Category Archives: interviews

Ageless Dogma

Interview with author Annette Cain and her dog Pepper … co-authors of Ageless Dogma: A Dog’s Life Guide to Staying Young

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tell us more about Pepper, how old is she? when did you get her? did you adopt her from a shelter, rescue her or get her from a breeder or ??

Pepper is coming up on her 10th birthday (4-15).  However, she still thinks she’s two!  She was one of 18 puppies (2 moms, same dad) from my friends’ dogs.  My husband and I decided it was time to grow our family, so we took Pepper (aka Pep) home when she was 3 months old.

what made you choose a Lab?

Friends’ dogs were Labs.  Pep’s dad was a field trials champion.  We chose Pepper out of all the other dogs because she was the only one with a white patch on her chest, a ridge on her nose, and her personality, of course!

how often does Pepper do doga?

Everyday.  She starts before she even gets out of her bed in the morning and always stretches after all of her siestas.  Most nights after dinner, she’ll do her own unique ‘doga’ stance—she goes down on one shoulder with her rump sticking up in the air and tail wagging (picture).

what are her favorite things?

Hopefully us, but sure bets are:

The obvious—tennis balls, peanut butter-filled gongs, squeaky toys

Activities—going to the beach (includes swimming & riding waves), taking a ride (anywhere), digging squirrel holes, morning walks, and lots of wagging!

Worst favorite thing—Pep loves getting ahead of us on the trail and eating coyote skat (must be the right vintage though)

what kind of diet does she eat?

Mostly wholesome dry food (minus the skat).  Snacks include:  pb, greenies, chicken jerky, and usually whatever my hubby is snacking on.  Pep loves fruit…she actually pulls persimmons right off of my grandma’s tree.  She’s sad that persimmon season is over. (picture of her under tree)

are there specific things you do to help Pepper remain youthful?

Daily walks, weekly swims, supplements (chondroitin/glucosamine and fish oil), playtime, and she’s really good about taking naps.

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does she like to travel with you, do you take her with you?

Pep would like to go everywhere with us.  Our favorite vacation is renting a house on the beach (favorite beach is Stinson—private part is very dog friendly).

does she have any doggie play pals?  do you take her to the dog park or dog beach?

Pep is very socialized when it comes to dogs (helps to come from such a big family), however, she could take ‘em or leave ‘em.  When we go to the beach it’s all about chasing the ball or scooping up crab shells—she doesn’t even notice other dogs around her.

what is the best, most inspiring thing Pepper has ever done? funniest/ silliest?  most rewarding time you have ever spent with her?

Best/inspiring:  When Pep was just a year old, she had a terrible accident.  She had to undergo several surgeries and had 100’s of stitches (even actual buttons at one point) and was in a cone collar for three months.  She was such a trooper and taught me much about surrendering to uncontrollable circumstances, going with the flow, and grinning while bearing pain.

Silliest:  Pep’s ‘rump in the air’ act always makes us chuckle

Most rewarding:  My husband says the most rewarding time has been from when we picked her up until now.   For me, it’s how she greets me with joy every time I enter the room (this is one of her traits in the book).

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have you had other dogs?

I grew up in Belize and had many dogs as a kid…a German Shepard named Apache, a Dachshund named Whiskey, and several “pot likkas” (meaning “pot lickers”—what we call mutts in Belize) Ginger, Swing, Yum Yum and Tubby.

what made you write your book with Pepper in mind?  what gave you the idea?

My passion is to help others age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives.  My tagline for my business is “Age less.  Live More.” and when I saw a bumper sticker one day that said, “Bark less. Wag More.” the idea for “Ageless Dogma” came to me…the bumper sticker and Pep inspired me to write a book that could help people “Age Less and Wag More!”

have you written other books?

This is my fourth book.  I have written 3 previous books on health/fitness—“Fat Chance,” “The Lazy Way to Shed Some Pounds,” and “The Lazy Way to Get In Shape.”

are you planning to write other books?

Yes.  I have many ideas tucked away in my head and I’d love to write a novel in the future.

what is the most rewarding thing that you enjoy about your work?

I absolutely love inspiring others to take care of their bodies and take part in life.  I do this through writing, speaking and coaching.  It is very rewarding to be creative and connect with others.

anything else that you’d like to share?

