Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is Fluoride OK for Dogs? NO!

Brushing your dog's teeth daily helps remove bacteria, plaque and debris and is a great addition to pet health care. Dogs don't get cavities, but they do get periodontal disease, and brushing helps prevent this. (So do chewing on raw bones). The appropriate toothpaste to use is a pet toothpaste that has enzymes to control plaque.

The use of fluoride in pet toothpaste is controversial and most veterinary dental specialists and general practitioners don't recommend its use because of the potential problem of toxicity. Human toothpastes can have higher levels of fluoride, as well as salts, detergents and baking soda that can harm your dog's teeth.

Don't forget that people rinse after brushing, but dogs just swallow the toothpaste. An overdose of fluoride can cause vomiting and at higher levels can lead to kidney damage. The fluoride builds up in the body over time.

Why are there pet toothpastes with fluoride? Because it appeals to the consumer, and it sells. Someone is profiting at the expense of your pets health! Please don't buy toothpaste with fluoride for you or your pet. It is a toxic chemical.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Reasons Not to Use the Microwave to Cook Dogs Food

I have another blog, http://www.myhealthytidbits.com/. I did a blog on the 'Dangers of Microwave Ovens' and what it does to the food you cook for your dogs and yourself. It is healthier to steam your vegetables and to use a conventional oven for meats.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Smelly Dogs: Dealing with Pet Odor

If your dog smells, the first thing to check is where the smell is coming from. Is it the skin, or somewhere else? Odors can emanate from many body parts, including:

The mouth, which could mean dental problems, digestive problems or underlying internal dieseases, such as kidney problems or diabetes.

The ears, which could mean an ear infection, especially if accompanied by head shaking, pawing at the ears or rubbing them on the ground.

The backside, which could indicate an anal gland problem or flatulence caused by digestive problems. Some long-haired breeds may have soiling due to feces sticking to the long hair in the area around the anus.

Once you have determined that the smell is in fact from the skin, the solution can be determined more easily. Many dogs have a habit of rolling in the most revolting places (feces) that smell awful. Prevent this by bathing your dog. Pick up any feces in the yard as quickly as possible to remove any temption.

Dogs have a self-cleaning mechanism in their coats. They have glands in its skin which produce sebum, an oily substance which helps lubricate, waterproof and protect. Sometimes this mechanism breaks down, most commonly when there is an underlying skin disease such as infection or an allergy. Take a look through your dog's coat to the skin. Are there flakes of skin present (doggy dandruff). Is it very oily, waxy or sticky? Is it red and inflamed? Is the skin raw underneath? If yes, it is likely your dog has a skin disease.

A visit to your veterinarian may be in order to diagnose the problem. A holistic vet will get to the root of the problem and usually does not resort to steroids and other dangerous medications.

Human shampoo can irritate dog skin by being too acid. A good all-purpose shampoo for dogs should be one which is designed for canines, not humans. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, any shampoo residue can become itchy or sticky and cause the coat to look dull when it dries.

A homemade diet or feeding a high quality holistic pet food will make a big difference in the skin, odor and health of your dog.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shedding Some Light on Shedding

Shedding is normal, but an annoying part of owning a dog. Shedding is natures way of making room for new hair and it doesn't matter what kind of dog you own. Except for hairless breeds, all dogs shed. Some breeds shed more than others.

Most dogs do their shedding in the spring and fall in response to changing amounts of light. Dogs that spend most of their time indoors, on the other hand, may shed all year round because the lighting in your house, unlike light from the sun, doesn't change from season to season.

The best way to control shedding is to brush or comb your dog every day which will remove surplus hair before it hits the carpet. Different breeds have different coat types, so it's important to choose the right brushes and combs.

Let your dog get used to being brushed at a young age so that it becomes a pleasant experience.

For more information there is a book: "Skin & Haircoat Problems in Dogs" by Lowell Ackerman, DVM, PhD.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Do Dogs Hate Having Their Feet Touched?

