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Dogs Need Sunscreen, Too

Your pets need sunscreen. Sure, their dense hair protects them fairly well, but there’s no guarantee that they’re fully shielded from the sun’s blistering rays. Pay close attention to exposed areas that are the most susceptible.

The ear tips and noses of white or light-colored dogs and cats.
Pale-colored pets, especially those with thinning hair (due to allergies or thyroid disease). But all dogs, regardless of color, are susceptible to sunburn.
The bridge of the nose just beyond the smushy, wet tip.

Avoid products with zinc oxide, which can cause anemia, even when ingested in small portions. Products safe for human babies are zinc-oxide free, and many vets recommend using those on your pet, although there’s really no way of knowing if they truly work. Fortunately, the FDA has approved Epi-Pet’s Sunscreen (only for horses and dogs, though). Doggles makes a 15 SPF spray, and Nutri-Vet carries a 15 SPF lotion and spray. Body Glove also makes a rashguard shirt that has received complimentary customer reviews.

By |July 5th, 2016|General Care, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Dogs Need Sunscreen, Too|

Frosty Watermelon Pupcicles

Watermelon is a valuable source of vitamins A and B6, electrolytes such as potassium, and water (1 slice = 92% water).

These are all essential nutrients for you and your dog. Watermelon also is high in lycopene, an antioxidant that researchers believe may reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases and help protect the skin from harmful UV rays — potential benefits for both you and your canine companion.

However, experts do warn that too much of a good thing can lead to problems. Watermelon is high in fiber and may cause digestive upsets, especially if your dog overindulges. So add watermelon to your pet’s diet a little at a time.

Borrowed from petguide.com 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of seedless watermelon (pureed)
1 cup of coconut water or coconut milk
1 tablespoon of honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Scoop out watermelon and the seeds. Add fruit to blender and puree until smooth.
Add coconut water or coconut milk and honey to pureed watermelon. Blend well.
Pour into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap. If you’re using silicone molds, place them on something flat that can easily be moved to the freezer. A cutting board or piece of cardboard works great. Freeze overnight.
Place trays on the counter to loosen treats before serving.

Makes 30 treats

By |June 15th, 2016|Nutrition, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Frosty Watermelon Pupcicles|

Are Mosquito Bites Bad for My Pet?

Many of you are keenly aware that mosquitoes can spread diseases in humans. Zika virus has received significant attention — although there’s still much to learn, including its effect on pets, if any. Still, they aren’t completely immune to mosquito-borne diseases. Heartworm, a very serious condition, is a major concern.

Heartworm disease is as scary as it sounds. It is severe, potentially fatal and caused by parasitic worms that live in the heart and lungs. Heartworms are a type of roundworm, and dogs of any age or breed are susceptible to infection.

Mosquitoes spread heartworms rather innocently. It happens when they bite an infected dog and ingest its blood. The immature heartworms, called microfilaria, grow into larvae inside the mosquito. When the mosquito bites another dog or cat, the larvae is deposited on the pet’s skin and migrates through tissue under the skin. Eventually, the larvea enter the blood vessels, where they quickly travel to the lung. In 6 months or so, the infected larvae grow into mature heartworms and begin procreating. Adult heartworms can live 5 to 7 years in a dog and damage the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys.

But don’t let the threat of heartworms prevent you from enjoying the great outdoors with your pet. Use monthly heartworm preventives year round, paint your thumb green and grow safe, natural mosquito repellents. Dr. DuBose’s top choices include:

Lemon balm: Mosquitoes hate its yummy lemon scent, but humans adore it. It’s great in salads and sauces, adds a nice flavor to tea and has a long history of medicinal uses, from treating sleep disorders to calming stress.
Basil: It’s another double-whammy herb that seasons wonderfully and wards off mosquitoes. It’s also one of the easiest herbs to keep alive, so […]

By |May 10th, 2016|General Care, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Are Mosquito Bites Bad for My Pet?|

Spring Cleaning for Your Pet

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the season during which the gallbladder and liver are most active. The liver is associated with the eyes, paws, nails, hooves, tendons and ligaments. It also controls the smooth flow of qi (energy) throughout the body. Stress, whether from drugs, emotional causes or environmental toxins, leads to stagnant liver qi. This may be evidenced by red eyes, irritability, aggression, ligament or tendon damage, and weak, brittle nails — signs that your pet’s liver needs tender loving care.

