WHAT IS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE IN HOLISTIC HEALING FOR PETS?

What is the wave of the future in holistic healing for pets? To determine the future of holistic healing for pets, we must first look to it's past.  I'm delighted to turn the blog over for a wonderful Guest Blog Post written by Jody Miller-Young, Certified Pet Homeopathic Educator (CPHE).  Jody is well versed in the use of homeopathic healing for pets, and is the creator of the program Hound Healer Homeopathy; How To Help Our Pets Live Longer, Healther Lives. The program teaches pet parents natural healing through homeopathy and nutrition, so they can take back control of their pet's health. Take it away Jody!



OK, I admit it; I’m the natural health/complementary medicine girl…as far back as I can remember. So, people often ask me what they can do to heal their pets. What should I feed, what medicines or supplements would help with this or that? And, while good, solid nutrition is the foundation of it all, many are missing a powerful healing tool that triggers your pet’s body to heal itself…often completely.

No, it’s not herbs. No, it’s not CBD. No, it’s not woo woo voodoo. This over 250-year old healing modality, created by a physician/scientist, with a plethora of empirical and scientific case study successes for everything from a tummy upset to cancer, is Homeopathy.

You might have heard of it. A lot of people have, but don’t quite know what it is or what to make of it. It all boils down to the principle called Like Cures Like. Let’s break that down. You’ll need a little bit of historical context for it to make sense.


BLOODLETTING, LEECHES & TOXINS, OH MY!


Homeopathy was discovered by a German physician/scientist named Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700’s. Practicing as a conventional doctor of his day, he became frustrated by the limitations of what was available at the time – bloodletting with leeches, purging, blistering and dosing with toxic mixtures of mercury, lead and arsenic. Not very pleasant! And, totally unregulated.

It was during this medical madness that Dr. Hahnemann ran an experiment that would change his life and the course of complementary medicine forever. He was translating foreign medical texts into his native German when he came across an entry about Cinchona Bark (from which we derive quinine). The text argued that cinchona bark was effective in treating malaria (a real threat in those days), because it was bitter and astringent. Hahnemann disregarded this because he knew of other bitter and astringent substances that didn’t cure malaria. So, what was different here? He decided to test it out like any good doc living in the wild west of medicine…on himself.


LIKE CURES LIKE OR WHEN YOUR FRIENDS BECOME YOUR GUINEA PIGS…





Shortly after taking the first dose, he began to experience symptoms like fever, drowsiness, thirst, palpitations, anxiety and muscle and joint pain – those of malaria. Every time he repeated the dose, the same thing happened. Now, this is where the brilliance begins. Check this out.

Hahnemann wondered if the reason cinchona bark could successfully treat malaria wasn’t because it was bitter and astringent, but because it could produce malaria-like symptoms in healthy people and thereby, might trigger the body to cure those same symptoms in people already possessing them.

This was to be a revolutionary concept, and over the next six years, Hahnemann conducted many more experiments on himself and willing friends of all constitutional types with many different substances. Each time, these substances produced symptoms in the healthy similar to those they could treat in the unwell. Hence, the term, Like Cures Like.

Six years later, Dr. Hahnemann had enough data to release his findings to the medical community in his landmark essay called The Law of Similars, a cornerstone of homeopathic teachings. This concept of like cures like wasn’t new; it had been around since the times of Hippocrates, only now, it was validated. That essay was released in 1796, considered to be the birth year of homeopathy.

Patients flocked to homeopathic doctors, whose practices were popping up all over Europe. I mean, which would you rather do? Be leeched and poisoned or take a sweet tasting pellet?

Over the years and once the American Medical Association had been formed, conventional doctors, also called allopaths, felt threatened in their power and their pocketbooks, since their patients were switching to seeing homeopaths, and began discrediting homeopathy and homeopathic physicians, calling them quacks. The stain of that powerful campaign pushed homeopathy to the fringes for a very long time. But, there was to be a light at the end of that tunnel.


THE POWER OF ENERGY MEDICINE


All of those experiments Dr. Hahnemann conducted to document the effects of various substances in healthy people were called Provings. They were done using many things in nature, from various plants, minerals, animal products, metals and more.

Those early experiments were using the original plants, minerals, metals, etc., and producing pronounced symptoms, and Dr. Hahnemann knew he wanted to arrive at the smallest dose of a substance that would still be effective. Wise for his time, he knew that his method was triggering the body to do its job and heal. Why stimulate that with a fist when you could do it with a finger? Less is more in homeopathy.

So, the doctor decided to experiment with what the smallest dose of each substance could be to produce the desired results. He employed a process he called Potentization, where he would dilute the original substance and vigorously shake it…many times, until what was left was a sub-molecular amount of the original material that still worked in creating symptoms in a healthy person.

This, too, was genius because since there was no discernable amount of the original substance left after potentizing, any symptoms the homeopathic remedy produced disappeared once the dosing ended, making it a protocol that was safe and effective. A baby could swallow a bottle of a homeopathic remedy and not be harmed. Cool, right?!


Today, over 2500 proven homeopathic remedies exist and can be used to treat a broad spectrum of illness.

YES, YOUR BABY IS UNIQUELY SPECIAL!




The final piece is also what makes homeopathy different from other healing modalities. Homeopathy treats a being holistically but in an unusual way. Holistic simply means the whole person or whole animal. But, where homeopathy differs is this: two people or two dogs may have upset tummies and diarrhea, but may require two completely different homeopathic remedies to trigger the healing process. Why?

Because your baby is uniquely special! Yes, like treats like, but just considering the symptoms alone doesn’t allow you to arrive at the correct remedy. Symptoms alone is how the conventional docs do it.

With homeopathy, how a person or animal individually expresses those symptoms – their personality, quirks, what makes their symptoms better or worse - all are considered when choosing a remedy. When the energy of that individual and its symptoms match the energy of that remedy, literally symptoms begin to disappear, as if by magic. And, what’s better?

Oftentimes, old symptoms reappear briefly and are then also cleared from the body; the body is literally healing itself from the most recent to the oldest symptom.

Sound woo woo voodoo? I know! Yet, if you remember that we’re all made of energy and if you do your research about how each of our organs, blood, bones resonate with their own energy frequency, if only the energy of a substance remains in a homeopathic remedy, you can start to see the incredible things our bodies and our pets’ bodies are capable of when energy aligns.


THE UPHILL BATTLE


The smear campaign about homeopathy of 200 years ago has not totally gone away. There are many more homeopaths and many more everyday people practicing homeopathy within their own families. And, we still face the ignorance and fear of the conventional medical community.

As homeopath, Rachel Roberts, declared in her article in The Guardian, “Now, as an experienced homeopath, it is ‘science’ that is biting me on the bottom. I know homeopathy works, not only because I’ve seen it with my own eyes countless times, but because scientific research confirms it. And yet, I keep reading reports in the media saying that homeopathy doesn’t work and that this scientific evidence doesn’t exist.

“The facts, it seems, are being ignored. By the end of 2009, 142 randomised control trials (the gold standard in medical research) comparing homeopathy with placebo or conventional treatment had been published in peer-reviewed journals – 74 were able to draw firm conclusions: 63 were positive for homeopathy and 11 were negative. Five major systematic reviews have also been carried out to analyse the balance of evidence from RCT’s of homeopathy – four were positive (Kleijnen, J; Linde, K; Cucherat, M) and one was negative (Shang, A.).

“It’s usual to get mixed results when you look at a wide range of research results on one subject, and if these results were from trials measuring the efficacy of ‘normal conventional drugs, ratios of 63:11 and 4:1 in favour of a treatment working would be considered pretty persuasive.”

A PRACTICED SKILL



Practicing homeopathy successfully is a learned and practiced skill and art form in one. There is a simple elegance in being a detective for your baby, observing and recording what matters in determining a remedy, and then using that to find the most appropriate remedy to heal, knowing you are truly doing no harm. And, there’s nothing better than watching that remedy work, clearing up your dog or cat’s symptoms by triggering your pet’s body to heal itself, just like nature intended.


My 11-year old dog, Sophie, healed through homeopathy for a recent ear infection and her itchy skin condition is a work in progress, as are chronic conditions, but we are making progress. Our foster cat, Suki, got through a nasty paw infection with the help of homeopathy.

This is why more and more holistic vets are including homeopathy in their practice today and the consensus among holistic healers is homeopathy will continue to grow, since it is such a safe and effective practice. The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine states, “There seems little doubt there has been a remarkable revival of homeopathy since the 1960s and 1970s in many countries, but especially the USA where, in 2002, it was estimated that the number of patients using homeopathic remedies had risen by 500% in the previous seven years, mostly by purchasing over-the-counter remedies.” It has only grown even more, since then.

One of its biggest challenges is it takes time to do correctly, in a world where we’re all in a hurry to get it done fast. Homeopathic remedies are far less expensive than pharmaceuticals and do no harm. Vet bills could be reduced significantly by practicing homeopathy and the ability to heal our babies would allow us to take back control of their health. You just have to pause long enough to learn the practice and become a healer for your pets.

We and our pets have such a humbling power to heal, if we just get out of our own way and stop suppressing and masking symptoms as a method of cure. It isn’t; it may just postpone a worse, more serious problem as the body looks for a way to express its imbalance. Getting out of our own way? Now that is what I call a concept of the future…Now.


About Jody Miller-Young:

A 30+ year homeopathic healer in her personal life, Jody is now helping pet parents with sick pets to naturally and holistically heal, so they will finally have a solution to extend their lives and add precious time with their best friend. Miller-Young is a Certified Pet Homeopathic Educator. She is about to launch her program, Hound Healer Homeopathy; How To Help Our Pets Live Longer, Healther Lives, where she teaches pet parents natural healing through homeopathy and nutrition, so they can take back control of their pet's health

She was a blogger, radio host and fashion editor of Hampton’s Pet magazine in the pet fashion and rescue space with her brand, Bark & Swagger for several years, and still interviews designers, authors and activists on her podcast of the same name, which reaches over 250,000 on demand listeners.

