Natural Home Remedies for Sick Dogs

Natural Home Remedies for Sick Dogs

Complimentary post provided by Sabrina Burke at Chasing Tails

Seeing your beloved friend in pain can really tug at your heartstrings. But as with all of us, dogs are likely to experience some type of pain over the course of their lives.

There are various causes to the pain your dog experiences – whether it’s everyday aches and pains associated with aging, such as joint pain, or from an illness or injury.

In many instances, it’s essential to get your vet’s advice as to what to do, so check with them first. If you don’t want to use standard dog pain reliever medicines, you can turn to natural remedies if your vet supports this. What you can use depends on the nature and extent of your dog’s pain and the circumstances surrounding the pain.

Here are some options for natural pain remedies for dogs that you may wish to consider.

Make life easier for your pet

The first way to help your pet with pain relief is to make them as comfortable as you can. If your friend enjoys climbing up onto soft furniture to be with you, get a dog ramp for the bed or sofa.

Give your pet extra affection, as we all crave extra pampering when we aren’t feeling our best.


A common cause of chronic pain for dogs is arthritis, particularly for older dogs. Joint supplements can be very effective in helping your dog feel less pain and enjoy more mobility.

The most common kind of joint supplement for arthritis contains glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural substance found in the body. The glucosamine in supplements is usually either extracted from shellfish or fabricated in a laboratory. Glucosamine helps lower pain by repairing the cartilage in the joints, which leads to lowered rates of inflammation and, consequently, less pain.

Chondroitin and MSM

Another popular ingredient in supplements for dogs for pain relief is chondroitin. Chondroitin is an essential component of our cartilage, preventing it from breaking down. Chondroitin can even stimulate cartilage repair processes.
Chondroitin is often combined with another substance called methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM. MSM is a naturally-occurring compound in our bodies, as well as in animals and plants. The essential element of MSM is sulfur, which can be produced in a lab as a powder for supplements.


Many people report the benefits their dogs get from eating food with turmeric. Turmeric comes as a powder, paste, or liquid. There are even chewable treats for dogs containing turmeric, as well as pet foods with turmeric.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is simple to give to dogs. You can provide fish oil supplements, of course, or whole fish. Anchovies or sardines are good sources of oily fish for your friend. Some prescription dog foods have high amounts of fish oil.


Cannabis-derived oils and supplements are becoming greatly popular. Many people have reported all kinds of benefits for their pets.
CBD oil comes from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. But before you think marijuana, CBD contains almost no THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. You’re not giving your dog something that will make your friend ‘high.’
Most of the CBD results for pets come from anecdotal reports of owners, as there hasn’t been enough research yet. But given the high amounts of testimonials, you may want to try this for your pet.

Alternative Therapies

There are several alternative therapies that you could try, instead of or in addition to supplements:
 Aromatherapy. As with humans, essential oils can help relieve stress.
 Massage. Dogs can enjoy massage therapy to improve blood flow, lower their stress levels and relax their muscles, resulting in less pain.
 Hot or cold packs. Try a hot gel pack or an ice pack for your dog. Check with your vet to see which one would be applicable for your friend’s pain.

Before trying any of the above therapies, check with your vet or with a holistic vet. Make sure the person delivering the treatment is a licensed practitioner.

Natural herbs

Some natural herbs can help dogs with pain. A few examples – in addition to turmeric, mentioned earlier – are cinnamon, hawthorn, and Boswellia serrata (resin from the tree of this name.)

A note of caution

One thing to remember is to never give your dog friend painkillers or any other substances that are meant to treat pain in humans. If your vet or holistic vet has prescribed supplements for your pet, only give the recommended dosage.
When in doubt, or before giving your dog any new substances or foods, check with your vet.

Keeping pets and the community safe

Keeping pets and the community safe

As the coronavirus started to spread a month ago, you probably saw information on creating an emergency plan for your pets in case you or a family member fall ill and can’t care for them. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control reminds us that the best place for our pets is at home and/or being cared for by someone they know, and having a detailed plan and emergency kit packed for your pets helps ensure this can happen. Right now it is also important to have more than one temporary caretaker lined up in the event one of them is unable to take on the responsibility.

