Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pet Obesity - A Real Health Crisis

An overweight pet can have health risks including, severe respiratory, cardiac, metabolic and orthopedic dysfunction. Obesity can shorten their life span. This extra weight puts a strain on their heart, body and their health in general.

Is your pet overweight? There are two simple tests that show obesity:
1. Run your hands across the chest of your dog or cat. You should always be able to feel their ribs but not see them. There should never be a layer of fat over the ribs. 2. Look at your standing dog or cat from a bird's eye view. They should have what looks like a waist that tucks in right in front of the hips.

Here are some tips to get your pet back into shape: 1. Control portions. Look at everything you are feeding your pet - pet food, treats, human food, scraps and reduce that amount. (Don't starve them!) 2. Control quality. Don't feed your pet human junk food like pizza, chips or sweets such as baked goods, ice cream or cookies. Home-prepared meals using fresh ingredients are acceptable. Wholesome items such as brown rice, fresh lean meats and vegetables are recommended. Watch for the high grain content in most commercial food. 3. Increase exercise. Get into the habit of walking your dog every day. Getting outdoors is good for a pet's emotional health, too. With dogs, you can also play fetch, play hide and seek, set up obstacle courses for them or take them swimming. Cats can stay active indoors or out by playing with toys or being walked outside on a leash.

All pet food companies make diet or weight control foods, but be careful they contain alot of fillers. They usually contain grains, not meat and vegetables. Homemade meals tend to be lower in calories and healthier than prepared pet foods. Portion control and increased activity are the main issues in reducing or managing an animal's weight.

Our Day At The Fair and A New Fish

Yesterday, we went to the Orange County fair. My granddaughter had 2 things she wanted, a big stuffed pink bear and a new goldfish. Well, she got what she wanted. Her Dad was very lucky at one of those water shooting games and won her a big stuffed hot pink bear. She named it Berry.

Next, we were off to the goldfish game. They make these games next to impossible to win. You have to throw a ping pong ball into a small bowl. They scattered a few bowls on the table. Most goldfish games have many bowls placed close together, but not this one. Fortunately, you can pay 10 tickets and are guaranteed a fish. My granddaughter threw her 10 ping pong balls and was very disappointed not to get one in a bowl. She was very excited to learn that we could get a fish anyway. She picked out a plastic aquarium with a bright pink lid. She is going to name him Max. She decided that the first Max didn't live long enough to really have the name of Max. As we walked around the fair, with Max in tow, water kept splashing out of his little aquarium. I was hoping that he would have enough water to survive until we got home.

Well, Max survived his day at the fair, the car ride home and his first night in his new bowl. I wonder how many other fish won at the carnival survived such an ordeal. I'm surprised that PETA hasn't stepped up to protect goldfish from being exploited at carnival games!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Helpful Hint If an Animal Won't Eat

If you have a cat or dog that refuses to eat because of illness, recovering from surgery or they are old, try an all-meat baby food. If it is too thick, mix with a little water. For a dog, mix the baby food with some cooked white rice. I have used this many times and it works every time.
Do not make this a steady diet but feed them this until they are ready to accept their usual diet.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Farewell Max

Well, my granddaughter's fish Max died today. He lived, with us, 5 days. She had some tears, she had taken good care of him. She fed him on schedule each day making sure not to give him too much. She sat next to his bowl and talked to him each day. I'm sure she will want to bury him next to Dorothy.

Tomorrow we are going to the Orange County Fair. That is where she won the original Dorothy 7 years ago. She wants to win another fish to replace Dorothy and Max. If she wins a fish, I sure hope it lives longer than 5 days. We had good luck with both Dorothys, one lived 3 years (due to no fault of her own) and the next lived 4 years. I'll keep you posted.

Let A Sleeping Dog Lie!

Whoever came up with the saying, "Let a sleeping dog lie", had my dog Buddy in mind. Buddy is my 4 year old Border Collie. When my granddaughter wanted a black and white dog and we found Buddy, I did not know about these high energy dogs. He wakes up every morning full of energy and joy in the new day. The first thing he does is jump half-way on my bed. His front legs are on the bed and his hind legs still on the floor. He is a big dog. Border Collies range from 26 - 75 pounds, Buddy weighs 85 pounds! He starts his morning with an all over body massage, which he loves. Then runs outside with a ball in his mouth, ready to play. I throw the ball for about 20 minutes and then we take our walk around the back of the house, back and forth, back and forth. You see I can't take him on the street anymore, because he hates other dogs and wants to attack them. He bolted once toward a dog and the leash wrapped around my finger and broke it, so we take our walks and play in the back yard.

Buddy thinks all day is play time. We play first thing in the morning and then everyday at 3:00pm in the afternoon. He can be sound asleep, but wake up and come tell me it is 3:00! (He also knows when it is 6:00pm, dinner time. Dogs have an amazing internal time clock.) He loves to chase bubbles, that I blow, and we play volleyball with balloons. When he is finished playing he loves to pop them. He love to chase the crows and squirrels in the backyard. His favorite toys are a beat up soccer ball and his "baby". His baby is a stuffed dog that I bought to keep him from getting my granddaughter's stuffed animals. We play after dinner and before bed. He is ready to play anytime his awake.

Well, as the saying goes, let a sleeping dog lie, because Buddy can be fast asleep and if he get awakened, he is ready to play.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vegas - An Overmedicated Dog!

Vegas was my daughter's dog. He was named Vegas because he was born in Las Vegas. He was given to my daughter by a friend. He was so tiny, he must have been taken from his mother much too soon. My daughter came to live with me when Vegas was a year old. He would get into everything! I put up a gate to keep him in the kitchen when he couldn't be supervised and he would knock it down. I would come home and find his "mass of destruction" throughout the house. I finally had to install a gate that screwed into the wall to keep him confined. It took many years, but evenually he stopped getting into everything, and I was able to take the gate down. He still had times of getting into things that he shouldn't have. There was the bag of Hershey kisses, his poop was very "festive" for a few days and the time he got into Jake's Rimadyl and had to have his stomach pumped! For a small dog, it was amazing how big his reach was when it came to food (table and counter).

Cocker Spaniels are known for ear infections, and Vegas was no exception. Once or twice a year Vegas would get an ear infection and he also had "skin problems". The vet said he had "allergies". The protocol was steriods, antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, ear drops and ear washes. The cost was always $300.00 or more. He would clear up for a few months and then the same symptoms would start again. This cycle went on for years. (The problem was the poor quality food, filled with grains, that he was allergic to! Vets don't seem to know this.)

When Vegas was eleven years old, he was taken to the vet for his usual "spring allergy symptoms". His ears and skin were a mess. This time the vet detected a mass in his abdomen. The vet took x-rays and then 2 needle biopsies. The results were non-cancer, but inconclusive. The vet had no idea what the growth was, but it was massive. He didn't know if Vegas would survive the surgery or if the mass was even operable. Vegas did not act sick, he was playful, into things as usual, and had a great appetite.

I already had my degree in nutrition and had known about Dr. Pitcairn's book. I bought it, and not to my surprise, dogs and cats are no different than humans. You feed them good quality food, avoid environment toxins and they will be healthy. Proper nutrition can change health and even reverse disease in humans and animals. I learned that vets treat the symptoms with medicines and the problem is not resolved, it just gets worse. (Human problems are treated the same way.)

I did not give Vegas any of the medications prescribed this time and started him on a natural raw diet. I treated his skin with natural remedies like aloe vera and Vitamin E oil. I flushed his ears with organic apple cider vinegar, diluted (1/2 cup water to 1 tsp. vinegar). The vinegar kills bacteria and fungus. In a couple of months his skin was clear and he never had another ear infection.

Vegas lived for a full year after the mass was found. It did not get any bigger and he never had any symptoms. He seemed to be in great health , he had alot of energy and loved his new diet.
One evening he was walking down the hall and collapsed and died. It was very sudden and we were all in shock. The vet said his heart just stopped. I believe, through my studies, that the cause of his mass and his heart stopping, was a result of years of poor quality food and massive doses of medications, especially steriods. These drugs stay in the body and result is long term health problems. I was able to see through Vegas, how a change of diet can have dramatic results in the improvement of health.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Problem With Fleas? - There Are Natural Solutions!

We are in the middle of summer and alot of our pets have a flea problem. They say if you see one flea on your pet, there are a hundred more in the home. It takes consistant and persistent work to keep them away.

The first and most important thing is to feed your pet the best food available. Animals in poorest health attract the most fleas. Our pets health is weakened by poor food. Also, excessive use of vaccines, antibiotics and cortisone-like drugs has created severe allergy problems so that many pets cannot tolerate fleas at all. The overuse of flea products that contain poisons further weaken their immune systems.

