PLEASE NOTE: THIS MAY NOT ALWAYS BE THE RIGHT WAY TO TREAT YOUR ANIMAL. YOU MUST ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR VET TO MAKE SURE THESE REMEDIES WILL NOT HURT YOUR PET.
WE ALWAYS STRESS - DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE ADMINISTERING ANYTHING HOLISTIC OR NATURAL.
Can My Dog Eat Pumpkin?
Pumpkin is nutritious for both you and your pup!
Oils found in pumpkin seeds and flesh are believed to support urinary health. Dogs with urinary incontinence may benefit from a little pumpkin in their diet. Your dog will thank you for this yummy snack, too!
2. Digestive Health
Canned natural pumpkin is a great source of fiber and helps with digestive regularity. If your dog is experiencing constipation or diarrhea, mix a tablespoon of pumpkin straight from the can into their normal food. Not only will they love the taste of pumpkin but it may also ease stomach issues.
3. Weight Management
Is your dog overweight or obese? Ask your veterinarian if replacing a portion of your dog's regular diet with canned pumpkin — which is low in calories — will help your pooch trim the waistline.
Washing your dog with Dreft
Dreft (the baby detergent, like Dawn) can be used for different reasons.
Over the years we have found that Dreft is an excellent way to take care of a dog’s coat. It helps rid fleas and ticks and other insects that may be crawling around in your animal’s fur.
If your dog likes to soak in bathtubs, it is a great way to treat problems, such as ringworm and hot spots.
Making sure that the animal soaks in it and is rinsed thoroughly clean after the bath.
Once out of the bath and dried off. Ringworm needs to be treated with a good fungicide. This can be bought over the counter at almost all pet stores. (Take precautions – humans can catch ringworm)
Hot spots can be treated a couple different ways. I you have washed and dried your pet and the hot spot is at the beginning stage, cut the fur around it as short as you can. It can then be treated by putting coconut oil on it.
If the spot is red and inflamed, rub it with brown Listerine and then powder the area good with Gold Bond medicated powder. Keep area attended to and keep powder on it to dry up the area.
If it continues to get worse and the spot gets larger, call you veterinarian.
The following foods can be added to your dog’s daily diet – simply top-off your dog’s existing food (kibble, raw-food, or home-made cooked food) with the following once a day…
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – organic, unpasteurized
Small size dogs - 1 tsp
Medium size dogs – 1tbs
Large dogs – 1.5 to 2 tbs
Cranberries - fresh/frozen finely chopped cranberries (no sugar added)
Small size dogs - 1 tbs
Medium size dogs – 1.5 to 2 tbs tbs
Large dogs – 2 to 3 tbs
Coconut Oil – read more about coconut oil here – benefits, dosage
Garlic - fresh, chopped – read more about garlic here.
Dosage for Garlic...
1 clove/1 tsp chopped garlic per every 30 lbs of body weight;
Lemon - fresh, finely chopped
Small size dogs - 1 tsp
Medium size dogs - 1 tbs
Large dogs - 1.5 to 2 tbs
Yogurt - plain, natural, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, depending on the dog’s weight/body type/metabolisim I use 2% fat for dog’s whose weight needs to be watched or 3% to 6% fat for leaner dogs, or kefir;
Dosage for yogurt:
Small size dogs - 1 tsp to 1 tbs
Medium size dogs - 1 tbs to 2 tbs
Large dogs – 2 tbs to 4 tbs
Kefir – read more about kefir (and/or sauerkraut) and how to introduce it to your dog’s diet. Kefir is a powerful probiotic and should be introduced in small amounts, building up to the full dosage…
Dosage for kefir:
Small size dogs - 1 tsp
Medium size dogs - 1 tbs
Large dogs - 11/2 to 2 tbs
Omega Fatty Acids – make sure your dog is getting the right balance of Omega fatty acids – I have yet to see a commercially made dog food that has the Omega 3:6 Fatty acids properly balanced. You will need to add some good-source Omega 3 fatty acids to your dog’s diet –
Turmeric – read more about turmeric - benefits, dosage
For items such as cranberries and lemon…
I chop (the finer the better) enough of the foodstuff in the food processor to last several days to a week;
Then I put the chopped food in containers - plastic (BPA free) or glass;
I leave the appropriate sized measuring spoon in the container – this little convenience makes it faster to prepare the meal at feeding time
Vinegar – It’s Not Just for the Kitchen
By Lynne Miller
You know that bottle of vinegar in your cupboard? It’s not just for cooking. Dog and cat owners are using this inexpensive pantry staple in a variety of ways.