Dogs crave human contact. They'll happily roll over on their backs to get their bellies rubbed or press against your hand for a scratch on the head. But when you reach down to touch their feet, they jerk away as though they'd stepped on hot coals.

This aversion seems to be universal. Even when dogs are playing with other dogs, they usually avoid the feet. Vets aren't sure why so many dogs are foot-shy. Some may be ticklish, especially between the toes. Others many have bad memories of previous--and possibly painful pedicures.

Most dogs will put up with a little paw play if you get them used to it when they're young. Older dogs aren't so flexible, however, so your best bet may be to give attention to other parts of their bodies and leave the feet alone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Massage For A Happier, Healthier Pet

The benefits of dog or cat massage:
* Helps maintain wellness
* Increases and balances circulation of blood and lymph
* Restores range of motion and flexibility (great for dogs with hip dysplasia and arthritis)
* Relieves emotional pain such as fear, abuse
* Reduces recovery time after surgery
* Increases bone density
* Helps alleviate pain
* Comforts tired muscles
* Strengthens the body by stimulating muscles
* Helps in time of injury such as pulled muscles or broken bone
Check to see if someone in your area does dog or cat massages. Learn to do it yourself through books or DVD's.

Clean Up After Your Pet

Cleaning up after your dog is not only a healthy practice, but it is responsible pet ownership. Dog waste is extremely disagreeable stuff to step on and, because it's slippery, it can be dangerous. Unfortunately, dog and cat waste, unlike cow or horse manure, has no commercial value. It doesn't compost well, so it's of no interest to gardeners. It's unsightly and offensive, and it often carries disease. Pets and children can pick up worms and other infections from canine or feline matter, and when it dries and becomes airborne, which happens whenever the wind blows, small particles can cause respiratory problems in people.

The easiest way to clean up after your dog is to pick up the droppings with a paper towel or plastic bag. Place your hand inside the plastic bag and after collecting the waste, invert the bag so the droppings are inside it. Pet supply stores sell all kinds of pet waste collection bags (in assorted colors!) and related equipment.

While collecting your dog's feces, cleaning the cat box or changing the paper in your bird's cage, notice what's there. Are the stools firm and well-shaped, loose or runny, covered with mucus or an old color? Is there blood? Stool watching is an important way to keep track of your pet's health.

If your dog or cat has an accident in the house, don't use household cleaning products or anything containing ammonia. Lift what you can with paper towels and apply an 'enzyme stain and odor remover' sold in pet supply stores for this purpose. Enzymes literally digest the proteins in the stain, removing the scent completely.

Cats are tidy by nature and rarely urinate or defecate outside a clean, convenient well-maintained litter box, assuming one is available.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Aging Dogs - What is Old?

According to a recent study, 80% of dogs are classified as geriatric at age 5 due to tissue and organ degeneration. In human terms they are only 35! Dogs should have only just fully matured at this age. This is not the normal life expectancy in dogs. We have been lead to believe that giant breeds have short life spans, medium-sized dogs can live until 10 and that small dogs have a chance of reaching their teens. Back in the 1960's dogs were walking around in good shape that were 15 to 17 years old. Pet owners were feeding a homemade diet and vaccines were used sparingly. This made a difference between living to 7 years or 14 years.

Studies on laboratory animals have shown that slightly underfeeding an older animal brings back many of its youthful behaviors, and results in a substantially longer life than that of siblings given more to eat. Cut down the amount you feed your dog. You want to be able to easily feel his ribs. Regular exercise and keeping the weight off those old bones helps to keep him mobile.

Adding digestive enzymes to his food lets his aging system break down and better utilize the nutrients in his food. I give my dog 'Plant Enzymes & Probiotics' from Animal Essentials www.animalessentials.com.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Natural Light is Essential for Good Health

Malillumination is a term that describes the health-damaging light deficiences in plants, pets, captive animals and humans. Malillumination is now known to contribute to sterility and other breeding problems, depression, hostility, suppressed immune function, fur loss, skin damage, cancer, fatigue and a loss of strength and muscle tone in domesticated animals.

