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.

Update on Lou

Update on Lou

Adopted: February, 2018

Dog’s former name: Igloo

What are the best things about your dog?
His snuggles!! And the love he has for his family.

Tell us about your dogs favorite activities, sports or training:
Lou loves to play outside with his big brother. He also loves going for walks and snuggling.

How do people react to your “pit bull”?
We get mixed reactions about our pit bulls.

FAST FIVE with Lou

  1. Food: Piggy or picky? Picky
  2. Dog beds: Sleep on or unstuff? Sleeps on
  3. Travel: Car rides or car sick? Car sick
  4. Water: No way or splash all day? Splash all day
  5. Seasons: A day in the sun or a day in the snow? A day in the sun

Submitted by Samantha B.


Did you adopt a Save-a-Bull dog? Click here to share an update with us!

Meet Ben Funk

Meet Ben Funk

Q: How long have you been volunteering and what made you decide to volunteer with Save-a-Bull? 
Being a single guy that works A LOT, I didn’t feel like having a dog or three of my own was the most fair thing for the dogs. In Spring 2019, I started looking into various rescues in Twin Cities that I could volunteer with when I had some free time. Save-a-Bull stuck out for me as it was a smaller rescue that put the emphasis on the underdog (pun totally intended), with strict guidelines for both volunteers and adopters alike, while educating on the misunderstood bully breeds.

Q: What do you do for work? For fun? 
I work for a commercial airline, fixing aircraft. For fun, I like to ride my motorcycle in the sunshine, cook tasty meals, work on rehabbing my house, and am a pretty avid reader – mostly fictional novels.

Q: How do you volunteer your time with Save-a-Bull?
Being relatively new to the rescue, I’ve enjoyed all the events but the Brewery Tours are a fav – to watch people’s reactions and surprise in seeing how friendly the dogs are brings great joy. And obviously educating people with my growing knowledge on the bully breeds is pretty awesome.

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer with Save-a-Bull so far?
A foster’s mother had to have surgery and asked me to watch her foster pooch for a few days. Being able to do that for her to perhaps ease a bit of stress while hanging out with the dog was great.

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer? 
I enjoy volunteering because we are all a part of the whole, or the sum of all the parts in our world. To be able to look past our own bubble and realize that we are a piece in the giant puzzle. I volunteer with a handful of organizations but clearly anything to do with our furry friends is my favorite.

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

Meet Kari Carlson

Meet Kari Carlson

Meet Kari, an advocate for healthy humans and bully breeds alike. Wondering about the best payment for being a Save-a-Bull volunteer? Read on…

Q: How do you volunteer your time with Save-a-Bull?
Mostly as a foster, but I will occasionally jump at other opportunities to drive a puppy around or otherwise support our bullies and bully lovers!

Q: How long have you been volunteering  and what made you decide to volunteer with Save-a-Bull? 
I’ve been volunteering with Save-a-Bull for about 8 months. Save-a-Bull helped support me in fostering two very wonderful elder-bulls in need of rescue after their owner passed away last summer. The team with SAB could not have provided a more supportive rescue for those girls!

Q: What do you do for work? For fun?
I work  in healthcare administration in a chain of small community clinics and in health care reform advocacy. My favorite hobby is honestly anything that involves my best friends, my dogs- training, playing, gardening, hiking, watching movies, and playing board games (with one on the chair next to me giving me advice on the next move to make, and the other taking a nap with the foster pup under the table).

Q: Why do you think it’s important to volunteer?
Volunteering with groups like Save-a-Bull lowers euthanasia rates and fights discrimination against our friendly, buff companions, and saves lives of bully breed dogs that are some of the most overbred, mistreated, and neglected. It’s also really fulfilling and a great mental health boost to spend time with the awesome dogs that come through this rescue and help them overcome trauma and challenges to grow into trusting and affectionate members of the household. 
Also, 11/10 would recommend the wiggle butts and pittie snuggles given as payment for being a SAB volunteer!

Q: What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a volunteer with Save-a-Bull so far?
Sharing morning snuggles with my current foster pup is probably my most rewarding experience(s) as a SAB volunteer. She has overcome a lot, and I am immensely thankful for every morning I get to wake up to her snoring face on my pillow next to me.

