Cannabidiol For Dogs?

 

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Marker 8.5, Old Naples dog-friendly waterfront restaurant.

Can you believe that Summer is almost over!?! We have been on quite an adventure these past few months, from the Florida Keys to Naples, and back to Palm Beach County. We spent a few weeks camping, stayed in several Airbnb homes, and are looking forward to our new place for the upcoming season. Lots of exploring, meeting new people and dogs, chasing unusual critters.

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More chillin, in front of our tent at Quiet Waters Park, Deerfield Beach.

Now that I am getting up there in years (close to 13), however, traveling is getting a little bit challenging. Of course I love adventures, sniffing new trails, swimming in new waterways, etc.! It’s just that my old joints hurt a bit more, and it is tough to jump in and out of the car, walk uphill, get up and down stairs, etc.. No way can I keep up with my crazy Potcake sister! (I mostly hang out while she swims and runs, constantly.)

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Chillin bayside at Bonita Springs Dog Beach.

Getting older can come with some ailments and inconveniences, so I am very glad that my human has started adding CBD hemp oil to my diet. As an incredible anti-inflammatory, this herbal remedy has done wonders to alleviate my joint pains and I can walk a little better each day. Sometimes I even run around and chase critters like I used to! I also have some new, unusual bumps on my body, also part of aging, and the CBD oil has been shrinking them a bit each day. I have more energy, and am more excited to greet each day now that I have so much less pain. The anxiety which comes with feeling older and less virile has also subsided, so I don’t seem so depressed as I had over the past couple of years. Overall, I do have a great life, well-fed and taken-care-of by my human, and she does everything she can to keep me happy and healthy. Nobody can control time or aging, however, so we all just have to enjoy life while it lasts. Now that we (My human, sister, and I) have all been taking CBD hemp oil for a couple of months, I can attest to the fact that it definitely makes living and aging a whole lot easier!  Try it for yourself, as well as your pets…if you like to feel happier and healthier, that is!

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Sunset on the campgrounds.

Wishing everyone an adventurous Autumn, full of pumpkins and spice, mead and merry!

Happy Tails!!!

Heart Beets Dog Treats

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Oh happy day! It is our Adoption Anniversary (12 years for me, 3 years for Ursula) and our human just made us the most delicious treats ever, Doggy Heart Beets! I don’t know what this “Valentine’s” thing is all about, all I care about is being treated extra special with extra treats! Before I share her secret recipe with you, just a few V-day tips:
1. Please don’t get carried away and give your dogs chocolate! It still contains ‘theobromine’ which is toxic for dogs! You may not notice any outward signs right away(especially from larger dogs),  but it is a fact that this toxin is serious, so please do not risk even a crumb! “… another serious danger is posed by the fat and sugar in the fillings, which can sometimes trigger life-threatening pancreatitis several days later.[citation needed] The most common victims of theobromine poisoning are dogs,[3][4] for which it can be fatal. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine_poisoning). Acai berries contain even higher concentration of this toxin, so avoid them, too!
2. Your dogs may not have any idea of what “V-day” is, but they can certainly sense the feelings which their humans have in response to this occasion. If you are celebrating, please include the pups by offering extra special play dates and healthy treats!
3. Please continue to check labels and avoid ALL things ‘made in China’ for dogs. Cutesy, red, heart-shaped toys may be tempting, but if it’s made in China (a country well-known for poisoning dog foods and treats) it would be best to pass. You don’t want to find out later, after your pup gets sick, that there was also some crazy toxin in his/her toys!

OK! Now for the Doggy Heart Beet recipe everyone has been waiting for!!!

1 c. coconut flour OR oat flour
1 c. flax meal
1 c. beet pulp(from the juicer) OR a few tblsps. beet juice(no water needed)
2 eggs
2 tblsp. coconut oil
couple tsps. each: anise extract, ground clove, cinnamon, cayenne,                chamomile

Press into small balls(cherry tomato-size) then press flat onto cookie sheet (My human found heart-shaped cookies sheet at Michael’s craft store).
Bake @ 300* for 45 minutes OR freeze em! (Our human bakes for travel, freezes for raw goodies at home.)

“Did somebody say ‘treat’?” (photo bomber)

Hope everyone has a lovely and yummy V-day!
Happy Tails!

P.S. Don’t be alarmed by the bright red poops!

Canine Flu! What To Do?

