June 25, 2014

Top 5 Summer Hazards for Dogs and Cats

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Pet Health,Pet Safety Tips — Tags: , , , , , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 9:58 pm

top-5-summer-hazards-for-dogs-and-cats

Are you amping up to get ready for summer activities. Outdoor fun with hiking, water sports, and much more? Being outside and enjoying the sunshine is what summer is all about. Although summer can be a wonderful, carefree time of the year, it is very important that you look after your pet’s health during the heated months. Pets, just like us, are prone to many summer hazardous. Here are seven summer hazards that you should consider for your dog and cat.

1. Sunburn

One of the most common heat-related hazards are sunburns. The cause of sunburns is due to overexposure of UVA rays (ultra-violet rays) that penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. Exposed skin does not have the necessary protection to reflect these rays, as a result: the skin becomes burned.  Though our pets have fur, their skin still needs to be protected. You can protect your dog or cat;s fur by keeping their exposure to the sun under control. You can also rub coconut oil into their fur. Coconut is a natural sunscreen. Just make sure you reapply the coconut oil every forty-five minutes to an hour for as long as your pet is in the sun.

2. Dehydration

Dehydration results when the body does not have enough fluid. This can be a result of sweating in the sun due to lounging in the heat and also being active under the rays. Always have water handy for your pet no matter where you go. Keep their water bowl full at home and keep a water bowl handy in your car. It is important that water is always available to your pets in the summer heat.

3. Heatstroke

This illness results when the body fails to maintain proper internal temperatures. Heatstroke can often be prevented through staying hydrated and cool. If your pet show symptoms of dehydration,  their body will not have enough fluid to to sweat, which would cool down the body. If you suspect your pet is dehydrated, it is best to seek immediate medical attention.

4. Poison Ivy

Identification is the first step in preventing a rash from poison ivy. This plant is found just about everywhere in North America. It tends to grow along fences and the edges of forests and fields. The leaves are broad and have three leaflets per stem. The oil secreted by the leaves can be spread through direct and indirect contact. Be aware of what poison ivy looks like and avoid taking your cats into shrubs and bushes.

5. Insect Bites

And with plants, come insects. Ticks, mosquitoes, bees, and fleas are rampant in the summertime. Keep a pet-friendly pest repellent handy. If your pet is bitten by an insect, you can also find sprays and ointments that will help soothe their bites and irritation.

What are some of the ways you prevent summer hazards? Let us know in the comment box below.

March 24, 2014

4 Ways to Better Your Pet’s Dental Care

Filed under: Cats,Dog Oral Care,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons — Tags: , , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 7:03 pm

dental_care_dogs_catsImagine going a week without brushing your teeth. Not the best thought. Now imagine a month and a year – not a pleasant, is it? We have been taught at a young age to brush our teeth at least once a day, hopefully two, and to floss. Taking care of our teeth helps fight mouth diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. This is all true for your pets too.

The unpleasant smell that comes from your cat or dog’s mouth is not normal. Consider the smell as an alert to you, the person your pet relies on to stay healthy, as something needs to be taken care of. The reason that your pet’s dental health is very important is because health issues that start in the mouth, can spread around the body, and lead to even more serious health concerns.

It may seem unusual to clean your cat or dog’s teeth – but this is a habit that you should start right when your furry friend joins your family.

Let’s discuss four ways that you can improve your cat or dog’s dental care.

Brush, Brush, Brush for Dental Care

Purchase a cat or dog friendly toothpaste that is naturally enzymatic. An enzymatic toothpaste will help break down plaque in your cat/dog’s mouth without the actually brushing action of a toothbrush. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid brushing your pet’s teeth – you should still brush the plaque away.

It is best to start brushing your pet’s teeth at a young age, because it will become a daily habit that they are use to – just like it is for you. Your cat or dog is not going to willingly let you brush their teeth, so you will need to ease them into this habit.

