With a veterinarian as a father, I know it's far too common for pets to get into the holiday meal and become sick, or dash out doors and end up injured. Sometimes the season makes existing behavior problems all the more evident.
Many of the challenges of the holidays can be addressed with easy to implement solutions. Here are the top challenges my clients have during the holidays and tactics to address them.
Barking at people. Dogs naturally want to alert their people when something changes in the environment. During Christmas break, people are more likely to be hanging around the neighborhood, giving your dog more opportunity to bark. Preventing your dog from going into a frantic frenzy at the window requires management and training. Pull the blinds during the busy times of day to prevent stimulation overload. In addition, train your dog to run to you when sights they would normally bark at pass by. Start without any distractions present. Call your canine to you and reward with a treat or toy. Once your canine reliably comes when called, even with you in another room, add a minor distraction, like a family member standing outside. As soon as your dog notices the distraction, call them to you and reward. Then progress to working with real distractions that pass. Soon, your dog's cue to run to you will be the sight of something passing by the window, ending watchdog barking all together.
Unusual Christmas sights and sounds. For homes where Santa visits, the sight of the big man himself is anxiety provoking. Big boots, a deep voice, and a beard can be frightening. If you're unsure how Fido will react around Mr. Claus, put your dog in a closed room with a chew toy to occupy him when the big man visits. For curious, but excited dogs, have Santa toss treats on the floor to strike a friendship. Holiday decorations that move, light up or make music also are stressful for pets. To help your dog adjust, start with the decoration in the off position. Toss treats around the object and let your dog move towards it at his own pace. Only once the dog is relaxed should the item be turned on, keeping it at a distance from your canine to start. Whenever the object moves or makes a noise, toss a treat. Within just a few sessions, most dogs will be relaxed.
Chewing. Alas, the holidays are one of the more difficult times to manage chewing because temptations are multiplied. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, so it's no wonder they uncover food items inside stockings and presents. With more décor around, it’s tempting to chew on even inedible items, like wiring from lights, bulbs on the tree or tinsel; creating a serious health risk. To combat chewing, decrease access to inappropriate items and increase available chew toys. All food items should be kept up in cupboards or high spaces the dog can’t reach, even if it means only putting food items out when ready to be opened or consumed. If chewing decorative items is tempting for your dog, put decor in off limits areas, like a closed room or behind a barrier, like an xpen. For avid chewers, this may mean protecting the tree and presents in a room with a closed door. Encourage appropriate chewing by placing various toys, food puzzles and long lasting chews around the home for your dog to chew on.
Marking the tree. It's tempting for male dogs, and even some females, to mark the Christmas tree, because it's a high, vertical surface. The most likely time marking will occur is when the tree is first set out. For that reason, keep your dog on leash when you introduce them to the tree. Reward trained behaviors, like sit and down, around the tree to keep them focused. Allow sniffing of the tree and then call them back after a couple of seconds to allow short investigation without enough time to mark. After 20 minutes or so, most dogs lose interest and marking isn’t as enticing. If your pooch is still a determined marker, prevent access to the tree with gates or by keeping your dog on leash.
Fear with guests. Some dogs are uncomfortable with company, especially children. If the visit is short-term, consider putting your dog in a crate or dog-proofed room. Doggy daycare is another solution for dog friendly canines to avoid putting them in a situation that’s too stressful. If your dog is only shy at first, but warms up fast, instruct visitors to ignore your dog when they come in. Keep your canine on leash and provide a distraction, like a dental chew. Only allow petting if your dog makes the full approach to visitors and solicits petting.
Getting into the food. With all the edible goodies lying around, dogs have ample opportunity to dig in. Food must be kept safely away from dogs, as canines are scavengers and will take any chance to secure a snack. If you're having a holiday get-together where food will be left out, keep your dog on leash. If they attempt to sneak a snack, interrupt them gently with a verbal noise, and immediately direct them to do something else, like sit. Reward your dog while they are calmly at your side. If you can't supervise, keep them secured in a dog proofed area.
Dashing out the door and running away. Dogs have more chances to bolt out the door and run away during the holidays when visitors are more frequent. Hang a leash by the door so it's easily accessible and always clip it to your dog before opening the door.