Click here to learn more about her program, Hound Healer Homeopathy; How To Help Our Pets Live Longer, Healther Lives 


A very big Thank You to Jody Miller-Young, CPHE, for sharing her information and insights about Homeopathy, and holistic healing for pets!

Have you ever utilized holistic medicine for your pet? Leave us a comment, we love hearing from you!


DOG FRIENDLY WALKING TRAIL IN JUPITER, FLORIDA

We were delighted to discover this fabulous dog friendly walking trail in Jupiter, Florida! It's not your typical dog friendly park area, it's a 2.5 mile riverwalk along the intracoastal waterway on the Jupiter Inlet.

Harborside Riverwalk Dog Friendly Walking Trail in Jupiter Florida


The Harborside Riverwalk is a great way for both dogs and their people to get exercise together, walking this 5 mile roundtrip dog friendly trail. Dogs are welcome everywhere outdoors in this pet friendly park area, and must be leashed at all times. 

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Icy loves the dog friendly Harborside Riverwalk in Jupiter, FL 


There are dog waste bags at several poop stations along the walkway.  Dogs are even allowed to walk down on the docks to get a closer look at the boats that are docked there. It's so funny to see Icy and Phoebe stick their faces out towards the water to catch a whiff of what's coming off the water!

As you stroll along the riverwalk you have a beautiful view of the water, some mangroves, and lots of boats, both sailing by and docked.  If you peer down into the water you are likely to see fish swimming close to the shore.  We recently saw a small Puffer Fish really close to the shoreline rocks, it was so cool!

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Even the dock is dog friendly at the Harborside!


We prefer to go to the Harborside Riverwalk on weekdays since it's not very crowded during the week. Weekends can get crowded, and they often host special events.

Shops and Restaurants on the Harborside Riverwalk


There are lots of shops and restaurants, many with pet friendly outdoor patios where dogs are welcome.  My favorite dog friendly restaurants along the Riverwalk are;

Tommy Bahamas restaurant, on the Northern side of the Riverwalk

I love their Salads and the coconut shrimp. They have a really good selection of fun cocktails as well. 

Calaveras Cantina; Sexy Mexican Food and Craft Cocktails.

I never miss an opportunity to have the tableside guacamole! It's super fresh and delicious. They do such a great job expertly mixing it up right at your table. Calaveras is located in the middle of the riverwalk.
 
Subculture coffee house

I'm a tea drinker, but my husband raves about their coffee. They have a few really good breakfast sandwiches and some yummy treats as well, like coconut cake. We often bring the dogs here in the morning. We love to end our long walks by relaxing at Subculture. We have our coffee and tea, the dogs get chew sticks or other dog treats and a bowl of nice cold water.
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Icy and Phoebe at SubCulture, a dog friendly coffee house along the Riverwalk


Parking at the Harborside Riverwalk


There's plenty of free parking at the Harborside, as well as paid parking in two garages.  We prefer to park in the plaza underneath the bridge (Indiantown Rd bridge). It's free, it's right on the water, and the car stays shaded the whole time we're parked. 

The Harborside Riverwalk is one of our favorite dog friendly places to go in South Florida. If you bring your dog to this dog friendly walkway, remember to bring plenty of water so your dog stays hydrated. 

Bring some dog treats or dog chews so your dog has something to keep him occupied if you stop at one of the restaurants or the coffee house after the walk. And I highly recommend that you do! 

You should bring your own dog waste bags as well, as the poop stations along the riverwalk are spaced out quite a bit. You don't want to get stuck not being able to Scoop the Poop if the need arises.

We hope you and your dog enjoy this unique dog friendly walking trail in Jupiter!


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Great dog friendly beaches in South Florida 


 
Tips for a Stress Free Road Trip With Dogs




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HOW TO STOP A DOG FROM DIGGING

Spring is in the air! Snow is melted, trees are waking from their slumber, and Spring flowers are peeking through the soil. The soft ground is just right for gardening. Your dog agrees and he can't wait to dig up that soft, fresh earth! Will your dog make like an excavator and destroy your beautiful yard and garden before Summer? Not if you follow these tips on how to stop a dog from digging!

Understand Why Dogs Dig To Learn How To Stop A Dog From Digging


Before we get into how to stop your dog from digging, let's talk about WHY dogs like to dig in the dirt so much. 

Reasons Why Dogs Like To Dig In The Dirt


ðŸū The main reason why dogs dig in the ground is that it's a natural, instinctive dog behavior.  Digging dates back to dogs wolf ancestral days when wolves needed to dig for hunting purposes. Wolves often had to dig to seek out small prey for food. They would bury leftover food or bones from their hunt, hiding it from other predators, so they could return for another meal later.  This behavior has carried through to today's domestic dogs. Some domestic dog breeds are more prone to digging than others.

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How To Stop A Dog From Digging. Icy enjoying her Dig Pit. 


