The Truth About Rawhide

The Truth About Rawhide

By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

We all know that dogs love rawhide.  Dogs love a lot of things that are NOT good for them, don't they?  I cringe when I see a dog chewing on rawhide.  As a veterinarian too many times I have seen terrible illnesses, unnecessary surgeries and death due to chewing on rawhide. 

We've all seen it.  They chew and chew and chew.  This piece of rawhide gets bigger and bigger and bigger.  They try to swallow it and choke, gag and sputter. Sometimes it stays down, often they vomit or have diarrhea, and sometimes they end up at the veterinary clinic.  

If that doesn't ring familiar, let me tell what rawhide is and how it is processed. Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top part is tanned and made into leather products, while the inner portion, in its “raw” state, goes to make rawhide for our pets. Since there are no hairy rawhides, hair is removed using a highly toxic process  called sodium sulphide liming.  The hides are washed and whitened by using hydrogen peroxide.  Residues of arsenic and formaldehyde routinely show up in rawhide.  Since the FDA does not consider rawhide food, these chemicals can be used on them.  Sometimes artifical color is added as well as glue to make unique designs or twists.  

Wait a minute - if the FDA doesn't consider rawhide food, WHY are we feeding this to our sweet dogs?  

Thankfully, there is a wonderful alternative!  Did you know there is a digestible alternative to rawhides?  They are "no-hide" chews.  They look and feel just like rawhide but they are completely digestible. The protein flavors (beef, chicken, salmon or pork) are all human grade and sourced in the US from humanely-raised animals. The salmon is wild-caught. The ingredients – olive oil, brown rice, eggs, gelatin and the naturally-derived enzymes from banana and pineapple (bromelain) – are mixed together with the protein flavor. In Earth Animal's proprietary cooking process, the mixture is hand-rolled into its shape, hand-basted with a slurry of the protein flavor (chicken, beef, pork or salmon) and individually air-dried to form the long lasting, tasty chew.   They come in 4 inch or 7 inch chews, and also rawhide sticks for small dogs - click here to purchase.


The secret on how to stop tear stains - forever!

The secret on how to stop tear stains - forever!

By:  Debbie Reynolds DVM

What the heck causes tear stains, anyways?  They really can change the way your dog looks quite drastically.  Tear stains are easy to spot. They’re that brownish-red line of stained fur that trails from the inner corner of the eye, and it’s most noticeable on white dogs because of the contrast between the natural fur color and the stained fur.

Any dog or cat can have tear stains, but it’s more common in short-nosed dogs/cats, and more noticeable on lighter furred pets.

So what are tear stains, and what can be done about it? Tear staining results when tears spill out of the eye. This typically occurs for one of two reasons:

  • an excess production of tears (the medical term is epiphora), or
  • decreased drainage of tears

So it is important to make sure there isn't some medical problem causing your pet's eyes to have excessive tearing.  Oftentimes, there is nothing wrong medically.  The comformation of some pet's eyes just allow excess tearing.

So, if it’s just tears, what’s with the brown staining? In cats and dogs (and other pets, too), saliva and tears contain porphyrins, which are products of the breakdown of red blood cells. Because of the iron content of porphyrins, tears and saliva can turn the fur brown. This is what makes allergic dogs who chew their feet noticeable immediately—salivary staining on their paws!  

Thankfully, there is an all natural way to remove this staining - with Vet Classics Tear Stain Supplement.  Not only is it all natural - but it is 100% guaranteed!  We love working with companies like Vet Classics because they simply stand behind their product.  It is safe for your dog to use long term - and if it doesn't work, you get your money back.  

Please do note, however, that you must trim the currently stained hair, it won't remove the stains that are there.  It just protects hair from being stained.  

Give this product a try!  You have nothing to lose, and your pet's pretty face to gain!  Click here to purchase.



Everything you should know about PROBIOTICS and how they benefit your pet.

Everything you should know about PROBIOTICS and how they benefit your pet.

By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

Most people know about probiotics.  They are the opposite of antibiotics.  ANTIbiotics kill bacteria.  PRObiotics replenish bacteria.  The good ones, that is.  It is well known that we humans need probiotics.  The same is true for our companion pets.  They need probiotics, too!  

