Friday, July 28, 2017

How Essential Oils Benefit Our Animals

Young Living Essential Oils ~ Helping You Have Healthy Pets

If you are like most pet parents, you love your animals and consider them part of the family . . . . and for good reason.  Animals bring us laughter, joy, companionship, and love and are a meaningful part of our lives.  That is why their health is so very important to us. 

Young Living Essential Oils can be a powerful health tool to help you care for your animals. Before I proceed, I must emphasize that everything I write or share about Essential Oils is referring ONLY to Young Living Essential Oils, as they are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils that are guaranteed for purity and potency.  You can only get YLEOs direct from an authorized distributor (which I am), and the company . . . . so, please do not run off to the health food store, or high-end grocery store and purchase oils that are of a lesser grade and quality, and that are not safe for ingestion or topical use!  You may contact me directly with any questions or concerns regarding this difference.  

How Essential Oils (EOs) Benefit Our Animals . . . . 

1.  Supports Immune System ~ Essential Oils work on the cellular level to stimulate the body to respond to infectious agents. They impact the body by increasing the lymphocytes and improve the immune system response. Immupower, Thieves, Raven, and RC are some examples of blends that help support the immune system.

2.  Provides Antimicrobial Elements ~ Essential Oils have been found to be more effective than some conventional antibiotics in eliminating infectious agents. The range of effectiveness includes resistance to viruses, bacteria (double resistant to pseudomonas infection, which affects dogs), parasites, and fungi (chronic unresponsive fungal infection, which affects cats). Clove, Lemon, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Eucalyptus, and Rosemary all have antimicrobial elements.

3.  Eliminates Pain ~ Many Essential Oils relieve pain and can be used with a warm moist compress. The addition of moisture enhances the effectiveness of the oil. They are useful for bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament pain. Use with other modes of pain relief provides another option. Essential oils can be used more often than conventional medication and spans the gap that often occurs with oral or injectable analgesics. EOs stimulate endorphin release which activates pain relieving neurotransmitters. Post-surgery, the oils are also used to give pain relief. They can be applied topically on the area of concern or used orally with other pain relievers. Most of the time, the oils are used on an as-needed basis. Some blends and oils that help eliminate pain are PanAway, Relieve It, Mountain Savory, M-Grain, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Black Pepper, and Balsam Fir.

4.  Provides Anti-Inflammatory Protection ~ Chronic disease is the result of inflammation in the body originating from injury, diet, infection, or toxins. Anti-inflammatory effects of the EOs provide the body a chance to heal from these bodily assaults. Thyme, Helichrysum, Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Balsam Fir all work as anti-inflammatories.

5.  Reduces Stress ~ Pets experience stress much the way we do. Research has shown they are very similar to us in their response to stress, as well as the side effects caused by stress. Evidence of stress can be seen in litter box issues, excessive grooming, aggression (chewing things, breaking through doors, destroying rooms, etc.), and appetite loss, just to name a few examples. Essential Oils give the pet parent a natural method to correct the issues and relieve the stress. Often, corrective behavior techniques are more successful when EOs are used in conjunction with environmental changes. Peace & Calming, RutaVaLa, TraumaLife, Gentle Baby, Valerian, Petitgrain, Lavender, and Roman Chamomile are some of the oils and blends that help to reduce stress.

6.  Restores Sleep Habits ~ As animals get older they seem to have a harder time at night . . . . from signs of restlessness to having to go to the bathroom . . . . and their sleep habits suffer because of it. Some of this is due to pain or disease, but other cases are due to cognitive dysfunction disorder or senility.  EOs can provide an alternative to euthanasia so quality of life can be maintained for some time. Antioxidant activity of the EOs is high, which help the body restore itself at night. NingXia Red, Longevity, BrainPower, and Clarity are the most commonly used blends for sleep disorders.

7.  Improves Coat and Skin ~ As with other cells of the body, the antioxidant effects of the oils can restore health to the coat. The overgrowth of yeast or bacteria can cause various skin metabolism issues and the EOs provide a healthy environment for regeneration of the skin. Lavender, Geranium, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Frankincense, and Myrrh are all good oils and blends used to improve the coat and skin.  

