health

A holistic approach to heartworm

When warm weather finally arrives, dogs are just as eager to get out and enjoy it as their owners are. But both canines and humans alike face a trade-off: with sunshine and climbing temperatures come pests like fleas and the dreaded mosquito. Those biting little buggers can do more than give you an itch to scratch – they can give your dog heartworm, a potentially fatal parasite.

A natural approach to fighting fleas

As the days get longer and temperatures start their slow upward climb, dog owners’ minds turn to all the fun they’ll soon be having, together with their four-legged friends, outdoors. But along with that anticipation comes an annual concern: fleas. Protecting your pet from infestations of these disease-carrying parasites can be a tricky business if you use conventional methods. However, taking a natural approach to flea control will help you and your pet rest easy and stay healthy.

Acupuncture for dogs: What you need to know first

Acupuncture is one branch of traditional Chinese medicine that has been steadily gaining popularity as a holistic treatment modality for pets. It involves placing extremely thin needles in the skin along energy meridians to balance or restore the flow of energy. The practice has been used to treat an extensive variety of conditions in humans for thousands of years.

Beyond Lyme: The other disease threats posed by ticks

Outdoor fun, especially in the warmer months, always carries with it the possibility of picking up ticks. Those nasty little parasites are famous for hitching rides on humans and dogs alike, and are notorious as carriers of Lyme disease. But did you know that ticks can carry a variety of other diseases that threaten your dog’s health?

Can dogs get colds or the flu?

With widespread illness grabbing headlines these days, most of us are trying our best to stay healthy. As we’re washing our hands, lining up for flu shots and boosting our vitamin C consumption, another question often comes to pet owners’ minds: Can my dog catch a cold or the flu?

Caring for your pet’s pearly whites: How diet affects dental health

We all know that a person whose diet is packed with unhealthy, over-processed and nutrient-poor foods is going to have dental problems. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the same would be true for a dog or a cat. But while more and more people are coming to understand the power of a healthy, whole-foods-based diet for themselves, when it comes to pets, kibble, though increasingly understood as being nutritionally inferior, is still what many people trust and use. And that mindset is contributing to pets developing oral health problems on an unprecedented level.

do allergies have your dog itching this spring?

It’s springtime and many of us are looking at the fresh buds on the trees through red, watery eyes. Unfortunately our four-legged friends don’t get a hall pass when it comes to allergies. While environmental allergies (ie. pollen, etc.) and genetics can play a role, often the guilty-party can be found on the ingredient panel of your dog’s food. Dog food allergies can mimic seasonal allergies, causing flaky, itchy skin, scratching, shedding, irritated ears, goopy, watery eyes and digestive issues.

Doggy DIY: How to make the best first aid kit for your pup

Dogs love nothing more than to get out and play – and sometimes they play rough. That can mean bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes, so every dog owner should be prepared to treat their dog in case of a minor boo-boo or a more major injury. Pre-made first aid kits can come in handy, but they often don’t contain enough of the key essentials to fixing up your pet when he needs it most. Taking a DIY approach and building your own first aid kit will ensure that you have everything you need – and enough of it.

Feeding pets with medical issues

When you consider your pets family members, there’s no question about whether you’re going to help them when they need special medical attention. Whether it’s a short-term injury or a chronic condition, making your pet feel well and doing what you can to keep him healthy is second nature.

Grumbly tummies: How to help your dog deal with stomach upset

If you own a dog, you have, at some point, looked at him and wondered how on earth his stomach can rumble and squeak quite so loudly. But while those sounds might inspire amazement, they’re also a signal that your dog isn’t feeling well. And if the discomfort we humans get from stomach upset is any indication, he can really be miserable. So, what can you do to help him feel better?

Hear that? Tips for your dog’s ear health

  Whether your pup’s ears flop or stand straight up, there’s a good chance that at some point in his life, he’ll get an ear infection. It’s an incredibly common condition and can be triggered by a multitude of causes, so it’s important that every owner knows what to look for and how to treat it. Luckily, symptoms are pretty easy to notice, giving you a good indication of when your dog needs special treatment. They include: * Persistent bad odor coming from the ears

Help your dog cope with winter skin and coat issues

You know how uncomfortable your own skin can become in winter if you don’t take care of it - it cracks, it flakes and it itches. When you think about everything you need to do to stay comfortable in your skin, remember that your dog might need a helping hand to deal with winter dryness and other issues, too.

Help your dog keep his cool

Summer is a fun time for dogs and their owners. There are lots of opportunities for walks, runs, swims and relaxing together in the sunshine. Dogs can easily get overheated, though, and owners need to watch for signs of hyperthermia (elevation in body temperature). Heat stroke in dogs is a serious condition that can be avoided! Your dog sweats through his foot pads and releases heat by panting. Neither of these is adequate when it’s really hot out there, so you need to make sure he doesn’t overheat.

Hip displaysia: what you should know and how you can help your dog

Hereditary health problems can affect purebred dogs as well as mixed breed dogs –whether your pup comes from a pedigree of champions or the shelter, genes don’t discriminate. Hip dysplasia is just one of those hereditary conditions, and it can have a dramatic effect on your dog’s mobility, health and happiness. It develops because of poorly formed hip joints – think of it as a ball-and-socket joint, in which the ball is loose in the socket. That looseness causes difficulty in moving, and can lead to degeneration and a significant amount of pain.

