Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Do You Know What Stresses Out Your Cats?

Hint:  A lot of things . . . . 

Stress is fairly rampant in today's world. While it can be a good thing when we need to fight or flee for our lives, it can have adverse health impacts when it's chronic and doesn't let up. 

Stress can also have a negative impact on our cats and can negatively affect their relationships with other pets and humans in the home. While they don't generally get upset about the same things we do, our cats can experience chronic stress, which is never good for them.
Causes of Stress in Cats
The main things that cause signs of stress in cats include:
~ Too much competition for resources. This most often occurs in multi-cat households when cats feel like they must compete for food, water, clean litter box space, scratching post real estate, or time with their humans.
~ Inadequate territory. If a cat doesn't feel like the master of a piece of territory, he might become stressed. This is usually the case when he doesn't have a good scratching post to mark or there are other cats in the home that bully him out of spaces.
~ Changes in the household, including the addition or removal of pets or people. Cats are sensitive to change and it can stress them out. In fact, when people in the house are feeling stressed, cats often exhibit signs that they're stressed too, indicating that our emotions can rub off on them.
~ Remodeling or other noisy events in the home. Most cats are not fond of loud noises, so remodeling projects, loud parties, and other noise can cause them stress.
~ Veterinary, grooming, or kennel visits. Traveling in the car, being in an unknown space, and being handled by strangers can all work together to result in stress for some cats.
~ Boredom. Cats that are bored and don't have an outlet for their energy, especially their predator instincts, can become stressed.

Signs of Stress in Cats
Cats show stress in many ways, and it often comes down to observing changes in normal behavior to determine whether yours might be stressed. The catch is that many of these signs can also indicate various medical conditions, so it can sometimes be tricky to sort things out. If you notice any change in behavior in your cat, it's best to consult a veterinarian to rule out medical causes before settling on stress as the diagnosis. Here are some common signs of stress in cats:
~ Inappropriate elimination
~ Inappropriate scratching
~ Diarrhea
~ Hiding or extra clinginess
~ Decreased appetite
~ Over-grooming, sometimes to the point of creating bald spots, often focusing on the legs or belly

Treatment of Stress in Cats
Once medical causes for the behavior are ruled out, treatment of stress in cats relies partly on trying to determine its source. Below are some general ways to combat feline stress in your home.
1. There are enough litter boxes that are all kept clean. A good rule of thumb is that you should have as many boxes as you have cats plus one. There should also be at least one box on every floor of your home to which your cats have access. Make sure litter boxes are not placed in noisy, high-traffic areas.
2. There are enough food and water bowls. It's best to feed cats with structured mealtimes, especially in a multi-cat household. If possible, separate them so they have full access to their food allotment without having to defend it from others. Water fountains can also help.
3. There are plenty of scratching posts in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some cats like to scratch vertically, some horizontally, and some like a variety. Be sure you have lots of sturdy scratching posts (or cat trees with sisal for scratching) in all areas of your home so each cat can always find something to scratch on.
4. There isn't too much noise and commotion. If there is remodeling going on or you are having a party, consider creating a "safe room" for your cat(s) filled with everything they need to stay happy and calm. Try to have this room in the quietest spot in your home as far removed from the noise as possible. Offer them some 'white noise' such as a tv set to something soothing or a music CD for cats. We recommend 'Through A Cat's Ear' (available at Amazon ~ Click HERE to purchase!).
5. Each cat is getting adequate play and cuddle time. Do what you can to eliminate the stress of boredom for your cat by providing plenty of interactive playtime and enrichment activities like puzzle toys. Cats also love what we call 'Cat TV' which is as simple as a comfy perch or two in a sunny window overlooking a yard with birds and squirrels for them to watch. 
6. Diffuse calming essential oils such as Lavender or Stress Away in a water-based ultrasonic diffuser available at HolisticOilsForPetsAndPeeps.com! Our cats love napping in their favorite spots with the room diffuser going. It's a powerful calming tool for pets and their people! Use as needed to keep things feeling calm for the cats in your home. We diffuse pretty much 24-7 in our house. 
7. As a last resort, some cats may need anti-anxiety medicine to help them break the stress cycle. These medications do have potential side effects and must be carefully dosed. Your veterinarian can help you determine whether one is necessary for your cat and, if so, prescribe it. Never give your cat any medication without your veterinarian's approval. These medications work best when used for a short period of time in conjunction with the modifications described above.