8.  Minimizes Upper and Lower Respiratory Infection ~ Cats are commonly infected 

with respiratory disease . . . . especially farm kittens. The use of Essential Oils in this circumstance is effective because bacteria, viruses, and parasites are sensitive to EOs. The anti-inflammatory effect is helpful in decreasing the secondary asthma that can occur in cats. Bronchitis in dogs is another disease that is treatable with EOs. Left untreated, it can become a long-term condition. Decreasing inflammation and infection in the respiratory tract as early as possible decreases the severity. The EOs are also helpful as an early treatment resolution.  The best oils and blends for respiratory infections are Lemon, Eucalyptus, Raven, RC, Rosemary, Ravensara, and Frankincense.

9.  Assists in Digestive Challenges ~ Essential Oils provide a natural way to de-worm, are soothing to the digestive tract, assist in correcting garbage toxicity or car sickness, and improves digestion overall. They relieve nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, and gas. Peppermint, DiGize, Ginger, Nutmeg, Idaho Tansy, and Clary Sage work well with the digestive system.

10. Promotes Cardiac Health ~ EOs have the ability to improve circulation by increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to the cells. The body is healthy and stronger. For improved cardiac health, Cypress, Grapefruit, Basil, Ylang Ylang, and Spikenard work best.

11. Balances the Endocrine System ~ The body needs to be aligned in order to function. Cats get hyperthyroidism while dogs more likely get hypothyroidism or Cushing's. The EOs keep the body centered to prevent hormonal imbalance and fine tune imbalance. Clary Sage, Fennell, Myrrh, and Lemongrass are the best for this.

12. Supports a Healthy Urinary System ~ Renal insufficiency and bladder stones, infections, and inflammation are common in pets. Essential Oils are helpful in restoring bladder health, increasing renal function through improved circulation and antioxidant activity. Raven, RC, Tea Tree, Orange, Lemon, and Rosemary support a healthy urinary system.  

13. Helps Lacerations, Abscesses, and Abrasions ~ Essential Oils are helpful in resolving infections due to injury and in the healing process. Lavender is especially useful for abrasions and burns, but Melrose, Geranium, and Rose are also helpful.

14. Supports Muscles and Bones ~ Osteoarthritis and anterior cruciate injury is common in the active dog and cat.  As pets live longer the issues of age-related changes are more common. EOs can be used to help give a better quality of life to your pets. There are many blends and individual oils that improve movement, help repair injury, and provide pain relief. Some of these include PanAway, Relieve It, Black Pepper, Peppermint, Balsam Fir, Wintergreen, and Mountain Savory. 

15. Improves Oral and Dental Health ~ Pets need dental care as much as their pet parents. Part of this involves control of infection and eliminating pain. Thieves ~ a unique blend of antimicrobial oils ~ is very effective for this purpose. Using before and after normal dental care cuts down on the amount of bacteria build-up in the animal. As a preventative, Thieves will decrease dental disease return while also working as a pain reliever after extraction. Along with Thieves, Mountain Savory, Peppermint, Myrrh, and Clove all help in your pet's oral and dental care.

16. Increases Alertness ~ As your pet ages, normal habits may lag, accidents may happen, and your pet may not enjoy life as much as he or she used to. Essential Oils have a profound effect on reestablishing old habits, especially Brain Power, Clarity, Cedarwood, Lemon, Sandalwood, Lavender, Vetiver, Orange, and Frankincense.

17. Protects Against Cancer ~ Essential Oils have been studied and have shown promising results in being a part of the cancer treatment plan. EOs have also been used for Melanoma in horses and dogs with great success. Frankincense, Palo Santo, Ledum, Spikenard, Citrus Fresh, Lemongrass, Lavender, Clary Sage, and Tsuga are some of the better EOs that help fight cancer.

18. Is a Safe Cleaning Agent ~ Many pets ingest cleaners . . . . especially those that drink from the toilet bowl or lick areas where cleaners are used. Thieves Household Cleaner is a safe alternative to the caustic cleaners. Lemon, Clove, Rosemary, Purification, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus are other effective agents.

19. Slows Bleeding ~ EOs can be used to stop the bleeding of a nail or pad. They are very effective and work quickly. Helichrysum, Cistus, and Geranium work best.  

20. Eliminates Odors ~ Pets commonly have accidents in varying circumstances. Both younger and older pets of all types struggle with this.  Other animals, like cats, often inappropriately urinate if stressed. Essential Oil blends have been used for these problems of odors and stains. Purification, Thieves, Lemon, Orange, and Citrus Fresh work best to help neutralize odor problems.

Should you wish to get started with your own oils and products, I recommend that you enroll as a wholesale member in Young Living by purchasing the Premium Starter Kit, which gives you the Everyday Oils, a bonus oil called Stress Away, a Home Diffuser, as well as samples to try or share. This is an excellent investment in your health, as well as the health of your animals. 

You also have the option of joining as a Retail Member, as opposed to a Wholesale Member, so it is completely up to you. There are also options for monthly Essential Rewards orders, which earn you points that you can spend on additional products, as well as promotional items every month that you can earn for free, just by shopping for what you already need. 

Please ask me for additional information, or you may learn more by logging on to:  

Thank you for joining me on this wonderfully holistic journey. I am truly grateful to have you here with me and look forward to helping you any way I can! ♥

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Safety Tips For Pets

Depending on where you live, your pets may welcome the warmer weather, however, the summer heat can be dangerous. Make sure your pet's summer season is as fun and safe as possible with these very important Summer Safety Tips. Please feel free to share with your pet parent furends!

* Never Leave Your Pet(s) in Your Vehicle! Once parked, your vehicle can go from comfortable to a sweltering oven in no time. In a hot vehicle, your pet's temperature can also rise rapidly. It only takes minutes to reach dangerous levels leading to heat stroke and even death. 
Parking in the shade and leaving the windows open is NOT a good option. If you are running errands or going places where your pets are not allowed, please leave them home.

* Be Mindful of Hot Pavement! Blacktop pavement and even concrete can cause serious burns on your pet's feet. The same applies to summer hikes when trails are exposed to the summer sun. Touch any surfaces with the palm of your hand before you let your dog walk on them. If it is uncomfortable to the touch, it will be uncomfortable for your dog, too. Consider getting booties for your dog to protect his paws from hot pavement and sharp objects on the hiking trails. 

* Always Make Sure Your Pet Has Cool, Clean Water Available. Dogs, and even cats, drink more on hot days, and water warms up quickly. Add some ice cubes to their water dish to keep the water cool. 

* Do Not Force Your Dog Into the Water if She is Frightened. Some dogs do not like to swim. If your dog likes to swim, do not leave her unattended. Bathe your dog afterward to remove all sand, mud, or chlorine. Also, be sure pool chemicals are stored safely out of reach of curious pets.

* Do Not Allow Your Dog to Hang Out of the Window of a Moving Vehicle. Objects such as insects, rocks or tree limbs could seriously injure your pet, or he might fall or jump out if you are stopped or need to brake suddenly.

* Do 
Not Allow Your Animals to Ride in the Back of a Pick-Up Truck. They could be thrown out or they may jump out. Also, riding in the back of a pick-up truck is now illegal in many states. Our best advice is to be safe and just don't do it.

* Bring 
Your Pets Inside if There is the Possibility of a Thunderstorm. Loud thunder may frighten them or they could be struck by lightning. They may also become agitated and injure themselves while trying to get away from the loud booms. Please never leave your pets outdoors unattended or unsupervised unless you have an enclosed yard that is safe and protected from predators (including humans)! Even then, walk the yard frequently to check for any possible escape routes or hazards your pet might be exposed to. 

