Monday, January 24, 2011

5 things from the pantry.

I've lately been thinking that it might be nice if I could make this blog a bit more useful. I searched my brain high and low for some inspiration [there wasn't very far to go], and found the answers in my pantry.

So here's my very 1st Useful Post. [I hope it'll be useful for someone.]


Over the years, we've found that many everyday things are handy in the care of dogs too. They're especially handy when there's a midnight emergency.

Here are some such things, that just about everyone will have in their pantry.

How wonderful is oatmeal? We use the generic PLAIN type, no need to spend 4X the money on a brand.
Rufus and Georgia sometimes get bad tums. Rufus, because he has pancreatitis and things can go wrong quickly and easily. Georgia, because she picks up foul stuff on her walks, like that bucket of barbecue fat and dripping she tucked into at Callan Park a few weeks ago. Her tummy hasn't been the same since.

After a day of fasting and mournful faces, I re-introduce normal feeding with a day or 2 of small bland meals. Oatmeal is my carb of choice [especially in cold weather], with a teaspoon of honey and some tiny pieces of plain poached chicken breast or beef [all fat removed]. Cooking takes 2+2 minutes in the microwave. Even I can't complain that it's too much hard work.

Yes, of course rice is good too -

Little Pea also has skin issues. It's much, MUCH better now but, Back In The Day, I used to tie a generous handful of rolled oats/oatmeal in a little muslin bag or old cotton sock [get real - how many of us have pieces of muslin lying about the house?] and put it in some cool/tepid bath water. I would swish it around until the water got milky, then make her stand in the bath and pour this milky water over her. I would massage the bag over her coat as well. She smelt nice and it didn't dry out her skin, which was great because I had to do it often.

Incredibly, it's good for LittleDogs too! -

Yes, I know this isn't a pantry item. but it's in every clean house, so that's good enough.
This one here is a lovely Australian made Clay Soap and one of the reasons I'm a happy piggy in the shower. But any simple MILD soap will do the trick.

If you're a frugal person who doesn't send Spot to the groomer, at some point you'll need to have a dreaded nail cutting session. Georgia doesn't like it. I don't know many dogs who do. And guess what? Accidents will happen, especially when Nervous Doggy jerks her paw around in a desperate attempt to get away from Monster With Nail Clipper.

When that happens and blood starts to spray onto the floor and walls, do not panic or faint. It looks worse than it really is. [At least that's what I was told when I called The 24 Hour Emergency Vet Hospital the first time it happened, screaming down the line that I thought I'd killed my dog and he was bleeding to death - it happened to Jordan Puff Piglet.]

The eerily calm person on the other end suggested I cut a little piece of soap, soften it with a bit of water, squish it and cover the anguished nail with it. Yay.

Don't take my word for it. You can read about this as well,  in the link under the next subtitle.

If you're a dirty person who doesn't like bathing and has no idea what soap is, do not fret. You may still have flour in the pantry.
Covering that badly cut and bleeding nail with some flour helps too. No, I don't think it matters if it's plain or cornflour. It might be easier to apply if you make the flour into a paste by adding a bit of water first.

More here on bleeding nails -

Rufus gets bad tummies too often. Being incontinent and wobbly, he does it wherever. After clearing and hosing, blah blah, I can sometimes still smell where he's been. So can the flies. [I do hope you're not eating while you read this.]
I've found that a little vinegar in a bucket of water tossed on the courtyard seems to clear the air, and [so far] has not harmed the plants in the adjacent flower beds. No need for expensive vinegars here. You're not trying to impress the neighbours. Any cheap homebrand type will do.

If however, it's skin issues we're talking about - you will need APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. I put it in the bathwater as a rinse [as an alternative to the oatmeal]. Also, a tablespoon in her brekkie [that's HER dosage - remember, she's an L-size dog] seems to be good for her. Some dogs may not appreciate the taste. Little Pea has no problems that way.

For more ways to use Apple Cider Vinegar  and *when NOT! to use it* -

More here -

What's especially interesting in the 2nd link, is the feedback section from people who've used ACV for different issues, sometimes with mixed results.

Baking Soda [Bicarbonate Of Soda ]
2 decades ago, when we lived in one-day-beautiful, next-day-perfect Queensland, our backyard was home to a few canetoads. We had 2 other BigDogs then. Their names were Farouk and Jehan. One day Jehan caught a canetoad in his mouth and started foaming.

Being the calm person I was, [it could have been The Other Half, I don't actually remember], I instantly started hosing his face and mouth down and made a quick call to the vet. He advised us to use some bicarb to clean out his mouth. Luckily, we had some in the pantry! Jehan quickly felt better. And so did we, because it's a scary thing to see your dog foaming in the mouth and being crook like that.

In fact, the only creatures that didn't come off too well were the canetoads in the yard that were summarily hunted down and dispatched thereafter.

More spiffy uses for Baking Soda -

Strangely enough, The Other Half wanted to brush Georgia's teeth on Saturday. He couldn't find the little tube of doggie toothpaste that we'd bought a long time ago. He's convinced I threw it away. What Absolute Rubbish!

Look at what I just read in this link  above - he could have used Baking Soda instead!

I like doing Useful Posts. I've already learnt something useful from it. I hope you have too.

Warning, Will Robinson! Warning!
We've found all the pantry items here useful in the care of our dogs. We like that they're natural, cheap products, and usually in the pantry.

Some of the advice for using them originally came from professionals. Others from dog forums. I have no idea if they'll be as effective for you and your dog[s]. If the problems are ongoing, DO ask your vet for advice. If you have any doubts, but would like to try these pantry items, why not check with your vet first?

Good luck!

P.S. Someone Clever said I should try ending posts with a question to encourage discussion.