Light enters the eyes not only to facilitate vision but to activate the hypothalamus, which in turn controls the nervous and endocrine systems, which regulate functions throughout the body. The pineal, pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, thymus and sex glands are all directly or indirectly dependent on the eyes' exposure to natural light. Their health in turn affects body temperature, sleep patterns, growth, the immune system, emotions, fluid balance, energy balance, circulation, blood pressure, breathing, reproduction and aging. Exposure to natural light is crucial to the health of your pet's hormone and immune system.

Exposure to natural light, preferably for several hours per day, is necessary for good health. Whenever possible, give your indoor pets; dogs, cats, birds, or rabbits, this essential nutrient. Natural light is any type of outdoor light, not necessarily direct sunlight. A shady screened porch, the shelter of a large tree, even an open northern exposure window or doorway gives the body what it needs. Take your dog for leisurely walks and provide a safe and comfortable place for her to rest outdoors. Cats love open windows. Be sure your screens are securely attached and, if the sill is narrow, expand it with a feline window shelf.

Although several companies advertise full-spectrum light bulbs or tubes, none of these products exactly duplicate natural light.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Online Memorial for Our Pets

Create a beautiful online pet memorial to honor the memory of your pet. The website is: http://www.immortalpets.com/

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Anal Gland Problems

A dog has a small, sac-like gland on either side of the anus which secretes a particular scent. They are what dogs use, along with urine, to mark territory. Designed to empty naturally during defecation, the anal glands sometimes become impacted or abscessed, painful conditions that lead the dog to drag his behind across the floor, in an attempt to alleviate them. Cats can incur similar anal problems, but do so more rarely.

In most cases, the sacs can be manually squeezed to release the fluid and ease the blockage. Some pets may need medication or homeopathic remedies for inflammations.

A common misconception about the anal sacs is that they should be emptied frequently, so veterinarians squeeze them empty as a routine matter. That may increase the prospects of inflammation and impactions. The natural state is that these glands are not to be empty.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Worst Pet Food Ingredients

The following list of pet food ingredients and ratings was created by a cooperative effort between pet food formulator Dr. Lisa Newman, N.D., Ph.D.(http://www.azmira.com/), Mike Adams (http://www.healthranger.org/), and the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (http://www.consumerwellness.org/). Mike Adams and the CWC analyzed the ingredients of 448 popular pet food products sold in the United States and organized them by frequency. Dr. Newman then provided a nutritional analyis and comment for each ingredient.

