Here’s the scenario: Your dog walks into the house, and you see he’s got an oozing sore near his ribs, or his face is swollen, or he starts vomiting! What do you do? Well, before you rush him to the vet, try some of these pet home remedies first! These come from emergency veterinarian Justine Lee, and Prevention magazine.

  • Emergency #1: Fido’s got a painful, oozing sore somewhere on his body – also known as a “hot spot.” These sores are usually triggered by an insect bite, and they’re mostly harmless. Except when Fido tries to lick where it hurts. Because all that licking traps moisture around the sore, which promotes infectious bacteria to grow! The fix? Remove as much fur as possible from the area using a pair of grooming clippers. Then clean the hot spot gently with a gauze pad, and attach a funnel collar over Fido’s head – so he can’t lick himself. Next, apply an even mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to the sore and let the area dry. Do this two or three times a day, and the sore should heal itself. However, if it doesn’t improve within two days, see a vet.
  • The next emergency: Rover comes in from the back yard with a swollen, puffy face. Chances are he’s having an allergic reaction to an outdoor plant, or your neighbor’s chemically treated lawn. Believe it or not, a single dose of over-the-counter antihistamine – like Benadryl – may reverse the swelling. You should also give your dog a bath using mild soap, since he may be reacting to an irritant on his skin! If the swelling doesn’t go away within a few hours, or if Rover has trouble breathing, get to the vet.
  • One last emergency: Your dog suddenly starts vomiting. This is actually the most common reason owners bring a pet to the ER, but in most cases, your dog simply has an upset stomach! Dr. Lee says whatever you do, don’t feed him again for at least 12 hours. Let him drink water to help flush out his system and try adding a child’s dose of Pepcid AC to his water dish. However, if the vomiting doesn’t stop, or your dog becomes too lethargic to eat or drink after 12 hours, you need to call the vet.