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.

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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July 12, 2013

Dehydration in Dogs and Cats

Dehydration in Dogs and CatsLike other living animals, your cats and dogs need water to survive. A lack of water and other fluids, as well as diarrhea and vomiting, leads to dehydration. This is especially common in the summer months, due to the tendency of the body to overheat.

Signs of dehydration in dogs and cats include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Depression
  • Less playful
  • Gums become dry and sticky
  • Saliva is thick
  • Eyes appear sunken
  • Pet is in shock

To determine if your pet is dehydrated, lift up a piece of their skin and see if it returns to its normal position. If it doesn’t, your pet may be dehydrated. You can also have your vet perform a blood or urine test. A urine test will detect whether the kidneys are affected or not.

There are several ways to replace fluid loss. This can be done orally, or by injection – either subcutaneously (under the skin), intravenously (in the vein), and in the bone. Orally, I use electrolyte mixes, and for other routes I use balanced solutions and specialty fluids.

 

One homeopathic remedy I use to treat dehydration includes a plant called China (aka: Peruvian Bark), which you can mix into water. It seems to alleviate the symptoms od dehydration quite well.

A common mistake that some pet owners will make in an effort to get their cat or dog back to their normal states, is to give them a lot of fluids However, doing this could cause your pet to vomit, and will result in increased dehydration.. The best way for your pet to take fluids when they are dehydrated is in smaller doses over a longer period of time.

 

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Dr. Loridawn Gordon

 

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May 31, 2013

4 Best Ways to Get Rid of Cat Dandruff

Filed under: Cat Nutrition,Cat Skin,Cats,Dog Skin Problems — Tags: , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 7:09 pm

how to get rid of cat dandruffJust as dandruff affects humans, it also affects cats. Cats develop dandruff for many reasons such as parasitic infections, sunburn, diabetes, dry climate, poor diet and lack of grooming habits.

It is a good idea to take your cat to the vet as soon as you notice dandruff on his coat, because the dandruff may be a sign of other more serious issues with your cat’s health. Nevertheless, there are some steps that you can take to either prevent or resolve your cat’s dandruff issue at home. Here are the 4 best ways to get rid of cat dandruff:

1. Buy a humidifier. Keeping the air moist in your home is one of the simplest ways to resolve a dandruff problem.

2. Change your cat’s diet. The food you are feeding to your feline friend could be the reason for the dandruff. Try changing to a wet food diet. It would also be wise to supplement the diet with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, which will aid the body in natural oil production, keeping the skin healthy. You should also monitor your cat’s water intake, because dandruff could be the result of dehydration.

3. Groom your cat. Grooming is especially important if your cat is overweight or a senior. Concentrate on areas of the body that your cat is unable to reach, like the tail. Brushing your cat’s fur helps to distribute the natural oils from his body over the skin. If you bathe your cat, use a gentle shampoo that will not irritate his skin or dry it out.

4. Use lotion. You can buy hypoallergenic lotion, just for cats. Lotion is especially useful when it includes colloidal oatmeal. Lotion can also be used if your cat experiences a sunburn.

 

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May 17, 2013

Health Benefits of Having a Pet

Filed under: Cats,Dog Skin Problems,Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 4:57 pm

health benefits of having a petDoes owning a pet increase your own well being and happiness? I believe that owning a pet has great benefits to one’s health. Throughout my years of practice, I’ve noticed the overall happiness in both my patients and in their owners.

In regards to women, I have specifically encountered women who have expressed that their stress levels dropped after owning a pet. The result of decreased stress meant a drop in their blood sugar and blood pressure and a more positive emotional and mental state. Studies have shown that people’s overall moods and mentality have become more positive with having a pet. Additionally, due to the physical demands that some pets require, a pet can actually keep you in shape.ners.

You have probably heard of stories where people in retirement facilities, people with illnesses, or even people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, have benefited from having the company of our lovely four legged companions. Pets do not judge you. They see you as their friend who will care for them. They are loyal and they respect you. With such a huge boost to your overall value as a person, it is no wonder why so many people own pets.

For many years, I personally volunteered with the Saint John pet therapy program in a dementia unit, with my two dogs. It was one of the most meaningful activities I have done with my pets. My little multi-poo would put so many smiles on the faces of lost people; for an hour, these people would come alive.

Pet ownership can also benefit children. Consider how a child would benefit from a pet in their physical, mental, and emotional health. With pet ownership, your child’s immune system will be elevated, and they will be less susceptible to allergies and allergy symptoms. Moreover, a pet can teach a child about responsibility, love, and companionship.

Owning a pet has been a way of natural healing for people. Instead of medication, pets are able to reduce overall stress and stressors in one’s life. Take the time to consider owning a pet. The health benefits of owning a pet can help you achieve a holistic lifestyle both physically and emotionally.

Don’t believe me? Do a simple internet search on personal stories about how a pet has changed one’s life, overall well being, and holistic health.