No worries, however. Together, Dr. DuBose and you can nourish your pet’s liver and restore the balance of qi to help it work efficiently.

Pay attention to diet. Many chain store foods and treats are loaded with chemical additives, as well as artificial colors and flavors. Worse, they often contain indigestible ingredients and poor quality proteins and fillers that tax your pet’s digestion. Stay away from processed food and treats when possible. Read the labels.
Cook homemade foods. Chinese medicine teaches that the liver and gallbladder love the color green, so adding finely chopped or cooked, leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli and dandelion greens to your pet’s diet is a major plus. Beef, beef liver, chicken liver, eggs, carrots, beets, brown rice, apples, and fish oil are also healthy choices. As strange as it might sound, apple cider vinegar works well, too. Commonly reported benefits include skin and coat improvements, less itching and scratching, better mobility in older dogs and an improvement in overall health. Millet, wheat, rye and oatmeal also help the liver function more efficiently.
Get Moving. The liver tends to stagnate over the winter when pets generally eat more and exercise less. To help the flow of qi, it’s important that your pet exercises regularly, eats healthy […]

By |March 27th, 2016|General Care, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Spring Cleaning for Your Pet|

Gingerbread Snacks

From The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of whole-wheat flour
1½ cup of oat flour
1½ cup of brown rice flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 egg
¼ cup of safflower oil
¼ cup of molasses
¼ cup of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
½ cup water (add slowly)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except water. Add water slowly and mix until dough forms. (If the dough seems too dry, add more water or if it’s too wet, add more flour.) If your dough reaches a good consistency before the entire ½ cup of water is used, no worries.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spoon out dough and roll into balls (about 1 inch in diameter) Place on  the cookie sheet. It’s OK to place cookies close together; they won’t expand much while baking. They also won’t rise or flatten, so if you want a flatter cookie, press before baking.

Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack, place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

By |December 8th, 2015|Nutrition, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Gingerbread Snacks|

The Skinny On How We Help Fat Cats and Dogs

Here’s the skinny, folks. Cats and dogs in the U.S. are getting fatter, and the sad truth is that most pet owners aren’t aware of the epidemic. A spring 2015 study by the Association for Pet Prevention highlights some pretty staggering numbers: 58% of our nation’s cats and 53% of dogs are considered overweight. The study also found most owners of fat pets who participated in the survey had no idea that their Fido was on the fluffy side.

Unfortunately, obesity is now the biggest health threat to pets in the United States, according to researchers, and the costs of illness and injury as a direct result makes it the most treated medical problem in veterinary hospitals. Obesity also is one of the most preventable problems, but pet owners often let it go untreated.

If your pet is overweight, veterinarians warn that you’re cheating him of a longer life — up to three years, according to some estimates. Obesity usually begins with too many snacks, too little exercise and a tendency toward table scraps. Sound familiar? Sometimes, just 3 extra pounds to a small dog feels more like 30.

But simply being fat isn’t the only problem. Fatty tissue is a serious problem, too. The old school of thought was that fat (adipose tissue) stored energy and protected vital organs from injury. Newer research proves that fat isn’t always so innocent, however. Adipose tissue is actually an endocrine organ that secretes hormones and cytokines, proteins produced by cells to regulate the body’s natural responses to disease and infection. But when the body releases too much of the protein, inflammation occurs and, over time, may predispose the body to develop chronic diseases including arthritis, diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure […]

By |November 10th, 2015|Nutrition, Senior Pet Care, Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Skinny On How We Help Fat Cats and Dogs|

Ginger is Good for Dogs

Ginger, used in ancient Chinese herbal medicine for at least 2,000 years, is good for your dog’s health and helps prevent motion sickness. If your pet can’t stomach a car ride, try feeding ginger 30 minutes before. That should give the ginger enough time to take effect. Vomiting and motion sickness are symptoms of rebellious energy, called qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Feeding ginger helps restore harmony and gets qi moving in the right direction to improve digestion. And because ginger is a warming herb, it works naturally to heat the body.

But there’s more. Ginger lowers cholesterol, ventilates lungs, circulates the blood, treats gallstones, lowers blood pressure and prevents blood clots from forming. If your dog experiences any of these problems, incorporate a ginger-based treat into his diet once or twice weekly. A word of caution, however: Ginger is not recommended for dogs that are anemic, have recently had surgery or that battle digestive problems, as the heat may worsen the condition. Ask your vet if ginger is OK for your pet, especially if he’s following a prescription diet.

