Archive of ‘Natural Health’ category

How To Brush Your Dog’s Teet

Brushing Dogs Teeth

Brushing your dog’s teeth is both a difficult and necessary part of being a dog owner. That being said, there are a few different tips that you can use to help you get your dog’s teeth sparkling clean without getting bitten or hurting anyone’s feelings.

Choosing Your Tools-

The first step to any successful tooth brushing is of course to choose the right tools. For dogs that have never had their teeth brushed before, it is always best to gauge how they react to brushes. In most cases, dogs that have never had their teeth brushed will tend to become annoyed with the process. This means that choosing a soft brush, one with a handle and perhaps even soft head, and a tooth paste that is appealing is the best way to get their teeth brushing started. This may result in a less clean brushing but it will insure that your dog does not hurt itself trying to fight the brush. For dogs that are used to brushing, a fingertip brush is going to offer a more thorough brushing.


The next thing to consider is of course the process by which you are going to brush your dog’s teeth. It is always best to first show your dog the tooth brush, this will help lower anxiety. The next step should be introducing the paste. This could be as simple as letting them smell it or even taste a small bit. Next, you should apply the paste to the brush and gently hold your dogs head still. If your dog is going to fight back, this will be the point at which they begin to struggle. You can then continue or wait until your dog calms down. To achieve a proper brushing you should strive to brush along the gum line, on the tongue, and the teeth. If at any time your dog becomes anxious or starts to struggle, it is always best to stop brushing.

Exposure to Dogs May Improve Kids’ Asthma


Researchers have finally learned why children who are exposed to a dog in the home in early infancy seem to have lower risks for developing allergies and asthma. Though many people would initially think that exposure to dogs isn’t good for a baby, but the changes that these pets cause within the community of microbes within the home makes the biggest difference.

How Does It Happen?

In short, when dogs are permitted indoors and outdoors, this changes the microbes that live within the environment. Studies indicate these changes, which occur within the gastrointestinal microbiome, work to reduce the reaction of the immune system on common types of allergies. The study was conducted by researchers from the Division of Gastroenterology at the UC San Francisco and the University of Michigan.

What studies have provided is not only how this happens, but also the reason it happens. Studies indicate that there are specific bacterial species in the gut that help to provide protection to the airways against the viral respiratory infections and allergens many people are exposed to.

What Does This Mean for Our Pet-Filled Homes?

In short, doctors have known for a long time that children who grow up in a home with a pet or live on a farm, are less likely to experience complications such as allergies and asthma. Previously, many doctors believed that the hygiene hypothesis was true, which states that many homes have simply gotten too “clean” for the immune system to become exposed to enough bacteria and viruses to build up immunities. With new study, though, provides some new light on why dogs seem to be linked to this improvement.

In short, the microbes that lived in the dust reshaped the community of living organisms living within mice (the initial study was conducted on mice.) The changes created helped the mice to fight off various types of allergen reactions. All of this comes from a single bacteria called Lactobacillu johnsonii, which is very common in areas where dogs live.

In many ways, then, dogs are helping to contribute to a healthier lifestyle for humans, even through the use of the bacteria living within their guts.

Can Pets Be Vegetarians?

You may be living a vegetarian lifestyle and wonder if your pet can share in the same type of experience. The simple answer to whether or not dogs can be vegetarians is simply yes. Cats, too. The fact is that many animals can live as vegetarians even if their ancestors did not (about the same way that humans can) but you’ll need to ensure you feed your pet the right types of foods to ensure he or she gets the right level of nutrition, again, just like you need to do as a vegetarian yourself.

The dog’s body does have the ability to transform amino acids into protein, something that is necessary if the pet was to avoid meat. There is no doubt that dogs and cats, too, need to have a good source of protein. And, since they can get that from amino acids, this means pets can avoid meat.

