INCLUDE THE DOG IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLANS

September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, but we keep disaster preparedness top of mind all year round. We make sure to include the dogs in our disaster preparedness plan. I always have a Pet Emergency Go Kit ready for our dogs, Icy and Phoebe.

Some of the disasters that can cause your family and pets to evacuate with very little notice are:

πŸ”₯ Wildfires
πŸ’¨Tornados
πŸ₯ Hurricanes
πŸ’§  Floods
🌐 Earthquakes
☠  Caronavirus

Disasters and Emergencies often strike with very little notice. You don't want to be scrambling around, grabbing supplies needed for evacuation when you're stressed and panicked! 

INCLUDE THE DOG IN DISASTER PREPAREDNESS PLANS 


Don't wait to start preparing for a potential disaster or emergency situation, prepare an emergency supply kit now so you and your dog can be ready to GO at a moment's notice!

HOW TO PLAN FOR EMERGENCY EVACUATION WITH YOUR DOG


Sadly, many pets are lost during natural disasters and are never reunited with their owners. A microchip links you to your pet permanently. Any Veterinarian or animal shelter can scan your dog or cat for a microchip and help reunite you. Please get your dog or cat microchipped Now, before disaster strikes. 


CREATE A PET EMERGENCY GO BAG


It's important to have the essential items needed for your dog in case you have to leave your home immediately due to a natural disaster or other emergency. 

These essential items should be packed well in advance, and be accessible so you can grab them and Go at a moment's notice. In an emergency situation, you don't want to waste time having to think about all the pet supplies you'll need, search the house for them, and find something to pack them in.

ESSENTIAL ITEMS YOU NEED FOR A PET EMERGENCY GO BAG


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  SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR A PET EMERGENCY GO BAG


3-5 days of water and dog food in airtight containers, food and water bowls
 Medications and supplements
 Pet carrier or crate
 Dog's Rabies certification, other medical documents, and ownership documentation
 Extra Leash (and Harness if you use one)
 First aid kit
 Blanket or towel
 Comfort toy, chew sticks/treats to help dogs stay calm
 Plenty of dog waste bags
 Clear Photos of your dog in case she gets lost 
 Paper towels, pet wipes, plastic ziplock bags for cleanup

In addition to these essential dog supplies, you should have a flashlight in case the power goes out.  You should have some cash with you as well. When the power grid fails merchants often revert to cash only business. Gas, food and lodging along your evacuation route may require cash. During the 2003 blackout in New York City, it was really disconcerting to be unexpectedly stranded in the city and unable to use a credit card for anything until power was restored! Face masks and gloves for COVID19 protection are also important supplies to have with you.

A durable Backpack or Duffle Bag like these would be a great Emergency Go Bag - Click the product links to Buy It Now from our online store!


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Prepare your dog's Pet Emergency Go Bag now and store it within easy reach. Check the bag a couple of times a year to ensure food, treats and first aid items haven't expired. When supplies in my dogs emergency go bag get close to expiration, I replace them. 

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Do You Have A Pet Emergency Go Bag For Your Dog or Cat?


We have never had an emergency evacuation, but we recently moved to Florida which is hurricane territory. As soon as we moved, I was even more diligent about preparing a pet emergency go bag for my dogs.

ADVANCE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLANNING


πŸŸ† Never leave your dog at home if you are evacuating! Plan to take her with you. If it's not safe for you to stay in your home, it's certainly not safe for your dog to stay there. Don't assume that "someone" will find your dog and take care of her. Odds are they won't. She'll be left alone and frightened, trying to fend for herself. You can't be sure when you'll return.

πŸŸ† Search now for public shelters (school, stadium, etc.) in your area and hotels that accept pets, or have a plan of where else you will go with your pets such as a family or friend's house outside your own city or state.

πŸŸ† If you think a mandatory evacuation order is coming leave your home Early, don't wait. Restrictions may increase as an evacuation progresses. You may also get shut out of pet friendly shelters and lodging options. Don't wait until the last minute. 

The U.S. Government has put together a guide on how to plan for an emergencies and disasters. It includes information on how to create a plan and what should be in your family emergency kit.

The website also has additional information on how to prepare your pets for disaster.

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Do You have a Pet Emergency Go Bag for your pets? Phoebe wants to know! Please leave her a comment and let her know - she cares about your pets!