Do YOU have any Useful Pantry Items you might like to add to the list? Any good or bad experiences with The Items above perhaps? Please do share! We LOVE to learn.


WHAT on earth is a cane toad?

An excerpt from this link -

"Signs of poisoning through ingestion include profuse salivation, twitching, vomiting, shallow breathing, and collapse of the hind limbs. Death may occur by cardiac arrest within 15 minutes."

"First aid treatment includes irrigating (washing with a lot of water) the eyes, mouth and nose if they have been exposed to toad venom. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist. When handling any frog or toad, protect the eyes, wear gloves, and thoroughly wash hands before and after touching the animal."



Holy smokes. I just googled canetoads as they are not a common commodity here in Bermtopia. After reading about these charming little buggers, I realize perhaps there are certain benefits to living in the arctic.

And in the future, I think I will relax about the occasional McDonald's french fry Ben grubs in the park.

Sincerely steering clear of any and all canetoads,

Queen and Supreme Goddess of Bermtopia

georgia little pea said...

Yes, we did a silly thing, bringing them over. Thanks for reminding me ... I really should put a link up for cane toads :) great summer reading!

Peggy Frezon said...

Hey those are some handy tips. I like the soap idea. I absolutely hate trimming Kelly's nails, I'm so afraid I'll cut too far, so they end up longer than they should be. We have that powder stuff on hand for if it should bleed, but I'd be so freaked out if this ever happened!

Team Kenzo said...

Ha, and who said useful could not be fun and entertaining? Great post!

I didn't know about the soap. We have some small-plasters-for-shaving-cuts for that. Also don't know if it helps, as it never happened. The soap makes a lot more sense ... and you got it from a pro vet helpline.

Kristine said...

Unfortunately because I like to waste my money, I do not have any useful ideas. But I really appreciate you sharing these!

I've used rice before when Shiva was a little ill but I never once considered oatmeal. How genius. Of course it would be good for her, how did I not think of that myself?

Thanks for the tips! And good on you for taking some good advice. Applying my knowledge has never been a skill of mine. I have a lot to learn from you.

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

That was a very useful post! We don't have cane toads here, luckily, but our mama once got to see a movie about them in science class. She said someone put them in Australia to eat the lady bugs, or something weird like that!!!

Tell-A-Tale said...

Useful! :)

georgia little pea said...

@kenzo and peggy - it actually says on the link that soap may sting a little. I suppose that it could, on an open cut. The flour putty method is my first choice these days.

@kristine - I imagine oatmeal to be more nutritious than white rice. Wonder if that's just in my head. You're lucky with shiva!

@tl&sj - beetles that were in the cane fields up north. That's what happens when we muck around with nature :(

According to the Very Interesting Link, cane toads are in parts of the US as well, and South America. They originally came from Hawaii where many dogs get sick and die each year from them. Over here, they're spreading and there are already pockets of cane toads in NSW.

Hmmm. I think I might add an important para from the link to the post.


Unknown said...

Lots of good information here. The oatmeal bath was new to me and a great idea. But don't forget, making us laugh and go "awwww!" is always useful too.

I don't know if canned pumpkin is commonly available in Australia as it is in the U.S. but here's my favorite pantry trick. The fiber in pumpkin can make our dogs droppings a bit more compact and easy to clean up (everything comes back to dog poo, doesn't it?).

For a big dog, you can add about a tablespoon to their food. My dogs have always liked it very much.

Here's a link to my first exposure to Cane Toads:
Don't watch the video if you have a weak stomach for cartoon violence.

georgia little pea said...

Oh Pamela, that is HILARIOUS! I love it so much, THANK YOU for sharing it. I think I must add this link to the post, maybe tomorrow because it's almost midnight now and I must go have a shower with my lovely clay soap.

Pumpkin - hmmm...don't know if we have canned ones here. I give Rufus and Georgia pumpkin too but I use the fresh stuff. They like it a lot. Sometimes, I steal their pumpkin, sweet potato, lentil mash. It's YUM. :) xox

Karen Friesecke said...

Hey there!
This is "someone clever" checking in today! (you are making me blush! Thanks for the shout out) I had no idea about using soap to stop a nail from bleeding! Far cheaper than Quikstop, too. I always have to buy a new bottle every few months since the powder dries out into a giant useless clump. The next time I accidentally nick jersey, I am so trying your tip!

georgia little pea said...

Dear Someone Clever,

Thanks for stopping by! I was going to wait a bit more and let you know how this post went. Not too bad, though as you can see, not a lot of dialogue going haha. It did get a lot of hits though. Must be many shy readers out there.

Quikstop? I didn't know that. One to add to the repertoire. I prefer the flour method myself though it can be a bit messy :)

Anonymous said...

As a former therapist and very interested in natural healing "medicines", I found your pantry remedies for dogs very entertaining and useful.

You've done aromatherapy? Have you thought of watering down tea tree or lavender essential oils for wounds? Lavender is also calming for human in stress while cleaning dog in stress.

Love and hug from Sister 3.

georgia little pea said...

i do indeed use some aromatherapy products on the dogs. NEVER the pure oils.

MIGHT do an aromatherapy post one day. thanks, love! happy weekend :) xox

simon pender said...

Hmm, very interesting. Yeah, soap in the toe nails, I have learned that one.
As for can toads, thank the gods they haven't made it to Vic.... yet.
Soap for washing ? All I can say is that I use theirs ! Much to my wife's horror. But I do have a glossy coat now, and smell nicely of pennyroyal. Cheers. Si

georgia little pea said...

Si! You're too funny. Do you really use montydaisy's soap? I suppose if you've got a glossy coat and smell nice, that's all that's important! :)