Jumping on guests and excited barking. Friendly dogs commonly become overly excited with greetings and may jump and bark for attention. If your dog is social with people, but shows hyperactive behavior when people arrive, prevent greetings until your dog is relaxed. Keep your dog on a head halter or front clip harness to better direct their movement. If they attempt to jump up or if they bark, simply turn around with them on leash and walk away a few feet. Once your dog is settled and quiet, approach again. Soon your canine will realize that barking and jumping take away the opportunity to greet. Most importantly, reward your dog with treats, toys and opportunity to greet when they are quiet and all four paws are on the floor.
Keep in mind, if your dog is anxious or aggressive; seek professional help, starting with your veterinarian.
A skilled dog-trainer, Mikkel Becker, CPDT, KA, CTC, is an honors graduate of the rigorous and prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA. Mikkel is also a graduate of the Purdue University DOGS! course and the Karen Pryor Academy. She currently works as a training expert for Vetstreet.com, a canine evaluator at The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a resident pet expert for Scholastic Magazine, and a contributing author to Parade Magazine, House and Home, and Cat Fancy Magazine. Mikkel also provides private behavior consultations and group classes for dog owners.]]>2013-12-03T21:48:32+00:00
http://www.zukes.com/site/priceless-gifts-for-dogs-by-zukes#When:18:00:28Zbuy for your pet this holiday season. There are beds to snuggle in, toys to play with and, of course, treats to devour. But at Zuke’s, we believe that some of the best presents are the ones that money can’t buy.
That’s why we decided to create a priceless gifts guide, a simple list that reminds us of what is truly important: our dogs love us and we love them. Although they don’t know that Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanza are special days – dogs do know they have another day to spend with us; and for them, that is gift enough.
To get our list started, we surveyed the Zuke’s canine crew and came up with their holiday wishlist. But this list is for and from everyone – so add your dog’s favorite gift of love in the comments!
The Priceless Gifts Guide
Instead of sitting on the couch, sit on the floor and give your pup a belly rub while you watch TV. Touch is the key to bonding and relaxation.
When you go on a walk, let your dog lead. Go at your pup’s pace, letting the nose lead the way.
Hide (Zuke’s) treats in random places to be found by your unsuspecting dog. What a wonderful surprise that will be!
Go to the dog park and stay until your dog wants to go home.
Jump in the car and drive nowhere. For dogs, it is truly the journey and not the destination.
Go on a walk, and another walk, and another walk … you get the idea.
If your dog is a dog’s dog, schedule a play date with a favorite friend.
Tell your dog over and over how much you love him or her. Praise is an immeasurable gift.
Brush your dog. Cut out any mats. Trim her nails. Brush his teeth. Everyone wants to look pretty for the holidays.
Stay home or go together. The best present you can give your pup is to be together, wherever you are.
Dog photo shoots go a lot like that, minus the horrible sweaters, but plus generous helpings of laughter. Sometimes getting dogs to do what you want, when you want is a huge challenge, but is part of the fun. Most of the photos you see in our catalog, on our website, and beyond have been shot in and around Durango in places we all love to take our dogs to frolic and have good doggie fun. We love sharing where we live, but also hope our photos inspire everyone everywhere to get out and have fun with their best friends.
We have begun to shoot more photos, are again working with superstar photog Gunnar Conrad, and already have some great shots in the books. The way it normally works is we have a decent idea of where we want to go and what type of shot we want to get. Invariably we end up 180 degrees from where we started, doing something completely unplanned, and end up with the best results.
The models and their people are sometimes finicky about their working conditions. And sometimes they are not. Last year Cooper, the Chesapeake Bay retriever, was the model model, repeatedly vaulting off a dock until Gunnar felt he had the shot of the day snapped. For that picture, Gunnar threw on his waders and stood in 40 degree water for two hours as he tried to shield his nearly priceless camera and lens from the water droplet shrapnel that was constantly headed his way. Last week we tried to shoot a photo of not one, not two, but three dogs very patiently watching and waiting for one morsel from the handful of Mini Naturals that was positioned before them. It went exactly as you’d imagine, but I think we finally got the shot.
Keep your eyes peeled for this and other fresh new photos that will filter in over the next few months, and let us know what you think!
Speaking of photos, Zuke’s has a new webpage for the Fuel the Love campaign. This webpage aggregates #FuelTheLove submissions to Instagram, Vine, and YouTube, as well as those submitted directly to our website. Fuel the Love also has its own tab on our website, so drop in any time and check out all the wonderful entries. For each qualifying entry, Zuke’s will donate $5 to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund.
Share with everyone you know, make your own videos, tag your own photos, tell your own stories -- just tag to #FuelTheLove and @ZukesPets.
http://www.zukes.com/site/sesame-nutrition-for-dogs#When:15:33:39ZDiscover the Health Benefits of Sesame for Your Dog!
