What essentials does a holistic healer need? I am asked frequently about what I keep in my holistic tool kit. After operating a dog grooming shop and a rescue farm for the past fifteen years, I’ve found that in an emergency, I turn to the same seven essentials every time. Whether it’s a dog with an eye infection, an opossum with a dog bite, or a chicken with wet pox, here are my go-to natural products!
Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract - Natural Analgesic and Anxiolytic
Full-Spectrum hemp extract is what I call nature’s painkiller. At the end of the day, what we want most is to stop any pain and suffering an animal may be experiencing. In addition to pain, pets are experiencing the stress, fear and anxiety that goes along with a traumatic event or injury. Having the ability to stop their pain, suffering, anxiety, and fear with a potent full-spectrum hemp extract brings peace of mind, not only for the animal, but for myself as well.
I use the following Full Spectrum Hemp tinctures for the following ailments:
To relieve Anxiety, I use the CALM tincture which contains 550mg of Full Spectrum Hemp Extract and Pure Lavender Essential Oil. I apply a full dropper, which is 9 mg, on their gums and wait 20 minutes. If needed, I will follow up with another dose.
For inflammation based ailments, such as allergies and mild arthritis, I use the EASE tincture, which contains 550mg of Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, Turmeric and Frankincense Essential Oil. I apply a full dropper, which is 9 mg, on their gums.
For my seniors and animals with more serious ailments, I give them the HEAL tincture, which contains 1100mg of Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, everyday to help keep away pain, and to fight off disease and degeneration. I apply a full dropper, which is 37mg, on their gums.
To learn more about how hemp works with our animals' endocannabinoid system, click here.
Silver Hydrosol - Natural Antibiotic
Silver Hydrosol is the best all-around natural germ fighter. It is a solution consisting of tiny particles of silver, suspended in purified water. If we look back through history, we see that silver hydrosol, also known as colloidal silver, has been used as a germicide and disinfectant, even before the introduction of modern medicine. In fact, silver has been used for centuries and touted as a cure-all for everything from tuberculosis and arthritis, to herpes and cancer. Alternative practitioners believe silver offers health benefits by supporting immune function, and preventing or treating infections, from common to severe.
Silver Hydrosol is safe to use both internally and externally. I think of this as an all-around pathogen fighter. No matter what the pathogen, whether bacterial, fungal, viral, or yeast, I have found silver helps. I use it daily if there’s an injury and as a general preventative. It’s my favorite to use if I am handling issues with the eyes. I also add it to water bowls and put it in a sprayer to spray directly on wounds, eyes, teeth, etc.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Natural Antiseptic
This beautiful, fermented apple potion works by rebalancing the pH, whether it’s being used internally or externally, with strong antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar helps everything from irritated skin, sore throat relief, bug bites, and constipation, to even regulating blood sugar levels and lowering cholesterol. I add it to food, bath time, and put it in a sprayer to spray directly on infections.
My bath time rinse recipe for dogs with irritated, itchy, inflamed skin:
- 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup of filtered water
- ½ cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
Mix and pour over the dog's body, (keep out of dog's eyes) repeat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry.
Diatomaceous Earth - Natural Anthelmintic & Pesticide
Diatomaceous Earth, also known as DE, is nature’s de-wormer and de-bugger. When you live in Florida like I do, with lots of dogs and wildlife, there are tons of bugs that enjoy causing problems. Fleas, ticks, roaches, and mosquitoes all cause havoc with our furry and feathered residents. We always have a 50-pound bag of DE on hand.
Diatomaceous Earth is a non-toxic, all natural substance that comes from crushed fossils (diatoms) of freshwater organisms and marine life. They are microscopic, and sharper than a diamond, making them deadly to any insects, but harmless to animals. DE can kill fleas, ticks, lice, or mites on your pets. It can also kill parasites inside your dog, including roundworm, whipworm, pinworm, and hookworm.
It’s also wonderful as a natural dewormer and detoxifier of the digestive tract. Whether you’re adding DE to food or spreading it on your pet’s coat, DE is an essential part of the holistic toolkit. For natural de-worming and to get rid of parasites, mix 1 tablespoon into their food everyday for 10 days.