Annette’s website agelesswithannette.com

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Filed under beach, big dogs welcome, book review, California, dog friendly, dog travel, dogs, exercise your dog, interviews, Uncategorized, women with dogs, writing

Dogs just wanna eat

Today we have an interview with Kate Solisti, who has graced us with wonderful info about dog diets and nutrition and has written numerous books about Pet Communication… welcome…

 

 

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tell us a little bit about yourself including how many dogs you have or have had and other pets, experience with pets, and so on… 

I have been an animal communicator since 1992. Over the years I’ve written 4 books and edited an anthology, “Kinship with Animals.” My books have been published in 7 languages and focus on interspecies communication, teachings from the animals, dog & cat nutrition, flower essence support and more, addressing the whole companion animal — body, mind and spirit.

My beloved dog Mollie, a sheltie cross, is in spirit and I currently have three wonderful feline companions, Azul, Simon and Lily.

is there any specific diet that you recommend for pet parents that is the best for dogs optimum health or does the diet depend upon different factors?  (age, size, weight, breed)?

I believe in meeting guardians where they are in terms of time, budget and level of commitment to their animal’s health. There is no “one perfect” diet for all animals. Breed, age, activity level, stress level, individual food sensitivities etc. are all critical pieces to take into consideration when counseling a guardian in nutrition and meal planning for their companions. Of course, the fresher, more “whole foods”  in the diet, the better. Highly processed, inexpensive dry food is not nutritious and will not support a dog or cat in living a long, healthy life.

guidelines for nutrition? 

Again, the freshest foods are the best. Many animals thrive on a raw diet, but some, especially older animals, need their fresh foods lightly cooked. The next best, is high quality canned foods and a little dry with eggs, real meat and healthy “table scraps” added in proper proportions’. A diet of all canned or all dry is not ideal. Dry food is not okay by itself. Do not be fooled by advertising or pretty packaging. You need to READ the ingredients to be sure they are real meats and vegetables. Avoid any type of gluten, soy, corn, sugars, like maltodextrin and corn syrup and all by- products, colorings and additives like BHA and BH (known carcinogens). Remember, if you wouldn’t eat it, why would you feed it to your dog?

are there supplements that you recommend for dogs?

Two of my favorite stand-bys are digestive enzymes and probiotics. I can safely say that all animals eating dry or canned foods exclusively need these to help break down the food and absorb nutrients. Most animals, especially elderly and rescued animals, really benefit from these two supplements. Animals eating raw foods get live enzymes from their fresh food. Enzymes are destroyed in the cooking process. Any dog who has been on antibiotics and medications needs probiotics to help rebuild good, healthy gut bacteria that is essential for absorption of nutrients and a healthy immune system. Some dogs need to be on these all the time, others during times of stress.

are there factors to consider in regard to feeding your pet?

Yes, each animal must be understood as an individual and fed according to their needs.

do you find that most pet parents feed their dogs/pets kibble and canned foods or does it vary?

Yes, most do simply because they and their veterinarians are uninformed about what dogs & cats need to eat to stay healthy. I often learn that prescription diets are fed for too long and never reevaluated. As I said above, dry food is not okay by itself. Would you want to eat dry cereal every day? Would that be good for you? Well it isn’t for most dogs either.

do most dogs love peanut butter, bacon, cheese? 

It seems so. I believe that they are attracted to the fat and salt in these foods.

what is the weirdest food a dog you have spoken to liked? 

Oh my. There have been too many to list. Dogs are part of Nature’s cleanup crew, so they will try almost anything!

are dogs carnivores?

Yes, dogs are carnivores. All you have to do is look at their teeth to see this. They are almost omnivores, but again, their teeth put them plainly in the carnivore crew.

does that mean a raw diet of meat is best ?

a raw BALANCED diet with muscle, organ, connective tissue, blood, and VERY importantly bone is best for SOME dogs. The key to a balanced raw diet is to “build a bird or mammal.” Many people think mixing up a batch of ground meat, chopped veggies and a little cottage cheese is fine, but it is not balanced.  A raw or cooked homemade diet MUST be balanced correctly or it will cause dangerous deficiencies in the dog or cat. There are a few excellent supplements that can be added to a homemade diet if you can’t grind up bone and know you have the right amounts of proper vitamins and minerals.

should dogs eat grains or a grain-free diet?

