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Animal wellness

Animalwellness For a long, healthy life!



Nix the i t ch with NAET

5 facts your vet

TOP 10

IMPROVEMENTS Is your dog reaping the benefits?

De-stressing bath-phobic dogs

might not know

Weddings go to the dogs

Couples tying the knot include their pooches in the ceremonies

Food sensitivities Yeast infections...

yikes! Herbal & dietary remedies can help


and what to do about them

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Help ease the burden on landfills

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Contents August/September 2011

features 18 For sensitive stomachs & skin

A food sensitivity can manifest in several ways but the solution is simple – a better quality diet.

22 Scared of baths?

Regular bathing is important, but what if he freaks out every time you try to get him in the tub? These techniques help make the experience more relaxing.

26 Nix allergies with NAET


Suppressing symptoms with medication is just a band-aid solution. Allergy elimination techniques go right to the root of the issue.

30 5 facts your vet might not know Most traditional veterinarians aren’t taught much about alternative medicine, while others simply don’t believe in it. Here are some facts you probably won’t hear from a conventional practitioner.

34 The dogs of San Felipe

Thanks to one man’s courageous and tireless efforts, life has become a lot better for the strays of this Mexican town.

37 Breath of fresh air

How developing a solution for doggy breath grew into a company that offers a range of natural health products for animals.

46 We’ve come a long way, baby!

Gone are the days when canine companions were just “pets”. Check out the top 10 improvements in canine healthcare and welfare that have made the world a better place for pooches

50 Healthy dog = healthy coat

A dog’s well being is reflected in his coat. By supporting his health with this simple acupressure session, you can help ensure he feels – and looks -- his best.


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52 Yeast infections –yikes! It’s the itch that keeps coming back. Get to the root of the problem, and eliminate it using herbal and dietary measures.

58 Legging it

In the past, a serious leg injury often meant euthanasia for dogs. Now, thanks to therapeutic aids for damaged or missing limbs, a disabled dog can live a long and active life.

64 Weddings go to the dogs More and more brides and grooms are including canine companions in their marriage ceremonies. According to these couples, it makes for some wonderful and whimsical memories!

69 Mighty mites

Ear mites are a common feline problem that can make your cat miserable. Check out these effective treatment options.

72 Camping with cats

By following these eight rules, you can safely and comfortably take your kitty on your next outdoor getaway.

74 Is she overgrooming?

Cats spend a lot of time cleaning themselves, but if they start showing bald patches, it could signal a behavioral problem called psychogenic alopecia.

79 Lighten the load

Earth-friendly litters help ease the burden on landfills.

86 Top 8 stomach soothers

You’ve adopted a new dog from a shelter or rescue, and quickly discover his digestive system is out of whack. Calm his tummy with these nutritious foods.

90 Lice…ugh!

The lowly louse can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. A healthy lifestyle coupled with vigilance (and a fine-toothed comb!) can help keep him from becoming a host to these creepy critters.

92 Very posh

The moisturizing and healing properties of olive oil formed the inspiration for a line of all-natural eco-friendly spa products for dogs.

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See Page 17

Look inside for: Holiday Gift Ideas – Treats, Toys, Food and More!


Columns 14 Yakkity yak

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38 Warm & fuzzy 40 Talking with


Dr. Patrick Mahaney


76 H  ealth talk with Dr. Marcia Martin


82 Case study 93 Book reviews

8 Editorial

94 Communication

12 Mail bag

96 Passages

44 Product picks

105 Tail end

54 Animal Wellness



resource guide

62 The scoop 81 Feline Wellness marketplace 98 Animal Wellness marketplace


102 Classifieds 104 Events calendar

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Topics include: disease prevention natural diets and nutrition natural health care

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9am– 5pm E.S.T.

On the cover photograph by:

Mike Gostomski

A game of water fetch is a great way to beat the summer heat. This Nova Scotian duck tolling retriever is obviously having the time of his life, while cooling off in the process. It’s in this particular breed’s genes to love the water, of course, but most other canines enjoy it too. Introduce your dog to the water slowly, if he’s not used to it, and pretty soon he’ll be having as much fun as this guy!


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Volume 13 Issue 4

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Managing Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Meaghan McGowan Graphic Designe Intern: Sarah Beranger Cover Photography: Mike Gostomski Tail End Illustration: Leanne Rosborough Columnists & Contributing Writers Nadia Ali Sue Becker, BFRP, BFRAP, CTTP Kim Danoff, DVM Audi Donamor Cynthia S. Evans Jean Hofve, DVM Susan Israel Sara Jackson Wendee Jacobson Deva Khalsa, VMD Anabelle Lee Macri Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA Marcia Martin, DVM Erin Mayo, DVM, CVA Shawn Messonnier, DVM Barbara Nefer Sandra Murphy Carmel Peterson Andrea Pflaumer Mark C. Robinson Amy Snow Debbie Swanson Charlotte Walker Nancy Zidonis Administration & Sales President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Operations Director: John Allan IT Manager: Rick McMaster Administrative Assistant: Libby Sinden Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to: Animal Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St. Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to:

Advertising Sales National Sales Manager: Ann Beacom, (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 Western Regional Manager: Becky Starr, (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 Classified Advertising: Lesia Wright To subscribe: Subscription price at time of this issue is $19.00 in the U.S. and $26.00 in Canada, including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: Phone: 1-866-764-1212 US Mail: Animal Wellness Magazine, PMB 168, 8174 S. Holly St., Centennial, CO 80122 CDN Mail: Animal Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St.Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Redstone Media Group Inc., publisher of Animal Wellness, does not promote any of the products or services advertised by a third party advertiser in this publication, nor does Redstone Media Group Inc. verify the accuracy of any claims made in connection with such advertisers. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues. Dealer Inquiries Welcome: Animal Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call 1-866-764-1212 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail at

Animal Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1710-1190) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2011. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: June 2011.

Improving the lives of animals... one reader at a time.

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editorial Surviving allergies


ike millions of others, I’m intimately acquainted with allergies. My allergy-induced asthma nearly took my life as a baby, and I started weekly allergy shots as a toddler. I was allergic to everything from grass to animals but finally, at age 15, after 13 years of needles, I convinced my parents I didn’t need treatment any more. I had indeed “outgrown” my allergies and asthma, and felt completely free. (Of course, I wasn’t free; years later I would pay the price of all the allopathic medications used to manage my asthma and allergies, but that’s another story!) It was at this time my parents finally broke down and allowed us to get a dog. Still cautious, they decided on an allergy-friendly breed – a Bichon Frise. At that time, pet nutrition was sort of a misnomer. We fed Lacey what we thought was a good food – a kibble diet enhanced with a semi-moist, burger-looking patty that came wrapped in cellophane. Looking back, I wonder if there was even any meat in that “burger”. I’m sure it was full of soy, some kind of gel for binding, food coloring, chemical preservatives and who knows what else. Perhaps it was this diet, combined with genetics, which explains some of her allergic reactions. One flea, for instance, could turn her into a scratching, bumpy mess. We didn’t know enough back then to make the correlation between diet, lifestyle and health. Fast forward 30 years and we have so many more options. While allergies seem worse than ever, we can at least have better control over our own and our animals’


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diets and lifestyle choices. We know about the problems with certain grains and protein sources, and about the benefits of Omega 3s. We also know that treatments such as NAET are wonderful non-invasive substitutes for allergy shots. In fact, I’ve seen NAET in action, when it cured our daughter’s allergy-related tummy pains after only three treatments. This issue of Animal Wellness is filled with wonderful information I wish we’d had three decades ago, including articles on food sensitivities (p. 18) and NAET (p. 26), advice on yeast infections (p. 52) and ear mites (p. 69), and bathing tips for water-adverse companions (p.22). If you’re thinking of taking your cat camping or switching to a greener litter, check out our articles on page 72 and 74. And for something sure to make you smile, flip to our article on weddings and dogs to find out how many couples are making their best “four-footed” friends part of the festivities. Enjoy!

Dana Cox Editor-in-Chief

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1. Veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University in 1994. In addition to conventional veterinary training, she studied veterinary homeopathy, Reiki and holistic medicine. She researched pet food and feline nutrition for more than 16 years, and has written extensively and been interviewed on radio and television about pet nutrition, supplements and the commercial pet food industry. She also was an official liaison to AAFCO for two years. She co-authored Holistic Cat Care with nutritionist Dr. Celeste Yarnall. Turn to page18 for Dr. Hofve’s article on food sensitivities in dogs. 2. Veterinarian Dr. Shawn Messonnier authored the Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog. He’s the pet care expert for Martha Stewart Living’s “Dr. Shawn – The Natural Vet” on Sirius Satellite Radio, and creator of Dr. Shawn’s Pet Organics. His practice, Paws & Claws Animal Hospital (, is in Plano, Texas. For his advice on five things your vet might not tell you, check out page 30. 3. Veterinarian Dr. Erin Mayo graduated from the North Carolina State University


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College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She received her veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbal certification from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, and runs a house-call based business providing holistic and TCVM services for companion animals in central New Jersey. She shares her home with two coonhounds and three cats and enjoys horseback riding. In this issue, (page 52), Dr. Mayo addresses yeast infections and what to do about them.

4. Veterinarian Dr. Deva Khalsa authored Dr. Khalsa’s The Natural Dog and coauthored Healing Your Horse: Alternative Therapies. She lectures internationally and is a professor at the British Institute of Homeopathy. She has almost 30 years of experience in holistic modalities. Turn to page 26 for Dr. Khalsa’s article on NAET for allergies. 5. Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis are authors of Acu-Cat: A Guide to Feline Acupressure. They own Tallgrass Publishers, which offers meridian charts for cats and dogs, manuals and DVDs. They are also the founders of Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute (, which offers hands-on and online training courses worldwide, includ-



ing a Practitioner Certification Program. See page 50 for their suggestions on using acupressure for a healthier coat.

6. Audi Donamor has been creating special needs diets for cats and dogs for many years. Following the loss of her beloved golden retriever, Blues, she founded The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund through the University of Guelph’s Pet Trust. She is the only two-time recipient of the Golden Retriever Club of Canada’s Silmaril Kennel Trophy for the Human/Animal Bond. In this issue (page 86), she discusses diets for shelter or rescue dogs with digestive issues. 7. Sue Becker, BFRP, BFRAP, CTTP is an animal communicator, a registered practitioner for Bach Flower Remedies and Tellington TTouch, and does intuitive distance healing. She has helped thousands of animals and their people worldwide and receives numerous veterinarian referrals. Sue teaches for organizations at animal-related events and also through private consultations, workshops, telecourses for longdistance learning, articles and individual mentoring. On page 94, she looks at how animal communication can help you understand so-called “bad behavior”.

8. Sara Jackson lives on a 12-acre farm in American Canyon, just outside the Napa Valley. She is a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has a BFA in Screenwriting. She is a freelance writer and has written a number of short stories, two scripts and a book called Jack’s Dreams Come To Life (sarajacksonwriter. com). She writes about canine lice on page 90. 9. Mark C. Robinson is the founder of the animal care website He is also the chairman of the Handicapped Pets Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicat-







ed to helping caretakers of disabled animals. He lives in Amherst, New Hampshire. Turn to page 58 for Mark’s advice on therapeutic aids for injured canine limbs.

10. Debbie Swanson is a freelance writer living near Boston. She contributes regularly to many animal magazines, and lives with her family and a collie named Duncan. In this issue (page 22), Debbie looks at how to help bath-phobic dogs. 11. Andrea Pflaumer writes from her home

in Berkeley, California. Her work appears regularly in the San Francisco Examiner, the East Bay Monthly and national magazines. She is currently working on a book about alternative health. Check out her article about a unique rescue organization called ZAPP (page 34).

Sandra Murphy lives in St Louis, Missouri. When she’s not writing, she works as a pet sitter. For this edition, Sandra writes about the growing trend of dogs included in wedding ceremonies see page 64.

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mail bag I loved your June/July issue with its emphasis on alternative healthcare therapies. I especially enjoyed Kathlen Prasad’s article on energy healing, and plan to look into these therapies in more depth for my own two dogs. I also found the article on Meridian Tapping very interesting. I know about tapping techniques for people, to help with emotional issues, but I didn’t know that it could also be used for animals. And my best friend has a Shih Tzu with Cushing’s disease, so I have shared the acupressure article with her. It’s reassuring to know there are so many additional ways to take care of our animals besides drugs and chemicals with all their scary side effects! Cody McLaren, via email

Editor’s note: Dogs and cats are especially open to various kinds of energy work and seem to benefit from it even more than we do. We’re glad our articles helped open some more doors for you in caring for your dogs!

Thanks for the article on earth-friendly pet waste disposal in your June/July issue. I have made copies to distribute to other people in our neighborhood who continue to let their dogs mess on the edges of lawns or even on the sidewalks and boulevards, where a lot of children walk back and forth to school, and never clean it up. I’ve never caught anyone in the act (of course!) so I don’t know who the culprit is, but I’m hoping Ms. Leder’s article will open their eyes and get them thinking. I love dogs and we have one ourselves, but it really bugs me when people don’t clean up after them. As your article says, it sets a bad example for all dog owners. Simone Wilson, via email

Editor’s note: Aside from those individuals who simply can’t be bothered to pick up after their dogs, a lot of people assume dog waste simply disintegrates and disappears without any repercussions, no matter where it’s dropped. In today’s world, though, everything needs to be disposed of with more care than in the past, and that includes companion animal waste.


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I read with great interest your article on emergency care for companion animals (Feb/Mar 2011), and although the article is excellent, I would like to point out that there are more organizations offering pet first aid classes than just the American Red Cross. Pet-Tech International offers an excellent, in depth eight-hour “Pet-Saver” class for the recreational pet owner. I am trained under these techniques and own and operate a dog daycare in the Peterborough, Ontario area. I use what I learned to assess each and every dog that attends my daycare and have used the emergency techniques on my own pets (horses, dogs and cats).

Editor’s note: We are certainly aware that many more organizations besides the American Red Cross offer pet first aid classes. Several are mentioned in the article and the accompanying sidebar, but we unfortunately didn’t have the space to include them all.

Correction: In the article “Give brushing the brush-off” (Apr/May 2011, Feline Wellness section), we neglected to include Pet Kiss ( as one of the companies that offer brushless dental products for cats and dogs. Our apologies for the oversight.


Ann Milburn Annderosa Doggy Daycare Peterborough, ON Canada

From our Facebook page: Just have to tell you how much I love your magazine. Picked up the April/ May issue and read it cover to cover with a special interest in cancer prevention and treatments. A week after picking it up, one of our dogs was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma. Sometimes the Universe places things in the palm of your hands at just the right moment. Thank you for such a great resource for a wealth of information. Bonnier Drescher

I love this magazine. I recommend it to all my dog friends. Penny Priest Hibbs I have three Weimaraners (two rescue) and we love Animal Wellness -- such a wonderful magazine. I read every article! Ali Ihlenfeld

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yakkity yak Spaniel survives tornado On May 22, the town of Joplin, Missouri was virtually destroyed by a tornado. When the storm struck, residents Steven and Debbie Leatherman headed for a concrete-walled storm shelter in their basement with their cocker spaniel, Sugar. At the last minute, a panicked Sugar slipped free of Debbie’s arms and ran upstairs. It was too late to go after her, and the couple could only listen in horror as the tornado tore their home apart. They assumed Sugar had perished in the destruction, but miraculously, she was found several blocks away; she was alive, but her hind legs were paralyzed. Sugar was treated for an intervertebral disc rupture at the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and is now back with her family and recovering her mobility. In related news, disaster response teams quickly sprang into action to help the people and animals left homeless by the tornado. A team of specially trained staff and volunteers from the Humane Society of the United States was sent to the site to provide sheltering assistance for nearly 500 displaced animals. As of this writing, the HSUS is working alongside other animal welfare groups including the Kansas State Animal Rescue Team,

American Humane Association, United Animal Nations and the Louisiana SPCA. So far, more than 200 animals have been reunited with their families.

A happy Steven Leatherman is reunited with Sugar after her surgery.

Kids love their animals! The American Pet Products Association (APPA) recently announced the six winners of its 3rd Annual National Children’s Pet Poetry Contest. More than 1,000 submissions were received from third, fourth and fifth grade schoolchildren, and were judged on creativity, clarity, voice and the child’s ability to reinforce the message of the joys and benefits of animal guardianship. Winners received a $250 gift certificate for pet products, a “by-line” in a nationally circulated publication, and a $1,000 scholarship for their classrooms to spend on animal-related education. To see the winning poems, visit


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Contest winners Skylar Dunn (left) and Abby Ausmus with their canine inspirations.

Celebrities support eye care Each May, Eye Care for Animals offers free screening ocular exams to hundreds of service animals as part of the ACVO/Merial National Service Dog Eye Exam event. Ophthalmologists at over 30 locations nationwide donate their time to examining active and certified working dogs and cats. Actresses Betty White and Jacqueline Bisset have both expressed their support for this initiative. “These animals open our eyes to many things in life,” says Jacqueline. “The doctors give them a little pay back.”

Rabies rates halved in Bali The World Society for the Protection of Animals and the Bali Animal Welfare Association are celebrating the achievement of an important milestone in the island’s historic campaign to eliminate rabies. Teams have vaccinated approximately 210,000 dogs (70% of the estimated total dog population) in 4,126 villages across Bali over the last year, marking the completion of the first phase of the anti-rabies campaign. There has already been a 45% decrease in the number of canine rabies cases, and hopes are high that the program will result in an eventual eradiation of the disease.

Small pieces of raw carrot or apple make nutritious training treats for dogs.

How much do you spend? Ever tallied up how much you spend on your fourfooted friend? A recent survey from AdGenesis discovered that 30% of animal guardians spend $24 to $49 a month on their companions, while 11% spend $100 to $149 per month. The survey also found that the amount of money people spend on their animals declines as guardians get older. A quarter of those under 40 spend $100 or more on their animals per month, as compared to around 15% of people in the 40 to 60 age group, and 11% over 60.

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yakkity yak The ones left behind We don’t hear much about it on the news anymore, but the rescue and cleanup work being done in the wake of Japan’s horrific earthquake is far from over, and thousands of people and animals still need help. Last Chance for Animals has been leading the charge into northern Japan’s nuclear exclusion zone to rescue animals left behind in the ruins. These rescue teams are penetrating as deep as Okuma, Tomioka and Naraha, and at times coming within three miles of the damaged nuclear reactors, where few others have dared to venture, to bring back truckloads of rescued animals. “We’re very proud of our organization’s heroic efforts to save the lives of these former pets,” says LCA’s President, Chris DeRose.

Gilbert recovers after falling seven stories from an open window and breaking both his front legs.

It’s a long way down Gilbert, a snowshoe kitten, recently fell almost seven stories from an open apartment window. He survived but broke his two front legs. This type of situation happens so often in urban environments, especially during warm weather when windows are open, that the term “high rise syndrome” has been coined for it. Animal Care & Control of NYC is urging all animal guardians to protect their companions from falls by making sure there are screens or “cat-proof” window guards on all open windows. To donate to AC&C’s Special Treatment and Recovery Program, which provides medical care to victims of high rise falls, visit

Summer safety Photo: Courtesy of Charles Harmison, LCA

Hot steamy weather can last right through August and even into September, depending on where you live. The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters ( offers these summer safety reminders for dogs:

An LCA volunteer comforts a dog rescued from Japan’s nuclear exclusion zone.


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• Apply natural sunscreen to light-colored dogs. • Protect him with natural insect repellent. • Provide him with fresh, clean water. • Make sure he has plenty of shade outside. • Avoid strenuous activity and don’t keep him outside for extended periods. • Never leave him alone in a parked car, even for a few minutes.

Trio of new breeds The American Kennel Club ( has expanded its litter of registered breeds to include three new dogs: • The American English coonhound is an avid hunter known for his tremendous speed. These dogs are affectionate, sociable, easy to train, and make great companions for active people. • The Finnish Lapphund was originally bred to live outside north of the Arctic Circle, so he has a thick double coat. Intelligent, calm and eager to learn, this breed is friendly with people and good with children. American English Coonhound

• Intelligent and full of energy, Cesky terriers are active dogs that love to play and require daily exercise. They are loyal, patient, gentle and easy to train. They require regular grooming.

Cesky Terrier

Finnish Lapphund

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oes your dog have a “sensitive” stomach? Does she react badly to certain foods? Is she itchy year round? Do you think she might have a food allergy? Given the hundreds of different ingredients used in poor quality commercial pet foods, it’s no surprise that some of them are not well received by the animals eating them!

For sensitive stomachs and skin A food sensitivity can manifest in several ways but the solution is simple – switch to a better quality diet.

Common symptoms of food sensitivity are vomiting, diarrhea, and itchy skin or rash-type eruptions. However, a reaction to food doesn’t necessarily indicate an allergy. Many dogs have a food sensitivity or intolerance, but relatively few are truly allergic. Here’s the difference:

Food allergies A food allergy may cause either gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and/or diarrhea) or skin symptoms (itchiness, rash, hot spots). A food allergy is an immune reaction to a particular protein. Experts believe that between 10% and 30% of food reactions are allergic in nature. True food allergies tend to develop over long periods (months to years) in response to foods or treats the dog eats frequently or chronically. Food allergies are uncommon in dogs under one year of age. Common proteins, and therefore common allergens, include the following:

by Jean Hofve, DVM

•Beef •Dairy

•Wheat •Corn

•Soy •Eggs

In addition to meat protein sources, corn, wheat and soy also contain protein. Currently, 70% of corn and 93% of soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. While the ultimate and cumulative effects of GM foods are still unknown, protein alteration is, by definition, a given. Many poor quality dog foods contain high protein grain extracts, such as wheat gluten, which are used to create shapes (such as “slices” or “chunks”). Cheap dry foods commonly include corn gluten meal, which, at 60% protein, is used as a substitute for expensive animal protein. Skin symptoms of food allergies may include extreme itchiness. Secondary infections with bacteria and yeast are very common. Just to complicate things a little more, allergic skin disease is more commonly associated with inhalant allergies (collectively referred to as “atopy”), fleabite hypersensitivity or other causes. It’s important to note that atopy causes skin symptoms and is often confused with food allergies.

Food intolerance A food intolerance causes symptoms primarily in the gastrointestinal system. A dog experiencing symptoms related to food may be


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sensitive or intolerant to one main ingredient, or to one or more of the colorings, preservatives, texturizers, palatability enhancers, or other substances in any of the 27 categories of allowable pet food additives. Food intolerances can occur at any age and involve any ingredient.


Treating sensitivities For food allergies, a full “diet trial” is warranted to determine the allergycausing ingredients. The dog is fed one “novel ingredient” or hypoallergenic food for eight to 12 weeks. The choice of ingredient or food depends on what your dog was eating before; all the protein-containing ingredients in her customary diet must be avoided.

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Choose a protein that is not included in your dog’s normal food. Possible alternatives include venison, rabbit, duck – or even emu, kangaroo or beaver! Dogs already eating a single-protein food may do fine on different proteins like fish, lamb or turkey, even if they are common in other foods. Also opt for novel carbohydrate sources (since all carb sources contain some protein), such as green peas, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice or barley.

A food intolerance causes symptoms primarily in the gastrointestinal system.

When choosing the trial food, note that the word “poultry” may include chicken, turkey, duck, quail or other fowl. “Meat” is usually beef, but may legally include pork, lamb and goat. It’s best to choose a food with specifically named single ingredients.

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A diet trial must include only the test food and water – no exceptions! Just one goof (such as giving a treat or supplement containing beef liver to a beef-allergic dog) could take you back to square one. Digestive symptoms may resolve quickly, but skin symptoms are far more persistent. If symptoms do clear up, you can then challenge your dog with one ingredient at a time to figure out what was causing the problem. In addition to high quality commercial foods, many people have had great success using raw meat-based and homemade diets. Many animals that are allergic to a particular protein in cooked food do well with the raw version of the same protein.


The treatment for food intolerance is simple. Changing the brand or flavor of food may be all you need to do to resolve the problem. Symptoms will diminish or disappear within days. Of course, this may be easier said than done with very sensitive dogs, since they may react to multiple foods. To maximize success, choose good quality natural foods without artificial additives. Don’t forget that your dog still needs variety to prevent worse problems down the road!

Supplements for sensitivities • Digestive enzymes: Can be given with food to help your dog break down proteins more completely, so they are less likely to trigger an immune response. • Probiotics: Help keep the gut bacteria happy and healthy, and appear to have some anti-inflammatory properties. • Omega-3 fatty acids (marine): Are naturally antiinflammatory, as well as important for skin healing. The intestinal tract is lined with a type of skin cell that can also benefit from Omega-3 supplementation.

Preventing problems Variety is a major key to preventing food allergies and intolerances. Remember, food allergies develop when a dog eats the same thing regularly or for a long time. And dogs that develop an allergy to one food are more likely to eventually react to other foods too.


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Healthy choices A growing number of companies offer premium diets and treats formulated for dogs with food allergies or intolerances. They’re not only made with high quality whole protein sources, but are free of the grains, artificial additives and other ingredients that can trigger or worsen sensitivities. Some, such as California Natural Pet Foods from Natura Pet ( offer a selection of limited-ingredient grain-free diets for dogs with multiple sensitivities. The diets are formulated to help promote skin and coat health. Foods from Castor & Pollux ( feature natural chicken, fruits and veggies as well as brown rice and oats, but no corn, wheat, soy or additives. And Solid Gold ( offers a selection of grain and gluten-free diets made from natural ingredients. For hypoallergenic treats, Chasing Our Tails ( offers products that are gluten and grain free, as well as vegan treats that contain no animal products, corn, soy, wheat, barley, rye or oats. “Most dogs have food sensitivities to corn, wheat and soy,” says owner Steve Trachtenberg. “The grain free treats are 35% meat and formulated using garbanzo bean flours.” The company’s vegan treats are made from natural peanut butter and organic roasted vegetables. Protein sources should be changed at least every three months. Make the switch gradually over a week or two, so the bacteria in the colon have time to adjust; too fast a change can cause diarrhea. Stick with high quality natural foods that don’t contain “mystery meat” (unspecified meat, liver or other protein sources), synthetic preservatives or other artificial additives. High quality natural foods tend to contain purer ingredients that are less likely to cause an adverse reaction. Lastly, remember that stress plays a big role in many health issues, especially those involving the digestive and immune systems. Flower essences and herbs can be valuable aids here. Give your dog plenty of “quality time” every day. Exercise is nature’s greatest stressreducer, so get out there and walk the dog. You’ll both be healthier!

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Scared of baths


Regular bathing is important to your dog’s wellness, but what if he freaks out every time you try to get him in the tub? Try some of these techniques to make the experience more relaxing. by Debbie Swanson


ome dogs love having a bath; to them, it’s just another romp in the water. Others tremble and whine, shivering pitifully or struggling to escape until the ordeal is over. If your dog falls into the latter category, you might be tempted to avoid the problem by just never bathing your dog. But most pooches eventually do need a bath. So how do you make the experience more tolerable and comfortable?

How often should he be bathed? There’s no right answer to how often a dog needs a bath. It depends on many factors, such as his lifestyle and coat type. If your dog spends lots of time exploring woods and ponds, or meeting interesting animals such as skunks, he’s going to need a bath more often than the dog who only ventures outdoors for leashed walks. Dogs with long or thick coats tend to collect more dirt on their travels and therefore require more frequent bathing. Some dogs, meanwhile, have skin conditions that may warrant regular bathing with special shampoos or other treatments. “A full bath at shedding season – spring and fall/winter – helps bring in the new coat,” adds veterinarian Dr. Mark Newkirk.


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What’s actually scaring him? If your dog makes a run for it whenever it’s bath time, start by trying to evaluate what might be making him anxious. • Make sure you are using a soap and shampoo formulated especially for dogs; human products can be too harsh and can cause skin irritation that may leave the dog feeling itchy, uncomfortable and even more anxious after the bath. Natural shampoos, such as Pure Pooch All Natural Shampoo for Dogs are much gentler and easier on the skin than commercial products. Pure Pooch lathers quickly and rinses easily, minimizing time spent in the tub – and consequently reducing bath stress. A shampoo that leaves your dog’s skin feeling good will help him feel calmer about being bathed. • Check that your dog is comfortable in the basin or tub you are using. It should be large enough that he can turn around, but small enough that he doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Try different basins, tubs or sinks to see if he has a preference. Always place a rubber mat on the bottom, so the dog has solid footing. • It’s also important to make sure your dog has secure footing on surfaces around the bathing area, such as tile or stainless steel. The Ezee-Visit Pet Vet Mat, for example, has an oilcloth top and an antimicrobial nonskid padded bottom that gives dogs safe and stable footing on potentially slippery surfaces. A

dog that feels physically secure will also feel more emotionally secure. • Consider the possibility that something in the bathing environment might be frightening him – it may be the sound of water running or draining, the unfamiliar surroundings of the bathroom or laundry room, or even the lighting or the way your voice echoes in a tub or shower area. • Make sure he’s exposed to water outside of bath time. Walk around a lake or along a creek and encourage him get his paws wet. On warm days, fill a kiddie pool with an inch or two of water and add squeaky toys for playtime. Or encourage a game of fetch around a sprinkler.

Back to square one Another technique is to simply try giving the bath experience a fresh start. You need to make it pleasant rather than something to be afraid of, and that takes time, so be patient. First, coax your dog to visit the empty tub or basin when there’s no water in it. Scatter a few toys or treats inside and encourage him to jump in to retrieve them.

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As he gets more confident, add just enough water to cover his feet. Don’t use soap or shampoo at this point; just make it fun for him to get in the tub, splash around, and get out. Gradually work your way up to an actual bath. Always have plenty of treats on hand, and keep the sessions brief. Remain calm and reassuring – your dog will pick up on any anxiety you may be feeling. Quiet music may help. Enlist a helper so one of you can secure the dog and tend to his well being while the other gets the bathing done. If you don’t have another set of hands, look for products such as the Pet Wash. It attaches to the wall to keep your dog comfortably secure during bathing. “It safely holds the animal in place and at arms’ reach under the shower head or tub faucet without harming him,” says marketing representative Maitte Van Arsdelm. “[Having both hands free] makes the owner more relaxed, and that confidence is passed along to the animal, making the whole experience easy and fun.” animal wellness


Remain calm and reassuring – your dog will pick up on any anxiety you may be feeling. Nickers International is rich in biotin and good for dry skin, scratching and poor coat quality. Calming solutions may also help. Dr. Newkirk suggests valerian root and skullcap, two natural remedies for relieving anxiety. Check with a holistic practitioner to determine the dosage for your dog. “Bach flowers, such as Rescue Remedy, are helpful too,” he adds.

Keep him clean in between

Seek help

To minimize the number of baths your dog needs, take simple steps to keep him clean between times.

If all else fails, consider turning bathtime over to a groomer. The professional equipment and handling may help your dog feel more comfortable. Groomers are also experienced in working with different canine personalities. Screen your groomer carefully and choose one who is good with anxious dogs, and who uses holistic products.

• Brush your dog frequently to remove dirt, undercoat or sticky substances that may have dried on his hair. Carefully remove mats or tangles before they become unmanageable. • Vacuum the house frequently and keep your dog’s bedding laundered to minimize doggie odor. • Doggie wipes, such as Omega Paw Solutions’ Paw & Body Sanitizing Wipes, are useful to have on hand. “Wipes are a good in-between bath solution for when you just want to freshen up your dog,” says Sales and Marketing Associate Ashley Price. “They’re moist and durable enough to clean and sanitize all four paws – plus they have a pleasant lavender scent.”

From the inside out Allergies, dry itchy skin, hot spots and other skin conditions can leave your dog feeling anxious much of the time, let alone during a bath. Consider what you are putting into his body. A high quality diet and supplementation with essential fatty acids will help keep his coat and skin healthy. Biotin is another essential nutrient for skin health. It helps with the synthesis of fatty acids and aids in metabolizing carbohydrates and proteins, maximizing the nutritional value of the dog’s diet. BioCoat from


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No dog should be afraid of baths. By eliminating or minimizing potential fear triggers, using soothing natural products, offering praise and treats, and staying calm and reassuring, your dog should soon start to feel more comfortable and secure.

For a stress-free bath BioCoat, Nickers International, Ezee-Visit Pet Vet Mat, Omega Paw Solutions, Pet Wash, U-Wash Doggie, Pure Pooch,

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Nix allergies

with NAET

Suppressing symptoms with medication is just a band-aid solution. Allergy elimination techniques go right to the root of the issue, and help get rid of adverse reactions for good. by Deva Khalsa, VMD

Stimulating acupuncture points while holding a vial of an allergen on the dog readjusts the autonomic nervous system to help eliminate the allergy.


ellie’s allergies began when she was just over a year old. The typical regime of steroids and antibiotics helped only while she was taking them. When her mom tried to cut back on the medications, her itching and scratching returned with a vengeance. I tested Nellie using NAET (Nanbudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique), then used it to reprogram her system so she would become free of allergies to the identified foods and environmental triggers. She began to improve after the first visit. “As the treatments progressed, she scratched less and less, the hair grew back under her neck and on her paws, and her skin returned to normal,” says her mom. “After a few months, she stopped scratching altogether. Her coat is now soft and bright, and she feels like a brand new dog!”


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As far as I’m concerned, NAET and the other allergy elimination techniques that have stemmed from Dr. Nambudripad’s work, are the best thing for treating allergies since sliced bread.

Path of avoidance Typically, a person with an allergic dog follows a path of avoidance. Ingredient labels are carefully read in order to circumvent foods the dog is allergic to. However, allergic dogs will often subsequently become allergic to ingredients in new foods if they eat them day after day. For example, a dog that was never allergic to lamb may become so because of repeated exposure. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’ve been running this gamut for years with your own dog, it may be hard

…when you hold an allergenic substance within your body’s electromagnetic field, while receiving a treatment for the adverse allergic reaction, your body systems somehow self correct. to believe that allergy elimination techniques like NAET can transform an allergic dog into one with no allergies. It might seem too good to be true, but in the hands of a competent veterinary practitioner, it’s quite probable. Let’s find out how.

A discovery in self correction Dr. Devi Nambudripad, the founder of NAET, was very ill with allergies all her life. I wouldn’t be exaggerating too much to say she was allergic to almost everything under the sun. She lived exclusively on polished white rice and broccoli. One day, she decided to “take a walk on the wild side” and have a carrot. She started to pass out so gave herself an acupuncture treatment to keep herself from going into shock. She simply fell asleep and awoke 45 minutes later with a supreme feeling of well being. She researched her experience and found that when you hold an allergenic substance within your body’s electromagnetic field, while receiving a treatment for the adverse allergic reaction, your body systems somehow self correct. The body recognizes the electromagnetic signature of the substance while being encouraged, by the stimulation of acupuncture points, to start the process of healing, repairing, correcting and harmonizing. It’s interesting to note that when we enter the realm of energetic holistic medicine, we leave the field of biology and enter the field of physics. Every day, new research in physics challenges old beliefs about how the body works and heals. Even though the Chinese recognized energy pathways (called acupuncture meridians) over 6,000 years ago, it has taken the advent of new scientific methodology to recognize how changes in energy fields affect and determine health.

Friends and enemies The autonomic nervous system plays an integral role in recognizing what the body’s computer has deemed an enemy. It then calls the immune system into action to defend the body against the “enemy”. Allergies occur because foods and other substances that should be considered “friends of the body” become logged in as enemies. Consider the young child who has a severe reaction to peanuts. All his friends eat peanut candies or peanut butter sandwiches without any ill effects. That’s because their immune system “computer logs” haven’t logged in the peanut as an enemy. The problem is not with the peanut itself, but the way the peanut is registered by the body.


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Today’s dogs have more allergies than ever before because there are simply more ways to confuse the body’s systems and increase the foods and other substances that are logged in as enemies. Nature never designed these systems to be exposed to so many vaccinations, chemicals and pesticides on a routine basis.

are mailed to the animal’s home with clear instructions for his or her family on how to gently massage easy-tofind acupuncture points and complete the treatment on their dogs. Other veterinarians do the procedure in the office, with you and your dog returning for routine visits every week or so until the problem is resolved.

Allergy elimination techniques such as NAET correct the autonomic nervous system’s perception of the allergic substance so it is no longer perceived as a threat. It all happens within the realm of physics on an energetic level, and translates into physical healing.

You can find veterinarians who do NAET by logging onto the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association website ( and checking for those nearest you who list NAET as a technique they offer. If you have trouble finding a local veterinarian, you may contact me for more information or a referral (

How it works The NAET practitioner has the energetic resonance of each allergen in a vial. He or she then uses applied kinesiology to determine your dog’s reaction to the resonance of the allergens. Once an allergen is recognized, the vial is placed directly on your dog and specific acupuncture points on his body are lightly stimulated. This readjusts the autonomic nervous system’s perception of the substance and the allergic reaction to it is eliminated. It may be amazing to think that something so simple can work so well, but the proof is in stories like Nellie’s.

Allergies trouble so many animals. They can surface as skin problems, ear infections, chronic diarrhea (IBD), vomiting, picky appetite and asthma. These problems often become chronic lifetime issues and need continual veterinary monitoring and medication. NAET, and the other allergy elimination treatments that have stemmed from it, don’t just relieve or suppress the symptoms the way drugs do, but remove the source of the torment. These techniques have helped many people and their best friends live happier, fuller lives.

In my own practice, the first step is to identify what substances the patient is allergic to. In the first comprehensive assessment, approximately 500 vials specifically designed for this purpose are checked using applied kinesiology. I decide the order of treatment for the allergens and create a program for the patient. The vials

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5 facts

your vet might not know

Most traditional veterinarians aren’t taught much about alternative medicine at vet school, while many others simply don’t believe in it. Here are a few things you probably won’t hear from a conventional practitioner. by Shawn Messonnier, DVM


ven though I’m a holistic doctor, I was trained as a conventional veterinarian. Not only do I have access to both conventional and natural treatments for my patients, but I understand the philosophies behind both approaches.

medical organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association, now recommend that most dogs not receive every possible vaccine every year.

I am not against conventional medical care per se, but I do think in most cases there are better ways to maintain health than simply over-medicating. I’ve learned many things since adopting a more natural holistic lifestyle and approach to my veterinary practice. In this article, I’m going to share five things most conventional veterinarians won’t share with you, either because they don’t know the information or don’t believe in it.

Studies have shown that most vaccines on the market today produce many years of immunity. This means that with the exception of limited puppy immunizations and possibly a limited series of boosters given at approximately 1½ years of age, most dogs do not need and should not receive vaccines every year.


Your dog doesn’t need vaccines every year.

Many people now know this, but many still don’t and continue to take their animals to the vet’s office for annual shots. However, even conventional


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In my book The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats I discuss a number of potential short-term and longterm problems that can occur as a result of unnecessary vaccinations, including fever, pain at the injection site, nausea, thyroid disease, immune problems of the blood cells and cancer. Even if there was not an increased

…allergic dogs often respond very well to a combination of fatty acids, antioxidants, herbs, homeopathics and frequent bathing with organic shampoo. risk of health problems associated with repeated vaccines, getting your dog immunized every year is a waste of money. Vaccination, like all medical procedures, should be personally tailored to the needs of each animal. Indoor dogs that rarely go outside and never see another dog have different requirements than those that are outside a lot, or traveling around the country competing in canine events. In place of repeated unnecessary immunizations, a simple blood antibody titer test can determine if and when your dog needs re-vaccination. Most often, the titer test is done to determine antibodies to distemper and parvovirus, the two most common viral diseases in dogs. If titers are low, vaccination can be considered if the dog is healthy and does not have any other specific medical issues.


Your dog doesn’t need chemical flea control products.

Most of my new patients were formerly receiving monthly flea and tick control chemicals. When I ask their people why they were using these products, the answer is always the same: “My vet told me my dog needed them.” When I then ask them if they have ever seen any fleas or ticks on their dogs, they usually always answer “no”. This answer is not because the products are killing the pests, but because the dog is not exposed to fleas and ticks, making the chemicals unnecessary. While I don’t have a problem using monthly heartworm preventive medication in most parts of the country, to simply put chemicals in or on your dog to prevent fleas and ticks when he has no exposure to these pests doesn’t make sense to me. If fleas and ticks are a real issue, I don’t have a problem using these chemical products on a limited basis if the inside and outside environments are also treated, preferably with natural therapies. Integrating flea and tick chemicals with natural therapies can reduce the quantity of chemical preventives needed. But like vaccinations, simply using them without discrimination makes no sense and I believe contributes to the declining health I see in many animals.


“People food” won’t hurt your animal.

Most conventional doctors will tell you never to feed your dog “people food”. Yet “people food” is exactly what goes into dog food, although in the case of low end commercial diets, the quality of the ingredients is not necessarily healthy or safe. To maximize my patients’ health, I offer people a choice: they can feed a natural or organic processed dog food (thankfully there are many more manufacturers animal wellness


…to simply put chemicals in or on your dog to prevent fleas and ticks when he has no exposure to these pests doesn’t make sense to me. making these great foods now than when I started as a holistic veterinarian many years ago); or they can feed a homemade diet, either raw or cooked, with a recipe I give them. Since diet is one thing you can control, and a healthy natural diet is the foundation of any holistic health plan, it’s important to feed your dog the best food you can afford.


Natural therapies may be more effective and less expensive than conventional medications.

Conventional medicine is generally best for acute problems, but a natural approach is usually the best way

to go when dealing with chronic issues. In most cases, natural therapies such as herbal remedies, homeopathics, nutritional supplements and physical treatments including chiropractic, cold laser therapy and acupuncture work as well as, if not better than, traditional drugs. Also, these natural therapies are usually less expensive than traditional medical therapies. Even in cases where a natural approach may at first appear to be more expensive, long-term costs as well as the benefit to your dog’s health usually make them more cost effective. For example, allergic dogs often respond very well to a combination of fatty acids, antioxidants, herbs, homeopathics and frequent bathing with organic shampoo. The conventional approach would involve regular use of oral or injectable corticosteroids, antibiotics or both. While these conventional treatments may initially cost less than the natural ones, the long-term costs can be higher due to increased veterinary visits to monitor liver, thyroid, adrenal and kidney function to make sure there are no problems arising from chronic steroid and antibiotic usage. Additionally, animals taking these drugs on a regular basis often develop secondary infections, adding to the cost of the dog’s care. Finally, animals treated with steroids usually don’t live as long as those using natural therapies.


A natural approach to healthcare can prevent as well as treat disease.

Keep in mind that a natural approach can prevent or minimize diseases as well as treat them. Often, people only turn to natural medicine when an animal is sick. However, a natural approach can work really well to keep your dog healthy, minimizing trips to the veterinarian’s office for illness. Conventional veterinarians generally do a good job of treating disease, especially in cases of acute illness or injury, but natural therapies are preferable most of the time. When you consider all the benefits natural care can offer for preventing as well as treating health problems without the side effects, I think you’ll agree it’s the way to go.


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The dogs of

San Felipe Thanks to one man’s courageous and tireless efforts, life has become a lot better for the strays of this Mexican town. by Andrea Pflaumer

Despite limited resources, Steven Forman is having a positive impact on the well being of stray dogs.


n any given morning, Steven Forman feeds his six rescue dogs, checks his e-mail, then packs his car for the 130-mile trip to a storage unit just north of the Mexican/ US border. There, he looks over the new boxes of shoes that have arrived, then packs and ships another 20 pairs sold that week to his eBay customers. All the proceeds from this time-consuming endeavor go to fund the Zero Additional Pup-ulation Project (ZAPP,, a spay/ neuter clinic he has run for the last six years in San Felipe, Baja California.

Eventually, Steven and Mark gave up their restaurant business and devoted themselves full-time to San Felipe Animal Rescue, taking over as many responsibilities as possible when the founder had to retire, and starting ZAPP in an effort to bring local dog populations under control.

Steven’s efforts began when he came to this small town eight years ago with his late partner, Mark Dille, to retire on a meager social security income. “We had just sold our house and didn’t have a lot of equity,” he says. “Money went farther here.”

Two weekends a month, ZAPP’s veterinarian, Dr. Antonio Solis, former Professor of Reproductive Surgery at the University of Baja California Veterinary School, performs free spay/neuter operations and other health services for as many as 40 dogs. “Since 2003, more than 7,000 surgeries have been performed,” says Steven. By his calculations, they have prevented the birth of hundreds of thousands of stray and neglected dogs, many of whom would have been unvaccinated females producing puppies with compromised immune systems.

They opened a small restaurant, but devoted every spare minute to volunteer for San Felipe Animal Rescue. “Early in the mornings, we went out to the rescue to help feed the animals and administer any medications they might need,” says Steven. “Then we came back into town to open the restaurant. After the business day was over, we went out to the rescue again.”

Previously, state officials rounded up dogs, driving them 130 miles to Mexicali where the animals were impounded, and when not picked up by anyone, euthanized. “Most of the people here make 1,000 pesos a week – that’s only about $80,” says Steven. “That’s a whole tank of gas for them to pick up their dogs. They had to make a choice between feeding their children and rescuing their dogs.”


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Thanks to Steven’s efforts, San Felipe’s new mayor, Roberto Ledon, recently implemented a new program with the cooperation of animal control in Mexicali. “Roberto is definitely on the same page I am,” says Steven about his new ally. “Instead of taking the dogs miles away, they’ve set up pens at the local police station so people can claim their dogs within 48 hours. He’s also promised a substation outside of town where the dogs will be held for another week. Now people can pick up their animals locally and we do a giant adoption of the strays. Hopefully none of the dogs will be euthanized. And, of course, we continue spaying and neutering so that ultimately, in three to five years, we’ll reach a point where the town won’t need to do these roundups.”

A significant part of Steven’s work involves educating residents and local officials about what it means to care for an animal. Running such an operation under the best of circumstances is demanding, but add a language barrier, an impoverished local community and a culture that has traditionally undervalued dogs, and you have the formula for a nightmare. Fortunately, Steven has been up to the challenge right from the start, even after the loss of his partner. Like many people who come to this kind of work, his own personal trials motivated him to take on this very vulnerable – and often discarded – population. “I got clean and sober in 1998 after using drugs in one form or another for 37 years,” he says. “I made the decision that I was going to live my life by making amends on a global, or at least a local, level.”

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ZAPP relies on donations and also raises funds through its “Shoes for Spays Project”. “We take donations of gently worn or brand new men’s or women’s shoes and turn them into money for sterilization surgeries, using our shoe store on eBay.”

“Since 2003, more than 7,000 (spay/neuter) surgeries have been performed.” A significant part of Steven’s work involves educating residents and local officials about what it means to care for an animal. “We ran a 14-week workshop in the schools. It did make a difference,” he says. And above one of the medical clinics in San Felipe is a 40’ x 16’ billboard that reads in Spanish: “Dogs and cats are dying because of our irresponsibility. Please spay and neuter animals.” When not in fund-raising mode, coordinating volunteers or helping out at the clinic, Steven can be found at the local swap meet where he has a regular dog adoption area. Many of these animals, like one of Steven’s newest rescues, a sweet bright-eyed German shepherd-mix named Vegas, were once so sick and pest-infested that people just didn’t want them in their homes. But now, thanks to Steven’s tireless work, the lives of dogs in this tiny community are very different from how they used to be. “Americans down here tell me, ‘when I first came here it was depressing – the animals were so sick and skinny. That’s just not the case anymore’.” Monetary donations can be made to ZAPP at, while donations of new or slightly used shoes may be sent to: Shoes 4 Spays, 95 East Highway 98, Calexico, CA 92232.

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Breat h of fresh air

How developing a solution for doggy breath grew into a company that offers a range of natural health products for animals. by Charlotte Walker


veryone I knew was complaining about their dog’s bad breath,” says Orlando Miguel. It was 1995, and realizing there was a need for oral hygiene products that were effective, safe and easy to use, he started doing some research. “We discovered that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats were showing signs of oral disease by the age of three,” he says. “I also knew that oral hygiene is just as important for animals as it is for ourselves.” Orlando’s solution to the problem was to formulate a natural “brushless” product for plaque and tartar control that he named Pet Kiss. The odorless and colorless blend of zinc, beet juice and vegetable glycerin was specifically created to help dissolve plaque and tartar, whiten teeth and freshen breath. Knowing that most animals don’t like having their mouths touched, Orlando also designed the product to be simple to use. “You just add a capful to the animal’s water every day.” The California-based entrepreneur and animal lover didn’t stop there. “He had the vision to enhance the world of pet care by developing safer, healthier products for animals,” says Mayra Kaffie, the company’s accounts manager. “Using science and nature, he has developed a whole range of quality pet care products from oral hygiene to food supplements to dog treats.” While the oral care line remains the most popular, hence the decision to name the company Pet Kiss after the original product, Orlando also offers speciallyformulated natural supplements to help with shedding, joint problems and stress, as well as additive-free

Mayra and Orlando’s mission is to provide animals with safe, natural health products.

treats made from whole food ingredients such as fresh chicken, beef, pork and sweet potatoes. “We’re continuing to come up with multiple new products,” adds Mayra. “One of our newest is an allnatural solution to help remove tear stains from around the eyes without the use of bleaches, peroxides or any antibiotics.” Since his company’s inception over 15 years ago, Orlando’s goal has consistently been to provide safe, easy to use, natural quality healthcare products for dogs and cats. “We want every animal to have the best health possible in the safest possible way,” says Mayra. All the products are available both nationally and internationally through vet clinics, pet supply and health food stores, as well as grooming shops and online stores. “We’re committed to helping animals live healthier and happier lives,” says Mayra, adding that what both she and Orlando enjoy most about what they do is simply making a difference in the overall wellbeing of animals. “I know we are helping them live to their fullest.” animal wellness


warm & Fuzzy

A new

Buddy by Wendee Jacobson

With love and patience, this rescue dog blossomed into a loving companion.


ne of the most difficult days of my life was when I had to say goodbye to my chocolate Labrador retriever. Ten-year-old Cole suffered from kidney failure, and after a heroic six-month struggle, there came a time when the best thing for him was to let him go. My heart was broken, and I swore to myself, no more dogs! I can’t go through this again. Yet after a few weeks, I began to realize how much I missed not having a dog. The house was just too quiet, and although I loved my cat Butterscotch, having a dog there to greet me every night when I came home from work, to protect me and sleep on the foot of my bed, was something I sorely missed and needed again. I slowly started perusing pet ads in the newspaper and searching online for a new dog. One day, while randomly searching Craigslist, one of the ads jumped out at me: “Good home needed for young male chocolate Lab.” I immediately opened the picture to see him. He looked so much like Cole, I couldn’t believe it. I called the contact person at once to express my interest.


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It turned out the dog had been picked up as a stray and was being adopted out of animal control. He seemed timid and had probably been abused, said the contact person. When did I want to meet him? Next day I drove out to see him. Sitting in the waiting room, I could hear the warden bringing him out of the kennel area. As they reached the door, I could hear the familiar panting of a dog straining on a leash. Suddenly, the door burst open and there he was. His face and eyes looked so much like Cole, I had to look twice. When I saw the rest of him, I almost started crying because he was so skinny and scared. His coat was rough and half shedded out. He seemed happy to see me, but at the same time frightened. When we took him outside, he was terrified by the strong gusty winds. The warden held onto the leash as the dog tried to run off, almost becoming airborne in the process. I tried walking him, but between the wind and his desperate pulling, it was nearly impossible.

We went back inside and I asked the warden if he could step into the other room for a minute to see how the dog would react to me alone. I gave the dog some biscuits and he looked at me like he was interested. I asked him to sit, stay and come, all of which he did perfectly. Then he rolled on his back and let me scratch his belly. “I’d like to take him,” I said  softly, when the warden came back. He said I could return in a few days to pick him up. Gratefully, I got in the car and left, thrilled that I had found a new Lab, yet wondering if this half-wild, halfstarved dog would really warm up to me and be trainable.   The day to pick him up arrived, and I nervously drove back to get my new friend and bring him home. When he saw me, he came bounding over to the car; it seemed he remembered me. I had a big knuckle bone sitting on the passenger seat as a present for him. He saw it and hopped right in, grabbed the bone and sat there pulling the plastic off without even waiting for me to give it to him. That’s one smart dog, I thought to myself. Contrary to my expectations, he was fine in the car, and ended up riding home with the bone in his mouth, sitting proudly next to me.

He taught me the true meaning of friendship, which is to hang in there.  Buddy, as I named him, would prove to be full of surprises, most of them good. It turns out he had been crate trained, and by some miracle completely housetrained. Some of the issues we needed to work on included jumping up on me, biting on my arms and wrists when playing, and pulling and dragging on the leash.   The jumping problem was quickly solved when I started turning my back on Buddy every time he tried to do it. The wrist biting is still somewhat of a problem, but it helps to offer him something else to chew on, like a bone or squeaky toy. The leash pulling was solved by using an anti-pull harness; from the first time I put it on Buddy, it worked like a charm. He also learned not to pounce on me while I’m sleeping, or wake me up by slobbering me with wet sloppy dog kisses!

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Buddy is bold and funny, and full of boundless energy. Because of this energy and intelligence, I am hoping to soon let him try agility training. His name suits him because he truly is my buddy, although completely different from Cole, who was sweet, mellow and well-behaved, even as a pup. Buddy challenges me to love him in spite of some of his issues and not-so-nice behaviors. He taught me the true meaning of friendship, which is to hang in there.  I always try to give Buddy the benefit of the doubt, since his past is a complete unknown, and the rough shape I found him in suggests his former life was anything but easy. I want to make his life easy from now on. Shelter dogs may have issues and require more time, effort and patience, but in the end the rewards are totally and completely worth it!

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Holistic Veterinary advice

Talking with Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. He is a certified veterinary acupuncturist (CVA) from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. He started California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, Inc. to offer house call based integrative veterinary medicine to dogs and cats in Los Angeles. Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary blog for and contributes His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available by the end of 2011. to pet media sites, radio and television.

My six-month-old female boxer puppy has been diagnosed with having a button tumor on her back leg. We were told to wait and see since they usually go away. If it doesn’t, then it will have to be removed. I feed her a no-grain all-natural diet. Is there anything I can give her to help shrink the tumor? Many dogs with short and smooth coats, like your boxer, are prone to skin masses, regardless of age. A “button tumor” on a young dog sounds most consistent with a histiocytoma, a benign mass that typically resolves without surgical intervention. A histiocytoma appears as a red, raised, circular button on a dog’s skin. To determine if your boxer has a histiocytoma and not a more concerning tumor, it is important that your veterinarian achieve a diagnosis using laboratory testing. Such can be done by performing a simple test called a cytology, a microscopic evaluation of the cells. As histiocytoma can worsen when traumatized, you must prevent your boxer from licking or scratching at the site. Use an Elizabethan collar as needed to dissuade licking or an appropriate paw cover to reduce scratching


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trauma. Alternatively, your veterinarian can apply a bandage (or show you how to safely apply one) to protect the surface of the skin.

My dog has allergies and we are trying to arrive at a healthy alternative to the Temeral-p she was put on to clear up the sores on her feet from licking. She had been tested for the allergies and chicken, turkey and corn are some of the ones listed, as well as environmental issues. I was going to have a BNA test done in the near future to address any internal problems that might be causing this situation. Please recommend a vitamin that would help her immune system. It sounds like you are on the right path to managing your dog’s diagnosis of allergies. The skin is the body’s largest organ; therefore dermatologic problems are often multianimal wellness


factorial and can be caused by inflammation (allergies to food or our environment), infection, trauma, metabolic disease, genetics and other components. A great means of reducing inflammation in the skin and other body systems is by providing a daily dose of Omega fatty acids, such as fish oil. Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids have an antiinflammatory effect and can contribute to the skin’s protective ability to keep out allergens and infectious organisms (bacteria, yeast, etc). Talk to your veterinarian about the most appropriate dose of fish oil for your dog’s needs.  As well, your veterinarian – or a veterinary dermatologist – can also determine if additional dietary supplementation is required based on your dog’s particular needs.

What would you recommend for a bladder tumor on a 12-year-old Shetland sheepdog? The vet gives her six months to a year. I am sorry to hear about your Sheltie’s diagnosis. To get the most realistic perspective as to the treatments that would best benefit your dog, you’ll need to seek a consultation with a veterinary oncologist. These veterinarians specialize in cancer management and are the most reliable determiners of your dog’s prognosis.  A prognosis is a forecast of the likely course a disease takes and is determined by combining the dog’s history, physical exam and diagnostics (blood testing, ultrasound, x-rays, etc).  All the above factors ultimately determine a treatment plan tailored specifically to your dog. Your canine companion’s quality of life should be the utmost concern in pursuing treatment.  Chemotherapy, surgery or other treatment may be used in the battle against cancer.  Additionally, a whole food diet, supplements, medications, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and environmental modifications can all help to promote your Sheltie’s optimal state of health.


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animal wellness


Product picks Clean and eco-friendly

Banish bugs

Scooping your dog’s poop is not an option. PoopBags make the job easier and have been designed with the environment in mind. Created from renewable resources such as corn, the bags are completely biodegradable and decompose at about the same rate as an apple. They measure 8”x12”, are thicker than other dog poop bags, and come in a handy tissue box dispenser made by wind power from 100% recycled materials. 100 bags: $19.99

Mosquitos are as annoying to your dog as they are to you, and they can carry serious diseases like heartworm and West Nile virus. Protect yourself and your dog with Heavenly Organic ECOSHIELD from Animal Sense Pet Products. This concentrated botanicalbased insect repellent with certified organic soybean oil and essential oils such as lavender and cedarwood naturally repels mosquitoes as well as fleas, ticks and flies. Do not use on cats. 4 oz bottle: $9.95 8 oz bottle: $13.95

Forget the NSAIDs Conventional treatments for conditions like arthritis, itchy skin or hot spots include anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs, which have unwanted side effects. Beta-Thym from Best For Your Pet is like a natural cortisone that reduces inflammation without drugs. It contains beta-sitosterol, a plant-derived supplement with a cortisone-like effect, along with thymus extract and the natural amino acid L-ornithine to dramatically increase the product’s effectiveness. 180 tablets: $39.95


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Raw food for every dog Whether you have a small dog or a large dog, or share your home with several pooches of all sizes, there’s a raw frozen diet size to suit them all. Northwest Naturals has added new 2 lb and 5 lb chubs to their line of Original Nuggets and Individually Wrapped and Bulk Dinner Bars. The chubs are available in beef, chicken, lamb and turkey and offer great benefits and convenience no matter what size your dogs are or how many you have. All diets are natural and grain-free with no fillers, preservatives or additives.

Nutrition for evermore

Get organized!

Dog food that’s good enough for people to eat has to be healthy! Evermore Pet Food makes unique gently-cooked recipes that feature only fresh, high quality, whole food ingredients such as antibiotic- and hormone-free beef and chicken muscle and organ meats as well as vegetables and fruits like yams, carrots, parsnips, apples and wild blueberries The diets contain no by-products, meat meals, fillers, corn, soy, wheat or salt. 1.5 lb container: $15

Do you know where all your animal’s vet bills, extra collar tags or daycare details are? Store all his records in the Petkeeper, a handy, versatile storage and filing system that contains pouches, pockets and pages for vet bills and records, training or pet sitter information, articles on animal healthcare, tags, favorite photos, treat recipes, notes, keepsakes and much more. It’s an ideal way to get all your companion’s info organized and in one place. $79.99

Pooch power

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Keeping your canine athlete healthy is a top priority. Cranimals VIBE is a whole food supplement featuring cranberry extract, vegetarian DHA Omega 3 for increased oxygen delivery and energy utilization, and spirulina, a green algal superfood to help limit muscle damage during strenuous exercise. Use in tandem with Cranimals SPORT, which contains cold pressed organic plant oils and a powerful antioxidant xanthophyll carotenoid complex derived from algae; it helps support mobility, athletic endurance and healthy joints. VIBE: $18.95 SPORT: $39.95

Does your dog have a sensitivity to grains or certain meats? Chasing Our Tails offers a choice of tasty and nutritious Baked Treats that are free of corn, soy, wheat, barley and rye, as well as chicken or beef. Flavors are many and varied and include Venison & Sweet Potato, Salmon & Potato, Cod & Potato, Peanut Butter and a Vegetable Medley made from organic produce. Whole salmon and cod fillets and farm-raised venison are used. The company actively supports local agriculture and researches its suppliers and ingredients to ensure product integrity. 4 oz package: $7.49 - $7.95

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Gone are the days when canine companions were just “pets”. Check out the top 10 improvements in canine healthcare and welfare that have made the world a better place for pooches. by Ann Brightman


n the past, most dogs were simply “pets”. You fed them once or twice a day, took them to the vet for annual shots, walked or played fetch with them, and that was about it. A lot of them lived outdoors in doghouses and ate the same boring food every day. No one ever scheduled their dogs for acupuncture or a massage, bought them weatherproof apparel, took them to an animal communicator or made provisions for them in their wills. Compare that to today, when serious dog people treat their pooches as companions and family members who deserve the same care and TLC as human loved ones. By giving their canines’ health and happiness such a high priority, guardians such as yourself have helped make the world a better place for dogs over the last ten or 20 years. Read on for the top 10 improvements in canine healthcare and welfare.

1. The pampered palate Dog food is no longer just dog food. Vast improvements in canine nutrition mean today’s canines have access to an ever-increasing variety of healthy, natural premium foods almost good enough for people to eat, and in specially-formulated lines that offer a wide range of flavors and protein sources. Raw and homemade diets have also become immensely popular. And nutritional supplements aren’t just for people anymore – you can get vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, glucosamine, herbal for-


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mulas and many other products formulated especially for canine metabolisms and health issues.

2. No over-vaccination Annual boosters used to be the routine thing. No one – guardians or vets – wondered if all these vaccines were necessary, or questioned what they were doing to canine well being. Although many conventional vets still push for annual vaccines, an increasing number are becoming aware of the health problems associated with too many immunizations. Most holistic and integrative vets offer titer testing instead of annual boosters, while studies like the Rabies Challenge Fund are proving that the majority of vaccines have a much longer duration of immunity than formerly believed.

3. Doctor, doctor Modalities like acupuncture, homeopathy and herbalism used to be dismissed as hokum by the veterinary profession. Today, North America is home to thousands of holistic and integrative veterinarians who either incorporate alternative medicine into their practices or make it their entire focus – the AHVMA and VIIM are two national associations dedicated entirely to holistic and integrative veterinary medicine. (Some of these vet clinics have rehabilitation facilities to help injured dogs recover their mobility – these include hydrotherapy pools, treadmills and other features that would have been unheard of years ago.)

Even some conventional vets are beginning to see the merits of holistic therapies and are offering modalities such as acupuncture and chiropractic along with traditional treatments.

4. High-tech options An elderly relative of mine thought I was joking when I recently told him dogs could have cataract surgery. I wasn’t. In fact, it’s just one of many high-tech medical procedures and diagnostic tools that have made their way into veterinary medicine in recent years. Once for humans only, diagnostics such as cat scans and MRIs are now also available for dogs. Laser therapy and stem cell therapy have burgeoning applications for companion animals, while cataract removal and pacemaker implantation are becoming commonplace.

5. Disaster planning Over the last several years, our world has been hit with one natural disaster after another – from Hurricane Katrina to horrific earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, not to mention a multitude of tornadoes, wildfires and floods. These catastrophes have brought to light the need for better disaster planning and response, not just for people, but for animals as well. In 2006, a year after thousands of animals were left to die in Katrina’s wake, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act was passed; it requires that states seeking Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance accommodate companion and service animals in their evacuation planning.

6. It’s the law! While there’s still work to be done, anti-cruelty laws are considerably tougher now than they used to be. Formerly, the legal system virtually turned a blind eye to animal cruelty, or only offered perpetrators a slap on the wrist. Now, those charged of animal cruelty or neglect can face hefty fines and jail time – take Michel Vick, for example. And for the first time in history, you can hire lawyers who actually specialize in animal welfare cases – some law schools now even offer courses on animal law.

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7. Last will and testament In our parents’ day, those who left money to their dogs in their wills were considered eccentric at best. Now, savvy animal guardians are much more likely to factor their animals into estate planning so their beloved companions won’t suffer if left without a caregiver. There have even been several comprehensive books written on the topic of estate planning for companion animals, such as Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs by Barry Seltzer and Professor Gerry W. Beyer, and All My Children Wear Fur Coats, by Peggy R. Hoyt.

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8. Is he insured? Many people today view their animals as four-footed family members and want the best care for them should they become ill or injured. Trouble is, that care can be extremely expensive. Hence the rise of companies offering health insurance for animals. Just like insurance for humans, these companies offer a range of policies to suit your pocketbook as well as your dog’s needs. You pay premiums, just as you would with any other insurance policy, so that if you’re ever hit with a large veterinary bill, you’ll be covered, if not wholly than at least partially. It does away with being forced to make a heartbreaking decision if your pooch ever needs healthcare you can’t afford.

9. Fashion statement People once assumed that because dogs have “fur”, they can’t feel heat or cold, or care when they get rained on or have to walk on baking hot asphalt. Truth is, dogs that spend most of their time indoors are just as prone as we are to feeling uncomfortable when they go out in inclement weather. Hence the proliferation of warm and/or waterproof coats, jackets and sweaters created just for dogs, in all kinds of state-of-the-art fabrics, styles, colors and designs. Not to mention doggie boots to protect delicate pads from hot pavement, gravel, snow, ice and road salt.

10. Understanding, love and respect More people today are tuned in to the fact that animals have feelings and can experience fear, love, anxiety, grief and joy just as we do. We’ve learned a lot in recent years about the connection between a dog’s emotions and his behavior, and how “bad” habits most often arise from misunderstanding, negative training or abuse, all of which hurt a dog mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Animal behaviorists, once unheard of, now help thousands of people whose dogs exhibit problem behaviors; they not only work with the animals to solve the behaviors, but also help their guardians better understand their companions. Meanwhile, a growing number of dog trainers have rejected punishmentbased training in favour of gentle, positive, reward-based training – instead of hurting or shouting at a dog for doing something “wrong”, positive behavior is reinforced by rewarding the dog when he responds correctly. And for those who want to take the bond with their companions a step further, animal communicators can tap into a dog’s emotional and mental processes, talk to him about his needs, desires and fears, and even help his guardian learn to communicate with him on her own. What could be better for your best friend?


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animal wellness


Healthy dog = healthy coat A dog’s well being is reflected in the quality of his coat. By supporting his health with this simple acupressure session, you can help ensure he always feels – and looks -- his best. by Amy Snow and Nancy Zidonis


am, a sweet young golden mix, is bright and shiny. Everything about him emanates health. His coat is soft, smooth and lustrous. His eyes have a happy gleam. He greets everyone with joy and vitality. When he plays with other dogs, he is a delight to watch. It is obvious Sam is well-loved and given plenty of opportunity to be a “real dog”. Being a real dog means he gets lots of exercise and a healthy diet, and social interaction with humans and other dogs. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, Sam’s heart is circulating nutrient-rich blood. His liver is actively replenishing his blood and making sure every part of his body is getting what it needs for him to be healthy. The liver oversees blood getting to places at the right time by feeding the bones, joints, soft tissues and brain. All Sam’s organs need to be functioning for his digestive, vascular and pulmonary systems to perform in concert. A dog’s coat is a good indicator of whether or not he is doing well inside and out. His energy level and sense of contentment are other indicators. In TCM, supporting and maintaining a healthy balance and circulation of blood and chi (life-promoting energy pronounced “chee”, also seen as qi or ki) is essential to good health and longevity. Making sure your dog has a healthy coat is therefore really about supporting all his physical and emotional requirements. Acupressure, which everyone can offer their dogs, helps with this all-round care. This hands-on healing modality provides multiple benefits by creating a harmonious flow of chi and blood throughout your dog’s body. Maintaining an energetic balance and nourishing the tissues supports the functioning of the internal organs,


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and that results in a dog that looks and acts healthy.

Acupressure session for a healthy coat The acupressure session included here is specifically designed to support the health of your dog’s internal organ systems, which in turn is reflected in his coat. Do it every three to six days, and you will be providing him with a health maintenance program to keep him feeling and looking his best. Specific acupressure points on the dog’s body move and balance chi and blood. By gently placing the soft tip of your thumb on the points identified in the chart, and counting very slowly to 30 before moving on to the next point, you will be stimulating the circulation of chi and blood in your dog. The acupressure points are bilateral, which means you need to work with them on both sides of your dog’s body.


Kidney 3 (Ki 3), Great Stream is a powerful acupressure point known to optimize overall body essence and functioning of the internal organs. This point also helps nourish the dog’s brain and bones. Ki 3 is located on the inside of the hind leg at the top of the hock, in the thin skin between the femur and calcaneal tendon.


Lung 9 (Lu 9), Great Abyss is a point used to benefit lung function, which is necessary for the dog’s immune system. Additionally, this point brings nutrients and moisture to the surface of the body, hence nourishing the coat. Lu 9 is found by lifting the dog’s paw and tucking the tip of your thumb on the inside (medial) of the carpus joint or wrist.


Bladder 17, Diaphragm’s Hollow strongly influences the nourishing quality and circulation of blood. Rich

blood helps build strong muscles and feeds internal organs. Blood flow is absolutely essential for a healthy dog. This point is located in the seventh thoracic intercostal space; that is, on an average-sized dog, about two finger widths off the spine, approximately two-thirds the distance between the back edge of the dog’s shoulder blade (scapula) and the flat spot in the middle of his back.


Bai Hui, Heaven’s Gate or Point of 100 Meetings, is a favorite point with most dogs for humans to scratch. This classic canine point enhances your dog’s spirit and gives him a sense of well being while also increasing the flow of chi through his spine and hindquarters. This is an acupressure point your dog will appreciate you working with any time you want to scratch it, even if you are not intentionally offering an acupressure session. The Bui Hui point is located at the lombosacrel space, which is right on the spine between the hip sockets where there are no spinous processes jutting up. It feels like a soft spot in the middle of the sacrum. While you’re doing this session, focus your attention and intention on providing your dog with the best of health. Dogs love touch and acupressure helps you give him what he needs to be a “real dog” with a healthy body and coat and a happy disposition.

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Yeast infections – yikes! It’s the itch that keeps coming back. Get to the root of the problem, and eliminate it using herbal and dietary measures. by Erin Mayo, DVM, CVA


hen I think of yeast infections in dogs, I get a mental picture of an itchy pooch with a red rash or smelly ears. It’s an all too common sight at veterinary offices. “Why does this keep coming back?” frustrated dogs lovers ask. It’s because yeast infections only occur when there is an underlying problem with the body’s normal defenses. If this problem is not addressed, the infections will not be resolved.

What is a yeast infection? Yeast infections are most commonly caused by an overgrowth of Malassezia pachydermatis, a fungal organism found in small numbers on normal skin. Given the right environment, these normally benign organisms multiply and cause problems. This only occurs when the natural barriers in the skin are compromised by allergic skin disease, certain immune-suppressive medications, or systemic conditions that compromise the immune system, such as Cushing’s disease. While yeast infections can occur anywhere on the body, the most common locations are the ears, around the eyes, lips, feet and anus. Basically, any dark moist area on the skin is an ideal growing location.

Symptoms and diagnosis The symptoms of a yeast infection are hard to miss, although many skin conditions can look the same. The


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skin can be very itchy, red, oozing or crusty, and have a distinctive “yeasty” smell. If the condition is chronic, the skin will thicken and look like elephant hide. Ears will be red and the ear canal can be swollen, painful and full of brown discharge. Dogs with yeast infections will lick and scratch themselves relentlessly. To diagnose a yeast infection, skin scrapes can be examined under a microscope to look for organisms. Samples from the ears or skin can be sent to a laboratory for a culture and to identify the organisms. Additionally, testing for allergic or systemic diseases may be needed to discover the root cause of the infection.

Herbs can help A veterinarian may suggest any number of conventional treatments. While they all work, they can have side effects and do not address the underlying problem. Thankfully, holistic options can help your dog feel better and prevent future infections. Chinese herbal formulas can effectively treat both the symptoms and the underlying disease. Formulas are based on the dog’s pattern of symptoms. See below:


Excess skin patterns: inflamed, red skin infections stemming from faulty digestion. An inappropriate diet leads to toxic substances building up in the body, finally manifesting as hot, red skin lesions. Si Miao San and modified Long Dan Xie Gan Tang are two commonly prescribed formulas for this condition.


Deficient skin pattern: dry and flaky skin with a brittle hair coat, generally not as itchy as excess pattern dogs. From the perspective of TCM, these dogs are blood deficient, leading to inadequate moisture and nutrition for the skin. Herbal formulas to address blood deficiency are Si Wu Xiao Feng Yin or Xiao Yao San. • Western herbs to address yeast infections include garlic; it has shown effective for Candida yeast infections in people, so may also have some crossover effect against Malassezia.

raw diets, while dogs with less inflammation should be fed more meat, especially organ meats. Supplementation with fatty acids from fish oils is beneficial for dry skin. Vitamins provide important antioxidant and immune boosting functions; feed your dog a variety of brightly colored vegetables every day.

Shampoos and topical preparations with aloe Topical solutions If your dog has yeast infections in his ears, and calendula are flushing them with a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar is helpful, though works good options.

The Hoxsey Formula is a combination of several different herbs that address severely inflamed skin: equal amounts of Linden Flower extract, Nettle extract, and Passion Flower extract.

Don’t forget diet Carbohydrates should be minimized or avoided. Diets that contain one protein source are a good choice; just make sure the protein is something your dog has not eaten before. Dogs with red inflamed skin benefit from

best as a preventative. Tea tree oil is effective against many yeast species, but can be irritating if put on the skin full strength, and toxic if ingested. Shampoos and topical preparations with aloe and calendula are good options. They soothe irritated skin and hasten the healing of any lesions. Remember that yeast infections do not occur by themselves. There is always some underlying cause. Once this is addressed, you’ll no longer ask, “Why did this come back?” and your dog will be happy and itch-free!

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Sue Becker       Kitchener, ON Canada     Phone: (519) 896-2600 • 703-648-1866 Email: Website:

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Steven Marsden, DVM Edmonton Holistic Veterinary Clinic Edmonton, AB Canada Phone: 780-436-4944 Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212

alternative therapy - behavior practices - communicators - holistic healthcare - integrative vets


Judy Stolz DVM ND Arizona City, AZ USA Phone: (520) 494-9571 Website:


Tree of Life Veterinary Care Courtenay , BC Canada Phone: (250) 338-2316 Website: Gail Jewell, DVM Kelowna, BC Canada Phone: (888) 622-8300 Website:


Affordable Holistic Animal Therapies West Hollywood, CA USA Phone: 323-304-2984


Home Vet Weston , CT USA Phone: (203) 222-7979 Website:


Ness Exotic Wellness Center Lisle, IL USA Phone: 630-737-1281 Email:


Coddingtown Vet Clinic Santa Rosa, CA USA Phone: (707) 546-4646 Holistic Animal Care Stephanie Chalmers, DVM, CVH Santa Rosa, CA USA Phone: (707) 538-4643

Homeopathy and nutrition for dogs, cats & horses. Phone consultations available.

Shingle Springs Vet Clinic Shingle Springs, CA USA Phone: 530-677-0390 Email: Website:

Specializing in Holistic Analysis for pathogens, allergies, chronic degenerative diseases, etc.


Animal Holistic Care Mark Haimann, DVM Floral Park, NY USA Phone: 718-631-1396

Janet Knowlton, DVM Almonte, ON Canada Phone: 613-253-7473

Holistic Veterinary Center Calabasas, CA USA Phone: (818) 880-0838 Website:

Integrated Veterinary Clinic Sacramento, CA USA Phone: 916-454-1825

Aquapuncture, Cancer Therapies, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathic, Nutritional Balancing, Phone Consultations


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Creature Comfort Oakland, CA USA Phone: (510) 530-1373

Mark Newkirk, VMD Margate Animal Hospital & Alternative Care Center Margate City, NJ USA Toll Free: (609) 645-2120 Phone: (609) 823-3031 Website:

SmithRidge Veterinary Services Dr. Marty Goldstein South Salem, NY USA Phone: (914) 533-6066 Website:

Caroline Goulard DVM CVA (949) 813-4107 Aliso Viejo, CA USA Phone: (949) 813-4107 Email: Website:

EverGlo-Naturals Gloria Dodd, DVM Gualala, CA USA Phone: 707-785-9171 Email: Website:


Burgess Veterinary Mobile Services Dundas, ON Canada Phone: 905-379-3824 Website:

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Horizon Veterinary Services Susan Maier, DVM Simpsonville, KY USA Phone: (502) 722-8231 Email: Website:


Family Veterinary Center Haydenville, MA USA Phone: (413) 268-8387 Website: Canterbury Tails Vet Clinic Ware, MA USA Phone: 413-967-4545 Parkway Veterinary Hospital West Roxbury, MA USA Phone: (617) 469-8400 Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212

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Cynthia Harcourt, DVM Queensville, ON Canada Phone: (905) 478-1995

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Ballantrae Animal Hospital Margaret Hacking, DVM Stouffville, ON Canada Phone: (905) 640-6809 Website:

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Jody Kincaid, DVM, ND Anthony Animal Clinic Anthony, TX USA Phone: 915-886-4558 Website:

Harwood Oaks Animal Clinic Bedford, TX USA Phone: 817-354-7676 Website: Acupuncture, Bowen, Essential oils, Nutritional support

Dr. Shawn Messonnier Paws and Claws Vet Clinic Plano, TX USA Phone: (972) 712-0893 Email: Website: Integrative health care for pets.


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Legging it In the past, a serious leg injury or amputation often meant euthanasia for dogs. Now, thanks to therapeutic aids for damaged or missing limbs, a disabled dog can live a long and active life. by Mark C. Robinson


veryone loves to watch a happy, healthy dog running, jumping and playing. To help him stay active, though, you have to maintain his mobility. That includes not only protecting his paws but also caring for his legs when they’re injured, and keeping limb wounds and injuries safe and clean while healing. A wide array of products, from splints to orthotics, are available to help optimize your dog’s comfort and mobility when he has problems with his legs.

Orthotics and prosthetics When a limb is damaged or removed, orthotics (that support the limb) or prosthetics (that replace it) are often used. Contrary to what you may think, dogs often adapt very well to these devices. Depending on the injury, the patient can go back to relatively normal activities once he is accustomed to the device. Orthotics can be used for a range of problems, from simple sprains to complete ligament ruptures. They can provide support, stability, restrict movement, correct deformities and promote healing. Braces and casts are examples of orthotics.

This DogLeggs orthotic device protects the dog’s elbows from hygroma.

mon for the device to require final adjustments and that it may need to be temporarily returned to the manufacturer. Sometimes, annual adjustment is called for as the animal’s health changes. Orthotics and prosthetics are as much an art as a science. Look for a company with a strong reputation, testimonials, approvals and good staff credientials.

Prosthetics replace a missing limb. In order to be successful, prosthetics require that at least part of the limb remains; at least a significant stump but ideally down to the hock or elbow. This gives the artificial limb something to hold on to. When amputation takes place at the hip or shoulder, it is almost impossible to use a prosthetic.

Wraps and splints

Orthotics and prosthetics are custom made using a casting kit. A mold is taken of the leg, or the remaining part of the leg, and sent to the manufacturer along with detailed information about the animal and his injury. The orthotic or prosthetic is usually created in seven to ten days and sent to the caretaker. Keep in mind that it’s not uncom-

Front and rear leg splints offer stability and support. They typically strap to the leg with padded Velcro and stabilize the lower portion of the leg. A full splint will extend from above the carpus (wrist) or stifle (knee) to all the way under the foot, and also provide a stable walking surface. Quality splints have rubber pads under the foot to help prevent slipping.


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Wrapping can be a good temporary solution for adding support and protection to the front or back legs. A simple wrap can be a neoprene and Velcro pad that wraps around the leg. A custom wrap can offer different degrees of support and stiffness, depending on the problem.

It is important to realize that even though a splint will cover the carpus or hock, it is not designed to help with injuries to these joints. Structural support falls into the orthotics category. Look for a sturdy, padded splint with a non-skid rubber pad on the bottom. The splint needs to be specially shaped so the dog’s front or back leg sits comfortably in the support.

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Joint protection Hygroma is a common problem in dogs, especially older ones. It’s an inflammation at the elbow from the repeated trauma of lying on hard surfaces, and includes pressure sores and ulcers. Although custom orthotics can be designed to protect a dog’s elbows, an adjustable product called DogLeggs is also available. Cushioned wraps protect the elbow and are held in place by a strap that goes across the dog’s back. A tear to a ligament in a dog’s knee (or cruciate injury to the stifle) can be devastating to the animal. A cruciate ligament tear causes the knee to only move forward and backward instead of rotating normally. This causes pain, lameness and severe arthritis. A cruciate brace by WoundWear can resolve the problem, sometimes without the need for surgery. It can also provide healing support after surgery. It prevents abnormal movement at the knee while still allowing normal rotation to occur.

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Prosthetics replace a missing limb. Boots for different uses General wear boots protect a dog’s paws from hot pavement, sharp objects, road and lawn chemicals and more. They can be used for stability on slippery surfaces, both indoors and out, and to keep paw and lower leg injuries and bandages clean. Boots can also be worn as a convenience on wet or muddy days and taken off when the dog comes inside. Typically, general wear boots are made of a soft, water resistant material like neoprene with a reinforced rubber sole. Often attached with Velcro straps, general wear boots can be both attractive and comfortable.

Photo: © Lindsey Mladinich

Look for a soft, flexible boot with a reinforced sole. The life of the boot is based on how long it takes for the sole to wear out and the terrain it is used on. Longer (taller) boots that cover more of the leg tend to stay on better.

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Protective boots are typically used to cover the entire leg with a waterproof bag to keep bandages, casts and orthotics dry and clean. These are typically thinner than general wear boots and not intended for rigorous use. The Medivet boot is waterproof and breathable, with Velcro and elastic straps, a drawstring closure at the top, and a non-skid sole. Therapeutic boots such as those manufactured by TheraPaw are specially designed to prevent dragging and knuckling (where a damaged paw knuckles under). They are used with a veterinarian’s recommendation and supervision. Clips on the toe of the boot connect with straps to a cuff on the leg, and hold the paw in the correct position. In the past, mobility problems for dogs were considered critical and often became an end-of-life issue. Now, with proper care and the advent of products like splints, orthotics and prosthetics, an injured canine can live a long, happy, active life.

– “Macbeth” Shakespeare

Are You Feeding FRANKENFISH to Your Dogs? If you read the last three ads written about Solid Gold dry dog food, then you realize that your dog’s life depends upon what you feed them. The articles were: 1) Does GMO Mean God Move Over? , 2)Chicken and the Egg and Salmonella Poisoning, and 3) Sundancer – Our New Dog Food with Curcumin. Solid Gold has been the leader in natural dog and cat food since 1975. We introduced the Hund-N-Flocken natural dog food with lamb and fish. Hund means dog, Flocken means flakes in German. The FDA said that there was no such thing as a natural dog food. We told them that Hund-N-Flocken had been a top seller in Germany for 20 years. They said, “Oh!” If you import a dog from Germany, frequently the export papers say that if you don’t feed the Solid Gold Hund -N-Flocken , and the Solid Gold Sea Meal powder, they will not guarantee the health of the dog. About six years ago, Solid Gold introduced a bison and Alaskan wild caught salmon in our “Just a Wee Bit”, for the small dog. For the large and giant breed, we introduced Wolf Cub and Wolf King. The owner of Solid Gold had flown to Alaska to interview the fisherman. Two were chosen. They were the only hook and line fishermen. So, if they caught a small fish, it was thrown back. Soon, as usual, other dog food companies copied us. But they used big nets. Within four years, the wild Alaskan salmon was fished out. Only FARMED salmon was available. Farmed salmon is fed GMO corn. The corn is sterile and cannot reproduce. The salmon are sterile and cannot reproduce. Guess what happens to the people and dogs that are fed this salmon? Solid Gold no longer uses salmon. They are concerned that the GMO salmon may cause cancer. GMO means Genetically Motified Organism Our Holistique Blendz dog food was introduced in 1985. Holistic does not mean natural or organic. It is fishbased and low 18% protein especially for the older dog to spare the liver and the kidneys. It is also for white dogs that are light-sensitive (photo aging). At a recent dog show, a dog food vendor was next to the Solid Gold booth. The salesman told us that his company also now had holistic dog food. We asked him what holistic meant. He said they put apples in it. Oh well! In April, 2011 the news said that in New Jersey, it is unlawful for people to plant tomato seeds. You now have to buy GMO tomato plants from the same company that developed GMO soybean and corn. The chemical company said they are doing this to protect the public. Seems that bugs will get on the tomato plants. For 20 years, I just washed off the bugs from my father’s tomato plants. These GMO plants were found to cause two harmful strains of bacteria that damage the intestinal tract and cause leaky gut syndrome. Dogs were developing leaky gut syndrome and infected anal glands. We use non-GMO tomatoes in our dog food. They are high in lycopene which is good for the heart and circulation. Any fruit or vegetable that is red supports the circulatory system, hormone system and thyroid system. In the recent radiation Japanese disaster, the red sea algae was rushed to Japan to build up the immune and hormone systems. Our Sea Meal contains 19 types of seaweed, including red sea algae. Always use our Sea Meal powder with our dog food. It keeps the dogs from chewing at the root of the tail and licking their feet. Our new Solid Gold dog food is Sundancer, which contains curcumin. To find out how curcumin works with cancer, see In 1958 the US Congress wanted to fund a study for the use of curcumin and cancer. The big pharmaceutical companies objected and said it would interfere with revenues from their cancer drugs. The new World Order says that if you control the food production, you can control the people (and dogs). Read dog food labels, don’t feed Frankenfish and other GMO products to your dogs and cats. You can depend upon Solid Gold to produce the finest and healthiest pet foods. Solid Gold Holistic Animal Nutrition Center 1331 N. Cuyamaca, El Cajon, CA 92020

For a catalog or store near you, call or email us at: (619) 258-7356 (M,W,F 10-5 PST) or E-mail us at or

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the scoop What’s that noise? If you have a dog that’s frightened of thunderstorms or fireworks, the summer months might not be as much fun as you’d like them to be. Earth Heart Inc.’s Canine Calm will help him mellow out. It’s a safe, healthy, all-natural mist formulated with pure essential oils, including bergamot and lavender. Easy to use, the product can be sprayed on your dog’s bedding or rubbed into his outer ears or abdomen. It’s also ideal for dogs that find travel, moving or grooming stressful.

Picture perfect Think your dog or cat deserves to be featured in a calendar? Then enter Evanger’s 2012 Calendar Contest. There are several themes, such as rescue animals, service dogs and sports exhibitors, and prizes include not only having your animal’s photo printed in the calendar, but also a case or bag of Evanger’s wholesome dog or cat food. The deadline is September 30, so get your digital camera out and start snapping. For complete contest rules, visit calendar_contest.html.

Healthy alternatives When Phyllis Bostanci was faced with health problems in her animals, she searched out holistic remedies to bring them back to wellness. Wanting to share the amazing results with others, she founded Urban Jungle Pets, a source of holistic remedies, Traditional Chinese Medicine, vitamins and organic supplements. The company offers products for behavior and stress issues, cardiovascular conditions, detoxification and cleansing, as well as viral and digestive aids, immune system, kidney and liver support, parvo and heartworm treatment, probiotics and enzymes, respiratory, joint, skin and coat supplements, thyroid support and geriatric support.

How holistic is he? Want to know how to evaluate and improve your companion’s well-being? Holistic Select can help you do it with its new Health Scale ( healthscale). It focuses on five main areas of holistic health: nutrition, education, socialization, physical health and environment. You rank your animal on a scale of one to five based on the accuracy of a set of statements pertaining to each area.


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Clear as crystal Crystals have gentle healing properties that can have a soothing effect on companion animals. Emerald Halo offers four types of beautiful crystal animal collars – grounding, healing, chakra and custom. The Crystal Grounding Collar, for example, helps restore inner peace, harmony and balance, and is good for animals that feel anxious. Each collar is handmade with carefully-selected crystals and stones.

Two new supplements For herbal-based nutraceuticals, look no further than Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc. Along with their existing eleven products for dogs and cats, the company has developed two new additions to their line. Lung Tone is made with herb extracts that support the respiratory system, a common need for some breeds. Meanwhile, E-Z Mobility addresses pain, inflammation and mobility issues with a formulation of herbs and essential minerals.

Greyhound gifts Next time you’re buying a gift for someone, make it extra special. GREY2K USA, an organization dedicated to ending the exploitation and killing of racing greyhounds, offers beautiful cruelty-free gifts for animal lovers. They include a marcasite pin, silver necklace, vegan chocolate or a greyhound doll, as well as a campaign t-shirt or tote bag. Every purchase supports GREY2K USA’s legislative efforts to stop greyhound racing.

Career change? Think you’d like to work with animals? The Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupressure and Massage (RMSAAM) offers rewarding and challenging education programs suitable for everyone. With campuses in Colorado – and also now in Florida – the school also has correspondence programs for distance students. Whether you’re looking for a career change, are building your own animal healing business, or are just interested in animal acupressure or massage, the school can help you achieve your goals.

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W eddings go to the


It’s a growing trend. More and more brides and grooms are including their canine companions in their marriage ceremonies. According to these couples, it makes for some wonderful and sometimes whimsical memories! by Sandra Murphy

Lola provided some comic relief at Carolina’s wedding.


ll brides dream of the perfect wedding. For some, that means including their dogs in the ceremony. And why not? Your dog is a part of your family, bringing love, companionship, joy and laughter to your life. Shouldn’t he be there to share in your happiest day?

• Steven Laff trained his collie, Finnegan, to walk down the aisle at his sister-in-law’s wedding. “When I married her twin sister, I attached the rings to Finn’s collar and gave him hand signals to bring them to me,” Steven says. “It was all pretty darn magnificent and the guests loved it.”

Check out 12 couples who incorporated their canine friends into their wedding ceremonies. As you’ll discover, things didn’t always go according to plan, but not one of these brides or grooms regretted having dogs at the wedding. After all, who’s to say your Great Uncle Bertie will behave any better?

• Two French bulldogs helped make Jennifer Wilbur’s wedding special. “Tempest wore a lily attached to her collar. Riptide had the rings. He walked with the father of the groom.”

• “We got married in my in-laws’ back yard,” says Gretchen Anderson. “Leo, my husband’s golden retriever, kept getting tangled in the wedding party as we rehearsed. I finally said, ‘Throw some flowers and a ribbon on him. If he wants to be in the wedding, let him!’ Leo walked down the aisle and stole the show!” • Carolina Villegas Kulbabinski’s English bulldog, Lola, got a little excited when she saw Carolina in her wedding gown, but she soon settled down – right on the train. It got a chuckle from the guests. “Having her there meant everything to me,” says Carolina.


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• Lyric was not content to just wear a flowered collar at Sheryl Bass’s wedding. She pulled a specially made cart that dropped flower petals as she walked toward the altar. She did such an impressive job the carts have become a business for the new couple! • “My husband-to-be’s 80-pound white boxer wore a tux for our wedding,” says Amy Wexler. “The rabbi included him in the ceremony. My mother objected – she felt Yorma would become the focus. In the end, I think she enjoyed having him take part.” • “Our five-year-old nephew and our Australian cattle dog acted as ring bearers and my husband’s nine-year-

Want to make your dog part of your wedding party?

Here’s what you need to know. • Consider whether or not your dog will actually enjoy being part of a wedding ceremony. “Each dog’s temperament is different,” says Koren, who is a dog trainer as well as a bride. “Some may not be able to handle the stress and flurry of activity.” Don’t force your dog to take part if you think it might upset him. • Train and socialize your dog long before the ceremony. Loose leash walking, no jumping or barking, and a calm manner make for the best wedding experience. • Take the dog to the church before the wedding so he can see the facility when it’s full of people. • If your dog will be wearing an outfit, make sure he’s comfortable with the idea. A few practice sessions will help. • If you opt to have your dog pull a flower cart, be sure to practice beforehand, and make sure your dog feels comfortable doing it. • Designate someone whose only job is to take care of your dog. Make sure this is someone who knows dogs – yours, especially. Your dog walker or pet sitter would be an ideal choice. Ensure that person takes the dog out regularly and keeps him active and engaged until the ceremony. Potty accidents in church or temple are unacceptable. • Make sure your photographer’s focus is on the bride and groom, not just the dogs. As Gretchen says, the pooches can steal the show! • After the photos have been taken, take your dog home. Like grandmothers and small children, dogs tire of crowds before the party’s over. • No matter what happens, enjoy your day. Keep in mind that dogs will be dogs, so expect a glitch or two. They’ll only serve to make the day even more memorable!



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• “A groomsman was supposed to be watching Bandit, our border collie, but forgot,” says Gabby Etrog Cohen. “Bandit ran off with the ring. We delayed the ceremony for about 15 minutes while we all chased Bandit!”

old sister and our dachshund as flower girls,” said Lisa Dyer. “All went well until the dogs caught sight of my husband and proceeded to gallop down the aisle, past the bridesmaid, the kids still attached by the leashes. Our guests thought adding dogs to the wedding party fit our personalities!”

• “A co-worker made tuxes for our bulldogs that coordinated with the bridesmaid dresses,” Deidre Jack says. “Prior to the aisle walk, Harley and Miles spent time in the groom’s room, playing cards and drinking shots with the rest of the guys. Well, the dogs didn’t drink, but they stole a few cards from the table, I’m sure. Our friends still say ‘You two had the best wedding.’”

• “When we got married, our golden retriever, Maverick, fetched the pillow with our rings, but when he got to my husband, he played ‘keep away’,” says Michelle Drager. “We joke that Maverick was trying to tell us something!” • Quite a few things went wrong at Koren Palazzo Spadavecchia’s wedding – a water spout blew down a tree and a bridesmaid’s dress caught fire – but including her German shepherd, Martha, went without a hitch. “The experience of having Martha at the wedding was a huge success,” says Koren. “The wedding itself, well, that was another story!” • Karen Robinson said her wedding wouldn’t have been the same without Bonnie. “She was Bulldog of Honor and wore a giant white tutu. Bonnie amused herself by pooping as my husband-to-be walked her down the aisle. Luckily, it was an outdoor wedding.”


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Tempest accompanies Jennifer down the aisle.

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Mighty mites

Ear mites are a common feline problem that can make your cat miserable. Check out these effective treatment options. by Kim Danoff, DVM


bby recently adopted a young cat from her local shelter. He was in good health except he was constantly scratching his ears and shaking his head. “I noticed they had this dark stuff inside them,” Abby says, adding that she drew it to her vet’s attention at the kitten’s first checkup. The diagnosis was ear mites, a common problem in young cats, although they can occur at any age. The scientific name for ear mites is Otodectes cynotis. These pests prefer to inhabit an animal’s ear because of its moist environment, and the wax that is used as a food source. However, they can also be found on the hair surrounding the ears and occasionally on other areas of the body. Ear mites can also survive in the environment for short periods.

Common signs of ear mites • Ear odor • Head shaking or a slight head tilt • Scratching primarily at ears, but also the head and neck • Scabs on the back side of the ears as a result of scratching • Hair loss around ears • Redness and inflammation inside ears • A painful or sensitive ear • A dark brown discharge that looks similar to coffee grounds

How are they diagnosed? Ear mites are very tiny and difficult to identify without magnification. Diagnosis requires placing a small amount

of the ear discharge on a slide with some mineral oil, and examining the slide using a microscope. If you think your cat may have ear mites, consult with your veterinarian to assist with diagnosis and treatment.

Getting rid of mites Since ear mites are highly contagious, it is recommended that all animals in the household be treated. The house should also be thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned to prevent your cat from becoming re-infected. The cat should also be bathed, cleaning thoroughly around the head, neck and ears, to kill the mites that crawled to other areas of the body. Ear mites can be treated with both traditional and holistic medicine. Conventional treatments include prescription topical ear medication like Tresaderm, which contains an antibiotic to treat secondary infections; a steroid to reduce skin inflammation; and a parasiticide to kill the mites. Injectable options include Ivermectin; it may be helpful for cats that will not allow their ears to be cleaned and medicated, but adverse reactions can occur in any individual regardless of the breed. Single use prescription topical medications may also be used; they eradicate ear mites with a single treatment, although ear cleaning is still required to remove wax and debris.

Holistic medicine You can take a more natural approach to treating ear mites. feline wellness


Most veterinarians will agree that the wax and debris should be removed by cleaning the ears with an oil (almond, olive or mineral). The oil is not only a great cleaning medium, but also helps kill the mites by suffocation. Vitamin E, an antioxidant, can be added to the oil to help promote healing. If making your own ear cleaner appears daunting, you can purchase natural ear cleaners or mite remedies at a holistic pet store – one example is Ark Naturals’ Ears All Right For Pets Natural Ear Mite Remedy. Cleanings should be performed every three days, for a total of three to four treatments. When cleaning your cat’s ears, use a dropper to apply approximately four drops of oil-based solution to the affected ear. Massage the ear for approximately one minute. Then clean the ear and remove the debris using a Q-tip or cotton swab. Note: Q-tips should only be used in parts of the ear that can be seen to prevent damage to the ear drum! Essential oils may be added for additional benefits. Before using essential oils on your cat, however, please consult with a holistic veterinarian, as some can be toxic to felines. For example, peppermint and tea tree might seem good choices, but they are harmful to cats. Here are some other oils that may be added to the cleaning solution. Oils from organically grown plants are best. Catnip: can help treat mites St. John’s wort: heals skin, reduces inflammation and infection Rosemary: inhibits ectoparasites, reduces inflammation After the ears are cleaned, topical organic aloe gel (with no added scents, artificial colors or preservatives) can be applied to the ears. Aloe is cooling, helps reduce inflammation, and treats secondary bacterial infections. With proper treatment, the prognosis is good and your cat should be fully cleared of these pests in a matter of weeks. Take your cat to the veterinarian for a follow-up physical exam one month after treatment has been completed to ensure the problem has completely resolved.

Can ear mites be prevented? The answer is yes. Keep your cat separated from any animal that has been diagnosed with ear mites. Maintaining good general health is also very important in preventing parasites, including ear mites. Diet is crucial; feed your cat a well balanced, high quality, low carbohydrate food. Supplements such as probiotics, Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C can also be used to support his immune system. Though not life-threatening, ear mites can cause your cat a lot of misery and discomfort, so it’s wise to nip them in the bud at the first sign of a problem. He’ll be much happier for it! Veterinarian Dr. Kim Danoff graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. She completed a one-year internship at Tufts University, School of Veterinary Medicine, and was an emergency and critical care clinician for over two years. In 2002, Dr. Danoff opened an integrative medicine and rehabilitation practice. She is certified in veterinary acupuncture and canine rehabilitation, is a Reiki Master, and has training in Chinese Herbal Medicine, Chinese Food Therapy, Tui-Na, and massage.


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©2011 P&G

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Camping with cats

It might seem an unlikely feat. But by following these eight rules, you can safely and comfortably take your kitty along on your next outdoor getaway. by Cynthia S. Evans


elieve it or not, I have taken my cats camping with me since 2001. Granted, I rescued both of them as campground strays. Tina came to us wounded. We made her comfortable in our motor home with a bed, food, water, litter box, windows and enough floor space for a scratching post and playtime. Magellan was actually born in the motor home and loves hanging out there. So they’re both used to a camp setting. But transporting them back and forth between house and campground for the past ten years, while ensuring their comfort and safety when living in our motor home, has taught me a lot about successfully camping with cats. The following eight rules will help make it possible for you to take you kitty camping too.

RULE ONE: Know your cat. First of all, consider whether your cat truly has the right temperament to go camping with you. You might find it fun and relaxing, but some cats are absolute homebodies and find being removed from familiar surroundings extremely stressful. If you think your cat will freak out, then leave him at home with a trusted care-


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giver. You might miss him, but he’ll be happier and more comfortable in his own environment. Otherwise, consider the following traits: is your cat a social butterfly, shy, curious, cautious, indoor, outdoor, easy to handle or squirmy? Does he like to walk or be carried? Does he pay attention to simple commands? Knowing your cat’s personality and habits will help you meet his needs and keep him safe while at the campground.

RULE TWO: Keep him comfortable. Unless your cat is a calm and seasoned traveler, tent camping is probably not a good way to start. A trailer, camper or motor home is more secure and homelike. Give your cat all the comforts of home in the vehicle – food and water bowls, litter box, toys, bedding, etc. – and let him spend time in the camper before you leave on a trip so it becomes familiar to him. Take him on a trial run to see how he reacts to all the sounds that go with traveling.

RULE THREE: Take a carrier with you. Each cat should have his own carrier in the camper or motor home. He should remain in his

carrier whenever the vehicle is in motion, or when the camper door is open. Otherwise, leave the carrier accessible and open so your cat can go into it any time he wants. I place our carriers between the front seats with the doors open toward the living area of our motor home. They sit on strong plastic storage boxes on non-slip materials.

RULE FOUR: Do not change his water or diet. Pack the same food and water for your cat as he consumes at home. A sudden change in food or water could result in diarrhea.

your cat before you leave to ensure he’s protected from other infectious diseases. Camping with cats works well for us. In fact, I can’t imagine heading anywhere in our motor home without Tina and Magellan. With a little planning and care, it can work for you too! Cynthia S. Evans has never been without a dog or a cat in her life. She has learned many valuable lessons and received many blessings from the animal kingdom in general. to the duo band

She is also a songwriter/musician, belongs ViCindy, and is a writer and photographer.

RULE FIVE: Make sure your destination is pet friendly. Most campgrounds are animal friendly but do have rules. Some charge extra for your animals. My cats enjoy off-season camping because it provides them with more uninterrupted outside time.

RULE SIX: Never leave him in an unventilated camper or trailer. Open a vent or screened window; just keep in mind that cats are excellent escape artists. Air conditioning is really the best option if you are taking your cat camping.

Treats & Chews. The Healthy Choice. If Your Kitty Could Make 3 Wishes, What Would They Be?

RULE SEVEN: Make sure he gets daily exercise. Do not let your cat roam the campground alone. If he’s used to being indoors, keep him inside the camper with regular interactive play time, the way you would at home. If he is trained to stay near you, or on a harness and leash, take him outdoors to explore. Stay with and supervise your cat at all times when he’s outside, whether he’s on a leash or not; never leave him tethered outside the camper alone.

RULE EIGHT: Protect his health. Keep in mind that there will be other animals at the campground, including wildlife and possibly dogs and stray or feral cats. I encourage you to respect them with a “live and let live” attitude of compassion, but at the same time prevent your own cats from interacting with them. Rabies shots are mandatory in most regions and you should also have titer tests done on

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feline wellness


Is she

over-grooming? Cats spend a lot of time cleaning themselves, but if they start showing bald patches, it could signal a behavioral problem called psychogenic alopecia. by Nadia Ali


atch your cat next time she’s grooming. She closes her eyes as she slowly licks her legs, sides and tail, and uses her paw to wash her face. It looks so relaxed and dignified, even when she does her famous “playing the bass fiddle” pose. Cats spend almost half their time grooming, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center. We’re so used to seeing it that we may not realize some cats may actually start over-grooming themselves. Over-grooming isn’t just about a cat licking herself too much. It’s actually the onset of a behavioral problem clinically called psychogenic alopecia. Because most of us don’t think anything of it when we see our cats grooming, the problem isn’t easy to detect until obvious bald patches appear on the cat’s coat.

Possible causes Cats are creatures of habit. They like routine and find change stressful. Over-grooming most often stems from stress and can be triggered by a variety of situations, including the following:


• A new baby or animal in the house • A companion cat dying • Person working long hours • Divorce • Neighborhood cats • Death of a family member • Moving to a new house • Child leaving home • Rearranging the furniture • Loud noises

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Bald patches are first clue Keeping an eye on the condition of your cat’s fur isn’t too hard to do. If you think your cat is spending an abnormal amount of time grooming, check the areas where balding generally begins or is more visible – the inner thighs or forelegs, tail or abdomen. If you see any balding or short hair stubble, think about what might have changed in your cat’s environment to warrant the over-grooming. It’s important to do something about psychogenic alopecia from the outset because if it continues, it can lead to lesions in the skin and may even trigger the cat to bite and chew herself. It’s the equivalent of biting your nails when you are stressed; pretty soon you have bitten them so low they actually hurt. According to the book Starting From Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in your Adult Cat, by Pam JohnsonBennett, it is up to you to try and find out what the cause is, and to help create an environment that is less stressful for the cat. Some problems, such as a death in the family, can’t be helped, but there are ways to help your cat feel calmer about any change.

De-stressing tactics • Play and attention can help counteract whatever your cat is stressed about. Some extra TLC and one-on-one interaction during a stressful time will distract her and help her feel more secure again. • If you have to be away at work during the day, you can keep your cat entertained with a DVD created especially for felines (featuring birds, mice, fish, etc.), or by situating a bird feeder outside a window. Try also leaving some toys around so she can play by herself when you’re out. Introducing a new catnip toy every now and then will help engage her. • If your cat has lost an animal companion, adopting another might be something to consider. Don’t do it right away though; introducing a new animal right on top of the loss may only generate more stress and exacerbate the over-grooming. • Flower essence such as Bach Rescue Remedy can be very effective. Rub a little on your cat’s ears or paw pads, or just add a few drops to her drinking water. • A pheromone spray or diffuser is the equivalent of lighting incense to calm the nerves. Once your cat calms down and de-stresses, she should return to her normal aristocratic grooming habits!

Nadia Ali is a freelance writer who was born in London, England and now lives in the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Her work has been published online and in print. She is inspired by Cici, her family cat.

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If you can think of no changes in your cat’s environment that might have triggered her over-grooming, seek veterinary attention. There are several potential medical causes. Once these are treated, the overgrooming should stop. • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) • Food allergies • Fungal infection • Skin parasites • Feline ringworm

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HEALTH TALK with Dr. Marcia Martin

Veterinarian Dr. Marcia Martin is a holistic veterinarian practicing at The Holistic Medicine Center in Mobile, Alabama. Her new clinic offers state of the art diagnostics and 24-hour care as well as acupuncture, chiropractic and classical homeopathy. Dr. Martin is also the author of Quit Your Belly Aching, a homeopathic guide to colic treatment in horses. For more information on holistic healthcare for cats and other animals, read her blog at


The Fall 2010 issue of Feline Wellness was an eye opener about cat food labels, how harmful grains are, and the importance of taurine. I immediately switched my cats to a premium food. However, I need a weight control formula for my cats and this particular brand only comes in one variety of weight control food. You also recommended varying the diet between chicken, duck, fish, etc. and not give cats only one type of food. So what do I do? Do I mix regular food with the one variety of weight control formula to give my cats variety and lessen the fat content at the same time? Please advise.

Food labels


Many weight loss formulas marketed for cats are low in fat but high in carbohydrates, which explains why many cats actually gain more weight on these diets. The easiest way to help cats reach and maintain a healthy weight is to feed them as nature intended: high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrate meals. Good quality grain-free kibbles are now available from several manufacturers; that may be a good place to start your feline family on the road to healthy eating. Grain-free canned foods and raw diets are even closer to the prey diet and will almost always result in a healthier weight for adult cats.


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If the diet is comprised of poor quality kibble, that may be the source of the weight problem. Most kibbled diets contain a large amount of carbohydrate in the form of cereal grains and their by-products. Cats in nature eat a “prey based diet”. That means fresh raw meat for protein, a moderate amount of fat and very little carbohydrate. The carbohydrate present in the prey animal is primarily found in the liver and predigested in the stomach and intestinal tract. A kibbled diet can be as high as 45% carbohydrate whereas a prey diet is generally less than 5%. The feline body is just not designed to metabolize that amount of carbohydrate into usable energy, so the liver stores it as body fat.

26 AM 7/20/10 11:11:

The protein source, whether it be duck, chicken, fish or beef, really isn’t as important as the level of carbohydrates when discussing weight loss. But I do believe variety is important. Cats have a well deserved reputation for being finicky eaters, which can lead to several problems. Cats that restrict themselves to one type of food are at risk for developing hepatic lipidosis if that food source becomes unavailable for some reason. Hepatic lipidosis is a life-

threatening inflammation of the liver that can occur when a cat stops eating. Lack of dietary variety can also lead to allergies, food intolerance and inflammatory bowel disease. Rotating foods helps ensure the diet is balanced and the kitty is getting all the nutrients he needs to be healthy.


My 13-year-old male cat sometimes gets a watery eye. It seems worse when he has just woken up or is at rest. After he has been walking around or playing for a bit, it clears. There is no redness or thick discharge and it usually clears up completely after a day. I wondered if it might be allergies, but it only affects one eye at a time. He has had this problem most of his life and otherwise is in good health. The fact that your cat has had this condition most of his life makes me think it’s caused by the reappearance of a dormant viral infection. The two most common viral causes of feline upper respiratory syndrome are herpes virus and calicivirus. They are highly contagious and quite common anywhere large numbers of cats are found: shelters, feral cat colonies, etc. Most likely, your cat was infected as a kitten, at which time he probably showed more severe symptoms such as sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, red swollen conjunctiva and maybe even a fever. Most infected cats will recover fully in a few weeks. A fairly large percentage of cats will continue to harbor the virus in their nerve cells. feline wellness


Often, stress will cause the virus to become active and some symptoms will return, such as mild inflammation of the conjunctiva with watery eyes. If the symptoms are mild and self-limiting, treatment is most likely unnecessary. If they persist or become more severe, you can try administering L-lysine (250mg to 500mg a day) until the symptoms resolve. As with all viral infections, the best treatment is generally good nutrition and nursing care. I would recommend you ask your veterinarian to check for nasolacrimal duct stenosis. The nasolacrimal duct is the tear duct. It connects the eyes with the nasal cavity and allows excess tears to be drained away so they don’t run down the face. A narrowing of this duct can be a type of birth defect, or it can be acquired through scarring following cat fights or after a viral infection that causes severe inflammation. The fact that your cat’s condition appears to resolve on its own makes this a less likely diagnosis, but the test is quite simple and inexpensive. The veterinarian puts a mild stain into the cat’s eye and watches to see if colored tears are visible at the nasal opening. If the duct is blocked, it is often quite simple to flush it open using a saline solution.


My cat often scratches his ears, but when I look in them, I can see no sign of mites, irritation, redness or other problems. They look perfectly clean. The vet couldn’t see anything either. He doesn’t have fleas and never scratches himself anywhere else. What could cause itchy ears in a cat besides infections, allergies or mites? The most common cause of itchy ears without discernable inflammation is allergies. Often the inflammation isn’t seen on exam because it is located in the middle ear, an area not readily observed with an otoscope. Allergens can be found in the air, in the food, or in the environment. Often we start with changing the diet, because that is the one allergen source that is easily controlled. If possible, I will start most cats with suspected allergies on a raw food diet. The reason I like raw food diets is that they most closely mimic what a cat would eat in nature. This one simple step can often eliminate or greatly reduce the symptoms associated with food intolerance or allergies. (Visit to learn more about the proper feeding of felines.) Grains such as wheat and corn are very common sources of allergic reaction. Choosing a grain-free canned diet may also be helpful. Antihistamines have a variable success rate when treating allergies in animals, but they are safe and may be worth trying. You should consult with your veterinarian before giving any medication to your cat. Allergies to fleas can mimic food allergies, with the cat scratching his head and ears. Allergic cats don’t necessarily have a heavy flea burden; one or two can be enough to start the cycle. Therefore, treating for fleas may be a good idea. Steroids, either pills or injections, are often over-prescribed for animals with allergic symptoms and should be avoided until other solutions have been tried.


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Lighten the


Earth-friendly litters help ease the burden on landfills. By Barbara Nefer


hat do nutshells, pine wood, corn and wheat all have in common? They’re part of a growing trend that’s replacing clay with biodegradable and sustainable cat litters. In fact, the American Pet Products Association calls earth-friendly litters one of the top trends for 2011. Marty O’Brien of Purr & Simple natural cat litter estimates there are well over 80 million cats in America, and 84% of their caretakers use litter. “That’s nearly 69 million litter boxes being emptied weekly or bi-weekly,” he says. It doesn’t take much imagination to see what an impact all that litter is having on landfills.

Marty’s company manufactures litter from nutshells, turning a once discarded by-product into something useful. He is seeing the trend toward more eco-friendly litters first hand. “Everyone is considering sustainability these days,” he says. “I think the media, combined with the mindset of our generation, can be credited for making sustainable practices possible.”

nutshells, wheat, pine and corn, with no additives, are better for cats in several ways. They tend to have low dust, which reduces allergies and respiratory problems, and are less likely to stick to long-haired cats. They are also non-toxic to kittens, which often ingest litter when learning how to use the box. “Adult cats also ingest litter when they groom,” Mark says. “Clay can plug them up and cause medical problems. A biodegradable material like wheat will pass right through them.”

Mark Hughes, national sales manager for Swheat Scoop wheat cat litter, agrees the alternative litter category is booming. “It’s the only growing segment of the cat litter industry,” he says. “Surveys show clay litter sales declining over the past five years.” Mark predicts continued popularity for earth-friendly clay litter alternatives. “People are taking better care of themselves, eating better, and using natural products, and they’re looking for the same thing for their animals.” Marty agrees with this assessment. “People think of their pets as family members and are looking for healthier options,” he says.

But one of the biggest advantages of alternative litters is that they reduce the carbon pawprint of the domestic cat. If everyone used natural cat litter alternatives, it would have a whopping impact on landfill space. Although clay is a natural substance, it still takes a toll on landfills because it’s a durable, rock-based material that does not break down. And traditional clumping products contain bentonite, which is obtained through strip mining. Other mainstream litters often also include additives such as artificial fragrances, which come from chemicals that aren’t good for the environment.

Benefits are twofold

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clogging up landfills – and support your cat’s health while you’re at it – here are three simple steps.


Research alternative litters. Browse pet stores, search online and read opinions on cat-related forums. Chat with fellow feline guardians who are already using eco-friendly litter to find out what they like about their current brands.


Carefully read the ingredients of any brand you are considering. It should preferably contain a single biodegradable material. Also, keep in mind that there’s no universally accepted definition for the word “natural�. A truly

earth-friendly product is made from sustainable materials and has no added ingredients because its natural enzymes control odor. If scent is added, as in the case of World’s Best Cat Litter, a biodegradable corn-based product, it should come from a natural, non-toxic source – in this particular case, the fragrance comes from lavender rather than artificial chemicals.


Introduce your cat to the new litter slowly. Cats generally accept alternative products if you are patient and give them enough time to adjust. Add a small amount of the new product to your current litter until the cat accepts it. Eventually, you can move entirely to the new litter and complete the transition to an earth-friendly litter box!







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Go to our store locator or call us Toll Free (877) 824-8795 to find a stocking retailer near you today! EXPIRES: 03/31/2012 CONSUMER: Redeem certificate at any participating Purr & Simple™ retailer. Purchase required. Coupon may be used to purchase one size only of one of either variety offered. No other coupon may be used to purchase this package. Coupon is good for one use only. RETAILER: We will reimburse you the face value of this coupon plus 8¢ handling, provided it is redeemed by a consumer at the time of purchase of a bag of Purr & Simple™. Coupons not properly redeemed will be void and held. ANY OTHER USE CONSTITUTES FRAUD! MAIL TO: Purr & Simple™, 5230 Grange Road, Corning, CA, 96021. Cash Value 001¢. Void where taxed or restricted.


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Barbara Nefer is an animal lover and freelance writer living in Celebration, Florida. She shares her life with three cats, two horses, and a Quaker parrot.

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THE SOUND EVER When an overload of medications gave Summer a near-fatal reaction, I made the switch to a more holistic healthcare approach. She’s doing fine now. by Anabelle Lee Macri

Summer is back to enjoying cottage life, thanks to a more natural health regime.


t was the sweetest sound I’d ever heard. I was vacationing at a cabin in North Georgia with my two dogs. The vacation was a birthday present from my parents, but I’d already had one gift – the life of my yellow Lab, Summer. I’d almost lost her earlier in the season and she was still not herself. But while enjoying the sights and sounds of the river from the deck, I suddenly heard an excited squeak from her. It was music


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to my ears. As I listened, multiple squeaks followed, and that’s when I knew my girl was going to be all right.

Health crisis It all started when I took her to the veterinarian’s office for pre-dental lab work. The panel showed Summer had an infection, whereabouts unknown. I assumed it was her mouth, as she hadn’t been enjoying her treats, especially

Finding alternatives to standard medications has become very important to me. the hard variety. An antibiotic was prescribed, but after one dose, Summer began to show signs of a reaction. It appeared her throat was closing. She seemed to be having trouble swallowing. Back at the clinic, the vet replaced the antibiotic with another. Though Summer seemed to tolerate it, things changed by the end of that week. I had her bathed and groomed, plus I gave her Frontline, which she’d had previously without incident. Although I waited at least four days after her grooming to give the topical flea treatment, as recommended, she didn’t seem herself afterwards.

Summer must have suffered anaphylactic shock due to an overload of chemicals and drugs in her system. It made sense. She’d been given one dose of a medication that disagreed with her, and was changed to a new medication that she was probably only just tolerating. Then she’d been groomed and given Frontline. All this must have triggered a systemtic shutdown.

That afternoon, I decided not to give her the regular dose of antibiotic. I had to attend a business function, so I left her in the care of a trusted friend. Later, when I picked her up, my friend said Summer didn’t seem well and was coughing. I took her home and she seemed to settle in. Then it became too quiet. I found her upstairs; she was motionless. Her eyes were swollen shut. I called her name, but she didn’t move, and her heart was barely beating. I knelt beside her trembling, opened her mouth, and there was the proof I was afraid I’d see – her tongue was turning gray. Summer was having serious trouble breathing. I frantically searched for a veterinary office that might be open on a Sunday. Thank goodness I found one close by. By that time, Summer seemed a little bit better. She was still weak and sickly, but I could see some signs of improvement. Her coughing lessoned in intensity and frequency, and she seemed to be breathing normally. She ate some food, but didn’t appear that hungry.

Chemical overload At the animal hospital, I was told animal wellness


I was told it was a good thing I stopped her antibiotic, and that although what happened to Summer is unusual, Labs are sometimes predisposed to reactions. I felt terrible, but she had never shown any such signs previously. To better prepare me should something like this ever happen again, the veterinarian advised me to review the possible side effects of any medication I give Summer, watch for any signs and symptoms of a reaction, and get her to an emergency vet right away if she falls ill. I also keep emergency vet numbers handy, and made plans to get help to transport Summer if she was ever unable to move on her own.

A safer alternative Before Summer’s health crisis, I had no idea there are holistic methods to treat dogs. I began reading up on these treatment options, and Summer is now with Dr. Beth Nunn, a vet who offers holistic therapies for her patients. Given Summer’s sensitivity to drugs and chemicals, finding alternatives to standard medications has become very important to me.

I was told Summer must have suffered anaphylactic shock due to an overload of chemicals and drugs in her system. “The best advice I could give someone with an animal predisposed to allergic reactions would be to keep a list of medications, foods or other products that have caused a reaction in the past,” Dr. Nunn says. “Be sure to note what kind of reaction occurred such as facial swelling, vomiting, difficulty breathing and hives, as these are some of the more common symptoms. Take note of how long the symptoms lasted, if any medications were given to help alleviate those symptoms, and what effect if any those had on lessening the symptoms. Be sure to bring this information with you when you seek medical treatment for an illness, especially if you are not seeing your regular veterinarian due to an emergency situation. Also, keep a list of medications and supplements your animal regularly receives so the clinician can make the best treatment recommendations.” Dr. Nunn told me that anaphylactic reactions tend to be more common in the spring and summer. “Most likely this is because there is an overlap between animals and their owners being outdoors and more active when insects and other pests are most active. While medications do account for a lot of adverse and even anaphylactic reactions, insect stings and bites are a very common problem that often requires emergency treatment.” She also told me that anything new, such as medication, supplements, foods and preventive products, should be introduced one at a time, so that Summer’s system isn’t overloaded. “Always wait three to five days after something new is introduced before changing your animal’s routine,” she adds. “Often we see sick animals that have recently had a food change, been given heartworm and/or flea medications, and gone on vacation to a new place all around the same time.” Thankfully, Summer is doing fine now after her ordeal. There doesn’t appear to be any permanent damage. I am grateful for the opportunity to tell her story, because by sharing what I learned, others will hopefully benefit.


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top stomach soothers You’ve adopted a new dog from a shelter or rescue, and quickly discover his digestive system is out of whack. Calm his tummy with these nutritious foods. by Audi Donamor


ost dogs surrendered to shelters or taken in by rescues have some physical and emotional baggage. Troubled tummies are often part of this baggage due to stress, poor quality diets, too many changes of food or environment, or a combination of all these.


It might be just what the doctor ordered, if your dog is experiencing bouts of constipation or diarrhea. It is a terrific stool softener, making it a perfect remedy for constipation. And since it is very rich in fiber, one to two teaspoons in your dog’s food is an effective remedy for diarrhea. A sprinkle of ground pumpkin seeds can help destroy intestinal worms too.

Pumpkin pudding cake Ingredients 1½ cups whole oat flour 1 cup whole brown rice flour 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1½ teaspoons cinnamon 1½ teaspoons ginger 1 teaspoon carob powder 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut 1/4 cup ground almonds or Brazil nuts (optional) 3 cups pure pumpkin pureé 1/4 cup honey (local honey can be combined with Manuka honey) Instructions Use organic ingredients wherever possible. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a cake pan or Pyrex dish. Combine all ingredients. Spoon into cake pan and bake for 1¼ hours. Cool completely before serving. Cut in squares and store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. This recipe freezes well.


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Diarrhea, vomiting and poor eating habits are common, and can continue even after adoption as the dog adapts to settling into a new home with new people. Luckily, there are many soothing and nutritious ways to help get a stressed-out canine digestive system back on track.

Rice congee

Chinese porridge or congee is a thick soup made from whole grains. Plain congee is very easily digested, and becomes a tonic when special ingredients are added to the basic combination of rice and water. • Combine 1 cup of Thai jasmine rice with 3 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil, giving it a quick stir, then turn the heat down to a very low simmer, letting the rice absorb all the water. Cool before serving, and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours. • Pumpkin can be added to congee to perk up weak malnourished dogs. Pumpkin’s pectin content helps regulate the rate of gastric absorption of food. • For chronic diarrhea, make traditional congee and add 2 ounces of finely grated Chinese yam to the mix. Simmer for an hour, then turn off the heat and add an egg yolk. This acts as a tonic for the whole body. Serve your dog mini meals throughout the day, and add a pinch of sea salt before serving (optional).


Carob packs a whole lot of punch. It is rich in natural sugars and contains all the principal minerals and vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, magnesium and iron. Carob is great for calming an upset tummy and curbing diarrhea. It can be found in health food stores, either in vacuum sealed bags or in bulk form. Dogs really like the taste. I like to mix a teaspoon of carob powder with a bit of honey and filtered water. It also makes a perfect sprinkle for your dog’s food, and is great when mixed in with some yogurt.

Cinnamon Ancient Chinese herbal references cite cinnamon as a treatment for nausea, fever and diarrhea. Native American Indians also used it for diarrhea, chills and to freshen breath. It is used much the same way today, treating a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including nausea and flatulence. The oil found in cinnamon has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is also a carminative and makes a digestive tonic when prepared as a tea. Like carob, cinnamon can be sprinkled on your dog’s food. Try adding a shake or two to his daily diet.

Cabbage Cabbage is one of the world’s healthiest foods. Research has shown that cabbage juice helps heal stomach ulcers, and very recent studies have illustrated it has a positive impact on the entire digestive tract. Cabbage contains a variety of nutrients that support the stomach and intestinal lining. These nutrients include glucosinolates and the anti-inflammatory isothiocyanates or ITCs made from them, as well as polyphenols and glutamine, an amino acid essential for intestinal health. Uncooked cabbage is high in glutamine. It has been proven to be both antibacterial and antiviral. Cabbage also contains S-methylmethionine, another compound with anti-ulcer properties, and its lactic acid helps settle gastritis.

Simple cabbage juice Chop up a handful of purple cabbage, put it in a pot, add a cup or more of filtered water and heat gently, just until the water is a nice purple color. Remove from heat, cool and serve. Cabbage juice is soothing and can help stop diarrhea.

Cultured cabbage juice

1. Fill your blender with chopped green cabbage (it’s important to use fresh organic cabbage for this recipe) and distilled water to the 2/3 mark. 2. Turn the blender on high for one minute. 3. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, and repeat the process two more times. animal wellness


4. Cover the bowl with Saran wrap and let the cabbage sit at room temperature for three days. 5. Strain the cabbage so you are left with only the juice. 6. Store in the refrigerator. This juice is loaded with friendly lactobacteria, and the lactic acid will help kill many strains of fungi parasites and other pathogens. A little goes a long way, so take 1 teaspoon of cabbage juice and mix it with 1 teaspoon of water for your dog.

Slippery elm

This is one of the greatest remedies for digestive disorders. When the bark is mixed with goat milk or goat milk yogurt, it lines the gut and intestines, protecting the mucous membranes from irritation. Slippery elm contains tannins and mucilagens, which have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Gruels containing slippery elm and honey are truly an “internal” salve for all kinds of digestive problems.

Make your own gruel


Honey is packed with antioxidants and flavonoids, and its acidity or pH is low enough to hinder or even prevent the growth of many types of bacteria. There is substantial evidence that honey, especially New Zealand’s Manuka honey, may be effective against Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes stomach ulcers. The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) is a phytochemically-derived antibacterial property found in some strains of Manuka honey. A UMF rating of 10 is the minimum recognized for beneficial healing properties. The term “UMF” is a guarantee that the honey you have purchased contains this special antibacterial property to at least the level indicated on the label.


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Ingredients 1 cup slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra) 1/2 cup oat flakes 1/2 cup barley flakes 1/4 cup arrowroot 1 tablespoon marshmallow (Althea officinalis) 1 tablespoon wheat germ 1 tablespoon dill seed 1 teaspoon honey 1 cup goat milk yogurt or filtered water Instructions Combine the first seven ingredients. Add 1 teaspoon of the resulting powder to the honey. Whisk in a little warm filtered water, then add 1 cup of goat milk yogurt (with cultures) or more filtered water.

Dosages: Puppies and small dogs – 1 teaspoon added to each meal Medium dogs – 3 teaspoons added to each meal Large dogs – 5 teaspoons added to each meal

Homemade pencillin aka chicken soup No list of stomach remedies is complete without a recipe for “homemade penicillin”, better known as chicken soup. This recipe is good for whatever ails your canine companion.

Instructions Choose organic products whenever possible. Put all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a rolling boil, skim off the foam, turn the heat down to simmer, and leave the pot to sit and stew all day long. Refrigerate overnight. Next morning, skim off the fat, remove the chicken and vegetables, strain the stock into storage containers and freeze. This will give you a nutrient-dense broth to add to any recipe, including biscuits and treats. You can also use it as a topper for regular meals or add it to drinking water to encourage more liquid intake.

Very best chicken stock Ingredients 24 cups filtered water 3 pounds chicken backs and necks 2 carrots, cut in pieces 2 celery stalks, cut in pieces 3 Shiitake mushrooms, dried or fresh 2 garlic cloves 1 piece fresh ginger 12 white peppercorns 1 to 2 tablespoons sea salt, to taste Handful of fresh parsley, Italian or curly Other fresh herbs to taste, e.g. thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary

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Lice…ugh! The lowly louse can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. A healthy and hygienic lifestyle coupled with vigilance (and a fine-toothed comb!) can help keep him from becoming a host to these creepy critters. by Sara Jackson


ice aren’t just a human problem. There’s a canine variety that can also plague your pooch. Like fleas, these flat, gray, wingless parasites may be small, but they can make your dog miserable. There are two main types of lice. Chewing lice attach themselves to the base of the dog’s hair using their mandibles. They tend to hang out near moist areas such as the ears, genitals, anus and any skin abrasions. Sucking lice, on the other hand, like to attach themselves to the dog’s neck and shoulders and gorge themselves on blood. Lice are very prolific. The females lay eggs, called nits, near the base of the dog’s hair. The eggs hatch a couple of weeks later, and the nymphs molt three times before maturing into adult lice two to three weeks after that. During a female louse’s lifetime, which is 30 days long, she can lay several eggs a day.

Scratching where it itches The signs of a lice infestation often mimic a flea infestation. The dog will scratch or bite the irritated areas. Lice are actually more irritating than fleas, because they attach themselves to the skin, so infested canines may also exhibit sleeplessness, alopecia, pruritus, nervousness and a scraggly matted coat. Lice are easy to spot. You may have to push the hair around to see them, but once you do, you will know them when you see them. Canine lice are slow moving, and look like black specks of dirt with a clear lining around their bodies. Dogs most prone to a lice infestation are those living in


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unclean or overcrowded environments or who are poorly nourished. Very young puppies, elderly or special needs dogs are also more susceptible. Veterinarian Dr. Mark Newkirk adds that since lice are readily visible to the naked eye, they shouldn’t become a serious health problem, unless you neglect to treat the dog. Left unaddressed, a lice infestation can cause anemia and/or lead to secondary bacterial infections.

Getting rid of lice If your dog ever gets lice, you need to take several steps towards eradicating them. First, wash all bedding, toys and anything else your dog has come in contact with since getting lice. This also means thoroughly cleaning items that can’t be thrown in the washing machine, such as crates, floors, upholstery and car seats. To treat a dog, most conventional veterinarians will recommend products such as Frontline, K9 Advantix or Revolution applied every two weeks for a total of three treatments. Regular baths with an insecticidal shampoo containing pyrethrin may also be recommended. A limesulfur dip should also do the trick. Although these products, with their harsh chemicals, are a surefire way to eradicate all lice, you may want to consider a less toxic treatment. “It depends on how bad the infestation is, and how grossed out you are,” says Dr. Newkirk. “Shaving, combing and bathing will eventually remove the lice ‘manually’.” • Flea combs are a great way to remove both dead and live lice, but they don’t aid in the removal of nits.

• Bathe an infested dog daily with a natural organic shampoo – and leave him lathered up for ten minutes before rinsing. • Applying a lemon rinse after each bath will help kill off nits. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. • If you are still having trouble getting rid of nits, try slathering your dog’s fur in mayonnaise. Once you have it well rubbed in, rinse the dog off thoroughly.

Preventing infestation Lice are mainly spread through direct contact. People who frequently take their dogs to parks, doggie daycares or hiking trails where other dogs have been, may be putting their companions at risk of exposure. “Lice can also be transmitted through contaminated bedding or grooming equipment,” adds Dr Newkirk. But this doesn’t mean you have to keep your dog at home and away from other canines. There are several preventative measures you can take to help prevent lice from making your pooch their new home. • Keep your dog well groomed. You can do this at home with weekly or bi-weekly bathing and brushing, or take him to a professional holistic groomer. Make sure the groomer takes steps to keep his or her equipment clean at all times. Long-haired dogs should be clipped on a regular basis. • Provide your dog with a clean living environment. Wash bedding and brushes regularly, and vacuum carpets and upholstery. • Perhaps most importantly, feed your dog a high quality diet and avoid over-vaccination to help ensure a strong immune system. A healthy dog is much less likely to become the host of a lice infestation. Lice are gross, but don’t panic if your dog ever gets them. They won’t spread to your human family. But you still need to address the problem so your canine companion can once more be comfortable and itch-free.

Lice are species specific, so you won’t catch canine lice from your dog. Nor will human lice infest your canine companion, so if your child ever comes home from school with head lice, your animals will not be at risk. animal wellness




The moisturizing and healing properties of olive oil formed the inspiration for a line of all-natural eco-friendly spa products for dogs. by Ann Brightman


hat’s good for us can often be just as good for our canine companions. Dog lover and businesswoman Jasmine Serdengecti would agree. In 2007, she and her husband started a company called Posh & Co, selling imported olive oil soaps for people. “One day, we used the soap on our dog Nikki,” says Jasmine. “Her coat became so soft and shiny we said ‘why don’t we do a shampoo line for dogs?’” They did, and named their new products Nikki Green. The Florida-based company is focused on offering products that are natural and eco-friendly as well as healthy. “We want all dogs to go green by using natural products instead of synthetics and chemicals,” says Jasmine. “Olive oil by itself is a natural conditioner, and it makes dogs’ coats extra shiny and incredibly soft to touch. It is also a natural antioxidant that moisturizes and soothes dogs’ delicate coats.” The Nikki Green line includes six unique shampoos all made with olive oil. “They’re made without harsh detergents, chemicals, artificial coloring or toxins that can harm and dull a dog’s coat,” Jasmine explains. “We use 100% consumption-grade olive oil and Mediterranean sea salt essential oils.” Each shampoo features a different essential oil for a variety of scents. “We use lemon balm, lavender, a combination of tea tree and lemon, rosemary, spearmint and orange.” Each oil has been chosen for its healing properties as well as its fragrance. For example, the lavender shampoo calms the dog and repels fleas, while rosemary strengthens hair and helps alleviate dry skin or dandruff. “We also offer organic cotton doggy bathrobes and some natural bath and grooming gift sets for dogs.” Jasmine adds. You can choose from colorful cotton towels and a natural


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Jasmine with Nikki, the inspiration behind Posh & Co.

soft bristle heart-shaped brush. “We believe that dogs should be treated like human beings. We try to create the best posh spa products for the furry ones.” Jasmine and her husband are planning to add more new products to the selection. “We’re creating seasonal scents for the shampoo line, and would like to focus on a grooming line. We also hope to introduce new products for puppies in the future.” The couple extends their love of animals to the community as well. “Posh & Co is involved with Paws 4 You Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue organization based in Miami, as well as Fur Fitness Foundation, which helps animal lovers and veterinarians address the growing crisis of animal obesity.” Though the company started out selling products for people, Jasmine says she’s more than happy with their change in direction. “We made the best choice by switching to the pet industry!” she enthuses. “I am a true dog lover and I like to spoil all dogs with natural exclusive products. For me, there is no difference between humans and dogs.”

Book reviews Doggone Green Author: Kathy Deitsch


If doing your part to help the earth seems overwhelming, this book “written” by a dog named Cedar and transcribed by her human companion, Kathy Deitsch, will make it easier and more enjoyable. Doggone Green is a canine’s view of how we can help make the planet cleaner and safer for ourselves and our animal companions. The book takes a multi-faceted approach to green living and covers everything from indoor air quality and healthy food and water to responsible pet waste disposal, outdoor safety and household cleaners. It also provides information on how to get involved in green initiatives in your area. Accessible and easy to read, Doggone Green includes plenty of tips and charts to get you started on the road to a more earth-savvy lifestyle, along with “Cedarisms”, words of wisdom from the canine author. Whimsical illustrations by Vickie Leigh Krudwig round out the book. Informative as well as fun, it’s ideal for anyone who loves animals and the earth.

ancient wisdom modern solutions Dr. Rose’s Remedies Skin Treatment is an all-natural herbal salve that promotes rapid and complete healing of skin ailments. It can be used on a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, and horses. ÝÛ?]YdkÛogmf\k•ÛZmjfk•ÛZjmak]kÛ and lacerations ÝÛ?]dhkÛkh]]\Û`]Ydaf_Ûg^Û surgical wounds ÝÛI]da]n]kÛafyÛYeeYlagfÛYf\ÛajjalYlagfÛ associated with inter-digital infection ÝI]da]n]kÛal[`qÛkcaf ÝDgaklmjar]kÛkcaf ÝKj]YlkÛjYafÛjgl ÝKj]YlkÛ`glÛkhglkÛÛ 610-558-4610 |

Publisher: A New Way to Life

Title: The Author:

Moral Lives of Animals Dale Peterson

When your dog or cat comes to comfort you when you’re feeling sick or sad, you have first-hand evidence that animals have a sense of morality similar to ours. An author of many science and natural history books, Dale Peterson presents an in-depth examination of this phenomenon in his latest volume, The Moral Lives of Animals. Using examples ranging from elephants to cheetahs, Peterson provides many amazing demonstrations of how animals demonstrate cooperation, generosity and fairness – even though most people believe only human beings can experience these virtues. Read about the chimpanzee that lost his own life trying to save an unrelated infant from drowning, and the lab rats that rescued others of their kind caged nearby in distressing circumstances. Once you’ve read this book, you’ll have a new appreciation and respect for your canine or feline companion – and for all the other creatures we share our planet with.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Press

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“He should know better!”

Much of what we label “bad behavior” in our animals actually stems from instinct – and our tendency to view dogs and cats as small humans. Shifting our perspective and acting accordingly can help us understand our furry friends better – and vice versa. by Sue Becker, BFRP, BFRAP, CTTP


ranky is a four-year old West Highland terrier. He guards his food and toys and growls when asked to relinquish them. “He should know by now that’s not allowed!” Ruth exclaims in exasperation. “He needs to know who’s boss.” George, meanwhile, is convinced his retriever Goldie looks guilty when he comes home from work to find yet another cushion or houseplant chewed to pieces. “Why does she do that when she knows better? I can see the guilt on her face!” Does your own animal companion sometimes do things that drive you to distraction? Behaviors you’re convinced he knows are not permitted and that fly in the face of all his training? Are you tempted to conclude he’s testing you, defying you, or worse, trying to take status over you? What’s going on in that head of his?

How domesticated are they? Disharmony and misunderstanding often abound between people and their animal friends. Much of it is because we love to view them as baby humans or little people in fur coats. No doubt your dog or cat’s appearance and demeanor is appealing and irresistible – but he is not a baby or small human. And therein lies our error! At their core, domesticated animals are hard-wired to be predators and survivors, to fend for themselves and protect their lives and livelihood. “Surely not sweet little Mopsy!” you might say. But consider that dogs have been domesticated for an estimated 15,000 years, and cats for only 4,000 to 9,000 years. It may seem like a long time, but compare it to the millions of years of evolution that went before that, and you get the picture. The number of years dogs and cats have been domesticated is really only a drop in the bucket!

from our own terms of reference. Many believe their animals know “right” from “wrong” – I hear this from animal guardians all the time. “He knows what he did was wrong!” But dogs and cats don’t see the world as being “right” or “wrong”. Rather, they see it in terms of being “safe” or “unsafe”. We feel our animal friends should readily accept and follow our “rules” and behave the way we ask them to. But in truth, most of our rules are constructed for our own convenience and make absolutely no sense to animals. For example, when I checked in with Franky about his food and toy guarding, he protested, “But those things are mine!”

Possession is ten-tenths of the law Animals have their own system of social behaviors accepted and agreed upon by their own species – and people generally don’t understand this system. For example, a dog believes that food or a toy in his mouth or right under his nose belongs to him. That we expect to be able to grab the food or ball from his possession makes absolutely no sense to the dog – in fact it’s a severe breach of etiquette in the canine world! Possession is actually ten-tenths of canine law, and in your dog’s view, “stealing” is an action that justifies challenge. Punishing the dog will not produce a trusting, well-balanced individual, but will confuse him and teach him to relinquish his resources out of fear, causing him to lose trust in humans. It’s much better to understand and address guarding behavior from your dog’s point of view, and find ways to help him feel safe enough to give up his toy willingly. For example, you might trade it for a better toy or treat at first to reinforce his trust and help the game make sense to him.

Following our rules

We may ask too much

We humans tend to see the world and all its creatures

Ruth was also upset with Franky because when her mom


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came to visit with her own dog Pearl, Franky always growled at the other dog when she tried to steal his dinner. To Ruth, growling at any time was totally unacceptable and she would scold Franky. I explained to Ruth that from his perspective, Franky had every right to warn Pearl away from his food, especially in his own home. If he were in the wild, this defense might spell the difference between thriving and starving. She protested, “But he’s not in the wild! He gets fed twice a day.” Regardless, Franky’s reactive response is still very much ingrained in his cellular memory. He was merely resisting Pearl’s challenge, and these actions were understood and accepted by both dogs. Ruth began to keep Pearl away from Franky at mealtimes and there was no further friction between them. To help maintain harmony and understanding between you and your companion, simply remember that he is not a human being. He is a glorious creature with his own rules, his own codes and his own understanding of his world. As guardians, our task is to find ways to help our companions understand our own world better, and feel secure in it.

Why won’t he share? Sharing is an action that humans value as virtuous. But dogs and cats have evolved not to share unless resources are plentiful or a loved one is at risk. Demanding that they share food or other valued resources goes against their instinct and sense of selfpreservation. Having to share a food bowl, for example, may cause competition and elicit stress in your animals, even among puppies and kittens. Always feed them from separate bowls. 1-800-665-2139

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Viva Rex by Carmel Peterson


he veterinarian walked into the exam room with an ultrasound file in his hand. His head was low as he paused to clear his throat.  Because I work at the same clinic, I’d seen this entrance a thousand times – but from the other side of the door. There would be a quick backward glance at his staff that said “I hate this part of the job”, then silence would reign behind the scenes until the client either departed or the doctor returned to implement a plan of action. 

“Mesenteric lymphoma,” said the vet. I mouthed the words as he spoke them, then began to shake inside. “Results of the biopsy...radiation...20% to 30% chance of mean recovery for six months....” I knew the prognosis and treatment options. Deciding I did not want to put my beloved Rex through a protocol that would only extend his existence – not his life – I thanked the doctor for his time.     It seemed only yesterday  when I was graced with  this beautiful soul of a dog – and now what?   I knew we couldn’t be together forever, but it should last longer than four years! The loss of Rex would break the silver spiritual thread that connected him (and me) back to my very first dog. It was not time for me to be looking for another dog – it’s not supposed work that way!  “Aw, Boobers, what am I going to do without you?” I said to Rex on the way home. He had begun to recover from his sedation and his intense brown eyes were locked on me. “Where are we, Rex? Did we miss the exit?” He sat up bit and gazed out the window to where I noticed an exit sign to the airport.

Love at first sight Across from this very same airport was the kennel where  I first got  Rex.  I’d gone there to look at another


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Rex was in the author’s life for only four years, but made a strong impact on her.

dog, but towards the end of my visit, I heard a strange and disturbing sound. Was that a dog?  “That’s Rex,” said the trainer. “He’s Bill’s dog and only makes that sound when he can’t hear Bill. He’s two years old. He’s for sale.”   A few minutes later, I was on my butt with 60 pounds of exuberant American Staffordshire terrier in my lap. He was gorgeous and I loved him in an instant. I wanted him, so it was time to let Rex and Bill say their goodbyes.  Before we left that day, I heard something that took my breath away. It was very like the sound Rex had made earlier. Out of the kennel door burst a wild pinto of a dog that tore around the yard like he was on fire before settling behind Bill to bark at his behind. Shortly after that, he took off again and slammed me in the back of the knees, almost taking me down.  His next stop was the open truck door, where he came nose to nose with Rex in a surprisingly gentle and poi-

As I drove Rex home, the image of the two dogs meeting stayed in my mind.  gnant moment of greeting. He had a perfect circle around his right eye that was the exact same color as Rex. As I drove Rex home, the image of the two dogs meeting stayed in my mind. 