Hot spots: What they are and how to treat them naturally

Sometimes dogs’ skin and coat concerns go beyond the cosmetic. While proper care and feeding will help stave off a host of skin issues, sometimes it’s outside of your control. Problems like hot spots, which appear as itchy, bald patches, can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. Here are some of the key things you should know about treating this troublesome skin issue.

how to choose a holistic vet

If you’re like many pet owners, you grew up with the idea that there was only one kind of veterinarian for house pets. But that was then – now, pet owners have the option to take their dogs, cats and other household critters to a holistic vet clinic, where the emphasis is on wellness and treating the whole animal, rather than simply dealing with problems as they arise.

Is your pet well-adjusted? What to know about pet chiropractic care

Chiropractic work can be an all natural way to boost your pet’s health. It is the realignment of the nervous system to restore proper nerve connections and flow. Adjustments work to restore the root problem, not just alleviate surface symptoms like many medications do. Pet chiropractors work on a wide range of animals from dogs and cats to horses and elephants.

Keep that puppyish figure! Using food to maintain your pet’s weight

Pet obesity has been getting a lot of notice in recent years, as our four-legged buddies’ waistlines expand right along with those of many humans. And just as in humans, diet and exercise are the two key factors in how your pet gains - or doesn’t gain - weight. 

Kennel cough: The canine common cold

Tis’ the season, the sick season, that is. You’re not the only one who can catch a cold this winter; your dog can as well. Here’s what to know about kennel cough:

Looking out for No. 2: Using poo as a clue to your dog’s health

Pet owners and new parents have one thing in common that confuses anyone who doesn’t fit into either of those categories: an almost unlimited ability to discuss what happens when their precious little one has a bowel movement. For others, it’s a gross-out discussion, but dog owners have to keep an eye on their dog’s stool. It’s an important indicator of health. Besides, on walks and in the yard, there’s no shortage of opportunities to check up on it.

Prepare your dog to fight arthritis

There’s something charming about an old, gray-faced, slow-moving dog. He’s not a playful pup anymore – he’s a good old boy. But those creaky old bones and stiff movement – likely caused by arthritis – are probably causing him more pain than his sweet face and wagging tail are letting on. And even if your dog is just starting out his golden years, arthritis can still profoundly affect his quality of life.

Supporting your dog’s joint health – the natural way

There are plenty of good reasons to explore joint support for your dog. If he’s aging, he’ll certainly need it – likewise if he’s had an injury. But even if your dog is still relatively young, it’s a good idea to talk to a holistic vet about what you can do to support good joint health over his lifetime. There are a variety of holistic options for treatment and support that don’t carry the risks sometimes associated with conventional choices (such as drugs or surgery).

The connections between cancer and nutrition in dogs

It’s a dreaded disease for humans and dogs alike: cancer. While the exact causes aren’t yet clear for the many forms in which canine cancer appears, and cures remain a distant hope, there are actions you can take that encourage your dog’s overall wellness. A healthy body that is both better able to fight disease and stay strong through treatment and recovery. And nutrition –particularly a diet of raw dog food – is at the heart of wellness.

The homeopathic solution

Keeping your pet in good health is a top priority for most pet parents. While medications on the market address every issue imaginable, using natural ingredients to allow the body to fight ailments on its own should always be your first option to keeping your pet in optimal, holistic health.

The toxic treat: What you need to know about chocolate

When a curious dog catches the scent of something, his first instinct is to taste it. Where we would inspect an item before we consume it, dogs eat and then decide they want more. Humans enjoy all varieties of chocolate, but just a small amount could be fatal to your pup. Just why is chocolate toxic to your pooch? The cocoa beans used in making chocolate contain a chemical called theobromine that is toxic to dogs. This bitter alkaloid, which is related to caffeine, is metabolized in dogs much more slowly than their human, chocolate-loving counterparts.

There’s more than one benefit to neutering your pet

Animal shelters and rescue organizations regularly implore the public to spay or neuter their pets – and for good reason. Those organizations are on the frontlines of the battle against pet overpopulation, and see daily the negative consequences it can have. Preventing unwanted litters isn’t the only good reason to spay or neuter your pet, however. Altering a pet brings multiple benefits. So why should you spay or neuter your pet?

What to do if your dog has a seizure

Seizures can be caused by a variety of things: epilepsy, brain injury, heat stroke, low blood sugar, brain tumor, distemper, kidney or liver failure, or poisoning, to name a few. Seizures are marked by convulsions, dilated pupils, and muscle twitches. These episodes can be frightening for both dogs and owners and the cause may be difficult to pinpoint. Visit your holistic vet to talk about what may have caused your dog to have a seizure. Targeting the cause will allow you to better treat the issue.

What’s the difference between holistic and traditional veterinarians?

Keeping pets safe, sound, healthy and happy is something every dedicated owner wants to accomplish. The unconditional bond you share makes you willing to go the extra mile to maintain your animal’s wellness - but what’s the best option for doing so? For many people, the method of safeguarding a pet’s health is changing, moving away from traditional veterinary medicine to a more holistic approach.

why is my dog so gassy?

Can your dog clear a room because of his flatulence? It’s not his fault! All dogs are prone to gas, especially if you feed them a low-quality food with fillers and artificial preservatives, random table scraps or too many snacks. Food allergies and eating too fast can contribute as well.