Again, this depends on the dog.

is a grain free diet healthy for dogs?

For most dogs, grain-free is best. But others do better with some cooked grains in their diet. I usually prefer quinoa over most other grains. Rice is beneficial when there are digestive issues, but not necessary once the digestive tract returns to normal.

is there a flea free diet? itch free diet?  a diet that repels fleas, ticks and other bugs? 

I am not aware of a “diet” per se, but adding a small amount of garlic and nutritional yeast is often a very helpful flea and tick deterrent. As for itching, there are many causes of that. One simple thing to give to see if it helps is the right essential fatty acids. This would be fats from meats, fish (salmon, trout, sardines) or fish oils or other marine lipid oils. Some dogs do well with coconut oil. Be careful. Many fish oils, especially the generic and inexpensive ones, can be rancid and unhealthy for your companion. I have done a lot of research on the subject and recommend a specific, sustainably grown and harvested marine lipid supplement. It is the cleanest source I know of and has more anti-inflammatory properties than fish oil.

what do you feed your dogs?

If I had a dog, she would most likely eat a raw diet with lots of variety just as my cats do.

this is senior dog month, what age is a dog considered senior?

In my opinion, senior is as senior does! I read someone’s blog the other day and his dog is 11 years old and he considers his dog a senior Some say that my dog, just turned 7, is becoming a senior… does age depend upon breed? diet?  Well gosh, 11 is 77 in dog years and 7 is only 49! Yes, condition is key for me in determining a dog’s “senior status.” I have watched dogs with all the symptoms of old age, literally age backwards with a correct diet and the right supplements — specific supplements that I have come to focus on due to their exceptional benefits in a short time.

is there a consensus from dogs on any of the above? what do the dogs have to say about dog food?

Of course we all know “picky” dogs, but most dogs LOVE food, most foods. I will say though that the biggest “consensus” is around nourishing food. Dogs want and need to be nourished first and foremost. Without proper nourishment, they cannot accomplish their missions with their people and lead fulfilling lives. (Just like us.)

anything else that you would like to share?

 

Thank you CeliaSue for your good questions and devotion to helping people learn about good nutrition for their dogs. I am available for private phone consultations on diet planning, health and behavior. Please visit my website, www.akinshipwithanimals.com for all the details. Looking forward to hearing from you all and helping you create the ideal diet for your dogs (and cats too.)

 

http://akinshipwithanimals.com/?action=healing

 

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Filed under allergies, animal books, animal communication, animal rescue, animals, au natural dog, cats, dog health, dog treats, dogs, guest blog, healthy dog food, interviews, keep pets safe, pet care, pet food, Uncategorized

Caring for Seniors

There are 41.4 million people who were 65 and older in the United States on July 1, 2011, up from 40.3 million on April 1, 2010 (Census Day). In 2011, this group accounted for 13.3 percent of the total population.  This number is expected to double by 2060. There were 3.6 million seniors in poverty in 2011. $33,118 is the 2011 median income of households with householders 65 and older.

Source: Population estimates <http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html

This month is Senior Pet month. Appropriately, I did an interview with Carie Broecker, co-founder of Peace of Mind Dog Rescue in Pacific Grove, CA. POMDR has a dual mission, to serve senior citizens and senior pets.  Carie has been a rock star, always there with a kind word, kind heart and resources for me with Cici so it is a pleasure for me to highlight her work. Her mission is important. I think there needs to be more senior animal rescues across the nation. I first met Carie back in 2003, in another incarnation. We stayed in touch and when I came back to this community in 2010, she was still here, the rest of the people I had known had moved on to other states or had passed on.

About Carie Broecker

She served on the Board of Directors for Animal Friends for 12 years. Carie and her husband Scott, also publish a quarterly magazine Canine Coastal magazine.

The idea for POMDR began in Oct 2009.

“I was taking care of a dog named Savannah, as a foster dog. Her owner was a senior lady named Alice who had emphysema for 5 years.  Her doctors told Alice that she should start getting her affairs in order. She was real sick in hospice and concerned about her dog. She was considering having her put down,” Carie said. “I told her that I would take care of the dog.”  Carie eventually adopted Savvy as her own. She has several 11-15 year old dogs of her own to care for besides the 65+ dogs (average number) that come through POMDR.