The second important thing to do is to seam clean your carpets, that will kill flea eggs. The next is to bathe your pets with a natural shampoo, that will kill the fleas on the animal. Thoroughly vacuum and clean floors and furniture at least once a week to pick up flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. Dispose of the vacuum bag in the trash. Wash your pets bedding in hot water once a week. Use a flea comb to trap and kill fleas that are on your pet. Mow and water your lawn regularly (short grass allows sunlight to penetrate and warm the soil, which kills larvae. Watering drowns the developing fleas). Encourage ants! (They love to eat flea eggs and larvae). Besides, pesticides and insecticides are harmful to everyone, especially children and pets.

Feed your pet garlic and brewer's yeast. Both exude odors or tastes that discourage fleas. Use 1/4 minced clove garlic for each 10 pounds of weight. Add to their dinner. Garlic is good for general health and longevity. Add a tablespoon of brewer's yeast (half a tablespoon for small dogs and for cats). Every day or two, also sprinkle brewer's yeast on your pet's coat, working it in with your hands. Be sure to do this outside, since the fleas will jump off.

There are herbal powders and even herbal flea collars. These are not poisons and are non-toxic. The fleas do not like the smell and leave the pets alone.

Try a natural skin tonic. Thinly slice a whole lemon, including the peel. Add it to 1 pint of near-boiling water and let it seep overnight. The next day, sponge the solution onto the animal's skin and let it dry. You can use this daily for severe skin problems involving fleas. It is a source of natural flea-killing substances such as d-limonene and other healing ingredients found in the whole lemon.

Earth Animal's Herbal Internal Powder - This powder has all natural ingredients: garlic, alfalfa, wormwood, yellowdock and pennyroyal. Sprinkle on pets food. It repels fleas without hurting your pet. Earth Animal also has herbal flea collars and more. Go to

You can also call Fleabusters. They use Borax Powder in your carpet. It is guaranteed for 1 year.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Warning - Proheart 6

The FDA recently re-released the heartworm prevention medicine Proheart 6. It was pulled several years ago because of adverse events. "Adverse events" meant death to dogs. Please do research first before using the medicine for your dog.
To read the story of Danny's death go to:

Pet Poison Alert: Cocoa Bean Mulch Can Be Toxic to Dogs

If your dog likes to spend his summer grazing in your garden, his nose may lead him to one danger in particular: the sweet smelling, but potentially harmful cocoa bean mulch. Made of cocoa bean shells and considered desirable for its eventual degradation into organic fertilizer, this gardener's choice can be toxic to dogs if eaten in large quantities. The dogs are attrached to the fertilizer's sweet smell. Ingestion of large amounts of cocoa bean mulch, which contains residual amounts of theobromine-a methylxanthine found in chocolate and known to be toxic to dogs-may cause a variety of clinical signs These typically start with vomiting, diarrhea and elevated heart rate, hyperactivity and muscle tremors.

For more information go to: ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at or call (888) 426-4435. To donate to the ASPCA to stop cruelty to animals call (800) 628-0028.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A New Fish Named Max

Well, it didn't take long to fill the fish bowl again. My granddaughter got to get a new fish today. She named it Max. Max is a much smaller goldfish than Dorothy. Max swims fast and zig zags through the water with much speed. Dorothy was a very slow graceful swimmer.

I looked up some information about goldfish after Dorothy died. Goldfish can live 10 years or more if you take proper care of them. They can grow to 6" in length. Experts don't recommend a fish bowl because they don't get enough oxygen. They say each goldfish needs 10 gallons of water! If you feed them dry flakes, you should soak them in water for at least one minute. The dry food can expand inside the goldfish. When the fish goes to the top to gather the food, it creates air in their swim bladder (which could cause swimming bladder disease; floating). They can also be fed tiny amounts of fresh foods: Romaine lettuce, cooked peas, earthworms, eggs, cucumber, grapes, oranges and spinach. Besides the flake food they can be fed: Krill, Plankton, Brine Shrimp, Blood Worms, Spirulina and Daphnia.

