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


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 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 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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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.






Dr. Loridawn Gordon



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August 7, 2013

Heat Stroke in Dogs

Filed under: Dogs,Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Pet Health,Pet Safety Tips — Tags: , , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 11:41 pm

Dog digging

We have all been there – waiting in the car while a friend runs into a store to “quickly” grab a last minute item you forgot before heading out for the day. But “quickly” seems to be the longest wait of your life. What could be less than a 5 minute wait begins to feel likes a daunting 20 minute wait. You begin to feel thirsty, wondering how long your friend will take, contemplating walking into the store to avoid the heat, and overall start feeling agitated. If you feel like this, just imagine what your dog would feel like being left in a car.

At least you would be able to open the doors, windows, or take a stroll in the parking lot. Your pet doesn’t have the same luxury, and as a result could suffer from heatstroke. Being trapped in a car on a hot summer day isn’t the only way that heat stroke can creep upon your dog, it can also be caused by:

  • Being tied up to a post with no way escape into shade
  • Excessive exercise in the sun without water
  • Being in the sun for too long

How is heat stroke created in the body to begin with? It is caused by your dog’s body heating up to the point that that the heat reaches their head. Once the heat reaches their head, it is hard for a pet to control their temperature, because their brain becomes impaired.

Signs of heat stroke include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Skin turns into a deep red shade
  • Gums turn bright red
  • Unusual breathing
  • Excessive drooling

You can overcome heat stroke in dogs by using cool water to rinse and cool him/her down. You should NOT use ice water. This will make the body shiver, which will increase the body’s temperature. You may also want to set up a fan that your pet can enjoy during the summer months.

My personal recommendation is to focus on the feet. You may have noticed that your dog digs during warm days – they do this because the cool dirt helps cool their feet. A dog’s sweat glands are located in the feet, so providing a cool bath to wade in or visiting a nearby stream will help cool their body down.  I also recommend using the homeopathic remedy, Belladonna. Of course, you should consult a professional regarding the use of this plant because if administered incorrectly, it can be very poisonous.  The best preventative strategy for heat stroke is to provide your pet with shade of lots of fresh water.





Dr. Loridawn Gordon


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April 23, 2013

3 Ways to Protect Your Pet From Medication Poisoning

Filed under: Dr. Loridawn's Lessons,Pet Health,Pet Safety Tips — Tags: , — Dr. Loridawn Gordon @ 9:00 am

Animal Poison ControlThere are several household items and products in your medicine cabinet that could be harmful to your pet without you even knowing it! With all kinds of medications and health aid products (both human and pet), pet owners need to be informed – and cautious. Medication poisoning can even occur as a result of using very common products, such as flea treatments and shampoos. To help ensure your pet’s health and safety, I have listed 3 great ways you can protect the four-legged members of your family!

1. Know which medications are not safe for your pet:

As obvious as it may seem, it is vital to remember that your pet is not human. Their body is different from yours. And so it’s important to not give them over the counter products that could result in them falling ill.

Three medications to never give your pet:

Advil: It can result in kidney failure and serious stomach and intestinal ulcers.
Lunesta: This can result in your pet being agitated and, in cats, may cause liver failure.
Tylenol: In dogs, this popular brand can lead to liver failure. In both cats and dogs, it can cause damage to red blood cells.

Not sure which medications are safe? For more information on medications to avoid, take a look at Med Help.

2. Keep a watchful eye on your pet:

It’s common knowledge that your pet will lick and or eat just about anything. Similar to precautions you would take with having a young child in your home, make sure that your own medications are placed in a safe place, out of reach and out of sight.

3. Check out your pet products and medications before purchase:

As I previously mentioned, even certain pet shampoos and flea medications can make your dog or cat seriously ill. Always check the ingredients, and don’t be tempted to buy a product just because it is on sale. In the end, it may not be such a good deal! In my opinion, natural is the best way to go. Remember your pet deserves the best, and avoiding those nasty chemicals will benefit their long term health!

How would you know if your pet has been poisoned? Observe your pet. Do you notice any changes in his/her behavior? Are they more aggressive? Are there any changes in their eating habits?

In the case that your pet is experiencing medication poisoning, I recommend giving them Ipecac syrup. Ipecac is a natural way to help induce vomiting, which could help prevent the severe consequences of medication poisoning. If you decided to use Ipecac, make sure that you are educated by a professional on how to properly administer it to your pet.
If your pet has been poisoned, you should also immediately contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA (Animal Poison Control Center) at 888-426-4435.

Dr. Loridawn Gordon




Dr. Loridawn Gordon


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April 16, 2013

Cushing’s Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

cushing's disease in dogsCushing’s disease is a dysfunction in the adrenal glands, where there is too much of the hormone glucocorticoid being produced. The cause of the overproduction of this hormone is usually connected to two issues:

1. The pituitary gland in the brain sends a signal for the adrenal glands to produce more hormones.

2. A benign or cancerous tumor in the adrenal glands can cause over-production of the hormones (this is less often the case).

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in your dog may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urinating
  • Pot-belly-like appearance
  • Thin coat and skin
  • Increased appetite
  • Unusual skin bumps
  • Skin and/or bladder infections
  • Hyperactivity

The symptoms of Cushing’s Disease are similar to many other diseases. For this reason, it can be a complicated disease to diagnose, which requires the skill and expertise of a professional. If your vet suspects Cushing’s Disease, they will often take a blood test in order to test hormone levels and adrenal gland function.

