Saturday, August 30, 2008

Protect Your Pet From Environment Pollution

A checklist of Don't from Dr. Pitcairn's book "Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats.

* Don't pet your animal with dirty hands.

* Don't confine your pet to a garage, basement or shed that contains household chemicals or lacks natural light.

* Don't keep you pet outside if you live by a busy roadway.

* Don't exercise your pet on smoggy days or along busy streets.

* Don't carry your pet in the back of a pickup truck.

* Don't allow your pet to roam near a toxic dump, old landfill or industrial/commercial area.

* Don't let your pet drink from or play in puddles or other contaminated waters.

* Don't apply or dump anything in your yard that you would not want to enter the water.

* Don't allow smoking inside your home.

* Don't let your pet sleep near or under house foundations that may have been treated with poison for termites.

* Don't use pesticides unless absolutely necessary.

* Don't let your pet sleep on or near an operating TV, microwave, computer moniter, electric blanket or heater, clock-radio or plug-electric clock.

* Don't use medical x-rays unless absolutely needed.

* Don't overexpose your animal to the sun, expecially if you live in an ozone-depleted area.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Improve Your Pets Health With Enzyme Rich Diet

Raw foods, especially meats, contain thousands of different types of enzymes. Enzymes are the body's workers and are essential for all of life's operations. All live cells, plant and animal, contain enzymes.

We require enzymes to digest food. Some enzymes occur naturally in food; digestive enzymes are made by the body. Different enzymes help digest different types of food. Proteases break down proteins, lipases fats, and amylases work on carbohydrates.

Cooked foods have no enzymes. Therefore there are no enzymes in dry or canned dog foods. When a dog eats cooked foods, the dog's pancreas, stomach and small intestine must make all enzymes necessary for digestion. This may put a long-term strain on these organs. The enzymes in raw foods help with digestion, reducing the load on the dog's digestive organs.

The nutritional value of enzymes in dogs' diets has been shown in many published studies in scientific journals. Adding an enzyme-rich raw diet will improve your pets health. This is simple to do by adding some chopped vegetables, fruits and meats to your pets food or make your pet a homemade diet.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

There is a God in the Post Office

A very sweet story from the Internet:
There is a God in the Post Office... This is one of the kindest things I've ever experienced. I have no way to know who sent it, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office of the US Postal Service.

"Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words".

Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her, you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, Meredith

"We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet, I told her that I thought He had"..

"Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith", in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, "When a Pet Dies". Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note":

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by. Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love. Love, God

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wet or Dry? Diet and Dental Disease in Pets

Veterinary clinical experience, over the last several years, have shown that there is no difference between feeding wet food or dry food and dental disease. It is a myth that feeding dry food will protect a pets teeth against dental disease.

Several references on diet and dental disease, in Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, the authors state, "Although consumption of soft foods may promote plaque accumulation, the general belief that dry foods provide significant oral cleansing should be regarded with skepticism. A moist food may perform similarly to a typical dry food in affecting plaque, stain and calculus accumulation. Typical dry dog and cat foods contribute little dental cleansing."

In the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry the author states that "In a large survey, dogs consuming dry food alone did not consistently demonstrate improved periodontal health when compared with dogs eating moist foods." Interestingly, my clients who feed their pets raw foods plus meaty bones for chewing report the least amount of dental disease, many of these pets do not always require an annual dental cleaning.

The speed with which dental disease occurs seems to be breed or size related in dogs: most large breed dogs do not need their teeth cleaned as often as their smaller counterparts. New recommendations on feeding cats encourage wet food to increase water consumption and decrease the chance of diseases such as diabetes, as canned food most closely mimics the natural diet of cats.
The best thing you can do to control dental disease is to regularly brush your pet's teeth and have a professional cleaning whenever needed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Unique Dietary Needs Of Your Cat

When it comes to eating behavior and nutritional needs, it is essential pet owners recognize cats are not "just small dogs" and have unique and interesting needs when it comes to proteins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, water and more.
Here are 5 tidbits you may not know about your cat's diets:
1. Protein metabolism is unique in cats, requiring a higher protein intake in comparison to dogs. Animal sources of protein such as chicken , chicken meal, fish or fish meal should always be first on the ingredient list
2. In cats, dietary taurine (a sulfur containing amino acids) is essential, and cardiac and eye problems can result if insufficient amounts are present in food. Most animal tissues contain high levels of taurine. Also, look for taurine to be listed separately in the ingredients.
3. Sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cystine are required in higher amounts by cats than most other species. A deficiency of these amino acids can lead to problems like weight loss, lethargy, eye discharge, dull coat and more. Again, these amino acids are found in animal tissue.
4. Unlike dogs, cats cannot produce arachidonic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) and therefore require a source of animal fat in their diet, such as chicken meal or fat. A shortage of these fatty acids can cause problems like fatty liver, reproductive failure, poor skin condition and impaired wound healing.
5. Cats do not adjust water intake based on their diet, and have reduced total water intake when fed dry foods only. Pet owners should encourage cats to drink water and have an adequate fluid intake daily.
Cats are carnivores, they need a meat based diet, not grains!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't Feed The Ducks!

