This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a veterinarian if your pet is ill.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Are Dog Chews Safe?

Aside from pet chews getting all gooey and messy after the dog has been chewing on them a while, are they safe for your pet?

Fresh animal hides, the material of most chews, must be preserved, the hair removed and the hides cured to prevent spoiling. Many of the least expensive chews come from Asia where no restrictions are put on this process.

Poorly processed animal hides can contain lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts and formaldehyde. USDA only requires an import license and certificate of origin. US products may be safer but they also use chemical processing.

If you must buy pet chews, buy man made materials or a high grade product that states that it is naturally processed and made in USA.

No Aspirin for Cats!

Aspirin and aspirin substitutes like Tylenol, Motrin, can be extremely toxic to cats. Misuse can cause weakness, vomiting, convulsions, even death.

Dog Byte

More than half the pet dogs in the United States know at least one trick.

Know the Pain Signs

If your pet displays any of these signs that they are in pain or discomfort - see your vet!

Alters behavior dramatically seeking isolation or constant affection.

Winces, pulls back or cries out when the body is touched.

Hesitates when getting up or lying down.

Acts grouchy, less playful or more submissive.

Licks constantly at one body part.

Seems unresponsive or restless.

Has difficulty eating or sleeping.

Does less self grooming (especially true of cats).

Cat Facts

At a full sprint, a domestic cat can reach speeds of about 31 MPH. That makes him faster than an elephant, pig, black mamba snake, squirrel and you!

Eliminate Pet Odors Naturally

Does your house smell like dog or your cat litter box? Get rid of the odor with beeswax candles. I use them all the time. Just a 30 minutes session with the beeswax candle and the house smells wonderful again!

Pure beeswax is non-toxic, non-allergenic and non-carcinogenic. Beeswax produces negative ions which clean the air of dust, odors, toxins, pollen, mold, dust mite feces and viruses.

Paraffin candles contain petroleum products and are essentially harmful to us. Do not burn paraffin candles and beeswax at the same time. They react negatively to each other.

With pure beeswax candles, they burn with a golden halo exuding a natural aromatic homey essence and are beneficial for people with allergies, environmental sensitivities and people with just too much stress in their lives.

Appetite Loss in Cats

It's no big deal when a dog skips a few meals but this can cause a serious problem for cats. Cats that don't eat for a day or two can develop a life threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease in which fat deposits move into the liver and clog up cells.

Symptoms include a swollen abdomen, loss of appetite and yellowish eyes and ears - signs that bile is accumulating in the body. See your vet immediately if your pet has these symptoms.

If your cat is not eating, check with your vet to find out why - don't let it go for days.

Tick Infection

Tick season is during the warmer months but those of us who live in the south can be dealing with these critters all year long.

We need to be extra diligent in checking our pets' skin and coats for ticks. The tick that causes Lyme disease is much smaller that the usual dog ticks. Knowing this is essential to recognizing the signs of tick infections.

Even if you have not actually found a tick on your pet, you need to be alert to these symptoms. If your pet's appetite falls off, he becomes lethargic and listless or if there is pain, swelling or heat in the joints, take him to a vet ASAP. Other warning signs include diarrhea, vomiting, limping or difficulty breathing.

Don't Buy Hartz Flea Products!

I can't say this enough. Over the counter flea products contain dangerous insecticides which are harmful to both our pets and to children who come in contact with them. Do not buy or use Hartz Mountain flea and tick products, flea collars and shampoo. These and other store brand flea products are causing injury and deaths to many innocent pets. Even though being investigated by the EPA, these products are still sold in retail outlets like Wal-Mart, Eckerd, CVS across the country.

Check the ingredients of your flea products for these organophosphate insecticides: chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, diazinon or malathion or for those that contain carbamates---carbaryl or propoxur. These chemicals can cause damage to the nervous systems in pets and children. If your pet vomits, has seizures or drools after using a flea product, see your vet immediately.

For more information on the dangers of flea and tick products go to, the Humane Society's web site.

Play it safe and only buy your flea and tick products from your veterinarian. He knows what is safe for your pets.

About Dogs...

"I wonder what goes through his mind when he sees us peeing in his water bowl?"
----Penny Ward Moser

Book Review: Choosing a Dog for Dummies by Chris Walkowicz

Most people put more thought into buying a lawnmower than a pet. A pet is a life long choice and should be researched beforehand.