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is an African and Indian native that is now grown in tropical climates all over the world. Sesame has enjoyed popularity for millennia. In fact, this was one of the plants found in Tutankhaman’s tomb, and there are 3,500 year old records of sesame being grown near the Tigris and Euprates Rivers. Many people associate sesame with Chinese and Indian recipes, and, indeed, sesame has been an important food in both places for thousands of years as well as in the Middle East (think tahini).
Juliet de Bairacli Levy, the famous herbalist and animal care specialist, liked making tahini (essentially, sesame seed paste) and using it as an easily digestible supplement to her dogs’ diet. She even made her own sesame bars to use as training aids for her Afghan hounds, and also recommended sesame oil as a food supplement for cats (1)
Sesame seeds are packed with nutrients. They are over 50% oil by weight with oleic acid, currently being studied for its antitumor effects, and linoleic acids comprising the majority of the fatty acids. The seeds are about a quarter protein by weight and also contain vitamin B3, folic acid (vitamin B9) and vitamin E, along with significant levels of calcium. In my private practice, I often try to get clients who eat lots of commercial nuts (which often contain rancid fats) to switch to raw sesame seeds as a source of fatty acids and protein. They’re great on salads, sprinkled on salmon, chicken or beef (after cooking is done), added to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies...the list goes on. Dogs like the flavor, so sesame seeds, especially ground into a paste, may induce animals with low appetite to eat. They even provide digestive support in that they lubricate the intestines, helping with issues associated with dryness, like some forms of constipation.
Sesame is traditionally used for “deficient” conditions. This means convalescent, weak or otherwise debilitated animals (or people). It’s good for those who have been sick for a while and need some “building” foods. Traditionally, sesame seeds are also used as a tonic food to support healthy liver and kidney function. Research seems to support the liver protective (hepatoprotective) effects of sesame (2). Sesame may also influence storage of glycogen by the liver, through a process of storing and, thereby lowering, blood sugar.
More on Sesame’s Healthy Fatty Acids
Healthy fatty acids are necessary for every cell in the body. The membrane of each cell is made up of fatty acids. The membrane not only serves as a barrier between a cell and its surroundings, it also is important in cell-to-cell communication. Fatty acids are also required for production of many hormones in your furry friend’s body, and for the health of their skin and coat. Many dietary sources of fatty acids tend to go rancid quickly; for example, flax seed oil and pre-ground flax seeds. Rancidity is another way of referring to oxidative damage or “rust”. Sesame seeds, on the other hand, actually protect against lipid oxidation (lipid “rust”), which is a process whereby oxidized dietary fats spread the rust to cellular membranes in the body and disrupt cellular health and function. The liver, one of the most important metabolic and detoxifying organs of the body, is particularly sensitive to oxidized fats. Sesame contains multiple antioxidant (anti-rust) lignans, including sesamol, sesamin, sesaminol and sesamolin that, in human research, show blood pressure and cholesterol lowering activity (3). The antioxidant effects, along with traditional uses of the seeds, have prompted studies into sesame as support for those with dementia (4). Such chemicals may even increase the shelf life of foods containing sesame.
As mentioned, sesame is high in calcium. A recent study suggests sesame may be useful for support in osteopenia and osteoporosis. The study found that sesamin, a component of sesame, may have the ability to stimulate bone synthesis (5). In addition, sesame may provide some relief for those suffering from osteoarthritis. A human clinical trial found a significant difference in clinical signs and symptoms in those who ate 40 grams of sesame seeds daily during the two month study period (6), so maybe it’s not a bad idea to feed your aging four-legged baby some sesame.
Sesame seeds are part of our Hip Action recipe, but you can easily make some sesame seed paste and add a spoonful to your dogs’ food a few times a week. She’ll thank you for it, and you’ll get to eat any leftover paste!
de Bairacli Levy, J (1992) The complete herbal handbook for the dog and cat. Faber and Faber Limited, Bloomsbury House, London.
Kamal-Eldin, A, et al (2011) Sesame seed lignans: potent physiological modulators and possible ingredients in functional foods & nutraceuticals. Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 3(1):17-29.
Dar, AA and N Arumugam (2013) Lignans of sesame: purification methods, biological activities and biosynthesis--a review. Bioorg Chem. 50:1-10.