Good bacteria are crucial for the health of your cat or dog’s gut. But they also support the brain, digestion, assimilation of nutrients and – best of all –  the immune system. Boosting your pet’s immune system is probably the most important role of probiotics.

Our favorite product for getting NATURAL probiotics combined with digestive enzymes is The Honest Kitchen's Pro Bloom Goat's Milk.  It is convenient, cost effective, and a treat your dog will love.  There are endless ways to use it:  as a stand alone drink, poured over dog food, frozen in ice cube trays, and dogs and cats absolutely love it.  Pro Bloom is immune and digestive support with a whopping 5 billion active probiotics and digestive enzymes, so it’s good for your pet and their gut. 

Immune System

As much as 80% of your pet's immune system is based in the gut. Different probiotics pair with almost every different part of the immune system that we know of.  Viruses and bacteria enter the body through the mouth and probiotics are present starting in the mouth and throughout your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Maintaining the good bacteria keeps pathogens in check and is your pet’s primal immune system.  A good balance of probiotics helps reduce inflammation throughout your dog or cat's  body – and that lowers susceptibility to illness and chronic disease.


The most common use for probiotics in people is to help with gastrointestinal issues.  The same is true for our pets!  It can help with diarrhea or constipation, nausea, frequent bowel movements, or just about anything that is out of whack with the gut.  Replenishing the good bacteria makes things work better.  


The flora that lives in the gut is in charge of producing neurotransmitters and neuropeptides needed for brain health. The gut is filled with nerve cells so probiotics in the gut can also support brain function.  Probiotics also make some important hormones that are needed in the body.  

Digestive Enzymes

These are added to Pro Bloom and just about every dog or cat can benefit from them. They simply allow your pet's food (whatever it may be) to be digested to the full!  They will benefit from as much nutrition as possible from their current diet.  These enzymes (amylase and lipase) make it easier for your pet's pancreas to digest their food.  Especially if your dog or cat eats dry kibble, this will be of benefit.  Dry kibble has about 30% starches and carbohydates which your pet's body wasn't meant to try to digest.  These added enzymes will help.  


The bottom line:  a healthy gut prevents disease, improves digestion, aids in better nutrient absorption and boosts the immune system.  If you want your pet to live a long healthy life, be proactive!  Supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes daily.  Or at least a few times weekly.  Try Pro Bloom Goat's Milk by The Honest Kitchen, it has everything you need in one convenient product that has a long shelf life and can be given in different forms of treats - anything from warm milk to frozen treats!  Your dog or cat will be happy and healthy!  


The natural and safe hairball solution your cat will LOVE.

The natural and safe hairball solution your cat will LOVE.

By:  Debbie Reynolds DVM

When we find an amazing product that solves a common problem - we get excited about sharing it!  

Cocotherapy is a family owned business who we partner with at Veterinary Home Healthcare and The Blessed Pet Shop.  They do everything from growing and harvesting their own coconuts in the Phillipines to making and packaging the products.  When you have a relationship like this, you have something important - trust.

We know they make high quality products and they stand behind them.  That's why we were thrilled when they launched a new product just for cats.  This product is called Cocotherapy Hairball Plus.  Cats love it so much more than the standard laxatone products, and it is much more healthy and natural for them.    

LET ME EXPLAIN HAIRBALLS (they're not what you think):

By the time you see a hairball, the problem is really bad!  Don't wait to see one before you treat your cat.  Cats groom.  Period.  They ALL ingest hair.  They groom, they ingest.  Hair gets in the stomach.  If all goes according to plan, the hair comes out in the stool.  If they groom excessively or have long hair or have a plumbing problem, the hair starts to build up in the stomach.  If it can't pass through the intestines and out via the stool, then it starts clogging up the system and your cat will start coughing.  If they gag and wretch until they cough up a hairball, that hair has been in there a long time.  

You should supplement your cat with something like this intermittently if you don't think it's a big problem; and daily if you think you have a hairball problem.  

