Canine massage offers a holistic approach to addressing various issues in dogs – including muscle tension, chronic pain, and stress..
We’re all familiar with the delightful sense of relaxation that follows a full body massage from a licensed massage therapist. But have you ever considered treating your dog to a professional massage? Canine massage therapy presents a multitude of both physical and psychological benefits for your beloved canine companion.
The Importance of Tending to the Emotional Wellness of Our Pet Family Members
Pets come bounding into our lives, wagging their tails, purring, or chirping with delight. They bring us joy, companionship, and unconditional love. However, have you ever stopped to consider the emotional well-being and emotional needs of our beloved pet family members? (more…)
By Shannon Cutts, Animal Love Languages
From Europe to Asia to North America, all over the world pet parents share one universal problem in common. NOISE. Fireworks. Thunderstorms. Cars backfiring. Ambulances. Alarm systems. Loud music. Dogs, cats, parrots, horses, and even reptiles go into fight–or–flight mode with all the bells and whistles – barking, hissing, cowering, lunging, eliminating anywhere and everywhere. Unfortunately, with many pets, even repeated noise exposure often doesn’t eradicate these core fear symptoms. If you are left desperately wondering if there is anything else you could try, the answer is yes! Animal communicator Shannon Cutts tackles the true elephant in the room and gives you immediate practical tips you can use to keep your animals safe and calm when the volume spikes.
Guess what instigates more missing pet cases every year than anything else?
If you guessed “fireworks” give yourself a gold star and give your pet whatever treat you always give them to try to keep them safe and calm during the inevitable noise event yet to come.
The pet remedies for noise are well–known: CBD, valerian, melatonin, prescription anti–anxiety meds to calm their nerves. Physical counteractions such as daytime vigorous play to zonk them out or playing competing loud noises to drown out the snap, crackle, zap and pop. You can find everything from equine stress vests to noise–canceling pup–phones (headphones for dogs, yup!) out there in the great anti–noise pet parent marketplace.
There is just one tiny problem. At their very best, these options still function only at the level of band–aids – masking or reducing the most obvious surface symptoms of a deeper core problem no drug or distraction can touch.
1. What’s Better than Just a Band-Aid?
As an animal intuitive and sensitive – an animal communicator – , my perspective on the best approach to keeping noise–averse pets calm comes straight from the animals themselves. Here is what my pet clients are telling me they need when noise levels rise.
They need YOU to calm down.
Here, I should probably back up and explain a little more about how your pet spends all day, every day of their life, with you.
While you are busy checking items off your to–do list, working, studying, cleaning, Zooming, napping, or doing whatever you do, your dog, cat, bird, horse or other pet species is watching what I call YouTV. By this, I mean they are watching the mental pictures in your head, the emotions attached to those mental pictures, and the thoughts that are generated by each image–emotion combination.
This is not unlike how we check in with our favorite weather or traffic app to help us plan and prepare for our day. Only your pet is watching YouTV 24/7. They are always monitoring your broadcasts and will react very quickly when your channel indicates there may be cause for alarm or action.
You may even already have some proof of this. Has your dog ever started barking when you’ve been in the middle of a stressful phone conversation? Does your cat hide when the neighbor you don’t really like rings your doorbell? Is your parrot prone to screaming when you are unconsciously ruminating about a snarky comment you overheard your boss make about you to a co–worker? Our animals know. They are frequently more tuned into our mental pictures, emotions and thoughts than we are, AND they are quicker to react to them.
2. Why is YouTV Important?
With this information now in hand, let’s pretend it is the morning of July 4th. You are looking forward to the evening’s festivities, which includes the usual colorful fireworks show. You are also hyper–aware that you need to make some plans for your noise–averse pets so they don’t completely lose it when the show begins.
As you consider what to do first and next, your mind starts forming mental pictures. If you are like most pet parents, these mental pictures revolve around past moments that proved your pets hate noise. Maybe you start mentally replaying that night your dog chewed up the crown molding and your cat peed on the carpet. Perhaps you suddenly have several such memories all queued up in a line to mentally review and replay. The emotions you feel as each mental “movie clip” flashes across your mind–screen aren’t soothing either. Fear. Frustration. Irritation. Anger. Impatience. Terror. Then your thoughts start spouting out warning messages even as your left brain cranks out one idea and then another for how to keep Marlin from tearing up the couch cushions and prevent Sophie from vomiting on your sheets.