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Natural flu prevention

If you haven’t noticed, there seems to be a rash of dog flu going around. Suddenly, viruses which were once assigned to horses and birds are mutating into various strains of “canine influenza”. The typical Western veterinarians are pushing new, potentially ineffective vaccines on us without thorough testing or evidence to prove they even work at all! On the contrary, a holistic vet will make sure that your pup’s immune system is healthy, and recommend natural(homeopathic, herbal, nutritional) supplements to maintain and/or build that disease-fighting system. As usual, the media is creating unwarranted fear in our society and encouraging people to run to the nearest vet to spend money on unnecessary products. Vaccines and antibiotics will not cure the flu. (Please note: I am not referring to severe cases of illness or dogs with compromised immune systems!) Sure, there may be some slight efficacy in vaccinating a dog way in advance, but there is no real evidence of such, and once the flu is spreading, the vaccines are moot. We are big advocates of Probiotics, so we never use antibiotics. (If your dog is already very ill and has been prescribed antibiotics, please give him/her probiotics immediately following the course of drugs.) So, if you are worried about your dog catching the flu but he/she is relatively healthy, here are a few tips on how to boost that immune system and keep them happy and fit:

  1.  Provide the best, species-appropriate(Canine, in our case) nutrition possible. We prefer all-natural, home-made, raw food, but we know that many humans are just starting to get on our bandwagon. Processed foods really are taxing for a dog’s digestive system, so if you can at least add a few raw items(eggs, ground meat, organ meat, or even a high-quality commercial raw food) to their existing diet it would help immensely.
  2.  Add immunity-boosting herbs to the food. (If feeding raw, just mix them in. If feeding kibble, mix herbs with raw egg and then mix in.) Most of the herbs that humans use are safe for dogs(please check), so our human will often brew her own tea and add it to our food. (She likes Traditional Medicinals Echinacea, for one.) A few other immune system strengtheners are turmeric, garlic, astragalus, ginseng, and ginger. As usual, dogs require much less than humans for herbs to work.
  3.  Add antioxidant-rich vegetables to the food. As always, make sure anything you add is ok for pups. (Two to avoid are aloe vera and acai!) We often get the pulp from our human’s juices(which typically have apple, carrot, kale, parsley, ginger, and turmeric), or some of her salad fixings all chopped up(sprouts, greens, avocado). Basically, all of the colorful stuff is the most beneficial.
  4.  Staying hydrated is always important, and especially during flu season. Make sure the pups have plenty of clean drinking water available, and that they get to pee often to flush any residual toxins hanging around the digestive tract. (You would be amazed to know all of the poisons lurking in your tap water, the lawn and garden, the streets we walk on barefooted, the dog parks, etc.!) Adding coconut water will increase hydration, as well as kill microbes. We love it!
  5.  Finally, just as with most animals(including humans), stress will lower the body’s immune system. Keep the pups calm and relaxed with herbs like chamomile, lavender, and mint, either in the form of teas added to foods or in aromatherapy. Our human does both during thunderstorms, fireworks, or road trips. (A little lavender oil on the bedding works like a charm!)
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Sleepy time…

Wishing everyone a healthy, flu-free season!

 

Happy tails to you!!!

 

 

 

Happy Hippo Holidays!

 

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“Spoil me!”

Yes, I am a dog, but my human has many nicknames for me including “Little Hippo”. She sings that dorky jingle from the ‘Hungry Hippo’ children’s game (which I have never seen or heard of) whenever the holidays roll around and my sister and I get a constant barrage of home-made goodies. Anyway, we are all just as happy as a herd of hippos in a water hole these days! I hope everyone reading this is also having fun and festive celebrations, and that your humans are spoiling you rotten, as well! In order to be sure and have a safe and healthy holiday season, I would like to offer a few little tips here for your caretakers:

  1. Please give us tons of new toys, and none made in China! In the case of someone else gifting us a China-made product, only allow us to play with it under supervision, and do not even offer it to a pup that ingests his/her toys! The risk is just too high, as way too many cases of illness and deaths have occurred due to toxic ingredients.
  2. Please give us mega-tons of extra-yummy treats, preferably the safe and healthy ones you make at home. In case you buy us more from the store, same rule applies: No treats made in China. Nowadays they are printing clearly “Made in USA” on the labels, so please look before you buy.
  3. Please do not give us any rawhide items, no matter where they come from. Rawhide is full of toxic ingredients, including formaldehyde and glue(yes, glue) which may keep the shapes together, but also creates an immovable and possibly deadly mass in our stomachs.
  4. Please do not give us any cooked or smoked bones, including those leftover from your human meals. The cooking process creates splintering which could easily injure and damage our little bodies. Only raw bones, please, especially chicken and turkey necks or cleanly sliced beef marrow bones. Please do more research on this before adding bones you are not sure about. The smoking process adds carcinogens which are poison to everyone. (We don’t even eat jerky treats with “smoke” flavor)
  5. Please do not give us any alcoholic beverages, and keep an eye on onery party guests and relatives who might sneak it to us as a “joke”. It won’t be funny if we get sick or develop liver issues. We don’t need to be drunk to have fun.
  6. Please don’t forget about us! We want to join in the celebrations, too! It may be easy to get wrapped up(pun intended) in the holiday festivities, so try to give us a little extra attention now and then, for no particular reason, just to remind us that you still love us.
  7. If anyone you know is considering giving the gift of a new family member(in the form of a pet), please suggest politely that they go to the nearest shelter and adopt an orphan. There are sooo many sweet, lonely cats and dogs of all ages just waiting for a loving human/s to choose them! Maybe you were thinking about bringing one home, yourself?
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    Our little rescue from the Bahamas, Ursula the Potcake.