* Do not walk your dog near fireworks. Besides the obvious danger, the loud noise can be very scary and may cause your dog to take off (with the leash still attached, which can also be dangerous) and become lost. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for shelters holding lost pets and trying to find their humans.

* Have Your Dog Checked for Heartworm and administer a breed-appropriate heartworm preventative. Be sure to do your homework as many pet meds can cause unwanted side-effects or even death.

* Check Your Pets Daily for Fleas and Ticks. Talk to a veterinarian about preventing these pests from infesting your pet. Again, please do your homework! There are many wonderful natural, non-toxic remedies available to pet parents. 

* If Your Pets Like to Relax in the Shade of a yard or deck, watch out for yellow jackets, bees, toads, and snakes. Bite or sting symptoms are usually swelling of the face or affected areas. Once stung or bitten, the pet’s skin may start to look wrinkly or bumpy. This is a first indicator and, if not treated by a veterinarian, could result in death due to toxins taking over and shutting down the animal’s body or causing airway swelling and suffocation.

* Know 
the Signs of Heat Stress. In these warm summer months, it is best to be aware of the signs of heat stress by exposure to extreme temperatures. Check for signs of heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, and unconsciousness.

If Your Pet is Overheating:

* Move your pet into the shade or an air-conditioned area.
* Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet's head, neck, and chest or immerse him in cool (not cold) water.
* Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes.
* Take your pet directly to a veterinarian.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The (Not So) Surprising Benefits of Plant Proteins


It's not an exaggeration to say that more people are worrying about their health (especially, their health care) than ever before. Some could argue that all of this increased worry is actually having a negative impact on the health of Americans! While the latest effort by Congress to change our nation's health care system appears to have stalled, it doesn't mean we shouldn't be taking active measures to protect our own health. So, let's try to put aside the worry ~ and the politics ~ and focus on some really exciting science!
Thanks to a long-term study supported by multiple grants from the National Institutes for Health, we could all start doing something today that could have a real, measurable impact on our long-term health. Is it a miracle drug? No! Is it the latest fitness gadget or exercise program? No! In fact, it's simply a minor change in what we eat. That’s it! To understand why the medical profession is abuzz with the radical implications of the latest news, we need to come to terms with one simple, undeniable fact. As Americans, we're eating way too much meat. So much, in fact, that it's making us sick.
Researchers at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital recently announced findings of a groundbreaking study, one of the largest of its kind. Nutritional scientists examined the effects of regular consumption of high levels of protein from animal sources compared to vegetarian sources. Much of the animal protein came from processed red meats. And the results were nothing short of astonishing! They indicated that heavy meat eaters had a higher mortality rate. Participants in the study whose diets had a higher percentage of plant-sourced proteins experienced a lower risk of death.


The researchers analyzed two massive sets of data, one encompassing more than 30 years worth of information from NHS participants, and another that captured 26 years worth for HPFS participants. The combined total amount of reviewed data was a whopping 3.5 million person-years. Over the course of the data collection, more than 36,000 participant deaths were recorded. Those who perished fell into three major groups: 9,000 from cardiovascular disease, 13,000 from cancer and about 14,000 from other causes. When adjustments were made for competing risk factors, researchers found that eating protein primarily from animal sources (meat, eggs or dairy) was associated with an increased rate of death. The same adjustments were made for those whose consumption of protein came primarily from plant sources (breads, cereals, beans, legumes, etc.), and the results were highly significant … they uniformly had a lower mortality rate!
The data was unambiguous and clearly supports what vegetarians have been talking about for decades. The full report will appear in the August 1st edition of the Journal of American Medical Association – Internal Medicine (citation provided below).


Fortunately for Life’s Abundance customers, we offer the perfect solution to this widespread dietary problem. It’s never been easier, more convenient or more delicious to boost your plant protein content thanks to our innovative supplement powders, now available in both Chocolate and Vanilla!