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POMDR was born, with the assistance of Monica Rua, the co- founder. POMDR are now approaching their 500th rescue. This year, they had a grand opening of the Patricia J. Bauer Center in Pacific Grove. The house was generously donated to POMDR by Patricia J. Bauer in September, 2011 and serves as headquarters for the dog rescue group. There is also an adoption center in the front room for potential adopters to come meet dogs for adoption.

POMDR was able to help Ms. Bauer care for her beloved dogs, Mattie and Morgan, in the last three months of her life. POMDR Helping Paw volunteers walked Mattie and Morgan every day for three months as well as fed them, brushed them, and took them to vet and grooming appointments.

http://www.peaceofminddogrescue.org/bauercenter.html

What makes a senior dog, a senior (is it age, weight, breed, size, other factors?)

Generally, a dog is considered a senior by age 7-10. The larger breeds have a shorter lifespan than smaller dogs. The quality of food, exercise and genetics play a part in aging dogs and humans.

Factors to consider when adopting a senior dog

On average, 40-60 year olds tend to want senior dogs, rather than other age groups. They usually have lost a dog and want to help another dog. They want a mature dog, housebroken, mellow, if the dogs need a lot of extra care, they might be up for taking care of it, too.

Younger people usually want mobile dogs, dogs they can take hiking with them.  Depends upon a person’s lifestyle. The more active a person is, the more active the dog they want to go along with them.

How does POMDR find senior dogs that need new homes or are up for adoption?

Shelters in Monterey county, Salinas and Santa Cruz, San Benito contact POMDR, almost daily. Famly of seniors who are dying contact POMDR.

POMDR cannot take owner surrender dogs, unless there are exceptional circumstances.  They get calls from all over the state and country. There is quite a bit of demand for homes.

If/when POMDR cannot take the dogs, they try to give resources of where and how to find homes for the dogs.

Do most dogs get cranky as they age (like humans)? 

Good question because personality is important. Some dogs who are in pain may snap. Others are really mellow. It just depends.  If a dog was cranky when they were young, they are probably going to be that way as they age, too, same as their owners.

Dogs that stand out… memorable dogs

Fox and Lucy, two chow mixes, were living in a shed. It was a horrible situation. The owner had died, and the caretaker did not take care of the dogs properly. When selling the property, the real estate person found the dogs and called POMDR. POMDR got them both healthy and adopted together into the same home.

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Zippy, a greyhound mix, is sweet friendly, untrained, jumped fences, counter surfer, lovable. He was just adopted a week ago. He is 10 years old.

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POMDR has a cadre of volunteers who assist with events, taking seniors and their senior dogs to the vet, daily care, fostering and dog training.

Volunteer trainers include those from From the Heart, Canine Spirit, and co-founder of POMDR Monica Rua

Do dogs pick us as parents? 

Sometimes they do, that happens a lot with fosters. The pet knows this is their home forever but it can take a little while for the parent to know that, too.

Are the best dogs senior dogs? if so, why?

The best dogs are, they are all great, if you want a dog to go hiking with, you want a younger dog. It all depends upon your lifestyle and energy, both are important to consider when adopting a dog, whether from a shelter or a rescue like POMDR.

Are seniors certain breeds ?

A lot of chis and pit bulls and mixes are in the shelters here in California. They are harder to adopt and then they age and are even more difficult to adopt to homes.  People have to be educated. No dog is a bad dog.  Different dogs for different folks.  Some people love smaller dogs, others love larger dogs. It all depends upon preferences.

Senior dogs care

It is important to consider what will happen to your pet if you become sick and/or die. Have you made plans for your dog?

None of us likes to imagine what our life would be like without our dog, or worse, what our dog’s life would be like without us. It is important to pre-arrange for the future care of your dog, just like you would your children, in case you are no longer able to care for your dog due to accident, illness, or death. Once these arrangements are made, you can have peace of mind that your dog will not end up alone and frightened in an animal shelter if something happens to you.

Unfortunately, thousands of companion animals are euthanized in the United States each year simply because their guardians died or became ill and made no arrangements for the continuous care of their pets. What will happen to your dogs if they outlive you?

500,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year because their guardian passed away and either did not make arrangements for the future lifetime care of their dog or their wishes were not carried out as planned.