MACC has other tips for emergency planning for pets here:

But the current pandemic has shown some other issues with pets that MACC would like you to be aware of.

  • MACC Field Staff has also seen a significant increase in the number of stray and loose loose this spring. This is most likely caused by more kids and family members at home, and dogs sneaking out of doors or gates that aren’t properly latched.
  • And dog bite/incident calls have also risen this spring – an 87% increase in calls between March 1st and April 8th this year compared to last year. Nearly half of the cases reported were in conjunction with the aggressor dog being off leash. More people are taking their dogs for walks, and not always keeping them leashed as is required by law.
  • Cats are also slipping out of the house: MACC has seen a huge increase in the number of loose cats that have been injured by cars or dogs.

As you spend more time at home, please make sure to pay special attention to your pets’ surroundings. Make sure doors and gates are secure, and take special care with kids to make sure they aren’t letting pets escape. When walking your dogs, keep them leashed at all times and honor the social distancing guidelines for other dogs as well – not all dogs like to be close to other dogs!

Currently Minneapolis Animal Control  is only responding to emergency calls (sick, injured or dangerous dogs) so we need to work together and do everything we can to help keep our pets, ourselves, and our neighbors safe.

What to do you find a stray

Find a safe place for the dog to stay.

Call on any tags if the dog is wearing a collar.

Walk the dog around the neighborhood and/or knock on doors to see if someone recognizes the dog.

Have the dog scanned for a microchip, most vets will do this for you.

Ask local vets to see if they received a report of a missing pet or have that dog on record as a client.

Take photos of the dog and post online:
• Facebook pages for Lost/Found
• Animal Humane Society Found
• Neighborhood group pages
• Craigslist (Pets section and Lost & Found sections)
• Nextdoor app

Make posters to hang up in the area it was found.

Message us with a photo, location, date found, etc. and we’ll post to our page and help network.

Always try to require proof of ownership (veterinary records, bill of sale, photos of you and your pet together, etc.) from anyone who wants to claim a lost dog. You want to be sure they are going to the right home.

Call Minneapolis Animal Control to make a FOUND report. If someone is looking for the dog, they can reach out and connect you with the owner.

If you can’t keep the dog safe, or if the dog is sick, injured or dangerous, please call Animal Control at 612.673.6222 or call 311.

We are unsure exactly what the policy is on the intake of stray dogs at Animal Control at this time, please call them and ask questions.



Meet Megan Raun

Meet Megan Raun

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
My main gig is a stay-at-home Mom to 3 wonderful kids! I also have a part time administrative job working for a real estate appraiser. I love spending time outside…hiking, running and biking are my favorite!

Q: How long have you been volunteering and what made you decide to volunteer with Save-a-Bull? 
I’ve been with SAB since November of 2017, so a little over two years. I adopted my first rescue dog in Texas from a dog fighting ring and he was the BEST dog ever. It made me realize my passion for changing the negative reputation that pit bulls have. They deserve so much more and I want to be a part of caring for them and changing people’s minds about them.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?
It’s important to give back and to find outlets for your passions.

Q: How do you volunteer your time with Save-a-Bull?
I am responsible for some small administrative items — sending thank you notes and decals. I also foster and temp foster.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer with Save-a-Bull so far?
Fostering has been my most rewarding experience. It’s so hard to say goodbye, but the love I’ve received and given to my foster outweighs everything. It also brings me joy to see my kids take care of dogs that aren’t their own….they have benefited from all of the playing and snuggling as well. The love and fun in our house is overwhelming when we have a foster dog!

Q: If you had the opportunity to be involved in other parts of rescue, what would they be?
I would love to be involved in the in-take process at some point, but there are a lot of goals I have before then…to attend a spay/neuter day, volunteer and become more familiar with events, and continue working with foster dogs on training.

