Dogs, cats, bunnies, chickens, goats…you name it. Once any of these become part of the family, they are always part of the family. So we need to keep them healthy and active so they can stay with us as long as possible. Personally, I have had a number of dogs and cats. Each one of them was special in their own way. Most lived to a ripe old age of 17 – 19 human years which is quite old in dog/cat years.
So what do we need to do to make sure that are pets staying healthy and happy?
- Maintaining a healthy weight. As in today’s society where obesity is at epidemic proportion, obesity in animals is also on the rise. Specific breeds of dogs in particular (Labrador, German shepherd and other large dogs) can have joint/hip issues causing pain and inflammation. Be aware of over feeding for the specific size and breed of dog. Kibble ingredients should be looked at carefully just like you would read the label on any item that you would buy for your family. Kibble should have no fillers, high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn/soy or an extended list of ingredients. Some even prefer to make their own meal for their pets consisting of brown rice, veggies and grass-fed meat. I recently needed to make this meal for my smaller dog and she gobbled it right up. An evening snack could be a dog cracker with a dollop of plain yogurt (a good probiotic aiding in intestinal health). Pureed pumpkin is also good for intestinal issues in dogs.
- Pure clean filtered water. Whether indoor or outdoor, your pet needs plenty of water in order to stay hydrated and to flush their system (just like us). If you have an outdoor animal, a special heater may be needed to keep the water from freezing in winter. In summer, water has a tendency to evaporate so refilling the bowl frequently is a must. Don’t forget to wash out the bowl daily as bugs sometimes like to take a dip also.
- Preventing fleas and ticks. With Lyme disease being quite prevalent, you want to make sure to check your pet daily for ticks and fleas. Some years seem to be worse than others but still this poses a threat to the pets overall health. For a number of years now I have been using a homemade spray of Purification Oil (Young Living Essential Oils) and distilled water. My dogs get brushed daily followed by a “spraying” of this mixture. It smells wonderful and totally does the job. Cats generally don’t like a spray of anything so putting a few drops of the oil in your hands, rubbing them together and then rub over the fur. If a tick is found, a drop of Purification oil on the tick causes it to back out and die. This spray mixture also can be used for humans too if going into the woods for a hike/walk or while gardening.
- Movement. Just like we need to move every day so do our pets. Keeping them active will help to keep their heart strong and maintain a good body weight. Some dogs can be obsessed with ball or Frisbee throwing/catching so we need to know when enough is enough. If overdone, injury can occur (especially as they age) and they can’t tell us what or where it hurts. For my dogs in the past I have used acupuncture specifically for hip/joint inflammation. Reiki is also a welcome therapy. Another treatment is making a blend of essential oils from the Raindrop Technique (for more information go to www.deborahdittner.vibrantscents.com ). Combine the oils in a small glass bottle with a roller top and apply to the affected area. Initially the pet may wonder what you are doing (as mine did), but once they start getting relief, the bottle and you are a welcome site.
- TLC (Tender Loving Care). Have you hugged your pet today?!!!
The following are great reference books that I recommend for continued pet health care.
- The Encyclopedia for Natural Pet Care by CJ Puotinen
- Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D. & Susan Hubble Pitcairn
- ADR The Animal Desk Reference Essential Oils for Animals by Melissa Shelton, D.V.M.
- Essential Oils for Natural Pet Care by Melissa Shelton, D.V.M.