Your pet’s “seasonal inner clock” starts changing when the days get shorter, not necessarily when the temperature changes. Already now, they are “blowing coat” — shedding the old coat to get ready for winter coat growth. These variable temperature months can be tough for pets, so make sure they get some extra care! Now’s the time to book your fall grooming appointment, which includes our special de-shedding treatment, smoothing those rough paws and elbows and making sure those nails are properly trimmed and ground for more time indoors. Fleas and ticks will still be a problem until the first frost, so check their skin frequently. Fall is also the time to make some changes in your pet’s diet and begin choosing “transitional proteins” before the cooler weather begins. September 21 marks a big food energy shift, so come see us and let us help you make adjustments to the meats and vegetables your pet should be eating.
Summer’s great for pets – extra play time, fun vacations, lots of attention from the kids. But when school starts, a different family schedule can cause some anxiety, restlessness and neediness. Even the sense of responsibility a dog has for looking after kids can cause behavior changes, especially if the he’s not sure why his “best friend” has left him at home. To make this adjustment easier, try out your new pet schedule before your kids go back to school. Plan play activities, walks and meals at the time your kids might be either going to or coming home from school. If you’re planning dog day care during the week, take them a few times now to get them oriented. Plan fun activities for the evenings and weekends that include your dogs. Remember, when your kids go away to school, it affects your animals too. We have many products that will help your pets deal with with separation anxiety and sadness from missing the kids.
There’s only one thing wrong with dogs. They don’t live long enough. It’s hard to see your best friend struggle with the physical and mental debilities that accompany aging. Veterinarians have powerful medications available for treating ailments common in senior canines. These drugs often have just as powerful side effects.
The basic principle of homeopathy is “like cures like” and treatments consist of natural, diluted substances given in minute doses. These substances work with the body’s natural healing powers and sort of “jump start” them. Skeptics claim it does not work, but even they admit it does no harm.
Natural remedies, such as homeopathy, may offer an effective and safe substitute for certain conditions. While you can purchase homeopathic remedies over-the-counter or online, for best results consult a veterinary homeopathic practitioner. You’ll receive learned advice on dosage, potency, and frequency of use, as well as the most effective therapies. They will also instruct you on the proper way to give your dog the diluted remedies – there’s great specificity in the way pellets must go into the mouth, for example.
If arthritis is limiting your dog’s mobility – and his quality of life – Arnica montana can help put a spring back in his step. Arguably the best-known homeopathic remedy, arnica helps relieve sore joints and muscles. While it is available in pellet form for therapy, it also comes in cream and gel versions for topical application to the joints. You would give your dog the pellet form several times a day to alleviate the chronic condition, and administer the gel or cream if the joint seems particularly sore. Arnica is never applied topically to open wounds.
Rhus tox is another good choice for arthritic dogs. If your dog has difficulty rising from a prone position, Rhus Toxicodendron is the go-to remedy.
Older dogs frequently suffer from gum disease. While it’s important to follow your vet’s recommendations for treating periodontal disease, homeopathy treatments can lessen the pain associated with chronic gum issues. Hypericum perforatum – St. John’s Wort – especially benefits any type of nerve injuries, such as that from loose teeth affected by periodontal disease.
As dogs age, their bladder sphincter muscles weaken, causing incontinence. It’s especially common in spayed females. Since incontinence can indicate various issues, including infections and bladder stones, always have your vet examine your pet. If the diagnosis is weak sphincter, homeopathic remedies may stop the leaking. Homeopathic remedies that may alleviate urinary incontinence include:
- Bryonia – a good choice for dogs who leak urine when moving.
- Cantharis – this remedy is better known as Spanish fly, a purported aphrodisiac that can make users seriously ill rather than amorous. In diluted homeopathic form, however, cantharis supports bladder function and helps quell the urge to constantly pee.
- Causticum – especially helpful for aging dogs with weak bladders.
- Pulsatilla – another remedy for bladder weakness, which also aids dogs suffering from separation anxiety.
Besides physical issues, many older dogs experience cognitive decline. A dog with cognitive dysfunction may appear disoriented, become restless at night, start eliminating inappropriately and exhibit other behavioral and personality changes. Remedies that may lessen symptoms include:
- Arsenic – this poison is safe in homeopathic doses and it useful for restless dogs who pace at night.
- Conium – improves the dog’s ability to focus.
- Rhus tox – aids the anxiety common in dogs with cognitive problems.
