If you want to learn about holistic animal remedies and therapies that can help your animal live a longer, healthier, and happier life, this e-zine is for you. It will primarily focus on dogs, cats, and horses but if a reader wants to learn about rabbits, chinchillas, ferrets, lizards, snakes, doves, parrots, etc., then I'll be more than happy to discuss health care for these animals as I've helped provide care for them for nearly 16 years.

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News from Abroad and Around Town
Pet Food Recall Update

There was recent concern that there may be acetaminophen contamination in cat foods. Three cans of cat food were provided by a pet owner to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The food was supposed to have tested positive for acetaminopehn and cyanuric acid at a private lab in Texas. Tests on cat foods were conducted at UC Davis and support the negative findings by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). It appears, based on this information, that acetaminophen contamination in pet food is unfounded. For the best information on pet food recall and tainted animal feed, please visit the FDA's site.

Fascinating Dog Research Opportunity
Annalisa Ventola is a parapsychologist and the senior editor for a new collaborative project called Open Source Science. At OSS, they facilitate the discussion and replication of controversial scientific experiments that may contribute to an improved understanding of consciousness. As a professional animal communicator, she contacted me about their current research. Right now, they are looking at the research of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (a biologist and former fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University) on the phenomena of 'dogs that know when their owners are coming home'. Dr. Sheldrake's research suggests that dogs may have a link with their owners that is currently unexplained by science, and they would like to look into this a little further. Annalisa has summarized the previous research on the subject. Click here to learn more. They are looking for dogs who exhibit this behavior and dog owners who would be interested in participating. Right now, they are assisting curious dog owners in conducting self-tests of their dog's behavior at home. I know some of my animal communication students have said that their dogs have shown behavior that they know when they are coming home. If you are interested in participating or know someone that would be, please contact Annalisa at skyorbird@gmail.com.

New Houston Area Dog Magazine
Urban Paws
is Houston's new urban dog culture magazine and the premier July/August issue is out now. Jennifer Tran, editor-in-chief, contacted me about writing an article on canine massage for their first issue. The Benefits of Canine Massage is featured under the "Wellness" department on page 23 and includes a photo of my 16 year old dog, Bandit, having his ears massaged. I have found this 33 page bi-monthly magazine to be of sharp quality with beneficial and fun information and to boot, a nice, handy size of 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". Jennifer is waiting on the distribution list from the distribution company and will email me with it. Meanwhile, if you would like a subscription, 6 bi-monthly issues are $10 per year, with a portion of the revenue going towards Houston area animal projects. You can contact Jennifer at info@urbanpawsmagazine.com. I think you will really enjoy this new dog magazine!

Helpful Tips
Help with those Pesky Pests - Fleas & Flies!
Fleas on Dogs & Cats

Fleas are an ongoing problem with cats and dogs. For every flea you see, there are at least 99 more in your home or yard in various sages of life! It's so easy to pick up a pesticide to use on the fleas, but more pet owners are realizing the harmful effects of the toxic chemicals. Flea collars can strip the hair off the neck of a dog or cat and pesticides are absorbed into your animal's body, not to mention the chemicals are not good for adults and children to be around. There are natural alternatives to treating fleas.

Topical Treatments

  • You can wash your dog or cat with an herbal shampoo such as Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Shampoo that contains Neem Oil, Lemongrass, Catnip, Citronella, and other essential oils to help repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, and other insects.
  • You can also then rinse your animal with a mixture of half apple cider vinegar (that you purchase at your grocery store) and half warm water. This changes the PH of the skin and will help kill the parasites and heal the skin. It is best not to use a blow dryer or fan on your animal since it can worsen large intestine and lung issues. It is best to allow your pet to drip dry if possible but if not, towel dry.
  • Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Spray is a spray which you can use in between shampooing. It is safe for puppies, dogs, cats, kittens, and people.
  • A product that you can use on your dogs, cats, carpet, furniture, and pet bedding is Only Natural Pet All-In-One Flea Remedy. It is made of Diatomaceous Earth, Sage, Eucalyptus, Yellowdock Root, Fennel Seed, Rosemary Leaf. The diatomaceous earth (DE) is fossilized skeletons of microscopic organisms that are broken into tiny pieces that are razor-sharp at the microscopic level, although it feels like a fine powder to people and animals. When a flea comes into contact with it their protective coating is pierced and they lose their bodily fluids, dehydrate, and die. One warning about this product is the diatomaceous earth should be used with caution around dogs, cats, and people that have breathing problems. You and your animals should not inhale this directly when you are applying it as it can irritate the lungs. People with breathing difficulties should wear a mask. Some people find DE to be effective with their animals and others do not. (Many chinchillas owners offer a pure DE dust bath (not with essential oils) for their chinchillas as it helps them to keep their dense fur clean.)