EASE DOGS ANXIETY AS YOU HEAD BACK TO WORK

During the height of the COVID19 Pandemic, many companies set their employees up to work virtually, from home. There were pros and cons for us humans, but our dogs LOVED it!  Their people were always home with them, giving them attention and love all day, every day.  Now that the world is getting back on it's feet, people are getting back to working outside the home. But that can leave our dogs feeling confused, not understanding why suddenly we are leaving them alone every day. How can you ease dogs anxiety as you head back to work outside the home?

Going back to work outside the home may seem like second nature to us, but it can leave our dogs, cats or other pets feeling abandoned. They may not understand why suddenly you're leaving the house every day for hours and hours, why you're leaving THEM every day.


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How To Ease Dogs Anxiety As You Head Back To Work

Changes in daily routine, coupled with the absence of their people can be very unsettling to dogs. My dogs don't like it when I make the slightest change in their routine - dinner at 6 instead of 5:30? Icy lets me know she won't stand for it! My cat Maggie used to freak out if I moved a piece of furniture to a new position!  

HOW TO EASE DOGS ANXIETY AS YOU HEAD BACK TO WORK

How can you ease your dog's anxiety now that you're getting back to your old routine, leaving the house for work daily? There are a few things you can do to raise your dog's comfort level and help her through the transition of you leaving her alone at home each day.

🐾 It sounds obvious, but try to spend some extra time with your dog as you head back to work. Can you squeeze in an early morning dog walk, or extend the time of her morning potty walk? If mornings won't work, perhaps you can add more evening walks, or make evening walks longer. 

Morning walks burn energy and can tire your dog out for much of the day. It can also lower her stress level. Evening walks will give your dog something to look forward to at the end of each day. Once she knows that a long walk will come at the end of the day when you return, she'll expect it and look forward to it.

🐾 Plan weekend outings with your pup. It doesn't have to be a 5 mile hike every weekend. It can be a Starbucks coffee in the morning or a Dairy Queen ice cream in late afternoon. 

My dogs love our Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts outings! They jump in the car and start getting excited, knowing we're going somewhere fun together. 

We bring along chew sticks for them. They lay on the concrete enjoying their chew sticks, the open air breezes, and friendly people coming over to say hello. Starbucks will even give them a Puppuccino, which is whipped cream in a small cup or lid. Boy do they LOVE Puppuccinos! 

🐾 A family walk in a dog friendly park or hiking trail is a great way to remind your pup she’s still an important part of the family - her pack! It burns lots of energy too.

🐾 Get a new toy, preferably something a little different like a puzzle toy. A puzzle toy or other interactive toy such as a squirrel nesting toy, is challenging play and a great distraction for dogs.

Puzzle toys not only challenge a dog's brain, but the mental stimulation can tire them out almost as much as physical activity.  Puzzle toys can be a great early morning activity for your dog while you get ready for work. As you can see in this video, Icy and Phoebe love them! This one is the Dog Tornado, from Outward Hound



🐾 If you have the budget for it, you can enroll your dog in Doggie Daycamp 2 or 3 days a week. You’d be shocked at how much energy dogs burn in doggie daycamp! This supervised play with other dogs can be tons of fun and will really tire them out. You know how the saying goes, A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog!  

Keeping your dog well exercised throughout the week can help avoid dog anxiety and destructive dog behaviors in the house while you’re away at work.

🐾 Another alternative is to hire a pet sitter or dog walker a couple of days a week. You might be able to convince a family member or trusted neighbor kid to visit with your dog or take him for a walk mid day. 

The dog gets a friendly visit from a familiar human, and either a walk or some playtime. These visits can relax your dog and help avert a dog's loneliness and boredom.

🐾 Even something as simple as giving your dog an extra special treat just as you leave the house can be really helpful. It’s something the dog can look forward to each morning, rather than getting stressed and anxious watching you prepare to leave the house. She'll focus on enjoying her special treat or toy while you quietly leave the house. Don't make a fuss about leaving, just go! Big goodbyes and a lot of fuss will get your dog excited and may create stress.

Be careful though, don’t make the treat something that will cause your dog to need to potty right afterwards!  Something simple like a tasty chew stick that will last a few minutes, or a special toy you only bring out when you’re heading to work.  Something that will occupy them for maybe 5 minutes after you’ve left the house. It interrupts their anxiety and gives them something positive and enjoyable to focus on.