Along with herbal and other natural remedies, homeopathic therapies can give your senior dog a new lease on life. He’s comfortable, more active and better resembles the dog of a few years earlier. You can’t give your best pal a greater gift.
If you’re looking for natural or herbal remedies for your pup, checkout our online shop today!
Can you believe we’ve been helping pets become healthier for 15 years? Well, tails will be wagging all over C’ville for our 15th Anniversary Celebration! It all begins October 23 with a special store event every day and ending with our popular Dog Fest & Halloween Costume Contest on October 30 at Darden Towe Park. We’ll have special seminars, guests, specials and lots of fun for dog and cat owners. Watch our Facebook page and this web page for more information, but make plans to attend our week of fun for all.
Going on now through July 15 – The small rescue groups need our help more than just during the holidays so we’re launching this event by donating over 1,000 pounds of Acana kibble! That’s almost a ton of chow for the pets at Caring For Creatures, an independent rescue group in Palmyra, and one of our favorite charities. Want to help? Just purchase a few cans of food or a bag of treats in any quantity and we’ll add them to their delivery. Thanks in advance for your generosity.
From our ace groomer, Reba… KEEP EARS CLEAN – Get rid of bacteria from lakes and streams with our essential oil ear cleaners. DON’T SHAVE DOUBLE COATED BREEDS – the coat keeps them cool and protects them from intense sunlight, we’ll de-shed or thin their coat for you instead. TAKE CARE OF FEET – Keep nails short so they walk on their pads and don’t break their nails. We do nail care on a walk-in basis. Pads need moisturizing during hot weather so come see us for paw products. BRUSH THAT COAT -Brush, de-shed and comb out at least 2-3 times a week so they don’t mat. If they get wet, brush them out right away so they don’t tangle. COME SEE US FOR GROOMING – We offer in-store and mobile service but we fill up quickly so don’t wait to make your appointment for your dog or cat!
Caring for Creatures Food Drive, Going on now through July 15 – The small rescue groups need our help more than just during the holidays so we’re launching this event by donating over 1,000 pounds of Acana kibble! That’s almost a ton of chow for the pets at Caring For Creatures, an independent rescue group in Palmyra, and one of our favorite charities. Want to help? Just purchase a few cans of food or a bag of treats in any quantity and we’ll add them to their delivery. Thanks in advance for your generosity.
The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and that means … prime flea season. OK, it also means a lot more pleasant things, but if you have dogs and cats, it’s the time of year for flea control. You can purchase effective flea control products over-the-counter or from your vet, but many of them contain toxins that can harm your pet. Mother Nature has provided us with many ingredients for natural flea repellents. These may take a little more work on your part than commercial products, but they’ll only harm fleas, not Fido or Fluffy.
Simple Flea Repellents
You probably already have the ingredients for a simple natural flea repellent in your cupboard. Apple cider vinegar and water, mixed in a 50-50 solution, is an excellent, safe flea repellent for use on dogs and cats. You can substitute white vinegar, but pets don’t like it as much when they lick their fur.
Fleas detest vinegar and tend to stay off animals doused in it. You will have to reapply the solution daily – which may not make your pet too happy. Have a flea comb handy and check your pet every day for evidence of the pests.
Essential Oil Flea Repellent
Properly used, essential oils are the perfect ingredient for canine flea repellents. Cats, however, are sensitive to most essential oils, so don’t use these repellents on them. Although essential oils are natural, they are strong, so it’s crucial to dilute them properly.
A holistic veterinarian or essential oils practitioner can provide you with recipes for flea control. Purchase only therapeutic-grade essential oils. Flea-repelling diluted essential oils suitable for spraying on hair or skin include:
- Lavender – place a few drops of lavender mixed with a carrier oil on your dog’s hair, or add about 15 drops to a small water bottle and spray your dog regularly. Since lavender reduces anxiety, using it as flea control also calms nervous canines.
- Lemongrass and cedarwood – mix these two essential oils with water to create a flea spray. Your holistic practitioner will give you the exact amounts based on your dog’s size. Mist your dog while brushing his hair and exposing his skin so you can spot any fleas. Use this treatment once or twice weekly to keep him flea-free. It also keeps ticks at bay.
- Peppermint – your dog will smell sweet, and any fleas will die. Peppermint affects the insect’s’ central nervous system, while not bothering your pet in the least.
Although pennyroyal is effective for killing fleas in both herbal and essential oil forms, never put it directly on your dog. Place it around your dog’s bedding or on your carpeting.
