Tag Archives: dogs

Herbal and Natural Remedies for Dogs and Other Pets

Herbal and Other Natural Remedies for Dogs and Other Pets

Could your dog benefit from an herbal remedy?

Glucosamine. Probiotics. Flower essences. Omega-3 fatty acids. What do all of these things have in common? They’re all natural medications, also known as nutriceuticals, that can be used to treat your pet for various illnesses or conditions.

Why Herbal or Natural Remedies for Your Dog or Other Type of Pet?

In recent years, many pet owners have become interested in using more natural remedies to treat their dogs, cats, birds or other pets. These types of remedies may come in the form of herbs or other naturally occurring substances. This is, of course, in opposition to pharmaceutical medications which are a completely different type of treatment classification.

In many cases, these herbal or natural remedies have very little risk of side effects, unlike pharmaceutical medications which often have a much higher risk of adverse reactions and must be used more carefully under the care of a veterinarian.

Using Natural or Herbal Remedies with Pharmaceuticals

That’s not to say, however, that these natural remedies cannot be used in conjunction with pharmaceutical medications. In fact, in many cases, these herbal or natural remedies may be used together with more traditional pharmaceutical medications and may actually be useful for helping to decrease the dosages of the pharmaceuticals that need to be used, and hence reduce the potential for side effects.

What Types of Conditions Can Be Treated with Natural or Herbal Remedies?

There are many different conditions that can be managed with natural or herbal remedies. Products such as glucosamine are frequently used to treat joint issues. Probiotics are used to treat gastrointestinal disease and are especially useful during periods of stress, when recovering from a dietary indiscretion or after taking antibiotics which can alter the gastrointestinal tract. These are just a few of the uses. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear the rest.

Buyer Beware with Nutraceuticals

As a pet owner considering using a nutriceutical product, a natural remedy or an herbal medication, quality control becomes extremely important. It is essential to purchase from a company that is reputable with high standards. Because these companies are not scrutinized as carefully as pharmaceutical companies, it is easy to be tricked into buying a product that is not what it is promoted to be.

Meet Dr. Joel Murphy and Hear More About Herbal Remedies for Pets

This week, I had the pleasure to speak with Dr. Joel Murphy. Dr. Murphy is an experienced veterinarian and he is responsible for formulating the remedies in the Renew Life pet care line. Dr. Murphy discusses some of the most commonly used herbal medications, natural remedies and flower essences along with the benefits and uses of each in the following interview.

Are you wondering if your dog could benefit from a natural remedy? Here’s the perfect chance to find out.

Don’t forget to join us again next week. Until then, have a great week.

Photo Courtesy of dark4/Flickr.com

Dog Training: Cues, Commands, Obedience, And Punishment

Dr. Roger AbrantesDog training is a form communication. We attach meaning to cues, signals, or commands to convey information to get our dogs to do what we’d like them to do. In this podcast Dr. Roger Abrantes and I discuss whether the words you use to describe dog training affect your relationship with your dog.

Dr. Abrantes is a dear friend of mine, a scientist, an expert in dog training, a blogger, and someone I very much admire. His experience and knowledge goes way beyond dog training. Roger’s formal education is that of an evolutionary biologist, however, as a well traveled citizen of the world who has lived in places such as Denmark, Portugal, Thailand, and Africa, he has also become a de facto expert in languages, and communication in general.

Words always come along with some sort of association. For example, when requesting a behavior from a dog, such as “high five” or “shake”, many people will tell you they are giving the dog a command. Dr. Abrantes explains that the word “command” has a militaristic connotation. A command is something that is issued and must be obeyed. No questions asked. Disobedience to a command in many cases must be severely punished. But is that really how you see your fun little request to shake your dog’s paw? Must she obey? Or, more accurately, are you simply requesting a friendly interaction with your best friend, or practicing a routine you learned in a dog training session? Is non-compliance truly a punishable offense? Shake is a friendly gesture after all.

Roger points out that before a command becomes a command it is a signal. A dog cannot obey a command he does not understand.

He believes that when we are interacting with, and communicating with our dogs it’s just like communicating with a friend or colleague. We generally don’t command each other but rather signal back and forth in a friendly and reciprocal fashion.