Big shoes to fill When Rex fell ill, I took time off work to care for him. I just wanted him to be comfortable. Soon I had to ask myself if it was time to let him go. I called and left a message for Bill that I would like the dog with the circle around his eye, if he was still there, and would let him know when I was ready. I told Rex I’d be okay. “Don’t worry, I’ll take that dog from the kennel.” His eyes shone for just a minute and his tail thumped lightly on the floor at the sound of my voice. Then I was a weeping mess and jumped in the shower to pull myself together and face my next decision.  When I returned, I found my cat curled in Rex’s elbow as a chin rest. Rex was gone. Good cat, thank you for keeping him company. Thank you Rex, were you hanging on waiting for me to accept it – to pass the torch?   Time passed ever so slowly after Rex’s death. I finally did go pick up the other dog, informing him that he had big shoes to fill – which is another story.  I named him Reese because I hoped that maybe he had the ability to transcend time.  You could say it was fate that led me to both Rex and Reese; or you could say it was destiny that led me to Rex, and Rex that led me to Reese. In any case, I think of them both every day and am so grateful to have had the privilege of caring for them as they have for me.

Reese is now admirably filling Rex’s shoes. animal wellness


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Finally ... hands free pet grooming at home! PET WASH the Grooming restraint that attaches to any smooth surface, safely holds your pet in place while you wash or groom him or her with both of your hands free. Stylish and practical design that can restrain pets of any size, weight or temperament; comes in two colors Blue or Pink. www. Follow us on facebook Order now for Free shipping!

Classifieds Animal Communicators ANIMAL HEALINGS – Animal Communication/Animal Reiki healing: all species. Thom and Jonquil help resolve behavior problems, learn about healthcare/enrichment needs, find lost pets, end of life/ grief issues. Email & interactive sessions: (941) 321-8484 BARBARA ELLIS – Would you like to enhance the harmony and understanding in your interspecies family? Questions for Nature? Consultations are provided with – and promote – respect, wisdom, appreciation and integrity. (541) 773-5175 CAN WE TALK? Animal and Soul Communicator, Janice DeFonda says, “Yes! Bless your Hearts and Souls through the communion this connection can provide. Share your love, laugh, cry, grow and expand the depth of your understanding


animal wellness

with your Animal Friends. Extend your connection with those who are in spirit and Restore Harmony and Balance through energy healing.” Phone Consults (315) 329-0116 CAROL SCHULTZ – Animal Communicator/Interspecies Life Coach. Interactive, compassionate and insightful Consultations and Healing for all animal species. (815) 531-2850 Founder/ Director of www.AnimalSpiritNetwork. com online learning institute, Animal Healing Arts Education and Professional Development. INGRID BRAMMER – On-line classes, on-site workshops, and home study programs available that will teach you how to intuitively communicate with animals with explanation of how it is possible. Contact Ingrid (705) 742-3297 or or

JANET DOBBS – WORKSHOPS AND CONSULTATIONS. Animal communication, Animal/human Reiki. Deepening the bond between animals and humans. For information about hosting a workshop in your area., (703) 6481866 or LOVING ANIMAL COACHING & CONVERSATIONS through End of Life situations, Missing Animals, Training & unique Personal Messages just for you. Inspiring your Brilliance to Connect & Understand your animals too. Priceless Wisdom. Contact: Morgine morgine@ (360) 247-7284 www. SHIRLEY SCOTT – Internationally known Animal Communicator & Clairvoyant connects with your pets here or in spirit. She reads emotional/behavior/health problems, provides classes & workshops in animal communication & training. (509) 526-5020 SUE BECKER – Interspecies Communication, Registered Practitioner of Tellington TTouch and Back Flower Remedies. Resolve problems and stress, improve behaviour, deepen understanding and your relationship. Emotional healing, animals in spirit. Consultations by phone/in person, lectures, workshops. Call (519) 8962600

Animal Health AZMIRA HOLISTIC ANIMAL CARE – The award winning leader in Natural Foods, Supplements, Herbs Homeopathy, Flower Essences and Organic Topicals. Since 1982. (800) 497-5665 CRANIMALS.COM – The benefits of cranberry and other dark berries are the antioxidant-boosting key to unlocking the full potential of your dog, cat or puppy. Buy online

DR. ROSE’S REMEDIES – 100% all natural skin treatment salve and spray. Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal; can be used for most skin conditions including hot spots. (610) 558-4610

Kids PetMassage (for children), Creating and Marketing Your Animal Massage Business, plus instructional DVD’s by Jonathan Rudinger., US (800) 779-1001, Canada (419) 475-3539

GENEFLORA FOR PETS – Naturally Building Your Pet’s Health With Every Scoop. Recommended by Veterinarians, Groomers, Breeders and Animal Lovers Just Like You! or call: (800) 498-6640

BUDDY BEDS – Orthopedic Memory Foam Dog Beds. Voted “Best Pet Bed” by Pet Age Magazine. Eliminates all painful pressure points. Waterproof liner protects the memory foam. Vet recommended. (303) 744-0424

PET KELP – Nutrition Boosters for pets. Ocean kelp-based minerals and vitamins with vet recommended levels of mobility, antioxidant, or skin/coat supplements. Nutrients they need, extras they deserve! (707) 955-5357 WAPITI LABS INC. – offers naturally shed Elk Antler Chews and supplements containing Elk Velvet Antler. Find us at or call (763) 746-0980. Mention this ad for 10% off your order.

Associations CANADIAN ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORKERS ASSOCAITION – A growing group of qualified, complementary practitioners working to maintain the highest standard of Ethical Practice for the benefit of and respect for lives we impact. INTERNATIONAL ASS’N OF ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORK/ASS’N OF CANINE WATER THERAPY – Welcome trained practitioners of Animal Massage and Bodywork. The IAAMB/ACWT supports and promotes the practitioners of complementary care for animals through networking, continuing education, website, online referrals, newsletters, insurance, annual educational conferences, lobbying and credentialing of schools.

Books & Publications 1000’s OF DOG BOOKS, DVD’S AND TRAINING TOOLS IN STOCK – Ready to ship. Dogwise has what you want! (800) 776-2665;

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JUST BECAUSE FOR DOGS – Treats for dogs with special needs! Overweight, Diabetic, Allergic to Wheat. All treats are made using “Human Grade” all natural ingredients. Inquires @ www. or call (866) 974-DOGS NORTHWEST NATURALS - #1 frozen RAW pet food – Best value in RAW frozen pet food – Most convenient – IW Bars and Nuggets – USDA raw materials – USDA facilities – Become a Distributor/Retailer today! (503) 517-9800 SOJOURNER FARMS PET PRODUCTS – Our foods offer the superior nutrition of naturallyoccurring vitamins, minerals and enzymes that you can’t get from a cooked, processed pellet. No preservatives. Nothing artificial. Just all-natural, human-quality ingredients. Natural food and treats since 1985. Inquires @ or (612) 343-7262

Flower Essence Therapy ALDARON ANIMAL ESSENCES – Bach Flower remedies for behavioral wellness. Our behavior support formulas gently, safely reduce fears and reactivity, improve stress thresholds, facilitate recovery from emotional trauma, and more. Formula line and custom blends available. Free US Shipping.

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ANIMALS AND THE AFTERLIFE – This amazing book offers immense reassurance and contains beautifully compelling experiences. A must read for animal lovers… and a wonderful gift! Visit: www. or call (800) 564-5126

PETS HAVE EMOTIONS TOO! – Canadian Forest Tree Essences offers Vibrational Tree Essences for cats, dogs, horses, alpacas and other animals…Available for vets, animal communicators, retailers and individuals. Web: HYPERLINK “” www. Email: HYPERLINK “” cfte@ Tel: (888) 410-4325

LEARN CANINE MASSAGE – PetMassage for the Family Dog, PetMassage Art and Essence of Canine Massage, PetMassage Energy Work for Dogs, Transitions (for the aging and dying dog), Dogs

EAST YORK ANIMAL CLINIC HOLISTIC CENTRE – Dr. Paul McCutcheon, Dr. Cindy Kneebone & Dr. Anya Yushchenko. We provide a

Holistic Veterinarians


wide variety of integrative diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Please visit our website to explore our services. (416) 7573569, 805 O’Connor Drive, Toronto, ON, M4B 2S7 ESSEX ANIMAL HOSPITAL, REHAB & K9 FITNESS CENTRE – Dr. Janice Huntingford practices integrative medicine for optimal pet health. Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Physical Rehab, Therapy pool and underwater treadmill, Alternative Medicine, Chinese Herbs, Holistic Consults. Please visit our website and facebook page. (519) 776-7325 Essex, ON. essexanimalhospital@cogeco. net GUELPH ANIMAL HOSPITAL – Offers a full range of conventional veterinary services as well as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, herbal and nutritional. Dr. Rob Butler is certified in veterinary acupuncture and is also trained in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. By integrating conventional and complementary therapies, treatments can be tailored to the individual needs and preferences of the animal and client. Guelph Animal Hospital (519) 836-2782 NEWKIRK FAMILY VETERINARIANS AND ALTERNATIVE CARE CENTER – Dr. Mark Newkirk, Alternative Cancer Therapies, Nutritional Supplement programs based on your own pets’ blood tests, Chiropractic, Aquapuncture, Herbal, Homeopathic, Ozone Treatments, Laser Pain Therapy, Back Flower therapy, Applied Kinesiology, NAET (allergy elimination). Phone consultations. email: phone: (609) 823-3031 ROCKLEDGE VETERINARY CLINIC – Thoughtful, Compassionate, Veterinary Care. Conventional Medicine & Surgery, Classical Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Cold Laser for Arthritis, Vaccine Titers, Home Prepared Diets, Hospice. (215) 379-1677, Rockledge, PA rockledgevet@aol. com

Natural Product Retailers MY CRYSTAL COMPANION – Exquisitely beautiful keepsake memorial jewelry made from the Cremains of your loved companion. Crystal created from the life you shared and cherished, to be close to you forever. (732) 458-8700

Pet Food LIFE’S ABUNDANCE – Fresh Natural Wholesome Foods with your Pet’s Best Interest in Mind: Information on how you can start changing your Pet’s life today. Business opportunities available: (865) 603-0772

Pet Stores ANIMAL LOVERS PET SHOP – We provide an extensive assortment of organic, natural and holistic foods and supplements for dogs, cats, reptiles and birds as well as toys. (310) 378-3052

Pet Portraits ANNIEO’S PET PORTRAITS – Specializing in oil painting for 31 years. Nationwide clientele. Portraits of any pet of your choice. Credit card, personal check or money order. 44 Church St., Tilton, NH 03276. (603) 524-3778 Website:

Reiki HEALING WITH LOVE – NOT DRUGS – Gentle Reiki treatments for animals and their people by an Usui Master. “Amazing!” --RR, NYC. “Purrcival hasn’t been this lively in ages.”—DKA, NJ (201) 288-8617 Distant treatments available.

Rescues & Shelters GREY2K USA – National greyhound protection group working to end dog racing nationwide. Join our team, support us and buy fun dogthemed gifts at

Schools & Training ANIMAL HEALING ARTS TRAINING & CERTIFICATE STUDY PROGRAMS – Animal Spirit Healing & Education® Network provides distance learning and on-site courses in Animal Communication, Shamanic Animal Healing, Animal Reiki, Grief Support Skills, Flower Essences, Aromatherapy, Species Behavior, and Holistic Animal Health. Learn more at or contact Founder, Carol Schultz, (815) 531-2850 BRANDENBURG MASSAGE THERAPY, LLC – Hands on Training and Certification Program for Equine and Canine Massage Therapy. Small class size. (740) 633-6639 or INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free Brochure: (800) 251-0007 www. PETMASSAGE (FOR DOGS) TRAINING AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE – Toledo, OH USA. Learn the PetMassage Method of Canine Massage. Hands-on Foundation, Advanced and WaterWork (canine water massage) workshops, online modules for anatomy and marketing. Resource books and DVD’s. Complete children’s K9 massage program for families and educators. FREE Online newsletter. WALKS ‘N’ WAGS PET FIRST AID – Natural Leaders in Pet First Aid Certification Courses for dogs and cats. Learn preventative skills and practice emergency bandaging with live wiggly pets. Distance Learning also available. or (800) 298-1152

1-866-764-1212 or

Animal Wellness Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising submitted, make stylistic changes or cancel any advertising accepted upon refund of payment made.

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Events Animal Reiki: The Essentials by Teleclass Thursdays at 8pm Eastern Time Aug. 4, 11, 18 & 25 Teleclass Requirements: At least Reiki level One Course description: You have taken Reiki I for humans and animals and would like to go deeper with your practice and experience with the animals. This course is designed to do just that no matter what level of Reiki you are. You will go deeper with the system of Reiki as you work with your own animal friends and other animals. You will feel more confident in your Reiki practice when working with animals. Students will receive lessons and homework each week that will be discussed during the one hour teleclass each week. There will be meditations, discussion, review and question and answer time during each class. This teleclass meets once a week for 4 weeks via phone and computer. On the day/ evening of the class meeting students will call into a teleconference line (long distance charges may apply). Don’t worry if you are not able to make the live teleconference calls. You will receive a recording of the class by the following day along with the next week’s homework assignment and lesson(s). Students will receive a certificate of completion. For more information: Janet Dobbs 703-648-1866 PetMassage WaterWork Workshop August 8-12, 2011 Toledo, OH This is a very specialized class that helps students develop PetMassage skills

working in water with dogs. Introduce yourself and your dogs to the dynamics, flexibility, and therapeutic value of PetMassage™ WaterWork. PetMassage™ WaterWork teaches you to move in and be moved by warm water to expand beyond all your land-based spiritual connections.

•Practice and deepen these new skills and integrate them into your life with animals.

For more information: Beth Farkas 1 800-779-1001

AR101: Intro to Animal Reiki Instructor: Linda Epstein Monday evening, August 15, 2011 Internationally available teleclass

AC102: Animal Communication - Level 1 Teleclass Series Instructor: Kristin Thompson Tuesday evenings (6 weeks) beginning August 9, 2011 Internationally available teleclass series

Please join us for an hour and open yourself to the world of Energy Healing! We will share how to tap into this Universal Life Force from the Divine to bring about balance and harmony to the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical aspects of our self and others through the modality of Reiki.

This 6-week long teleclass is an opportunity to open yourself to the wonderful and insightful world of communicating with animals. •Broaden your awareness of animals and their ideas, feelings, thoughts, and viewpoints. •Learn the foundation skills to telepathic communication with animals and how to access those skills. •Experience exercises to open your intuitive channels to send and receive messages with animals, both in your presence and across distance. •Become aware of potential barriers to interspecies telepathic communication that may come up for you and discover ways to move beyond those hurdles. •Enjoy expanded exercises while sharing experiences with others during the 6-week teleclass and receive mutual support between phone sessions in a dedicated e-mail community of like-minded classmates.

For more information: Carol Schultz 815-531-2850

You will hear about the origins of Reiki, its introduction to the Western World, and how one can use Reiki not only on humans, but also on animals and the environment. We will explain what makes Reiki different from other energetic modalities. You will also learn about the Reiki attunement ceremony, which gifts the healing symbols and clears the student’s energy centers, allowing Reiki energy to flow freely. The attunement process is a special spiritual experience...and most say it changes their life in a profound way. For more information: Carol Schultz 815-531-2850

Post your event online at: 104

animal wellness

Tail end

Confessions of a “puparazzi” by Susan Israel


y dog loves me, or at least I think he does, at least as much as he loves chicken. What he doesn’t love is having his picture taken. All I have to do is aim my Nikon at him and he glowers and darts out of the room before I can even get him in focus. Several photos of his hind end in retreat are on my memory card.

at Max and holding him. Those elusive glossies might forever evoke the softness of his fur, the sandpaper ticklishness of his tongue, even his doggie breath. It’s not like his picture is going to wind up on the cover of National Enquirer or even OK! Maybe a sweatshirt someday, if I’m lucky.

It’s not the flash; I don’t use it. It’s not even always the camera itself. Several times I pantomimed taking his picture with my hands just to get him used to the idea. Didn’t work. A Freud of the dog world might term this “photophobophobia” or fear of cameras, but it’s only the act or threat of being photographed that sends Max scurrying into the Black Hills of dogdom, also known as Under The Bed.

Photo contests are also a lure, not necessarily for the monetary reward, but to show off my beautiful dog to the world. But I feel like the mother of a Toddlers & Tiaras contestant when her little beauty queen bursts into tears and runs hysterically from the stage. Crying five-year-olds don’t win pageants. And judges don’t award Best In Show to pictures of a dog’s tail peeping from under a desk.

That canine psychiatrist might ask him, “And how long have you felt this way about cameras?” But I think he’d more likely ask me, “Why do you feel so compelled to take his picture when he clearly doesn’t want any part of it?” Put it this way, suddenly I’m Ron Galella. Some celebrities get off on having their pictures taken kissing, eating, or even passed out while going commando… and some celebrities are Sean Penn. Why should dogs be any different? I ascribe my incessant photo hounding to my desire to frame for posterity the happiness I feel when looking

For a while, I was determined to keep trying, using his favorite bait. “Smile,” I whispered, trying to aim the camera without drawing too much attention as Max zeroed in on the morsel of succulent rotisserie chicken lying before him. If chicken couldn’t do it, nothing could. He practically grinned as I diced it, pawing at me and nudging me with his cold nose. Then he saw the camera and ran. Several religions forbid the creation of “graven images”. Max’s own first Commandment is Thou Shalt Not Point And Shoot. So I try to observe his tenets and confine my depictions of him (for now, at least) to charcoal drawings. I haven’t shown them to anybody yet, but I might be on to something. animal wellness


Take A Bite Out Of Cat And Dog Dental Troubles by: Bud Groth

Here’s an idea to chew over: You are now able to prolong your pet’s life while improving its health and breath. How? By protecting your cat or dog from oral disease. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3. Besides causing receding gums and tooth loss, the infection may enter the bloodstream, potentially infecting the heart, liver and kidneys. “Oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets,” agreed Dr. Henry Childers, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. What are the symptoms indicating potential problems? Bad breath, pain around the mouth, swelling or irritation of the gums, bleeding, swelling around the jaw or nose, fever, lethargy, pain when eating, or refusal to eat. A solution: Until recently, the only way to remove plaque and tartar has been a visit to the vet for a dental cleaning. This usually involves the use of a general anesthetic, and that can be a problem. Anesthetic reactions can cause injury and even death. Statistics indicate that over 50,000 dogs and cats die every year, and 1.3 million are injured (some permanently), just from anesthesia! “Fortunately, we now have an additional tool in our dental tool chest,” states Dr. Joann Baldwin, DVM for 30 years at Cardinal Animal Hospital. “Now there’s a safe and efficient way to control plaque and tartar without your pet undergoing anesthesia.”

Bud Groth is getting a licking from “Lucas,” Michael Vick’s former champion fighting dog rescued by Best Friends Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Lucas is licking away Groth’s tears, shed at the sight of the dog’s fighting scars. Groth loves pets and says, “Pet owners should be concerned if any pet product uses the statement ‘Not for human consumption.”’

“Safe and efective dental health products, like PetzLife Oral Care, are part of the missing link in holistic pet health care,” states Animal Doctor syndicated columnist Dr. Michael Fox. Used daily, PetzLife Oral Care spray or gel can help remove plaque and tartar, control bacteria and eliminate bad breath, and you don’t have to brush. The active ingredients are a blend of herbs and oils including grapefruit seed extract, a natural compound known for killing bacteria. The ingredients are 100 percent natural and “human grade,” so they’re perfectly safe for dogs and cats. Over 1.5 million bottles have been sold without one injury or death, and are now available in over 10,000 retail stores and all PetSmarts and over 6,000 vet clinics. PetzLIfe also produces @-Eaze Calming Support for Pets. When applied directly or mixed with foods or treats, @-Eaze works within minutes to help promote a restful relaxed state without causing reduced alertness. It helps relieve stress and anxiety in pets. In addition, the company also offers a complete line of shampoos, conditioners, aromatherapy mists, flea and tick repellent, de-wormer and low fat treats. Made in USA


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The Healthy, low-fat Rewards for in-between meals or training. Free of unwanted additives that strain the body. PetzLife FIT-TREATZ Fresh Chicken Snacks, contains only high-quality ingredients that are approved for human consumtion.

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This combination contains herbs that aid the body to cleanse, and demulcents to help soothe the mucous membranes, thus causing no discomfort.

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animal wellness

Animal Wellness Magazine ~ Vol. 13 - Issue 4  

Animal Wellness is North America’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats.

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