I discovered that the food (TetraFin) that I was feeding Dorothy contained artificial colors: Blue2 Lake, Red 3 Dye, Yellow 5 Lake, and Yellow 6 Lake. It also contained the toxic preservative, Ethoxyquin. No wonder she died before her time.
I purchased a new food for Max. It is made by Wardley (Hartz Mountain Corporation) and does not contain artificial colors or preservatives. Welcome to our home, Max.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dorothy - A Very Special Fish

This morning our goldfish named Dorothy died. There is definitely a void in our home, as her bowl is empty. Dorothy was 4 years old. She was a large goldfish and had grown to about 2 inches long and her tail was another 2 inches. Her bowl was in the kitchen and sat on a buffet. Next to her bowl was the basket of fruit and near the buffet is the back door. Everytime someone would get fruit or go out the back door, Dorothy would be looking out the bowl, waving her body and opening her mouth. I think she was saying "Feed me, feed me!". She was always ready to eat. After she ate, she always knocked around the stones on the bottom of her bowl, getting the food that fell to the bottom. The noise could be heard through out the house.

Dorothy was a replacement fish. The first Dorothy was won at the Orange County Fair, 7 years ago, by my granddaughter. Dorothy was named after Elmo's fish. The first Dorothy died when I was cleaning her bowl and she jumped into the dishwater. I was hoping she would survive, but the soap was just too much for a fish. I made a quick trip to the pet store to find a replacement before my granddaughter noticed her fish was missing. Even though the fish really didn't look the same, they were the same size. The replacement worked. Dorothy thrived and just kept growing and growing. I was wondering just how big she could get and if I was going to have to get an aquarium.
This morning Dorothy was at the bottom of her bowl, lying on her side. My granddaughter wrapped Dorothy in a paper towel and put her in a box. We had a little memorial for her and buried her in the backyard. Goodbye, Dorothy, we will miss you. You were a very special fish.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cancer - Cause and Prevention

Research has proved that environmental pollutants and chemicals in food are the major factors in the development and support of cancer.
To decrease the exposure to carcinogens, you should help your pet avoid them as much as possible. They include: Cigarette smoke; riding in the back of a pick up truck, they inhale exhaust; drinking water from street puddles, can contain oils, pesticides, and asbestos dust from brakes; resting on or close to TV or computers; frequent diagnostic work with x-rays (all radiation effects are cumulative in the body); use of strong chemicals over long periods (as with flea and tick control); household cleaning products (your pets are close to the floor, use natural cleaning products); pesticides or insecticides used around the home; consuming pet foods high in organ meats and meat meal (concentrations of pesticides and growth hormones used to fatten cattle, which can promote cancer growth); foods that contain preservatives and artificial colors (known to cause cancer in lab animals).

If an animal can be kept in excellent health with good food, pure water, adequate exercise, access to fresh air and sunshine, and a stable environment, the immune system will be strong. A weaker animal might succumb to the effects of carcinogens, but the stronger ones will more likely resist and detoxify them.

If your pet has cancer Dr. Pitcairn recommends: Avoid commercial foods completely. Feed only fresh, unprocessed foods. Give high levels of vitamin C. Do not give your pet tap water. Avoid all vaccinations. Giving a vaccine to an animal with cancer is like pouring gasoline on a fire. For more information on alternative therapies refer to Dr. Pitcairn's book, Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.
My comments: If your pet has cancer do not give anything that contains sugar. Sugar is fertilizer to the cancer!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Benefits of Brushing

Grooming: Nothing you do on the outside improves an animal's coat like regular brushing. Brushing stimulates the lymph system, which involves both the immune system and waste removal. It also stimulates the skin, improves circulation, prevents tangling, distributing natural oils through the coat and removes fleas, flea eggs and roaming ticks.
Brush and comb your pet at least weekly. A great way to brush your pet is with a dry loofah or body brush, which can be purchased from a pharmacy, bath shop or health food store. The body brush is a stiff brush with natural bristles. It usually is sold with a long handle. The brush itself can be removed and fits comfortably in your hand with a strap for clutching.
This type of skin stimulation encourages the body's natural oils to surface and opens the pores. Massage your dog or cat using short, horizontal strokes starting at the head and neck and moving down the back to the belly and legs. This technique gently massages many key acupressure points, making this treatment much more than cosmetic.

One of the most common skin irritations is an allergic reaction to flea bites. Go over your pet with a flea comb once a month during winter months and once a week in the summer or whenever your pet has been around other pets that might have fleas.