This book, written by a champion show dog owner, provides information on most all breeds of dogs and how well they fit into family, city or rural life. A must for new dog owners.

Also listed are health screening, breed rescue and tips to find the best breeder. Filled with lots of information most people don't know even if they are avid dog lovers.

Herbal Supplements: Alfalfa

Alfalfa, which contains every vitamin and mineral, nourishes the entire system of your pet: good for the pituitary gland. A natural immune system booster, it helps treat allergies, arthritis, cancer, urinary and digestive problems. It alkalizes the body rapidly and helps detoxify the liver and acts as a blood cleanser. It helps rebuild decayed teeth and relieve arthritic pain.

The best form of this herb to use is fresh or powdered capsules. I open the capsules and pour out the powder in my pet's food. I use this daily for my cats with urinary and digestive issues.

Alfalfa is safe for pets unless they are taking anticoagulants or have allergies to pollens.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Does your pet get urinary tract infections often?

Stop infections with cranberry. Cranberry inhibits bacteria from sticking to the surface of the bladder and it acidifies the urine, making it hard for bacteria to thrive.

Use powdered cranberry supplements available in the vitamin section of most stores. I sprinkle a little powder on their food daily as a preventative. You can also use Vitamin C in the same way.

Dogs give so much...

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made."
---M. Facklam

Allergic to Dogs?

No dog is totally hypoallergenic but according to the American Kennel Club, the following breeds are less likely to cause reaction in sensitive individuals that others:

Bedlington Terrier
Bichon Frise
Chinese Crested
Mexican Hairless
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier
Portuguese Water Dog

Natural Cat Litter Choices

We think our litter is safe for our cats but think again. Two ingredients - sodium bentonite and quartz silica (sand) have led to diseases and to deaths.

Sodium bentonite is the clumping agent in scoopable litters. It acts like expandable cement when digested when cats lick themselves. It causes problems that can lead to death. Silica, a form of quartz, is believed to be a carcinogen when inhaled. Silica is what causes the dust when litter is stirred.

Many alternative litters are available using a variety of substances - recycled newspaper, corn, wheat and others. Be careful using pine or cedar litters as they can be harmful due to the natural oils in the shavings. Buy only brands that remove the oils in processing.

Pet Product: Pet Music

When you go away from home do you leave the TV or radio on for your pet? I know I find the commercials louder and jarring during an otherwise soft and relaxing show.

Pet Music offers a patented blend of instrumental music and nature sounds to sooth your pet. Heartily recommended by Animals Wellness Magazine.

For more info go to

Healing Massage Oil

Does your dog or cat have a lackluster coat? Calendula - also know as pot marigold -makes a natural healing massage oil for pets. The flowers are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral. When the flowers are crushed and blended with olive oil, the resulting ointment is powerfully healing for sores, cuts, eczema, psoriasis and other rashes.

1 cup olive oil
Liberal handful of dried calendula flowers (found in most health food stores)
1/4 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract

Put a handful of herbs in a Crockpot or other slow cooking utensil and cover completely with oil. Place on low heat for six hours or so. Cool, strain, and add grapefruit seed extract. The color will be a rich mellow yellow. Pour some oil on your hand and massage deeply into your pet's skin. Makes one cup and will keep in fridge for one-two months.

Book Review: Bones Would Rain From the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by Suzanne Clothier

Author Clothier, a dog trainer with a holistic approach to her work, explains with touching anecdotes how our relationships with dogs get off track and how to mend the problems using our powers of empathy, compassion and intelligence.

She will challenge your philosophy toward dog training and the human-dog relationship with her insight into a dog's mind and heart. Great book!

Pets with Travel Sickness

When I used to take my first dog Bunny for rides in the car, she would invariably vomit all over me, the front seat and whoever was riding with us. This was a real problem as she loved riding in cars other than that. She eventually outgrew this issue but now I know what to do to help in cases like this.

Homeopathic remedies treat motion sickness excellently. It is best to pour five or six pellets of each remedy that you wish to use into a dropper bottle of water and shake until dissolved. The main remedy is Cocculus. either 12c or 30 c potency, giving one or two doses before the journey. Add Ipecac 30c if vomiting is a usual symptom. If the pet is fearful and then gets sick, try Aconite 30c - giving one dropper full an hour before leaving and another just before you leave.