I remember packing up old bread and cereal and taking my children and grandchildren to ponds and lakes to feed the ducks. It was alot of fun.

Well, now it is dangerous and sometimes deadly to feed the ducks. Bread crumbs are contributing to botulism in ducks. Visitors who feed bread crumbs to the ducks are helping to create an environment that breeds the bacteria. Increased fecal matter; warmer pond water and overfed birds also help spread the illness. The bread goes straight through them and is not mobilized as a food source. They poop too much. So, if there are signs that say "Feeding Ducks/Wildlife Prohibited", there is a good reason.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dog and Cats Treats Need to be Healthy

We love to treat our furry pets and they love to get treats from us. Most of the dog and cats treats in the stores are filled with harmful ingredients. This long term build up, when given everyday, can eventually take a toll on your pet's health.

An example is Snausages Scooby Snacks made by Del Monte, the package reads "Great Shapes-Great Flavor_Great Fun" and has a picture of Scooby Doo, juggling colorful shaped treats. The ingredients aren't very funny; BHA, Propylene Glycol, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 and Red 3. All of these chemicals are known to cause cancer in animals.

Hill's Science Diet, "Veterinary Approved Treats" all contain BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin, all known to cause cancer.

When choosing treats DON'T buy them if they contain: BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor, Artificial Colors or Artificial Preservatives.

Brands to AVOID for pet treats: Hill's Science Diet, Purina, Pedigree, Meaty Bone, Pounce, Milk Bone Flavors, Pegetables, Greenie Smart Biscuit and sadly many, many others.

SAFE brands for treats: Natural Balance, Old Mother Hubbard, Buddy Biscuits, Wet Noses, Charlee Bear, Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Newman's Own, Dog Whisperer and other natural pet treats.

Dangers of Storing Pet Food in Garage in Summer

It is not a good idea to keep your pet food in the hot garage in summer. The food, over time, with heat and humidity, can grow mites, molds and mycotoxins. These can be very harmful and even deadly to your pets. It would be best to buy smaller bags and keep them inside the house during summer months.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Basic "Do's and Don'ts" of Discipline

Some basic "do's and don'ts" of discipline from "Be the Pack Leader" by Cesar Milan.
1. DO set your house rules, boundaries and limitations in stone between the human members of your pack before you bring a dog into your home.
2.DO make sure all the humans are on the same page as to what is or isn't allowed.
3. DO remain clear and consistent with your dog about the rules.
4. DO begin enforcing rules from your dog's first day at home -- your dog doesn't understand the concept of a "special day" or a "holiday" from rules!
5. DO always call up your calm-assertive energy when you notice a behavior you need to correct.
6. DO offer your dog an alternative to the disallowed behavior.
7. DON'T enforce rules if you are frustrated, angry, emotional or tired. Wait until you can respond unemotionally to your dog's behavior.
8. DON'T yell at or hit your dog out of anger, ever!
9. DON'T expect your dog to read your mind.
10. DON'T expect your dog to follow rules that aren't consistently enforced.
11. DON'T reinforce or encourage a fearful or aggressive state of mind.
12. DO reward your dog with treats or affection, but only when he or she is in a calm-submissive or active-submissive state.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Child's Checklist For Being a Pet Owner

Children always want to have a pet. This is a checklist for children and what they need to do each day to be a resonsible pet owner.
*My pet has food/water
*I played with my pet
*I walked my pet
*I groomed my pet
*I cleaned up after my pet

Teaching children to properly take care of their pets will reduce the growing problem of mistreatment of animals.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Most Pet Foods Contain Harmful Food Additives

The pet food industry does a great job marketing their food. The packages have colorful pictures of meat, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The bag might even say "Steak and Vegetable Flavor", you might see the pictures and see the words steak and vegetables and think this is what you are buying. If you read the ingredients you will NOT see meat, vegetables, fruits, or whole grains.

What really is in the food are By-Products, Meat or Bone Meal, Ground Corn, Corn gluten, Corn meal, Rice Hulls, Brewers Rice, Soy bean meal run, beet pulp, and wheat gluten, etc. Then they add artificial flavors, salt and animal fat, so that your pet will eat it. It will then have preservatives BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin so it can sit on the shelf for years. It will have artificial colors so it looks good to humans, but these colors are harmful to your pets health.

I understand that not everyone can afford to buy a better quality food for their pet, but in my opinion, no one should spend a dime on pet foods that contain ingredients that will harm their pets health. The dime you save for each meal your pet eats will probably cost you years off their life and thousands in vet bills later on.

Cats and dogs are meat eaters, not grain eaters. They are livelier and healthier when meat, poultry, lamb and fish are the foundation of their diets.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Yard Dogs" Become a Neighborhood Nuisance

"Yard dogs" are confined to a back yard without socialization or training. They become super territorial and spend their days barking at neighbors and passers by. When they get out, they usually bite.

Why do people who obviously don't give a darn for the dog, get a dog in the first place? They get a dog, dump it in their yard and then the animal gets dumped in a shelter when the dog is sick or has behavior problems from neglect. Dogs left alone in the yard for long periods of time often get bored, lonely and frustrated. They also can become fearful or aggressive. As a result, they may dig or bark excessively. Some people believe that because the dog is outside, it gets plenty of exercise. These dogs spend their days lying by the back door, waiting for "their people" to either let them in or come out and play with them. Dogs need exercise everyday, they need to be taken for a walk or play a game of fetch.

Make your dog part of the family. Dogs are happier, healthier and safer when they can be indoors with their people the majority of the time. Dogs are pack animals, we are their pack. They need to be social just like we do. Dogs that spend time with their owners and feel attached to them are more likely to be protective of "their family".

If you must leave your dog outdoors, unsupervised for extended periods of time, please provide him with the following: Fresh food and water every day. An insulated shelter with a wind-proof opening. Shade in the summertime. Some dogs cannot tolerate heat or cold. In winter, you'll need a heated water bowl to keep the water from freezing and in summer a tip-proof bowl so your dog won't tip the bowl over. Interactive play time daily. A daily walk. An escape-proof fence with a locked gate. Busy toys.

Most dogs do enjoy spending time outdoors, but the time dogs spend alone outdoors must be balanced with quality time with "their people". With a little time and training, dogs can learn to be well-behaved around people and can come to respect the house rules. They can then be left inside alone without cause for worry and be trusted companions and members of the family.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pets Left In Hot Cars Can Be Deadly!

Today I was leaving a store, it was almost 90 degrees outside. I heard a bark and looked over at the car near me and inside was a big basset hound. The windows were all cracked a couple of inches, but not enough to cool a car when it is 90 degrees outside. The inside of the car would be much hotter. I went into the store and the manager paged the owner. No one came out. I was trying to get through to animal control on my phone, when the owner finally came out. She said she was only gone 5 minutes (I was watching the dog for 15 minutes) and she didn't seem concerned with what she had done.

There are laws passed now and it is a crime to leave a pet in a hot car. It just boggles my mind that someone would leave a pet in a closed car in hot weather. There are hundreds of calls across the country everyday to rescue pets.

Overheating can be fatal. It only takes ten minutes on an 85 degree day for the inside of your car to reach 102 degrees - even when the windows have been left cracked open! When the temperature is a pleasant 70 degrees outside, the inside of your car may be as much as twenty degrees hotter. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day. Dogs do not sweat. It takes only 6 minutes for a dog to die in a hot car and a mere 4 minutes for it to cause the dog brain damage.

Signs of Overheating in Pets: Heavy panting; increased salivation; dry mouth, nose and gums; weakness; vomiting or diarrhea, and ultimately, collapse.

Heat Stress Care: If you think your pet is suffering from heat stress, seek immediate veterinary care. As you wait for veterinary assistance, wet or sponge the animal down with cool (not ice) water. Take care not to get water in the mouth of an unconscious animal.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Adopting A Puppy From A Breeder

It is recommended that puppies stay with their mother and littermates until they are at least 8 -12 weeks old. An early separation can cause lifelong behavior problems. Ask the breeder how you can verify the age.

Questions to ask a dog breeder:
1. How long has the breeder been in business at the same location? (Make sure they are not a fly-by-night operation.)
2. Does the breeder have references you can contact?
3. How many types of dogs do they breed? (Most reputable breeders only work with one or two breeds.)
4. What are common health issues or concerns associated with the breed? (Reputable breeders test for genetic and common diseases for their particular breed, they minimize inbreeding and have few litters a year. Ask if the parents have been tested.)
5. Does the breeder offer a written guarantee to provide a full refund of the price if the dog is later determined to have a serious pre-existing medical condition or temperament problems?
6. Ask the breeder to email, fax or mail the puppy's pedigree (if it's not made up yet, have them fax the mother and father's pedigree. Be wary if they do not agree to this.)
7. A good breeder will ask you questions, wanting the puppy to go to a good home.