Dangers of Greenies, Pig Ears and Rawhide

Greenies are the very popular green chew that is made for cleaning the teeth. The problem is that dogs do not chew them, but swallow large chunks. They have been responsible for obstructions in the throat and in the intestines. They are not 100% digestable and can swell in the intestines and cause a blockage. The compressed vegetable treats are the 3rd leading cause of throat obstructions (bones are #1 and fishhooks #2). As of 2006, there had been 13 reported deaths due to Greenies. To view a CNN report and watch a video go to:

Some vets warn against feeding rawhide and pig ears because they can contain chemical residues that can be harmful to your pet's health. Larger pieces can break off and be swallowed, getting stuck in the throat or the intestines and cause a blockage.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why Do Vets Sell Poor Quality Pet Food?

As a nutritionist, I just can't figure this out. Vet's sell poor quality foods that will make your pet sick. I have read that they do not get much training in nutrition (that is the same for medical doctors as well). Do they believe the sales reps of Hill's or Iam's? Do they sell the food because they can make alot of money selling the product? I really would hate to think that they get alot of business when the pets get sick because of the food? I really don't have the answer.

The foods they "push" to their clients, are full of poor quality grains, by products, meals, flavors, and preservatives. The preservatives are BHA & BHT (which cause liver and kidney dysfunction and are known to cause cancer), and Ethoxyquin is listed as a hazardous chemical (OSHA) and has been found to also cause cancer and has been banned in Europe. Why do the pet food makers use them if they are dangerous? -- MORE PROFITS! The food lasts longer and has a shelf life of 2 years or longer. The food you just bought could have been sitting in a warehouse for over a year. (Refer to my first blog about grains, mold and toxins.)

It makes me angry to think that someone has a sick pet and the vet recommends a prescription food that he carries. Supposedly this will make your pet better. Lets say that your pet has a kidney or liver problem, the prescription diets are full of grains and chemical preservatives. The last thing a body (animal or human) needs when these organs are failing are chemicals!

NEVER use corn, soy or wheat in your pets food. These are often genetically modified, they are indigestable, and they make poor protein for pets. They are the cause of common allergies, they cause skin disorders and chronic problems like ear infections. By-products are indigestable protein sources. Animal and poultry fat can contribute to heart disease and certain types of cancer.
Pets that are fed these poor quality foods end up with health problems and then are given drugs to treat the symptoms. What they need is a change of diet. Make your own food or chose a high quality pet food.
Brands of food you can trust: Innova, California Natural, Wysong, Canidae, Solid Gold, Merrick, Nature's Variety, Natural Balance, Wellness, Eagle Pack, Taste of the Wild, and Halo Spot's Stew.
Go to to watch a video that will educate you about what should and should not be in dog food.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dangers of Flea Control Products!

Products intended to kill fleas and ticks can also poison our pets and the people who handle them.
Advantage, Frontline, flea collars, flea shampoos by Hartz, Zodiac and Sergeants all contain insecticides (poison) and can have serious health consequences to your pet.
Side effects can include vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures, respiratory problems, and long term side effects can be tumors and cancer. Deaths have been reported from using these products.
An alternative to poisons is to have your home treated by Fleabusters. They use boric acid and offer a 1 year money back guarantee. I have used them and it really works.
To read more about the dangers of flea control products, go to This is a great website for Holistic Health Care for People and Animals.

Friday, July 18, 2008

What Is In Your Pets Water?

Water is very important to our pets. Clean water is essential. Your pet should have access to fresh water in a clean stainless-steel or glass bowl. (Plastic bowls leach out chemicals and some pets have allergic reactions to them.)
Water is used for absorption of nutrients, as well as maintenance of body temperature. It helps to detoxify the body and transport toxic substances out of the body through the eliminative organs.
Unfortunately, our tap water is subject to nearly every kind of pollutant in our society. As if contamination from gasoline, parasites, chlorine, fluoride, and aging water pipes were not enough, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, lead, asbestos, nitrates and even radioactive waste all have an impact on our water.
These chemicals can have a very detrimental effect on our pets and their health.
The best solution for you and your pets is to filter your water using reverse osmosis.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"People Food" is Good For Pets