ðŸū Digging is intentionally part of some domestic dog breeds genetic makeup. Certain dogs were bred by humans specifically to dig out vermin, keeping farms and other dwellings free of pests that might destroy crops, and other property.  Terriers, for example, are champion diggers.  The name Terrier comes from the word Terra, meaning earth so it's no surprise they were born to dig! 

This intentional breeding strengthened the natural digging instinct of certain dog breeds, for a specifically to benefit humans.  To stop this type of dog from digging requires a lot more effort, because their digging instinct is so strong.

ðŸū Even for dogs not bred for the purpose of eliminating pests from the property, the smell and sound of mice, rats, gophers, moles and other small critters will often excite almost any breed of dog, small or large, compelling the dog to dig in garden beds to capture the critter.  That's why so many stuffed dog toys are made in the form of furry little critters!

ðŸū Some dogs will dig a wide, shallow hole simply to get relief from the heat on a hot day.  My Siberian Husky, Icy, does that a lot.  I finally bought her a Cool Mat to lie on for those hot Summer days. She loves it!

ðŸū Dogs often dig holes to bury a favorite toy or chew stick, hiding it somewhere safe where they can come back for it later.  

ðŸū Some dogs dig out of sheer boredom and loneliness. They just need more mental or physical stimulation!  Such stimulation should be provided before a dog's digging becomes an ingrained habit.

ðŸū Some dogs have issues with anxiety and digging offers some relief. I had a foster dog, a Chihuahua named Buttercup, who suffered from severe anxiety. Not only did she dig holes in my yard to hide in, she "dug" indoors as well. She tried to dig out of her crate, she dug into the blanket I gave her, and even dug into the carpet!  For Buttercup, the digging was a byproduct of her anxiety, so she needed to first be treated for her anxiety, rather than a digging problem.

ðŸū Dogs dig to escape a yard or kennel. There can be a lot of reasons for this; boredom, fear, or they just want to escape to look for their family members if they've gone out and left the dog alone in the yard.

ðŸū Many dogs dig simply because it's fun and it feels sooo good!


How To Stop My Dog From Digging



Now that you know this type of behavior is natural and can be very strong in certain breeds, lets talk about how you can get your dog to stop digging. If not stop the digging completely, at lease reduce how much your dog digs and where he digs.  

Remember that your dog is not being "bad" or misbehaving when he digs holes in the yard, he is just following his natural instinct and being a dog! Dogs do not deserve to be yelled at or punished in any way for digging mulch or digging in the flower beds. It's a natural behavior, but it is a behavior that can be redirected and curtailed with a little effort and thought on your part.

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How To Stop A Dog From Digging Up Your Yard. Icy relaxing in the yard


I am no stranger to my dog digging up the yard, my Siberian Husky Icy loves to dig!  She can dig a tunnel faster than you can say "Wanna treat?"  When she was almost a year old her digging became a real issue. She dug holes everywhere, our yard looked like a minefield!  I read articles and talked to trainers and other dog owners about it and they had a lot of advice on how to stop my dog's digging. Some of their home remedies for how to stop a dog from digging were:


Natural Deterrents To Stop A Dog From Digging 



🐕 Bitter sprays. Bitter spray is a great natural deterrent for chewing, and can also deter dogs from digging in a certain area or digging up plants or other objects. I've used bitter spray both indoors and outside to keep my dogs away from plants, shrubs and other things I want them to stay away from.  If your dog is digging in a relatively small area, you can spray that area with bitter spray. You may need to do it frequently at first, especially outdoors, since the scent and taste of it fades out. Eventually, your dog probably won't want to dig, or even hang out, in that area.  If the area is large however, read on...

🐕 Bury your dog's poop in places she is targeting for digging. It should make it unpleasant for your dog to dig where her poop is!  Honestly, this didn't work so well for me. It didn't prevent my dog from digging, it actually just made a big, stinky mess!  

🐕 Bury large rocks where your dog habitually digs. This didn't work well for us either, Icy started digging up the rocks & playing with them. Sometimes she even brought the dirty rocks into the house! Not cool Icy, not cool. LOL!

🐕 If your dog likes to dig holes and bury stuff, try this. When your dog is done playing with a toy, chew stick, shoe, or other item she likes to bury, rather than let her get to the point where she needs to hide it in the dirt, take it away yourself. Distract your dog momentarily, remove the item and put it away until next time. 

You don't want to upset your dog or make her feel she's being punished by having something taken away from her. Distract your dog, then discreetly take the item away, keeping it out of sight.  Remember to give it back at your next outdoor playtime!

🐕 If your dog is digging up the yard in order to get to small critters underground like mice or moles, you can have them humanely removed. Please don't kill these tiny critters! They deserve our compassion and respect.  Instead, consider having a pest control company humanely remove them from your yard and relocate them elsewhere. If you can remove the temptation, it may help curtail your dog's digging.