CocoTherapy CAT HAIRBALL PLUS is made with only one ingredient, high-fiber organic coconut. It contains NO artificial ingredients, preservatives, and fillers, so you can feel good giving it to your kittens and cats -- even those with sensitive stomachs or food allergies! Coconut fiber passes through the intestines and has a much greater impact on intestinal transit time. It increases stool bulk to help waste (including hair) pass through more efficiently. 

Not only is it beneficial for managing hairballs; it also benefits your cat in several ways:

Helps your cat pass hairballs more easily by adding moisture and bulk to his/her stool
 Unlike other hairball formula treatments, this one does NOT contain phytic acid, which depletes your cat of vitamins and minerals
 Contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) to support healthy immune response
 Supports healthy skin and coat. This means less shedding!
 Supports digestive health and gastrointestinal tract function
 Supports healthy weight
 Safe for kittens and pregnant cats
 Safe for long-term use

If you have a cat, and your cat grooms, this product is for you!  Click here to purchase!  



What Can I Do If My Cat Hates Medicine?

What Can I Do If My Cat Hates Medicine?

Let's face it - cats are in charge and they don't like medicine.  Many of my clients cringe when I ask them if they can give their cat medication.  Many have battle scars from trying to do just that.  

Here's some good news - essential oils made especially for cats, can treat many conditions and completely solves that problem.  You simply pet a few drops on your cat and voila!  Done. 

The essential oil with the most broad spectrum use is called Kitty Boost (purchase here).  It can help in the same way a vitamin can, which is overall health and immune boosting.  It can also be used to treat specific conditions.  

One of the most common uses is for arthritis in older cats.  It is applied to the hip area and you will be able to notice a difference immediately.  I began seeing a new patient when she was already 19 years old, and I suggested we start this essential oil for many reasons, including arthritis in her hips and wrists.  The owner couldn't wait to call me and tell me that she had jumped up in her chair - something she hadn't done in years!  

Another common use - and something we often need in cats - is for emotions.  Whether there is a change in their environment, or if it is a multi-cat household, or if company is coming over, this is a great addition to help with the transition.  Cats don't like change.  Period.  When change occurs they can get emotional and that is usually not a good thing.  Kitty Boost can help with this and we almost always use it when we know a new cat or kitten is going to be introduced into the household - on all the pets in the home.

We use this as a go-to supplement for kittens with viral infections (runny nose, sneezing, eye discharge) because it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune boosting.  And there are no harsh side effects from taking a lot of medications.

The ingredients are listed below and the primary benefits of each essential oil in this blend are listed beside them.  There are so many good things that come from this blend, you'll just have to take a minute to soak it all in!

Let's walk through the individual ingredients to give you an idea of how many benefits a KittyBoost contains...

Frankincense which is heavily researched for anti-cancer activity but is also indicated for all forms of cancer, tumors, cysts, behavioral conditions, depression, brain disorders, seizures, immune system stimulation and regulation, autoimmune disorders, DNA repair, and more.  Frankincense is also considered a "life force" oil and has been used extensively in critical cases in our veterinary hospital.  Frankincense also seems to be what we refer to as a "magnifying" oil - which means that is appears to magnify and enhance the effects of other essential oils when they are used concurrently.

Copaiba is incredibly anti-inflammatory - and inflammation is present in all situations of illness.  By eliminating chronic inflammation, healing of the body can take place, as well as the stress of that inflammation can be removed.  Stress depresses the immune system, as well as results in delayed healing - not only from illness, but form surgical procedures and injury.  Copaiba is commonly used for all sorts of urinary conditions, and is especially helpful for the urinary issues that are unfortunately common to see in cats.  FLUTD, Cystitis, and the severe inflammation associated with urinary blockage and drainage are greatly benefited by the proper use of Copaiba with cats.  Copaiba is often used as a replacement of NSAID's (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, for arthritis, skin conditions, and all sorts of pain in our veterinary practice.  Copaiba also tends to magnify the effects of other oils and natural remedies as a regular course of action, and I believe the main pathway for this action is its elimination of associated inflammation, so that the remedy being used can do its proper job.

Helichrysum is truly a miraculous oil, and is worthy of use in almost every condition.  Helichrysum is indicated in cases of blood clots (Saddle Thrombus) as an anticoagulant, but is also used in cases of hemorrhage, bleeding, and bruising.  This is the interesting thing with many natural remedies, is that they tend to bring the body to a point of homeostasis.  Whatever is needed within the body, appears to be honored.  Helichrysum is especially indicated for nerve regeneration and neurologic conditions, hearing impairment, circulatory and blood vessel disorders, heart disease, blood clots, liver disease, hypertension, chelation of chemicals, toxin exposure, poisoning, vaccination detoxification, healing of lacerations and wounds, for control of pain, and as a topical anesthetic.  There is not much that Helichrysum does not contribute to, and it falls into a category of "must have" oils in my opinion.

Oregano has properties which include anti-aging, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulation.  Even alone, this oil is amazing.  Then we add in the Thyme properties of anti-aging, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-oxidant, and immune support for even more benefits.  These are "hot oils", high in phenols, and must be used properly in cats.  Although these oils may carry more concern for some to see in a product for cats, rest assured, that I have used these formulas with thousands of cats, and even have documented blood work safety data for over 3 years on a cat who is getting an application of these oils TWICE A DAY!  These oils are an amazing part of the KittyBoost when used in proper dilution.

Basil is widely used for anti-histamine type properties in our veterinary practice.  Although there have been some cautionary statements in regards to Basil with individuals who seizure or have epilepsy, we have not found this to be an issue when used properly.  The KittyBoost has been a hallmark treatment for many of our patients, especially those with seizures, and although we monitor all animals closely for any sort of adverse response to oils (no matter what the oil is) - in practice we have seen many more benefits than reasons to avoid the use of Basil.  Basil also carries with it benefits of being anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, promoting circulation and decongestion of blood flow, antiviral, and anti-infectious.  It has also been indicated to be helpful with liver and pancreatic concerns, encephalitis, arthritis, and so much more.

Cypress is mainly used to increase circulation, and aids in every condition with this quality.  After all, almost every function in the body relies on proper circulation to work properly.  Resorption of bruises, improvement of circulation, and circulatory disorders are primary attributes of this oil.

Marjoram is well known as one of the "muscle" essential oils, but it is also indicated for body and joint discomfort, arthritis, respiratory conditions (expectorant and mucolytic), ringworm, muscle spasms, muscle conditions, increasing motility of the gastrointestinal tract (promotes intestinal peristalsis), fluid retention, lowering blood pressure, vasodilation, circulatory disorders, and nerve pain.  Marjoram carries effects for menstrual problems and PMS in humans, which appears to carry over into hormonal issues in animals as well.  

Lavender is also well known for use with muscular issues, however, Lavender is an oil that is a veritable "Jack of all trades."  Unfortunately, Lavender is also one of the most adulterated and synthetically altered essential oils on the market today.  Very few available Lavender oils are pure enough to be called veterinary grade, or qualify for use in animals.  We source our Lavender from a grower/distiller that I personally know, and the wonderful qualities of this particular source of oil, is exceptionally suited for use in animals.  We are very fortunate to have continued and excellent access to this limited commodity of high quality oil.  Lavender is especially indicated for skin conditions, ringworm and other fungal infections, for muscular concerns, for calming effects, for burns and frostbite, high blood pressure, cardiac issues, insomnia, and more.

​Peppermint is not typically an oil that we think of first with cats, however it is actually related to Catnip (both in the mint family) - and we hear reports repeatedly of cats licking it off of their owners (after it is absorbed fully into their skin) or rubbing up against an application site!  When used properly in cats, Peppermint is highly beneficial and not overwhelming to their system.  Peppermint is often used as a "driving oil", which means that it appears to enhance the penetration of other oils.  Peppermint's medical properties include anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, anti-parasitic for worms, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, gall bladder and digestive stimulation, pain relief, and appetite suppression (although we also find that it's anti-nausea effects can help cats who are also not eating).  It is indicated for conditions such as arthritis, obesity, Herpes infections, papilloma (warts), candida, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and colic.