When I talk about "people food", I'm not talking about Twinkies, french fries or junk food, I'm talking about real food. The food that God put on this earth.
Dogs especially like vegetables, which are valuable for adding vitamins, minerals and roughage to the diet. Some vegetables must be cooked to help them digest them properly, but others may be fed raw. Why do you think your dog loves to eat grass in your backyard?
These vegetables can be fed raw to dogs: Chopped parsley, alfalfa sprouts, finely grated carrots, finely grated zucchini or other soft squash, lettuce and mixed greens, green or red peppers. These vegetables should be cooked before being fed to dogs or cats: Peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
Cats generally do not like vegetables. They have to be pulverized and well mixed with their food. Some cats love cucumbers and watermelon. I had a cat the loved cantaloupe rinds.
Fruits can also be fed to dogs: berries, melons, bananas, apples, mangos, blueberries. Don't give grapes or raisins to dogs, there have been reports that these can make them sick.
Don't give the dog the pits or seeds of the fruit.
Fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrients, enzymes and antioxidants. Mix some fruits and vegetables with a healthy brand of organic canned or dry food for extra nutrition. For more information on feeding your pet a raw or homemade diet you can refer to one of the recommended books.

My dog, Buddy, loves sweet potatoes, green beans and steamed zucchini.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pets Beds and Toys May Be Dangerous

According to the Environmental Working Group, American pets are polluted with high levels of synthetic industrial chemicals. Dogs had 2 1/2 times higher levels of Teflon chemicals: PFC's (Perfluorochemicals) and cats had 23 1/2 times higher levels of Fire retardants: PBDE's (Polybrominated diphenyl ethers) than humans.
The pets are getting the chemicals from pet toys, bedding, pet food bag and can coatings, plastic food and water bowls, house dust, stain proofed furniture, carpets, shampoos, flea collars and medicines.
Cats meticulously groom themselves and they lick off accumulated dust that studies show can be contaminated with chemical toxins.
Our pets age seven times faster than children, and are developing health problems from exposure much more rapidly.
The National Research Council has found that sickness and disease in pets can inform our understanding of our own health risks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Buddy, Not Your Ordinary Dog!

Buddy is my 4 year old Border Collie. He is what I call a replacement dog. When my dog, Jake died at age 14, I was devastated and so was my granddaughter. She cried all the time after Jake died and she kept talking about getting a new dog. She wanted a black and white dog named Buddy, like the dog she had seen on an episode of Elmo. I searched the internet for black and white dogs and found Border Collies. That must be the dog she saw. I checked the ads in the paper to see if any were available. I didn't have alot of money and the dogs listed were expensive.
One day there was an ad for Border Collies, and they were only $200.00. I called and there was only one black and white male. He was 8 weeks old. We packed up the car and drove out to the desert, 2 1/2 hours, to get him. The pen where the pups were kept was filled with poop, the water was green and the food covered with flies. Our Buddy had a severe overbite, as a result of overbreeding. But my granddaughter fell in love with him.
He was a scared dog from the start. He had never been in a house or on grass. Every new experience was frightening for him. We had him 1 week and he became very ill. We rushed him to the vet and for a couple of days, we didn't know whether he was going to pull through. I kept praying to God not to take Buddy. We had just lost Jake and my granddaughter didn't need to lose another dog. He did recover and came home a very happy puppy.
He is still a very "sensitive" dog. He doesn't like to go for walks. He doesn't like to go for car rides. He doesn't like when I leave him. But, Buddy is the sweetest, most loving, and a very playful dog. He made a great replacement for Jake. Oh, by the way, I watched the episode of Elmo that my granddaughter saw after we had Buddy, and that dog was not a Border Collie!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dangerous "people food", do not feed to your pets!

Grapes and Raisins: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill a dog.
Onions: Onions destroy red blood cells and can cause anemia.
Chocolate: Chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death.
Coffee, Coffee grounds, tea and tea bags: Drinks/foods containing caffeine cause many of the same symptoms chocolate causes.
Macadamia nuts and Walnuts: Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, muscle tremor and paralysis. Limit all other nuts as they are not good for dogs in general. The exception is peanut butter, however, always use organic, salt/sugar free. Regular peanut butter has lots of toxins and is full of pesticides.
Animal fat and fried foods: Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis.
Bones: Cooked bones can splinter and damage a dog's internal organs. Raw bones should always be supervised as a small piece can break off and cause problems.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants are toxic.
Salt: Excessive salt intake can cause kidney problems.
Mushrooms or toadstools: Never let your pet eat mushrooms found in your yard.
Xylitol: Even a small amount can cause liver failure and death.
If your pet has ingested any of these foods, get veterinary help immediately.
ASPCA Poison Hotline (888) 426-4435

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Most Common Items Swallowed by Pets

The most common objects that are swallowed by pets and require surgery to remove are: balls, bones, chew toys, corn cobs, hair ties, ribbons, panty hose, rocks, socks, sticks and underwear!