Tips to help you find the perfect companion animal:
1. How old is the dog? (They should be at least 8 weeks old.)
2. Have the puppies been socialized with people? (Puppies should be friendly, not shy or aggressive. The breeder should treat puppies as family pets not like livestock.)
3. Has a veterinarian checked the puppies? (Get a written and signed statement from the breeder's veterinarian indicating that the animal has received an exam. Ask for the name of the vet and call for verification.)
4. Make an appointment with your own veterinarian for the day you pick up the puppy, or soon thereafter.
5. Always ask to see the mother. If the dog you are obtaining is eight weeks old or younger, you should still see evidence that the mother was lactating (enlarged mammary glands). Beware of breeders that show you a pretty female dog that has never had a litter!
7. Is the puppy being fed an appropriate diet of nutritious food? (Ask to see what the breeder is feeding the dogs. Most good breeders will give you a few days' supply of dog food for you to take home and help your puppy's digestive system adapt. A change of food needs to be done slowly.(Check out my other blogs about commercial pet food. Chose a high grade holistic food or make a homemade diet.)

Where do you find a reputable breeder? The following is a good starting point, but still do all of your own research and do not take the breeder's word that they are reputable. The AKC Breeder Referral website provides both breed organization and breed rescue group information for the particular breed you are seeking. Search the Internet for referrals from breed organizations/clubs, breed rescue groups and/or local kennel club groups in your area.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Causes Allergies?

Allergies can be very frustrating for pet owners and also make a pet miserable. In the last decade, allergies have been increasing at an alarming rate. Pets are becoming severely allergic to their food, fleas, grasses, medications, vaccines, and their environment. What has happened?

An allergy is a physical manifestation of a weakened or damaged immune system reacting inappropriately to a harmless substance. It can also be a reaction to the body itself, as in the case of autoimmune disorders such as allergic dermatitis, asthma, irritable-bowel syndrome and arthritis. Allergies are a combination of several factors. The three major reasons for the increase in allergies are:
#1 Poor Diet - Poor quality food given to cats and dogs account for the majority of allergies. This includes excessive amounts of cooked (canned) food; food containing chemical preservatives and artificial colorings; and foods containing moldy grain or rancid meats.
**More raw food is essential to the good health of cats and dogs. Raw food is more nutritious and is better digested. Raw foods contribute to the increase of enzymatic activities within the gut and bowels making the pet look and feel healthier. Raw food strengthens the immune system enabling them to ward off infectious diseases more easily.

#2 Vaccinations - Some veterinarians view all vaccines as "poisonous to an animal's immune system". Other veterinarians say "if pet owners really knew what vaccines did to the health of their pets, they wouldn't get them vaccinated...period!". The multiple vaccines (the giving of frequent or repeated vaccines) compromise the immune systems of many animals.
**My advice is to be informed about vaccines, the dangers, and side effects. Find a veterinarian that does not believe in giving annual vaccines.

#3 Inbreeding - Breeding practices among cat and dog breeders has resulted in gross deformities, lost instincts, altered and bizarre behavior, specific health problems and medical weaknesses.

These three categories are most responsible for the great majority of allergies typically seen in household pets today. Other relevant insults to the immune system that result in allergies are: pesticides, insecticides, cleaning products, plastic bowls, detergents, flea products, shampoos, tap water, synthetic fabrics (bedding and carpets), radiation (microwave ovens) and EMF's.

What can you do? Change your pets diet. Add raw meat, vegetables and fruits to their high quality holistic pet food or make a homemade diet. Commercial foods did not exsist 75 years ago.
Clean up and eliminate toxins in your pets environment. To reverse damage done from vaccines and toxins, your holistic veterinarian can use herbs, acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, NAET (Dr. Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques) or other modalities.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tips For "Potty Training" A Puppy or Newly Adopted Dog

Potty training or house training can be frustrating at times. Here are some tips that worked for me. NEVER PUNISH OR SCOLD A DOG FOR GOING POTTY IN THE HOUSE! NEVER RUB YOUR PETS NOSE IN HIS PEE OR POOP! IF YOUR DOG "GOES" IN THE HOUSE, IT IS YOUR FAULT!

1. Do not let a new dog wander the house unsupervised.
2. Take the dog outside, where you want it to go EVERY HOUR. Consistency is the key. If you do not have a few days to a week (or longer for some dogs) to do this, house training will be a problem.
3. Have a command to say, as the dog is "peeing or pooping". "Go potty", "Hurry Up" or "Do your business" are some suggestions. When you are training, keep repeating the command, over and over while they are "doing their business". It will sound silly, your neighbors will think you are nuts, but it works. After your dog is house trained, you will be able to have him "go" on command. This comes in handy at times.
4. If your dog has a "mistake" in the house, always clean the area thoroughly with Nature's Miracle or another pet odor remover. They like to go back to where they "went" and do it again.
5. If your dog starts to "go" in the house, a loud "AH-AH-AH" will usually stop it from going and you can carry it or lead your pet outside to finish.
6. ALWAYS PRAISE YOUR DOG WHEN HE "GOES" OUTSIDE. Dogs love praise and they want to please their owners.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Benefits Of Having Pets

Medical research has shown many benefits of living with pets for us and our children.