When we were crate training Icy as a puppy, on the (not so good) advice of a trainer I left a Kong stuffed with peanut butter in the crate with her and left the house for 30 minutes. Oh man, what a mistake! I won't get into the gross details, but when we returned her crate was a mess and Icy was extremely distressed at having messed up her crate. I never left a dog unattended with a treat stuffed toy again. Lesson Learned! I still feel guilty about that, 12 years later.

🐾 Enrolling in a fun dog training class together puts all the attention on her and lets your dog know how special she still is. A dog agility class or a tricks training class can be a lot of fun for the whole family. And it helps re-enforce basic training commands, it's a win-win!

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Ease Dogs Anxiety as you Head Back To Work

However, if your dog is still extremely anxious when you leave the house or is being destructive, get back to basics. The act of you leaving the house, and him building up to the moment you will actually walk out the door is probably what's causing extreme anxiety. The dog's tension increases as he picks up on the cues that you are getting ready to leave him.

🐾 On your days off, practice the act of you leaving the house and work to create positive associations with you leaving. Try this exercise: Get ready to leave the house, just as you would each workday. But before you walk out the door, give your dog a chew stick or toy. As he starts getting engaged with his special treat or toy, quietly leave the house without making a fuss. Wait about 2 minutes and walk back inside.  

Do this numerous times, getting your dog used to you leaving but coming right back in. You want him to realize that you leaving means he'll get a special chew stick or toy, something he'll look forward to. Don't make a big deal out of leaving the house, just do it quietly and swiftly as your dog is enjoying his treat.  

When you come back in don't make a fuss either, just walk right in past your dog. When your dog is calm, not excited at your return, you can give the hugs & kisses!

I still do this with Phoebe when we take Icy somewhere but need to leave Phoebe behind. John and Icy go out to the car. Just before I walk out the door I give Phoebe one of her favorite chew sticks. As she starts enjoying her treat, I quietly leave the house. She's so focused on the chew stick she barely realizes I'm leaving. She used to get anxious when we would leave her alone, but I've paired something positive with her being left home alone, and it works!


MORE HELP FOR A DOG WITH ANXIETY WHEN LEFT ALONE


If none of these ideas work for your dog and she's still experiencing extreme anxiety, you can try one of these methods for Calming a dog's anxiety:

✦ Give your dog some calming treats like Therabis Calm and Quiet dog treats. I give them to Icy to get her through thunderstorms and fireworks. Some folks successfully use a dog anxiety vest to calm their dog's anxiety.

✦ Work with a dog trainer. A few one on one sessions can often help dogs conquer separation anxiety.

These are just a few ideas to help ease dogs anxiety as you head back to work.  What other ideas can you suggest to reduce a dog's anxiety?  Please leave a comment and share your dog anxiety relief success stories! 


ARTHRITIS IN DOGS; CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, TREATMENT

Arthritis in dogs is a common problem, especially in senior dogs 8 years old +, as well as larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, and Mastiffs. In addition, obese dogs of any breed are also at greater risk of developing Arthritis.

WHAT IS ARTHRITIS IN DOGS?


Arthritis in dogs is also known as Osteoarthritis in dogs, Dejenerative Joint Disease in dogs, or 
Canine arthritis. But whatever you call it, it's a progressive inflammation of the joints caused by deterioration of cartilage. Wear and tear of the cartilage around the joints causes this deterioration and subsequent inflammation.

A dog's cartilage is the cushioning that allows their joints to move easily and enables dogs to have full range of motion.  When cartilage starts breaking down it causes inflammation, pain, and a decrease in range of motion for the dog.

Most often, Arthritis effects a dog's limbs and lower spine.  It is a progressive condition for which there is No cure. However, if you identify and address it early, your dog can stay active and maintain very good quality of life for years to come!

CAUSES OF ARTHRITIS IN DOGS


The main causes of Arthritis in dogs are;


🐾 Age: 80% of dogs 8 years old or older develop arthritis. 20% of dogs show signs by the time they are only 1 year old. However, most younger dogs with arthritis get the condition due to inherited, or congenital, traits

🐾 Congenital joint disorders such as elbow or hip dysplasia. These may result in arthritis in much younger dogs

🐾 Old injuries. Just like us humans, old injuries often cause arthritis in the joints

🐾 Repetitive stress on the dog's joints or spine. This is often caused by high exertion dog athletic activities such as dock diving, sled racing, skijoring, flyball, disc catching, or agility.