Dogs are very oral; they don't have hands to investigate, so they use their mouth. They chew for entertainment, to clean their teeth and to strengthen their jaw muscles. The reasons that dogs may be attracted to personal items, such as underwear and socks, is that the odor reminds them of their owners.
Cats, on the other hand, are not natural chewers, but they do enjoy playing with string-like objects, which are also dangerous if swallowed. Ribbons and hair ties are appealing to cats because they move in a way that a rodent moves.

These are the signs that your pet many have swallowed something and have an intestinal blockage: diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, persistent vomiting or dry heaving, refusing to eat, restlessness.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Holistic Care For Your Pet

If you want your beloved pets to get the best care possible, feeding them organic food is just the first step. Seeking out the services of a holistic veterinarian shows you truly care, and your pets will thank you for it.
Holistic veterinary medicine will treat the whole body, not just an isolated area. They find the cause, not just treat symptoms. Holistic medicine uses conventional tools along with holistic modalities which include changing diet, adding nutritional supplements, chiropractic and acupuncture to name a few.
Holistic veterinarians regard diet as the basis for health and treating any condition. It's the foundation. Foods are the fuel of life. Poor fuel make for little momentum in life. Our bodies do not function well on poor-quality foods, any more than a finely tuned automobile functions well on poor-quality gasoline. Many illnesses could be prevented or minimized through better nutrition. That is the same for people and pets.
Holistic veterinarians are keenly interested in nutrition and diet. They use both as primary healing tools. These animal doctors tend to be severely critical of the quality of most commercial food.
"The diseases we are treating, is the food we are feeding."
To locate a practitioner, visit the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association at

Natural Diet, What Do I Feed My Dog and Cat?

Ready-made dog and cat food is relatively cheap and convenient, and it wasn't until the 1930's that commercial pet foods were introduced in the US. Commercially prepared kibble has become the standard diet for pets, but it's a far cry from a dog or cat's natural diet. Our dogs and cats are descendents of wild animals who evolved over thousands of years to thrive on a specific diet.
Dogs have short intestinal tracts designed to quickly and efficiently digest meats, and cats are carnivores intended by nature to hunt small rodents and birds. Carbohydrates, in fact, are a cat's worst enemy; their digestive tract is simply not designed to absorb them.
Conventional pet food manufacturers may brag that their food are brimming with quality meats, vegetables and grains, but a close look at the ingredients used often tells a different story. These ingredients can include: beaks, feet, feathers, hooves, horns, entrails; "4D"-dead, dying, diseased or disabled animals; ground corn, gluten meal, and wheat impart no nutritional value for dogs and cats. They even present potential health hazards.
Switching from mass-produced commercial food to organic or all-natural foods is fundamental to avoiding common pet health problems, including allergies and cancer. Switching your four-legged companion to an organic diet will boost the animal's immune system and your pet may live longer.
Organic food is more expensive, but you end up with a healthy pet and, in the long run, lower vet bills.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dangers of Rimadyl - My dog died because of it!

My dog Jake was prescribed Rimadyl for arthritis in his hips. He was getting old, but at 13 years he was still full of life and playful. He was on Rimadyl for 3 months, he was given a medicine to go with it so it wouldn't upset his stomach. Since he didn't show any digestion problems, I thought everything was all right.
He was checked by the vet on a Thursday and was perfectly healthy. On Friday evening, he seemed restless. He kept wanting to go outside and he panted alot. I didn't get much sleep, he didn't sleep either, he kept pacing. He vomited, had diarrhea and walked around in a stupor. A few hours later he collasped and had paralysis and couldn't walk.
I rushed him to the vet and, sadly, he had to be euthanized. The cause of his sudden sickness was liver failure. It was a few months later when I read about the dangers of Rimadyl that I realized the medicine was the cause of his death.
Please be informed of the dangers of this powerful and deadly prescription. To read an article written by Chris Adams, "Most Arthritic Dogs Do Very Well On Rimadyl, Except Ones That Die" and published in the Wall Street Journal go to:
Jake, my faithful companion, I miss you everyday!