~ People with pets have lower blood pressure. ~ People with pets have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels than those with no pets. ~ People with pets have fewer minor health problems. ~People with pets spend less on medication than people without pets. ~People with dogs are less fearful in their homes or when walking than are folks without dogs. ~Seniors with pets visit the doctor 20% less than seniors without pets. ~Children with pets adjust better to tragedy, including illness or death of a parent. ~Children with pets are more empathetic and socially aware than are children without pets.

When we live in harmony with nature and pets, our health and emotions are more balanced and positive. Pets positively shape our lives and may even extend them.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tribute To "Rookie" The Dancing Golden Retriever

Rookie the dancing Golden Retriever who brought joy to many, died on July 14, 2008. He danced his way across the Rainbow Bridge. My heartfelt condolences to his owner Carolyn Scott. There are two tributes to Rookie on YouTube. and

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pedigree Pet Food Recalled

Public health officials issues a warning not to feed pets certain bags of Pedigree Complete Nutrition Small Crunchy Bites because of possible salmonella contamination. Most bags were sold at Albertson's and Costco. The symptoms of salmonella poisoning include: lack of energy, diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Pets that have eaten the recalled food should see a veterinarian. For more information go to: or call 1-877-568-4463.

I hope that the pet owners that are feeding their pets this food will please look at the ingredients.
The first ingredient is corn (then corn is listed 3 other times); wheat is listed 2 times; animal fat (which is usually from rendered animals); by-products (anything but meat); artificial flavors, colors and preservatives (BHA & BHT) can cause cancer; and salt. It's like eating Fruit Loops everyday. These ingredients will not keep your pet healthy!

Choosing A Name For Your Family Pet

While working at Petco, a trainer was working with a 12 year old boy and his dog. The boy kept using several names when calling his dog, Shadow, Shaddie, and Shad. The trainer told him, for training always use the same name. When you play with him then you can use "nicknames".

Serious thought should be put into choosing a name for the family pet. Below are some tips to consider when choosing a name.
1. Animals respond better to one or two syllable names, so keep it short. 2. Remember that this is a name you will be calling out, so make it easy to say and something you are comfortable with. 3. It is best to avoid names that sound like commands such as "no" (Joe). 4. You may want to wait a few days to see what your pet's personality is like before coming up with a name. 5. Take into consideration your pet's size, breed and gender. 6. Don't give your pet a name with a negative or aggressive meaning; they just might live up to this. 7. Avoid names that sound similar to other members of the family. 8. If there are children in the family, it is a good idea to let them participate in naming the new pet.

If you have adopted an adult pet that already has a name, it is best to stick with this name or change it just slightly to avoid confusion.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Dog Has Been Crowned "King Buddy"

My granddaughter has decided that Buddy should be treated like a king. She has been "waiting on" him for 2 days now. Here is a picture of King Buddy. He has dog biscuits under the lid, surrounded by rose petals. He also get his water on a tray. He gets a back rub and he gets fanned, too. What a life!

Pets Lose Their Lives When Owners Lose Homes

Today, in Dear Abby, a worker for a major lending company, wrote in telling about pets left behind after foreclosure. The employee has found many animals that have died from exposure or have starved to death. She said that it can be weeks before someone enters the foreclosed homes, after they are vacated. This is a slow horrible death.

These pets can easily be given to a rescue organization, ASPCA or a local shelter. If you have a foreclosed home in your neighborhood, make sure that the owners did not leave their pets behind. If you are facing foreclosure, don't leave your pets behind to fend for themselves. Give them a chance for a new life in a new home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Horrors of Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are, according to the ASPCA's definition, any large-scale commercial breeding operation where profits are given a higher priority than the well being of the dogs.

The puppies for sale at pet stores look adorable and sweet. Where they come from is not so nice. I won't go into graphic details, but the parents are there to breed and nothing else. They are kept in cages in warehouse settings. Their "lot in life" is to reproduce so the puppies can be sold for a big profit. The ASPCA figures that there are over 700 puppy mills, all over the country. The ASPCA has successfully closed hundreds of them and investigations have led to more than 1,000 arrests of animal cruelty.

