Oh My Dog! Holistic Doggery

Oh My Dog! Holistic Doggery
Now in Central Florida

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

Top Tips to Keep Pets Safe on July 4th!

For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

For LESS than a cup of coffee, there is NO excuse NOT to feed your pet,an all natural food/diet!

I've heard it over and over, "I would really like to feed my dog healthier, but not at that price!" or "My cat really loves the food, but I'm going to be broke in no time flat!" or even "I love my dogs, but my husband would go through the roof if he found out they are eating healthier than we are!" 

What the majority of pet owners fail to understand is that by feeding an all natural & holistic food to their dog or cat, they will actually be saving money in the long run.  How, you ask, at $1.15 a pound? 

First of all, we feed much less food (20% to 40% less) because the food is all natural with no fillers and by-products.  

Second, there are enormous savings to be made by not having all those vet visits and harmful medications to fix your pets' allergies (the #1 reason why pets are seen in the vet's office) and immune disorders (which can lead to chronic and serious conditions that require careful treatment.

Allergy symptoms include, but are not limited to, itchy skin and bodily eruptions, inflamed ears, excessive licking of the front feet, digestive upsets (gurgling, gas and a tendency toward diarrhea), inflammation of the toes and an irritated rear end (anus, genitals) with licking and dragging of the rear on the floor. 

Feeding all natural will greatly reduce the physical and mental speed of premature aging in our pets, associated with a lifetime of poor nutrition. Several degenerative diseases, such as cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, arthritis, skin problems, bowel problems (such as Pancreatitis), and even diabetes have been found to either be hurried up or slowed down very much by what is eaten.  Please keep in mind that by also feeding a properly put-together home-made or raw diet will provide these same benefits, and more!  

Scientists have demonstrated that as animals and people eat unsuitable food, or unsuitable amounts of food, they age or degenerate more rapidly, and as they do, they become more prone to disease...which can lead to extremely high, and perhaps unmanageable, veterinary bills. Are you asking yourself yet, "why hasn't my vet recommended a diet change yet?"  Yes, I would ask that of them too.

Unfortunately most vets receive little education in vet school on canine & feline nutrition, other than what the commercial pet food company reps tell them!  And believe it or not, but many vets make a lot of money by retailing the same pet foods they were taught about, by these company reps, in vet school. 

Since feeding an all natural diet to my Labradoodles for almost a year, my vet has only seen them for routine vaccinations. In fact, I am one of the lucky ones who has an open-minded vet, who refers many of his patients to me, who he believes their symptoms are diet-related.  I'm very honored he does this.

As with us humans, pets are just as susceptible of suffering a variety of diseases and illnesses due to a weakened and compromised immune system, some of which are irreversible.  Just to name a few, our pets are more susceptible, and less likely to combat and resist the following conditions/diseases by a weakened immune system:

· Parasites (e.g. mange)
· Cancer & leukemia (in cats)
· Frequent colds or flu
· Recurrent bacterial infections & viruses
· Fungal disease
· Slow wound healing
· Frequent injury
· Allergies
· Respiratory inflammations
· Diabetes
· Aging dogs and cats
· Frequent vet visits for minor ailments

Pet owners are beginning to understand that treatment for existing conditions for their pets should not be the only way they deal with health problems. Preventative care is critical for animals, just as it is for humans.

ANIMALS have emotions, attitudes and personalities just like humans. To care for an animal, it is helpful to observe the animal and learn how to distinguish between normal regular behavior and behavior that is unusual and out of balance. Pets often reflect the emotions of the people close to them and the environment in which they live. Emotions such as fear, anxiety, worry or depression can lead to disease because they deplete the physical body of its natural vitality, thereby compromising the immune system's ability to function properly. 

My philosophy is that what an animal eats, (the quality of nutrients, along with proper supplementation), as well as the purity of his environment, is the foundation of his overall well-being.  By staying as close to the ways of nature and eliminating harsh chemicals from their diet and environment, we have seen miraculous changes take place in the lives of countless pets, as well as their delighted owners that I have known through the years.

By feeding all natural foods or a properly prepared homemade/raw diet, you are boosting your pet's natural immune defenses, improving it's health, increasing it's athletic performance, bolstering it's overall nutrition and adding years to it's life expectancy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Understanding Dog Body Language and Verbal Clues

Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger?

Dogs speak to us, but in a different language.Unfortunately, there's no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn "dog talk." So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.

The best way to start is to look to the dog's ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.

Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can't string them together.

Thus, the need for short commands such as "Sit!" and "Come!" Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you're uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak "dog."

         Dog Body Language/Facial "Expressions"

Confident and Relaxed

·   Stance - erect
·   Tail - wagging slowly
·   Ears - pricked up but with a relaxed look
·   Eyes - small pupils
·   Mouth - closed or slight parting of lips

Fearful or Anxious

·   Stance - lowered
·   Tail - tucked under
·   Ears - down
·   Eyes - a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
·   Mouth - panting


·   Stance - rigid
·   Tail - straight up or out behind, very rigid
·   Ears - pricked up
·   Eyes - intense, focused stare
·   Mouth - lips are pulled back and some teeth show
·   Hackles - this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders.
   It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.


·   Stance - dog is pulled into himself
·   Tail - tucked completely under
·   Ears - lying down
·   Eyes - wide-eyed and trouble focusing
·   Mouth - lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting


·   Stance - lying down or standing without any alertness
·   Tail - up and wagging or lying naturally
·   Ears - at their normal state, depending on the breed
   (A Terrier's would be up but relaxed, a Hound's would be down)
·   Eyes - normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
·   Mouth - open and lightly panting or closed

Dog Verbal Cues

The Howl

This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street.
When you leave for work, it's very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in - it's sort of like a conference call.

The Growl

This means "back off." You'll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn't like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It's actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.

The Grunt or Mutter

This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It's an interesting sound because it's almost manipulative - your dog knows if he barks, he'll get into trouble but the more subtle "grunt" might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.

The Whimper

Dogs whimper when they're anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.

The Whine

This indicates frustration. They are in a sense "complaining" about something.

The Bark

There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they're happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a "problem" that you can't see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor's cat hiding in the tree outside the window.

Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs' language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn't going crazy when he's muttering to himself all the time.

Source: Dogster.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat

Dangerous Foods for Dogs

Who can resist those big black eyes ? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there's a lot of people food your dog should never eat. And, it's not just because of weight. Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs - and some of these common foods may surprise you.



No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It’s harmless for humans who aren't allergic. But large amounts can be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.


Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol - none of it's good for your dog. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic in all forms -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.

Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine

Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds - caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.

Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.

Milk and Other Dairy Products

On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).

Macadamia Nuts

Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as 6 raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.

Candy and Gum

Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.


Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.

Fat Trimmings and Bones

Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag

Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums

The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don't

Raw Eggs

There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.

Raw Meat and Fish

Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease." If not treated, the disease can be fatal within 2 weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.


It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.

Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat