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Expert Advice

From veterinarians, to chiropractors, to trainers, and a wide array of animal experts—we have the advice you need.

Dig in Dogsgiving!

Nov 12, 2018 10:44:47 AM

We love our dogs. Majorly. Like family, right? And we want to share with them our country’s greatest celebration of gratitude, Thanksgiving, with special treats and food, just like family, right? But you must be careful! Dogs’ metabolism differs from human beings. It is hard to resist the temptation to share what we prepare for ourselves because, oh boy, seeing those tails wag in joy is the very best!  But without care we are really doing their health a disservice (hmmmm… sounds a little like my diet…)!


Here are some pitfalls in common Thanksgiving dinner ingredients:

  • Onions and garlic: make red cells fragile and cause anemia.
  • Raisins and grapes: toxic to kidneys in surprisingly small amounts.
  • Chocolate: the stimulant properties cause seizure and death, the fats- see below
  • Butter, turkey skin, gravy, other sources of fat: very hard on the pancreas, causing vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and death.
  • Dairy products: most dogs are generally lactose intolerant
  • Bones: Poultry bones splinter easily and can puncture the GI tract
  • Sodium: must use care, as many older dogs have heart murmurs, and excessive amounts can cause issues!

 Some dogs can eat small amounts of the above without problems, but most dogs don’t have an effective “off” switch, and given the opportunity can eat themselves into trouble (oh boy, again sounding a little like me!). In addition, why take chances when there are simple alternatives?


Below are some tried and true healthy recipes and ideas, some requiring a little more time than others. Disclaimer: Always check with your vet first if you’re going to make changes in your dog’s diet.


Simple Thanksgiving Mix: Before buttering, salting, adding creams, gravy, sauces or brown sugar glaze, reserve 1/4 cup of cooked sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, carrots, sliced turkey breast. Mix together, allow to cool and there you have it!  Serve!


Turkey Doggie Hot Dish: (feed about 1/2 cup per meal per 10 lb. pup!)

 1 1/2 cups prepared brown rice

1 tbsp. olive oil

3 lbs. ground turkey

3 cups baby spinach, chopped

2 carrots, shredded

1 zucchini, shredded

1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen


  1. Prepare brown rice as directed, omitting fats and salt.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot on medium high heat, then add in the ground turkey, cooking until it is brown and crumbles.
  3. Add in the vegetables, stirring until wilted and soft.
  4. Stir in the prepared brown rice and mix well.
  5. Allow to cool before serving.

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FoodPrepDogsGiving   FoodPrepDogsGiving

*This recipe can be made in mass as directed, and packaged individually in freezer-safe bags and frozen for later use. I cut the recipe down for smaller appetites and more immediate use!

 FoodPrepDogsGiving   FoodPrepDogsGiving

 The taste testers were mighty pleased and begging for more, and yes, we wouldn’t wouldn’t want to leave out our kitties! Safe and healthy for felines as well!



“Pupkin” Pies


3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened

3-5 tbsp. water


Filling & Topping

16 oz. can pumpkin (plain, NOT filling)

8 oz plain low-fat yogurt

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Prepare muffin tins by spraying with olive or vegetable oil cooking spray.
  3. Blend oatmeal and flour in food processor.
  4. Add applesauce slowly, followed by enough water to make a ball.
  5. Divide dough into 8 individual balls, then press into a 4” circle on wax paper that has been sprayed with olive or vegetable oil cooking spray.
  6. Press circles into bottoms and sides of the muffin tin.
  7. Bake crusts for 8 minutes
  8. Allow to cool, then fill each crust with 1/4 cup canned pumpkin.
  9. Add a dollop of low-fat yogurt (optional)

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FoodPrepDogsGiving   FoodPrepDogsGiving

*Crusts can be made ahead and stored in airtight container for up to one week


 FoodPrepDogsGiving   FoodPrepDogsGiving

 I think we got “two dews up” for this recipe!


I hope this gives you some ideas for a healthy way to share your love with your best friend this Thanksgiving. Aren’t we fortunate for those affectionate eyes and unconditional adoration? Let’s keep them healthy! Here is a prayer appropriate to the day: “Help me to be the person my dog sees through his/her eyes.”


Here’s an idea: when the host asks you to bring a dish to pass, offer to bring the dog dishes!! Be careful not to place them on the buffet tho- These look pretty tempting! Recipes found on &


Randi Fay

Rändi Fay, DVM practiced veterinary medicine for 13 years in the Twin Cities and in Green Bay, WI until a hand injury forced her into early retirement. She has since become a notable creative presence on the Wisconsin music scene, performing, recording and songwriting, being a four time Wisconsin Area Music Industry “Jazz Artist of the Year” nominee (2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018) and two time UK Songwriting Contest semi-finalist ("Winter Wind" & "Freely Given" 2017). Rändi lives in Green Bay, WI, enjoying time with her family, including two dogs, one cats, two grad-dogs and three grand-cats. Visit:



Why Saddle Fit Matters

Nov 1, 2018 8:37:16 AM

Does your horse demonstrate any of the following?

  • Objects to being girthed and/or saddled
  • Reluctant to stride out
  • Unable or unwilling to round his back and work in a frame
  • Stumbling or tripping excessively
  • Rushing fences
  • Unable to travel straight
  • Resists collection work and transitions
  • Bucks after jumps
  • Ears pinned and tail swishing
  • Does your horse move like a Grand Prix superstar in the field but not under saddle?

While there can be various explanations for your horse’s movement and behavior changes under saddle, back pain and poor saddle fit ranks high for many of these signs.

As a rider, do you experience any of the following?