1. salt, sodium chloride, iodized salt & sea salt - used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension; 2. sucrose, sugar, corn syrup, sorbitol & dextrose - leads to hyperactivity, addiction to food, weight gain, causes diabetes, ill health; 3. partially hydrogenated soybean oil - causes digestive upset, premature aging; 4. tetra sodium pyrophosphate - is a rust remover used in cleasing products (TSP)! Used as emulsification of rendered animal fats. Very toxic, causes nausea & diarrhea; 5. corn or ground corn - inexpensive feed-grade can include moldy grain or fungus which can cause death, allergies; 6. corn gluten meal or corn gluten - waste product, cheap non-nutritive filler used as protein source, can cause allergies & sugar imbalances; 7. yellow 5 - artificial color, a salicylate which can be become deadly to cats with extended use; and blue 2, red 40, red 3, other color - artificial colors, carcinogenic; 8. poultry by-products & poultry by-product meal - ground up carcasses, can include dead, diseased foul, all internal parts void of healthy meat; 9. smoke flavor - can potentially become carcinogenic, retards bacteria on rancid meat; 10. dried meat by-product - can include tumors & diseased tissues, rancid trim pieces & innards of various animals; 11. dried plain beet pulp, dried beet pulp & dried beet pulp (sugar removed) - pure sugar filler- leads to weight gain, hyperactivity & feeds arthritis, allergies; 12. salmon meal/salmon - can add mercury to the diet; 13. dried whey - encourage allergies, cheap protein source from cow's milk; 14. dicalcium phosphate - can become toxic to body - texturizer in can food; 15. ethoxyquin (a preservative) - the most carcinogenic preservative, most in industry have stopped using it except very cheap, poor quality foods (Science Diet!); 16. fish - non-descriptive, probably rancid & poor quality, high levels of mercury; 17. rice & rice hulls, gluten, flour, bran -cheap filler, can be harsh on intestines, encourages diabetes, poor protein; 18. egg product - cheap source of protein, waste product of egg industry; 19. soybean hulls -cheap filler, harsh on intestines; 20. dried brewers yeast - can become toxic to liver, waste product of beer & ale industry; 21. sodium carbonate - neutralizer for rancid fats, similar to lye; 22. dried cellulose - very harsh on digestive tract, suspected to include cardboard or peanut hulls; 23. soy flour - cheap source of grain protein, filler, can cause bloat/death in dogs; 24. sodium tripolyphosphate - used as rancid meat preservative; 25. sodium nitrite (for color retention) - potentially highly carcinogenic; 26. sodium hexametaphosphate (emulsifier, texturizer) - cheap source of phosphorus can become deadly to dogs; 27. propylene glycol - adds sweetness to food, used in antifreeze, possible carcinogen; 28. soybean mill run - this is the sweepings off the floor-cheap filler, poor source of protein; 29. fish oil - non-descriptive type of fish can include rancid source of "throw away" catches; 30. poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) - non-descriptive, can be any foul, often rancid prior to preserving with Vitamin E, poor quality fat.

To view the entire list go to: www.naturalnews.com/Report_pet_food_ingredients_8.html (Worst pet food ingredients) and www.naturalnews.com/Report_pet_food_ingredients_2.html. (Pet Food ingredients listed by best to worst)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs and Cats

The pancreas is a glandular organ that is tucked under the stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) in the dog and cat. It has two functions: 1. exocrine - to produce the enzymes needed to digest food, and 2. endocrine - to produce hormones, including the hormone insulin, which facilitates the uptake and storage of glucose (sugar) and amino acids (proteins).

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, causing leakage of the digestive enzymes whereby the pancreas literally starts to "digest itself". Pancreatitis can be acute (sudden) or chronic (happening over a course of time). Both acute and chronic forms are serious and can be life-threatening, especially the acute form.

For the majority of cases, the cause is unknown. Pancreatitis can occur in both dogs and cats, but is generally more common in dogs, especially the acute form. Cats more commonly have the chronic form, and it can be difficult to diagnose. In dogs, obese middle age to older animals have a higher incidence, as do females. Even though exact causes are not known, there are identifiable risk factors. 1. Hyperlipidemia (high fat content in blood); 2. Diets high in fat (greasy people food), trigger for hyperlipidemia; 3. Obesity; 4. Concurrent disease - i.e.Cushing's, Diabetes; 5. Contaminated food or water; 6. Certain drugs, some types of antibiotics or diuretics; 7. Toxins, like organophosphate insecticide; 8. Bacterial or viral infections.

The importance for a healthy pancreas and a healthy pet, starts with a healthy food, pure water, regular exercise, and avoiding chemicals, toxins and pesticides.

For more information on Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment and Prognosis: go to www.peteducation.com (pancreatitis)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Helpful Information for Incontinence

The first thing you do if your dog is having problems with incontinence is to have your pet checked by a veterinarian. You need to rule out a bladder or urinary tract infection. Infections usually require medical treatment. An infection left untreated could turn into a serious health problem.

Some breeds commonly suffer from what has been termed "spay incontinence", which begins sometime after the spay surgery. Older dogs also tend to develop incontinence as a function of aging.

