My pets are scratching and itching like crazy this fall! How can I help them get through these reactions to leaves and dead grasses?

Pets are affected by dry leaves, weeds, mold and seasonal allergens! Because pets are low to the ground, they’re susceptible to dry weeds and grasses. If they haven’t had a diet with high amounts of protein, their thin skin absorbs allergens, so that’s another reason to feed good quality protein. For external relief, wipe off their undersides and feet when they come inside. Scratching and itching can be amplified when you turn on the heat in your home, so use a humidifier to keep the skin supple. If they are very itchy, a soothing spray can be made with organic lavender essential oil, aloe vera juice and spring water. Feeding your pets certain foods at specific times of year maintains balance in their body and is a proactive path to better health. During the fall months, you may see skin conditions worsen in a home with dry heat (dry brittle coat, dandruff, extreme shedding), continuous itching with no fleas present, white discharge from the eyes or nose, inhalant allergies and even some digestive issues. So change up the proteins, grains and vegetables in your pet’s diet to support them during the fall season. In most cases, you can choose warming meats like beef, duck and venison; grains like brown rice or oats and vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, dark greens or green beans. Although we prefer the holistic benefits of a homemade or commercially prepared raw diet, there are good choices available in dehydrated, lightly cooked, canned and even some lower-heat processed dry foods. Remember to increase the percentage of total protein to keep your pets warmer from the inside-out.

I’m having problems with a rescue dog urinating in the house and having bad reactions to loud noises. What do you suggest?

(NOTE FROM PATTIE: This client presented so much background information I feel compelled to give you the whole story. The problems he is describing are very common with rescue animals.)
I adopted Lucy from the Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue almost 3 years ago. Before I adopted her, she had been abused and neglected for most, if not all, of her life. There was an expected adjustment period for both of us and my 4-year old (at the time) Basset Hound. There has been steady progress, and for the most part she has settled in nicely. The only real issue has been that she would go through periods when she would pee in the house during the day when I wasn’t home despite having access to the outside through a doggy door.She’s never coped well with loud sounds like thunder, and she also doesn’t like unfamiliar situations. 99% of the time she would pee if I got home later than usual, there was a thunder storm during the day before I got home, or if I left the house at an “unusual” time. I’ve always thought that it was due to anxiety or fear. Last Wednesday evening, I did something that I’ve never done at home before. I usually vacuum out my car at a car wash, but I did it at home last week instead. I had to run an extension cord out the front door, find a way to keep the door closed because the cord didn’t allow the door to latch and drag the vacuum cleaner outside. There was something about that “new” situation that she didn’t like, and she barked the whole time I was outside vacuuming the car. When I came back in the house, I found that she had peed on the floor. I don’t know if it’s related to that incident or not, but since that night, she has been out of control peeing in the house. I don’t know how often she actually she’s been doing it outside, but she has peed in the house multiple times every day since then. Up until now, if she had to go during the night, she would go outside, do her business and come back in. This past week, she’s been doing it in the house instead, and as the week has progressed, she seems to be going out to do it less and less. I have thoroughly cleaned the areas where she pees first with enzyme cleaner, then with citrus cleaner and spray the area with vinegar, but it hasn’t seemed to make any difference. I’ve tried leaving her outside in the 2100 square foot dog pen during the day so that she has to go outside, but she still has gone in the house after I’ve let her back in. I’ve also tried confining her to the same room I’m in when I’m home, but I can’t watch her every second, and invariably, she’ll go when I’m not watching. I’ve also tried putting her in a crate for the night, but when I try to get her to get in the crate, she gets suspicious, and won’t go in. Even if I put food in to lure her in. I know if I try to force her in, she’ll be even less likely to want to go in, and will only make matters worse.I don’t know what’s going on, but something has to be done. I was hoping you could communicate with her and give me some suggestions.
Wow. That’s a hard habit to break. It may or may not have anything to do with physical: bladder or kidney issues or even thyroid. We are not diagnosing by any means but sometimes fear related incontinence goes back to the physical condition of the dog. Please check with your vet, we do have holistic ones we refer. On our end, working with the energy of the dog, I suggest our flower essences to change the energy associated with that behavior. To me, just quickly connecting, she “feels like she is always on guard” and she is very sensitive to sounds associated with other big energies. I can “hear” a big booming voice from where she used to live that she can’t shake out of her mind. I can get in further with an animal communication session but that’s my first thoughts. What you can do first is try our Green Hope Flower Essences and see if we can shake those energetic patterns and start to make a difference.

My recommendations are:
Abandonment and abuse: although she is not any of those things now, she has energetic memory of that, this essence may neutralize it

Spraying: although this was made for cats, it also helps dogs who urinate in the house

Then, there is one Bach flower essence, called “cerato” – which helps with “repeated undesirable behavior” – we don’t stock it but can get it for you.
Hope this helps. Please do come in and we’ll be glad to help you any way we can.

All the best, Pattie

My dog looks so hot in the summer! Is there anything I can do? I feel like I want to give him a short haircut but will that be enough to keep him cool?

Yes, to humans, dogs do look hot! But cool themselves down very differently than people do. They breathe through their skin and the pads of their feet. Those fur coats protect them against the sun burning their skin and the circulation under their hair helps to keep them cool. So does “panting”  – it’s their built in air conditioning system! We do not recommend very short clipping, because of the sunburn and because it takes away the water repellant aspects they’ll need in the colder winter months. If you just can’t bear it looking at them, then we can do a shorter summer clip that keeps things neat and tidy but retains their natural cooling system.

Is there anything I can do in these hot and humid months to keep my pets from scratching and itching so much? It seems when the weather turns to summer heat, they just go crazy even after short times outside.

Choose “cooling” proteins, like pork, duck or whitefish for their foods – in Chinese medicine, these proteins helps them “cool” from the inside out in hot, humid climates during the summer months. This will also help prevent hot spots, itching, scratching and things that present as “allergies” – food makes all the difference! Also, keep grains at a minimum and go for raw foods or good quality grain free foods like Orijen or Acana. Our NaturVet supplements have quercetin, which will help with the summer skin problems too. And, if your pets are swimming in lakes and streams with warm water… absolutely wash them off so they don’t have staph bacteria causing problems. Our HomeoPet Skin & Itch Relief tincture will help keep them in balance!

My dog is extremely scared of thunderstorms and wants to hide in bathrooms, under the bed or anywhere to escape. What natural products do you have that might help?

When you look at the weather forecast in the morning, that’s the time to start your plan of action. On a hot, humid day when thunderstorms are predicted go ahead and give your dog a homeopathic remedy like HomeoPet “Storm Stress” and then put some in their water bowl. (every day if you need to) – because when you’ve heard the thunder, your dog felt the energy from it hours ago and it’s too late so get ahead of the game. You can do this remedy every fifteen minutes if your dog is acutely scared. Other things that work well with  this plan are essential oils like Young Living “Peace and Calming” Therapeutic Oil applied to a Thundershirt. Or we have herbal and flower essences for anxiety too. There are some dogs we’ve had to give 2-3 options all at one time to keep them from having a meltdown. We’ll help you find a solution that’s just right for your pet.

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