Medicinal Mushrooms - Nature’s Pharmacy
- Turkey Tail - improves immune function by stimulating cytokine production, increasing natural killer cells and other immune-boosting functions and it’s my favorite because it’s helping my doberman Nina fight cancer.
- Lions Mane - has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for millennia and has become a well-established candidate in promoting positive cognitive function. This one is a must for your senior and geriatric pets as it helps protects them from dementia.
- Cordyceps - are a multi-functioning mushroom that helps support the airways, the liver and kidneys. They are full of polysaccharides that help a protein called cytokines enable the growth of healthy blood cells. This helps the body’s immune and inflammatory response.
- Usnea- is antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, killing only the gram positive bacteria. Great for wound healing and skin infections. Used to heal respiratory and sinus infections, pneumonia, profuse phlegm, strep throat, colds, flus, as well as, urinary tract, kidney, and bladder infections.
- Artist Conk - useful for cardiovascular health due to its ability to increase nitric oxide synthase. It’s a powerful anti-tumour, anti-fibrotic and anti-bacterial effects.
- Chaga - is rich in antioxidants, and supports immune function, liver health, brain health and increases longevity
- Maitake - Research shows that its beta glucan content has immune-supporting effects as well as anti-viral properties. The mushroom's bioactive polysaccharides support the body in helping to ward off pathogens
Raw Goat’s Milk - Nature’s Nourishment
One of the hardest things to do when caring for a sick or injured animal is preventing malnourishment and dehydration. I have found unpasteurized goat’s milk keeps animals nourished and hydrated, and all animals love it. It is packed with everything they need to boost their immune system without causing stomach upset.
Raw goat milk is easy to digest, packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and enzymes. The enzymes in raw goat milk aid the digestion process making goat milk more tolerable than cow’s milk. I even feed this to my sick birds using a syringe. If your sick or injured animal isn’t eating, this is an easy way to get some nutrients and hydration into their body.
Natural Anti-diarrheals and Antiemetics
Diarrhea is one of the most common reasons pet parents rush to the vet. This often leads to antibiotics being prescribed, which often makes things worse in the long run. If your pet is experiencing diarrhea, and is otherwise acting normal and drinking water, then these are my go-to products for helping to bring their guts back to normal:
Runs B Done - Pumpkin, Bentonite Clay, Slippery Elm Bark, Apple Pectin, Plantain, Marshmallow Root, Fennel Seed, Banana, Ginger Root, Chamomile
Digestive Rescue - Proprietary Blend of (Colloidal Silver, Organic Chamomile Flowers, Organic Yarrow, Organic Plantain Leaf) 98 mg
Diagel - orange fiber, psyllium seed husks, carvacrol, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, chamazulene, carb bean shell, cranberry powder, and sesquiterpenoid. There are formulations for both dogs and cats.
Additional Supplies for your Holistic Toolkit
Other recommended supplies for your pet's holistic toolkit include:
- Syringe Spray Bottle
- Mixing cup Distilled water
- Gauze wrap Cotton balls
- Towels Courage
- Pee pads Patience
Consult a Veterinarian
Cuts, scrapes, diarrhea and other injuries that aren’t life threatening can often be managed by the pet parent using the holistic toolbox. Dr. Ruth Roberts offers this guide to help pet parents determine when they need to go to the vet.
You can also book a consultation with Dr. Zac Pilossoph and myself, if you have questions about how you can replace synthetic products with more natural ones.
For more serious injuries, or conditions, you should see your veterinarian. If you are determined to remain as holistic as possible, an integrative or holistic veterinarian can be found here.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years. She operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. In addition, she owns Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. Moreover, Angela got her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine. Next, she founded Hemp Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets.
Accordingly, she uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day since 2016. Angela has five dogs. Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, and Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle. In addition, she has 4-10 more any time she is fostering or boarding. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and the Veterinary Cannabis Association. In fact, Angela has educated hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians on the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals.