Articles that apply dogs or are specifically written about dogs are here!

Grain-Free Dog (and Cat) Food, Taurine, and Heart Disease

REVISED 6/29/19 NOTE: This is a very fluid situation right now, with a lot of conflicting interpretations and ongoing research. I will update this article as needed. This already involves hundreds of dogs. FDA now admits that cats have also been affected, even though AAFCO standards require taurine supplementation in cat foods. SCROLL DOWN to the bottom to see all updates.  In July 2018, the FDA released a warning about grain-free dog foods and their possible connection to the development of a serious heart disease in dogs. Is this warning ...

2019-07-13T11:37:21-07:00

Hemp Oil and CBDs

As a veterinarian (and a big fan of actual science!), I have been very cautious about using or recommending any form of marijuana (Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and hybrids) for pets. Dogs and cats can become extremely ill from consuming marijuana. They are highly sensitive to the psychoactive component, THC, which interferes with neurotransmitter function. Marijuana toxicity is a serious and growing problem in pets, especially in states where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal; the strains of the plant used for this purpose are extremely potent. "Edibles" may be ...

2018-08-31T23:54:02-07:00

Sleeping with Pets

Many thanks to Kellen Smith at Tuck.com for allowing us to reprint this excellent article. As a lifelong insomniac, I really appreciate this thorough exploration of pros and cons, as well as the other helpful articles on Tuck.com. Many of us allow our pets to sleep with us, but is it healthy? Are there health risks to letting your dog or cat share the bed with you? How does it affect your relationship with your pet? Below we’ll cover the trends and facts about sleeping with your pet, the benefits ...

2018-01-31T12:12:20-07:00

Improve Microcirculation for Health and Healing

Figure 1 Updated 6/30/19. The body’s circulatory system is the key to healing. Every modality, from surgery and drugs to massage, herbs, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and all forms of detoxification, depends on this vast, miles-long network of blood vessels to deliver oxygen, remedies, and nutrients to all the cells of the body, as well as remove waste products and carbon dioxide. The circulatory system works the same way in all mammals, including cats, dogs, horses, and humans. (See Figure 1.) It carries red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other ...

2019-06-30T13:32:46-07:00

Dr. Becker’s Homemade Flea & Tick Repellent Spray

My good pal Dr. Karen Becker has homemade recipes for flea, tick, and mosquito repelling spray... you can mist them directly on the fur, or spritz it on your hands and stroke on the fur. Shake well before applying. Store in the refrigerator. Apply every four hours as needed. These are effective, but you should still hand-check for ticks just in case, since they can carry so many diseases. Dogs: 8oz water 5 oz apple cider vinegar 10 drops Neem oil 10 drops Catnip oil 5 drops of ONE of the following ...

2017-04-07T14:18:52-07:00

Indoor Air Pollution

This might surprise you: it's very likely that the indoor air in your home is more polluted than the air outside! There are many factors, most of which are totally within your control. Some factors present a serious health hazard for your cat! Read on to find out more Air fresheners have become ever more varied and more popular over the years. Indeed, the number of sprays, plug-ins, scented candles, and other fragrance delivery systems has exploded; up to 75% of American households use them. But very little attention has been ...

2017-03-21T18:29:31-07:00

Pets and Tobacco, Vape, and Marijuana Smoke

By Guest Author Chloe Bloom and Jean Hofve, DVM (Revised 6/3/20) For many years now, we have known how dangerous tobacco smoking is to health. The list of ways it can harm smokers seems to grow longer every year, as more and more research is conducted. Children, as well as pets, are at risk from smoke in their environment. Second-Hand Smoke It’s fairly well known that smoke from cigarettes (and all other tobacco smoke sources such as pipes and cigars) can harm non-smokers via passive intake, or “second-hand” smoke. Children ...

2020-06-03T11:48:30-07:00

Paleo Dog

Paleo Dog: Give Your Best Friend a Long Life, Healthy Weight, and Freedom from Illness by Nurturing His Inner Wolf is the latest book by award-winning authors Jean Hofve, DVM and Celeste Yarnall, PhD.* Paleo Dog is your guide to optimal health for every dog, from the most pampered Teacup Poodle to the most rugged Mastiff, and every breed, age, and lifestyle in between. “The Paleo Dog Program isn’t just about diet. It’s also about the dog’s whole lifestyle. Many factors contribute to degeneration, aging, and the tragically short life ...

2017-07-02T20:32:01-07:00

Coconut Oil and Pets

Updated 5/17/20. Questions about coconut oil keep coming up, so I thought I'd explain in why I recommend not giving it to their cats and dogs. Humans have lived with coconut palms for millennia. Primates, including early humans, ate, and still eat, coconuts. Coconut is a natural food for us. The carnivore's natural diet is high in both protein and animal fat. Wild animals But there are only three essential fatty acids (EFA) that cats must obtain from their diet: linoleic acid (LA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acid (AA). ...

2020-05-17T09:59:08-07:00

Epigenetics

Epigenetics is the study of changes in the way genes are expressed that do not involve DNA. It turns out that DNA isn’t in charge the way we once thought it was—it's the proteins around the DNA that really control gene expression. These proteins are influenced by the environment. This means that anything in the environment can have a profound effect on any organism, including animals and people. Research in the new field of epigenetics shows that many factors experienced by your pet, or even your pet’s ancestors—from vaccines, medications, diet, and even stress—can ...

2018-06-09T13:51:34-07:00

Pet Food Contaminants

Updated 3/23/18  As part of my duties as an AAFCO advisor and member of several Working Groups, I attend numerous webinars and teleconferences. In one group, the discussion centered around the use of 4D meats and other rotten junk in pet food, and the consensus was that as long as these things are rendered (heat-processed) to kill pathogens, they're perfectly fine for pet food. Well, that just isn't true. So I put together the following document to show that there are MANY potential toxic principles in pet food that need ...

2018-03-23T21:59:08-07:00

Homeopathic First Aid: The Ten Best Remedies to Keep at Home

Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed more than 200 years ago by German chemist Samuel Hahnemann. It is a form of “holistic” medicine, in that it takes into account the “whole” organism—its physical, mental, emotional, historical, and environmental conditions. Homeopathy relies on two fundamental principles: “like cures like” and “the minimum dose.” The first principle, “like cures like,” means that a substance, which—in a large dose—would cause a certain symptom in a healthy individual, will, in homeopathic potency, cure the same symptom in a sick individual. For instance, Syrup ...

2017-03-23T14:14:59-07:00

Holiday Safety for Cats and Dogs

The holidays can be a stressful and even dangerous time for our cats. Normal routines are upset, visitors come and go, and overly tempting smells may be coming from the kitchen! The Christmas tree is the first item of great interest on your cat’s Santa list. Many cats find it irresistibly tempting to climb. First, make sure your tree is in a sturdy stand. Test it to make sure it’s tip-proof. Or put a hook in the ceiling and tie the tree to it (nylon fishing line works well and ...

2017-03-21T18:25:46-07:00

Please Don’t Give Pets as Gifts

It's a wonderful thing to give, and we all have good intentions when shopping for truly special gifts for our loved ones. You may have visions of one you love opening a beautiful box with an adorable kitten inside, or of covering their eyes and leading them into a room where a puppy wearing a big bow is waiting. We aren't to blame—we have these joyful images lingering from our own childhood as well as from movies. It may feel like we are giving the gift of unconditional love, especially ...

2017-03-23T14:16:31-07:00

When You SHOULD Induce Vomiting

We recently discussed when NOT to induce vomiting after your pet has eaten certain harmful items. Today we’ll look at common situations where you should induce vomiting (how-to instructions below). Rodent poisons often contain anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) drugs such as coumarin or warfarin; newer products contain bromethalin, a neurotoxin that is equally dangerous. If a pet ingests an anti-coagulant, or even eats an animal that has consumed it, life-threatening internal bleeding may occur. While symptoms typically take 5 to 7 days to develop, they need to be headed off by inducing ...

2017-03-23T14:00:21-07:00
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