On the other hand, it is important to consider the fact that not all dogs or cats should be vegetarians. And, it is very commonly believed that dogs and cats should not be vegans. If you plan to give your pet a grain or plant based diet overall, this may be okay if you take the time to ensure you are providing a very high quality diet. Giving them just anything will not do and the animal is unlikely to thrive.

So, what if you want your pet to become a vegetarian? If you want to make the change, do it closely with a vet that specializes or at least agrees with the process. You’ll find that a well-balanced diet does require the use of quality foods and that nutrition needs to come from a variety of sources. There is no rule that says, though, that pets can’t be vegetarian if they are given quality nutrients.


Chocolate Toxicity for Dogs

While chocolate is a treat many humans would die for, dogs can actually die if they injest it.The roasted seeds chocolate is made of contain ingredients that are deadly to dogs. Theobromine and caffiene are the two ingredients that are responsible for this.

There are symptoms dogs owners should look out for if their dog inadvertently eats chocolate. The symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting, a high body temperature, more reflex responses, quick breathing, rigid muscles, lower than normal blood pressure and even seizures.

Different types of chocolate have different effects on a dog. A mere 0.7 ounces of milk chocolate per pound in a dog’s body is enough to be mildly toxic to them. If they injest two ounces of chocolate for every pound they weigh it will be sevrely toxic to them. For example, if a 20 pound dog ingests even one pound of milk chocolate they can become very sick as a result.

Semi-sweet chocolate is more dangerous for dogs than milk chocolate is. With 0.3 ounces of chocolate consumed for every pound they weigh, the amount is mildly toxic to them. If a dog consumes an ounce of semi-sweet chocolate for every pound they weigh this amount is severly toxic to them.

Baking chocolate is the most dangerous type of chocolate for a dog to consume. If a 20 pound dog eats even two squares of baking chocolate weighing one ounce each it can have deadly effects on them.

Anything that contains chocolate is harmful to dogs. If they ingest enough of it, chocolate can kill any dog, regardless of their size. Any dog that ingests chocolate should be examined by a vet immediately. If the theobromine is removed from a dog’s body quickly enough they are likely to survive.

Though some fancy dog treats use as small amount of chocolate in them many dog treats are made with carob, which is simply a substitute for chocolate that is safe for dogs to injest. Applied to a dog bone it looks like real chocolate but it is not deadly to man’s best friend.

Diseases You Can Catch from Your Dogs


The very instant you brought your pooch home, he became family. You fell in love with his cuteness, his energy and his selfless love, so you reward him often with treats and squeeze in playtime everyday. However, as beneficial as daily roughhousing can be for you and your pet, sometimes it can actually be dangerous. Yes dangerous. You know the times when your dog sneezes in your face or when he breaks your skin with his paw? Or, how about the times when he nips you with his dagger-like teeth or how about the days when he insists on cleaning himself on your lap? Although your battle-wounds are always accidental and minimal, your dog can actually transmit diseases into your bloodstream that can generate mild to severe symptoms.

Diseases you can Catch from your Dogs:

  • Ringworm: Although its name suggest otherwise, ringworms aren’t actual worms, in fact it is a common fungal infection. Animals and humans that are infected are typically treated with both internal and external anti-fungals.
  • Hookworm: Hookworms can be life threatening for dogs and medically devastating for humans. They are parasitic entities that attach themselves to the intestines of its host, feeding off of its nutrients. This infection is treated with anti-parasitics.
  • Tapeworm: Dogs and humans can contract tapeworms by ingesting a diseased flea. Tapeworms also attach themselves to the host intestines. Anti-worm is usually the prescribed treatment.
  • Brucellosis: Brucellosis is another zoonotic disease that can cause major medical damage for both the infected animal and the human. Treatment usually includes antibiotics.
  • Strep Throat: Strep throat is passed on by the exchange of bodily fluids (mouth kisses and sharing of food). Untreated step throat infections can weaken the immune system of the dog and human infected.

Simple Tips for Preventing the Contraction of Zoonotic Diseases:

  • Get your dog immunized with the required vaccinations
  • Get your animal tested periodically for any potential illness and disease
  • Wash your hands after handling your dog in anyway
  • Avoid coming in direct contact with your dog’s urine or feces
  • Absolutely no mouth kisses or sharing of food
  • Clean scratches and nips immidiately with antibacterial soap
  • Wash your pet’s bedding often
  • Refill your dog’s water with clean water throughout the day

Lillies and Cats: Poison Problem



Did you know that your lovely cat is vulnerable to lilies poison? You need to be keen with those flowers and plants that can pose a threat. A good example is the Easter lilies that will bring the life of the cat to an untimely end. Others in this category are Tiger, Show, Japanese, Asiatic and Day lily. Watch out for this. A single pollen grain of this plant is enough to result in kidney failure, eventually causing death.

What to Do

Unfortunately, the particular toxin in the lilies hasn’t been identified. The good news is that it is water soluble. Hold on firmly to this tip as it might just be the savior in case of poisoning. If you swing into action immediately it happens, you might just be able to rescue your cat. Approximately, the poison will be at its worst in three days.

Indicators of Poisoning

The nearest time that you can spot signs of poisoning is in the range of six to twelve hours after ingestion. The cat will start vomiting and within no time, it will get dehydrated. It also loses appetite. There is also the inflammation of the pancreas and the cat might either develop extreme thirst or it avoids water completely. You also need to look out for lethargy as it is one of the key indicators. If the signs go unseen, things worsen and the next thing is the acute failing of the kidney.
Dealing with the Poisoning

The antidote that can combat lily poisoning hasn’t been developed yet. The best thing you can do in this situation is to bring the matter to the attention of a veterinary doctor. Do this in the shortest time possible as the life of the cat largely depends on it. The specialist will use decontamination drugs to improve the condition.

Finally, you just have to avoid lilies since they are generally not good friends for your cats. Even the other types like Calla, Peace and Peruvian can result in mild poisoning.


Tips for Choosing a Veterinarian

Veterinarian Petting Dog

No matter what your pet’s medical needs are, the last thing you want is the town quack administering essential medical treatments to him. Whether you’re looking for a veterinarian for the first time, or hoping to replace the vet that’s currently caring for your pet, these tips will help you find the right one.

Ask for referrals. If you have friends, family or coworkers with pets, ask them for the names and numbers of the veterinarians they use. With your list in hand, make arrangements to check out the facilities. While you’re there:

  • Look around to see if the facilities are clean and well-organized.
  • Watch to see how the staff interacts with the pets and their parents.
  • Find out who will be responsible for administering medical care to your pet when the primary vet is on vacation, or absent for any other reason.
  • Don’t be afraid to get in the vet’s professional business. Where did he go to school? How long has he been licensed? What is his philosophy about pet care? When it comes to the safety and care of your pet, take no prisoners.

Pay attention to communication skills. Is communication seamless? If the doctor isn’t listening or communicating with you during your first visit, he’s not going to start when you bring up concerns about your pet.

Check for AAHA accreditation. The American Animal Hospital Association is an organization that sets the standard of excellence in veterinarian services. Keep in mind though, not all quality vet practices are AAHA accredited. Opting for one with the AAHA seal of approval simply improves the likelihood that your animal will get a top-notch medical provider.

Before you finalize your decision, consider the clinic’s operating hours and location. Of course, when it comes to getting the best care for your pet, distance and operating hours aren’t going to be the determining factors. However, if the hours are inconvenient and the facility is far away, it can impact your ability to get your animal to the vet if there is ever an emergency.

Pets Can Be Organ Donors

Staffordshire terrier and cat

It might occur as a surprise to you, but pets can be organ donors. If your dog has an organ that is seriously ailing and nothing can be done to keep it, there is another way out. Or, you can also offer to save the life of another dog by allowing your dog to donate that vital organ that is badly needed by the other dog. This is reality and there are many success stories of dogs that came close to death but managed to come back to life after undergoing an organ transplant.