Catnip oil is a relative newcomer to the scene of essential oils for animals.  I have been "dabbling" with it for several years, as much of the research associated with it, considers it to be a more effective insect repellent than DEET.  And, of course we know that cats and catnip have a long "romance" if you will.  Catnip oil as an undiluted or neat oil - is actually quite repulsive.  It is intensely strong, and must be diluted for proper use (or if you want other humans to want to be near you!)  Since cats need routine help with flea prevention, treatment and prevention of ear mites, and even repelling of ticks - Catnip oil has become a fun introduction to our veterinary line up.  Not only do cats love it for the "happy feelings" that it brings, but the anti-bug properties are showing amazing promise.

Fennel carries with it benefits for diabetes, blood sugar balancing, urinary tract infections, stimulation of milk production, as well for intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal concerns.

Myrrh, is often referred to as a "Mother Oil" it is that important.  Its medical properties make it well indicated for use in diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, fungal infections, tooth and gum infections, skin conditions, and as an analgesic.  Myrrh is also supportive for many endocrine and hormonal conditions including support of the Thyroid, growth hormone production, pituitary gland function, and hypothalamus function.  Since many cats are prone to Hyperthyroidism, Myrrh is an important inclusion in the KittyBoost.  We also have used Myrrh for pain management in many animals.  When Myrrh is combined with Copaiba and Helichrysum in an oral form (remember, cats are going to be grooming too!) - we have very effective results.  These small amounts and diluted ratios within the KittyBoost, are perfect for cats!

Citronella is also included in the KittyBoost for its safe and documented use for insect repellent properties in humans and animals.  It is widely used for ear mites, mange, fleas, and ticks.

And finally, Melissa essential oil is one of my favorites for cats, and falls into a "must-have" category of oils for me.  Although being quite an expensive oil, not many people were able to afford routine access to it, even when it would make critical differences in their animals' health.  Melissa is a powerful oil with a very high vibrational energy.  Melissa is incredibly anti-viral, and is especially indicated with Herpes Viruses.  Melissa also has very high anti-histamine type actions.  Melissa is used for many conditions including depression, anxiety, viral infections, pruitis (itching), hives, seizures, as a replacement for anti-histamines, anaphylaxis, nausea, indigestion, liver and gall bladder concerns, and even cardiac issues. 

Click here to purchase your own bottle of Kitty Boost!




What Socialization Can Do For Your Puppy

What Socialization Can Do For Your Puppy

We are so excited to offer Puppy Socials at The Blessed Pet Shop!  Please watch our events on our facebook page so you can attend because there are limited seats.

There are some important time periods that you should know about before you get your puppy to help them to be well adjusted in their years to come.  

The Canine Socialization period is from 3-7 weeks.  This occurs before most people even get their dog home.  This is when your dog learns the species-specific behaviors that make him a dog.  Through interaction with mother and littermates, the pup learns the body language, facial expressions and vocalizations of canine communication. It’s important that puppies remain with their littermates for this entire period. Current thinking is that it is beneficial to extend this until 8 to 10 weeks, as long as the breeder provides a rich, stimulated environment.

The Human Socialization period is from 8-12 weeks of age.  This is the time during which the puppy must be socialized with a variety of people and new experiences. Lack of socialization during this time period results in dogs that are frightened of “the new”: people, places, objects, and activities.  They should see people of different colors, ages and sizes.  This is the ideal time for play with other puppies – with the understanding that puppiesneed rest and can become over stimulated.  This is a good time for the introduction to a broad range of experiences, including  training, grooming, hearing loud noises (vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, etc.), seeing delivery and postal services, and even other animals.  Anything that is a part of your life should be introduced to the puppy during this time.  

Fear impact period is from 8-11 wees and is a time when a painful, traumatic
experience can have a lasting effect. This doesn’t mean isolate the puppy – but it does
mean exercise care and avoid frightening, potentially painful experiences: physically
painful, not just new and different.  This is where our Fear Free veterinary visit is really important.  We always want their veterinary visit to be fun and full of treats and love to set them up for a lifetime of stress free visits.  

This is one of the most important times of your puppy's life.  After this time period, it is much more difficult to acclimate puppies to new situations or environments if they haven't already been exposed to it.  It isn't impossible, just more difficult.  