Thank you to Megan, and ALL our volunteers, for putting yourselves out there to truly make a difference! #volunteerappreciationweek

Art, and laughs, are good for the soul

Art, and laughs, are good for the soul

In tough times, we’re all looking for a way to feel good and have a laugh in order to let of some steam and destress.  We’ll, you’ve come to the right place! We’re holding our very own Pet Portrait Fundraiser and we think it’ll be just what you need! A $10 donation will help rescue dogs, AND get you a custom, maybe not-so-great, but probably really funny, portrait of your pet.

Our volunteers have bravely agreed to try their hands at drawing your pet in an effort to raise money for our rescue dogs. Our group does include some professional artists, illustrators and graphic designers, but it’s also mostly made up of accountants, real estate agents, nurses, cooks, scientists, researchers, moms and dads, builders and more – so you just never know what your portrait might look like! Our “artists” have been warming up for this event, here are few of their drawings:

This virtual event will take place online on Friday, April 24. Make your donation and post your photo here:
Then sit back, maybe with a glass of wine or a snack, and watch the finished portraits start rolling in! We’ll be sharing all the drawings as as we go, so you’ll get an evening of online entertainment!

All donations will help with food, supplies, vaccinations and the care of dogs in rescue. We appreciate anyone who can show their support during these trying times, and think a goofy pet portrait is just what we all need right now.

You’ve seen it before as other organizations have picked up their pencils to draw pet portraits to raise money – well, now it’s our turn! Join us for this virtual get together as we share in some art appreciation, stress-relief, camaraderie, and our support of rescue.

Meet Kim Nali

Meet Kim Nali

Q: How long have you been volunteering and what made you decide to volunteer with Save-a-Bull? 
I have been volunteering with SAB since February of 2016. We began fostering after the rescue posted a need for fosters for the Lion King Litter. We thought that fostering would be fun for us, and our two resident dogs. Little did I know how much fostering would capture my heart and increase my desire to dive into volunteering.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?
I think that volunteering is important because it forces you to look at things from different perspectives. Helping others, animals included, opens you up to new experiences and can often push you outside of your comfort zone. It can also bring you together with people that you otherwise would have never met. Rescue has given me many new friends, a sense of purpose outside of my career and family, and has brought many cute dogs across my path. 

Q: How do you volunteer your time with Save-a-Bull?
Rafiki from the Lion King Litter was our first foster pup. We continued to foster as we found joy and meaning in it. As more opportunities were presented in rescue, I continued to dive in. I started by joining the Adoption Event team, assisting with running and coordinating adoption events. Then the Intake team was looking to add more individuals, so I started doing Intake for SAB in December of 2017. Intake involves the coordination of bringing dogs into our rescue. Dogs are brought into rescue through a few different avenues: pulling dogs from local shelters after their stray hold is up, having dogs surrendered directly to our rescue from local families that can no longer care for them, and pulling dogs from out of state partners. I also sit on the Board of Directors.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer with Save-a-Bull so far?
I think that fostering is the most rewarding experience. It is incredibly special to bring a dog into your home, build a relationship with them, see them grow (and sometimes heal), and then unite them with a family that will love and cherish them for the rest of their life.

Q: If you had the opportunity to be involved in other parts of rescue, what would they be?
I would be interested to experience and/or learn more community outreach. I think it would be interesting to see the ins and outs of how SAB is helping others in the community.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I’m a nurse. I work for Allina providing home care services. For fun I enjoy spending time with my husband, Matt, and our 3 dogs – Griffin, Murdock, and Storm. I love spending time outside: lounging in the backyard, going on walks, yard work, BBQs and bonfires with friends, etc. My husband and I enjoy games: board games, card games, and video games. Our house was a real fixer upper when we bought it, and we continue to work on projects as we have time – projects never seem to end when you own a home! My husband is in school full time right now, in addition to his full time work, so I have enjoyed having rescue work, friends, and events to keep me busy!

Thank you to Kim, and ALL our volunteers, for putting yourselves out there to truly make a difference! #volunteerappreciationweek