A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet contains the ultimate ingredients for natural flea repellents. That’s because fleas hone in on animals with compromised immune systems, along with puppies and kittens whose immune systems are still developing. Feed your pets high-quality foods without grains and fillers. A good diet doesn’t mean you can ignore flea control, but it’s unlikely your pet will become infested.
A Clean Environment
The number of fleas on your pet’s coat is just the tip of the iceberg. Fleas on your dog or cat invariably mean fleas in your home. Battle these pests by vacuuming daily and washing all your pet’s bedding in hot water. Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth lightly on your pet’s bed, your carpets, baseboards, and anywhere you suspect fleas are lurking. DE, as it is known, is harmless to people and pets but kills fleas. It consists of fossilized algae shells, and while its tiny particles don’t harm larger animals, they are sharp enough to cut through insect exoskeletons.
By using a combination of natural ingredients, you and your pets can enjoy a perfect, flea-free summer.
It’s important to protect your dog against potentially deadly heartworm infestation. Conventional prevention generally involves using a powerful dewormer or other medications available only by prescription to kill microfilaria – baby heartworms – in the animal’s bloodstream. These drugs have potential side effects.
However, there are alternative, natural ways to prevent heartworm disease, recommended by holistic veterinarians. Using a natural mosquito repellent in conjunction with a raw diet might preclude the need for monthly heartworm medication.
Heartworm, or Dirofilaria immitis, infestation in dogs has been documented in all 50 states. Affected dogs may have dozens of heartworms in their bodies, with some of them reaching several feet in length. Heartworms congregate not only in the heart, but also in the lungs and blood vessels. The more worms in the body, the greater the risk.
Mosquitoes are the primary method of heartworm transmission in dogs. Female heartworms living in another member of the canine family’s bloodstream – whether a domestic dog, fox, coyote or wolf – produce microfilaria. When a mosquito bites an infected canine and consumes a blood meal, it also picks up the heartworm larvae. The microfilaria remain infective for the next two weeks, so any dog or cat bitten by the mosquito in that time may have heartworm larvae transmitted to them via the bite wound. In six months, the microfilaria matures into adult heartworms.
Heartworms can live in dogs for up to seven years, and in a cat for up to three years, according to the American Heartworm Society. If you effectively repel mosquitoes from your pet, theoretically, heartworm larvae aren’t transmissible.
Wondercide protects pets naturally against fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, and it’s effective for treating the house and yard against pests. It is safe to use on dogs and cats. Wondercide contains only food-grade ingredients, and all of its products contain cedar oil. The odor of cedar cause insects to flee – no pun intended. Wondercide also contains silica, which kills pests via suffocation. Just a minute amount of silica is enough to close insect breathing pores.
Choose from three natural Wondercide fragrances for your pet’s pest protection:
- cedar and rosemary
- cedar and lemongrass
A raw diet strengthens a dog’s immune system, which helps keep parasites at bay. Canines naturally evolved eating raw meat and some herbs, and cooking foods remove many essential nutrients. Many holistic practitioners recommend a diet consisting of raw meat, including bones and organs. A raw diet helps keep the dog’s digestive tract clear so parasites are not attracted. A healthy immune system may kill off heartworm larvae on its own. Keeping your dog’s heart muscles strong also involves giving him plenty of exercise.
If the dog on a raw diet does develop heartworm disease, his strong immune system helps him stay well during heartworm treatment, which is a difficult process.
Heartworm Disease Symptoms
Dogs in the early stages of heartworm infestation often show few symptoms. As the heartworms grow, so do the signs of infestation. These include:
- persistent cough
- exercise intolerance
- appetite loss
- weight loss.
Dogs with a high heartworm load may develop a swollen abdomen, heart failure, or even die suddenly. Heartworm disease symptoms in cats are often more subtle with sudden death being far more common.
If your dog shows any signs of heartworm infestation, they require immediate treatment. You will require the services of an emergency pet care professional for diagnosis and eradication of canine heartworms.
Be prepared for summer with our “tried and true” solutions for thunderstorms. Choose from safe blends of flower essences, herbs, homeopathic remedies or essential oils and you’ll soon see a difference in your pet’s behavior. These remedies are easy to use and resolve such issues as severe anxiety from storms, road or air travel, fear of crowds, fireworks or even a change in home life (kids at home from school, vacationing visitors, etc.). Come see us and find out what will be best for your pets this summer!