    (P)uppy (S)lobber,  if you happen to have both human and canine children around, please try not to gift us with toys(stuffed animals, for example) which closely resemble the human-type ones. It creates so much added confusion, and we don’t want to make any mistakes which could land us in the dog house!  Thanks.

    Happy Tails!

 

Road Chill Cookies

Hey there, it’s National Cookie Day!!! My human wanted me to share her recipe for delicious, chill-out cookies to give your dogs during stressful or boring(long drives) times, and for hyper-active pups at night. She gives them to us during fireworks and thunderstorms, as well.  Apparently there are some herbs in there which help calm and relax, but we just love cookies! So make a big batch, use what you need, freeze some for another day, whatever.

Road Chill Cookies

2 cups rice(any gluten-free) flour
2 eggs
1/4 c. coconut oil
Tblsp each: chamomile, lavender, peppermint(or 3 bags of  your own favorite relaxing tea blend)
Add liquid(coconut water, green juice, plain H20) until proper consistency…think ‘scones’

Mix up all ingredients to a fairly dry, thick dough. make little balls(large cherries) and place on cookie sheet. Press them lightly(not too flat), then bake in preheated(275*) oven on middle rack for 35-40 minutes. Should make about 2 sheets full. After all are cooled, place all back onto sheet and into cool oven overnight to dry further. Load up the cookie jar!
My human also recommends that you be sure to offer your precious pups a few samples of the dough, as well as allowing them to lick the bowl. (Who doesn’t love raw cookie dough?!)

Happy Tails!!!

Chillin on the road

Drunken Dogs? (Bad idea)

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Beowulf and Ursula, “Guardians of the Ale”.

Tis the season for drinking, brewing, and losing sight of sneaky pups! I have heard of some humans who purposely give their dogs alcohol, but it is always possible for an accidental spill-lap-up, a party guest offering a beer to your dog behind your back, or(if you home brew) a curious pooch could easily slurp up some spent hops from the trash bin or compost heap. No matter how your loving little companions get to it, alcohol is poisonous and hops(in particular) can be fatal if ingested! I am actually putting out this article for a couple of reasons: One is because my human is about to brew some holiday cheer(both Mead and Ale), and the second is because I recently read some sad news of a puppy who passed away after eating the spent hops of an as-yet-unaware home brewer. The puppy is gone, but the poor human is heartbroken and will likely never forgive himself for the lack of knowledge. So I have just a few(possibly life-saving) tips for ALL dog lovers for the coming holidays.

A. Please pay attention to your little ones as you “make merry”. It only takes a minute for something horrible to happen, so keep an eye(at least one) open or appoint a sober human to do so.

B. Please make a concerted effort to look up lists(there are many online) of foods and plants which are toxic to dogs, print it out and post it on the fridge if need be. There are quite a few that humans have no issues with(eg: chocolate, caffeine, hops, aloe, etc.)

C. Please do not assume that a food which is safe for you is also safe for dogs, even if they “like” it. Remember that humans and canines are two different species, with very different physiological systems, and that dogs have much smaller organs(eg: livers)

D. Please do not give your dog alcohol to entertain your friends. It is not funny to watch a drunk dog, and if you have any sense at all, you know what alcohol does to the human body. Just multiply that by 100 and WAKE UP!  It is not alright to pickle your dog’s liver with alcohol. (I am sure that most of you would never even consider such a thing, but I also bet you know people who would.)

