Disclosure - I did not write this article and can't remember the source of it. If you know please post a comment so I can give proper credit. Also if you know of a holistic remedy that is not mentioned in this article please comment so that we can add it to the list.
Aloe Vera gel or juice. An excellent detoxifier and cleaner of the digestive tract and urinary system. Use it for any illness or general "not feeling well" (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.)-- 1/2 tsp. of juice three times a day. Even better, combine it with liquid chlorophyll. Also use aloe for skin conditions and cuts, mixing two ounces of gel with calendula and vitamin E oil and rubbing it on as an external antiseptic and soothing healer. Finally, use aloe for ear problems, mixing two ounces of juice or gel with a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (food grade) and massaging it into the ear. Make sure the brand you buy is 99% (or more) PURE, preferably organic, and preserved with citric acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Don't buy a brand preserved with benzoic acid or sodium benzoate. Don't use aloe if your pet is pregnant.
Apple cider vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar is a wonderful daily tonic that boosts the immune system and fights bacteria. It can heal infections of the urinary tract and kidneys. It balances electrolytes and enzymes and adds minerals. Truly a miracle food...and so inexpensive and simple to use. Add raw apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl - about 1/2 teaspoon per pint of water. If the dog won't drink it at first, add a little raw honey to sweeten the taste, and gradually phase out the honey. Make sure you buy ONLY the raw, unpasteurized, dark golden variety of ACV that has cloudy "stringy" things floating in it. Called "Mother of Vinegar", they contain the bulk of the healing nutrients. Don't buy distilled, light amber, or white vinegar. These are fine for cleaning, but useless for healing.
Aspirin. Aspirin shouldn't be given for many days or weeks at a time, because it can irritate the stomach, but it works very well for relieving short-term discomfort. We use the orange children's aspirin tablets, which come in tiny 80-mg tablets and break easily. At the standard dose of 5 mg per pound of dog, that works out to 15 mg for a three-pound Chi, 20 mg for a four-pound dog, 25 mg for a five-pound dog. So for all those weights, we give one-quarter of a tablet, which is 20 mg. Close enough. For extreme discomfort, such as right after spaying, we give a half-tablet for the first two doses only. Aspirin doses are given to dogs 12 hours apart, NEVER four to six hours as with humans. NEVER give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. We don't like prescription pain relievers from the vet (except for extreme or prolonged pain) because they make Chihuahuas dopey and confused.
Baby food. We always keep a jar of Gerber's in the cupboard because most sick pets will lick at chicken or turkey baby food. We warm a spoonful for just two or three seconds in the microwave -- don't scald it. Add some raw honey - in fact, warm baby food is the perfect base for mixing in a pinch of many healthy foods: liquid chlorophyll, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, slippery elm, aloe vera, vitamin C, vitamin E, and bran, to name a few.
Benadryl. For allergic swelling after a bee sting, we give 1/2 mg of Children's Benadryl per pound of Chihuahua. But no more than 3 doses total, spaced eight hours apart.
Bran. Fiber helps relieve constipation and dry stools by allowing the stools to soak up additional moisture and thus move more easily. We have had only one dog with a single case of constipation, and it cleared right up with 1/2 tsp. of oat bran added to each meal. We prefer using bran rather than mineral oil.
Calendula. A powerful healing herb for skin conditions and cuts. We buy it as an ointment, mix it with aloe vera and vitamin E oil, and rub it on as an external antiseptic and soothing healer.
Elastic bandage. The soft, flexible, cloth kind that sticks to itself, for wrapping sprains and other injuries.
Fasting. Not exactly an "item", but very important to know about, nevertheless. When your pet is ill, s/he should not have to spend her energy digesting food. Fasting gives the body a chance to break down toxins and purge them. For two or three days, stop feeding regular meals. Give only tiny amounts of chicken/turkey baby food and vegetable broth, plus liquid healing foods such as raw honey, liquid chlorophyll, apple cider vinegar, slippery elm, and aloe vera, and tummy teas. Gradually add steamed veggies, then raw minced/pulped veggies, then cooked rice, then cottage cheese and meat, and so on, until your pet is back on its regular diet of healthy foods.
Garlic. This miracle food builds the immune system and is an herbal antibiotic, virtually unbeatable at preventing and fighting infection (both viruses and bacteria). It also helps to expel puppy roundworms by cleaning out the digestive tract, enabling the body to expel the worms with the mucus. Grate 1/2 small clove and mix it into meals two or three times a week as a general immune builder. For actual or potential infections (such as after surgery, cuts, wounds, etc.), add it to every meal. If you prefer, you can use garlic powder instead -- but not kitchen garlic salt or other cooking preparations, which are stale, processed, and/or mixed with unwanted additives.