Ten Ways You Can Help Fight Puppy Mills
1. Don't buy your puppy from a pet store. 2. Adopt. If you are looking to adopt a puppy, check your local shelter first. If you are set on a specific breed, check a breed rescue. 3. Use a responsible breeder, these breeders want to put their puppies in good homes. 4. See where your puppy was born and bred. Ask to see the breeding premises and to meet both parents (or at least the mother). 5. Internet buyers, beware. This is just as risky as buying from a pet store. 6. Share your puppy mill story with the ASPCA. They are trying to get legislation to ban puppy mills. 7. Speak out. Inform your state and federal legislators that you are disturbed by the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills. 8. Tell your friends. If they are planning to buy a puppy, please direct them to the ASPCA website for information on puppy mills. 9. Think globally. Have a webpage, a MySpace page or a blog to inform people about puppy mill cruelty. 10. Act locally. When people are looking to buy or adopt a pet, they will often ask the advice of their veterinarian, groomer or pet supply store. Get the word out about puppy mills!

For more information go to:

My Buddy came from a family's own puppy mill. Their female was kept in a pen and had at least 2 litters a year. The conditions were deplorable. Buddy has a huge overbite, a sign of overbreeding. He got so sick after we had him one week, that he almost died. I should have reported it at the time, but didn't. I kept seeing the same ad for Border Collies, that I answered to get Buddy in the newspaper, a couple of times a year. I finally called and told them that I was going to report them. I didn't see anymore ads from them in the paper. They probably advertise somewhere else. I can only hope they stopped over breeding their dog for profit.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vaccines - Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Most of the problems with vaccines involve the immune system. They stimulate it in an unnatural way and it can be overwhelmed and confused. The body may overreact to normally harmless substances (allergies, especially flea allergies and other skin problems), or even produce antibodies to itself (auto-immune diseases). Their bodies may be sluggish in responding to those things that it should reject, such as common viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as parvovirus), chronic or recurring infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections or feline leukemia in cats or other chronic problems such as arthritis, kidney disease, or even cancer. Vaccines can trigger a fatal cancer in cats and a deadly blood disorder in dogs. There is a great deal of evidence implicating vaccination as the cause of many serious chronic health problems.

Booster shots don't work when your pet's system already has antibodies from previous vaccinations. Those existing antibodies neutralize the booster shot. Your dog can't get "more" immune.

Humans get lifetime immunity from most of their childhood vaccines. The same is true for pets.
Ronald Schultz, a Veterinarian Immunologist at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinarian Medicine did an experiment. He vaccinated dogs for rabies, parvo, kennel cough and distemper and then exposed them to the disease causing organisms after three, five and seven years. The animals remained healthy. He continued his experiment by measuring antibody levels in the dogs' blood nine and fifteen years after vaccination. He found the levels sufficient to prevent disease!

The more vaccines a pet gets, the greater the chance of adverse reactions. Veterinarians have known for years that yearly vaccines are dangerous, but continue the practice. My suggestion is to find a vet that doesn't believe in annual or bi-annual vaccines.

Remember, that all vaccines, including rabies, are medically approved for use in HEALTHY ANIMALS ONLY. This is explicitly stated in the package insert for every vaccine. If you have a older pet or one that has health problems, do not get them vaccinated. Since the rabies is required by law, ask to have a rabies titer to avoid unnecessary re-vaccination. IF YOU DO VACCINATE, DO NOT GET MORE THAN ONE VACCINE AT A TIME!

It was heart breaking for me to do this research and read the stories of beloved pets that died as a result of a vaccination. These pet owners were all just following their veterinarians recommendations and they wanted what was best for their pets. The conclusion is clear: YOU must take charge of your dog's vaccination schedule. Please share this information with anyone you know that have pets, so they will be informed also.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More Resources Regarding Vaccinations

Here are more websites: This is a website to report side effects and read about other pet owners who have reported adverse reactions to vaccines.

The website for the memorial for vaccine victims is:

A website with more information:

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Truth About Vaccinations For Pets

Are they really necessary? - In a word, NO! Every year you receive an annual reminder from your vet that your pet is due for his annual checkup and vaccinations. Most pet owners believe these vaccinations are essential to their pets' health. Why else would my vet tell us they need annual booster shots? Vaccinations account for a major chunk of a veterinarian's income. It is in your vet's best financial interest that you bring your dog in every year. Also, annual vaccination schedules have ALWAYS been based on the suggestions of the vaccine manufacturers --NOT on independent research. Is it any surprise that they want annual vaccinations? The drug companies make billions from vaccinating your pets. Can you imagine humans having to get all of the recommended vaccines every year?

The drug companies can not be trusted. It takes years for them to pull dangerous vaccines and drugs off the market. Thimerosal based vaccines were used in 1935 on dogs and half of those fell ill. It was deemed that this preservative was unsatisfactory as a serum intended for use on dogs. Thimerosal was finally taken out of pet vaccines in 1991 (56 years later) because of pressure from veterinarians. It was making dogs very sick! (But, it was still used in vaccines for our babies and children for 10 more years! It is still in flu shots.)