  • Oral Treatments
  • Some dog and cat owners put apple cider vinegar in their animal's food or water. While ACV can make your pet's skin less appetizing to fleas, it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. It has also helped pets improve digestion, normalize stomach acid levels, prevent urinary tract infections and bladder stones, and reduce symptoms of arthritis. Since ACV isn't the most pleasant tasting to pets, start with small amounts and work up to daily amounts in the food or water of 1/2 - 1 teaspoon per 15 pounds of body weight for dogs and cats, 1 tablespoon for a 50 pound dog and 2 tablespoons for 100 pound dog.
  • Only Natural Pet's Brewers Yeast and Garlic Tabs can also help make your dog or cat's skin less appealing to fleas. Be aware that some animals have experienced allergic reactions when using a low-quality brewer's yeast. Some animals are allergic to yeast and if you use a high quality product and your animal shows any allergic response, you should avoid all products that contain yeast of any type.

    You can find other quality herbal flea products on the market but Only Natural Pet does offer a 100% money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Just like with any product, not everything is going to work for every animal but natural products are worth trying. With persistency, natural products can be effective with your dog or cat.

  • Flies on Horses
    Flies and mosquitoes can leave your horse miserable and with bloody spots which only attract more pests. There are topical and oral natural treatments that can help.

    Topical Treatments
    Many horse owners have used natural sprays and found them to actually be more effective than chemical sprays. I certainly do. Three top products are
  • Espree Aloe Herbal which contains cedarwood, eucalyptus, citronella, aloe oil, and mineral oil. It comes in a 32 oz. ready to use or 32 oz. concentrate with a money back guarantee.
  • NaturVet Natural Fly Repellent which contains cedar, citronella, rosemary, mineral oil, and lanolin. It comes in a 32 oz. ready to use or 32 oz. concentrate with a money back guarantee.
  • Flicks which contains cedarwood, cajeput, lemongrass, pennyroyal, peppermint oils, and lanolin. It comes in 4 oz. which is added to 28 oz. of water to make 32 oz. or 16 oz. which makes a gallon. Do an internet search as a variety of places carry it.

  • You will notice all 3 products are a little different on the essential oils they contain. You will need to find out which combination works best for your horses, though I have found all 3 to be very good. I also like to create my own natural spray that I use on my pets and family. Find out which product you like the best then create a spray with those essential oils, using the percentages that product contains. Click here to find good sources for essential oils. You can also add a little lanolin and aloe vera oil to your mix to help enhance and protect the coat. From Nature with Love carries both of these oils. If you have the time, you may find that your own creation is more cost effective than the products plus you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself. There are essential oil horse shampoos like those that contain citronella, but I haven't found them to really be effective where I live.

    Oral Treatments
    Many horse owners have found feeding garlic can really help keep the flies and mosquitoes away. Click here to read about garlic products for horses.

    Vacation & Holiday Tips
    Some quick but important tips.
  • If you are traveling with your dog or cat, the herb ginger can help with car sickness. You can use fresh ginger or a capsule. If using a capsule, go by the body weight on the bottle and offer 1 hour prior to traveling.
  • Bring water and food your animal is used to if possible, along with their toys and bed. A change in water and food can cause indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Read more about the danger of raisins and grapes here.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent products for people can cause your animal to drool, vomit, have diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy. The DEET can lead to neurological problems. Only use products on your animals that are safe for animals.
  • Keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches, for example, contain chlorates, which can result in difficulty breathing and damage blood cells.
  • Many animals that are sensitive to noise like thunder get scared from fireworks. Fireworks can startle horses that are even used to thunder. Put your animals where they will be safe and can't harm themselves. You don't want your dog tearing down your door or your horse running franticly across the pasture.