Many people adopt a dog that is already past this time period and can see the problems their new pet has because of improper or no socialization.  Time, patience, training and love can win over the past of your pet.  

You'll Never Guess What Herbal Tea Can Do For Your Dog...

You'll Never Guess What Herbal Tea Can Do For Your Dog...

We love treating our dogs to something special!  We have just what the doctor ordered - whether it be for general health, anxiety, joint health, or dog breath!  We love giving supplements in the most fun way possible and herbal tea is one way to do that.  Your dog is sure to love these herbal teas since they are targeted to your dog's taste and not so much the tea as we think of it.  The teacup is perfect for most any size dog and is very sturdy with a rubber non-skid base.  Click here to look at the different teacup patterns.

The teas are enriched with herbs to supply supplements or health benefits for your dog.  You can buy single tea bags to give them a try for a little over a dollar, or buy a whole tin.

The Daily Brew is a great way to provide daily nutrients to your dog and this blend has a mix of ingredients rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential oils.   Specifically it contains Rooibos, Decaffeinated Green Tea, Chicken, Turmeric, Chicken Bone Broth, Basil, and Cranberries. Click here to purchase The Daily Brew.

No Worries, Mutt  helps your dog to relax.  This blend uses herbs that provide natural anti-anxiety and calming effects.  It contains Valerian Root, Chicken, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Rooibos, Passion Flower, Chicken Bone Broth, and Scullcap.  Click here to purchase No Worries, Mutt.

Leaps and Bounds is for active and/or aging dogs.  The flavorful blend promotes joint health with ingredients that provide natural anti-inflammatories and joint lubricants.  Each bag contains 200 mg of glucosamine.  It contains Tart Red Cherries, Rooibos, Boswellia, Chicken, Glucosamine, Turmeric, Chicken Bone Broth, Ginger, and Ceylon Cinnamon.  Click here to purchase Leaps and Bounds.

Kissably Canine is a blend of tea and anti-microbial herbs that combat lingering bacteria in your dog's mouth and provides natural breath fresheners.  It contains Atlantic Kelp, Peppermint, Fennel, Chicken, Parsley, Rose Hips, Decaffeinated Green Tea, and Chicken Bone Broth.  Click here to purchase Kissably Canine.

 For those of you who need more information about the ingredients - look below!

Rooibos- (Aspalathus linearis) is part of the legume family found in South Africa. Naturally caffeine free, it is a potent anti-oxidant, is anti-allergenic, and is a moderate alleviator of nervous tension. It contains high levels of vitamin C, and is also documented to have anti-carcinogenic effects. 

Decaffeinated Green Tea- (camellia sinensis) is high in anti-oxidants and is widely known in the holistic and general medicinal worlds to help reduce risk of heart-related illness such as hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Chicken- Because dogs like it! Steamed chicken meat with rosemary extract. 

Turmeric- (Curcuma longa) is a vibrant member of the ginger family. This spice has been used for centuries in Siddha medicine, and is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. It is also used to treat gastrointestinal ailments.

Chicken Bone Broth- rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorous.

Basil- (ocimum basilicum) is a member of the mint family rich in vitamins A & K, phyto-nutrients beta-carotene and lutein-zeaxanthin, minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, and multiple essential oils. Basil is an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant.

Cranberry- (vaccinium macrocarpon) this tart little wonder is rich in a number of vitamins (very high in Vitamin C), minerals, anti-oxidants, probiotics, polyphenols, and flavonoids, and has superb anti-inflammatory properties.

Atlantic Kelp- (Ascophyllum nodosum) is an herb that comes from deep under the sea where the seaweed thrives on sunlight and takes in nutrients and minerals present in the water. Bacillus lichenformis is a form of helpful bacteria found in kelp that, when present in the oral cavity, releases an enzyme that breaks down the bad bacteria which lead to the formation of dental plaques and tartar. Kelp offers other important immune system health benefits for dogs. It is rich in nutrients, is an anti-carcinogen, supports glandular health, blood health, and gastrointestinal health, is anti-diabetic, and lowers LDL cholesterol. Our kelp is organically grown in clean Canadian Atlantic waters. Not recommended for use during pregnancy, due to natural iodine content

Peppermint- (menthe piperita) has been used medicinally for thousands of years to help treat bad breath, the common cold, to calm inflammations and to soothe digestive problems.