Shakir, T, et al (2013) An exploration of the potential mechanisms and translational potential of five medicinal plants for applications in Alzheimer's disease. Am. J. Neurodegener. Dis. 2(2)70-88.
Wanachewin, O. et al (2012) Sesamin stimulates osteoblast differentiation through p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK signaling pathways. BMC Complement Altern Med. 12:71.
Eftekhar Sadat, B. et al (2013) Effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Rheum Dis. 16(5):578-82.
Anna-Marija Helt, PhD, is a research scientist-turned herbalist who practices and teaches at Osadha Herbal Wellness in Durango, Colorado. She is also Zeke and Milo’s human. ]]>2013-11-22T15:33:39+00:00
That is why we created #FuelTheLove. We wanted a program where we could celebrate your dogs and the love of life that they have when they are playing and having fun. We wanted to create something we could all do together that would help dogs and their families when they need it most. And we wanted to spread the word about a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts.
The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund provides grants to families whose pets are suffering from cancer. These grants are help pay for the very expensive treatments their dog or cat needs. With six million dogs – and a similar number of cats – diagnosed with cancer each year, it is organizations like the DCCFund that we need so desperately – they are in the trenches with the families, offering support directly where it’s needed most.
We can’t think of a better way to give back to the pet community than to raise money for this cause! And with the #FuelTheLove campaign – you can help without spending a dime:
For every action-packed picture/video posted to Twitter or Instagram, Zuke’s will give $5 to The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund! Just tag the photo with @ZukesPets and #FuelTheLove!
Our goal is to donate $10,000 ... help us make it happen!
Holiday dinner: What a delicious feast! Quite often we don’t want to deprive our animals the joy of partaking in this meal. A bite or two is usually fine, keeping in mind to keep portion sizes small. Be cautious of poultry skins, gravy, and rich cuts of meat. These can cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, and potentially painful pancreas problems due to the high fat contents of these foods. We veterinarians expect at least a couple cases of pancreatitis to come in to see us in the days following Thanksgiving.
Dangerous treats: Please avoid giving your pets the following foods: Chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions, alcoholic beverages, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, and raw bread dough. These can all cause serious to fatal reactions that can quickly put a damper in our holiday festivities.
Guest stress: As visitors arrive throughout the season, our normal routines can quickly get disrupted. This is especially difficult for our pets. Try to keep feeding, walking, and play routines as close to normal as possible. Make sure sensitive dogs and cats have a safe place they can retreat to in order to escape any perceived chaos. Look into Rescue Remedy®, Feliway®, or Adaptil™/DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) products to use if your pet seems especially stressed. These are all drug-free anxiety aids for pets, available at most major pet stores.
Décor Danger: Please pay attention to the types of decorations you choose to put up. Styrofoam and glass ornaments may not look tasty to us, but are common objects for pets to ingest and cause stomach and intestinal obstructions. Ornaments sculpted from salt-based dough cause severe electrolyte imbalances and can lead to seizures or even death. Tinsel is particularly hazardous for cats. It sparkles and moves in a way that cats are drawn to it and often swallow it, causing severe intestinal bunching that requires emergency surgery to fix. It is a good idea to keep this out of your home or limit it to the upper branches of your tree.
Holiday plants: Mistletoe, poinsettias, lilies, holly, and sharp pine needles all cause illnesses in pets. Keep them out of reach! Also be sure to secure your Christmas tree so it is not at risk to topple over onto your pet.
Automotive hazards: Antifreeze, even in very small amounts, can cause rapid kidney failure in dogs and cats. It is best to keep pets out of the garage year-round, but especially during the colder months when cars may leak these hazardous fluids.
Plugs and cords: Extension cords and holiday lights attract curious pets. If chewed—and this is more common than you might think—can cause mouth and throat burns.
Wrapping woes: Like tinsel, ribbons and strings look like toys to cats and are harmful if swallowed. Cloth and wrapping paper can cause obstructions in dogs and cats.
Awesome aversives: Hopefully I haven’t completely discouraged you from any and all holiday celebrations. I just want you to be vigilant from potential hazards around the home. Aversives—products that encourage your pet away from dangerous objects—can be helpful. Low-tech aversives include double stick tape or contact paper to dissuade your cat from approaching a tree ripe with dangling ornaments. Cats hate having sticky things on their foot pads! Baby gates are good for keeping a curious dog out of a specific area as well. High-tech products like motion sensor noise makers or Scat Mats® can help if a pet is particularly stubborn.
Glorious gifts: I’ve saved the best for last. What types of gifts can we give to our pets that are safe? A brief word of caution: Novelty holiday toys for pets tend to be more flimsy and easily chewed apart and destroyed. You can still give them, just be sure to closely watch your pet after giving them a new toy. A safe bet would be a comfy new bed, durable chew toys, a cool new collar, or perhaps some organic catnip. Of course, you could never go wrong with a bag or two of Zuke’s treats!
Disclaimer: This information is educational in nature and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment.
Jennifer Deming, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and member of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition. She strives to improve her patients' wellness through nutrition counseling and preventative medicine. Dr. Deming lives, works, and plays in the beautiful community of Durango, Colorado.]]>2013-11-06T14:06:21+00:00
The Marin Headlands is at the southern most tip of Marin County just north of the city and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Although the 12,000 acres that make up the Headlands offer gorgeous beaches, miles of trails for hikers, twisting hills for cyclists and an abundance of flowers and wildlife to enjoy, it’s the views draw people in.
The Headlands boasts spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and of San Francisco, gifting both amateur and professional photographers with flawless opportunities to take postcard-quality pictures. Many of the most famous pictures of the city have been taken from Kirby Cove. In fact, one of Zuke’s most famous pictures from Kirby Cove can be found on our new packages of Skinny Bakes – the sky is so blue you can see a great view of the city behind Zuke!
But the best part of this destination is that you can explore it with your pup. So pack a bag with a leash, snacks for you both (they don’t have any food vendors at the park), water (they don’t have any water at the park either), and a windbreaker, and head to the Headlands! Start your explorations at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. It’s here that upon request they will give you a map of the dog-friendly trails and inform you of any closings or changes in dog-centric policies. After that, it’s time to have some fun:
Rodeo Beach and South Rodeo Beach – Watch your dog frolic with wild abandon on this stretch of beach that has been dedicated to off-leash fun.
Muir Beach – Located in a little “town” inside of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Beach allows pups to play in the surf while kayakers and boogie boarders enjoy their water sports. Natural wonders abound in the area and offer fun exploring opportunities.
Fort Mason – The perfect destination for the history buff, Fort Mason was an Army post for more than 100 years. With over 49 buildings spread out over 1,200 acres, there is plenty to explore.
Wolf Ridge Loop – This 5.5-mile loop takes you into the headlands for a tour of military ruins, vistas, wildlife and sightseeing views. The hike will take an average of 3 hours to complete and is considered a vigorous walk.
Coast Trail – This trail takes explorers from the Golden Gate Bridge to the junction with Wolf Ridge Trail. This wide dirt trail parallels the ocean and is the start of all the great sites in the Marin Headlands.
Other areas that are open to dogs, either on leash or under voice control, include Fort Baker, Stinson Beach, Miwok Trail, Fire Road, Oakwood Valley Trail, County View Road, Loop Trail and Alta Ave. Be sure to check ahead with the National Park Service to see the rules for traveling with a pet for each of these locations.
We suggest taking the time to drive along Conzelman Road from the northern foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Along this five-mile stretch you will witness awe-inspiring views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.
We also recommend going in the fall. According to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, September and October bring the highest average temperatures and the longest stretches of clear skies. But no matter the season, the wind never stops, so be sure to dress appropriately. Another reason to go in the fall is the migration of birds of prey. Each year, more than 20,000 raptors fly over the Headlands. This spectacular sight is not to be missed!
As with all parks, there are rules to protect us, our dogs, our fellow adventurers and the nature that we are enjoying, so know what they are ahead of time and go prepared. Lastly, it’s tick country, so check yourself and your dog when you get home.]]>2013-11-04T17:06:15+00:00
http://www.zukes.com/site/health-and-heart-of-canine-cancer#When:18:07:54ZAn Interview with Dr. Gregory Ogilvie
There’s one word no person wants to hear in relation to their human family members or their beloved pets: cancer. There are numerous stressors in the process of cancer extending far beyond the diagnosis. Cancer is not only taxing for the pet, but the human family as well.
Dr. Gregory Ogilvie, DVM, is a leading oncology specialist who addresses not only the health of an animal with cancer, but also the mental and emotional health of both pet and person during the process. Health, emotions and stress levels are intricately linked when it comes to wellness for the dog and the human family, with each area influencing the other.
When a dog is ill with cancer, they are impacted by the physical and medical changes that occur with the disease. But just as importantly, when a dog’s routine and ability to interact normally with their human pack is changed, they can become distressed and upset. The change in the dog’s behavior and their display of physical discomfort also impacts their humans, creating a cycle. Canines are incredibly perceptive and easily pick up cues of human emotions. When their human becomes upset and frightened, it confuses and alarms the dog.
Dr. Ogilvie recognizes the dog is so innately bonded to people, that changes in the person’s behavior and emotions have direct influence upon the dog. “When pets are hurting, it hurts their people. When the people are hurting, this hurts the pet,” said Dr. Ogilvie.
The link cannot be sidestepped, according to Dr. Ogilvie. The greatest comfort and healing are provided when not only treating the pet physically, but also their person emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the process. When the human family is comforted, the dog benefits as well, as much of their comfort and emotion is tied to the people closest to them.
Dr. Ogilvie has decades of experience both in treating cancer in pets, and in helping families go through the emotionally challenging process of cancer. From years of practice and seeing what has helped his patients the most, Dr. Ogilvie has incredible wisdom on how to best deal with a cancer diagnosis and treatment to provide peace for both human and pet.
Find the facts. Cancer is the most curable of all chronic diseases, it’s also the most preventable of all chronic diseases. “There are so many myths and misconceptions about cancer that immediately blot out hope for people when they get the diagnosis for their pet. Hope is suffocated upon diagnosis in many cases when people are flooded with fears from all of the things they’ve heard about cancer and cancer therapy. If a dog was diagnosed with a different disease, like dermatitis or Cushing’s Disease there is an entirely different emotional feeling that goes along with diagnosis. The diagnosis of cancer is emotionally paralyzing and can extinguish their ability to reason and cope with the situation,” says Dr. Ogilvie.
One of the best things a person can do upon diagnosis is to educate themselves as much as possible about the cancer and treatment process before jumping to the worst conclusions. “In many cases, upon diagnosis the family braces immediately for the imminent loss of their pet with anticipatory grief. In most cases though, with treatment, the dog is healthy and happy and living a high quality life with the family for years to come. Cancer is more treatable than people think,” says Dr. Ogilvie.
Emotional health for the family. The more positive a person can be, the better, as their influence will touch other family members and their dog. This doesn’t mean denying the fears and stress involved with the process. “Opening up emotionally and admitting the fears involved can spearhead healing and emotional resolve in the process. Physicians are realizing it’s not only important to treat the pet physically, but just as importantly, giving the person an idea of the emotional process and financial commitment to expect with the cancer treatment,” said Dr. Ogilvie.
Support groups with other individuals dealing with cancer in their pets can be helpful, as opening up emotionally to others who understand brings healing. The more emotionally stable the person, the better off the pet and the rest of the human family will be.
“People often forget how their attitudes and actions influence those around them; both pets and people. People act differently when they’re sad or frightened and normal living patterns change. The person may act bewildered or will be actively grieving, and the pet notices the change. Pets are perceptive and they pick up on the changes and realize that something is wrong. Just as when a person is having a bad day and you can sense and feel that, the pets also pick that up. When people are aware of how their joy or sadness, peace or anxiety will affect their pet, changes are made,” said Dr. Ogilvie.
Dogs pick up on the emotions of people, and in turn, can become anxious or depressed. “When I point out to people how their attitude impacts their dog, they almost always recognize it as true, and find ways to balance out their own emotions to bring peace to those around them,” says Dr. Ogilvie. “A powerful aspect of caring for the pet is actually caring for yourself,” says Dr. Ogilvie.
Don’t forget the family. Animals in the household of an animal with the cancer diagnosis notice the change in interaction and the extra attention and food given to the animal with cancer. “It’s common for the non-cancer patient animals to act out to get attention, such as chewing on items and being more hyperactive in the home. They may also display depression and will sulk. Spending the extra time to love on the pets in the home that are cancer free will help ease the tension and stress they may feel with all of the changes in the home,” said Dr. Ogilvie.
Quality time. There are countless studies about how pets help people physically and emotionally. We often forget though that people can also bring qualities of healing to the pets they love. “Medicine in a powerful tool in helping pets, but there’s more to healing than medical intervention,” says Dr. Ogilvie. Dr. Ogilvie did a study with pets, testing a nutritional diet with two control groups of pets, one of which was just given the food in a bowl and the second group that was directly monitored with active participation from the human family when given their food. Numerous positive effects improving metabolic and physical changes in the dogs came from the diet alone, but even more so, the interaction in the second group of dogs had the most dramatic effects. The dogs given individual attention did better than the dogs without. The type of interaction differed from person to person, from sitting next to the pet while they ate their food to hand feeding their meal. “There is something powerful about the relationship between people and animals. The compassionate care from personal interaction was at least as powerful as the cancer treatment and specialty diet. Interacting with the pet can change the physical and mental state of the animal. It’s just as powerful as any medicine or surgery,” said Dr. Ogilvie.
The more a pet is able to feel loved, the better they heal.
It’s natural when a pet is sick with cancer that their human family takes to spoiling their animal friend in the form of high caloric and larger portioned foods, resulting in an overweight or obese dog. The problem with too much spoiling in the form of food is that excess weight puts other strains on the animal’s body, making the body’s ability to heal or deal with pain more difficult.
The best demonstration of love differs for each pet. Just like humans, dogs have different ways they prefer to be shown love. Whether it’s taking the pet to their favorite spot on the beach or their desired destination at the park, or playing with their favorite toy, the way to best show love is unique for each canine.
Spiritual Awareness. A large percentage of people and physicians believe that prayer and spirituality is an important part of health and healing. One study found 80% of people polled believed spiritual faith was effective for treating disease, and 48% of people wanted their physicians to pray for them. Of 296 physicians at an American Academy of Family Physicians meeting, 90% believe that religious beliefs heal, and 75% believed prayer had power to enhance a patient’s recovery.
“Whether the person believes it’s the true direct healing power of prayer that intercedes for the person and animal, or if it’s a physical or biochemical mental change that provides healing, or the placebo effect, the effects of spirituality are a measurable, effective aspect of healing. When patients ask me to pray for them, I absolutely do. I’ve seen many events that are unexplainable through medical science and have been miraculous. Prayer can bring about miraculous change, and just as importantly, provide spiritual and emotional comfort for the person, and in turn, the pet.” says Dr. Ogilvie.
A leading expert in companion animal cancer, Dr. Gregory K. Ogilvie, DVM is both a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DACVIM) in Internal Medicine and Oncology, as well as a European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine-Companion Animal (DECVIM-CA) in Oncology. He is the director of the Angel Care Cancer Center at California Veterinary Specialists, president of the Special Care Foundation for Companion Animals and is a Professor and Program Director of Veterinary Oncology at the University of California-San Diego, Moores Cancer Center.
A skilled dog-trainer, Mikkel Becker, CPDT, KA, CTC, is an honors graduate of the rigorous and prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco SPCA. Mikkel is also a graduate of the Purdue University DOGS! course and the Karen Pryor Academy. She currently works as a training expert for Vetstreet.com, a canine evaluator at The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a resident pet expert for Scholastic Magazine, and a contributing author to Parade Magazine, House and Home, and Cat Fancy Magazine. Mikkel also provides private behavior consultations and group classes for dog owners.]]>2013-11-01T18:07:54+00:00
http://www.zukes.com/site/from-the-inside-meet-the-breeds#When:20:28:12ZAKC or TICA in one place? Would you like to?
Once a year the AKC has a dog and cat fest called “Meet the Breeds” that allows people to walk the aisles of the Jacob Javits Convention Center and, you guessed it, meet the breeds. Over 250 breeds of dogs and cats are represented, each receiving its own booth space to hang out and be greeted by the roughly 40,000 people that attend the event. I have never seen anything like it. Bernese Mountain Dogs are mingling with their Bichon Frise neighbors while Spanish Water Dogs are saying “Hola!” to the Spanish Mastiffs next door. The best breed booths also included their human counterparts being in all-out theme costumes to fully represent the breed. Think Scottish Terriers handled by folks in matching tartan kilts (I didn’t ask). It is a fun environment to meet breeds you don’t know, and visit with those that have a special place in your heart.
As if thousands of dogs and cats were enough to see, during the event there are also demonstrations in the middle of the event space. These included a demonstration to showcase K9 Police dogs in action, dog agility, disc dogs, as well as showing how Military bomb sniffing dogs do what they do. It was pretty fascinating stuff that entertained folks and gave them great inspiration for the future of training their pet.
Being there as a vendor to sample our products to future and current pet owners was outstanding. It has been really neat to see what questions people have, and how they are going about picking what items they want to feed their animals. The level of knowledge and the depth of questions have increased dramatically over the past few years, which continues to fuel what is important to us. Listening to folks we met last year share stories about their Zuke’s fans, both dogs and cats, makes us smile. We’re so proud to be a part of this crazy pet world!