Vinegar can be safely used for treating many common health issues that affect pets, says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian and certified veterinary food therapist from Clayton Veterinary Associates and Churchtown Veterinary Associates in New Jersey. The sour liquid also comes in handy for cleaning the messes and neutralizing the smells that are part of the deal when you live with critters. Here are seven vinegar uses for pet owners.
Pets on grain-based diets can have trouble digesting their food, resulting in higher-than-healthy levels of pH, says Morgan.
“If you add vinegar to the food, they’ll digest it better and lower the pH, which allows good bacteria to thrive in the body,” she says.
Keeping Fleas and Ticks Away
Vinegar repels fleas and ticks, says Morgan, who has used vinegar mixed with a popular skin treatment for humans on her horses.
To make your own flea and tick repellent, mix one part vinegar with one part water and spray it on your pet’s fur.
You can also add a few drops of vinegar to your pet’s drinking water to help repel fleas and ticks from the inside out. Morgan recommends one teaspoon per quart of water.
Ear infections are a common problem for dogs, especially those with floppy ears. You can clean your pet’s ears with a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar, Morgan says. Put the solution on a cotton ball and wipe the inside of your dog’s ears with the mixture, only applying it to the areas you can reach.
“If you have ear canals filled with bacteria and yeast, the pH is too high,” Morgan says. “If your dog has chronic problems, wiping out the ears will change the pH in there.”
Try diluting the apple cider vinegar with more water if your pet’s ears are extremely sore and raw, or she shies away from the treatment.
Relieving Urinary Tract Infections
Vinegar can help dogs and cats that suffer from urinary tract infections. However, before trying a vinegar remedy, you will first need to find out what the pH is in your pet’s urine, Morgan says.
“If the pH is above 7, then apple cider vinegar is your best friend,” Morgan says. “The vinegar will lower the pH and dissolve the crystals. If the pH is lower than 7, then I wouldn’t recommend vinegar. You could make the problem worse.”
It can be dangerous to try to treat a urinary tract infection at home as it can easily progress from a simple bladder infection to a kidney infection.
To find the pH level, collect a urine sample in a sanitized container and take it to your vet. The urinalysis will give your veterinarian information about pH, white blood cells, blood in the sample, concentrating ability, crystal formation, and possible bacteria in the urine. Once the values are known, your vet will be able to advise you on the appropriate treatment.
Treating Hot Spots
Organic apple cider vinegar can be used to treat hot spots, Morgan says. Unlike white distilled vinegar, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar contains “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that make the vinegar appear cloudy.
Morgan recommends mixing equal parts vinegar with water and spraying the mixture on your dog’s hot spots.
“You can massage it into the areas,” Morgan says. “If you have a raw hot spot, it could sting a little. You want to test it on your dog.”
Not a Cure-All
For all the good it does, vinegar is not a cure-all. A professional examination may be necessary if, for example, your dog’s skin sore does not improve after a couple of days of using a vinegar treatment.
“If the problem is getting worse, seek out veterinary care so you are not overlooking something,” Morgan says. “A sore could be cancer. You’ve got to get it looked at.”
If your pet’s odor is bugging you, distilled white vinegar can make the smell go away. Maids by Trade, a pet-friendly Portland, Oregon-based cleaning service, recommends spraying a thin layer of vinegar over the carpet and letting it evaporate, If the odor remains, shampoo your carpets and add vinegar to the carpet cleaner instead of carpet cleaning soap.
Vinegar may not be safe on all upholstery fabrics. Check the label on the furniture first before applying a vinegar solution says Mollie Swayne, content manager for Maids by Trade.
Accidents are bound to happen in homes with animals. For urine stains on carpeting, Swayne recommends treating the stained area with baking soda and distilled white vinegar diluted with water.
“We use vinegar in our clients’ homes all the time,” Swayne says. “It’s very safe for pets.”
The cleaning company does not recommend using vinegar on wood floors or on marble, granite, or other stone countertops, since the acid in vinegar could harm the surfaces, Swayne says.
To freshen and clean, mix vinegar with water and spray the solution over your dog’s bed, or add vinegar to the washing machine when you launder the pet bed, Swayne says. Vinegar can also be used to clean your animal’s food and water bowls.
“For general cleaning, vinegar is pretty good,” Swayne says. “It’s very versatile.”
Essential Dog Food Prep Tips
Offer a balance of lean protein and complex carbohydrates. A day without dog food isn’t an excuse to pig out on people food.
Avoid giving dogs too much fat or sodium, which can trigger vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
Consider your pet’s food allergies or chronic conditions such as renal, liver and heart disease, or pancreatitis which demand special low-fat diets
Dog Food Basics
Poultry – cooked, skinless and boneless
Beef (such as chop meat or beef cubes) – at least 80% lean and cooked
Canned meats and veggies – well-rinsed and drained to remove excess sodium
Keep it simple and lay off the salt and spices. Bland is better. You’re preparing food for a dog, not Gordon Ramsay. Your four-legged friend will not fling a frying pan at your head.