Some dogs owners have found, by eliminating all grains in the diet, the incontinence stopped. Most commercial pet foods are filled with grains. You can find grain-free dry foods in some brands of high quality natural dog foods, like Natural Balance or Blue Buffalo.

Holistic veterinarians have had success using chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture or acupressure. Homeopathic remedies also strengthen the liver which controls muscles. There are also homeopathic remedies that can support both the kidneys and bladder, and the use of glandulars is often successful.

There are herbs, like Azmira Kidni Kare, that are useful for incontinence. For more information on Kidni Kare go to: http://www.petabbey.com/

Incontinence is difficult to put up with, but don't give up on an older dog because of it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be Careful Using Chemicals Around Pets

I make handmade jewelry and back in 2002, I was brushing on a glaze on some earrings. I was outside on the patio, I had a fan on the table and I was wearing an OSHA approved mask (to protect me). By my side, laying on the patio, was my dog Jake (a 120 pound shepherd, rottweiler mix). I was outside glazing for about an hour. Then we came in the house.

A short time later, Jake was acting very odd. He acted like he couldn't see and was having trouble walking. I rushed him to the vet. The vet had no idea what was the matter with him. After a lot of tests (that didn't reveal anything), I wondered about the glaze. I called home to get the ingredients and told them to the vet. He called the pet poison control and found that the symptoms (neurological damage) were the same as Jake's. The toxic ingredients were Toluene and Xylene. The vet sent Jake home and he said there wasn't an antidote and did not know if he would get any better or he might continue to get worse.

Jake never recovered completely. He never was able to jump up on the bed again, he had slept on the end of my bed for 12 years. He never got up on the couch again, his favorite spot to sleep. I had to get carpet runners for the kitchen, because if he slipped on the kitchen floor, he would not be able to get up. He couldn't play any more with his best friend, our neighbor's dog, Sheila.

When he was 13 1/2 the vet put him on Rimadyl for arthritis in his hips. He died suddenly 3 months later due to liver failure from the Rimadyl. (See my blog: "Dangers of Rimadyl")

Please protect yourself, family and pets when using toxic chemicals. The side effects can be devastating and some you might not see for years, like cancer.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Clean Pet is A Happy, Healthy Pet

A clean animal is a beautiful animal and a healthy one. Every living organism is constantly breaking down and eliminating natural metabolic products and old cells. Each of these cells must be broken down and replaced. The body must work even harder today to counteract the heavy load of synthetic chemicals in the air, soil, water and food chain.

A buildup of toxins may not cause disease by itself, but it can make a pet more susceptible worse conditions, like; infectious disease, acute inflammation or gradual organ degeneration.

Oily or smelly secretions on the skin, ears or eyes or deposits on the teeth are signs that the body is struggling to eliminate toxins.

You can assist the hard-working organs --the skin, liver, kidneys, digestive tract and lungs-- that carry wastes out of your pets body.
~ Daily exercise stimulates waste removal through improved metabolism and circulation.
~ Regular grooming not only removes dirt and secretions, but stimulates the skin's natural elimination.
~ Frequent brushing and combing stimulate hair and skin health, bringing normal secretions from oil glands onto the skin and discouraging fleas.
~ Bathing removes dirt buildup, plant debris, and contaminants. Bathing is one of the safest and most effective ways to control fleas, which are killed by the soap and water.

Remember that a good quality natural pet food will improve your pets health!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ways To Save Money On Your Pet

Many pet owners are struggling to make ends meet with the current economy. We are all looking for ways to save money. Many of use are cutting costs where necessary.

One of the most important things you can do as a pet owner, is to feed your pet a high quality brand of food. You will save on vet bills because your pet will have better health. Also, better quality food is higher in nutrients and you actually feed less. It is not filled with 'fillers', like corn, soy, wheat and chemicals.

Avoid purchasing commercially prepared 'treats'. They are high priced, and filled with grains, colors, flavors and preservatives. For dogs, give them apple slices, baby carrots, a slice of potato, hardboiled eggs or a piece of fresh, LEAN meat. For cats, give a piece of salmon or fish instead of a treat made from corn, by-products and chemicals. If you want to purchases treats, buy natural, holistic or organic pet treats.

Exercise is so important for you and your pet. One of the main reasons pet end up at the vet is diabetes, cancer, joint problems, liver problems, and obesity. These are a result of poor diet, being overfed (a poor diet) and lack of exercise. Cats love to play with a feather or laser toy and dogs love to play ball and go for a walk.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Brushing Your Dog's Teeth

Good dental care for your pet means the end of bad breath, but more importantly, good dental care can really make a long term difference in the overall health of your dog, not just with mouth problems.

In order to properly brush your dog's teeth, you should allow enough time to do the job properly. If you try to rush through the job, your dog will become stressed, nervous, and less co-operative. First, ask your dog to sit. Hold his muzzle closed with your thumb over the top of his nose and your fingers underneath his muzzle. Keep his mouth shut and gently lift his lip at the side so that his teeth show. Apply a small amount of natural pet toothpaste gel to a pet toothbrush. You should not use human toothpaste for several reasons. Human toothpaste can be harmful if swallowed.

The toothbrush should be positioned so that it slides into the back of the mouth between the gums and the dog's teeth. Begin brushing at the back of the mouth and move forward to the front of the mouth. Make sure to be gentle so as not to hurt your dog. Once you have finished brushing all dog teeth on one side, repeat this same motion on the other side. You usually do not need to brush the inside face of the teeth as the dog does a good job on his own keeping this area clean with his tongue. Finish the brushing job by cleaning those tiny teeth at the front of the mouth. This may tickle your dog, so it is best to brush these teeth last.

Tips to Make Brushing Easier
1. Start early! For puppies, examine and clean the dog's teeth as part of a routine health check. Try to make brushing something fun.
2. If you are cleaning an older dog's teeth for the first time, the dog may be surprised and uncomfortable the first few times you brush. Work up to a full brushing in stages to help your dog gain comfort with your fingers in his mouth.
3. Begin by helping your dog to relax. Examine his teeth and gums without attempting to brush at all. This will allow the dog to become comfortable with your fingers in his mouth.
4. The next step is to rub your fingers over the dog's teeth without a toothbrush. This will get the dog used to the sensation of brushing.
5. If your dog is still nervous about having your fingers move over his teeth, keep using just your finger before moving onto a regular toothbrush.
6.. As soon as you and your dog are ready, try the toothbrush.
7. Toothpaste should be introduced as soon as you feel your dog is comfortable with the brushing process. Try to make the brushing process as fun as possible for your dog.
8. Keep your routine consistent so your dog knows what to expect next. Make sure to constantly praise your dog when he is doing a good job of letting you brush.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Use Safe Kitty Litter for Cats

Cats make several trips a day to their litter boxes --and several more hours wearing the residue of the litter on their paws -- so the type of litter you use can be important to cat health. It is best to stick with simple clay litter. It's very inexpensive, runs about $3 for a 25 pound bag, and it does a great job absorbing excrement. There are all sorts of recyclable uses for it, and it breaks down easily in the environment.

Do not use litters with fragrances, they contain chemicals that cats may lick off paws when cleaning themselves, which can lead to toxicity and liver damage.

A litter made from recycled newspaper or one made from wheat straw are both environmentally friendly options. Buy litters that are sold in paper bags, not unrecyclable plastic tubes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Keep Pets (& Kids) Safe - Skip the Pesticides

It's imperative to keep dogs and cats away from lawn and yard chemicals, which are extremely hazardous. Pets are exposed to a higher percentage of chemicals because of their size. Cancer is the leading cause of death in pets and lawn pesticides and herbicides can be a factor.

Cats lick themselves and their paws, so they ingest whatever is on their paws.