Hydrogen peroxide 3%. To make your pet throw up after eating something it shouldn't, give 10 ml. Give a second dose 10 minutes later if necessary. Also valuable as a pesticide wash and bacteria killer, so you can use it as a rinse on raw meat, meaty bones, and/or raw veggies (unless they're organic) before feeding.
Kaopectate. For diarrhea, if slippery elm (see below) isn't working, we give 1 ml per pound of Chihuahua, every 2 hours.
Liquid chlorophyll. Another excellent detoxifier and antiseptic for the internal organs, especially the digestive tract and bloodstream. Use it internally for any illness, especially a digestive problem -- 1/2 tsp. three times a day. It combines very well with aloe vera (see above). Liquid chlorophyll is also used by holistic vets to balance blood sugar levels in some pets with diabetes or chronic hypoglycemia.
Medicine dropper. With markings in ml's and cc's. For giving liquids.
Mineral oil. 1/2 tsp. can help dry stools pass more easily, but it is very easy for an animal to become dependent on it, so don't use it for more than a few days.
Nutrical or Nutristat. A high-calorie, high-sugar supplement to keep blood sugar and energy levels up when your pet is ill or not eating well. We give a finger full every couple of hours. If the animal doesn't feel up to licking it, we wipe it onto the roof of its mouth, which stimulates her licking and swallowing reflex.
Raw honey. Raw unpasteurized honey from the health food store (not processed or pasteurized from the supermarket) is one of the oldest and most reliable healing foods. It fights bacteria, builds the immune system, and provides energy. Give a fingertip of honey every couple of hours for almost any illness or general "not feeling well". If your pet won't lick it, just wipe it onto the roof of her mouth to stimulate her licking and swallowing reflex.
Rescue Remedy. These homeopathic drops from your health food store can reduce anxiety. Give 2 to 4 drops on the tongue before and during stressful trips to the vet, for car or plane rides if your pet is prone to motion sickness, or before and after any stressful experience. (Thunder Storms)
Slippery elm. An excellent herb for the digestive tract. For diarrhea, we mix 1/2 tsp. of slippery elm powder with raw honey and give three or four times a day. You can also buy slippery elm syrup, which doesn't need mixing.
Thermometer (rectal). Digital types are easiest to read. Typical Chihuahua temperatures are 100.5 to 103 degrees. Make sure you take her temperature when she is well, so you will have something to compare to when you suspect she is ill.
Tummy teas. Chamomile, ginger, and peppermint are outstanding herbs for an upset stomach or general "not feeling well". We buy them as dried teas, add boiling water, let steep for 5 to 10 minutes, and let cool. We draw 3 cc into a feeding syringe and gently feed it into the Chihuahua's mouth every few hours.
Tweezers. For pulling out ticks, slivers, or thorns.
Vitamin C powder. Vitamin C is an incredibly powerful builder of the immune system and joints. It can prevent and help cure so many illnesses and disorders that it has a permanent spot in our cupboard. Dogs do not produce nearly enough of this essential vitamin themselves, and the vitamin C added to kibble and canned diets is cheap, synthetic, and far too little to do any good. We give vitamin C as a daily supplement and increase it whenever an illness such as a skin condition, virus, arthritis, joint problem, etc. comes along. We recommend the Ester C powdered brand because it is the most digestible. There's NO fear of overdose as extra vitamin C is simply "peed out" -- but if you give too much too fast you'll see loose stools. Simply cut back and build more slowly to let your pet's system get used to this healthy stuff. Start with 100 mg morning and evening, and build to 250 mg, increasing to 350-500 mg when needed, and if your dog's system can do it without loose stools.
Vitamin E. Another outstanding builder of the immune system. We use the powdered form because it is so easy to measure out and mix into food. We give 50 to 100 IU daily (about 1/8 tsp. of powder), and increase to 100-200 IU during illness. For skin conditions and cuts, vitamin E oil is an excellent antiseptic and soothing healer, especially when combined with aloe vera and calendula. Always make sure you buy vitamin E with d-alpha tocopherols â€” NOT dL-alpha or mixed tocopherols, which are not natural.
Yogurt. Yogurt is valuable because it contains "friendly" bacteria which are extremely important for digestion. We mix it into meals every couple of days. Whenever we're forced to give antibiotics for serious infection, we increase the yogurt, because antibiotics kill helpful (as well as harmful) bacteria. To replace these helpful bacteria, we add 1/2 tsp. of plain yogurt to each meal.
This information is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or prescribing, but is offered only as information for use in maintaining and promoting health in cooperation, when necessary, with a veterinarian. We are not veterinarians and cannot assume responsibility for use of this information in lieu of a veterinarian's services. This is simply what we do or what we would do with our own pets. If your pet is ill, seek assistance from a veterinarian, preferably one who understands the holistic approach.
Please comment to add your own home remedies.