We also discussed whether other words commonly used as dog training vernacular, such as “obey”, should really have a place in describing the partnership that takes place between a human and a trained dog. Especially how often when people use the word “punishment” what they really mean is they are seeking “revenge”.

It was a fascinating conversation, and I hope you’ll tune in below and join in the conversation. Roger and I will be taking questions and entertaining your input in the comments section below.

If you’d like to hear more from Roger he can be found blogging away at both Dog Star Daily and his WordPress blog.

Pet Food Quandry: What’s Best for Dogs and Cats?

Pet Food and Pet Nutrition

When it comes to pet food and pet nutrition, there are as many opinions floating around as there are people who offer those opinions. The end result is a confusing mass of information for pet owners, much of which is contradictory.

How Do I Provide Good Nutrition in My Pet’s Food?

One thing is certain. All of us want the very best for our dogs and cats. We all want to be feeding the highest quality pet food. But what exactly does that mean? Some of the questions that seem most confusing include:

  • Should there be grain in my pet’s food or does a grain-free food provide the best nutrition?
  • What about corn? Is corn an acceptable ingredient in pet foods?
  • What about by-products? What are they? Do by-products provide good nutrition for my pet? Should they be part of a good pet food?
  • And what about quality control? How do we know whether a pet food is safe to feed to our dogs or cats? Could we have a repeat of the melamine incident that killed so many pets?

Expert Opinion on Pet Food and Pet Nutrition

This week, Dr. Marcie Campion joins us to discuss pet foods and pet nutrition. She answers all of these questions and more in her interview, which you’ll find below.

Dr. Campion, PhD., is a nutritionist and is currently the Scientific Relations Managers for Iams/P&G Pet Care. She joins us this week in an extremely informational interview and graciously offers her expert opinion on many different pet food questions.

Will everyone agree with Dr. Campion’s answers to these important pet nutrition questions? No, probably not. However, she answers them based on her experience and training as a pet nutritionist and an expert in her field.

During the course of the interview, Dr. Campion also shares with us a bit of information about a new line of pet foods being offered by Iams. One of the things that is really nice about this line is that it provides an alternative for those people who prefer a pet food that has no corn, meat by-products, fillers, preservatives, artificial coloring or artificial flavors. After all, regardless of anything else, it’s nice to have options and alternatives.

Sit back, relax and listen to the interview. And don’t forget to join us next Monday here at Animal Cafe for another great interview.

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue/Flickr.com

Pet First Aid and CPR: Would You Know How to Save Your Dog or Cat in an Emergency?

Pet First Aid and CPR

Would you know how to perform CPR or provide basic first aid for your pet in case of an accident or emergency?

An emergency can happen in the blink of an eye. Tragedy can strike without warning. Being prepared for these types of events can make the difference between living and dying for your pet. That’s why every responsible pet owner should know the basics of pet first aid and CPR.

Pet First Aid and CPR

Knowing how to perform basic pet first aid and CPR can certainly help save your pet in the event of an emergency. However, it goes further than that also.

Knowing how to perform a health assessment of your dog or cat from nose to tail can help alert you to the presence of issues that may not be an actual emergency but still require medical attention for your pet.

Meet Jillian Myers, a Certified Pet First Aid Instructor

Jillian Myers is a PetSaver certified instructor. At Healthy Paws LA, she teaches pet first aid and CPR courses that are open to any pet owner or pet professional.

Jillian joined Animal Cafe’s resident veterinarian, Lorie Huston, for this week’s interview. The podcast is available below.

Jillian shared with us, in her interview, the tragic story of how she took her dog, Diego, to her veterinarian for what was supposed to be a routine “teeth cleaning”. Unfortunately, there were unexpected complications after Diego was sent home from the hospital and Diego ended up dying in Jillian’s arms as she rushed him back to the veterinary office.

At that time, Jillian knew nothing of pet first aid or how to properly perform CPR on a dog. That day changed Jillian’s life forever as she vowed to do her utmost to make sure that this scenario was not repeated for other pet owners.

Healthy Paws Pet First Aid and CPR Classes

The courses offered at Jillian’s Healthy Paws facility not only include hands-on exposure to basic pet first aid techniques but also teach participants how to care for their senior dogs and cats as well as focusing on proper oral care for pets. But Jillian talks much more about what her classes are like and what is covered in them in the interview, so have a listen.