Find natural alternatives to chemicals. 'EPA-approved' chemicals are not always safe --their adverse effects are not always evident until years after exposure has occured.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fly Bites Are Painful And Dangerous To Dogs

In some parts of the world, fly bites are a common problem for pets. Fly bites are a warm weather problem that primarily affects dogs confined to the outdoors in the summer and fall. These bites can be very painful and irritating. In upright eared dogs, the flies typically bite at the tips of the ears. In floppy eared dogs, the front edge of the ear gets the bites. In some severe cases, the face can also be involved. The signs are inflamed ear tips and edges, crusty scabs or wounds on the ears that leak blood or serum.

The first thing you want to do is soften the scabs. Soak a washcloth in warm water and hold against the dogs sore ear to soften the scabs and crusty material. This may take a few minutes until it is soft enough to be wiped away. Once the crusty material is gone, wash the raw areas with an antiseptic liquid soap like Betadine Skin Cleanser and be sure to rinse very well, dried soap can cause further irritation. Use an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin or Polysporin to help sooth the inflammation and prevent ears from getting infected.

Fly bites make the ears very sore and they'll continue to leak serum and crust up for several days, even without more bites. Keep the sores clean by wiping off the excess crust at least once a day. Use a soft cloth or gauze pad soaked in water or sterile saline contact lens solution. Apply the antibiotic ointment in a thick layer several times a day. It is best to keep the pet indoors while the ears are healing.

Another problem that flies can cause, is maggots. Flies can find sores that are hidden under the pet's thick fur or seek out the debris that collects in skin folds. They also target tumors, abscesses, healing inscisions from surgeries and infected ears. The flies lay eggs in less than 24 hours and the maggots (wiggling white worms) eat the dead tissue and drainage from the sore, which can become very large and serious very quickly. Most wounds infested with maggots need medical attention.

Don't spray fly repellent on the face, as it can get into the eyes. Insecticides can burn and sting the sores. Some people have success using Vaseline to coat the ears and others like to use Fly Repella by Troy, an antispectic cream that is also a insect repellant.

A great way to get rid of flies is RESCUE Disposable Fly Trap, $4.95, it is pesticide free. You just add water and the flies are lurded by the scent and go in the trap and drown. It works!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bless Everyone Who Rescues A Dog

My daughter and her family just adopted a dog from the Central California Labrador Retriever Rescue. Their beloved dog Bodie, also a rescue dog, was hit and killed by a car in March. Their new dog is a 2 year old black lab, named Sasha. I will have her picture up as soon as I get one. This poem is on the CCLRR website.

The Meaning of Rescue
Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked into my warm new bed.
I'd like to open my baggage,
Lest I forget,
There is so much to carry -
So much to regret. Hmmm...

Yes, there it is, right on the top,
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss,
And there by my bed hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave -
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me.
Will you add to my baggage?
Or will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things -
And take me right back?

Do you have time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage,
And never repack?
I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see,
But I do come with baggage -
Will you still want me?
~Author Unknown

Friday, September 5, 2008

Transitioning To A New Pet Food

I have written about the benefits of feeding your pet a high quality, natural, holistic or organic diet. When you switch your pet from one food to another there needs to be a transition time to avoid upsetting your pets digestive system.
Start by adding 25% (1/4) of the new food for about 5 days, increase to 50% (1/2) of the new food for about 5 days, and then add 75% (3/4) of the new food for 5 days. This schedule should prevent any problems transitioning to a new high quality food.
Your pet may eat less on a quality food because they are getting the nutrients they need. You will also notice less stools to clean up when your pet is on a better diet.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pets Gain Weight On "Weight Loss" Foods

A recent survey indicated that 40% of America's pet population is overweight.

Twenty years ago commercial diets appeared for dogs and cats that were designed to promote weight loss. They are labeled "lite", "reducing", "weight control" or "senior diets". The problem is that they do not work and pets are gaining weight and not getting the vitamins, minerals and nutrients their bodies require.