No Red Dye for Hummingbirds

Red dye is totally unnecessary to attract hummingbirds. The feeders have the color red on them and that attracts the hummingbirds. Red dye #40 is made from coal tar and has been reported to cause tumors on the bills and liver of hummingbirds. The purchased nectar also contains preservatives that can harm the birds.
A simple receipe for your hummingbird feeder. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 2 cups of water. Put in a sauce pan and warm it until the sugar dissolves. Put in feeder when it cools. Change once a week or more often if you see mold forming.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ingredients to avoid in pet food

Be wary of pet foods that have ingredients listed like these: Meal and bone meal; meat by-products; dried animal digest; poultry by-product meal; poultry by-products; digest of poultry by-products; liver glandular meal; chicken by-products; liver glandular meal; chicken by-products; dried liver digest; fish meal; or fish by-products.
These ingredients could mean feathers, hair, slaughter house wastes, diseased meat, dead dogs and cats, sick animals with cancer, toxic products from spoiled foodstuffs, non-nutritive fillers, heavy-metal comtaminants, sugar, pesticides, herbicides, drug residues, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, bacteria and fungi.
Dangerous chemicals added to pet food: Propylene glycol, ammoniated glycyrrhizin, propyl gallate, ethoxyquin, Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), sodium nitrite, Red No.3, Red No. 40, Yellow No.5, Yellow No. 6, Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, and artificial flavorings.
Besides those chemicals intentionally added to pet food, there are other that sneak in on their own. Chemical contamination of the food chain is becoming a major factor in chronic disease. The chemicals can include: herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, antibiotics, growth stimulants, hormones, tranquilizers, other drugs fed to livestock, heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead), and high levels of fluoride (canned food).
One of the most important changes we can make is in the daily choices about what we feed our pets, as well as ourselves. We can't expect to maintain good health on over-processed, denatured, contaminated foods.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weight loss for dogs - Better food, not prescriptions

The worst thing I've read about in a long time is a new prescription drug for dogs, Slentrol. It is a weight loss drug. The side effects are vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness or they just stop eating. I can't even imagine how bad they feel. I took diet pills years ago and felt like I was going to die!
The problem is most commercial dog food is filled with grains and not protein. The grains turn to sugar in the body, the sugar turns to fat.
Please, if you have a pet that is overweight and even if it isn't, change your pets food to a high quality one with little or no grains and high amounts of protein. Your pet will love you for it!

Top Killers of Cats - Obesity and Diabetes

Today, obesity and diabetes are among the top five killers of cats in the United States. As many as 500,000 cats are diabetic at any given time, and many more are obese. Pet food, especially dry, is responsible. The food is made with high amounts of cereal products and low amounts of high-quality meat. Cats are carnivores, not grain eaters. The cereal (grains) are carbohydrates, and when processed by the body, turn to sugar. (In humans as well as animals.) The result is diabetes and/or obesity.
A change in the diet, by stopping the dry food and giving a diet of high quality canned food that is high in protein and fat, will improve your cats health and the extra weight will come off.
I shared this information with my daughter, whose cat Gracie was obese. She found a high quanity dry food with no grains and mixes it with a high quality canned food and the extra weight came off.
If you go to the pet store, vet's office or supermarket and look at the labels for the "weight loss" food for pets, you will see it is filled with grains! What they need is protein not grain.

What's Really in Pet Food - grains

My first tidbit is about what is in commercial pet food. I'm sure you have seen the advertising for these products and they sound convincing. They have pictures of meat and vegetables, but if you read the labels, it will tell you otherwise.
Most commercial pet foods are filled with grains. Grains are high in carbohydrates and are a poor source of protein, most grains are "animal feed" grade and come with allergens, toxins, mycotoxins and the cooking at high temperatures create acrylamides, a potential carcinogen. Grains may cause the most long-term harm of all the major ingredients in commercial dry food.
The grains in dry pet food are the ideal breeding ground for storage mites and mold. Recent veterinary studies have shown that the grains used in dog foods may be a major contibuting factor in symptoms of allergies in dogs.
Tidbits to reduce problems with dry foods:
1. Feed foods which use only human edible grains. 2. Buy fresh bags of food. (Watch the date on the bag, the fresher the better). 3. Buy small bags of food. (Given time heat, humidity, mites and mold grow). 4. Keep the food dry. 5. Store dry food in the freezer to avoid problems. 6. Do not buy bags that are torn. 7. If the food is off-color or has an off-smell, toss it. 8. If your dog won't eat it, don't force him. 9. If your dog acts strange after eating dry dog food, take the dog and the food to the vet.