Edward Giovannucci et al. Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine, 2016 DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Scoop on Grain-Free Pet Foods

Dog and cat laying on grass

by Dr. Jane Bicks

This month, I’d like to talk to you about a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. Finding the perfect pet food that reflects both your expectations and represents the best veterinary science has to offer. In particular, we’ll be taking a closer look at grains in dog and cat foods, addressing the top three concerns of pet parents. Are these concerns valid or are they misrepresentations of reality? The truth may surprise you!

The Belief Grains Are Responsible for Allergies
Food allergies or adverse food reactions are abnormal reactions to ingredients found in everyday foods. Recent estimates indicate that less than 5% of skin diseases in dogs and cats are accurately diagnosed as being caused by a food allergy. Even though the incidence of adverse food reactions remains unclear, a lot of pet parents believe that grains are prime suspects. However, the most commonly identified food allergens among dogs and cats are proteins in beef, dairy, chicken, soy, and corn. Food allergies can cause itchy skin alone or even gastrointestinal problems as well.
The place where many pet parents get confused is comparing canine or feline food reactions to celiac disease in humans, which is a heritable autoimmune disease associated with a hypersensitivity to gluten proteins in wheat, barley, and rye. There has been a very rare similar heritable gluten sensitivity described in a small number of dogs with the symptoms being weight loss, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea, but celiac disease and adverse food reactions in companion animals are rare.
The Belief Grains Have No Real Nutritive Value
Whole grains, like the ones used in many of our foods, contain the entire kernel. Whole grains are used in human and pet food because they pack a nutritional punch. Not only are they a good source of carbohydrates, they also contain essential fatty acids, amino acids, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and even antioxidants! They add to the nutritional profile of the food, which means that they add to your pet’s nutrition as well. The grains used in our foods meet or exceed the criteria of the European Community, which currently exceed U.S. standards for quality.
The Belief That Pets Can’t Digest Grains
Some pet parents believe that carbohydrates from grains are not easily digested by dogs or cats. Like other mammals, cats and dogs have a metabolic need for carbohydrates in the form of glucose. Glucose fuels many parts of the body, including the brain, nervous system, red blood cells, the kidneys, and the female reproductive organs during pregnancy and lactation. If the diet fails to provide sufficient carbohydrates, the body can manufacture glucose by robbing it from amino acids (the building blocks for protein) and triglycerides (in fat), but this is hardly ideal. Both dogs and cats will utilize glucose from ingested carbohydrates to meet their needs. Additionally, both species have sufficient digestive enzymes to allow for the efficient digestion of properly cooked carbohydrates. We know that not only is the quality of the grains important, but also the manner in which they are cooked. Our foods are prepared in such a way that the grains are broken down during the cooking before they enter the intestines, allowing them to be digested more easily.
So What is the Truth?
The key takeaway from all of these points … you must feed the food that most closely meets your own standards and expectations for your pet kid. After all, you know them better than anyone! For all of you who want the best grain-free option for your companion animal, I’m pleased to tell you that our two latest foods are both grain-free!
Grain-Free Formulas That Are Nutritionally Balanced
Like all our foods, our new grain-free foods offer excellent, balanced nutrition. Rather than relying on grain content, these natural formulas do have carbohydrates such as peas, potatoes and a selection of healthy vegetables in the grain-free dog food. Ideal for all life stages, our newest nutritious foods provide another great option for pet parents who want the best for their dogs and cats. For detailed information about these products, including ingredients, guaranteed analyses and more, visit our site at:

Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.