🐾 A dog being overweight (Obesity). Excess weight puts added stress on a dog's joints, which can cause damage to joints that results in Canine Arthritis

🐾 Diseases such as Diabetes, which causes changes in the musculoskeletal system, and Cushing's disease which causes inflammation that can exacerbate dogs joint degeneration.



The below visual from Parnell Living Science shows Osteoarthritis risk factors by dog breed. The chart shows which dog breeds are at Low, Medium, High, and Very High risk for arthritis.  

Dog Breeds At Risk For Arthritis: Arthritis Breed List Chart provided with permission from Parnell Living Science

According to this chart, my dogs Icy (a Siberian Husky) and Phoebe (Havanese/Maltese mix) are both at Medium risk for Osteoarthritis - Whew! I was so worried that Icy would be on the very high end, being a Husky. They are senior dogs now, so I'm becoming more focused on their mobility.


COMMON SIGNS OF DOGS WITH ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS


Some of the symptoms dogs exhibit that may indicate arthritis are;


🐾 Your dog is limping, appears stiff in the legs or back, has difficulty getting up or climbing stairs, or seems to be in pain when attempting to get in position to potty.

🐾 Your normally energetic dog suddenly seems Lethargic

🐾 Your dog no longer wants to run, jump, take the walks she normally enjoys, or play.

🐾 Changes in your dog's behavior, or suddenly experiences pain when touched on the spine area or limbs. Your normally gentle dog may actually growl or snap when touched in areas impacted by painful arthritis!

It's important to visit your Veterinarian regularly and have your dog checked for early signs of Osteoarthritis, especially as she ages.

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Arthritis in Dogs; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


ARTHRITIS IN DOGS TREATMENT


There are several ways to treat arthritis in dogs.  There are a number of non-medical options, as well as medical approaches your Veterinarian can recommend. I like to try non-medical methods first if I can, opting for medications or other therapies after I've exhausted more natural methods.

Let's talk about natural ways to treat arthritis in dogs first;


πŸ‘‰ Supplements such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin are natural compounds found in healthy cartilage, the connective tissue that cushions joints. These supplements are made in a lab, using the cartilage of animals such as pigs, cows, even the shells of shellfish. These supplements can help slow the loss of cartilage in dogs, relieving a dog's arthritis.

πŸ‘‰ Omega3 supplements found in fish oils or fresh fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines can help reduce inflammation and keep your dog's joints healthy. Reducing inflammation can lessen joint damage and the symptoms of a dog's arthritis.  

Icy and Phoebe love salmon and fish oil so as they age I've been adding salmon oil to their food daily. I also feed them salmon when I can. When frozen salmon goes on sale I buy a couple of bags for my dogs.  Fish oils are also excellent antioxidents!

πŸ‘‰ One of the best ways you can start helping dogs with arthritis pain is through weight control, if the dog is overweight. Losing weight can slow further joint damage and lessen the pain of arthritis.

πŸ‘‰ Walking and Non strenuous, lower impact exercise are beneficial types of exercise for dogs with Osteoarthritis. Exercise keeps muscles toned and strong and can assist in keeping a dog's weight under control. It won't help a dog's arthritis if he becomes a couch potato! Every dog is different so consult your Veterinarian on what type and how much exercise your dog can safely engage in.

πŸ‘‰ Your Veterinarian may recommend other treatments such as physical therapy, massage, or acupuncture.

Now for the medical options. Most of the medical methods used as dog arthritis treatment focus on pain management, slowing down joint degeneration, and encouraging cartilage repair. They include;


πŸ‘‰ NSAIDs, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and pain.

πŸ‘‰ Steroids or Cortisone pills or injections to reduce inflammation. These are usually a bit stronger than NSAIDs.

πŸ‘‰ Chondroprotectants, which prevent joint degeneration and help protect joint cartilage as it repairs itself. They inhibit the enzymes that destroy cartilage.

πŸ‘‰ If the degenerative joint damage in dogs is severe, surgery may be recommended. There are a few different types of surgeries that can be done. Your Vet will explain those options if needed.

As you can see, there are quite a few treatment options for dogs with Arthritis. However, the AKC (American Kennel Club) maintains that Diet, Exercise, and Joint Supplements are some of the best ways to prevent the development of Osteoarthritis and keep your dog's joints healthy.  PETMD agrees with that assessment, recommending proper diet and exercise, joint supplements, and routine Veterinary visits.