Raid your pantry For Added Nutrition
Assorted Colored Pasta Noodles
Canned vegetables like corn, beans, peas and carrots – well-rinsed and drained
Plain pasta – cooked
Plain, cooked rice, couscous or quinoa – avoid the flavored varieties which are loaded with sodium and spices that may upset your dog’s tummy
Plain, cooked oatmeal – not the sugary-flavored packets but the plain boring stuff we should all be eating
Canned chicken and fish packed in water – well-rinsed and drained
High-fiber or multi-grain healthy cereals – avoid cereals with raisins or magically delicious kids cereals
Low-sodium vegetable, beef or chicken broth for flavor or to tempt a picky eater
Low-sodium, plain tomato sauce
Honey – just a bit to tempt a picky eater
Raid the Fridge and Freezer Items
Cooked eggs (egg whites only for dogs with renal disease, please)
Boiled, baked or simply prepared poultry – skinless and boneless. Rotisserie chicken is fine, just remove skin and bones.
Cooked beef, at least 80% lean or trimmed of excess fat
Mild cheeses such as American or Colby
Fruits and Vegetables are Great, Too!
Apples and pears – sliced
Blueberries and strawberries
Cooked potatoes (any kind) Bowl of Strawberries
Cooked or raw carrots, beans, peas, broccoli, corn
Foods to Avoid
Definitely avoid these foods and ingredients (check labels and packaging)
Breaded, fried, greasy, high-fat, salty and processed foods
Grapes and raisins
Bacon, cold cuts/deli meats which are high in sodium
Anything spicy or prepared in a spicy sauce
What About Just Using Another Dog’s Food?
Is it safe to borrow a cup or two of dog food from your neighbor? For a generally healthy adult dog, a temporary food substitution is fine but…
Consider your dog’s allergies or any chronic health conditions being managed by diet.
If the other dog is on a higher-fat food, cut the amount you’d normally feed in half and fill up the rest of the bowl with a carbohydrate such as cooked pasta or rice for bulk.
What To Watch For
Sudden changes in any pet’s diet can cause gastrointestinal distress. Watch for:
Lethargy immediately after eating
If they’re not feeling well, switch to a very basic diet of boiled chicken and rice or oatmeal.
What should I do if my dog ate chicken bones?
It can happen at any time. You're eating chicken when you get up a second and come back to find Rover gulping down the remains of your dinner. Or maybe you find your dog scavenging the trash bin in search of some delicacy.
The chicken bones are not necessarily a problem if your dog chews them carefully and swallows them uneventfully. Indeed, dogs are equipped with great carnassial teeth that should be able to grind those bones well.
However, problems start when Rover decides to swallow them whole either because he has a Hoover for a mouth or because he is afraid of being caught and must quickly hide all traces of evidence.
Even though most dogs make it through just fine, there is some reason for concern if you think your dog has eaten chicken bones.
How to Help Your Dog
If your dog did not choke on the bone, there are two main problems:
The bone may scrape and puncture your dog on its way down, or it may lodge itself inside your dog and cause an intestinal blockage.
Both problems are not very good news as they can both be life-threatening if left untreated.
You should not induce vomiting since the bones may further cause damage as they are brought back up. The esophagus is more fragile and prone to laceration than the intestinal tract.
What to Feed Your Dog to Help It Pass the Bone
Experts suggest feeding 5 - 20 pound dogs something that wraps up around the bones to make "a pillow," hopefully preventing damage as they make their way out.
Try using 1/2 to one slice of high fiber bread or 1/2 cup canned plain pumpkin, the type without spices (not the pie filling version.) You could also feed your dog 1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown rice.
Why Dogs and Wolves Can Eat Bones but Domestic Dogs Can't
In nature, wolves and wild canines eat bones all the time, however, raw bones are less likely to splinter.
Furthermore, wolves and canines ingest fur along with the bones. The fur "cocoons" around them, making them easier to pass uneventfully. Raw bones are digested on their way through, causing white stools.
Obstructions and Their Symptoms
If bone made its way through the intestinal tract uneventfully, is the dog out of the woods? Not yet, since there is still a chance for blockage to occur.
Once ingested, the chicken bone may lodge in the stomach or the small intestine. While obstructions may occur in the colon too, dogs are more likely to expel the foreign object without much difficulty from this tract.
A wait-and-see approach will help determine if the bones are causing problems. That said, it is best to consult with a vet immediately and see if there is anything that can be done in the meantime.
Potential signs of problems are:
Loss of appetite
What About Other Types of Bones?