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Raven is an engaging entrepreneur who encourages others to celebrate pets (and ALL animals) as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled with her Holistic Healing, Animal Intuition, Aromatherapy, Animal Reiki (www.HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com & www.HealingOilsForAnimals.com), as well as her premium pet food business (http://www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com)

For more information, please visit her Facebook page to PM her (https://www.facebook.com/HolisticPetsNPeeps), or email her at HolisticPetsAndPeeps@gmail.com.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

5 Tips for Getting Your Dog to Eat

We’re used to expecting our canine friends to be hungry all the time so it can be disconcerting when their food is sitting untouched. If your pooch has turned into a picky eater, try the following tips for getting him excited about his food again.

1. Make sure there isn’t anything medically wrong. It’s important to rule out early on that your dog’s lack of appetite isn’t rooted in any physical issues, so if your furry friend is continually turning up his nose at his food, a visit to the vet may be a smart choice. If you notice other strange symptoms in conjunction with a loss of appetite ~ such as fatigue, rashes, or diarrhea ~ go see your vet as soon as possible.

2. Stop feeding table scraps. Sometimes dogs hold out on eating their meals because they’re waiting for something better to come along. Plain old dog food doesn’t seem quite so exciting when you’re getting fed yummy bits of food from your human's plate throughout the day.

3. Turn mealtime into a game. Treat-dispensing toys (we like KONG and puzzle toys) can be great tools for turning mealtime into a fun experience for your picky pooch. Stuff them with natural peanut butter (not the processed kind!), or some yummy Tasty Rewards Training Treats!

4. Switch up your dog’s food. If your dog isn’t eating it could be for as simple a reason as him not liking the taste of his food, or that your current food is loaded with unsavory things, such as wheat or corn (which can cause allergies, or stomach upset), by-products, toxic dyes, and preservatives. We recommend switching over to a natural brand, such as Life's Abundance, which will give your pooch premium nutrition, along with a balanced diet. Shop Life's Abundance Dog.  Dogs have delicate digestive systems though, so be sure the switch is made gradually ~ start by swapping out about a quarter of his old food with the new and build up from there.

5. Change up your dog’s eating environment. It’s possible that your dog isn’t eating because something in his environment is distracting. Maybe you tend to have your dishwasher running during meal times and the noise is scary, or perhaps there’s too much foot traffic, and your dog would prefer peace and quiet. Set up an area where your dog can eat that is comfortable and free from potential distractions.  Your dog will be much happier, and so will you!

For more information on switching your pet's food, please contact us here: www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com

Life's Abundance . . . . Putting a Premium on Pet Health!  ♥

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Raven is an engaging entrepreneur who encourages others to celebrate pets (and ALL animals) as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled with her Holistic Healing, Animal Intuition, Aromatherapy, Animal Reiki (www.HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com & www.HealingOilsForAnimals.com), as well as her premium pet food business (http://www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com)

For more information, please visit her Facebook page to PM her (https://www.facebook.com/HolisticPetsNPeeps), or email her at HolisticPetsAndPeeps@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

An Old Dog Can Transform Your Life (and Teach You New Tricks)!

We are often asked which dogs are the best ones to bring into a household. Which breed is the easiest? The smartest? The most obedient? Should I get a puppy, an adult, or a senior dog? Many times the answer depends on your lifestyle. So, we thought we would take this opportunity to extol the virtues of senior dogs. 

Although puppies are adorable, they require a lot of work. Puppies need constant training, playtime, and housebreaking. Conversely, older dogs are generally much easier. Too often they are abandoned in at the shelter . . . . not because they are bad dogs but because they are viewed as "too old" by their owners. We find this unacceptable and cruel. Yes, there are times when an owner may pass away or can no longer care for their pet, however, more often than not, someone is just dumping their senior dog. 

Here are some great reasons to adopt a senior dog:
~ They are less destructive. Many older pets are well past the digging and chewing everything in sight phase, therefore, your shoes should be safe!
~ They usually have basic obedience skills. Older dogs often settle into a new home easily since they have already learned what it takes to get along with others and be part of the "pack". And another big advantage? Most are housebroken!
~ Older dogs can absolutely learn new tricks and often may just need some touch-up training. They are generally more attentive and eager to please than their younger counterparts. If you are concerned that an older dog won't bond with you, don't be. Dogs are remarkably resilient and open-hearted. Some completely overcome their pasts in a matter of days; others may take a few weeks or months, and a few will carry a little baggage for even longer than that. With lots of love, a little patience, and some consistency on your part, your dog can overcome any issues they may have from their past.
~ You can adopt a purebred pet. Did you know that there are rescues for pretty much every breed out there? And, many shelters have a variety of breeds and older pets available for adoption.
~ Ideal for seniors. Many senior citizens benefit from the company of an older dog, because they are calmer, trained and need less exercise. They are content to move through life at a slower speed.
~ There's no guesswork involved. Adult dogs have reached their maximum size, shape, and personality so what you see is what you get! Though most adopted pets tend to flourish once they find a loving, forever home. A puppy's size and health can be unpredictable.
~ Your first pet. If this is your first dog, or if you cannot devote the time necessary to train, socialize, and exercise a puppy properly, an adult dog could be a much better option for you.
~ You will be their hero and the center of their Universe! Older pets seem to have an intrinsic sense that without you, they wouldn't have a home. They will show you their appreciation daily. 