If a dog is to undergo a kidney transplant for instance, the normal human procedure is followed. The donor surgery, as well as the recipient surgery is performed after ascertaining that there is compatibility between the two. The recipient is usually a dog with two failing kidneys while the donor dog must have two properly functioning kidneys. This way, it will be able to survive with the one that it is left with after the donation.

The organ transplant could also be geared towards saving the eyesight of your dog. A good example is a past case where a dog had a melanoma that had pitched tent on the white part of the eye a. After s surgery, the tumor was removed and a gap was left in that space. The problem reoccurred and this time round it affected the whole eye such that the dog couldn’t see. After locating a dog that was on the dying edge after a serious accident, the eye was taken and transplanted into the one that had lost one of its eyes. Believe it or not, the dog is living a healthy life without any complications.

So there you have it. If you didn’t know, now you know it. Your dog does not have to suffer just because of a failing kidney or any other organ. Call for help and rescue the life of your pet.


Common Cat Litter Box Problems and Solutions


One of the less pleasant aspects of cat ownership involves the litter box. Although this handy device prevents you from taking endless bathroom breaks (as you would with your dog) it also can be stinky, dirty and, sometimes, not an end-all solution. The following are a few common problems you may encounter, as well as excellent solutions:

Dealing With Litter Boxes And Multiple Cats

If you are the proud owner of multiple kitties, you might have noticed one or more of your feline friends refusing to use the community litter box. In many households, one dominant cat will take control of the litter box and refuse the others from obtaining access. Sometimes, however, the problem arises when there’s even a small amount of stress between kitties. Your best solution to this problem is to place multiple litter boxes throughout your home and, if a lack of spaying or neutering is contributing to the problem, consider a trip to the vet.

Picky Cats

Sometimes, no matter what you do, your cat will find issue with your litter box. First, take your kitty into the vet for a checkup — you’ll want to ensure that a medical issue is not responsible for your cat’s behavior. Once you’ve ruled out medical problems, try changing up the location of your litter box. Depending on your cat’s age, that spot in the basement might be out of reach. Some cats are also picky about types of kitty litter, so don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of brands. Finally, be sure that you are actually cleaning the litter box on a frequent basis. Think about what would happen if the tables were turned? Would you really want to do you business in a stinky box that hadn’t been cleaned in ages?

Any number of problems can cause your kitties to avoid the litter box. If you even suspect those issues may be of a medical nature, do not hesitate to visit the vet. Otherwise, take time to observe your cat’s habits and experiment with box placement. You might be surprised by the end result!

Why feed your dog a natural food?

Your pooch is more than just an adorable ball of fur, he’s a prized member of the family. As such, you want him to live a vibrant life and bring your family many years of joy. Just like his human family, your canine companion needs a nutrient-dense diet to fuel his romps around the park. A natural dog food can give your pet the nutrients he needs without the nasty additives and fillers.

Why Natural Dog Food

When it comes to pet food, the fewer additives, the better. Food that is free from artificial colors, pesticides, fillers and chemicals gives your dog the best chance at fighting allergies, infections and illnesses.

Your dog relies on the nutritional value in food to stay energetic, muscular and healthy. Natural dog foods are more nutritious because they contain high quality proteins and grains instead of bulk fillers.

Many of the additives in traditional pet food can cause digestive issues because they are not fit for animals to eat. Natural foods break down in the system properly so your pooch can digest them easier. Your pet will appreciate not being crumpled up in a corner because he’s constipated . . . again.

In addition to feeding your pet a natural dog food, you must keep his portion sizes reasonable. If you feed him too much, he’ll end up overweight. If you are having a tough time calculating Fido’s calories, talk to your vet. She will take your animal’s age and weight into consideration and help you figure out the right amount of food to feed him.

1 2 3