A few tips I can offer you, for brushing your pet’s teeth include:

1. Be patient.
2. Go slow when starting.
3. Be patient.
4. Making this a daily activity will go a long way with making your pet feel comfortable.
5. Be patient.
6. If it is too difficult to start off with a toothbrush, use a gauze or washcloth wrapped around your finger when first starting to brush.
7. Be patient!

Diet for Dental Health

I always advocate for a raw diet because of the many health benefits it brings to your pet, and when considering dental health, there is no exception. A raw diet mimics the pulling and tearing of flesh that is ingrained in your pet’s DNA, helping keep the teeth in a healthy shape. Moreover, it stimulates clean gums and teeth.

Natural Supplements and Natural Remedies for Dental Health

Calendula is a herbal anti-inflammatory that can help prevent gum disease. Just rub this herbal solution onto your cat or dog’s gums for a healthier mouth.

CoQ10 is a supplement that you can include in your pet’s diet. CoQ10, like calendula, will reduce inflammation in the gums.

A vitamin that is readily available and can easily be added to your pet’s diet is Vitamin C. Vitamin C will not only help boost your cat or dog’s immune system, but will also support that tissues that help hold teeth in place. The result? A healthier mouth.

Visit the Vet for Dental Care

The last and very important way, for you to keep on top of your cat or dog’s health is by visiting the vet regularly. A vet will be able to provide you with a deeper cleaning, like we receive from the dentist. A vet may also notice irregularities in your furry friend’s mouth that you may have not noticed. It has never hurt to get an expert opinion when it concerns your cat or dog’s health.

Do you have other ways that you keep your cat or dog’s healthy? Share them with me below.

March 13, 2014

5 Herbs for a Pet Detox

Filed under: Cat Disease,Cats,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Holistic Pet Care,Pet Health — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 9:50 pm

herbs-for-pet-detoxDogs and cats are more susceptible to damage from everyday toxins in the environment and in their diets because their bodies are typically small. It is important to take preventative measures, so that your pet does not experience long-term health issues.  As a pet owner, two of the best preventative measures you can take to keep your furry friend healthy are to limit their exposures to toxins and to help their bodies detox. The best way to help your pets detox is through natural therapies, such as dietary supplementation. Below you will find my top 5 picks for dietary supplements that will help you furry friend detox.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a miraculous herb that helps detoxify the liver.  It helps the liver to break down environmental toxins as well as toxins and chemicals in foods, like preservatives and pesticides. Milk thistle also prevents toxins from entering the cell walls in the liver, further helping prevent conditions like liver failure. Milk thistle  is an excellent herb for you to administer to your pet, in order to take precaution against liver disease.

Vitamins C & E

Both Vitamin C and Vitamin E are powerful antioxidants. The help eliminate free radicals in your pet’s body and boost the immune system. Having a strong immune system will help your cat and dog’s body eliminate toxins. Moreover, both vitamins can also help support the treatment of infections, skin problems, bowel problems, cancer,  and gum disease.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is another potent antioxidant that helps the body eliminate free radicals and boost the immune system. As a result, green tea extract can help support the liver in it’s initiatives to rid the body of toxins.

Zinc

Zinc is a necessary mineral in your pet’s diet. Zinc helps the liver with detoxification by supporting the liver production of enzymes that are used to detoxify the body.

Dandelion

Dandelion is a very powerful, yet gentle liver stimulant. It triggers the liver to produce bile, which in turn helps to remove waste in the digestive system.

Helping your pet detoxify their body is essential to good health. Don’t wait until it is too late and your pet develops a chronic illness. Start to practice detoxification on a monthly basis to help prevent toxin-related illness in the future. When choosing any dietary supplement to support your cat or dog’s health, it is very important that you consult with a holistic veterinarian first.

March 6, 2014

How to Naturally Treat Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Holistic Pet Care — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 11:21 pm

arthritis-dogs-catsThe jumping, running, and strain on the joints builds up during the duration of a pet’s life and can end result in arthritis, just like it can in a human. Arthritis can be a painful condition for our pets, so it is important to recognize the symptoms and natural remedies that can help treat and prevent arthritis in pets.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Symptoms of arthritis in cats and dogs are very similar. They may include any of the following:

• Slowed movement
• Lameness
• Pain
• Stiffness
• Reluctant to move around

If you notice any of the symptoms of arthritis in your dog or cat, it’s important that you address the symptom by treating it right away.

