February 26, 2013

Top 5 Poisonous Plant for Pets: Beware

Filed under: Pet Safety Tips — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 11:00 am

Even if you have a green thumb, you need to keep an eye on your pet when it comes to certain plants. Our pets are a part of our family, so keeping them safe from comPoisonous Plantsmon every-day plants is extremely important.

Here is a list of five plants to keep your pet away from:

1. Buttercups: Though beautiful in your lawn, they are toxic to both dogs and cats. They can lead to depression, vomiting and diarrhea.

2. Carnations: These flowers can result in mild dermatitis or skin inflammation.

3. Apple and apple trees: Their stems contain cyanide that may result in breathing difficulties or your pet going into shock.

4. Avocados: Though this fruit provides health benefits to humans, in horses it can result in colic, in cattle it can result in decreased milk production, and in dogs and cats it can result in vomiting and diarrhea.

5. Cherries: Their stems, leaves, and seeds contain cyanide which can result in your pet going into shock or have difficulty breathing.

You can check out more poisonous plants at ASPCA. If your pet ever ingests any one of these plants, immediately contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) at 888-426-4435.

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February 19, 2013

Top 5 Fun Ways to Lose Weight With Your Pet

Filed under: Cat Weight Loss,Dog Weight Loss — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 11:00 am

How to lose weightWhether you have a dog or a cat, it is doesn’t have to be boring to lose weight. Whether you just want to keep the weight off, or only want to be healthy, here are a few great tips on how you and your pet can make the most out of every day.

Tip 1: Find fun activities you can do with your pet. Have activities you can do both indoors and outdoors. Alternate the activities to keep every day a new and fun adventure.

For outdoor activities, go out for a run! Try running with your dog along the beach or in a beautiful park. Check out local parks and beaches that are dog friendly. Bring a frisbee or a tennis ball and play catch. During the winter, you can even play catch in the snow.

If your pet prefers the indoors, find a toy that will grab his/her attention. Play with your pet all around the house; don’t just stay in the living room.

Tip 2: Keep cool/warm and keep dry. Be prepared for various types of weather. If you are going to venture outside, be sure that you and your pet are dressed appropriately.

Tip 3: Keep it regular. Have a fixed time and keep a routine. Over time you’ll notice that your pet will get accustomed to a routine and expect it. He/she may even remind you that it is time to exercise and have fun.

Tip 4: Reduce the treats. Stop giving your pet too many treats and snacks. Instead, reward your pet with a toy or with a fun day outside of the house.

Tip 5: Keep an eye on how much you feed your dog. You may want to consider feeding your pet smaller but more frequent meals.

What actions do you take to keep you and your dog fit? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or the comment box below.

February 12, 2013

“Your Dog is Not Sick – But is Your Dog Healthy?”

Filed under: Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Holistic Pet Care — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 11:00 am

As pet owners, we wonder if we are doing the best we can for our dog’s health. We love them, give them our attention, take them for walks, feed them, and take them to the vet when they are sick. But are they healthy? So many factors affect their health – diet, exercise, exposure to toxins, vaccinations, and emotions.

Dog Health

The idea of preventative medicine is to put us in a higher state of health. As you ponder whether your pet is getting the benefit of a full and healthy lifestyle, you should ask yourself if they are eating well.

Even the best commercial pet foods are highly processed. They contain cheap protein sources, and during the cooking process much of the nutritional value is destroyed. As a holistic vet, I do recommend a natural diet. But unfortunately, the convenience of packaged commercial products, combined with persuasive advertising, means that these products become a staple to our pets. As a result, North American pets continue to eat overly processed foods, and so it’s necessary to supplement nutrients into their diets.

If your pet is eating a healthy diet, there is little need for supplements. However, there are a few that I recommend for dog’s health.

Salmon oil is one supplement I highly recommend for your dog’s diet. It can be fed to them orally, and is loaded with valuable omega-3 fatty acids. They benefit dogs by supporting healthy:

Cognitive function: supports brain development in younger dogs and aids in sharper brain functioning in older dogs
Skin and coat: lubricates the skin and helps create a shiny coat
Joints: helps ward off arthritis
Organs: supports heart health, in particular

There are virtually no side effects to salmon oil in dogs. Dogs process oils differently than humans do, and it will not cause weight gain.