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March 5, 2013

Mythbuster – Your Dog’s Mouth is Not Cleaner Than Yours

Filed under: Dog Skin Problems,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons — Tags: — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 10:00 am

Observe your dogOral - Dog Health’s oral behavior. They clean themselves, lick other animals’ behinds, and are not particularly discriminating about what they put in their mouths. Unless your dog has taken to regular tooth brushing and flossing, don’t think your best friend’s mouth is cleaner than yours.

Dental hygiene is often forgotten since other pet health concerns often take center stage. Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, could be a sign of lack of dental hygiene in pets. However, halitosis is often a sign of digestive issues (a topic I’ll explore next month). Regardless of the cause of bad breath, it is important to care for your dog’s teeth. Dental hygiene is important for your dog’s overall health because it can affect the health of their kidneys and other organs.  There is a long list of gum, mouth, and other systemic diseases that we want to prevent in our furry friends.

How well do you think you know your dog? Let’s start a little quiz. How many teeth do you think your dog has? The answer: An adult dog has forty-two teeth. It’s best that you start paying attention to those forty-two pearly whites. Your dog may not like you looking into his/her mouth, but it is important to regularly check their gums and their teeth.   Once you become familiar with what is normal, you will more easily detect changes, such as bleeding gums, abscesses, broken and missing teeth, and objects stuck between your pet’s teeth which could benefit your dog’s long term health.

While it is tempting to go into your bathroom medicine cabinet and grab the first tube of toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth, stop yourself.  Human toothpaste should never be used on your dog because of the fluoride. Fluoride should not be swallowed by you or your pet. Humans learn to spit toothpaste out, but dogs don’t know any better than swallow it. Instead, go to a pet store and purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste that has been designed for a dog. You can even choose flavours in toothpaste ranging from poultry, beef, seafood, and even peanut butter.

Tooth brushing is a process with your dog that cannot be rushed. Start with a small step each day. Reassure your pet with love and attention. It is only necessary to brush the outside of their teeth because their tongues will take care of the inside. They may not like the taste of toothpaste or the feel of a brush in his/her mouth, so perhaps just brush one tooth on the first day. It is important to not rush the tooth brushing process, so take your time with your pet and make the experience fun and rewarding. It may take anywhere from a month or two for your dog to get use to brushing his/her teeth, but eventually it will become a part of their daily routine.

If you require more information, consult your veterinarian on the benefits of professional teeth cleaning. Your pet’s dental hygiene is a crucial part in keeping them healthy and happy.

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September 27, 2011

Naturally Treating Dermatitis in Dogs

Filed under: Dog Skin Problems — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 11:50 pm

Relieve Canine DermatitisDermatitis is a common skin condition in which there is inflammation and itching of the skin. Dermatitis in dogs can be caused by a number of factors such as: poor nutrition, allergies, hypersensitivity, or pathogens. Once the cause of dermatitis has been established, you can easily help your dog overcome dermatitis.

A lack of nutrients results in itchy dry skin causing nutritional dermatitis in dogs. If your dog’s dermatitis has been induced by poor nutrition it is best to change his or her diet. Invest in quality dog food which contains natural ingredients and higher levels of protein. Feeding your pet organic dog food or home cooked dog food is also a great way to improve and maintain proper nutrition in your dog.

Hypersensitivity to the environment can cause atopic dermatitis in dogs. Often the dog is sensitive to environmental substances such as poison oak or nettle. Hypersensitivity is similar to allergic dermatitis in dogs although allergy induced dermatitis refers to skin irritation caused by allergens. If you notice your dog itching more after spending time outdoors, it is best to remove any plants or substances that may be triggering the dermatitis. Permanent removal will reduce the chances of atopic dermatitis from reoccurring.

Furthermore, if allergens such as dust, pollen, fleas or mold have been causing dermatitis in your pet, avoid and maintain minimal contact between the allergens and your pet. After your pet has spent time outdoors, bathe your pet to remove allergens from the fur. Flea allergies are the most common cause of dermatitis in dogs. If your pet has fleas, removing the fleas from your pet and home is important. For example, fleas can infest carpets and sofas. It is thus recommended to shampoo all living areas in order to completely eliminate the possibility of re-infestation in your pet.

If your pet has been feverish or experiencing a decrease in appetite while having dermatitis, it is likely that the dermatitis has been caused by a bacteria or virus. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics for a bacterial infection or may supply additional treatment if your pet has a viral infection.

September 21, 2011

Seborrhea in Pets

Filed under: Cat Skin,Dog Skin Problems — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 11:17 pm

dog-looking-up-white-backgroundSeborrhea is a common skin condition amongst pets. Distinguished by an excessive amount of dandruff, seborrhea is also characterized by either excessively oily skin or flaky, dry skin. Typically, skin cells are always dying and being replaced by new skin cells which occurs over the course of 3 weeks but with the condition of seborrhea, this occurs in several days which causes a buildup of skin cells.