E. Please keep an eye on drunk and not-so-smart friends/guests. There is always one loser at the party who might just try to get your dog drunk because he thinks it’s hilarious. Trust me, I’ve witnessed this many times. Save your dog and kick that guy out! (I have never seen a female human display such ignorant behavior, which is why I state “he” and “guy”)

F. Please dispose of “trub”(after-brew) properly. It really doesn’t make for good compost, anyway. Just trash it securely and be sure the animals cannot get to it. Treat the spent hops like anti-freeze(POISON!) because that is the equivalent. Beer alone may not kill a dog (immediately), but there have been too many reported cases of dog death by hops to take any chances. I hope you agree!

G. Please keep plenty of healthy, safe, and delicious treats around just for your dogs! Every time they get curious about something toxic(or just not for them), tell them “No, not for you, but this is!”. Then give them a reward for not eating your food/hops/tablecloth/whatever!

Happy Tails, from the Guardians of the Ale!!!

5 Spiritual Lessons I Have Taught My Human(So far!)

I am not sure if you are aware of this, but every animal companion and their human make a “spiritual contract” before they connect here on Earth. My human and I have ours, and the main purpose is for her to learn the lessons I have to teach. We(other species) do our very best to impart our Soul’s wisdom to the human’s Soul, and that is all we can do. Whatever the human learns is the best they could do. That being said, I will share the top 5 lessons which have been successfully transmitted thus far from myself to my human.
 
#1. Unconditional love. Basically, this means maintaining continual care, support, respect, and affection regardless of any occasional illness, annoyance, mistakes, or offenses which may occur. In other words, there are no conditions applied to “love”, and it doesn’t change or go away for any reason. (eg: I ate my human’s GPS system, address book, and favorite CDs AND she loves me.)
#2. Everything that everyone does is not “personal”. Sometimes we snap at others simply because we don’t feel good. It’s not all about you.(eg: I did not eat your stuff to be mean to you, I did so because I was bored and didn’t yet know the difference from my other toys.)
 
#3. We are all different, so we must interact with eachother differently. This requires a bit of investigation on everyone’s part, to find out how to communicate. (eg: My little sister has some PTSD which we know not exactly from whence it came. All we know is that she is touchy about certain things, so we have to approach her differently than myself.)
 
#4. Respect begets respect. There is a heirarchy in the animal world(Humans, dogs, others). The Alpha is the leader and commands respect, not with aggression or violence, just by attitude. When the one(human) we(dogs)look to for guidance and leadership(training and protection) is self-absorbed, doesn’t respect our(dogs)needs, or just plain doesn’t pay enough attention then we will certainly have issues. Everyone needs proper guidance and mutual respect.
 
#5. Life is temporary. Death will happen. Appreciate the time we have together, spend more time playing and less time complaining. Go on adventures! Pay attention and learn as much as you can from your companions. We agreed to share this time, so let’s not waste it!

Happy Tails!!!

Dogs Are Homeopathic Medicine For Children

   My human has a new baby niece whom Ursula and I love to pieces and want to lick her whole body whenever we can! Unfortunately, baby’s parents don’t really like that idea very much, and they get nervous every time we get within an inch of her face. I guess they just don’t realize how much we want to protect her and keep her healthy. The truth is, we dogs have special anti-microbial, antiseptic properties in our saliva, so all that licking is totally hygienic! Even if there were some coodies hanging around, exposure to children is like a vaccine only better.
Vaccines are made of the pathogens one is hoping to be protected from, based upon the theory that exposure in small doses will trigger the body’s natural immune system to strengthen against those germs. The problem with most typical vaccines is that they also contain toxins such as mercury and formaldehyde(either of those is bad enough!), which cause serious side effects for humans and animals. Homeopathic medicine, on the other hand, works with the same premise of exposure, yet uses only natural, herbal ingredients to trigger the immune system. No bad side effects or long-term ailments come from them. It stands to reason then, that if one exposes a child to dogs, then the child will develop a nice, healthy immune system and have fewer allergies in general! (Extremely idealistic, I know.) The fact is, that scientific research is continually coming up with evidence to support my case. Soon enough, every parent will be running out to adopt a dog before their babies are born! Not only will the children be uber-healthy, but those wonderful rescue pups will guard those kids with their lives. It’s a win/win situation all the way around!
Here are a couple of great articles on the topic of dogs for kids health:
http://www.healthline.com/health-news/children-exposure-to-dogs-may-protect-against-allergies-121613
http://www.babycenter.com/0_can-you-be-too-clean_12447.bc
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-08/health/ct-x-0808-dogs-cats-immune-system-20120808_1_dog-ownership-ear-infections-babies
(“It’s kind of exposing the immune system at an early age to all kinds of proteins the dogs would be exposed to in the environment, which somehow leads to a tolerance of the environment versus being more allergic to it,” said Tobin, adding that a little less sanitation could actually help build tolerance.)