*Republished from an article originally written by Dr. Jane in April 2015

Verlinden A, Hesta M, Millet S, et all. Food allergy in dogs and cats: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2006;46:259-73
Carciofi AC, Takakura FS, de-Oliveira MC, et al. Effects of six carbohydrate sources on diet digestibility and post-prandial glucose and insulin response in cats. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutri 2008;86:2237-46..
Carciofi AC, Takakura FS, de-Oliveira LD, et al. Effects of six carbohydrate sources on dog diet digestibility and post-prandial glucose and insulin response. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutri 2008;92:326-36.
Garden OA, Pidduck H, Lakhani KH, et al. Inheritance of gluten-sensitivity enteropathy in Irish Setters. Am J Vet Res 2000;61:462-8.
Blaza SE, Booles D, Burger IH. Is carbohydrate essential for pregnancy and lactation in dogs? In: Burger IH, Rivers JP, editors. Nutrition of the dog and cat: Waltham symposium No. 7. Cambridge (United Kingdom): Cambridge University Press; 1989. p. 229-42.
Eisert R. Hypercarnivory and the brain: protein requirements of cats reconsidered. J Comp Physiol B 2011;18:1-17.
Westman E. Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition [letter to the editor] Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:951-3
Kienzle E. Blood sugar levels and renal sugar excretion after the intake of high carbohydrate diets in cats. J Nutri 1994; 124:2563S-7S.
Thiess S, Becskei C, Tomsa K, et al. Effects of high carbohydrate and high fat diet on plasma metabolite levels and on IV glucose tolerance test in intact and neutered male cats. J Feline Med Surg 2004;6:207-18.
Laflamme D, Izquierdo O, Eirmann L, Binder S. Myths and misperceptions about ingredients used in commercial pet foods. Vet Clin Small Anim 2014; 44:689-98.
Hore P, Messer M. Studies on disaccharidase activities of the small intestine of the domestic cat and other mammals. Comp Biochem Physiol 1968;24: 717-25.
Hoenig M, Jordan ET, Glushka J, et al. Effects of macronutrients, age, and obesity on 6- and 24-h postprandial glucose metabolism in cats. Am J Physio Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2011;301:R1798-807
Association of American Feed Control Officials. Official publication 2013. Champaign, IL: Association of American Feed Control Officials, Inc; 2013.
Thompson A. Ingredients: where pet food starts. Top Companion Anim Med 2008;23:127-32.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Compulsive Paw Chewing

by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

Picture in your head a really itchy dog. Got it? 

Now what did you see? Chances are, you envisioned a dog scratching away at his ears or belly, or maybe rubbing his rear end on the corner of your couch. And while all of this is indeed very common for itchy dogs, we often tend to overlook one of the most frequent symptoms of allergic disease … paw chewing. 

If you were to request a referral to a veterinary allergist, I would send you to a dermatologist. I know that’s odd compared to people, but we do that because, in dogs, most allergic diseases manifest in the skin. Referred to as “pruritus” by veterinarians, the type of itchiness that we are talking about with allergic disease isn’t the minor irritation of a flea bite but the unrelenting, keep-you-up-all-night, horrifying discomfort that we humans associate with conditions like chicken pox or poison ivy. Yes, it’s bad for these little guys. Well-meaning pet parents try to dissuade their dogs from biting and licking by using e-collars or putting socks on their feet, but none of that addresses the underlying itchiness. As soon as the physical barrier is removed, they’re right back to the destructive reaction.

Oftentimes a dog begins by licking very gingerly at their paws. Being a good pet parent, you check their toes and pads for causes of the irritation, such as burrs, ticks or cuts, but alas ~ find nothing. As the irritation worsens, the dog begins to chew instead of licking, plucking fur out and gnawing at their toes like they were little rawhide chews. After a while, the skin becomes weakened (or worse, broken) by the constant chewing, which almost invariably develops into secondary bacterial and/or yeast infections. Sometimes by the time the pet arrives at the vet, their poor little toes look like ground beef. 

What are the types of allergic disease?

What causes this infernal itchiness? Chances are, it’s allergies. Dogs suffer from three main categories of allergic disease: fleas, environmental allergies (referred to as “atopy”) and food allergies. So, which one is your dog experiencing?

Flea allergies are the most common allergic disease in dogs. However, flea allergies result in itchiness primarily on the hindquarters and at the base of the tail. Atopy is the second most common form of allergic disease. Dogs react to the same environmental allergens that humans do … things like trees, grasses and pollens, molds, dander, perfume, dust mites, even cats and people! Depending on the cause, these allergies may be seasonal.