Never assume your friends or family will take care of your dog in the event of your death. The guardianship of your beloved dog is something that should be planned for in advance. The best way to know that your dog will be cared for in the event of your death is to consult with your attorney and have your wishes put into your will or estate plan and to create a pet trust.

More info to consider

http://www.peaceofminddogrescue.org/lifetimecare.html

Resources

http://www.peaceofminddogrescue.org/resources.html

Finding homes

http://www.animalfriendsrescue.org/findinghomes.html

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http://autumnbluesreviews.com/blogpaws-celebrates-senior-pets-month-2013/

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Filed under adoption, animal rescue, big dogs welcome, California, dog friendly, dogs, four paws up, guest blog, interviews, K9 approved, keep pets safe, Monterey, Pacific Grove, pet rescue organizations, Uncategorized

Pet music

Interview with Lisa Spector, co-creator of Through a Dog’s (and now Cat’s) ear music…

About Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. By combining her passion for music with her love of dogs, she co-founded Through a Dog’s Ear.

As a concert pianist, Lisa has won first prizes in Chopin competitions in New York and Los Angeles and has performed in China, Poland, Spain, France, Italy and throughout the U.S.

Note:  July 4th and Fireworks. Many dogs have issues with loud noises from thunderstorms and fireworks. Many run off and go missing on this holiday. My Cici does not usually have any issues with fireworks unless big noises are up close and personal… and this year, it sounded like some big KABOOMS were right outside our door… she was looking a bit concerned. so I put on our Through a Dog’s Ear calming canine music (thanks to the wonderful Lisa Spector and Cici calmed down, was sleepy, then I jumped into bed with her and cuddled, and we both just slept thru all of the noisy fireworks for about three hours)… zzzzzzzzzzz… the music really conks Cici and me out…

Lisa has been busy creating an IPawd for doggies with ALL kinds of canine calming music…   Through A Dog’s Ear is clinically demonstrated to relieve canine anxiety issues.  ICalmDog is a portable, compact player with built-in speaker and battery. With an auto-repeat function, the 4-hours of pre-loaded Through a Dog’s Ear music can be played for 12 hours at a time.

http://throughadogsear.com/samples/Calm_Canine_Companion_2/01-Vivaldi-Winter-Largo.mp3

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http://throughadogsear.com/icalmdog/

and she has also created music for felines that is similar to the doggie calming music CD’s but specifically for cats.

what is different (between the cat and dog music)?

from Joshua Leeds

Joshua Leeds is a sound researcher, music producer and educator. He is one of few published authorities in the field of psychoacoustics—the study of the effects of music and sound on the human nervous system. Publications include Through a Dog’s Ear (Sounds True, 2008), The Power of Sound (Healing Arts Press, 2001), and Sonic Alchemy (InnerSong Press, 1997).

Sonic Anchoring is experimental. Our goal is to create a mental and emotional sense of safety that arises from familiarity. We accomplish this through a recognizable sequence of notes. The music on Through a Cat’s Ear is repetitious by design. Of fifteen tracks, six interludes are melodic fragments from Bach’s “Rondo Espressivo.” While people hear these interludes as repeating melodic intervals, cats may categorize this information as a familiar frequency matrix. As much as cats are hearing the music, they are feeling a sequence of vibrational frequencies. Like sensory information we instantly recognize—a favorite taste or aroma, our best friend’s voice, a mother’s touch— familiar sensory cues can have a profound and calming impact on the nervous system while providing psychological security.

Frequency Modulation (FM) can be defined as the alteration of sound. To further focus the therapeutic impact of Cat’s Ear, we’ve removed higher frequencies from the re-arranged piano music. FM also takes place in the mid- and low-frequency ranges. Through progressive modulation, “arousing” frequencies are reduced and “soothing” frequencies are increased.

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how are people responding to the cats music?

Initial response is wonderful. Like Through a Dog’s Ear, people are also finding Through a Cat’s Ear very relaxing for themselves.

Comments from an email today:

“Thank you for this fabulous CD for cats.  I am having construction in the house and my Abyssinian cat, Simba, has been extremely distressed about being locked in a back bedroom and hearing loud construction sounds.  He has been a nervous wreck with poor appetite, howling, and he even tried to run away. Your wonderful cat  CD came yesterday and I have been playing it for him this morning in a calm setting.  That cat is limp.  Purring.  Smiling.  

By the way, I love the music. Thinking of using it myself to help with sleep issues. And my dog, Suki the mini-poodle,  is draped upside down in her bed listening to the CD.

I think this is one of the best CDs you have done.  You and your colleagues have created something truly special.”

do cats hear differently from dogs?

Yes, they hear a much higher frequency than dogs. Their hearing range goes up to 65K Hz. However, the most important thing is how the frequency of sound affects the feline nervous system.

do cats have different traumas/fears phobias than dogs?

Yes, cats rarely have separation anxiety. But, they have much more of a need for consistency than dogs. Most dogs get very excited when a visitor comes to the front door. Many cats run and hide under a bed when visitors come in. Changes in their environment cause them stress.

what kinds of music do cats like?

That conversation is still up for exploration. When clinical studies of Through a Dog’s Ear were done, it was based on research in the shelter environment by a behaviorist, Deborah Wells. She tested a variety of types of music in the shelter environment and it showed that classical music calmed the dogs. So when we went into the recording studio, I played a variety of types of classical music, including re-arranged, slowed down, simplified versions of classical music that later became Through a Dog’s Ear.

However, there hasn’t been any music studies on cats. So we are not starting from the same place. We are very eager for researchers to run with this project and to put Through a Cat’s Ear and other music through clinical testing.

For more info and for listening samples:

http://throughadogsear.com/samples/

Blog Hop time…thanks to Life with DogsTwo Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume…  grab the blog hop  link

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Filed under cats, dog health, dogs, interviews, keep pets safe, music for dogs, pet blog hop, pet care, Uncategorized

fleas and allergies and bites on dogs, oh my

Cici is still itchy and scratching herself, but after discussing the situation with Dr. Harvey’s office and Dr. Richmond’s office, I’ve been putting coconut oil on her skin and she is loving the taste of it too. I LOVE essential oils but Cici has had strong reactions to them sensitive girl that she is. Coconut oil is supposed to help with itchies and a lot of other situations. Am going to start taking it myself as well. We also got some spirulina. (Read about the health benefits at Dr. Mercola’s website).   I love Dr. Harvey’s herbal protection shampoo, smells yummy and has all good organic ingredients. Cici survived her bath. And she is eating Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health.  Only thing is that yesterday something bit her. And I got bit, too. Do not know what the bites are from. Ugh.

Once she got the hang of it, she LOVED having her belly and chest rubbed with the coconut oil (raw unrefined) and licked it off my fingers, too.  I think we have a winner.

http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/coconut-oil-benefits.html#2

Coconut oil has strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal functions. Coconut oil alleviatesskin allergy symptoms (e.g. itching, dry skin and hair coat) and protects the skin against cancerous growths. When used topically, coconut oil can:

  • Disinfect cuts and promote wound healing.
  • Improve dogs’ skin and hair condition, making the hair coat smooth and shiny. It can also eliminate the dog’s body odor.
  • Clear up numerous skin problems, such as warts, eczema, dandruff, precancerous lesions, ringworm, bites and stings.

an interview with Dr. Annette Richmond, holistic vet in Pacific Grove, California

do you have general suggestions for dogs who are itchy?  what do you look for and/or what should pet owners consider if their dog is constantly itchy, scratching and licking their paws?

Of course check for basic things like fleas first. If none, then I am thinking a food or environmental allergy. So then I always start with looking at the diet. A diet that is NO grain, high quality and easily digestible proteins, preferably organic is what I recommend.

Raw food is the best. Home cooking is terrific too. But if those options don’t appeal to the owner, then the brands I recommend include; Taste of the Wild, Orijen, Wellness, just to name a few.

Eliminating any treats that don’t fall in that category too. Supplementing with fish oils is therapeutic for itchy skin as it is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Use shampoo that contains therapeutic quality lavender oil and chamomile on a weekly basis, a high quality shampoo with oil will not dry out the skin. There are a few homeopathic anti-itch remedies as well.

Environmental allergies are tricky to diagnose, but all the above will help with that too. A blood test is easily performed to check for either food or environmental allergies.

are certain breeds more susceptible to fleas or allergies?

Yes, there are certain breeds affected by skin problems. All the breeds with extra skin folds: English bulldogs, Shar-peis, Mastiffs, and Pugs. Other breeds include: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, and West Highland Terriers.

are allergies seasonal or get worse during hay fever time? do dogs get hay fever? are there plants/grasses that make dogs sneeze and itch?

Some allergies are definitely seasonal for pets, as there are many environmental grasses and trees that make dogs itchy. So if these are in bloom, or growing well, dogs can be adversely affected by them. Dogs usually don’t sneeze like people, but may have inflamed eyes and discharge from the eyes.

how can pet owners prevent or treat fleas and allergies naturally?

Essential oils are a wonderful flea and tick repellent for dogs. Cats are too sensitive to the oils and I don’t recommend them for cats. One product line I carry is Only Natural Pet, they have an oil that is put along the back of the dog once weekly and also a spray to put on anytime the dog is going out. This product line also carries a flea powder that is made of diatomaceous earth which dries up the flea eggs and larva, and also contains essential oils as a repellent (this powder is safe for cats). These types of essential oils are used by humans for the same effect.

best diet/foods for dogs with allergies, sensitivities, digestive issues?

Organic, no grain, high quality protein. I recommend raw food whenever possible. There are many raw food brands. Starting the dog off slowly with just little bits to get them used to it, and supplementing their diet until they eat only raw food is the purest diet that their digestive tract is designed to handle. Raw meats can also be cooked if owners prefer. I also recommend probiotics and digestive enzymes along with the meat.

what do you think about comfortis and over the counter flea treatments? drugs for allergies (steroids)?

I don’t like to use any of the strong flea medications, they do build up in the environment and because there aren’t any long term studies on these products, I don’t feel comfortable recommending them for ongoing treatment. However, if an owner is dealing with a severe infestation, doing one dose after a good bath may be required once in a while. Many general practitioners will give steroids without trying some of these other treatments first. Only in very severe cases is a steroid warranted.

any other thoughts about itchy dogs esp. during summer?

Baths are wonderful with the right type of shampoo that puts good quality oils back onto the skin and all the other things I mentioned above.

About Dr. Richmond

Dr. Annette Richmond graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She became a certified veterinary acupuncturist through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society which is a world recognized certification program. Dr. Richmond has been integrating acupuncture in to her practice since 1999, and has continued the study of natural medicine, Eastern and Western herbology, homeopathy, flower essences, healthful diets, and nutraceutical support. She incorporates all of these into her natural medicine clinic to treat most common ailments. The clinic also includes a canine and feline physical rehabilitation component helping pets before and after orthopedic and neurologic surgery, pets that suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia and much more.

www.naturalveterinarytherapy.com

some relevant articles written by Dr. Richmond for Canine Coastal Magazine

http://www.naturalveterinarytherapy.com/coastal_canine_magazine_articles

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Filed under guest blog, holistic vet, interviews, itchy red ears, organic, Pacific Grove, Uncategorized, vet

dogs talking

Are you talking to me?  Are you talking to me, Cici?

does your dog talk to you?  are you listening to what they are saying?

I know that dogs don’t talk in words, despite all those funny videos… but they do talk in actions and barks, wag tails, body language, whines, moans, growls, and woofs.

for instance, whenever I put Cici in the back yard and she is ready to come back in, she barks to let me know she wants to come back in the house. Or she barks at times to demand cookies and treats. she also has this funny growl to let me know that she wants to go outside. And she will also go sit by the door or lick my face.

you don’t have to be an animal communicator, pet detective or vet to know what your pet is saying to you. All you have to do is know and love your pet and listen to what they are telling you.

My cat Abundance was communicating to me all the time. And I was learning how to talk to him through visualizing pictures in my mind. And it was working amazingly well. One morning he was annoying me (my human perspective) while I was trying to write on my computer. He used to fall asleep on the printer while I wrote and worked. This one morning though he was meowing and trying to get my attention, and would not quit. Finally, I got the message. He was trying to tell me something. When I tuned into what it could be I realized he was telling me that I had accidently locked his brother Precious into another room with no food, water or cat box that morning. And Precious was still in there. Lo and behold I rescued Precious thanks to Abundance’s insistence that I pay attention !

A few weeks ago, Cici and I did a radio talk show interview with animal communicator Tim Link at his Animal Writes Pet Life radio show online.

You can listen to us gab at :

http://www.markiac.addr.com/PET_LIFE_RADIO/animalwritesep8.html

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Filed under animal communication, dogs, interviews, pet travel, publicity, travel with dog, writing