Bach Flower Essences are also helpful. Choose your remedies and add two to four drops of each remedy to a dropper bottle of water. To calm your pet, give Rescue Remedy - two drops before the travel day in his water and then continue to give it while traveling. Scleranthus is specifically for motion sickness. You can give it alone or mix with Aspen, Elm and Vervain and give two drops every two hours.

Certain vitamins also relieve the stress associated with traveling. Starting about one week before the trip, add a complete B-complex tablet (crush human tablet and give about 1/4 of the tablet) and or nutritional yeast to his food. Also give one or two grams of vitamin C (again crush human tablets or open capsules and pour out powder) spacing out throughout the day in food. Ester C is less acid and more digestible.

A little preventative effort on your part can go a long way to making the trip better for you and your pets.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cat sleeping quote

"You could never accuse him of idleness, and yet he knew the secret of repose."

-- Charles Dudley Warner

Aging Pets

Does your pet spend more time sleeping than she used to? Have you noticed her muzzle has turned gray or white? Does she move slowly or doesn't always hear you when you approach?

Pets age faster than people do and have much shorter life spans. Their health becomes more fragile and their bodies get more susceptible to injury. There are natural ways to strengthen our pets to prevent old age illnesses.

Feed them naturally. Chemical additives in many commercial foods speed up aging by causing the body to produce more waste products. This can strain the kidneys, liver and other organs. Natural foods are easier to digest and produce fewer wastes. You can make your own foods - Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats has many recipes and ideas for home made diets. Check online or in other books for more. Or you can buy higher quality all- natural pet food available in health food stores and pet supply stores. Brands such as Solid Gold, Innova, Wysong, California Natural, and Wellness are a few I use. I also add a vitamin B complex or nutritional yeast and vitamin E to their diets.

Decrease servings. Older pets exercise less and burn fewer calories. This means they put on weight easier and that can strain their muscles and joints. Just feed the a little less if they seem to be putting on belly weight. Talk to your vet about the right amount.

Give a digestive aid. In nature cats and dogs ate the internal organs of their prey and with that were helpful digestive enzymes. Without these enzymes, pets are unable to unlock the full benefits of their food. I give my cats pet digestive enzymes and probiotics to keep their intestinal flora at the maximum.

Herbal help. Some herbs can help in the aging process. Hawthorne is a general circulatory system cleanser that helps the heart, balances blood pressure and is gentle protection from stress. It may be used daily long term. I give it to my pets with heart issues. The best nutrient is alfalfa - it detoxifies and is helpful for arthritic joints, hip and bone problems. Dandelion cleanses the liver. Wheat germ oil daily helps stop urine dribbling in older female dogs.

Protect their joints. Over time the cartilage in pet's joints begins to break down, causing pain and stiffness. Holistic veterinarians have found supplements containing glucosamine or a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, like Cosequin, can help damaged cartilage and keep it strong in the future. Check with your vet before doing this if your pet may have liver disease or clotting disorders.

Keep them moving. Regular exercise is more important when pets age. It helps keep joints working smoothly because it pumps in lubricating fluids. Exercise also strengthens the immune system and releases endorphins, natural chemicals that help relieve pain. Play with them twice a day for 20 minutes or take them for walks. Swimming is also one of the best exercises for dogs because it supports their weight and prevents strain on their muscles and joints.

Spend time petting and grooming. Petted and loved pets live longer because they are emotionally happy and touch keeps the body healthy. Gentle petting and massaging can increase circulation to muscles and decrease spasms. Groom them daily in short five to ten minute sessions. Make sure you are calm and relaxed when you do this - it makes for a happier grooming session.

Provide extra comfort and warmth. Older pets appreciate a soft warm place to rest. An old blanket on the floor or foam pillows near a heat source or in a sunny spot will do. You can buy heated pet bed made especially for older pets.

Raise your voice. When pets age, the tiny bones inside their ears that amplify sound tend to lose their mobility and become less sensitive. That is whey your pet seems to be ignoring you or is startled when you come up from behind. Make sure you get their attention by blowing on them or stamping your foot before touching them. Talk louder to them so they can hear you better.

Boost them up. If they are having trouble getting up on their favorite chair or window perch, put a low stool or platform to help them get up. Older pets can get depressed when they can't do the things they used to be able to do.