Meanwhile, your pets are watching YouTV. They are glued to it – YouTV is their favorite channel and the drama is really ramping up this morning. They are watching your mental movies of them in distress, reacting in fearful and anxious ways with behaviors that indicate they are terrorized by something that is about to happen in the very near future. They are feeling and absorbing your own heightened emotions of fear, stress, anxiety.
With all of this buildup, is it any wonder even the strongest anti–anxiety pet meds or supplements or the most vigorous round of pre–fireworks “fetch” are rarely completely effective for calming your pet?
What is truly needed here is a shift in your own mind and heart. When you consciously choose to change your YouTV channel to a station that is playing a calm, peaceful film, this will result in your animals being relaxed – no matter what the weather is like or what festivities may be going on. By changing the channel, your pets will benefit right to their core.
3. How to Change the Channels…
What I am saying is that ultimately, your pets are looking to you for direction about how to respond to any noise event. If you are unwittingly broadcasting gloom and doom, threat and stress, fear and terror, you can absolutely expect your pets to exist in a perpetual state of fight or flight with all the expected symptoms of distress. Especially until your own mental pictures, emotions and thoughts shift in a more peaceful direction.
So here is what I would like to propose for this year’s noisy holidays as well as for any upcoming noise events in your family’s life. Still do all the usual things you do that you have seen some positive results from. Definitely ask your pet’s veterinarian for help if your pet has any kind of extreme noise phobia or reaction. Be sure your animal is microchipped and your contact information is updated in the database.
However, also play with changing your YouTV programming on the night of fireworks. Broadcasting quiet, calm mental pictures of happy pets playing or snuggling or snoozing, paired with happy and loving emotions and proud thoughts of how well they are doing, is going to shift the energy of the whole day in such a beneficial direction for your animals.
If you are not used to working with your own mind and emotions in this way, it can help to start practicing right away. Let’s say your mind keeps replaying a particularly traumatic memory of when your noise–averse pup injured himself trying to get out of his kennel during last year’s fireworks. So take that YouTV clip and shift it. Instead, envision your dog napping calmly and cozily in his kennel all through the fireworks show.
Or maybe you keep visualizing your bird screaming and repetitively feather–plucking during a recent wild thunderstorm. Shift that YouTV clip into a scene where your parrot tucks into a tasty dinner and doesn’t seem to even notice the thunder and lightning going on while she eats.
You get the general idea. You can do the same thing with repetitive thoughts that are keeping you anxious and worried about how your pet is going to react to some near–future noise event. Let’s say your mind keeps saying to you, “Tucker is just so sensitive to noise and I sure hope he doesn’t develop new hot spots again from all the stress”. Take that repetitive thought and shift it to “Tucker is so brave and mature and he has everything he needs to stay calm and healthy even when it gets noisy outside.” Make sense?
VIDEO: Is Your Pet Scared of Fireworks? https://youtu.be/FAMSFh_5fsg
About the Author
practitioner with Animal Love Languages. Shannon works through the universal love language of all species to connect with her pet clients – deep listening. Deep listening activates empathy, allowing Shannon to literally feel what an animal is feeling, listen in to their thoughts, experience what they are experiencing and then relay all of that information to the pet parent.
A Conventional Meets Complimentary Pet Health Protocol
If your dog has just been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure or a similar unpredictable disease, you may be wondering what to do now. If you are a devoted pet parent like me, you might freak out a bit.
My 13-year-old Portuguese Podengo Pequeno Sophie, the light of my life, had started having head tremors a week before and presented one morning looking unwell. It was time to take her to the ER.
Sophie was in Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Her heart’s left side had failed; her right was very enlarged and full of pressure trying to do the work for both. Her abdomen had fluid. Her mitral valves were very leaky and the artery walls around them were very thickened. It was strongly advised she get on heart meds immediately.
What goes through our minds when we hear bad news about our beloved pet’s health is different for each of us. We may think about the mortality of this wonderful creature we’ve gone through so much with. We may think about what we could’ve done better. We may start shoring our own hearts up for the direct hit we feel is coming. I did all of this in a matter of seconds.
That was about 6 weeks ago. And, I’m happy to report that today she’s doing well. I am here to reassure you that you have options, some of which most pet parents don’t even know.