  • You can’t seem to keep your leg under you
  • You fight to stay in balance
  • You can never seem to please your instructor with your position
  • You and your horse seem to fight against each other instead of working in harmony

MSA Trained saddle fitters can help properly fit saddles to enhance both horse and rider allowing more freedom of movement and prevent a multitude of lameness problems. Visit and click on saddle fitting guide to learn more about the 10 steps to proper saddle fit

 Julie Kaye

Julie Kaye MSA Trained Saddle Fitter


Energy Work

Sep 27, 2018 8:56:00 AM

Is there a new way to connect to horses through positive energy? Through my practice, I’ve seen this method make a world of difference.

The basics of energy work are simple. We are all comprised of energy, and our energy creates our world. If we are negative, we will have a difficult, challenging time. Positive energy creates happiness, abundance, and success. The source of this energy is our own mind. Our thoughts send forth energy waves, either positive or negative. If we think about all the good things in life, we will create even more of it. Abundance comes from our abundant heart and mind. Working together, we can achieve success.

Therefore, what we focus on is what we create. My past had been one of fear, judgment, and control. Once I learned that these were the source of my pain and unhappiness, I decided to focus on joy and happiness. The book that helped me was Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, by Karol Truman. At the same time, horses came into my life and opened up my soul with freedom to explore new ways of living.

Animals are an excellent mirror of our emotions. If we have an angry cowboy, his horse usually uncooperative. If a barrel racer is uptight and anxious, the horse is too. Often, the answer is helping the human to think positive, successful, and calm thoughts.

With my expertise, I read a horse’s energy field, clear the negative energy (emotion), and determine if there is a physical issue like teeth, back, feet, or gut. Once we get to the root of the problem, we decide on a plan of action. Usually people contact me after they’ve consulted with their vet, and they feel there may still be room for more improvement. I always encourage people to work with their vet first if possible. 

Let’s think again about the idea of energy. Consider this: there is no end to energy, as the cell phone shows us. We can talk to Australia, France, or Taiwan in a heartbeat with no wires connecting anything. It’s all energy. We as humans are frequency receivers and senders too. Many modalities today incorporate this in therapies, such as Reiki Energy Work. As a result, when a client from Montana or Alaska sends me a picture of his horse, dog, or goat, I can connect to that energy field through the image and quickly notice the source of the issue. This therapy is a process because releasing the negative energy can take some time. When I work with a client, it covers a two-week period. First, we can release whatever comes to the surface. Then as time goes by, different emotions can arise, and I work to clear them as well. Some horses are handled roughly during the training process and retain the fear, anger, or guilt they experienced. As time goes by, they may have behavior or health issues as a result. Once these emotions are released, they react differently. By removing the source of the negative mentality without force, confidence builds, and trust develops.

The more positive the mentality, both human and equine, the better the performance. The horse will give you his heart if you learn to listen and work with him. Control is never the answer.

Expert Advice

 20 years Certified Equine Massage Therapist 

Emotional Trauma Release using Kinesiology, Reflexology and Energy Balancing

Please refer to my website, for more information and stories of how I’ve helped animals through this wonderful method of connecting.


Many horse owners purchase an insurance policy to provide monetary coverage for a loss sustained to an equine under certain conditions. They also may buy a policy for coverage on large veterinary bills in the event of an illness to their horse companion, but what if there was a way to purchase a service to help protect your horse from injury, or speed up recovery time on an existing trauma? These are two examples of what massage therapy can provide to your horse. In the following article, I will explain the benefits and importance of equine massage, which plays a critical role in the healthy maintenance of the horse.

A while back a client of mine said “I look at massage therapy for my horse as an insurance policy.”  This really struck a cord with me, because not only am I a registered equine massage therapist, I am also an active licensed insurance agent. I have seen insurance clients get back to where they were before a loss because of their insurance policy, and they were grateful they purchased the policy in the first place. What my client said made perfect sense; she uses massage therapy as another way to cover the possibility of an injury or loss to her horse, similar to the way one would purchase an insurance contract to protect a loss to their home.

Massage therapy for the equine helps prevent injuries in many ways. It can improve and maintain blood supply and range of motion to the joints, along with softening tissue structures. Massage may also increase muscle tone and decrease tension. With these benefits, the horse is less likely to sustain an injury, versus if the horse is tense with poor circulation, he or she would be more prone to a soft tissue tear or strain.

Another benefit of massage for the horse is to shorten recovery time from an injury, which as we all know can be lengthy depending on the severity. Massage will decrease inflammation and swelling, and because of its increased circulation effects, it will improve bone healing. Massage will also increase relaxation and a general sense of well-being, which will help the horse stay calm during the healing process. Further, massage will decrease pain, and reduce scar tissue, all of which will keep the horse more comfortable and lessen the amount of time he or she will need to be on stall rest or off of the regular work schedule.

Equine massage therapy aids the health of the horse because certain techniques will slow and strengthen the heartbeat, allowing the heart to work more efficiently and help reduce blood pressure. Massage will loosen mucus in the lungs, increase function of the endocrine glands, and assist digestive function by reducing abdominal congestion and increasing nutrients to the digestive tract (think less likely to colic)!

Protecting your horse is of great importance to horse owners, and we go to great lengths to make certain they are happy and comfortable. Massage therapy for your equine is another way to “insure” the longevity of your horse's life by preventing injury, speeding up recovery time from an injury and maintaining good health. (Always keep in mind that equine massage therapy is not a replacement for regular veterinary care).

Expert Advice


Heather Leonard graduated from D'AL School of Equine Massage Therapy at the D'Arcy Lane Institute in London, Ontario, Canada and is a Registered Equine Massage Therapist with the International Federation of Equine Massage Therapists, and a member of the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork, She has been a practicing member since 2004.


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