DISCLAIMERI am not a Veterinarian or Vet Tech, nor do I play one online! I share my own research and what's worked for my dogs and my foster dogs. As always, be sure to check with your Veterinarian before making any changes to your dog's diet, giving them supplements (even natural ones), or altering their exercise routines. Every dog is different and your Vet knows your pet best.

HOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR ARTHRITIC DOG MORE COMFORTABLE 

If your Veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with arthritis, there are things you can do to make her more comfortable right away. As you weigh the various treatment options and wait for any blood work or imaging results for your dog, there are a few things you can implement right now;

🐾 Control your dog's diet and keep her weight at an optimal level. Joints will deteriorate faster if a dog is overweight. Take the strain off your dog's joints and bones by keeping them at the proper weight, or at least start working towards it. Consult your Veterinarian and get some guidance before changing your dog's diet.

🐾 Give her a nice soft bed to relax and sleep on. Personally, I like orthopedic pet beds. Icy and Phoebe are both senior dogs, so I like that orthopedic beds give them better joint and bone support. I can tell that Orthopedic beds for dogs are clearly more comfortable for them!

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Icy & Phoebe love the comfort of orthopedic beds for dogs


🐾 Install ramps like this one, the CozyUp Steps & Ramp Combo from PetSafe to help arthritic dogs get in the car, and on your bed or sofa easier and safely.  I won this fabulous Ramp/Step on my friend Paula's blog, Sweet Purrfections. It can be a huge help for dogs or cats suffering from arthritis and having trouble getting into the car or up on furniture or your bed.

The CozyUp Steps & Ramp is a combination steps & ramp all in one.  Check out the Sweet Purrfections blog link above to learn more about it. 


🐾 Another thing I find helpful is to ensure the fur between my dogs' paws remains trimmed. When that hair gets long, it causes my dogs' legs to slip on hard surfaces. 

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Trimming fur on paw pads can help reduce leg strain in dogs with arthritis


The slipping and their constant attempts to regain balance causes strain on their legs. Icy is especially prone to that, I need to trim the hair at the bottom of her paws often. 

There are many ways to help dogs with arthritis live a very full, happy and healthy life. Know the signs of arthritis and the varied options available to address the condition.

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3 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DOG TRAINING COMMANDS

Training a dog takes time and patience. Dog training isn't a one and done activity, it's an ongoing process. In my experience, teaching your dog 3 of the most important dog training commands should be at the top of every dog owners list.  

I consider these 3 basic obedience commands for dogs to be more than training, they're an important part of keeping a dog safe throughout her life!

3 OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DOG TRAINING COMMANDS



If you're wondering what kind of training dogs need, there are many obedience commands you should teach your dog. However, I'm not exaggerating when I say that any one of these 3 basic dog training commands could potentially save your dog's life one day!  When I'm asked about dog training tips, I emphasize that these are 3 training commands you should teach your dog almost immediately.


TEACH A DOG TO STAY


I'm starting with training a dog to Stay because it's one of the most basic dog commands and is fairly easy for a dog to learn. The Stay command has so many important uses.  When your dog can reliably stay put when you give the command it will help avoid:

🐾 Door dashing from the house when you open the door to get the mail, greet guests, or leave the house.  A dog can easily run into the road and be hit by a car, be attacked by another dog or other animal, or run away in pursuit of a cat or squirrel and become lost. 

🐾 Jumping out of the car when you take the dog to the Vet or go out for a fun adventure. Your dog could jump from the car right into traffic or in front of a car trying to park next to you. The dog could take off and run into a dangerous area such as woods, a construction area, or fast moving water.

We re-enforce the Stay command with our dogs every day. Icy and Phoebe must Sit and Stay each morning and evening at mealtime. We put them in a Sit/Stay, place their bowls on the floor, then give the OK or Take It command.  

We go on many adventures with our dogs, and every time we open the car door we tell them to Stay. Every single time. They know not to jump out of the car until we give them the OK.

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3 of the Most Important Dog Training Commands


Teaching the Stay command is easy using some treats or healthy snacks like carrots:

✦ Put your dog into a Sit position, and stand or sit in front of her. Place your hand in front of her nose and say Stay!

✦ If she doesn't move after a few seconds, reward her with a treat and praise her.  If she doesn't stay in place though, don't give the reward. Say No, or Ah, Ah! and try again. Use a calm voice, never get annoyed or frustrated. It can take a few tries.