Just as your dog will enjoy the salmon oil, they will also likely lap up my next suggestion. I recommend that your pet gets supplemental probiotics to aid in digestion. One simple way to get probiotics into your dogs diet is to add yogurt. I recommend you check the label and find a plain white yogurt which contains Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus acidophilus (not fruit flavored or vanilla yogurt). While people generally don’t like the taste of plain white yogurt, and prefer to jazz it up with other fruit, this is not the case with most dogs. Dogs seem to really enjoy the taste of plain yogurt.

A little goes a long way with yogurt for dogs. I recommend that you just coat your dog’s food with it. Below is a quick chart to refer to for yogurt consumption:

Small dog – 1 tablespoon
Medium dog – 2 tablespoons
Large dog – 3 tablespoons

I recommend salmon oil and probiotics so as to enhance your pet’s overall health and performance. If you are not convinced, do ask your local veterinarian.

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Dr. Loridawn Gordon

 

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February 5, 2013

Natural Way to Pet Wellness

Filed under: Holistic Pet Care — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 11:00 am

Pet wellnessYour pet is very much a part of the family just like your significant other, parents, and siblings. Just like you care about your family’s health and wellness, you are going to care about the health and wellness of your pet. To ensure that your pet is reaching his/her maximum health potential, you must keep track of their physical, mental, and environmental well being.

Physical Health

Exercising is just one of the many ways to create maximum wellness for your pet. Whether it is going out to the park, or going for a run with your dog, your pet deserves to get out and have fun. When your dog is exercising regularly, you will notice that he/she will have a more positive attitude. Although cats are known to be more independent, they also need exercise. Take your cat out and he/she will love you for it!

In addition to exercising, your pet’s diet is just as important. Read up on what you feed your pet. Ask yourself: “Are the big brand named pet foods really going to benefit my pet’s health?” Mass produced pet foods lack in vitamins and nutrition for your pet. Become aware on what nutrients are in your pet’s food, and consider reading up on the benefits of natural pet foods and natural pet supplements. This will ensure that you are well informed on making the best of your furry friend’s health.

Environmental Health

The saying, “Home sweet home,” applies to your pet as much as it applies to yourself. Give your pet a specific area that they can call their own. Create a space for them in which they can rest, stretch, and relax. This can be done by simply laying out a soft blanket or bed in your living room, just for your pet. The both of you value your space at home, so keep it clean. Vacuum your home regularly, or often if your pet sheds, to help reduce ticks and fleas from taking over your house. Keep your floors clean and clear of cluttering objects. When cleaning, try to use natural products in order to avoid excessive toxic chemicals. Perhaps opt for cleaning products with a lavender scent; dogs and cats love the smell of lavender. Remember, your home is your pet’s home too!

Mental Health

The mental health of your pet is vital. It not only affects your pet but it also affects you. Find ways to keep your home stress free. Creating a stress free environment may include having a clean and clutter free home, or it may consist of establishing routines so you don’t get bogged down with household chores.

Keep track of your pet’s moods. If you have a dog, you may have to work harder in ensuring a healthy mental attitude. Dogs are more prone to get depressed and anxious when left alone. Being sociable animals, dogs may become overly dependent on you and your attention. When dealing with anxiety in your dog, it is important to keep a calm environment. Teach your dog how to remain calm and reward them when they show a calm response and attitude. A great way to teach your dog to remain calm is to walk in and out of a room where your dog is, preferably with a door that you can open and shut. Gradually increase the duration that you spend outside of the room. Another way to teach your dog how to remain calm is to turn your back and ignore him/her when they get excited. Remember, keep calm and reward calm.

As for cat owners, well, you can relax a bit. Cats, as many of us know, are more independent and prefer to be alone. However, this is not true for all cats. If your cat does not prefer to be alone, make sure someone is home or nearby if you happen to be away. It is a good option to have friends or family members that can pet-sit.

Owning a pet and looking over their well-being is more than just exercising and ensuring for a healthy diet, it is also about living well. When you take care of yourself and are happy, your pet will feel secure. When you take care of your pet and they are happy, he/she will take care of you.

 

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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.