We were also able to connect with the breeds and breeders, and make sure they had samples and product to use throughout the weekend. I have to say, judging by the level of slobber on my jeans at the end of each day, there were some very passionate four-legged fans in the building.
The best thing I experienced all weekend was families trying to decide which breed of dog or cat fit their lives. It was like watching the last piece of the puzzle being moved into place, and you could feel the happiness and excitement radiating from everyone involved. ]]>2013-10-24T20:28:12+00:00
In the cardiovascular department, garlic supports blood vessel health, and particularly helps to prevent atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is hardening and clogging of the arteries caused by inflammation and oxidative damage to the blood vessel wall and also by oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Garlic lowers blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure through multiple mechanism (3). The effects on blood pressure are not long lasting, so garlic must be eaten regularly for optimal effect. Raw, pickled or cooked garlic will work.
Talking about the cardiovascular system brings up a rare but potentially dangerous disorder called hemolytic anemia that can arise if a dog eats too much garlic, onion or other allium family member. However, in order to trigger this disorder, a dog would have to eat significantly more garlic than the level commonly found in dog treats; so much so that eating an entire bag of the average garlic-containing dog treat still wouldn’t come close to this level.
Based on the results of research studies (eg. 4), Milo, who weighs about 16 pounds, would have to eat about 7 cloves of garlic to start the process that results in this particular form of anemia. Zeke weighs 60 pounds and would have to eat about 27 cloves of garlic. Some breeds, such as Schnauzers (5, 6), may be more susceptible. To get the benefits and avoid unwanted issues, you can add small amounts to your dog’s food - say 1/8 teaspoon per pound of food a few days a week (7). Also, it’s best to avoid garlic in animals with known blood clotting issues and in young puppies. Also, note that cats don’t seem to tolerate regular feeding of garlic the way that dogs do (2).
Back to the uses. Garlic’s volatile oils -- the stinky stuff -- go right to the lungs after ingestion, or even after rubbing raw garlic on the skin (watch out for the burn!). This is useful because the oils are strongly anti-microbial and are useful for support during respiratory infection. This is an old use of garlic in both people and dogs (1), and this use requires using raw garlic, which is quite a bit stinkier than dried garlic powder or cooked garlic, which have lost their anti-microbial punch. Pickled garlic retains some of it’s anti-cold and flu properties. Garlic was a main ingredient in “Four Thieves Vinegar”, a concoction still made today (I use it during cold and flu season). As legend goes, four thieves in the Middle Ages used the vinegar to protect themselves from the plague as they looted the houses of the dead and dying during the Black Death.
Moving to the gut, garlic is a traditional anti-parasitic herb that may help to expel unwanted hangers-on in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (1, 2, 7). In fact, it has been used for a variety of GI tract invaders: Viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, worms and protists like giardia.
We here at Zuke’s are friends with the Dog Cat Cancer Fund, so I want to mention that garlic may be a useful part of a cancer preventative program due to the many activities of it’s sulfur-containing components in the body. For example, some of these smelly components boost immune system activity, and a robust immune system is important for preventing tumor growth. Others may inhibit oxidative processes that lead to cancer. If you were to do a search on www.pubmed.gov you would see that cancer prevention is one of the better-studied aspect of garlic! Though, it may be dry reading for those of you who aren’t science nerds...
Garlic can be found in safe and yummy amounts in Hip Action and Z Filets.
1) de Bairacli Levy, J (1992) The complete herbal handbook for the dog and cat. Faber and Faber Limited, Bloomsbury House, London.
2) Wulff-Tilford, ML & GL Tilford (1999) All you ever wanted to know about herbs for pets. Bowtie Press, Irvine, CA.
3) Rahman K, and GM Lowe (2006) Garlic and cardiovascular disease: a critical review. J. Nutr. 136 (3 Suppl): 736S-740S.
4) Lee KW, et al (2000) Hematologic changes associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes after intragastric administration of garlic extract to dogs. Am. J. Vet. Res. 61: 1446-50.
5) Kang MH and HM Park (2010) Hypertension after ingestion of baked garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog. J. Vet. Med. Sci. 72: 515-8.
6) Yamato, O (2005) Heinz body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 41: 68-73.
7) Kidd, R, DVM, PhD (2000) Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Dog Care. Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.
Anna-Marija Helt, Ph.D., is a research scientist-turned herbalist who practices and teaches at Osadha Herbal Wellness in Durango, Colorado. She is also Zoe and Milo’s human. ]]>2013-10-18T14:00:57+00:00