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 over 16 years.

This month's issues discusses spay/neuter dates, lead concerns, probiotics are veterinary breakthrough, your opportunity to publish a story in a pet book, chocolate and other toxic concerns, reiki, and 2008 workshop schedule.

Around Town
Spay/Neuter Dates
February is National Prevent a Litter Month and the Spay & Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) in Houston is hosting 2 events.

  • On February 14th, will be a free spay day for female cats.
  • On February 26th, which is Spay Day USA, it is SNAP's Nickel event and they will neuter male cats for just a nickel.

  • For more information, contact SNAP at 713-862-3863.

    News from Abroad
    High Levels of Lead Found in Pet Products
    KOAT, an Albuquerque news team tested a dog ball, 2 ceramic bowls, and a bird cage for lead with a do-it-yourself test kit. The ball was negative for lead, the green ceramic bowl was positive for lead, and the white ceramic bowl and bird cage showed higher levels of lead. The two bowls and bird cage were then taken to Assaigai Analytical Environmental Labs for testing. All showed lead but the bird cage showed the lead content was ten times the level allowed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Petsmart makes the bird cages and is testing them since this can be very toxic for birds. The FDA is looking into the lead content in the ceramic bowls. Click here for the whole story. Stainless steel is your best option for bowls.

    Probiotics are Veterinary Breakthrough
    One of the top veterinary breakthroughs of 2007 is using probiotics for gastrointestinal health. Dr. Marty Becker, named Companion Animal Vet of the Year by the American Veterinary Medical Association, discussed the benefits of probiotics on Good Morning America. For information on the premium probiotics I offer, please see information in latter part of e-zine.

    Have a Pet Story to Tell?
    Dr. Marty Becker (vet featured on Good Morning America and also is working with several other authors on their Chicken Soup for the Soul Ultimate Pet Lover series of books, The Ultimate Dog Lover, The Ultimate Cat Lover, and The Ultimate Horse Lover. They are now accepting stories and photos for these books. Deadline is March 15th. For more details, please click here.

    Helpful Tips
    Chocolate and Flowers are Not the Only Toxic Concerns
    With Valentine's Day approaching, most people realize chocolate is bad for their pets. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which affects the nervous and circulatory systems. The higher the cocoa content, the higher the amount of theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, seizures, and death in animals.

    It is traditional for flowers to be given for Valentine's Day, also. Roses are the most popular. Any plant with thorns can cause problems if the animal plays with them, bites, or swallows them. Certain plants are toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, heart, liver and kidney damage or failure. Some toxic plants are: Lilies, Amaryllis, Chrysanthemum, Crocus, Euonymus, Crown of Thorns, Caladiums, Azaleas, Dieffenbachia, Hydrangea, Ligustrum, Ivies such as hedera helix, Narcissus, Philodendron, Rubber Plant, Creeping Fig, and Weeping Fig. Avoid these plants if you have animals that like to chew on things.

    Besides chocolate and plants, there are some other food items that can harm your pets.

  • Caffeine in coffee grounds, beans, and tea can cause the same side effects as chocolate, including death.
  • Raisins and grapes can affect the liver and also cause kidney failure. As few as 6 grapes can be serious. It is unknown why something that is considered safe for most people is so harmful to pets.
  • Xylitol, a sugar substitute that is found in sugar free gum, toothpaste, and some baked products can cause your animal's blood glucose to drop which can lead to unsteadiness, weakness, seizures, and sadly, coma.
  • Onions and Onion Powder contain thiosulphate which can cause severe anemia. Dark urine is a sign that red blood cells have been destroyed.
  • Nuts such as Macadamias can be toxic. Nuts in shells can cause complications with surgery having to be performed to remove the nuts from the intestines.
  • Fatty Foods such as fat from any leftovers can cause gastrointestinal side effects or pancreatitis.
  • Alcohol can cause lead to illness, urination problems, and even death.
  • Yeast/Dough can expand in your pet's stomach, causing pain, bloat, disorientation, and vomiting. Ingesting a large amount may require surgery and treatment for alcohol toxicosis due to the fermentation of the dough.
  • Avocado contains persin, a toxin that can damage organs. The fat content can cause vomiting and pancreatitis. The pit is also toxic and can cause a blockage that requires surgery.
  • Iodized Salt and Salty Foods can also cause stomach problems and pancreatitis. Dogs that gulp too much water after eating something salty can develop bloat where their stomach fills with gas and twists. Not only is this painful, it can be fatal.
  • Here are some non-food items you may have not considered to be harmful, toxic, or deadly.

  • Nicotine Products such as cigarettes, cigarette butts, tobacco, cigars, nicotine gum, and nicotine patches can cause panting, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, twitching, collapse, increased heart rate, coma, and death.
  • Medications such as pain killers, sinus pills, allergy pills, cold pills, diet pills, antidepressants, etc. can be fatal to animals, even in small amounts. Make sure products are stored where your animal can't reach them.
  • Liquid Potpourris can cause possible damage to the mouth, skin, and eyes.
  • Fabric Softener material can cause drooling, vomiting, and muscle spasms.
  • Cleaning Products can cause serious side effects such as burning of the mouth and stomach. Some animals are like kids that want to get into everything (and many cleaning products are stored in easy reach under the sink) so you have to take extra precautions if you have a pet like that.

    Featured Healing Modality: Reiki
    The beautiful thing I like about reiki is that it is pure, loving, healing energy. Anyone can do it and you have it forever. Honestly, it is like riding a bike. You always have the ability to do it, no matter how long it is between bike rides. The truth is, we all can do energy healing right now, right this very moment. Reiki just happens to be a specific form of energy healing that originated in Japan. It strengthens this ability that is already inside all of us. Personally, I like reiki because it is easy to learn, can be done any where at any time, and does not drain your energy. Instead, when you offer reiki, you feel energized.

    I have had people ask me can anyone really do reiki? Some people really think it takes special talent or that it must be a gift from above that only certain people are blessed with. I have tried to explain to people that no talent is necessary, just a desire. We are all gifts from God and He wants to share this with everyone, not just certain people. (reiki website about gifts from God.)

    We all have chakras in our body, which are energy points. There are actually chakras in the palms of your hand, and that is where the healing energy comes through. The healing energy does not originate in your body, but from God. We are simply a channel. Through an attunement you receive (Japanese symbols passed down through the years), you enhance your innate ability for this healing energy.

    I have truly found that when people learn reiki, it is like opening up a window all the way when before, the window was just cracked. I have seen wonderful things happen in people’s lives. After all, the first level is about self-healing. Not only can you do reiki on yourself, others, and animals, it opens up your heart and soul to all the possibilities.

    Have a dream or a vision that you just can’t seem to push forward with? Well, reiki can certainly help give you that insight you are looking for. It seems to bring clarity. It can help on an emotional and physical level, too. My hypoglycemia vanished after years of having it. My cholesterol lowered. And driving on the freeway filled with traffic, well, it brought about a peace that I surely didn’t have before. All this happened with the first level in the first month! Everyone is different but I can tell you that reiki helps in some way – physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual. When you do reiki, you can help to remove pain, illness, or even bring comfort to a person or an animal that is ready to pass on. The reason I believe this is all possible is because it helps you to become more connected to that higher power, whether you call it Great Spirit, Source, or God.

    If you have the opportunity to have a reiki session for yourself or your animal from a reiki practitioner, that is great. But if you have the opportunity to learn how to do reiki on people and animals, that is truly wonderful and I hope you will consider it. A gift for life - that is something to truly treasure. Click here to learn more about reiki for animals.

    Future Topics
    What health issue would you like me to talk about? This is where I want your help. I have written about topics in the past like vaccinations, cancer, pain, arthritis, and hyperactivity, but I would like your input as to what topics you would like me to address. This is an e-zine to help you with your animals, whether it is a condition your pet has now or something you want to try to prevent. Please take just a minute to let me know what you want to hear about. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

    The 2008 planned workshop schedule is as follows. All workshops are at my farm near Manvel/Alvin or Molly's Mutt House in Houston (where stated).

  • Advanced Animal Communication:
    Sunday, February 24th 9am-5pm
  • Emotional Freedom Technique for People & Animals:
    Sunday, March 2nd 9am-5pm
  • Reiki I for People & Animals:
    Sunday, March 9th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, May 18th 9am-5pm at Molly's
    Sunday, July 27th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, September 21st 9am-5pm
  • Basic Animal Communication:
    Sunday, March 30th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, May 25th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, June 29th 9am-5pm at Molly's
    Sunday, August 24th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, October 26th 9am-5pm
  • Canine Massage:
    Sunday, April 20th 9am-5pm at Molly's
    Sunday, June 8th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, August 10th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, November 9th 9am-5pm
  • Kinesiology/Muscle Testing:
    Saturday, April 5th 1pm-5pm
    Saturday, July 20th 1pm-5pm at Molly's
    Saturday, October 18th 1pm-5pm
  • Bach Flower Essences & Aromatherapy:
    Sunday, April 27th 9am-5pm
    Sunday, August 17th 9am-5pm at Molly's
    Sunday, November 2nd 9am-5pm
  • Crystal Healing:
    Saturday, May 3rd 1pm-5pm
    Saturday, August 23rd 1pm-5pm
    Saturday, October 19th 1pm-5pm at Molly's
  • Homeopathy:
    Saturday, June 28th 1pm-5pm
    Saturday, September 28th 1pm-5pm at Molly's
    Saturday, November 15th 1pm-5pm
  • Workshop fees for 2008 are:

  • All day (7 hours) workshops: $115 from 9am-5pm (previously 10am-5pm) with a $45 deposit. Host this workshop and attend f*r*e*e with 4-6 paying people.
  • Half day (4 hours) workshops: $65 from 9am-1pm or 1-5pm with a $25 deposit. Host this workshop and attend f*r*e*e with 4-6 paying people.
  • Introduction to Holistic Animal Care workshops: $25 from 5:30-7:30pm (other times possible) with payment in advance. Host this workshop, attend f*r*e*e, and receive half of the monies as my appreciation for letting me introduce others to holistic animal care.
  • Two day workshops: I will be offering a special 2 day workshop. This option is also available for those in another city outside the greater Houston area or another state. Host this workshop and attend f*r*e*e with 4-6 paying people within the greater Houston area and 8-10 paying people outside the greater Houston area, including another state. I would love to travel or fly to your home or business and teach a workshop. Please contact me if you are interested.

    If you are interested in signing up for a workshop, please click here.

    Exciting New Products

  • F*r*e*e E-book: I will be offering my f*r*e*e e-book in early 2008! I am so excited to share this with you. It will be available in pdf format. For those that would prefer a CD, it will be available for charge to cover processing and shipping.
  • CD’s & E-books: CD’s and e-books on animal communication, meditations, reiki, EFT, and kinesiology will be available for purchase in 2008.
  • Probiotics are very important to the health of your animals. The probiotics I like to use for small animals are Mitomax Premium probiotics MitoMax is a unique probiotic due to its exceptionally high rates of survival of Pedioccocus- live microorganisms (billions/capsule) in animals’ acidic stomach environment when compared to other commonly used Lactobacillus and Bifidobacillus based probiotics. Mitomax premium probiotics when taken in conjunction with antibiotics have been verified to improve the intestinal balance of pets as well as relieve uncomfortable side effects caused by the treatment. One bottle of 40 capsules (one capsule a day for animals under 50#) is $17.99. You can get 10% off by using the coupon #IT08077 indefinitely. You can order them online by going on the company’s website or calling 1-877-879-6486. I now stock this product for those that prefer to order from me. The price is $15.50 and 6.75% sales tax for those in Texas. Priority mail shipping is $5.50. If you are interested in ordering from me, call or email me to arrange.

    Referral Credit
    Refer two people for a standard animal communication session, house call, or all day 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.

    Consider Having Your Own Website or Get Links for the Website You Have
    I wouldn’t have the successful holistic animal practice I have without the website I built using Site Build It. If you have or want a part or full-time business or are interested in working from home, SBI can really help people find you and grow your business. I can’t speak highly enough of this company. No gimmicks and affordable with incredible resources and support that really can’t be found anywhere else. If I can do it, anyone can! To find out more, click here.

    Have your own website? You need quality links to generate traffic. SBI has a F*R*E*E program where you can get links relevant to your website. Click here to find out more. I hope you enjoyed the newsletter. If you find this newsletter helpful, please do a family member, friend, and me a big favor by "paying it forward". If someone passed this issue along to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by clicking here.

    Blessings to you and the animals you love,

    The Lightfoot Way