And, so, what remains are food allergies. Food allergies are the least commonly diagnosed form of allergic disease, although it may be underdiagnosed in canines. In our post "The Scoop on Grain-Free Pet Foods", we discussed the prevalence of food allergies:
Food allergies or adverse food reactions are abnormal reactions to ingredients found in everyday foods. Recent estimates indicate that less than 5% of skin diseases in dogs and cats are accurately diagnosed as being caused by a food allergy. Even though the incidence of adverse food reactions remains unclear, a lot of pet parents believe that grains are prime suspects. However, the most commonly identified food allergens among dogs and cats are proteins in beef, dairy, chicken, soy, and corn. Food allergies can cause itchy skin alone or even gastrointestinal problems as well.

How are allergies diagnosed?

Truthfully, it takes a good bit of medical detective work. Flea allergies are the simplest … if you find fleas on an itchy dog, mystery solved! Atopy is diagnosed by ruling everything else out first since there is no one specific test for it. When it comes to food allergies, it takes a good bit more effort and time. Blood tests, even though they are available on the market, are somewhat unreliable. The only way to truly know if your dog is allergic to food is to perform a strict 8-12 week elimination trial with a hypoallergenic diet and see if the condition improves.

What does this mean for you? Many times, when a pet is experiencing unrelenting itching and paw chewing, we start treatment before arriving at a specific diagnosis to try and get the pet some immediate relief. Regardless of the actual cause of the allergies, eliminating potential allergens across the board can push them below the “allergen threshold” and help them feel better. When it comes to compulsive paw chewing, here’s what I recommend:
  1. Start with a trip to your vet. Your veterinarian will help you sort out the problem sooner rather than later; a detailed history will give her clues as to what type of allergy your dog may be experiencing. She can run tests, prescribe medications and determine whether your pup has secondary bacterial or yeast infections that require treatment.
  2. Check those toes! Contact dermatitis can occur when the skin comes in direct contact with an allergen such as grass. It’s always a good idea to give the paws a good rubdown with a damp cloth when your dog comes indoors after playing outside. Witch hazel is a gentle cleaner that can help with mild irritation. Whatever you do, avoid products that contain alcohol … ouch!
  3. Investigate your dog’s diet. Even for pet kids who don’t have food allergies, a high-quality diet with a new protein source can reduce the immune burden. Omega-3 fish oils can help the skin remain an effective barrier against the environment.
  4. Consider other causes. If nothing else changes, don’t forget that itching is not the only reason pet kids chew on their feet. Pain from arthritis and anxiety are often culprits. Like allergies, arthritis pain and anxiety don’t simply go away on their own.
The take-home message here is, paw chewing is uncomfortable but treatable! While there are plenty of things you can do at home to help the symptoms, addressing the underlying cause is key to nipping those problems in the bud. With some attention and love, your dog can be back on his non-itchy feet in no time.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Summertime Is Better with YL's July PV Promo!

YL July Rewards!

Got a busy summer schedule? Between travel plans and play dates, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything summer has to offer. That’s why July’s PV promotion is filled with products to help you seize every sunny day. Whether you’re using Essentialzymes-4™ after the family barbecue or RutaVaLa™ while relaxing at the pool, this promo includes plenty of products to keep you enjoying the good times all season long!

Reach any of the following PV minimums with your JULY order and get these summer essentials for FREE!!!

300 PV (Retail Value: $195.07)
• Essentialzymes-4
• RutaVaLa Roll On
• 15-ml Fennel
Essential Rewards Exclusives: 15-ml Thieves & 5-ml Lavender Vitality

250 PV (Retail Value: $129.61)
• RutaVaLa Roll On
• 15-ml Fennel
Essential Rewards Exclusives: 15-ml Thieves & 5-ml Lavender Vitality

190 PV (Retail Value: $82.57)
• 15-ml Fennel
Essential Rewards Exclusives: 15-ml Thieves & 5-ml Lavender Vitality

100 PV (Retail Value: $15.46)
Essential Rewards Exclusives: 5-ml Lavender Vitality

If you have yet to get started on your own amazing essential oils journey, ask me how!