✦ As you repeat the Stay exercise, increase the length of time of the stay before you give the treat.
 
✦ Gradually increase the distance between you and the dog as you ask her to Stay.  As you increase the distance, your dog should stay put until you return to her and reward her patience. Give the treat while she's still in the Stay position. Re-enforce the Stay command frequently in your daily life with your dog!


TEACH A DOG TO COME RELIABLY EVERY TIME



Come When Called is another basic dog training command. It's one of the first and most important things you'll teach your puppy or newly adopted dog. 

But think about how many times a day you call your dog to come to you - about a million, right?  After awhile your basic Come When Called command loses it's sense of urgency for your dog and she may start to ignore it.  The typical Come training command for dogs may not be strong enough in dangerous or urgent scenarios like these:

🐾 Off leash at the dog park, on a hike, or at the beach, when your dog is simply having way too much fun to listen to your command to come back!

🐾 If your dog runs out the door to chase a cat. She may tune you out, and that could end very badly.

🐾 If your dog encounters an unfriendly off leash dog or a wild animal like a skunk.

🐾 If you see your dog getting too close to something dangerous like traffic, someone's baby, or a patch of poison ivy.

There's the Come When Called command you use every day, and then there is a more urgent Emergency Recall command. You don't want to call your dog to you all day every day with extreme urgency, as your dog may start tuning you out. But for those times when it's crucial for your dog to STOP what they're doing and come running to you immediately, it's a critical command to teach a dog.

The Steps To Teach Your Dog an Emergency Recall are easy and shouldn't take much time to train your dog to do.  You'll pick a word or phrase, as well as a special, unique treat to go with it. This signals to your dog that this is no ordinary recall.  Read about our Emergency Recall training for Icy and Phoebe and see the steps I used to teach my dogs an emergency recall.

You won't need to use an emergency recall all that frequently (hopefully!), but practice it fairly regularly to make sure your dog doesn't forget it.  After more than 10 years, I still re-enforce the emergency recall with my dogs every now and then, to make certain they always remember it when needed.


TEACH A DOG TO LEAVE IT


The Leave It command can save your sanity if you have a multi-pet household like we do. It can also help keep your dog safe when they encounter unwanted animals or objects. This can be during walks, in the home, virtually anywhere your dog goes. 

We use the Leave It command constantly, especially with Icy. She is so curious, and she's fast. In seconds she can get herself into anything! 

The Leave It command is helpful in many situations:

🐾 Prevent your dog from sticking her nose into dead animals (road kill) or animal feces (they can have disease or bacteria) encountered on walks or when you're out exploring.

🐾 If dogs find food in the street or sidewalk. You never know what some people might drop or throw out a car window!
 
🐾 If your dog starts lunging at another dog or animal during a walk and you need him to leave that animal alone. 

🐾 If the dog tries to drink standing water, which could contain toxic algae or other contaminants. Same thing if they try to drink ocean, lake, or river water you know will be unhealthy.  

When Icy was a puppy we were on a walk, when next thing you know she had grabbed an apple core she found on the sidewalk into her mouth! She began choking and my husband had to reach into her mouth and pry the apple core out! Thank goodness he was able to get it out before she choked.  Now we keep our eyes peeled and use the Leave It command as soon as we see anything along walks or outings that might pose a hazard.

My post on how the Leave It command restored harmony in our house has the steps we used to teach our dogs the Leave It command. It also shares the story about how the Leave It command training helped stop Icy from chasing our poor cat Maggie! 

The key to making these commands second nature for your dog to obey is consistency and re-enforcement.  Every member of the household needs to be on board with helping your dog learn these important obedience commands and should help re-enforce them with the dog.

Not only are these three of the most important dog commands for training, I consider them some of the most important dog safety tips I can share.

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3 of the Most Important Dog Training Commands


As dog parents, we want our dogs to have good manners and learn basic obedience commands. More importantly though, we want to keep our dogs Safe and Healthy!  These three dog training commands help us do that.

I re-enforce all three of these commands with Icy and Phoebe regularly in our daily lives. This helps ensure not only that they remember each command and it's meaning, but it ensures they respond to these commands reliably even when something extremely enticing is grabbing their attention. 

What dog training tips do you consider to be most important for your dog?  Post a comment and share! We love hearing from our readers.

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You can find more helpful dog training tips on the Animal Planet web site It's a great resource.

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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!