As a Pet Health Coach, I dove down that rabbit hole to do the best I could for my girl. I made the decision early to share our journey to help other pet parents struggling with this, too, and you can find the full story in five parts on myblog.
Approximately 10% of all dogs, and 75% of senior dogs, have some form of heart dis-ease, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility your dog might develop this. Here is what I did, step by step.
First, I Brought In A Homeopathic Vet
I did this before Sophie was ever diagnosed; when I’d first noticed tremors and some coughing. Because tremors spelled neurological to me, I wanted an expert – a homeopathic vet. So, I reached out to Dr. Adriana Sagrera.
She suggested a homeopathic remedy for the tremors, cough and other symptoms Sophie was presenting at that time. With homeopathy, sometimes you have to try a couple of remedies before you get the right one.
Then I Brought In A Holistic Vet
I know this may sound a bit over the top, but there was a method to my madness. My former vet, when I lived in New York, was Dr. Marty Goldstein, the iconic maverick of complementary veterinary medicine, and an advisor on this site.
While Dr. Marty isn’t practicing anymore, there’s a vet he mentored at his practice whom he recommended highly: Dr. Jacqueline Ruskin is the vet Dr. Marty sent all of his cardiac patients because she’d developed a protocol that was working.
When Conventional Meets Complementary Works Best
As a natural medicine pet health coach, it is my mission to help pet parents understand their options. This involves the balance of avoiding damaging pharmaceuticals where possible with learning complementary methods.
However, there are times when avoiding conventional medicines is not wise. Heart disease is one of them, especially in a case as far along as Sophie’s.
The three core conventional meds used to treat congestive heart disease work; they’ve been working for years. Dr. Ruskin calls them crutches: your dog needs them until their body becomes stronger and you can attempt to peel them away.
So, I already knew Sophie would be starting medications right away, something I’d avoided her whole life. I was also determined to get her on a great complementary protocol as well.
The Conventional Protocol
The conventional meds are used to dry up the fluid build-up around the heart, lungs, or abdomen, to increase blood flow capabilities to bring more oxygen to the heart, brain, and organs, and to take some of the pressure and workload from the heart.
Here is what Sophie is on now:
– Furosimide (Lasix), which is a powerful diuretic to quickly take the pressure off the heart and drain the fluid from her lungs, abdomen, and around her heart.
– Pimobendan (Vetmedin) – this improves heart function and helps delay the onset of heart failure. It is generally well-tolerated in dogs.
– Sildenafil – this lowers the pressure in the lungs so Sophie can breathe easier.
– Spironolactone – this mildly reduces fluid retention and decreases the workload on the heart
The Complementary Protocol We Added
– BioCardio by ThorneVet – combines the antioxidant and heart support of CoQ10 with other cardio-protective nutrients and botanicals, like taurine, L-carnitine( which has been shown to improve appetite and exercise tolerance in dogs), Crataegus laevigata (hawthorn extract), Terminalia arjuna (arjuna extract) which contribute to healthy heart muscle function, and Eleutherococcus senticosus (eleuthero root extract) which supports physical stamina.
Many conventional vets will tell you Hawthorn can be dangerous with conventional heart meds. However, after having a couple of in-depth conversations with Dr. Ruskin, whose own dog with congestive heart failure is on this product and doing great, I decided to go with it.
– Systemic Enzymes by Pet Health and Nutrition Center – This contains something called nattokinase, an enzyme derived from the ancient food, natto. Natto has been used inJapan for centuries for health benefits. Studies since 1990 have shown nattokinase rapidly dissolves clots and promotes health cardiovascular blood flow. The other ingredient in this product that Dr. Ruskin likes is Rutin. Rutin is a bioflavanoid that helps promote healthy circulation, maintains collagen, and blocks the release of histamines for pets with allergies.
– Kidney & Heart Glandular Drops by Best For Your Pet – this has extracts of mammalian (bovine) glands and organs that support the kidneys and heart. It is based on the same concept I teach and talk about with clients and students; when you want to support an organ in the body, feed that same organ to your pet because it has strengthening and tonic-like actions.
– Standard Process Ligaplex II – This is interesting because it’s a joint and muscle support supplement. Dr. Sagrera has seen great results in helping to strengthen the heart walls.