A little extra care now can help them live longer and more comfortably. They give us so much, why not do a little more for them in old age?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Traveling Without Your Pet

It is never easy to leave your pet behind when you have to go away. I have left my cats successfully in responsibly run kennels when I was only away a few days but it is hard to find one that you can feel comfortable with. I look for facilities that have someone living at or next to the kennel - in case of emergencies. I always go by and check out every aspect of the place - runs, cages, staff, that sort of thing. Even in the best of places you still run the risk of the pet getting sick - catching something from the other animals. I stopped using kennels when my two cats came home with a upper respiratory infection after one stay.

Now I hire a pet sitter to check on them while I am away. I felt so strongly about this way of caring for pets that I started my own pet sitting company to do this for others. Check with your vet, groomer, pet store for fliers or listings of pet sitters in your area. Some will stay overnight if that makes you feel most comfortable but even having someone come twice a day will be fine for your pet. Dogs need more sitter visits unless they have a fenced yard or invisible fence. Cats can make do with once a day. Ask for references from previous customers - you can tell a lot from these testimonials. Here are some things you can do to make the pet sitting process go smoothly.

Introduce the sitter to your pets before you leave. I always go to the pet's house and meet everyone, get the layout of the place and where things are kept before I sit for them. This way they know who I am when I come back again to sit for them.

Make certain the sitter you hire will follow your direction for feedings, water, exercise and attention. If you are preparing their food yourself, make up some ahead and put in freezer to thaw when needed. People can be very particular in when, how and what they feed their animals and you need to find someone who will work with you.

Explain about any medications that need to be given to your pets before you leave. If possible let the sitter give it to them if you think it might be a problem. Sometimes pets will allow the owner to give meds but when a new person tries to, it is nearly impossible. I know!

Leave money and necessary instruction for emergencies. Make sure the sitter knows who your vet is, and if needed where the travel case is located. Provide phone numbers where you, a friend or neighbor can be reached during your trip.

Add anti-stress vitamins to your pet's diet. Starting about a week before, add a B complex or nutritional yeast to their food, and vitamin C. Put a few drops of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy in their water daily. Ask the sitter to continue this supplementation and keep doing it for about a week after you return home.

Talk to your pets long before you bring out the suitcases. Let them know when, where and why you're going and with whom and for how long. They can sense something is up. Put their minds at ease.

Say goodbye to your pet calmly and with an untroubled mind. They pick up on your anxiety and you end up leaving them in an unsettle mood. Visualize a happy reunion scene with them.

While you are away, think about your pet everyday. Send a mental telegram in the form or words or a picture. He will receive it.

Whenever possible phone home to speak with the sitter. I encourage my customers to do so and tell them when is the best time to call. If the sitter is staying at your home, ask to have the phone put next to your pet and talk to him as if he were a person. They like to hear your voice. You can call and talk to them on the answering machine if the sitter is not staying with your pet.

The best you can do for your animal while traveling is keep in mind he understands your thoughts, words and behaviors. They know way more than we think so expect more from them. They will surprise you!

Recommended Pet Products: Hairball gel

My vet turned me onto pet products made by Vetbasis. This is a great company with natural additive free products for cats and dogs. My cats love the hairball gel which is petroleum and sugar free and enriched with vitamins, antioxidants and taurine. Unlike other hairball gels this one you can even squeeze some on their food. A lot easier to give that way.

Vetbasis also makes shampoos for cats and dogs that are DEA and alcohol free, water free foaming cleansers and other products. You can purchase them at their website or other natural pet products vendors online.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Women and cats..." Quote of the day

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should just relax and get used to the idea."
---Robert A. Heinstein

Book Review: Goodbye Friend - Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski

Losing a pet is very difficult and not everyone understands the heartache we go through. This thoughtful, supportive book, written by a Unitarian Universalist minister from Vermont, offers sound comforting advice for dealing with the death of a pet. Kowalski provides helpful insight for the period before death enabling us to make better decisions about the final stages of our pet's life. He includes a section on ritual and ceremonies as well as spiritual guidance. Well worth reading and an excellent gift for other animal lovers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Book Review: Animal Talk , Interspecies Telepathic Communication by Penelope Smith

This is a short book and an easy read. The author Smith has been communicating with animals throughout her life. Educated in social sciences and trained in human counselling, Smith has found a way to offer her expertise to animals too. She explains how animals communicate telepathically and then offers suggestions for humans to learn to do this too. I have had some success at this so I know it can be done. I can get my cats to do what I want but don't seem to be open enough to hear them communicating back to me. Probably my fault, not theirs.

Smith also includes some behavior problems and suggestions to try. If you have not read anything about animal communication this would be a good first book to get. Explanations are simple and straightforward. In the back of the book are other books and tapes on similar topics by the author.

Hyperactivity in Dogs

Does your dog pace constantly, follow you around or chase his tail in circles? Puppies can be very energetic up to 2 years of age but some dogs never slow down. Traditional vets tend to treat this with mood altering drugs if it is a chemical imbalance. Holistic vets offer different alternatives.

Calm them with aromatherapy. Sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on your dog's bedding once a day to take the edge off.

Impatience is a flower remedy that can help your dog relax. Put a few drops into each fresh bowl of water and she will sip it all day long.

Playing music in the house helps too. A slow even tempo is best - soft jazz, New Age and country.

Exercise your dog. Take extra walks, spend time playing fetch with him. Wear him out with play.

Milk contains a natural sedative called tryptophan which promotes sleep. A quarter cup of warm milk once or twice a day will lower his energy level.

Blue is a calming color. Try using a blue light bulb in the area where your dog sleeps. Blue can stimulate the pituitary glands to produce calming hormones.

Finally, relax her with herbs. Some vets sell a herbal combination called Calm Pet with kava kava, St. John's Wort, chamomille and valerian root which may help your dog be calmer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fur Balls

Cats come with one issue that never goes away - fur balls. Cats spend hours each day grooming themselves. That is good for their coats but the fur sticks to their course tongues and they swallow it. Some hair gets passed through their system but some forms a gooey wad in their stomach. When the fur accumulates, they vomit it up - usually on your best furniture. Long haired dogs also have this problem too. What to do to prevent this mess?

I give my cats butter - it lubricates their insides and things just go right through. Another option that my vet suggests is to feed them an oily fish like salmon or mackerel once a week. If you prefer to use a hair ball product - I recommend ones by Vetbasis, made without any petroleum products.

Give them extra fiber in the form of canned pumpkin. Give small pets between one half and one teaspoon with every meal. Medium and large dogs can have between a teaspoon and two tablespoons with meals. Another fiber source is psyllium and flax seeds. I give my cat Minnie who has irritable bowel symptom a product made by Flora for humans with oat bran, ground flax seeds and psyllium. It softens her stools and her fur balls pass right through. Small pets take about one quarter teaspoon. Larger dogs take up to a tablespoon.

If they seem to be constipated, I give them the homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica 30c once and they will cough it up or pass it through. Sometimes the fur balls get so large they cannot move in either direction. These large masses are called bezoars, can form life threatening blockages. If you pet's stomach swells, he's vomiting and can't pass stools, see a vet right away. This is an emergency.

The most effective way to prevent fur balls is for you to brush them every day. This will remove loose fur before it causes a problem and also be quality time spent with your cat or dog.

Why Tabby Cats have their Markings

A dear friend from UK gave me a wonderful book called Cairo Cats, Egypt's Enduring Legacy by Lorraine Chittock. The book is full of great stories, haunting photographs and fascinating quotes about cats in Egypt. My favorite story is this one.

"A cat once killed a snake that was attacking the Prophet. Grateful, Muhammad stroked her back - hence cats never fall on their back. He also put his noble hand on her forehead and that is why every cat has four dark lines on her forehead."
--tradition of the Prophet quoted by Jalaluddin Rumi(d.1273)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"The cat is the only..." Today's Quote

"The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity"
George Louis Leclerc De Buffon

Bad Breath - A Sign of Trouble

When I visit my vet I noticed she always smells my cat's breath during the exam. There is a good reason she is doing this. A stinky breath once in a while is not cause for alarm but if your dog or cat has chronically bad breath, it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Call your vet if you notice one of the following.

An ammonia or urine like smell. This can be a symptom of kidney problems.

A rotten smell. This indicate intestinal issues or gum or tooth disease.

A sweet almost sugary smell. This often signals diabetes. You will also notice your pet drinking a lot of water and losing weight.

Book Review: The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs & Cats by Diane Stein

This book is one of my favorites and I use it daily. Each section states the ailment and then treatment by nutrition, naturopathy, vitamins and minerals, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture, flower essences and gemstones. I highly recommend this book. The beginning of the book explains each of the treatments and how they work. Stein has another natural pet remedy book out but this one covers more treatments and I feel is a much better buy. A very thorough guide and an indispensable book for your reference library. It will reduce your veterinary costs for the day to day minor ailments that occur with pets.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What are homeopathic remedies?