Dr. DuBose also suggests serving ginger tea. Steep two thin slices of fresh ginger root in 1 cup of boiled water for 5 minutes. Cool completely and give to your pet 30 minutes before traveling.

Dosage: Cats and small dogs: 1 to 2 teaspoons; medium to large dogs: ⅓ cup

By |October 25th, 2015|Nutrition, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Ginger is Good for Dogs|

Homemade Dog Food

We’re told it will make Bowser’s tail wag. Let us know if it’s a hit or miss in your kitchen.
INGREDIENTS
6 cups of water
1 pound of ground turkey
2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
8 ounce package of frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower combination
DIRECTIONS
Place water, ground turkey, cooked rice, and rosemary into a large Dutch oven or iron skillet. Stir until the ground turkey is broken and evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add frozen vegetables, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate until using. Makes 10 servings.

Dr. DuBose says cooked rice is much easier for dogs to digest. In fact, she soaks rice in water overnight before cooking it. “Otherwise, it just comes out the other end.”

By |September 2nd, 2015|Nutrition, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Homemade Dog Food|

Dealing With Fraidy Cats

Animals are more sensitive to weird weather than humans, so they’ll sense a storm is brewing long before you. Don’t freak. When you do, they probably will, too.

Dogs often are more aware of weather changes than other animals. That’s because their olfactory cortex (the part of the brain that analyzes smells) is 40 times larger than a human’s. That means the slightest change in air quality can alert dogs to danger. Canines also are far more sensitive to shifts in barometric pressure, so Fido might experience storm-related anxiety long before the weatherman makes predictions.

If your pet gets skittish during downpours, thunder bumpers and lightening storms, create a “safe zone” inside your home. Maybe a crate, a small room in the center of the house or a basement corner, where storms or less noticeable. Wherever it is, distract your pet from the commotion, especially excitable animals like dogs. Close the blinds; turn on the TV or radio, but not too loudly, and make your friend as comfortable as possible. Give him a blanket and a favorite chew toy. Feel free to leave the room, but don’t leave your pet stranded. Feed him regularly, play with him, reassure him and reward him for staying calm. But don’t coddle too much. Seriously. He’ll pick up on your pandering and wig out. Try to act as though everything is business as usual. And when it truly is, take the dog outdoors. Even if the storm wasn’t a big deal to you, it might have been for your pet.

Animals can often become aggressive or defensive after storms, as they sense that their territory has been invaded. Be patient and monitor your pets’ behaviors until you’re sure they can be unleashed.

By |August 28th, 2014|Acupuncture, Senior Pet Care, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Dealing With Fraidy Cats|

Traveling With Your Pooch

Vacations are a lot more fun when you share them with your best friend. If you plan to take your dog with you, careful planning and safety measures will make the trip more enjoyable.

 
Safety First

It’s safer for everyone if your dog is securely fastened or confined during car trips. A large dog in your lap or a small one bouncing around the accelerator pedal is dangerous, and in an accident, your unrestrained dog might be thrown about. Popular options for safe dog travel include dog seat belts, crates and car barriers. If you choose a seat belt, put your dog in the back seat. Riding up front increases the possibility of injuries or death if you have an accident and an airbag deploys.
Microchip your dog before leaving home and attach an ID tag with your cell phone number to its collar. Never leave your dog unattended in a hot or cold car. It’s not just uncomfortable. It’s also inhumane and potentially life-threatening.
Identify emergency animal clinics close to locations you plan to visit, particularly if your sidekick is a senior pet.

 
Things to Bring
Pack a spill-proof water bowl, your dog’s regular food, edible chews, medications and favorite toys, including chew toys. It‘s also good to pack something that can safely secure your dog when it’s unsupervised. A sturdy tether, a crate or an exercise pen works great.

 
Dogs Who Dislike Car Rides
Although some dogs gleefully bound into the car, others seem to dread the ride. If your dog seems afraid, anxious or uncomfortable in the car, experiment before making a long haul.

Speak with the veterinarian. Your dog may suffer from carsickness. Even if it doesn’t vomit in the car, it might still feel nauseated. Watch for drooling, […]

By |August 28th, 2014|Nutrition, Senior Pet Care, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Traveling With Your Pooch|