– Dandelion and parsley tea, mixed and given 1 tablespoon in her food. Both dandelion and parsley are natural diuretics and dandelion is a great bitter herb that supports the liver. Both are great antioxidants and have lots of vitamins and minerals. The hope is this will eventually take the place of Furosimide, either in allowing us to wean Sophie down from 3x/day to 1, or get her completely off at some point.
– Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2) – Oxygen has been shown to be a powerful healing force in heart disease. The two molecules in ClO2 bathe the cells, helping to repair them and also boost energy from the extra oxygen molecule. I am using a small spray bottle with a 1ml Clo2/1L of filtered water and spraying each side of her mouth 3-4x/day.
– Homeopathy – Dr. Sagrera and I worked together to do Sophie’s homeopathic case and agreed that Sepia in a 12C potency was a good first choice based on the way Sophie was uniquely expressing her symptoms.
The Sepia benefitted her. About one hour after the dose, she started barking with Ani, my other dog, at a squirrel in the backyard. I opened the door and the two of them took off after it. Sophie hadn’t done something like that in about two weeks. Later that day, she wanted to go for a walk, something she hasn’t wanted to do every day since this started. She was trotting a lot and after about 30 minutes outside, mom wanted to go back, but Sophie didn’t! These were amazing signs. We are still giving the Sepia time to continue doing its work in her body. With Homeopathy, depending on the condition along with the vital force of the animal and the potency of the remedy, you can give a dose once and wait a week to re-dose, or longer. The remedy, once it matches with the energy of the illnessin the animal, stimulates the body’s healing powers.
– HighVibe Mushrooms – an amazing product I have been giving the dogs for a couple of months and also take myself that has increased my energy and clarity. There are ten medicinal mushrooms in this product, which is sourced through a 30+ year mycologist who grows the mushrooms and harvests them himself. I think it is an important superfood to support Sophie’s body and help it heal. Full transparency, I am also an Ambassador for this brand, and you are able to receive a discount when ordering through the link above.
– MuttGut– an unusual pre, pro andpost biotic, new to the market that includes 33 strains of bacteria put through a “boot camp” so the surviving strains make it through the high acid content of the pet’s stomach and get to the colon – where it does it’s work.
– The Solex AO Scanner – This incredible machine will scan you or your pet’s body and identify the out of balance frequencies and then optimize them. We are all energy; everything around us is energy. This is why homeopathy works: reiki, massage, any hands-on technique, for that matter. I’ve been scanning Sophie every day to optimize her out of balance frequencies, so she will feel better and it will support her body to heal. A pet’s Vitals scan also will include four music files with supportive frequencies embedded into the music that you can play for them so they feel better. I love this company and machine and encourage everyone to look into it. I have experienced and seen the good it can do. I am an affiliate for this product.
Where We Are Now
Today, Sophie continues to improve. Time will tell how much normalcy we can work towards; Sophie shows moments of her “old” self, when she wants to play with her toy, rolls around on the carpet in joy, or runs up the street. I cherish those moments and pray they will continue and grow.
I’ve learned a lot about this dis-ease and how it can be managed. I am heartened to hear stories often about pets living for years with congestive heart failure and doing well. Beyond that, I feel grateful to know a protocol combining conventional with complementary that has worked for many dogs and is now working for Sophie, too. I hope you find this information useful and wishing your babies their best health ever!
About the Author
Jody L. Teiche is a Pet Health Expert and Coach. She’s been helping pet parents naturally solve health challenges in their dogs and cats, so they can avoid pharmaceutical drugs and have healthier, more energetic pets. One of her specialties is Pet Anxiety. Her site is TheHoundHealer.com, and her podcast, called The Hound Healer, is heard on PetLifeRadio.com, as well as all other major podcast platforms.
Click here to book a free 30-minute health consult with Jody
By: Lola Michelin LMP, LAMP, SAMP
Scent is one of the strongest sensory experiences for most animals, especially dogs and horses. A dog’s sense of smell is exponentially greater than a human’s; depending on the breed it can be 10,000x (short-nosed breeds like pugs) to 100,000x (bloodhounds) more acute. When a dog inhales, the functions of smell and respiration are separated into two different areas of the nose so that smell can be thoroughly analyzed. Kittens and puppies do not develop their sense of sight or hearing until days, or even weeks, after birth, and they rely entirely on smell and touch to navigate. Horses roaming in wild bands use their sense of smell to find water, recognize family members, and detect predators for up to a mile. (more…)