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How To Stop A Dog From Digging Under A Fence



🐕 If your dog is digging under the fence in your yard and escaping, that is very dangerous and needs to be stopped immediately.  We never leave our dogs in the yard unattended, it can be disastrous.  Not only will your dog look for inappropriate ways to relieve his boredom and loneliness, but someone can easily steal your dog from the yard when no-one is watching.  Pet theft has been increasing rapidly. More than 2 million pets are stolen every year in the U.S. !  If at all possible, please don't leave your dog alone in the yard.

🐕 If at times there is no way for you to keep your dog inside and he must be in the yard, try placing wire mesh at the bottom of the fence. Bury wire mesh several inches into the dirt along the bottom perimeter of the fence.  If you are installing new fencing, bury the fence a foot deep and place wire mesh and rocks at the bottom. 


I tried most of these dog digging remedies, but they didn't stop my determined dog's digging. Rather than give up in frustration, I decided to look for a way Icy could satisfy her need to dig without turning my yard into a mine field. 

After some research and thought, I finally found a way to let my dog dig to her heart's content without destroying our yard! It was about where I let her dig.  

By luring Icy to a DIY Dig Pit made just for her, I created a space where my dog was not only allowed to dig, but ultimately preferred to dig! This turned out to be the most effective method for me to get my dog to stop digging up the yard.

How did I do that? By giving my precious pooch a designated patch of earth she could call her very own.  I looked around the yard for a good place to make a Dig Pit for Icy.  I decided that the area behind my husband's shed was the perfect spot.  My dog could dig to her heart's content behind the shed, out of site.  Once I had chosen the perfect spot for Icy's Dig Pit, here's what I did:

ðŸ”Ļ I blocked off a 6' x 4' area for my DIY Dig Pit behind the shed. 

ðŸ”Ļ I loosened up the dirt to make it nice and inviting. Dogs seem to love freshly dug up dirt, which is probably why they love to dig up our flowers moments after we've planted them!

ðŸ”Ļ Now I  needed to let her know there was an exciting place to dig, just for her.  I took 2 or 3 of her favorite chew sticks and placed them into the ground, with about 2 inches sticking out of the dirt so she could easily find them.

ðŸ”Ļ I brought her over to the Dig Pit and showed her the first chew stick. It was so exciting for her, she had found buried treasure!  She found and scarfed down all the chew sticks in minutes. 

ðŸ”Ļ Over the next couple of days I continued to bury treats, rubber toys, and chew sticks in her Dig Pit once or twice a day.  She quickly learned that good stuff awaited her in the magical Dig Pit! She couldn't wait to get out there and see what treasures awaited her discovery. 

Before long, her preferred spot to dig became the Dig Pit, and soon after she never bothered to dig anywhere else in the yard. Why would she want to dig anywhere else when there was always something more exciting waiting for her in the Dig Pit?

I continued with the Dig Pit concept when we moved to two different houses. It was always so exciting for Icy to see what each new Dig Pit had in store for her.  Seeing Icy bound out the back door excitedly to explore what's waiting for her in the Dig Pit never gets old! She's happy, I'm happy.

Now you've got a great list of possible solutions to stop your dog from digging! Give it a try and see what works for you and your dog.

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think about these ideas. We LOVE hearing from you! 


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TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT DOG THEFT

Since the COVID19 Pandemic, pet theft is on the rise. You don't have to be a victim, there are steps you can take to help prevent dog theft and keep your dog safe.

According to the AKC (American Kennel Club) pet theft statistics show that around 2 million pets are stolen each year in the U.S. Petfinder reports that only about 10% of stolen dogs are ever returned home. These are alarming statistics, the threat of pet theft is real!

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How To Prevent Dog Theft


Recently, pet parents were sent reeling after the brazen theft of Lady Gaga's French Bulldogs, Koji and Gustav. Her dog walker was walking the dogs at night when dognappers jumped out of a vehicle and grabbed 2 of her 3 Frenchies. A struggle ensued and the dog walker was shot by the dog thieves as he attempted to stop them. Thankfully he's making a good recovery and both dogs were returned unharmed. It's important to be aware that sometimes dognappers get violent!
UPDATE 5/2021: The thieves who stole Gaga's dogs were apprehended. 5 people were arrested and charged; the 3 people who committed the dognapping and shooting, and 2 who were accessories to the crime after the fact. The "good samaritan" who "found" the dogs and returned them to police was no good samaritan! She is a 50 year old woman involved in a relationship with the father of one of the 3 thieves. She is one of the five people criminally charged. Apparently, the thieves didn't know they were Lady Gaga's dogs, they just saw 3 high priced dogs and wanted to profit by stealing them! The dog walker, Ryan Fischer, had recovered from the shooting, but needed to be hospitalized again due to a collapsed lung related to the shooting. ABC News provided more details on this story.

The information below can help you keep your dog safe and prevent dog theft.

WHY SO MANY DOGS ARE BEING STOLEN AND HOW TO PREVENT DOG THEFT


Dogs are stolen for many reasons. Some of the reasons for dog theft are extremely unsavory, but many dognappers steal dogs purely for profit.  Pet thieves steal dogs and sell them to someone else to make money. This is known as "dog flipping". The thieves do so without a care as to the anguish it causes the family who has lost their precious dog, or to the pain it causes a dog who is ripped away from his loving home.

Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and small dogs such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies are some of the most commonly stolen dogs. But purebreds aren't the only dogs being stolen. Mixed breed dogs and cats are also being targeted by pet thieves. The opportunity to steal dogs easily and quickly provides an irresistible lure for dognappers.

Since the Pandemic, pet theft has been increasing. People are spending much more time at home, resulting in an increased demand for dogs, cats and other companion animals.  People not only have more time to spend with a dog since they're home so much more, they are also looking for relief from the stress, loneliness, boredom and isolation that is a by-product of widespread lockdowns around the globe.  

The increase in demand has also increased the price of certain dog and cat breeds, which can also lead to the increase in pet theft.

Dog thieves are very aware of this trend and have been taking advantage of the increased demand for pets to make money by stealing them. They see an easy opportunity to profit from dog theft in a difficult economy.


KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE FROM PET THIEVES



ðŸĶī As an 8 year animal shelter volunteer I can't stress this enough! Microchip your dog and be sure to keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company.  Pretty much every shelter or rescue will scan dogs for a microship upon intake. Veterinarians are likely to scan for a chip as well when someone brings in a newly adopted or purchased dog.

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Pet Theft Is On The Rise. These Tips Can Prevent Dog Theft 

My friend Kevin found his adorable puppy, Pepper in a parking lot. He was about 12 weeks old and didn't have a collar or microchip so the owner couldn't be located. That story had a happy ending for Pepper and for my friend, but I'm sure there was an owner somewhere that was missing Pepper.  If he'd had a microchip his owner could have been found right away.  A microchip helps positively identify your dog as belonging to you and help get him back home. 

ðŸĶī Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with identification tags. Collars can break off, slip off, or be removed. This is why a microchip is so essential. You may also want to consider Tattooing your dog or using a GPS collar. However GPS collars can easily be removed by a dog thief.

ðŸĶī Be wary of strangers who seem to have an unusually keen interest in your dog. If they ask questions like how much you paid for your dog, if your dog is spayed, where you live, and other invasive questions, be suspicious and disengage with them immediately.

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ðŸĶī Spay and Neuter your dog.  A dog that isn't spayed or neutered can bring a dog thief even more money because that dog can be sold as breeding stock.

An unattended Dog Is A Recipe For Disaster


ðŸĶī Never leave your dog in the front or back yard if you're not out there with her, it only takes a moment to steal a pet from the yard. Dog thieves may try to lure your pet to the fence or gate with food or a treat. If possible, make sure your dog isn't visible from the street when in the yard, tempting a dog thief, and keep gates locked if your dog will be outdoors.

ðŸĶī Always keep your dog secured on a leash unless in a fenced in secure dog park. Never let your dog run loose in the neighborhood! 

ðŸĶī Vary your dog walk routes and times of day. Even slight changes can make a big difference if a dog thief is lurking around, trying to predict your routine.

ðŸĶī Never leave your dog tied up outside a store or other establishment. It takes seconds for a dog thief to unhook your dog's leash and make off with him.  

When I was first training my Husky Icy, part of the training was to put our dog in a Sit/Wait and go inside Starbucks while our dog waited for us outside. After hearing about dog thefts in our city and how easy it is to steal an unattended dog I immediately stopped doing that! 

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How To Prevent Dog Theft


I never, ever leave my dogs anywhere unattended. Either me or my husband are always close by.

ðŸĶī Many people use them but I am not a fan of dog doors. A neighbor of ours had a dog door for her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. While she was out one day thieves robbed the house, gaining access through the dog door.  

The thieves were teens and enlisted a younger brother to wiggle in through the dog door and unlock the back door so the rest of them could get inside. Thank goodness she had taken her dog out with her that day!

ðŸĶī Never ask strangers to watch your dog while you step away. They may seem nice, but you don't really know who they are or if they can be trusted with your precious dog.

ðŸĶī Always remain alert at the dog park and keep your eye on your dog. Don’t stand around chatting it up with other dog owners to the point where you lose focus on your dog. Be especially alert if your dog gets close to the dog park gate. It only takes seconds for someone to grab your dog at the gate and make off with her, so pay attention to your dog at all times at the dog park!

Travelers and Dog Theft


ðŸĶī If you take a road trip with your dog, don’t leave him alone in the car while you stop for food, gas, or a bathroom break.  My husband and I never leave the dogs alone in the car, we take turns using rest stops. We either bring food with us in the car or stop at drive-through restaurants along the way on road trips. 

ðŸĶīTry not to leave your dog alone in hotel rooms either, a dog thief may be waiting for you to leave your pet alone in the room.  Research dog friendly parks, beaches, restaurants and attractions so you can bring the dog with you wherever you are going.


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Prevent Dog Theft While Traveling

ðŸĶī Be sure your dog has a very strong Recall response. If someone is stealing your dog, a solid recall command might prompt her to wiggle out of a dog thief’s grip enough to run back to you.

I know how unpleasant it is to think of someone stealing your dog, but it's important to be aware and take safety precautions to prevent dog theft. Don't be a victim of pet theft! Please follow these dog safety tips on how to stop dog theft from happening to you and your precious pooch.  Be well and stay safe my friends! 

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HOW TO KEEP A DOG'S HEART HEALTHY

Just like people, dogs are at risk for Heart Disease too.  In fact, it is estimated that nearly 8 million dogs suffer from heart disease. That translates into 10% of all dogs living in the U.S.  Heart disease can seriously impact your dog's quality of life, and his longevity.  

It would be simple if there was just one thing that caused a dog or cat to get heart disease, we could just address that one thing and be done with it. But there is no one single cause for heart disease in dogs. Several factors can contribute to it, and senior dogs are considered to be at greater risk for heart disease.

I had the opportunity to speak about Pet Heart Health with Dr. Claire Walther, DMV and Petcare Medical Lead at Zoetis animal health company. After practicing at both Banfield and in an independent general Veterinary practice, Dr. Walther's passion for educating pet parents and other Veterinarians led her to join Zoetis.

Dr. Walther shared her expertise about heart disease in dogs, and how to keep a dog's heart healthy.  Most of what we'll be discussing applies to both a dog's heart health and cat heart health as well. So c'mon pet parents, let's dive in!

HEART DISEASE IN DOGS


In her experience as a general Veterinary practitioner, Dr. Walther has seen a wide variety of heart disease in both dogs and cats. Diseases of the heart depend on which area of the heart is impacted. In Dr. Walther's experience, the 3 most common types of heart disease she has dealt with are:

💗 Heart Murmurs, which effect the valves of the heart

💗 Chronic Heart Condition, which impacts all areas of the heart

💗 Heartworm disease, which damages the chambers and valves of the heart

A dog's heart has 4 chambers, 4 valves, and arteries that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Dr. Walther used a really simple analogy to explain the main components and functions of the heart by comparing the heart to a house.

Think of the 4 chambers of the heart (2 upper chambers called Atria and 2 lower chambers called Ventricles) as being rooms in the house. You can think of the valves (Mitral valve, Tricuspid valve, Aortic valve and Pulmonary valve) in each chamber of the heart as being the doors to those rooms. The arteries of the heart can be thought of as hallways through the rooms and doorways of the house.

I love the house analogy! It really helps simplify how heart diseases relate to the various parts of the heart.

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Keep your dog's heart healthy!


WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HEART PROBLEMS IN DOGS?


Symptoms of heart disease can be difficult to spot by pet owners themselves. However, in addition to seeing your Veterinarian 1 to 2 times per year for pet wellness exams, be aware of the following symptoms. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact your Veterinarian right away. Extreme symptoms likely indicate signs of a heart problem in your dog.

Extreme Symptoms Of Heart Disease In Dogs:

💗 Difficulty breathing

💗 Coughing

💗 Extreme Lethargy

💗 Heavy Panting

Milder, or early symptoms of heart disease in dogs are more difficult for a pet parent to see. You know your pet best, so if you see subtle changes like the below symptoms contact your Veterinarian:

Mild, or Early Symptoms of Heart Disease in Dogs:

💗 Changes in their normal behavior

💗 Your pet starts showing mild coughing or panting, if they haven't had that issue before

Small changes like these are the first indicator that something might be wrong. It's important to take your dog to the Vet at least once a year, and more often if your pet is a senior or if they have known health issues.

As part of a pet's exam, your Veterinarian will listen to all four chambers of your dog's heart to see if there might be an issue.

SCREENINGS FOR HEART DISEASE IN DOGS THAT YOUR VET MIGHT PERFORM:


In addition to listening to your dog's heart for signs of any anomalies, your Veterinarian may also perform one or more of these screenings:

💗 Heartworm Antigen test to see if your dog currently has heartworms. This test is usually routinely administered during your dog or cat's regular physical exams

💗 X-Rays of your dog's heart, if your Veterinarian feels it's necessary

💗 An Ultrasound of your dog's heart might be done if heart disease is suspected, or known by your Veterinarian


HOW A DOG'S WEIGHT EFFECTS HEART HEALTH


Dogs share many of the same risks for heart disease that humans do. Obesity is one of the most common conditions of heart disease. Being obese can contribute to worsening the condition, or may lead to the start of new types of heart disease. Follow your Vet's advice on how to keep your dog at a healthy weight.