Treating Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Conventional treatment to treat arthritis in your dog or cat can range from anti-inflammatory medications like acetaminophen and aspirin. Cats have difficult time being treated with these medications. Overall, prescription medication can have long-term negative effects on cats and dogs.
The good news is that there is a way to treat and prevent arthritis through a natural approach. A few approaches include the following:

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs for Dogs and Cats

Some of the most common herbs to treat arthritis in dogs and cats include Devil’s Claw, Ashwagandha, Bosweillia, and Turmeric. Devil’s claw and Bosweillia help reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness, whereas Ashwagandha helps reduce stress in the body. Turmeric is an all-star herb. It has very strong anti-inflammatory effects, but is also a strong antioxidant that can help prevent many other diseases.

Supplements for Dogs and Cats with Arthritis

Excellent preventatives supplement, and handy for mild cases of arthritis, are Vitamin C and E. Both of these vitamins provide anti-inflammatory properties in the body. Glucosamine is also a popular supplement, even with pet owners, for treating arthritis. Glucosamine enhances the cartilage between joints.

You should begin to taking care of your pet’s joint health starting at a young age. This will allow you to help prevent the negative effects of arthritis from harming your furry companion’s quality life.

February 26, 2014

Can Dogs and Cats Get the Flu?

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons — Tags: , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 7:13 pm

flu_dog_catThe pain and agony of flu season is not just reserved for humans. Our furry friends can also experience the same grey cloud over their heads, that the flu and cold bring to us. What makes it worse for them is that cats and dogs are unable to tell us how they are feeling. Our furry friend’s rely on us, their owners, to look after their health. For this reason it is very important to be aware of flu and cold symptoms in pets and to know how to treat the cold and flu in pets.

Dog Flu Symptoms

Does it seem like your pooch is feeling under the weather? Look out for the following symptoms as an indication that your dog might have the flu:

  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Red eyes

Cat Flu Symptoms

Cats will generally show the same symptoms for the flu as a dog would. However, when these cold and flu symptoms occur, cats could also be infected with either the herpes virus or calicvirus.  Both viruses affect a feline’s respiratory health. These  viruses can causes symptoms such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Fatigue

How to Treat the Flu and Cold in Dogs and Cats

Conventional Flu Treatment for Pets

A vet may prescribe the following treatments for your pet depending on the severity of their symptoms:

  • Cough supressants
  • Rest
  • Antibiotics
  • Fluids to stay hydrated

Natural Remedies

A holistic vet may prescribe the following treatments for your pet:

  • Echinacea for stimulating the immune system
  • Osha root for sore throat and cough
  • Eucalyptus for reducing inflammation in the respiratory tract

Homeopathic remedies may include aconitum, arsenicum album, and gelsemium.

Preventing Cold and Flu in Cats and Dogs

It is important to keep an eye out on your pet’s health. As a pet owner, you are the primary care taker that your furry friend relies on to be healthy and strong. The first step you can take towards preventing the cold and flu in cats and dogs is by providing your pet with a nutritious, species appropriate diet. Such a diet would include high quality animal protein and no grains.

You can also supplement your pet’s diet with vitamins. I recommend finding a  pet-friendly, quality mulit-vitamin. I also recommend supplementing with Vitamins C and E for antioxidant support.

February 18, 2014

Heart Disease and Pets

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Pet Health — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 7:50 pm

heart_disease_in_cats_dogsHeart disease is a serious condition in both cats and dogs, and definitely should not be ignored. Knowing what the symptoms are, may help your pet live a long and healthy life, by providing them with the right treatments and/or remedies at the right times.