Q: If you had the opportunity to be involved in other parts of rescue, what would they be?
I think the Intake team’s role seems super fun. It seems rewarding to get to connect dogs with rescue and see each of our dogs at their “pre-rescued/rehabilitated” point and then watch them grow from afar and find their forever homes. 


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



In times like this, we recognize how fortunate we are to be a small, frugal, organization that has always operated within our means. Being 100% volunteer run means that we don’t have any salary, and very few overhead costs, that need to be addressed when times are tough. We have the funds in savings to keep essential operations running: food, vet care and basic administrative needs like insurance and technology.

So, the bottom line is that while things might look financially bleak for us when we come out of this, right now *today* every dog in rescue is safe, fed, well cared for and loved. They are all spending quality time confined at home with their foster families – not a bad gig!

Where we’re seeing the most impact is in our forced cancellation of fundraising events. Due to COVID-19, we have been forced to cancel our fundraising events this spring, the Cabin Fever Reliever, Spring Dog Wash, and our Summer Brewery Tour. That leaves us close to $10,000 behind our revenue goals for the year – so far.

We could use a little help.

In order to have the resources to keep saying “Yes” to bringing new dogs into rescue, we are going to need your help. Our friends at GiveMN have created a virtual fundraising event, #GiveAtHomeMN, for nonprofits all across Minnesota. The event is taking place May 1-8 and coincides with #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5, a worldwide day of giving just announced by GivingTuesday in response to COVID-19.

We know everyone is impacted in one way or another through these trying times, but if you are in a position to help, please consider a donation. No amount is too small or goes unnoticed. Every penny and dime can come together to make big things happen!

We look forward to the time when we can get out of the house, meet up at park, brewery or pet store, and enjoy the company of our community and the shared love for our pit bulls together – we miss you like crazy! Until then, be safe and please let us know if there’s anything we can do for YOU.

There are also many ways to support rescue! You can choose an option that uses as many, or few, resources as you have available you!

Sponsor a Dog
Whether you sponsor a new puppy that’s just starting out, or an older dog who’s still waiting for just the right family, your support will go a long way in helping us continue to care for the dogs that need us. A one-time donation of $75 will cover all of a dog’s basic care for the time they are in rescue. Click here to learn more.

Amazon Smile
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your AmazonSmile purchases to Save-a-Bull whenever you shop on AmazonSmile via this link >

iGive is similar to Ebates or Rakuten, where you earn rewards for shopping – but the rewards are issued as a donation to your favorite rescue! Start here >

Use the smartphone app every time you walk your dog and Wooftrax will make a donation to Save-a-Bull. Getting out and staying active is good for you, your dog and many rescue dogs as well! Click here for details >

Click to Shop and DONATE

Click to Shop and DONATE

Are you doing a lot of online shopping these days? Did you know you can help raise donations for rescue with every click, without spending an extra dime? It’s easy, automatic, and means more to us than ever during these difficult times where fundraising is falling short. Here are a couple ways you can shop and support rescue at the same time:



Amazon Smile

Start with the Save-a-Bull link when you shop on Amazon and .5% of every purchase will be donated to rescue. It’s easy, automatic and costs you nothing to make an impact!

iGive is similar to Ebates or Rakuten, where you earn rewards for shopping – but the rewards are issued as a donation to your favorite rescue! Since 1997, iGive has grown to 350,000+ members supporting 50,000+ causes and raised over $9 million!

  •  iGive members generate donations by shopping online at any of 2,400+ Stores including Target and Kohls and Chewy, to name a few!
  • There are no added costs, obligations, nor any hidden fees.
  • You don’t need to enter any codes, notify the store, or iGive. It’s all automatic!

Set up an account, start shopping, and each store donates a percentage of your purchase to rescue. Sign up and make a purchase before April 30 and Save-a-Bull Rescue will get an extra $10 donation. Each store is 100% transparent about how much they donate, and many offer special larger donations from time to time. Bookmark your favorite stores to shop again and again and download the mobile app to shop on the go.





While shopping online is good for keeping you INSIDE, you may be walking your dog to get some exercise OUTSIDE. When you do, don’t forget to use the Wooftrax app to track your walk and automatically generate a donation for rescue! Learn more about the Take Your Walk for a Dog app.