The weight loss foods have lower protein and fat and more fillers and carbohydrates, such as corn. The theory is that the fillers or grains make the pet feel full, but they don't lose weight. The pet owners reduce the amount of food and may result in nutrient deficiencies in some animals. Many pets on these "weight loss" diets develop dry, itchy, flaky skin and have coats that are coarse and greasy and lack luster. They may have cracked nails and pads.

Better results will be obtained by eating controlled portions of a high quality pet food with high quality protein sources (main ingredient), moderate percentages of high quality fat and low in carbohydrates (grains). Add exercise to the recipe and the weight reducing results will be excellent and predictable.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Diabetes Food Connection in Cats

I have been doing alot of research and reading lately to get information for this blog. I am so frustrated with all of the health problems of our pets. The root of the problem is the poor nutrition in commercial food.

I have read story after story about pets with horrible health problems that are improved or reversed with a change of diet. Several stories have been about cats that are obese and have diabetes. What is the cause? The grains that are in most commercial food. Why are grains used in pet food? Because grains, mostly corn, are cheap ingredients. These grains are damaging the health of our pets. Grains turn to sugar in the body and can wreck havoc on the pancreas and then creates a need for synthetic insulin shots.

Cats are carinvores and do not eat grains in the wild. Cats that are obese and have diabetes, lose weight and their diabetes goes away, when they are put on a high protein, no grain diet!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Be Careful of Anti-freeze

Anti-freeze can be deadly to animals. Don't overlook the anti-freeze that might leak or drip from your automobile. Sometimes when cars overheat, some antifreeze runs out on the ground. Apparently it tastes good, because animals will lick it up. This can cause serious poisoning that often ends in death.

Less toxic, but still harmful are transmission fluids, used oils, even batteries left out on the ground. Store all of these things inside the garage in sealed containers.

If you spill any of these hazardous materials or your car leaks them, don't wash it away. Sprinkle with sawdust, vermiculite or cat litter to absorb it, then sweep it up and put it in a plastic bag to dispose of as hazardous waste.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Rolled-Up Newspaper Method of Training!

If your puppy potties in the house, chews something he shouldn't or otherwise does something puppyish but not very cute, here's what you do:

*Put your puppy in a safe place.

*Get a good sized newspaper.

*Roll the paper up and hold it securely in your hand.

*Whack yourself in the head three times while repeating, "I will watch the puppy better!"

*Clean up the mess.

*Play with your puppy!

Training is the process of helping your puppy to form new habits --habits you want him to have. He's learning all the time, even when you don't think you're teaching him anything. If you allow him to do something you don't like, he learns he can. If you leave him loose in your house unsupervised before he's ready, he learns that he can chew things and potty in the house.

It's much easier and faster to prevent bad habits and teach good ones than it is to try to fix bad habits once they're formed.

Never, ever hit your puppy with anything - not your hand, a rolled-up newspaper, or anything else. There is no reason to hit your dog and it won't teach him anything you want him to learn. Some dogs respond to being hit with fear and become fearful of people. Some dogs become aggressive and will bite in self-defense. Either way, you will have created an unhappy and potentially dangerous dog.

Safe Ant Killer to Use Around Pets

There are 2 things I use to kill ants that are safe to use around pets and kids.

If there are a few ants that are annoying in the kitchen or on my trash cans, I dilute "Dawn (original) Dishwashing Liquid" in a squirt bottle ( 1 part Dawn to 6 parts water), this kills the ants instantly.

If we are being bombarded from all directions, then I buy Terro, these come in individual trays (6pack) or larger garden baits. The ants go nuts for it. Just sit them out, 1 or more, depending on how many ants you have and hundreds will come to the bait stations. Just let them come. Yes, even in the house. (They are in your walls.) Sometimes it only takes hours, some times a couple of days and you will have no more ants. They take Terro back to their nests or sometimes the ants go in and don't come out.

Pesticide or insecticide sprays and powders are not safe for pets, kids or adults. Always use a safe alternative.