Symptoms of Heart Disease in Pets

Symptoms of heart disease in cats and dogs include:

  • Wheezing
  • Panting after minimal activity
  • Shortness of breath
  • No appetite
  • Minimal energy
  • Fatigue
  • Blue-gray color inside of mouth
  • Coughing
  • Swollen limbs
  • Dragging of feet
  • Weakness

How to Treat Heart Disease in Cats and Dogs

When it comes to heart disease in cats and dogs, you want to make sure that you support their cardiovascular system with natural remedies. These include a healthy diet, CoQ10, and amino acids.

Nutritious Diet for Pets

When it comes to a diet, make sure that your furry friend is being fed a diet that is grain free and appropriate for a cat or dog. Making sure their bodies receive the proper nutrients through food is the first step in preventing and treating heart disease.

CoQ10 for Cats and Dogs

CoQ10 is a supplement that can be used for heart disease in cats and dogs.  The vitamin provides energy to the heart so that it does not struggle to get nutrients and blood throughout the body.

Amino Acids

Taurine

Taurine is an excellent amino acid for cats. You can purchase this amino acid as a supplement to add to your cat’s diet, or you can switch your cat from a commercial diet to a raw food diet to get more Taurine into their system.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that can strengthen both a cat and dog’s heart. This supplement can be added to your pet’s food.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil is known to be a healthy fat that promotes good cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation. You can add flaxseed oil directly to your pet’s food.

Hawthorne

Hawthorne is a herbal remedy that contains phytochemicals. Hawthorne improves heart function by encouraging blood to flow to the heart, while also supporting the heart in it’s pumping process. It is an excellent herb for strengthening the heart and normalizing the heartbeat.

All in all, you should never ignore the signs of heart disease in your cat or dog. Prevention and treatment can go a long way in saving your pet’s life.

February 6, 2014

Urinary Tract Infections: Natural Treatment for Dogs and Cats

Filed under: Cats,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Pet Health — Tags: , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 12:32 am

Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and CatsUrinary tract infections are not pleasant in humans, and accordingly, they are not pleasant for cats and dogs. How do our pets get urinary tract infections and how can urinary tract infections be treated? Keep reading to find out.

How Urinary Tract Infections Occur in Cats and Dogs

Urinary tract infections in cats and dogs can occur from a variety of health issues. These include:

  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Deficiency in the immune system
  • Fungal infections
  • Bladder stones
  • Injury
  • Tumor

You will know, or at the very least suspect, that your cat or dog has a urinary tract infection because they will urinate frequently, and urinate in unconventional places.

How to Treat Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs and Cats

Urinary tract infections can be treated in dogs and cats through a natural means. Here are some of the ways you can treat your furry friend’s UTI:

1. Juniper Berry

The herbal remedy, juniper berry, is effective at increasing the kidney’s functions by quickly removing toxins out of the body. This results in frequent urination, which can help to restore your cat or dog’s pH balance.

2. Cranberry

This berry is not only known to be effective in humans, but is also effective in pets. Cranberry prevents bacteria from invading the urinary tract. It is also very effective at preventing the recurrence of urinary tract infections in cats and dogs.

3. Uva Ursi

This leaf is very powerful. Many holistic vets will use this leaf with the aim of attacking pathogens that cause urinary tract infections in pets. It is able to stop bleed as well as reduce inflammation.

4. Supplement

Provide your pet with multivitamins and antioxidants. You will help to support their bodily functions on a day-to-day basis, as well as support their immune system during times of distress.

Overall, as soon as you notice signs of a urinary tract infection, you should take your pet to your hollistic vet as soon as possible. It is a serious problem that can become extremely uncomfortable for them, and you definitely do not want your pet to feel uncomfortable.

January 29, 2014

5 Ways Get Rid of Pet Odors Naturally

Filed under: Cats,Dog Skin Problems,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Holistic Pet Care — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 12:36 am

get-rid-of-pet-odors-naturallyPet odors – we have all been there. Walking in and out of your house and noticing a lingering stench in the air. Of course it is natural for our pets to have a scent of their own, but it should not be a strong or unwanted smell. If you notice that your dog or cat has an unpleasant lingering smell, then you may want to consider the following:

1. Get Your Furry Friend Checked Out

Strong, unpleasant odor from your cat or dog is not normal. There could be some underlying health issues that needs to be looked at, like a yeast infection or oily skin. It is best to get a full assessment to find the source of the smell, and accordingly get rid of pet odor.