  • Featured Holistic Animal Therapy
    Massage can be very beneficial to animals. To read more about the benefits and how to do a diagnostic massage, please click here. One benefit not mentioned that I learned more recently from an animal chiropractor is that if your animal receives a massage before an adjustment, the massage allows the adjustment to be administered more easily and effective. Here is some more information on why a diagnostic session is so important for your dog and cat and some additional things to look for.
  • If the breath smells sweet, it can be an early sign of diabetes.
  • If there is an amonia smell, there could be possible kidney problems.
  • If the ears smell funky, there could be a fungal infection. For minor problems, you can use apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball.
  • If you feel behind the jaw, you will feel average pea sized noddles which are the lymph nodes. If one side feels more swollen, there could be a tooth infection. If both are larger and accompanied by coughing, there could be a condition such as kennel cough.
  • If you pull the skin at the neck and it doesn't go back quickly, your animal could be dehydrated.
  • If you hear/feel crackling in your animal's legs when you move them, this could be an indication of arthritis.

  • Don't miss out on the importance of a diagnostic massage. If you are interested in learning canine or equine massage or having a massage session for your dog or horse, please click here.

    Upcoming Workshops
    I offer classes and workshops at my farm and at other residences, farms, and businesses. If you are interested in any of the workshops or hosting one, please click here. If you host a workshop, you can attend F*R*E*E if you have 3-6 paying people (depends on travel time).

    F*R*E*E Introduction to Holistic Animal Care
    Learn how animal communication, reiki, animal massage, Bach flower essences, aromatherapy, homeopathy, and kinesiology can help your pet. This is your opportunity to learn more about holistic animal therapies. This is a F*R*E*E class but you must register to attend.
    Dates: Saturday, July 28th 5:30-7:30pm or Saturday, August 18th 5:30-7:30pm

    Basic Animal Communication Workshop
    Everyone has the ability to communicate with animals. It is only a matter of awakening this ability inside yourself. If you have ever wanted to know what your animal is thinking, feeling, their life purpose, or how to help them with a behavioral or physical condition, this workshop is for you. A group situation provides an ideal learning environment. Through photos of workshop participants' animals and an animal at the farm, you will learn to communicate with animals, including those that are in spirit. Deepen your bond with your animal and experience your relationship like you have never done before.
    Dates: Sunday, July 22nd 10am-5pm at Kim's farm and Sunday, August 5th 10am-5pm in Kingwood

    Reiki I for People & Animals Workshop
    Reiki is a Japanese technique that promotes healing and can have amazing results. Reiki for animals and people helps heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. If your pet has emotional problems due to a traumatic situation, reiki can help release and heal those emotions. For behavioral issues such as nervousness or hyperactivity, it can help your pet relax and reduce their stress and anxiety. If your pet is sick or injured, reiki can help your pet heal more quickly. If your pet is facing a serious illness, it can help bring comfort and be a great complement to other forms of treatment. If your beloved pet is dying, reiki can help bring peace and comfort to you and your pet during this difficult time. Level I gives you the ability to do reiki on yourself, others, and animals, and is especially important for self-healing. Workshop participants will learn how to do reiki on one another and several live animals at the farm.
    Date: Sunday, August 12th 10am-5pm

    Reiki II for People and Animals Workshop
    Prerequisite: Reiki I workshop (copy of certificate required if taken from another reiki teacher.) There needs to be a minimum of 21 days between the time you take Reiki I and Reiki II. You will receive attunements that will increase your energy level, allow you to do reiki at a distance, and work with the angels. Learn how to check and balance chakras on people and animals. Participants will work on each other, animals, and perform distance work. You may bring your animal in a carrier.
    Date: Sunday, July 29th 10am-5pm

    Referral Credit
    Refer one person for an animal communication, reiki, or massage session or workshop and receive $25 off of a session or workshop or a $25 gift certificate to pass on to a friend (makes a great gift!). Be sure to tell your referrals to mention your name.

    F*R*E*E Monthy Drawing
    If you would like to enter the drawing for a distance reiki or animal communication session, please enter here.

    Your Feedback
    To help make this newsletter be the best it can be, please complete the feedback form where you can tell me what topics you would like to see addressed, any news or helpful tips you would like to share with readers, or any other comments. Your personal information such as your name is totally optional and you do not have to complete the entire form, just whatever you desire to.

    I hope you enjoyed the newsletter.
    Blessings to you and the animals you love!