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In-depth thoughts and learnings on various subjects that will help you know your animal better.

Writer: Michele Olson

You’ve probably taken supplements and know what they can do for a healthy life. But what about your pet? While several schools of thought abound, common sense may be the best adviser when it comes to this important question. As in people, some advice says— all you need is in the foods you eat. Those are easy words to hear when everything is going great. But start with some stiff knees, bathroom issues, or anxiety beyond your comfort level, and soon you are looking for natural answers. You have the luxury of complaining to your friends while your pet simply moves a little slower or endures with a whimper. Of course, any pet parent worth their salt would gladly seek out natural answers in supplements to alieve stiffness, provide calm, or help with a sour stomach. Where do you begin? Explore these five tips to help you answer the supplement question for your pet!

1) Don’t forget the basics. Supplements are given that name for a reason —they supplement what is lacking. Make sure your pet is getting good food, maintains a proper weight, and receives the appropriate type of exercise and mental stimulation. No supplement can replace the basics of stellar care for your pet.

2) Get on the same page with your vet. Just as there are integrative doctors for people, there are integrative veterinarians, skilled in holistic answers for what your pet needs. If you are working with a vet who either is against supplements or seems to know very little, it may be time to seek out someone with a like-minded approach to your pet’s health.

3) Pets are not people. While you might be an advocate for certain supplements like vitamin C, be careful, that may not be the right thing for your pet. Pet’s bodies are unique with specific physiology. They do not necessarily process nutrients the same way people do, and don’t have the same nutritional needs. Don’t just give your pet what works for you.

4) There are supplements suited to your pet’s needs. The good news is—there are excellent options available for your pet. Whether dealing with stiffness, anxiety, bladder, bowel, and digestive issues,—the natural supplement world brings sound answers for your pet’s well-being.  Even wanting a healthier coat and skin for your pet can be accomplished with the right supplementation.

5) Get supplements from a proven, trusted company. Do you have a trusted company that you turn to for your supplements? Your first course is to see if that same company has a pet line. The best practices you’ve come to know and appreciate will be a part of their commitment to animals as well. Also, check to see if the supplements you choose have been approved by groups like the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) —further assurance that you are working with a reputable supplement provider.

Should you give your pet supplements? By following these basic tips, you’ll find the right supplements that will allow you to enjoy every moment of companionship with your furry friends!

 

 Michele Olson

Michele Olson is a pet lover, Mom, wife, and Grandmother who has been writing about the world of natural medicines for over twenty-five years. A professional voice talent, watercolor artist, and author, Michele enjoys conveying all that is possible in natural health through multiple communication styles —including a good laugh.

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Protecting Your Pet From Danger

Jun 14, 2018 8:53:00 AM

Writer: Michele Olson

Imagine that your friend, co-worker, or spouse were having a medical emergency. You know what to do! You call 911 and an ambulance would be on the way. But, what do you do when it comes to your pet having an emergency? Are you prepared and ready for problems that can happen? Following these few handy tips can prepare you to do the right thing if a pet emergency arises.

Finding your lost pet
Proper identification of your pet in the event that they get lost can mean the difference between life and death. That sounds drastic, but not being able to get your pet home once lost means their future is left to wherever they end up. That makes a good tag and a microchip extremely important for your pet’s safety. The microchip—an integrated circuit about the size of a grain of rice implanted just under the skin of your animal—can be a lifesaver. Make sure your pet is well identified and that you keep your contact information up to date.

Recalled food
Did you realize that pet food can be recalled? The FDA keeps a running tally of pet food recalls. You can find the latest recalls here. If you find out your pet has eaten food that has been recalled, a trip to the vet is a good idea.

Vehicle Safety
An animal running around a vehicle or letting it hang out of a window is not only unsafe for the animal; it’s also unsafe for the driver. An unrestrained animal in a moving vehicle or one that sits on the drivers lap has been compared to being as dangerous as texting and driving. Many states even have laws against having an animal on the driver’s lap when operating a motor vehicle. Pets in accidents can suffer broken bones and worse, so restraining your pet in an appropriate seat belt or in a carrier is a wise idea.