When my feral cat Joey got into a fight with another cat his front leg swelled out noticeably. In the past I had to set a humane trap and hope to catch him, bring him to my vet where she would lance his abscess and treat him with antibiotics. Lots of trauma both to me and the cat. Now I treat him with Silicea 200c or 30c once and the abscess opens and drains. It is amazing how well these work.
What are homeopathic remedies and how do they work? I will be brief in my answer but will suggest books to read for more information.
Homeopathy is a branch of medicine which states that any substance which can cause symptoms of illness can also be used in the treatment of any condition showing similar symptoms. Like treats like in simple terms. The more alike the remedy is to the illness the better the match. Since pets can't tell us what is wrong, observation of the animal and how it reacts to outside stimulation comes into play rather than actual communication.
Homeopathic remedies are obtained from all natural sources - plants, animals, minerals and their compounds. Homeopathy is not herbal medicine.Preparation is a scientific procedure based on a series of dilutions and succussions which is capable of rendering even a poisonous substance safe to use.
In general higher potencies which are more energized than lower ones should be used for acute conditions whereas the lower potencies are more commonly used for chronic conditions.
Remedies are sold as pellets and powders or water dilutions with alcohol. Some pets will accept the pellets or powders but I find that dissolving the items in water and administering in a plastic syringe is best. Sometime I have to resort to giving the remedy in food or milk. It still works. It is very important not to actually touch the pellets with your fingers - so as not to contaminate them. Pour them into a small container to mix with liquid or to pop in the animal's mouth. If nothing happens, then try another remedy. I have not had any negative reactions in the ten years I have used homeopathy.
A very good book that describes homeopathic remedies in detail is Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs, Small Doses for Small Animals by Don Hamilton, DVM. Another book for written for humans but with a very detailed description of the remdies and how they are made is The Family Guide to Homeopathy by Alain Horvilleur, MD

Losing a pet

A friend just called crying hysterically. Her beloved Maine Coon cat had been missing for a few days. It was not like him to do that. She searched all over and found his remains in a field near her house. Something, probably a coyote, had eaten most of the body but she recognized the paws left as his. She is beside herself with grief. What a horrible way to find out a pet has died. In her grief she put away all of his favorite toys, dishes and rugs, not being able to bear the sight of them.

I consoled her - I have been through this many times myself. Time will heal the hurt. I told her to let the feelings out and rest. In a few days, things will be a little better and she will hurt a little less.

It is never easy to lose a pet - it is just like losing a loved one. But people don't always understand an animal lover's deep feelings of loss. She knew I would understand and that is why she called me to talk.

Pets too have feelings of grief and loss after a fellow animal has passed or moved away. Her orange tabby sits in the yard and stares out at the woods behind the house as if looking for her cat buddy. It breaks her heart to see him this way.

There are natural ways to relieve grief for both people and pets. Calm yourself and pets with chamomile tea. A few drops on pet food or in milk (for cats use Catsip, a lactose free milk) for a few days will help them adjust.

Spend lots of quality time with your other pets and give them extra loving attention. This is good therapy for both of you. Play with your pet - it takes their mind off the sadness and energizes them physically. Talk to your pets and explain what has happened - they understand more than you know.

The homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara is the classic remedy for grief - use a low dose of 6c or 12c a couple of times a day either in food or in liquid. I dissolve1-2 pellets in water first and pour the liquid over food or in milk. For people take 3-5 pellets three times each day until you feel better.

Star of Bethlehem flower essence helps with sorrow. Honeysuckle also helps with nostalgia and sadness. Walnut assists in adapting to change. You can use any one essence or combine up to six of them, diluting six to eight drops of each essence in an ounce of spring water.

Pink gemstones, specifically rose quartz are traditional for healing grief. Place the stone in the pet's environment, clearing it frequently by running it under clear water. Make sure it if is a small stone not to put it where the pet can swallow it - this goes for dogs especially.

Add vitamin C to their diets - sprinkle Ester C, a less acidic form of C, on their food. Take more C for yourself too. Your immune system and theirs is compromised with the stress of loss. This will keep them and you healthy until you get through this sad time.

Be grateful for the time you had with your pet. Have faithl that the Universe will bring more love into your life in the future.


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