Bacterial skin infections are caused by staph bacteria and usually result in redness, itching and lesions. Many bacterial infections affect puppies and older dogs more than dogs in their middle years. Bacteria are more apt to grow out of control when the immune system is underdeveloped or compromised due to age or illness. A poor diet can also weaken the immune system, leaving an otherwise healthy pet at risk for infections and allergies.
Dandelion roots and leaves contain vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B complex, potassium, calcium, iron, thiamin, choline, lecithin and riboflavin. This herb is commonly used to improve a dog's immune system. The plants can be picked, washed, dried, crumbled and added to your dog’s food. Another alternative is to steep the greens in unsalted vegetable or beef broth to be offered to your dog as a tea or added to food. If using the dried version, feed one teaspoon of the herb for each 20 pounds of body weight.
Use calendula lotion for skin irritations. This herb is effective in restraining infections and healing minor skin inflammations, such as burns, poison ivy and insect bites. Cleaning the skin thoroughly before applying calendula will quicken the healing process.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Urinary tract infections are bacterial infections in dogs and humans. Half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added to your dog’s food or water each day will have the infection cleared up in just a few days. The acidity in the vinegar neutralizes the bacteria. If your dog is prone to urinary tract infections, giving her a small bowl of orange juice with her breakfast, everyday, will greatly decrease her susceptibility to them.
Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant that acts as a free radical scavenger. The properties in milk thistle seek out molecules that cause cell damage, while protecting major organs. It also stimulates the production of new liver cells in order to repair damaged cells. Milk thistle must be used with caution, and it should never be given to a pregnant dog.
Yarrow is a common wildflower found growing along roadsides. This herb is a powerful diuretic that flushes toxins from the body. Yarrow is effective in alleviating irritations and swelling of mucous membranes, blood clotting, reducing fever and curing infections.