If seborrhea is not in your pet’s genetics, it can be caused as a result of an injury to the skin such as allergies, hypothyroidism, parasites, or a nutritional disorder. Seborrhea dermatitis is distinguished as flaking and inflammation of the skin. Seborrhea oleosa is characterized by the overproduction of oil which also releases a foul smell. Seborrhea sicca is when the skin becomes very dry causing scaling of the skin. Seborrhea is frequently predominant in areas such as ears, stomach, elbows, armpits, and ankles. Breeds of dogs are commonly infected are dogs such as Labradors, Dobermans, German Sheppards, and a few more. Cats that commonly suffer from seborrhea are Persian and Himalayan cats.

Treatment of Seborrhea is dependent on how severe your pet’s condition is and which type of seborrhea they suffer. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms through a skin swab and a skin biopsy. Treatment for seborrhea typically involves a treatment of shampoo and conditioner that is left in for at least 10 min then fully rinsed out. Ingredients to naturally treat seborrhea include herbs such as green tea, chamomile, viola tri, and also echinacea. Changing your pet’s diet to strengthen their immune system by adding vitamins such as A, C, E, and Zinc, also helps reduce symptoms. It is also good to bath your pet 1 or 2 times a week to improve their skin condition. Before trying any methods of relief for your pet, be sure to talk to your veterinarian to see if the treatment is right for your pet.

September 7, 2011

Puppy Skin Danger

Filed under: Dog Skin Problems — Tags: — 1st Pet Naturals @ 10:16 pm

Dog-Skin-DiseasePuppies like babies are quite vulnerable to certain infections because they are not fully developed. During this susceptible time puppies should be closely monitored. As a puppy owner you should know young dogs are prone to a dog skin disease known as Impetigo.

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection; it is most common among pre-school children, but can affect dogs as well. Impetigo causes painless, fluid-filled blisters, and these pustules rupture easily causing a lot of pain for the puppy. Bullouse and epidemic are two stages of impetigo. Bullouse is the first stage which consists of white pimples. Epidemic is the second stage of yellow oozing from the pimples. Impetigo is highly contagious so make sure to isolate the puppy from other dogs until the disease has cleared up.

Impetigo is not a fatal skin disease. There have been some extremely rare cases when the disease has spread throughout the puppy. Impetigo will either clear up on its own once it has taken its natural course or be cleared up with treatment. As part of the treatment process, make sure your puppy is not chewing or licking at the pustules. This action is what causes the spread of the infections. To keep the puppy from doing this try using an e-collar.

Dog skin treatment of impetigo is fairly simple. Begin by applying hydrogen peroxide or benzoyl peroxide twice a day for three days. Doing this will keep the condition from spreading. There are even benzoyl peroxide shampoos that treat this condition. If the Impetigo is severe take your puppy to the vet. The vet may prescribe antibiotics to be administered either orally or topically. Doberman Pinschers, Bulldogs, Boxers, and Chinese Shar-Peis may experience impetigo even as adults, unlike other dogs who only experience impetigo as puppies.

May 16, 2011

ty Dog Arthritis Supplements

Filed under: Dog Skin Problems — Tags: , , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 9:32 pm

Dog suffering from arthritisDog arthritis, a condition involving the inflammation of joints, impacts every part of your pet’s life. The most common type of arthritis affecting dogs is osteoarthritis. If your pet has arthritis, you will notice that your pet is not as happy or energetic as he/ she once was. Luckily, there are many treatments available that can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. There is, however, no cure.

Your dog’s vet will be able to determine the best course of treatment. However, there are other forms of dog arthritis support in addition to medical treatment. Dog arthritis supplements for example are very beneficial if incorporated into your dog’s daily diet. There are a large variety of supplements available for arthritis in dogs.

In many cases taking dog arthritis supplements is even more beneficial than taking prescription medication. Some prescription medication such as Prednisone are often used to lessen pain and inflammation. However, using them over a large period of time can cause negative effects. Supplements on the other hand can even help regenerate what was lost and are a great option in terms of canine arthritis support.

Other things can also be done to make your dog feel more comfortable and happy. Giving your pet a massage for example will make he/ she feel much more relaxed and also provide dog arthritis pain relief. Pet Arthritis-Supplements for joint pain-factors for arthritis In addition, vegetables high in Vitamin B, such as carrots and asparagus, are recommended for dogs suffering from arthritis. To serve, cut up the vegetables and add them to your pet’s dog food.

As dogs grow older, the probability of developing arthritis increases. This is because as they become older, joints begin to stiffen. Young dogs can also develop arthritis. The cause in this case is usually an injury of some sort. Overweight or obese dogs are at an even greater risk of suffering from arthritis in comparison to others. Their heavy weight puts extra pressure on the joints.

Natural methods don’t always work for everyone in terms of dog arthritis treatment. At times prescription medication does not give the desired effect. Surgery is usually used as a last resort in these cases. Other times it is not even possible. It is important that an owner notices the symptoms of dog arthritis so they can take their pet to a vet right away.

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.