kill ALL bacteria. The problem is our bodies cannot function without bacteria so we need to stop seeing it as a bad thing. No one can be healthy without good bacteria.
So let's wise up.
They help on one hand and take away on the other. We need to be smarter
about what we give our dogs and what we take for ourselves as well.
A healthy body self heals. Nutrition is a huge part of the package. In the gut lie lots of good bacteria our dogs need. The job of bacteria is not only to aid in digestion - it is the first line of defense against disease! Everything from allergies to cancer.
Canine antibiotics leave the body open for more problems since there is nothing left to fight disease nor the bacteria to break down food and metabolize it.
The body is in a real pickle so now it's up to us to rebuild the bacterial strains which I'll get to in a minute.
Yes, there really are natural antibiotics and I have some favorites that I've used successfully; some for as many as 25 years. I kind of laugh at myself now because I remember the pediatrician commenting each year at checkup time that my three kids were never ill. On the other hand, the dogs always seemed to have something wrong with them and the vet knew them on a first name basis.
Talk about a slap my forehead moment. How embarrassing. Now I share the same home remedies for dogs and it's not rocket science. It's just common sense.
Ready? Here we go.
In the herb category we have garlic, Echinacea and Golden Seal. I see Echinacea as more of a viral infection antidote and Golden Seal as bacterial but I often use a combination in liquid form because they both strengthen the immune system. It’s a great one to have in the home medicine chest. This was probably my first product in the natural medicine category I ever used. Love it!
I learned quickly that grocery store herbs don't have the potency or purity to do much good so I spent a lot of time hitting different specialty health food stores until I found NSP. Now I can shop from home in my pajamas :-)
While my dogs never minded garlic, the other herbs were not a favorite. (See me chasing and cornering an 80 pound dog until she finally gives up and submits to herbal torture.)
For the past few years I've been using colloidal silver to replace canine antibiotics and more. I'd heard of it but it didn't make sense to me that tiny particles of silver would be healing. I was wrong, but I also learned that there is only one brand I totally trust. It's Natures Sunshine Silver Shield.
To give you an idea of how powerful it is, here is a list of things you might not expect it to cure. It kills bacteria like canine antibiotics and it kills yeast as well which makes it antifungal and best of all, it is about as close to tasteless as you can get so dogs often just lick it right up.
And best of all, it leaves the good bacteria alone so our dog's immune system is not compromised in any way.
I usually get two bottles at a time because:
It also comes in a gel for external areas which I recommend but in a pinch I just use the liquid.
You've heard of probiotics right? In another word, bacteria!
Canine Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can be found in various
foods and supplements. Some people add a
non-sugar, non-aspartame yogurt for probiotics but I don't recommend that since yogurt is dairy and not a natural food for dogs. (However, plain kefir is good for dogs.)
Prebiotics are foods that make their way through the digestive system and help good bacteria grow and flourish.
Whether you need to replace good bacteria after serving up a course of prescription canine antibiotics or just want to aid digestion, my favorite that I have in the fridge at all times is called Probiotics Eleven. Here is a product you can actually share with your dog because it has 11 strains of beneficial bacteria. Good for you both, it has both probiotics AND prebiotics. Just be sure to keep it in the fridge once you get it and always, once it's opened.
What do tummy aches and gas have to do with all this? Tummy aches and gas are digestion gone bad. For instance, although I know better, I had fast food the other night and ended up feeling lousy. The belching was awful but nothing compared to what I knew would follow so I took my Probiotics Eleven and everything calmed down.
If the dog has gas and you want to make a run for it, give him or her Probiotics 11. My dog doesn't want to take the pill and half the time I don't either so I just empty the capsule on my tongue or for the dog, put in her food dish and she goes to town. (It tastes kind of sweet.) End of gas!
Dose: My 80 lb dog and I both take 2 capsules. For a small or tiny dog give just one. It's not something you can overdose on so I don't worry about it.
Long term unaddressed or severe bacterial infections can become life threatening and need canine antibiotics. Still, the more often they are used, the less often they work, so use them when you must but please use these alternatives whenever possible and please use probiotics.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't use probiotics while taking antibiotics since the antibiotics kill it before it can do any good. Use for four weeks afterward.
The reason I keep these alternatives in my medicine cabinet is so I can address an issue the minute it comes up and before it grows into a big problem. I hope you will too. Luckily I've not had to give canine antibiotics to four of my last five dogs in their lifetime.
You can find all my recommendations for the canine medicine cabinet at Home Remedies for Dogs.
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The more dogs we get off of antibiotics the happier I am. All that's left then is understanding dog food nutrition and feeding our canines the good stuff.
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