Sunday, December 20, 2009

Selecting the Right Furry Friend for Your Family or Friend

Once again the holiday season is upon us. For the past few weeks, we have been searching high and low for the perfect holiday gift for our friends and family. Some will receive a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant. Nice choice, but once it is used, it is gone. Some will receive clothing. Maybe a nice robe and slippers that will keep them warm and snugly will do the trick. However, is the size correct and will they like the color? So, what gift can be given that stays around for years to come, keeps the recipient warm and snugly but never wears out or gets discarded and comes in many wonderful colors and sizes?

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten during the holidays for a child is a long standing, loving tradition. Watching a child’s eyes light up when they lift off the lid of the box and look inside to see a big-eyed furry friend waiting for them is priceless. However, surprising an adult friend or family member with such a gift may cause them to run the other way. Raising a puppy or kitten shouldn’t be taken lightly. They need to be trained, require near constant attention and, oh yes, potty trained. You have to consider if your friend or family member can handle the obligation and commitment that it takes to handle a puppy's or kitten's needs.

An alternative to a puppy or kitten is to help your friend or family member pick out an adult dog or cat from a local animal shelter or rescue organization. These animals have usually been through all of the necessary training and are ready for a good forever home. Most shelters and rescue organizations have their animals fully examined by a veterinarian including being provided with all of the necessary vaccinations prior to being adopted. Some of the groups also micro-chip their animals for identification in case they stray too far from home.

In addition to viewing animals at a rescue shelter, some rescue groups also bring animals to local adoption events. Observing the potential new family member at the shelter or adoption event will allow you to see how they interact with new people and with other animals. In addition, plenty of research on the type and breed of animal that will fit best into your friend or family member’s household must be done. Ask the recipient of the new four-legged friend to come with you to the shelter or adoption event and be sure to allow sufficient time to interact with these wonderful animals so that the right one is brought home. I have no doubt that you will find the perfect “gift”, or should I say they will find you!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Medical ID Tags for Pets

You may have seen or heard about medical ID bracelets or hang tags for people with diabetes or other serious medical conditions. Well, they make these tags for pets, too. I recommend getting a medical ID tag for your pet if they are on insulin for diabetes or another medication that is vital to their health.
By putting a medical ID tag on your pet, this will help anyone groomer, trainer, dog walker, vet, etc.) know that your pet has a special medical need in case they need to be treated. In addition, if your pet was lost, this information would be helpful to anyone that finds him/her.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ID for Your Pets

Does your dog or cat have current ID tags? If not, you can go to Petsmart or Petco and have new ones made instantly. As an animal communicator, I get a lot of lost pet calls. Many of the pets do not have collars or ID tags because they don't typically leave their backyard or home. But, when they decide to leave to explore the neighborhood, it is always easier for animal control or anyone else that finds your pet to get your pet back to you if they have your information.

This same advice applies to microchips, too. If you have adopted your pet from a rescue shelter and your pet is microchipped, please remember to update your information with the microchip company. I can't tell you the number of times that the contact information with the microchip company still lists the adopting shelter rather than the pet's owner.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Help for Dogs That Like to Dig

Do you have a dog that likes to dig in the yard? If so, you may want to fill a sandbox or tractor tire with sand, bury some dog toys in the sand and show him/her that this is a fun place to dig. You may want to get in the sandbox or tractor tire and show him/her that you have buried 'goodies' in the sand at first. Eventually, it will become second nature to your dog where to dig for a surprise rather than digging in the flower bed or under the fence.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Helpful Pet Tip - Seizures

If your pet has seizures, ask your vet to test him/her for food allergies. One of my dogs began to have seizures shortly after I brought him home from the shelter. I had my veterinarian perform a comprehensive allergy test (using a blood sample) and discovered that he had many allergies, including chicken and rice, which were both in the food that he was eating.
The company that provided the results from the allergy test also provided a list of foods (canned and dry) and treats that he would be able to eat safely. I switched his food to one of those on the list and he hasn't had another seizure. Food allergies may not always be the cause of seizures, but it is worth investigating.

For more helpful tips such as this, read my new book, Wagging Tales: Every Animal Has a Tale. It contains 32 stories about animals that I have helped as well as 23 other helpful tips that you can implement with your pet immediately. My book can be ordered on, Barnes &, or through your local independent or regular bookstore.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th and Pets

While fireworks are a lot of fun for us to watch, please remember that most pets are scared of the loud noises that fireworks make when they are detonated. Please arrange to keep your pets indoors on the 4th of July (and any holiday where fireworks will be part of the celebration). Spend time with them while they are inside. If you won't be home, leave a radio or television on to help mask the sound of the fireworks. You can also add some Bach Rescue Remedy to their water to help with any anxiety that they may have related to the fireworks going off.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Holistic Alternatives for Pets

You may ask, what does the term ‘holistic’ mean? The word holistic is derived from the word ‘whole’. Holistic veterinary medicine, therefore, refers to the treatment of the whole organism rather than the treatment of individual body parts or simply the removal of symptoms. Under the heading of holistic veterinary medicine are many modalities including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, homeopathy, Chinese herbs, Western herbs, flower essences, energy healing modalities such as Reiki, applied kinesiology, magnetic therapy and nutrition.

Holistic alternatives are more readily available for pets than in the recent past and their use is growing in popularity among many veterinarians. Holistic alternatives can be used as complimentary therapies in conjunction with your pet’s regular veterinary care. For example, if your pet has a broken leg your veterinarian would need to do surgery to repair the break. In addition, a holistic therapy could also be used to help speed the healing process and decrease the amount of pain and inflammation that would accompany a broken leg. This is how traditional veterinary care and holistic veterinary medicine are used to complement one another to the benefit of an animal’s health.

The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s web site,, is a great resource to locate a veterinarian in your area that is certified in holistic modalities. I would recommend seeking holistic alternatives for your pets in addition to any traditional treatments that are available.

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