P.S. (Pup Slobber)  There have been no studies on the effects of child saliva on the health and safety of dogs…

Happy Tails!!!

Switching To Raw Feeding Is Super Simple

   Hi there, just thought I would share my human’s raw food recipe with you. So many dogs are always asking me, “How come you smell so good?” or “Why you so peppy when you a time fighta?” or “Can I come live with you?”, things like that. So I gotta tell em, it’s all about the FOOD! When I was a wee pup at the shelter, we were all given these hard, dry pebbles to eat…YUCK! I was always sleepy, my skin was itchy, and I didn’t feel so good. Then my human found me, took me home, and started feeding me REAL food! WOW!!! I mean, it tasted awesome, I got all kinds of energy, my skin felt better, and I was healthy! Now, at 12+ years, I look and feel better than most dogs half my age!

Seriously, most 12 year old dogs are obese, lethargic, have a gazillion ailments, and are (quite frankly) stinky. I feel bad for them. So here’s my human’s basic recipe for our(Ursula has to eat, too) food:

1 lb raw(fresh or frozen) turkey, chicken, grass-fed beef, or bison

1/2 cup juicer pulp, chopped fine veggies, or applesauce

1 cup water or bone broth

1 handful herbs and spices for natural insect/parasite repellent

(garlic, rosemary, mint, cayenne, clove)

Mix all ingredients and split into 2 portions(breakfast/dinner). That’s it! So simple, and way better than kibbles for us dogs. We get turkey most of the time, and other meats here and there as “special” meals. We also get raw bones(marrow, turkey necks, chicken thighs) once or twice a week for added benefits. (You can read more details in my upcoming book!) Here and now, I just wanted to express how much easier it is than people think to make raw meals for your animal companions, as well as to repeat how extra-super-duper healthy it is for them! You won’t know til ya try it!

This recipe is for 1 medium-sized(c. 40-60 lb) dog. My human usually makes big batches then freezes it. I like that cause I don’t really want to sit and wait while she mixes! Anyway, the dog doctor hardly ever sees us and when she does, she always raves about how great I look. We rarely have any pests around, and our coats are always shiny. Oh, and when you are switching from dry food, do it slowly(over 2 weeks), and always mix the new(raw) with it. If not, you are gonna get the runs. (Some dogs will naturally cleanse and have the runs for a couple days anyway, nothing to freak out about.) If you are just not ready to switch cold turkey(never mind the pun), at least add a raw egg or a scoop of raw ground meat to their food a few times per week. Your pups will thank you!

L to R: Me, my human, my sister Ursula.

L to R: Me, my human, my sister Ursula.

Happy meals to you!!!

Fireworks No Fun For Dogs (Tips for reducing the stress of it all)

Well, you humans sure do have lots of holidays! We love to be included in most(especially the ones where we get extra treats!), but the ones with fireworks…not so much. With your “Independence Day” celebrations coming soon, I would just like to share a few tips to help keep your pups calm and safe for the weekend(Don’t forget that some people will continue to set off leftover fireworks for days after). My human uses aromatherapy, herbal remedies, and a few other tricks during heavy festivities and storms including:

1. Lavender oil. Dab a few drops around your dog’s sleeping areas, and one drop on each ear tip. If they lay on other areas, dab those, too. The calming scent will work wonders!

2. Chamomile tea. Brew a cup of your favorite herbal relaxing tea(chamomile, lavender, peppermint, and catnip* work great for us) and pour it into their water and food. Just a wee bit in water, but I also break open the bag and mix it into food. They love it and sleep like babies!

3. Gentle, relaxing music or TV. To contrast the loud noises(people and fireworks), play some nice, soothing music or put on a droning TV show like golf, fishing, or a music channel.

4. Blankies. Just like a big ol’ hug, a big, soft blankie or doggy shirt will help pups feel safe and secure. That’s why they call it a “security blanket”! If you don’t want them to shred it, get used ones from the thrift shop.

5. The dog cave. Some dogs really like to hide under stuff because they instinctually seek out a “den”. You can just set them up in a closed room with their beds, blankies, music, etc., or you could make them a fort out of more blankets! (Remember when we were kids?)

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In addition to these little helpers, I humbly request that you please leave your pups safely at home, and do not take them out to any festivities on this crazy, chaotic night! You humans may enjoy all the ruckus, but we dogs are simply terrified of those loud, cracking sounds! (Not to mention all of the drunk people stepping on us, spilling beer, etc.) So ppplllease spare us the trauma! Thank you kindly.

Happy Tails to you!