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Natural Skin Care for Your Pet

I know this is not my usual type of post but today is my dog's birthday so I am in an animal pampering mood. So I thought I would share a few recipes that I was asked to write for a pet magazine a few years back.

Your pet’s skin tells a lot about their overall health. A shiny coat that is glossy and thick is the result of healthy skin. Keeping your pets skin and coat clean and well cared for is important and part of a healthy pet care regime. Your dog or cat’s coat is one of their biggest organs. It reflects poor nutrition, allergies, and stress as well as parasite infestations –such as fleas. Here are a few simple tips and recipes for keeping your pet’s skin and coat looking it’s best!

Aloe Vera Pet Shampoo

This is a mild and gentle shampoo that is detergent free. Aloe is healing and helps sooth any skin irritations your pet may have. This shampoo is safe to use for both dogs and cats.

2 cups water

2 teaspoons liquid Castile or olive oil soap

2 tablespoons fresh aloe vera gel (or you may used bottled)

1-teaspoon light oil such as canola, almond or sunflower

Mix together all ingredients and stir gently to blend, pour into a clean container. To use: Wet your pet’s coat and pour a few tablespoons of the shampoo into your hand, massage into your pets coat lathering as you go. Rinse thoroughly. Towel dry.

Yield: 16 ounces

Soothing Paw Balm

This is an easy to make recipe that you can use to keep your dogs paws soft and protected. It is made of natural oils and waxes that allows perspiration and is non-toxic if licked. It is also a good healing balm for cuts or abrasions.

1/3-cup olive oil

1 tablespoon grated beeswax

1-teaspoon coconut oil

1-teaspoon pure cocoa butter or shea butter

Mix together all of the ingredients in a heat resistant container. Gently heat the mixture in the microwave or on the stovetop until just melted, stir well. Pour into a clean container and allow to cool completely. To use: massage a small amount into clean paw pads or on exposed skin irritations.

Yield: 3 ounces

Calming Coat Spray

Spray this fragrant and calming mixture on your dog’s coat. It will condition the coat, detangle matted areas and calm and relax your pet. Do not use this recipe on cats

As their physiology is very different from that of a dog and they are more sensitive to strong scents.

1 cup boiling water

2 Chamomile tea bags

1 tablespoon Aloe Vera gel

1 teaspoon Olive oil or other light cooking oil

2-3 drops of Essential oil of lavender

Steep the tea bags in the water and all to cool completely. Add all of the other to the strong chamomile tea and pour into a clean spray bottle, shake gently before using. To use: Simply spray your dog’s coat or spray so your dog can sniff the calming aroma.

Yield: 8 ounces

Basic Care Tips

  • Feed your pet a balanced diet – don’t give your pet food that has additives and impurities.

  • If you dog or cat has dry skin, feed him a teaspoon of corn or safflower oil as these provide extra fatty acids that are essential for healthy skin.

  • Make sure that your pet stays out of the sun as much as possible. This is especially important for dogs that like to sleep in the sun some breeds can get sunburned.

  • Do not let your dog or cat sleep near heating vents or radiators.

  • After walking your dog wash off his paws. You can also put shea butter or coconut oil on the paw pads to protect them.

  • If your dog loves swimming – make sure you bathe him afterwards.

  • Make sure you use flea control and wash beds and blankets often. Also vacuum your house everyday during flea season.

  • Brush your cat or dog daily to keep their coat clean and clear of tangles.

Happy Birthday Duke!


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