Know Your Pet’s Food Enemies
Chocolate, grapes, raisins, some common houseplants, garlic, and onions—can all be toxic or poisonous to certain animals. Know your pet and know what is safe. Use the poison control pet hotline: 888-426-4435.

Pay Attention to Behavior
If your pet’s behavior changes suddenly, they won’t eat, or they do something out of the ordinary—pay attention. Your pet can’t tell you what’s wrong with words, but they are telling you by their actions.

Outside Safety
Bug stings, cuts, overheating…outside presents some extra precautionary needs. Follow your vet’s recommendations on flea and tick prevention. Hydrate your pet! Keep fresh water on hand at all times, and don’t expect more from your pet than they can do, especially in heat. Provide shade in warm weather and warmth in cold weather.

Protect your pet from danger; act quickly if an emergency happens. Being prepared can allow you and your pet to enjoy every happy, safe, joyous moment of every day!

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5 Ways to De-Stress Your Pet

Jan 22, 2018 8:53:00 AM

Writer: Michele Olson

Ever wish your pet could talk and just tell you what is stressing them out? Of course you have! We all have wanted to just “make it better” or understand why our beloved pets are anxious, worried, or acting up based on something we can’t quite put our finger on. Just like people, stress is not something to be ignored when it comes to our pets.

It’s doubly hard to interpret when we think our pets shouldn’t be stressed by a particular situation. But they each have their unique personality and idea of what is stressful. Obvious stressors include trips to the vet or groomer, loud noises like fireworks, weather-related changes such as lightning and thunder, and a significant alteration in their routine, which can include moving or the addition of a family member.

Behaviors that you might not realize are stress-induced can include things like barking, inappropriate urination, excessive licking, sudden aggression toward other animals, and destroying a few of your favorite things.  

Here are five tips to help your pet cope with stress.

1) Play and Exercise. Your pet needs exercise and interaction daily. Just making time every day for play and fun are vital to overall stress management.

2) Safe Space. Make sure your pet has all the comforts of home. A specific bed or blanket is important, along with a place they can go if they are feeling stressed because of visitors or new activity in the home.

3) Essential Oils. Lavender and chamomile are two oils that reduce anxiety. But, you have to know what you’re doing. Never apply the oil straight out of the bottle. Instead, dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Put the diluted oil on your hand, and then on your pet —but never on the muzzle or between the eyes.  Watch for the reaction. If sneezing happens, you know it’s not a good idea for your pet. You can also apply the oil on yourself, and then spend time close to your pet as a calming idea. A 2006 study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) showed that lavender essential oil can help dogs with anxiety due to travel. Simply put it on before the trip.  Chamomile tea can also be helpful when added to a bath or put a few drops of the tincture in your pet’s drinking water.

4) Music! While you might think that dogs would like to hear a little Elvis Presley’s You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog, or Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Men — that was not the type of music that was found to be calming in a study on the subject.  Researchers at the University of Glasgow wanted to find out what would happen if they played classical music with one set of dogs in a kennel, while the other sat in silence. Then they reversed it.  In both instances, the dogs listening to classical music were showing fewer signs of stress.

5) A Proven Botanical. Most people turn to echinacea for immune support, but researchers have found that one specific species of echinacea — Echinacea angustifolia has a compound that influences brain chemistry. The scientists further concluded that beyond the species, how the plant was grown and how the key compounds were extracted determined the effectiveness against anxiety. Taken as a supplement, this breakthrough echinacea extract can relax and calm your pet without the side effects that can come from prescription medications.

 

One more thought? Make sure that you aren’t conveying stress to your pet! If you are stressed- out, your pet will notice your feelings. Do yourself and your pet a favor. Relax and enjoy the wonderful furry friend who brings so much enjoyment to your life.

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