Several steak bones, rib bones, and turkey carcasses are known trouble makers. It is best to see the vet in this case and be safe rather than sorry.
Disclaimer: If your dog ate chicken bones or any other bones, see your veterinarian for advice. While home remedies may help prevent scraping in some cases, they may not work all the time.
Pet Health 101
Trimming Dog Nails & Clipping Dog Nails
Why cut your dog’s nails?
Unless your dog is so active it wears its nails down, you’ll need to cut them for these reasons:
[Photo of a boxer getting his nails trimmed]
Nail Trimming & Nail Clipping
Torn nails are painful and easily infected requiring soaking and long-term antibiotics or surgical removal.
Dogs don’t walk correctly when the nails are too long and this strains the leg muscles and torques the spine.
Long nails grow around and into the bottom of the foot. The dewclaw nail will grow into the leg. Ingrown nails are often infected, are always painful, and make some dogs downright mean.
Nails help provide traction and increase a pet’s ability to walk and run without slipping. Pets with excessively long nails hurt themselves because they slip and fall.
Why do some dogs’ nails grow so much faster than other dogs’ nails?
In pets that don’t exercise by walking or running—which often happens with senior pets, arthritic pets and pets with guardians who are busy—nails are not worn, so they appear to grow too fast. In dogs (and birds) with liver disease, the nails do grow faster than normal. Also, depending on how much your pet walks or plays on concrete, asphalt, or grass will have a influence on how much the nail will naturally wear down.
How to tell if the nails are too long
If the nails make a clicking sound when your dog walks, they are probably too long. Hold your dog’s foot and press the toe so that the nail extends fully. If the nail curves beyond the bottom of the toe pad, it’s too long.
Why are the front nails often longer than the back nails?
Most dogs propel themselves with their back legs, such as greyhounds do, and wear the back nails down.
What’s the quick?
The quick is the fleshy section inside the nail rather like the ink cartridge inside a pen. The quick contains nerves and blood vessels so that cutting it causes pain and bleeding.
How to enjoy cutting nails
Start small, make it fun, and use a sharp clipping tool.
Have your pet lick peanut butter or liver paste off the clipper. Make your pet happy just to see the clipper.
Play games touching the feet with the clipper and giving a treat. If necessary, start the touching high on your pet away from the feet and work down to the toes.
Play with the toes every night at bedtime.
Play with the toes holding the clipper.
Practice holding toes gently extended but keep the rest of your dog’s leg tucked up against its body. Keeping the leg tucked is more comfortable for dogs than is having the leg extended while nails are being cut. When the leg is extended, accidentally twisting the toe while cutting a nail causes a torque that travels up the entire straight leg. If the leg is bent, the torque from a twisted toe travels only as far as the closest flexed joint. Ideally, hold the toe and do not torque it when cutting the nails.
Observe where the quick is by working in bright light. Examine the lightly colored nails first and get an idea of where the quick is in the dark nails. Do not trim the lightly colored guide nail until having trimmed the dark nails. As you cut, hold the nail so you can squarely see the cut tip. A black spot appears in the nail as the quick is approached. When you see the black spot, go no further.
Hold the toe securely but not in a vice grip and slide the clipper opening down the nail, visually confirming that you are not including hair (this pulls) or toe pad. Clip small bites without twisting the toe. If nails are tough, bath your pet before cutting the nails. Alternatively, cut nails after walking in the rain or swimming.
Give your dog a great treat with every successful step down the road toward easy nail cutting.
Clip one nail a day until your dog is so happy to have nails cut, it wants you to do them all at once.
What to do if the quick bleeds when trimming nails
Recognize that cutting the quick (quicking) causes pain and apologize. Accept your pet’s forgiveness and then completely drop the issue. Feeling guilty or nervous about quicking makes pets anxious.
Stop the bleeding by pressing and holding the nail dipped in flour, cornstarch, a bar of soap, or an open capsule of Yunnan Paiyo to form a clot.
Have your veterinary technician or groomer show you how they trims nails, and ask them to talk you through doing it until you are no longer nervous. It’s appropriate to pay for their time.
Consider use a Dremel tool if you’re paranoid about cutting the quick with a clipper. A Dremel is a rotating stone that sands the nail down so that it’s easier to proceed slowly and there is less likelihood of cutting the quick. Accustom your dog to the sounds and vibrations from a Dremel before you start trimming.
What if the nails are really long?
As nails grow, the quick extends so that the quick becomes very long when the nail is very long. Cutting these nails to the proper length would also cut the quick. Although this procedure is sometimes done under anesthetic, at home we just cut the nails slowly. The quick will regress a small amount each time the nail is shortened. Over several weeks, the nail can be shorted without pain or trauma.
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