Vaccinations have been proven to be NEITHER safe or effective. Routine vaccinations are probably the worst thing that we do for our animals. Vaccines can overwhelm and confuse the immune system. They cause all types of illnesses, chronic disease, destruction of the immune system, allergies, cancer, epilepsy/seizures, aggressive behavior, auto-immune disease and even death. Reactions might occur soon after or might take months or years to show up. You and your vet probably would not attribute the symptoms with the vaccine.

Holistic veterinarians and homeopaths have know for decades the dangers and risks of vaccinations. Most holistic vets do not give vaccinations anymore. Some just give puppy shots, one at a time, and only certains ones. It is the giving of frequent or repeated vaccines that are so harmful. There are homeopathic remedies that can be given before and after vaccinations to reduce side effects. Nosodes are an alternative to vaccines. For more information contact your holistic veterinarian.

Here are some resources so you can do your own research and reading:
Books: "Stop the Shots" by John Clifton; "Vaccine Guide for Dogs & Cats, What Every Pet Lover Should Know" by Catherine Diodati; "What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines" and "Shock to the System" by Catherine Driscoll; "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats" by Richard Pitcairn.


Website: A memorial to Belle, a victim of vaccines
Website: A memorial to pets that have died from vaccines, NSAID's (Rimadyl), and ProHeart6(heartworm shot). (I imagine these few deaths are just a drop in the bucket!)

Website: To report adverse side effects from vaccines or medications. and

Please be informed before you have your pet vaccinated. Rabies is the only vaccine required by law. Never vaccinate a sick pet! If your pet has a bad reaction to a vaccine, don't give it again. Be very careful vaccinating older pets. If you chose to vaccinate, only give one vaccine at a time.

A quote from Richard Pitcairn, one of the country's most prominent homeopathic veterinarians "If I may venture to make a prediction, it is that fifty or one hundred years from now people will look back at the practice of introducing disease into people and animals for the purpose of preventing these same diseases as foolishness--a foolishness similar to that of the practice of bloodletting or the use of toxic doses of mercury in the treatment of disease."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dangers of Medicating Your Dog With Slentrol

It is bad enough that the pharmaceutical companies are already destroying the health of humans daily, now they are out to destroy our dogs. Why? Because dogs are a billion dollar pet industry.

A long list of side effects include: Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, anorexia, corneal ulcers, loose stools, pancreatitis, seizures, hepatopathy, ataxia, behavior change (inappropriate urination and defecation), excess drinking and urinating, constipation, increased drooling (symptom of upset stomach) and liver disease. Within one week after stopping the medication a 6 year old Chihuahua died. I'm sure there will be more deaths from this medication.

It might be healthier to be a fat dog, than to suffer from some of the adverse reactions reported on the Slentrol website. Before you give your pet any medication or drug, read all of the fine print of side effects. Are the side effects worth the risks when there is a safer way to lose weight. This drug is DANGEROUS for humans and cats!! Why is it OK for dogs?

Don't give your dog unnecessary health problems, endless vet bills and emotional distress. They can't tell you how awful they feel with all the side effects. This drug caused headaches in humans!

Change to a high quality pet food with less grains and more meat or make a homemade diet. Cut out all of the "extras" you give your pet. Instead of one big meal at night, feed your pet 2 times a day, breakfast and dinner. More exercise is the key. Remember, just because your dog is outside in the yard all day, doesn't mean he is getting any exercise. He needs someone to throw the ball or take him for a walk. Medication is not a substitute for proper diet and exercise.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dealing With The Death of A Family Pet

When children experience the death of a family pet, it is usually the first traumatic event of their young lives. Bonds between children and animals are great and should not be trivialized or ignored. Children are deeply affected by the death of a pet. It is important to talk to your children about their feelings and let them know you are feeling heartache as well.

There are certain activities that will help encourage your child's expression of grief.
1. Have a backyard memorial service for your pet. 2. Your children can write a note to their pet, attach it to a helium balloon and send it up to Heaven. It is amazing how healing this simple act can be for you or your child. 3. Decorate a garden paving stone in memory of their pet. 4. Drawing pictures or writing stories, about their pet, can release their feelings. 5. Make a photo album or scrapbook. Write about all the special, as well as, funny things your pet did. 6. Make a memory box. Decorate a shoebox and put the pets collar, tags and toys in it. 7. Have a photograph of your pet put in a frame, to keep the pet's memory alive. 8. Plant a tree, plant some flowers or put a statue of an angel in the pets favorite place in your yard. 9. Talk about your pet, when he first came to the family, how hard he was to train and the funny habits he developed.

