Chompers

Have you looked in your pet’s mouth lately? Do it. You may be shocked to learn that your pet’s teeth are rotting away. As busy pet parents it’s easy to forget that your pet requires mouth hygiene just like you. When you open your pet’s mouth do you see brown spots, black spots, blood, holes in the teeth? Imagine if your teeth looked the same…you would probably be in a lot of pain, right? They are! Cavities, holes, decay, all feel the same for our pets as they do for us but it’s in their nature to hide pain from us. Imagine living your whole life with constant tooth aches, owie! It’s easy to say “Well, my pet doesn’t seem to be in any pain, she’s fine”. UH DUH! An animal in pain is easy prey, of course they’re going to hide it! You may be thinking “I give my pet so-and-so bones and treats, they’re suppose to clean teeth”. Sorry, but nope. There is no such thing as a “treat” that cleans teeth. No chew toy will either. It’s just a gimmick that pet food companies use to get you to buy their treats. The only way to truly clean their teeth is by brushing them the same way you brush yours, but NOT with human toothpaste. Never, ever use your human toothpaste on your pet, it’s toxic. Instead, you can use coconut oil or many pet stores carry all natural pet toothpaste. You can use a regular soft “human” toothbrush, the pet stores charge double for “pet toothbrushes”, it’s crazy. A waterpik is even better if you can get your pet to sit still for it! I realize that many of your pets wont sit still for teeth brushing but just like any other trick you teach them, use treats! Sure, feeding treats while brushing teeth is a little contradicting but after a few times you can start taking the treats away and just brush. Be patient, it might take a whole month before your pet starts to sit still for it but trust me, it’s worth it! Tooth decay can cause all sorts of health problems. Not only is dental disease super painful for your pets, but it causes all kinds of other health issues and even emotional issues. Your pet may act out or become depressed with tooth pain that won’t go away. When plaque builds up in your pet’s mouth her body will see the plaque as a foreign body and her immune system will attack. After a while your pet’s immune system weakens, when the immune system weakens the whole body weakens…bad news bears. You should be brushing your pet’s teeth twice a day. Start slow if you have to, just brush the front teeth and give her a treat with lots of praise. Brush a little more every day, before you know it she’ll be asking you to do it πŸ™‚ Vet clinics and most groomers do teeth cleanings as well. If you’re new to the pet teeth cleaning game I suggest having a professional do a deep cleaning and then continue brushing them yourself every day. It’s just one more ultra easy, super cheap way to keep your pet healthy. Good luck!

*Don’t forget to hug your furbabies for me!

Stinky Pets

Does your furbaby stink? There’s a reason, a few actually. Your furry pal’s skin is a reflection of their internal organs. Rot smelling skin most likely = rotting organs due to lack of proper nutrition. Many people think that animals stink because “they are animals and they just stink”. Those people are dead wrong…sorry i’m not sorry lol. A bath or scented spray are not going to fix what’s happening on the inside, only mask it for a few moments. The first thing you should do is change your pet’s diet. I’ll say it again and again – order a meal plan from me or start using an all natural wet pet food, it will solve so many issues with your pets. Another idea is detoxing. Chlorophyll and Spirulina are great for detoxing and boosting the immune system. You can easily find a detox containing both online. Many people attempt a detox and wonder why it’s not working. You have to be patient, your pet’s body cant rid itself of years worth of toxins after only a week. You have to stick to it and dont give up. Another reason it may not be working for some people is lack of bathing. When your pet is detoxing, the chemicals and toxins try to escape through the skin and paws and if you dont wash it away it will sit and fester and reenter their body. During a detox, frequent bathing is a must. You don’t even really need soap to wash away the icky stuff. You can even create a simple bathing mixture yourself! If you want to spritz them with a scented spray use a mixture of Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water, and lavender oil. Yeast on the skin causes a certain stink and the Apple cider vinegar will help to balance the PH levels and remove unnecessary yeast. The mixture is also great as a bug repellent. The Omega’s are another important piece of the puzzle. I’m willing to bet the food you are feeding your pets doesn’t contain nearly enough fatty acids to keep their skin and coat at optimum health. You can easily get a fatty acid supplement online and in most pet stores, just make sure it’s an all natural one with no added chemicals or weird ingredients you can’t pronounce! Just one more thing, if the stink is sort of fishy and coming from the butt it’s most likely an anal gland issue. While this is more common in small dogs, some large dogs can most definitely have problems too. If you smell the gross fish stink your dog probably needs his anal glands expressed. If you wait too long the glands can explode causing a serious amount of pain for your pup, and a nasty mess for you!

Vinyl toys

There are so many options to pick from when it comes to pet toys. There is one kind in particular that I think you should stay away from. Vinyl. It’s a cheap plastic that can be found in many many products. In order to make vinyl soft and flexible the manufacturers insert additives like lead, organotin (also used to kill insects and rodents), alkylphenols, phthalates, and bisphenol-A. The 6 types of phthalates found in vinyl have been banned in Europe because it made too many children sick. It seems many of the bad things we have in the U.S. are banned in Europe, why aren’t we banning these things that are making us all sick?! Ugh. When your pets are exposed to vinyl all of the nasty chemicals start moving around in their bodies causing toxicity, damage to the reproductive system, the digestive system, the liver and kidneys. It’s best to just stay away from vinyl completely, it’s just one more easy thing you can do to prolong your pet’s health and life. If you are not sure whether the toy you want to buy is vinyl or not, you can check the label for content descriptions. Check for vinyl, pvc, recycling symbol with #3 pvc or #v.

Alcohol is a NO NO!

The holidays are just around the corner and for many of us that means family gatherings and many times those gatherings include alcohol. If the host allows we all love to bring our dogs along. Now, I know you personally may not give your pets alcohol but drunk uncle Phil might behind your back. I’m going to give you a tip on how to keep your pets safe during those drunken nights but first let me tell you what alcohol actually does to your pets… Our pets’ systems dont exactly work like ours. When we humans swallow alcohol it goes into our stomach and then the small intestine where 80% of it is absorbed and then blood vessels carry it into the blood stream. The alcohol is metabolized by the liver and broken down by enzymes. In our pets’ bodies it goes more like this – dog or cat swallows beer, it travels to the stomach where a very small amount of the alcohol is absorbed, is carried to the very tiny liver that cannot metabolize alcohol and then it goes into the blood stream. You may as well put alcohol in a syringe and inject it into their veins. When your dog or cat drinks alcohol it quickly starts to depress the central nervous system, damage the very small liver not equipped to metabolize alcohol, it could make their blood too acidic causing cardiac arrest, it drops their blood sugar causing seizures and brain damage.

For some reason drunk people think drunk animals are funny. What they dont realize is that the liquor they are giving them “for fun” could very well kill the animal that very same night. It’s quite sad. So if you have a party at your house or take your dog to a friend’s party try this easy trick to drive away drunk uncle Phil – Get your pet a bandana, or doggy/kitty shirt or even one of your shirts cut to size and write a note on it with marker. Have it say “Please dont give me alcohol, I want to live to see tomorrow!” or “Don’t feed me, I have a sensitive tummy” or “Ask my owner permission before giving me anything” or “I have allergies, dont give me food or drink” or be silly with it and write “Please dont give me liquor, i’m the designated driver”. I’m sure you can come up with something creative to save your pets!

Allergies and Itchy Skin

Itchy itchy skin…It’s a problem isn’t it? I have soooo much to say about this but I’ll try to keep it short. It seems most people have a dog or cat with allergies and/or itchy skin. When your pet’s body is trying to get rid of something unwanted (toxins) it usually tries to escape via the skin or the paws which could be what causes the itching or licking. Think about this, if you ate the same exact thing day after day after day for years and years dont you think your body would start rejecting it at some point? Same goes for our furry friends. Also, wouldn’t you get totally sick of eating the same thing every day? Gross…seriously. Your pets feel the same way. Mix it up a little. Even if you aren’t feeding cooked or raw (eh em… you should be, and I can help you by creating a meal plan) you should still be mixing up their meals. Even if you’re feeding canned/dry buy a couple different kinds. Try chicken/veg for 2 days, then beef/veg for 2 days, then pork/veg for 2 days and rotate. Not only does it give your pets a variety of flavors but it gives them a variety of nutrients and vitamins that their bodies need just as much as ours do. Another reason for allergies is breed origin. Our pets’ ancestors came from different places all over the world where certain foods were abundant or easy to find. If your pet is eating a type of food that was not readily available where their ancestors lived, their body might reject it – causing itchy skin. Another major culprit is wheat. Wheat, corn and soy are the 3 most common allergens in pets. Their bodies were never meant to digest them. There are no useful vitamins or minerals in them so your pets’ bodies try to rid them. Always give your pets a completely wheat/grain free diet, that means no “treats” that contain wheat either! That could solve the allergy problems alone. If after a month of grain free you don’t see improvement in itching you’ll have to slowly eliminate one type of food at a time to find the culprit. Many dogs are allergic to chicken so try going without for a month, then try eliminating beef, and so on. Also, try not to use any fertilizers or pesticides on your lawn and if you have to always use an all natural brand. The chemicals soak right into their cute little paws and into their systems, causing an allergic reaction. Please keep in mind that finding the allergen could take some time, stick with it, don’t get frustrated, and all will end well. Eliminating allergens is crucial to your pet’s health. Your pet’s immune system is not functioning optimally since it has become sensitized to the allergen. If you ignore the itching/licking it can quickly escalate to inflammation of the eyes, ears, respiratory system, and digestive system – causing life threatening diseases. Also, I know I’ve said it before but get your pets an all natural daily vitamin to help boost their immune system. If you need help or detailed tips regarding allergies or anything else for that matter please dont hesitate to ask, I’m always happy to discuss your pet’s health πŸ™‚

Toxic foods for pets

Below is a list of toxic food for your pets. Some of you already received this list at the event. You may already know about some of these toxic foods but some may surprise you and please keep in mind that this is NOT a complete list. It is only a list of common foods in households.

I’m constantly hearing from pet owners things like “My dog ate a whole chocolate bar, and he is still alive”. While this may be true, it doesn’t mean that said dog isnt silently suffering internally from it. When an animal gets into a toxic food, sometimes it can take up to 2 weeks for the effects to show. I’m sure, as a pet owner, you have witnessed your dog or cat throwing up for what seemed like no reason. There is a reason and it could be because of something they ate a week ago. Or, it could be the result of those 5 chocolate bars they got into over the span of 10 years. Think about when you throw up…it’s never “just because people throw up sometimes”, it’s because you have a virus, a disease, food poisoning, or you drank too much alcohol. The point is there is always a reason. Toxins build up in our and our pets’ bodies over time, causing disease. So just because your pet lived through that day he ate that loaf of bread you accidentally left on the counter, doesnt mean the toxins from that loaf of bread aren’t slowly clogging the lymph nodes and deteriorating the liver. Our pets can’t tell us when they dont feel well and most of them will hide pain as long as possible because in the wild (and remember that wolves and african wildcats are their ancestors) an animal in distress is an eaten animal. This list is something that you should go over with your family and post on your refrigerator, it could save your pet’s life.

Toxic food for dogs and cats
This is not a complete list, it is a list of common foods in households

1. ALCOHOL – Your pet’s liver cannot metabolize alcohol. Even small amounts can be toxic and cause serious problems.
2. AVOCADO – The leaves, fruit, seeds, and bark contain Persin, which is toxic to pets. The most common variety, Guatemalan, found in stores seems to be the most problematic. Since the degree of toxicity is unknown in other strains of avocados, it is best to avoid altogether.
3. BREAD DOUGH – Live yeast from raw dough will multiply in the stomach and expand causing a decrease in blood flow and difficulty breathing. As yeast multiplies is produces alcohol resulting in alcohol intoxication. Some symptoms are disorientation, vomiting, seizure, coma, death.
4. CAFFEINE – Large quantities of caffeine can be fatal for your pet and there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include heart palpitations, bleeding, rapid breathing, muscle tremors.
5. CHOCOLATE – Theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean, increases urination and negatively affects the central nervous system. Even small amounts of Theobromine can be lethal to dogs.
6. CITRUS – While large amounts of the stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of the citrus plants can cause gastrointestinal irritation and possibly central nervous system depression due to the citric acids, limonin oils, a segment or two of an orange for instance will more that likely cause nothing more than a minor upset stomach.
7. GRAPES OR RAISINS – While the toxic component of grapes and raisins has yet to be determined, it appears that in large quantities, grapes and raisins can cause renal failure. It has also yet to be determined whether long-term ingestion can lead to the same effects as a large one-time ingestion. Due to the many unknown factors regarding grape and raisin safety, it is best to avoid them.
8. GREASE – The high fat content of grease will more than likely cause diarrhea. While some fat in a dog’s diet is desirable, too much fat is undesirable.
9. MACADAMIA NUTS – As few as 6 macadamia nuts can cause vomiting, weakness in the back legs, raised heart rate, and elevated body temperature.
10. ONIONS – The oils in onions contain an antioxidant that negatively affects the hemoglobin’s ability to carry oxygen in the red blood cells. Anemia, rapid breathing, lethargy, vomiting, and heart murmurs can result after the ingestion of onion, but these symptoms can appear as late as a few days after onion ingestion.
11. RAWHIDE – These β€œtreats” are loaded with toxins and preservatives. They can also cause obstruction in the intestines. Pig ears or bones covered in unnatural sauces should also be avoided for the same reasons.
TIP! Ask your butcher for a β€œmeaty marrow bone for dogs” instead!
12. SEASONED MEATS – Seasoned meats are usually chemically preserved, smoked, salted, or spiced. All of these are undesirable for optimal health of your pet. Also, any highly spiced foods will more than likely give a dog a minor upset stomach.
13. SOY – While soy is technically a complete protein, it does not serve well as one since our pets do not readily digest it. It can cause gas and bloating.
14. SUGAR – Refined sugar has no nutritional value to it. The only thing your pet will receive from it is an undesirable spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. Dogs with a taste for sweet foods would benefit from small amounts of fruit rich in vitamins and minerals instead.
15. WHEAT – In any of its forms (wheat, wheat flour, middling, germ, or bran) your pets do not digest wheat well. It also tends to cause quite a bit of allergy problems.

The oh so controversial…VACCINE!!

Vaccines…I know I’m opening up a big can of worms here but I just have to. I’m going to be straight forward with you and say I dont like them. I just dont. I’ve read many books, watched many educational videos, and spoke with many veterinarians ( holistic and traditional) and I’ve come to the conclusion that…wait for it… vaccines are just money makers. Not money makers for us pet owners, no no no, money makers for the vets and pharmaceutical companies. Now, I dont want to sound like a vet-hater. We need vet’s. Vet’s are life savers, they have the toughest job in the world. Think about it, humans go to the doctor with symptoms they can explain. Animals can’t tell us what they’re feeling, it takes a crazy amount of knowledge and experience to diagnose and treat a being who can’t tell us their symptoms. So bravo to all the vet’s in the world!
Back on track… You dont have to believe me, you can do the research yourself but what I have found is that vaccines immunize our pets for a minimum of 7 years. Immunity is like pregnancy, once you’re pregnant being more pregnant isnt useful. So why do vet’s push for so many booster shots year after year? Money! Again, you can look this up yourself, in many clinics vaccines are bringing in more money than any other procedure, including surgeries. Think about this – would you vaccinate your human child for measles once every 2 weeks for the first 16 weeks of life and then every year after that forever and forever? Doubt it. So, what makes you think that vaccinating an animal that many times is a good thing?
Jan Rasmussen Author of “Scared Poopless – The Straight Scoop on Dog Care” calls vaccines “toxic soup” that contain multiple live viruses, foreign animal tissue, formaldehyde, mercury, phenol, aluminum hydroxide, and dyes to make the vaccine “look pretty” while injecting. Did you know that the vaccine dosage is the same whether your pet is 10 lbs or 100 lbs? Weird, huh? Research shows that some vaccines aren’t even effective anymore. How many times have you heard about a dog getting Lyme disease and the owner says “but he was vaccinated!” All.The.Time. If the vaccines aren’t even protecting our pets then why should we get them? Another question for you – how many times have you heard about an animal having an allergic reaction or even dying from a vaccine? That happens because their bodies are not built to accept them. Their immune systems should be healthy enough to fight disease or infection on their own but the vaccines are compromising their immune systems. It’s a vicious circle. Dr. Patricia Jordan Author of “Vaccinosis:Hidden in Plain Site” discovered that vaccines cause damage at the genetic level. That’s scary. I want to make something clear. I’m not saying that all vaccines are bad. I just want you to educate yourself and make a decision that’s right for you and your pets. For example, If your pet never goes to doggy day care then why get the bordatella vaccine? In my opinion, that would be unnecessary.

I have a fabulous secret for you πŸ™‚ Titer testing. If your vet doesnt offer it, find a new vet. It’s a way to prove immunity! Titer testing tests the antibodies in the blood and let’s you know if the animal is already immune to a disease. That’s right, your pet may be naturally immune to diseases. You didn’t know that because the pharmaceutical companies have tried to hide it from you so that you would spend your money on vaccines, but times are changing and now that people are really gearing towards the holistic way, many vets are now offering titer testing. Now that’s pretty darn cool!

Recalls

Copy and paste this link to view pet food recalls!

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/default.htm

You’ll notice that some of these pet foods are “Natural”. Scary isn’t it? You go to the pet store thinking “I’m such a great furbaby parent for buying this All Natural food for my fur babies, and then you go home and see on the news that the brand you just bought has been recalled because of salmonella. In the pet food industry “Natural” can mean a lot of things or it can mean nothing at all. The FDA kinda sucks at regulating pet food. They only tell you about something bad in the food if a dog or cat has already gotten sick or died from eating it. What if next time your pet is the one who gets sick or passes away? Tough to think about, isnt it?
Pssst, Let me tell you a little secret…You can avoid becoming a victim of pet food recalls by simply making your own pet food! In case you didn’t know, I went to college to learn about animal nutrition. I even have a fancy certificate that says I am a Holistic Chef for Animals, and I’m darn proud of it! So, making your own pet food…sounds difficult, time consuming, and expensive right? Wrong! I hear it every day from people but the truth is it only takes a little bit of will power and a lot of love for your pets. The best part, I’ll create the meal plan for you, along with a rotation calendar and transition schedule. All you have to do is throw it all together in a dish! Well that takes care of the “difficult” part. On to “Time consuming”. Yes, it’s more work than buying a bag of junk pet food and dumping it in a bowl, but It doesnt have to be like climbing a mountain. I spend 1 or 2 hours a week making my Macy’s food. Yep, that’s it! I usually do it one night while I’m making dinner. If you make big batches at a time, you can easily separate it into containers and freeze them. Make enough for a whole month if you want!
It seems the biggest concern is cost. Many of you say you think of your dog or cat as your baby. Would you deprive a human baby of nutrient rich food because it’s a little more expensive? See where I’m going with this? Better health = less or no expensive visits to the vet! Let’s face it, going to the vet not only sucks but it’s expensive!! They charge an office visit fee, an exam fee, bloodwork fee, xray fee, a fee because you looked at them weird…ok maybe not that last one but the point is you’re broke by the time you leave. Aside from that there are ways to get food for less. Buy in bulk, grow a garden, hit the sales, go hunting, ask your friends for any food that got freezer burned. You’d be surprised by how much meat people throw away! (A little freezer burn is fine, but never give your pets moldy food!) Just recently I asked the butcher at Pick N Save if I could buy the meat trimmings that they would normally throw away. He gave me 2 lbs for FREE!
Feeding your pet a healthy, balanced, chemical free diet will help them to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life. Don’t you want that for everyone you love?!

Note – It takes careful planning and professional knowledge to put together an effective meal plan. Your pets need specific amounts of vitamins and minerals, calories, protein, etc… please dont google homemade pet food. Most of the people posting those recipes have not been properly educated and using them could be dangerous and harmful to your pet’s health. Get this, about 2 years ago I walked into a vet clinic and noticed a recipe book for pets for sale on the counter. I skimmed through it and saw that most of the recipes contain rice and onions. Well, rice has no nutritional value and onions are toxic!! I asked the receptionist if she knew the author or if the vet actually looked through the book. She replied “No, we just thought it would be a fun thing for our clients”. Really! Since when is putting toxins in your loved ones “fun”??

Proper Treats

I’m going to go through some proper treats for your pets. Obviously, Companion Cuisine’s treats are the best πŸ™‚ but it’s also okay to give your pets some fruit or veggie snacks right from your fridge or freezer. First let’s go through the not so great snacks to give: Grapes, Raisins, Onions, Avocado, and Carrots. Grapes, Onions and Avocado are toxic. Carrots are in no way “toxic” to your pets however, they are very difficult to digest. They are just too coarse. Basically they go right through their bodies and into their poop and so your pet’s are not absorbing any of the nutrients, making them pretty much pointless. Instead of carrots some great alternatives are green beans, peas, broccoli, sweet potato, and pumpkin. Fruits are also a great snack for your pets. Though most cats, and I say most because I do know a couple kitties who think they are dogs, won’t eat fruit. Fun fact for you – cat’s dont have taste receptors for sweets. So, if your cat is eating fruit which is sweet, you either have a very strange cat (which is perfectly ok) or your cat may not be getting enough water. Cats’ systems are built to pull water from their food which is why they dont drink much from the water dish. There isn’t enough water in dry kibble to properly hydrate your cat which will not only slowly damage your cat’s liver and kidneys but also forces them to find food that does contain water – like fruit. If you are currently feeding dry kibble and are interested in learning about the meal plans I create please feel free to call or send me an email.
When feeding fruit to your dogs I suggest giving it alone and by that I mean don’t add it to their food dishes, give it as a mid day snack by itself. If fruit is given with protein it takes longer to digest. When fruit sits in your dog’s belly too long it can start to ferment, creating alcohol. Alcohol + Pets = Bad news bears! Some great fruit options are apples, bananas, and blueberries which contain a crazy amount of antioxidants. Remember to stay away from grapes and raisins which are toxic!

Coconut

I’d like to tell you a little about the benefits of eating coconut. I’m sure you’ve been hearing a lot about “super foods” lately. The term “super food” simply means nutrient-rich. It is a food that contains a higher amount of vitamins and minerals than other foods in the same category. Coconut products are most definitely super foods for both you and your pets. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be “the cure for all illnesses”. The Omegas, vitamins and minerals in coconut are known to treat a huge variety of health problems for humans and animals. Even serious health issues like measles, hepatitis C, aids, diabetes, cancer, the list goes on and on! It’s great for the immune system, improves digestion and metabolism, it even heals cuts and scrapes. Coconut oil should always be in your home. I use coconut oil for myself and my dog Macy every single day. I personally use it as a facial moisturizer every night, and I noticed a difference in my skin the first day I used it. It really helps with fine lines, redness, acne scarring, you name it. My furbaby Macy gets a teaspoon every night right before bed just for health maintenance. She loves her coconut and so does her body, her immune system is like no other! So, go out and get yourself some organic coconut oil! Almost every food store carries it including Walmart and Pick N Save.
For your dogs I would give 1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight per day. For cats I would give 1/4 teaspoon/10 lbs. You can give it to them straight out of the jar, add it to their food or melt it and put it in their water. For finicky cats try rubbing some on their paws before or after meals, they’ll lick it off and get it that way. If your pet isn’t currently familiar with coconut oil make sure you introduce it gradually. Start with a 1/4 tsp/30 lbs the first week, then 1/2 tsp/30 lbs the 2nd week, and so on. You can also use it to heal hot spots, sore paws, rough pads, cuts, scrapes, sore muscles, pretty much anything! Be sure to cover any wounds coated with coconut oil with a wrap because dogs LOVE the taste and will just lick it off. I know you all will just love using coconut oil as much as Macy and I do!

Raise your teaspoons to healthy pets, cheers!