2. Consider Your Pet’s Diet

Poor nutrition can be a trigger for smelly odors. Nutrition can also lead to allergic reactions and an unhealthy coat. A quality diet for a pet should be specific to their species. A general rule of thumb is that a diet should include:

  • High quality meat
  • Human grade animal proteins
  • No allergenic ingredients (i.e. wheat, corn, soy)

3. Make Your Own Shampoo

Many commercial products contain nasty industrial chemicals. This is not true for just pets, but also for you! It is very easy, and a better option, for you to bathe your furry friend with a natural shampoo. To ensure that a shampoo is completely natural, ensure you read the label. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient – chances are that it is not 100% natural.

4. Neem Oil

Neem is a tree and its leaves have many medicinal benefits. Neem leaves are an:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral

The neem leaves also act as a natural insecticide and antioxidant.

With all of the amazing things that neem can do, it is very helpful as a skin aid. It can treat allergies, itchy skin, excessive shedding, and of course aid in eliminating nasty odor. Just keep in mind that neem should not be used with cats.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an amazing product that everyone should have in their kitchen cabinets. By just sprinkling baking soda over your carpet, couches, or whatever fabric surface you’d like – it will eliminate odor. Let the baking soda sit over the surface for a few hours, allowing it to absorb odors, and then vacuum it up.

January 22, 2014

Dog and Cat Ear Infection: Home Remedies

PDog ear infections and cat ear infections are quite common, and often time reoccur. If your pet suffers from recurring ear infections, you may want to consider a new approach to how the ear infections are treated – a natural approach with home remedies.

Natural treatments for ear infections go a long way. Instead of treating the symptoms of a problem, like prescription medications do, a natural treatment and home remedy will get to the root of the problem, preventing the recurrence of such infections. A natural approach will take longer, but in the long run it is more beneficial.

Dog and Cat Ear Infection Home Remedies

1. Mixing olive oil, tea tree oil, and vitamin E will mildly disinfect the ears.

2. A solution of vinegar and water can be used as a mild disinfectant.

3. Mix Almond Oil and Vitamin E. This can be used every other day for internal ear improvement.

4. Diluted oregano oil. Oregano oil is an antibacterial and antifungal. But it must be diluted because of how strong it is.

5. Apply apple cider vinegar to a piece of paper towel or cloth. Rub this inside of your furry friend’s ear. Apple cider vinegar is also an antibacterial and antiviral.

Final Thoughts

Of course, before using any natural remedy, ensure that your pet does not have any allergies and always consult with your naturopathic veterinarian. See a difference from any of these home remedies? Be sure to leave a comment below. Dr. Loridawn Gordon

August 19, 2013

Natural Sunscreen for Dogs and Cats

Filed under: Cat Skin,Dog Skin Problems,Pet Health,Pet Safety Tips — Tags: , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 9:27 pm

Dog with hat and glasses in the garden

No one likes a sunburn and that includes your pets. Solar dermatitis, aka: Sunburn, can affect all pets, but is more common in those who are light in color. Side effects of sunburn include mild redness and hair loss, while too much sun exposure may also lead to disease, like skin cancer.

If your pet experiences a sun burn I recommend using Vetisse Rashaid. Rashaid can help soothe the sunburn on your pet’s skin. Another option for a rash aid is to use Calendula topically.

Many people opt to buy sunscreen for their dogs and cats. Just keep in mind that Epi-Pet Sun Protector is the only FDA approved sunscreen for dogs. Even then, labels should be read properly so that you can be sure of what you are applying to your pet’s skin.  A natural sun screen you can use on dogs and cats is coconut oil; it just needs to be applied frequently to protect your pet.

 

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Dr. Loridawn Gordon

 

 

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.