There is no way to rush the healing process. In time, the pain will lessen and your family will be able to look back and smile at the good memories of your pet.

Websites to visit if you have lost a pet : and

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Remembering Bodie

Bodie was my daughter's family dog. They live in Northern California. Bodie was a rescue dog and he was 7 months old when they adopted him. He was very thin, anemic and they found out later that he was deaf. He was a black lab and that breed is not known for deafness. They suspect that he had ear infections that were not treated.

Bodie thrived in his new home. He was so happy. He learned many tricks and commands by sign language. He was a very smart dog. He loved to play ball and he could get 3 balls in his mouth at a time! He loved to swim in the pool, swim in the nearby lake and he loved attention. Bodie grew up be a beautiful dog. Everyone loved Bodie.

Two and a half years after Bodie was adopted, he got out of the yard. They think Bodie was trying to get one of his toys that got on the other side of the fence. It was dark and Bodie is black and the street in front of their house is a busy one. Bodie didn't have a chance with the speeding car. He was rushed to the vet, but his injuries were too great. His death was a shock, he was so young and had so much more life to live. Our hearts were broken. My grandson had such a special bond with him. We all miss Bodie very much.

Bodie must have had a horrible first seven months of his life, but thanks to my daughter, son-in-law and grandson, he had a wonderful 2 1/2 years. There are thousands and thousands of dogs and cats all over the United States waiting to be adopted. If you are wanting a pet, please check your local shelter.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pain-Relieving Tips for Arthritis & Stiffness

It is hard to watch our pet's discomfort and we often feel helpless thinking that there is nothing we can do. There is a great deal you can do to help your pet. The first thing is to determine exactly what is wrong. Your vet can find out what condition is the cause of the joint or muscle pain and lameness.

Many vets will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications all have an impact on the liver. In my blog titled "The Dangers of Rimadyl", I tell the story of how my dog, Jake, died because of them.

Holistic Vets are now offering acupuncture, acupressure and aquapuncture, to increase your pet's mobility, reduce pain and enhance the immune system.

In addition to acupuncture, there are many other action steps you can take to help relieve your pet's pain and discomfort. 1. Weight management, excess weight will hasten the development or arthritis by increasing the pressure of the joints. 2. Daily Exercise, a short 15 minute walk with your dog each day can increase circulation, burn some calories and relieve pain by stretching muscles and reducing stiffness. 3. Diet and Nutritional Supplements, pets with joint pain can benefit from Omega 3 fatty acids (essential fatty acids), Amazing Omegas (omega 3 fish oil) and/or Nupro (flax seed whole food supplement). Also important are combination formulas that contain Glucosamine, Chondrotin, MSM, Boswellia and Turmeric. Amazing Omegas, Nupro, Arthrosoothe, Special SAMe+, Inflammatone are all available from Remember a natural diet is always best for overall health of your pet.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Day Working At Petco

Today, I was doing a "demo" for a healthy pet food that is new to Petco. My job was to give samples and inform customers of this new food. I was amazed at how many people were not interested and went to the "Veterinarian Recommended" food. A Petco worker said that if only one veterinarian recommended it, then they could use that "saying" on their food. He also said that the company is famous for paying for veterinarians schooling if they "push" their foods when they get out of school. He was doing his best to steer customers to other foods, telling them about the by-products, grains and preservatives.

I am amazed that pet owners don't read labels to see what is in their pet's food. They just assume that the "well know" labels must be the best. The "famous company" mentioned above has a food for digestion problems for dogs. The first 5 ingredients were grains and the only "meat" was chicken fat. How can any dog remain in vibrant health eating that?

There was a day that I didn't know any better either. I fed my cats Meow Mix and Friskies. I read those labels today and shuttered to think that I fed that to my cats. I wondered why my cats didn't live very long. I guess that is why I got my degree in nutrition and started writing this blog, its to tell as many people as I can the benefits of eating a healthy diet for them, as well as their pets.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Resources for Pet First Aid

Pets are an important part of our families and it is essential to know the basics of first aid for our pet so that you are prepared if an emergency should arise. Pet first aid training ranges from dressing a wound or performing CPR to preparing for a natural disaster. Whether you choose to take a class, purchase a book or participate in an interactive online first aid course, the results can be life saving.

The American Red Cross offers pet first aid classes in many areas of the country. You can find a listing of the classes that are offered and their locations at: The American Red Cross also offers pet first-aid books (Dog First Aid and Cat First Aid) which can be purchased through their website. Some local ASPCA organizations, offer first aid classes as well. The ASPCA offers first aid kits, informative booklets and instructional videos through their online store There are also many interactive pet first aid classes offered online that will teach you the basics of what to do in case of an emergency. Search online for one that meets your needs.