Don’t forget to join the Animal Cafe team next week for another great podcast interview.

Leadership Skills and Workplace Motivation: Lessons from a Hound

Leadership Skills and Workplace Motivation Taught by Mr. Blue, Chief Motivational Hound

True Blue Leadership: Top 10 Tricks from the Chief Motivational Hound

In the dog-eat-dog world of business, who is better suited to teach us about leadership and motivation than a chief motivational hound? It makes perfect sense, right?

Seriously though, leadership skills and workplace motivation are critical skills for anyone who is serious about being in business. Yet, these skills can be difficult to teach and even more difficult to learn.

Still, there are some lessons we can learn from our dogs about motivation, leadership and becoming a better person in general.

Leadership Skills and Workplace Motivation Lessons from Mr. Blue the Hound

When Mr. Blue first found his way to Tracey Jones, Tracey already had a pretty extensive background in leadership and motivational teaching. Her father, Charlie (“Tremendous”) Jones, was a famous motivational speaker and teacher in his own right.

Charlie believed that in 5 years you would still be the same person you are today except for two very important things: the people you meet and the books you read. Now, those seem like some pretty wise words to me!

When Tracey first met the little ball of fluff that would later become known as Mr. Blue, she wasn’t even planning on adopting a puppy. But she fell in love with him and off he went to share her home and her heart.

At some point, Tracey realized that Mr. Blue had some lessons about leadership and motivation of his own to teach.

How Can a Swaggering Walk Teach Anything About Leadership or Motivation?

I’m not going to answer that question. You’ll have to listen to my interview with Tracey to find the answer. But I’ll give you a hint. It has to do with looking as good going as you do coming.

Okay, ’nuff said. Listen to the my interview with Tracey Jones to learn more about the leadership skills and workplace motivation lessons taught by Mr. Blue. Tracey is the co-pawthor (with Mr. Blue, of course) of True Blue Leadership: Top 10 Tricks from the Chief Motivational Hound.

Pet Care Tips and Money Saving Tricks from Dr. Marty Becker

Pets have moved out of our back yards, barns and sheds and into our homes and even our bedrooms as the human animal bond has strengthened and developed. This is doubly so with dogs, who are not known as “man’s best friend” without good cause.

Dr. Marty Becker offers pet care tips to keep your dog healthy and happy.

Dr. Marty Becker offers practical pet care tips to keep your dog healthy and happy.

As the intensity of our bond with our pets has increased, so has the need for good pet care and good pet care advice. Proper care of your dog can give him a good long life and provide a bond with you that will last through all his years. But drop the ball and ignore proper pet care and your dog will suffer for it.

Pet Care Has Changed Over the Years

Over the years, pet care has changed drastically. From the days when we believed that animals did not feel pain to the current knowledge that pain control is necessary both short-term for surgical procedures and long-term for more chronic conditions, our expectations of what type of care our pets receive has evolved.

We used to believe that puppies needed to be protected from disease until they had finished their full series of vaccines and were fully protected. We now realize that, even though protecting our puppies from disease is important, proper socialization is mandatory to raising a well-adjusted adult dog that is not fearful of all manner of experiences and situations.

Your Dog: The Owner's Manual by Dr. Marty Becker

Your Dog: The Owner's Manual by Dr. Marty Becker

Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian” and Long Time Pet Care Advocate

This week, Dr. Marty Becker, who many of you may recognize from his many television appearances on Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show joins us to share many of the secrets, surprises and solutions he has discovered throughout his 30 years of caring for dogs as a veterinarian.

Dr. Becker shares with us many of the pet care secrets and solutions he uncovers in his new book, Your Dog: The Owner’s Manual. Listen in as Dr. Becker tells us how to save money while still providing top quality pet care for our dog, how to pill your dog with a minimum of effort and fuss and much more. Learn why you should never buy a dog from a pet store and why adult dogs rescued from a shelter or rescue make the best pets.

And don’t forget to join us on Wednesday, June 1 at 9PM EST in the Chat Cafe to continue the discussion. Bring your own questions for Dr. Becker and prepare to have a great time talking about our favorite subject: your dog!

Interview with Dr. Marty Becker: Pet Care Secrets, Surprises and Solutions