Please open your heart to a hard-to-place pet and help save the life of a senior dog that is waiting for you at a local shelter! You will be so glad you did!!

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Raven is an engaging entrepreneur who encourages others to celebrate pets (and ALL animals) as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled with her Holistic Healing, Animal Intuition, Aromatherapy, Animal Reiki (www.HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com & www.HealingOilsForAnimals.com), as well as her premium pet food business (http://www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com)

For more information, please visit her Facebook page to PM her (https://www.facebook.com/HolisticPetsNPeeps), or email her at HolisticPetsAndPeeps@gmail.com.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Secrets of Carrot Seed

Identified by its warm and earthy, yet mildly sweet aroma, carrot seed essential oil has a long history of being used in ancient medicine, thanks to multiple healing properties. Together, its constituents provide users with an array of health and beauty benefits. This is particularly true of two of its main ingredients, carotol and camphene. Here are the top benefits associated with these two constituents.


Researchers have found that carrot seed oil has antifungal properties and is particularly effective against gram-positive bacteria. This is largely due to the carotol it contains. In one study, carotol inhibited the growth of fungus by 65%, though further research is needed to determine exactly how.

In a separate study, carrot seed oil demonstrated liver-protective benefits and was found to help improve jaundice and hepatitis. It is believed to help regulate the secretion of bile in the liver, making it easier to detoxify the body and allowing internal organs to function more effectively.


Camphene has been shown to have powerful pain relieving and antioxidative properties, as well as help fight cardiovascular disease. In particular, the combination of camphene and other constituents act as an emenagogue, meaning that it helps make periods less painful and more regular.

In a 2009 study, camphene, along with the vitamins A, C, and E found in carrot seed oil were shown to be powerful nutriceuticals, resulting in health and medical benefits that both heal and protect the body.

And, that's your daily dose of Oily Science!

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Friday, February 2, 2018

The Complexity of Canine Memory

by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM

Have you ever sat staring deeply into your dog’s eyes, wondering “I wonder what you’re thinking?” Sure, they give us clues here and there, but as a whole, the workings of your dog’s mind remains a mystery.

But there’s mounting evidence that we may have underestimated their mental capacities. I know when I was going through school and we would use words describing the emotions the pets seemed to feeling - love, anxiety, fear - we were often shut down with a stern, “Don’t anthropomorphize!” It was assumed that only humans were capable of such human-like emotions.

As we’ve studied more the amazing bonds that exist between humans and dogs, we’ve gotten better insight into the inner workings of their doggie brains. And while it’s true that we can’t say with 100% certainty what a dog thinks and feels (because you’d actually need to be able to talk to a dog in order for him to tell you that), I can tell you that the more we learn about their inner workings, the gap between people and dogs is narrowing. Each new study offers amazing insight into how smart, individual, and yes – emotional – they really are.

One of the most common tropes we hear about dogs is, “They live in the moment,” which assumes they don’t spend too much time thinking about the past. But all of us who share our lives with dogs have seen them react to something in a way that indicates they sure do remember things, thank you very much! As a veterinarian, “white coat syndrome”, the fearful reaction of a dog to a veterinarian in a white lab coat, is so well-documented that many of us just stopped wearing the jackets entirely.

And now science is finally showing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that dogs remember much more than we previously thought possible.

A recent study of 17 dogs in Current Biology explored the idea of episodic memory in dogs. They began by training the dogs to “Do as I do”, i.e., to imitate their trainer’s behavior. In this case, the dogs were aware they were receiving a cue, a signal to say “pay attention to what I’m doing.”

Then the researchers repeated the experiment, but without giving the “Do as I do” cue beforehand. Regardless of what the person was doing, the dog was instructed to lie down. Afterwards, trainers gave the dogs the command to repeat what they had just observed. This forced the dogs to recall what they had observed using episodic memory. This form of memory centers around the ability to recall a specific event from the past, but you didn’t know you were supposed to remember it at the time it happened. Despite showing signs of surprise, the dogs were able to recall what they had seen and imitate the person’s actions.

By demonstrating this ability to mimic, the study designers showed that dogs are watching and storing what they see all around them. Like people, they appear to be dumping all of that input into a short term memory bank, and if the information isn’t needed, it gets tossed out. Much the same way I can tell you what I had for dinner last night but not last month, a dog’s brain is quite capable of assessing memories and storing those considered pertinent for survival. As a social species whose evolution is closely tied to ours, it makes sense that they actually think in many of the same ways.