Ask your Vet to go over what a healthy weight looks like on your dog. As a general guideline, from the side you should be able to see just some of the dog's ribs but they should not be sticking out. You should be able to feel the dog's ribs by lightly touching them. From front to back, the dog's body should have an hour-glass shape. Ask your Vet if s/he has a visual to review with you, similar to this Dog Body Condition graphic provided by Zoetis:

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Dog Body Condition Chart, courtesy of Zoetis 

  

HOW TO KEEP A DOG'S HEART HEALTHY



Dr. Walther suggests 4 Things You Should Do To Help Keep Your Dog's Heart Healthy:

💗 Take your dog to the Veterinarian for annual health exams, more than once a year if your dog is a senior or has other health issues

💗 Keep your dog active with exercise

💗 Manage your dog’s weight, and follow your Vet's advice for keeping her at a healthy weight

💗 Administer Heartworm preventative medication all year round


HEARTWORM DISEASE IN DOGS


Dr. Walther talked a lot about Heartworm Disease, as it is common in dogs and can be quite deadly. I'd like to expand on that topic because heartworm disease can be fatal. It's difficult and costly to treat, and often fatal, but it is so easy to prevent! Did you know that heartworm also effects Wolves and other wild animals? I didn't! That serves to increase the ability to spread heartworm disease.

If a dog within a community has tested positive for Heartworm Disease, it will likely be spread.  Not by the infected dog himself, as Heartworm is only spread via mosquito bite.  The mosquito that infected the dog will very likely bite other dogs, cats, or wildlife, continuing to infect animals with deadly heartworm larvae.

Dr. Walther said that one of the top myths about Heartworm is that it is not present in all areas of the United States. That is false, heartworm has been found in every state.  In fact, the potential for heartworm disease to spread is actually increasing in many areas of the U.S.!  There has been a 21% increase in heartworm cases as of 2016.  

Mosquitos love heat and moisture, so heartworm disease is more prevalent in warmer climates. But pets in colder climates are still at risk most of the year, even during weeks where the weather warms up for just a short period of time. The risk further increases if they travel with their owners to warmer places during Winter, which is a growing trend.

Another common myth is that cats are at a lower risk for heartworm disease than dogs. But the truth is, a heartworm-carrying mosquito is just as happy to bite your cat as it is to bite your dog.

An increase in the spread of mosquitos, as well as new varieties of mosquitos, are one reason heartworm disease has been on the rise.  Another reason is that pets are traveling more, which can increase their exposure to infected mosquitos. The fact that not all dogs and cats are given heartworm preventative medication also increases risk and contributes to the spread of the disease.  

Heartworm disease can cause permanent damage to your dog or cat’s heart.  Dr. Walther believes every dog and cat should be protected against heartworm disease year round, but sadly only about 1 in 3 dogs are on heartworm preventative medication.

I feel strongly about protecting my pets against heartworm disease. I have always given Icy and Phoebe heartworm preventative medication, and will continue to do so throughout their lives.

Interesting Fact: Heartworm disease has been around for a very long time.  I asked Dr. Walther when and how heartworm disease in pets started. She informed me that the first report of heartworm in domestic dogs appears to date back over 400 years to the observations of Birago in 1626 on dogs in Italy! Source: Science Direct



With over 65 years of animal health experience Zoetis serves Veterinarians and those who raise and care for companion and farm animals in more than 100 countries.

Zoetis is a 2020 IHS Markit Animal Health Award Winner for their Simparica TRIO medication which was recognized as Best New Companion Animal Product. That's quite an achievement! 

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I love my dogs, and I want them to live a long, healthy life. That's why I recently started them on Simparica TRIO by Zoetis. It protects against deadly Heartworm Disease, Ticks, Fleas, Roundworms and Hookworms in one monthly chewable! That is a Game Changer! For years I've been waiting for a medication that can control Heartworm, Ticks and Fleas in one medication. In case you're wondering, NO this is NOT a sponsored post, I'm just super impressed by this company and their Simparica TRIO product!



I want to thank Dr. Claire Walther for sharing this important information about Pet Heart Health, and for her insights and advice on how we can keep our dogs' hearts healthy!

Claire Walther, DVM

Dr. Claire Walther was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She received her BS and DVM from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. While at Purdue University, she graduated with honors for her research. During her veterinary education, she acted as a clinical pathology technician and developed a keen understanding of clinical laboratory testing. She practiced outside Indianapolis in corporate (Banfield) and independent general practice before joining Zoetis in 2016. Dr. Walther is currently a Zoetis Petcare HQ Medical Lead.

The Walther family includes 3 dogs (Eelie, Eva, and Vanilla Bean) and two cats (Gambit and Linkin). It is the love she shares for her family, both human and animal, that fosters her drive to enhance our ability to detect, prevent and treat disease within the field of veterinary medicine.

Check out the Zoetis web site for helpful articles and information about pet health, and how to be the best pet parent you can be!  

Download a Free A - Z Pet Adopter Starter Pack with all the essentials on helping a New Pet settle in, a Pet Health Checklist, and Vet Approved Guidelines on how to keep your pet healthy. It's a wealth of information on health, behavior, quality of life and more. It's great information for both new pet parents and those of us who have had pets most of our lives!

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Learn more about Heartworm Disease and the Heartworm Lifecycle in my post, HEARTWORM DISEASE IN DOGS 







Have you ever had a conversation with your Veterinarian about heart disease in your pet? We love hearing from you so please leave us a comment and tell us about it!