Holistic treatment for a pet with Cushing’s Disease includes glandular treatment, homeopathic treatment, and herbal treatment.

Glandular treatment is whereby your pet is fed animal tissue or tissue extracts in order to help them heal. In the case of Cushing’s Disease, an animal would be fed adrenal gland tissue.

Homeopathic treatment may include administering arsenicum, hepar, mercurius, or sulphur to your pet. Whereas herbal treatment may include astragalus, dandelion root, burdock root, or ginseng.

Personally, I treat Cushing’s Disease with a combination of homeopathic remedies, which include Quercus robur (English Oak) and ACTH (a hormone produced and released by the pituitary gland). These remedies will be used in combination with a herbal liver tonic, glandular supplements, and a nutritious diet.

If your pet is diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, seek treatment as soon as possible. Leaving the disease untreated may lead to further health problems such as liver, lung, and kidney disease.

Although generally Cushing’s Disease is more prevalent in dogs, in rare cases it may also develop in cats.

Dr. Loridawn Gordon




Dr. Loridawn Gordon


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May 24, 2011

Facts About Pets

Filed under: Pet Health — Tags: , , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 12:43 am

Learn Pet FactsThere are many facts about pets that you may have thought to be true but they may not be! Whether it’s from your friend or a neighbor, you may never know if those facts are true. There are many outrageous beliefs that seem believable but turn out to be false. It is best to know not than wait for something bad to happen! Here are a few facts you may have not completely understood.

Understanding your dog’s nose – A warm nose does not mean your dog is sick. If your dog has a moist nose, it could be from recently drinking water. If your canine friend has a warm nose, it could be from having their nose in a warm area. If you’re looking for signs of illnesses in your dog, look for a change in appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. If your dogs nose changes color or in texture then it’s time to see your veterinarian.

Neutering and spaying pets – Having your pet spayed or neutered will not make them gain a large amount of weight. When your pet is neutered, it slows down their metabolism which creates a greater risk of weight gain. With a proper diet and good food, this weight gain can be avoided. Also, there are no other changes with having pets neutered besides a slight decrease in energy in male dogs.

Dog years – Despite what many people think, one human year does not equal to seven dog years. All dogs age differently depending on their size and breed. Smaller breeds tend to have a longer life span than larger breeds. A dog that has the right diet and right life style can live for more years than expected. If you want to know how old your dog may be, look for a dog years chart for an approximate age.

Cats and milk – Although cats drinking milk seems natural, pets should not be drinking milk. Cats and dogs both do not have the ability to break down lactose correctly. Drinking milk can cause a pet to vomit and suffer from diarrhea. Most pets are attracted to moving water so if you want to keep your pet hydrated, let them drink from the tap or from a fountain.

Doggy kisses – Your canine friend may be showing you love but not in a way that you love. Mouth bacteria from a dog are fine and are typically not harmful but the tongue is a mystery as to where it had been and what is on it. Your dog has been outside sniffing the dirt, licking the grass, and other areas you want to avoid. It is possible for humans to suffer salmonella poisoning from a lick to the face from a dog. If you want to be on the safe side, brush your dog’s teeth regularly or give them dog dental treats to keep it clean of bacteria.

Cats always land on their feet – Despite what you have heard, sadly it is not true. Cats can land on their feet for short distances but keep an eye on where your cat jumps from otherwise it can be seriously injured.

Tails are complicated emotions – When your dog’s tail is wagging, it may not always be because they are happy. A wagging tail could mean anything from excitement to fear. When a dog’s tail is lowered, it may mean they are in a calm state. If their tail starts to go between their hind legs, it may be a sign that your dog is upset or afraid.

January 23, 2011

Holistic Pet Health

Filed under: Holistic Pet Care,Pet Health — Tags: , , — 1st Pet Naturals @ 5:10 pm

To understand what holistic pet health is one must understand the concept of holism. Holism comes from a Greek word meaning “whole” or “entire”. The holistic theory believes in the ultimate connection; a system as a whole is much more important than its’ individual components in holism. Thus in order to solve a single problem factors influencing the problem must be addressed as well. For example, if a person suffers from the common cold more often than usual, the holistic approach would include the examination of the individuals’ emotional and physical characteristics, mental state, and lifestyle. Holistic treatment in health involves a modern diagnosis of the ailment partnered with alternate health remedies (i.e. breathing techniques, exercise, relaxation techniques, and changes in diet, herbal supplements, and emotional therapy).
Organic Dog Food
Holistic pet health focuses on making important changes to prevent and/or sooth health conditions. A popular trend associated with holistic pet care is the development of organic pet food. Holistic pet food is pet food that is meant to nourish all parts of the body. Holistic pet food is usually made of whole organic ingredients without the use of artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives and/or steroids. The benefits of the consumption of holistic pet food are the most pets experience a positive increase in overall health.

Holistic treatment for pets is based on two main elements: homeopathy and the use of Western and Chinese herbs. Homeopathy is a treatment in which the patient intakes a diluted solution of substances that can cause similar symptoms in large undiluted amounts. It is believed that the substances would restore an inner balance and promote healing from within rather than just treating the symptoms. Treatment involving herbs is favored over treatment involving medications since medications commonly cause side effects.

Both types of treatment are generally safe to use as long as the pet goes through treatment under professional supervision. As expected, a pet undergoing holistic treatment is also treated for any mental and/or emotional complications such as, anxiety, destructive behavior, and aggression.

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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.