So, the next time you do something embarrassing around your pup, don’t be so quick to think they won’t remember it. At least we know for certain they won’t be spilling our secrets via speech, right?

~ Dr. Jane

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Raven is an engaging entrepreneur who encourages others to celebrate pets (and ALL animals) as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled with her Holistic Healing, Animal Intuition, Aromatherapy, Animal Reiki (www.HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com & www.HealingOilsForAnimals.com), as well as her premium pet food business (http://www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com)

For more information, please visit her Facebook page to PM her (https://www.facebook.com/HolisticPetsNPeeps), or email her at HolisticPetsAndPeeps@gmail.com.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Is National Pet Dental Health Month!

Does your fur kid have dental disease? If your dog or cat is over the age of two, then the answer is “highly likely”.

It’s February, which means it’s also National Pet Dental Health Month! If you’re wondering why the awareness campaign lasts for a whole month, it’s because periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed disease in dogs and cats. Veterinary dentists will tell you, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over the age of two have some form of periodontal disease.

That number may seem awfully high, but unfortunately, it’s also accurate. Plaque and tartar accumulate on our pet’s teeth just like it does on our own, but the vast majority of pet parents don’t brush their companion animal’s teeth twice a day. Or even once a day. (It’s OK to admit it, you’re in good company). By their second birthday, your furkid is basically fully grown. And far too many of these adults have never had their teeth brushed.

“But his teeth look fine!” you might protest. That very well may be true. However, plaque (the gummy film that forms on a pet’s teeth within hours of eating) isn’t obvious to the naked eye. Over the course of several days, it combines with minerals to harden into tartar. Over weeks and months, this tartar builds into a thick brown stain. Often referred to as “yuck mouth”, there are less familiar technical terms for it (such as Stage IV periodontal disease, the worst level). With routine care and attention, you should be able to prevent them from ever experiencing that stage.

Evaluating a pet kid’s teeth and gums begins with a visual inspection. Your vet may call it “flip the lip” because you really need to lift that lip up to view the back molars, which is where the really bad buildup occurs. During the visual exam, they check for tartar, any anomalies (like extra or missing teeth), and for gum inflammation. They also check for any unusual masses. If your pets have oral melanomas, they can be discovered during routine exams.

Even if you regularly brush their teeth, they will eventually need a full cleaning at the veterinarian. This dental cleaning will often include x-rays of the mouth, a vital component of an oral exam. Bone loss, where the root is diseased below the gum line is more common than many realize.

Cats suffer a unique condition that makes x-rays even more crucial. Three-quarters of cats over the age of five suffer from tooth resorption, a painful condition where the body reabsorbs the protective dentin covering on a tooth, leaving the root exposed. The cause is unknown, and it can affect just one or many teeth. The worst part is, the entire lesion may be below the gum line, resulting in a normal-looking crown but with a terribly painful root. The only treatment at that point is extraction of the affected tooth. As stoic as felines are, even the most observant pet parents won’t see any evidence of this problem. Scary, right?

The concept of “anesthesia-free dentistry” has become very popular over the years, but a good vet would caution you to know its limitations. Vets anesthetize your furkids because that is the only way we can be thorough in their examination, clean underneath the gum line where much of the bacteria and plaque reside and extract teeth if necessary. My vets have seen many dogs and cats at their clinics just weeks after an anesthesia-free cleaning who are still suffering from significant dental disease. If you do use this option, just know that while it may remove tartar and plaque from the visible surface of the tooth, it does not provide the health benefits that a full cleaning under anesthesia would. If you have a pet who is older or suffers from an illness, you may want to also discuss the risks of putting your furkid under anesthesia. 

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, treat your companion animal to the gift of health! Many veterinary clinics offer special deals or packages during the month of February, so if you’ve been putting off that dental cleaning, there’s no time like the present to schedule an appointment. And be sure to check out the Life’s Abundance dental-health products for your furkids: Gourmet Dental Treats and Buffalo Bully Sticks!

By making just a couple of improvements to your care regimen, you could help to add years to your pet kid’s lifetime.

Learn more about Life's Abundance and shop for your furkids here:


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Raven is an engaging entrepreneur who encourages others to celebrate pets (and ALL animals) as part of the family, as well as keep them happy, healthy, and spoiled with her Holistic Healing, Animal Intuition, Aromatherapy, Animal Reiki (www.HolisticPetsAndPeeps.com & www.HealingOilsForAnimals.com), as well as her premium pet food business (http://www.PremiumPetFoodStore.com)

For more information, please visit her Facebook page to PM her (https://www.facebook.com/HolisticPetsNPeeps), or email her at HolisticPetsAndPeeps@gmail.com.