Have you ever thought of natural remedies for your pets? Just like human medicine, we want to minimize the side effects while they recover from an illness. One way to do that is to opt for natural remedies and here are some guidelines but please check with your veterinarian first before using any non-medicinal treatment.

* Skunk smell – Pets like cats and dogs can get into a lot of trouble while exploring in the woods. When your pet gets sprayed they will be stinky. One way to help get rid of the smell is vinegar and water. Combine vinegar and water together and rub it all over your pet. Continue to pour it on and rub in until the odor is gone. Wear gloves to keep the skunk smell off of you.

* Ear mites – It is important to keep the ears of pets clean. If you do notice mites in their ears, apply a mixture of Vitamin E and almond oil. Squeeze a few drops into their ear and massage it in. To be sure you have covered the entire ear, use cotton tip applicators to clean all areas of mites. Applying mineral oil can help keep mites away.

* Bad breath – Yes, pets can have bad breath. To stop the odor, brush their teeth. Also feed them carrots (if carrots are part of their normal diet) to help clean their teeth.

* Itchy skin – Stop the urge to itch by giving your pet a bath in cool water. Add Epsom salt to the water to further help your pet find relief.

* Insect bites – Pet skin can become red and inflamed from insect bites. To stop them from scratching, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply that to the affected areas.

* Urinary infection – Any infection like this is caused by bacteria. One way to kill off some of the bacteria is to increase the acidity in the urine. Feed your pet citrus juices like orange and cranberry (good for humans too) to help reduce their discomfort and the infection.

* Car sickness – Don’t feed your pet before travel. Food in the belly and motion can make them sick. Also, try putting your pet in the front seat. When they can see where they are going they can orient better. Crack the window to let in fresh air as well.

After using your remedies, always visit the veterinarian for follow up to see if your methods are working.

Most people can remember their first pet from childhood. Kids who get pets during their childhood learn to socialize with others at an early age while others wait until they’re adults before they venture into pet parenthood. Either way, there are certain pets that are better suited to your age and maturity level.

First Pets for Kids

When buying pets for children, consider that some children might like the idea of a pet but not the pet itself – especially if it is big. It could seem threatening to them. For any child, choose a baby pet if you can. Then, the pet can grow up with the child.

Fish – Even small kids can learn to feed, clean and care for their pet. Fish don’t need much attention beyond feeding. Choose fish for kids who are at least school age who have learned not to grab at things like fish swimming in an aquarium.

Gerbils – They are more amenable than guinea pigs. Kids can watch them play and learn to feed them. Again, they are best for children who are at least school age who can learn to handle them with care and also feed them properly.

Puppies – Introducing kids to new pets when the pet is a baby is helpful to them both. Kids learn to touch them with gentle hands, walk them and learn how they interact.

Frogs – Little kids often like these a lot. They can watch them hop around and listen to them croak. Frogs often eat live bugs so kids can spend time catching some and watching their slimy pet eat.

First Pets for Adults

With adults, pet choice can be a little more flexible because of the maturity level. One thing to consider though: How much time do you have to devote to a pet?

Cats – Cats make great pets for homes where the owners have to be out for at least part of the day. Some like to cuddle and others can do without it. Either way, cats are generally self-sufficient and don’t mind being left alone for longer periods of time as long as they have food and water.

Dogs – The type of dog you choose will depend on your activity level. If you don’t have time to housebreak them, choose an older dog. For busy people, a dog that doesn’t need much exercise is ideal. If you are active, choose a dog that can keep up with you.

Choosing a pet takes research and planning, especially for your first pet. Consider age, time commitment and activity level of the soon-to-be owner.