Fennel- (foeniculum vulgare) is rich in phytoestrogens and is often used for irritable bowel and improving digestive system. Fennel relaxes the smooth muscle lining the digestive tract, making it an antispasmodic. They also help in the absorption of food stuff – thereby helping to keep your dog’s teeth clean and helping with digestion.

Parsley- (petroselinum) is rich in vitamin A, C, folic acids and antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is often added to canine products as breath fresheners and to soothe stomachs.

Rose Hips- (rosa canina) are an excellent source of vitamin C and are fantastic immune system boosters. The variety of antioxidants: carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols and catechins are good cancer and cardiovascular disease preventatives. In addition, the fruit acids and pectin in rose hips are a mild diuretic and laxative. 

Tart Red Cherries- (Prunus cerasus) contain a high level of anthocyanins. These antioxidant flavonoids have numerous health benefits including increased joint mobility, comfort and flexibility. In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, tart red cherries can lower cholesterol and triglycerides, can aid in digestion and can help prevent heart disease.

Boswellia- (boswellia serrata) also known as Frankincense, is an effective antiseptic and helps promote a healthy immune system. Additionally, frankincense helps promote digestive health by speeding up the secretion of digestive fluids and stimulates peristaltic motion.

Glucosamine HCL is a naturally occurring chemical composed of a sugar and an amino acid that is involved in the body’s production of joint lubricants and shock absorption, helping maintain healthy cartilage and joint function. Additionally, glucosamine is involved in the formation of nails, tendons, skin, eyes, bone, ligaments, heart valves, and in mucous secretions in the digestive and respiratory systems.

Ginger- (zingiber officinale) is a well-known remedy for nausea, indigestion, and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, an antiseptic and a detoxifying herb.

Ceylon Cinnamon- (cinnamomum verum) also known as True Cinnamon, is an herb traditionally used by many ancient cultures for the treatment of a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal problems and urinary infections. Ceylon cinnamon also has remarkable anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

Valerian Root- (valeriana officinalis) is famous for its sedative qualities and its ability to relax the central nervous system and to soothe muscle groups. Valerian root is an antispasmodic, a sedative and a powerful nervine.

Chamomile- (Matricaria recutita) is an age-old medicinal herb known as a relaxing sleep aid, as treatment for stomach ailments and as an anti-inflammatory. The plant’s health benefits come from the flowers that contain volatile oils, such as bisabolol and matricin, and flavonoids such as apinegin.

Lemon Balm- (Melissa officinalis) is used for nervous agitation, sleeping problems, and gastrointestinal problems. The volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles thereby relieving cramps, gas and nausea.

Passion Flower- (passiflora incarnate) is known to be a depressant to the motor side of the spinal cord. Its medicinal properties can ease nerve pain and induce sleepiness. 

Scullcap- (scutella) has strong tonic, nervine and antispasmodic properties that can relieve anxiety, seizures and insomnia.

Fear Free - Taking the "Pet" Out of Petrified.

Fear Free - Taking the "Pet" Out of Petrified.

By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

Veterinary Home Healthcare is undergoing change!  Practicing Fear Free medicine is something you can become certified in and something we have been sort of doing without being certified for some time now.  We have always given treats and used minimal, if any, restraint since starting Veterinary Home Healthcare.  My customers can attest to that!  

However, I have learned SO much more after becoming a certified Fear Free Practitioner. One of the main things we learned was that the sedatives most veterinarians use for phobias and stress have no effect on fear, anxiety or stress.  They simply sedate them.  I have a new arsenal of drugs that alleviate fear, anxiety and stress.  They don't sedate the pet.  They simply make them less fearful and this allows for a more pleasant exam.  

It is not really fair for a pet that is fearful to miss out on a thorough medical exam just because of a natural fear.  So, if we alleviate that, we can give them a high quality medical exam and alleviate their fear at the same time.  

We have implemented many more treats, especially for cats.  We are using pheromone sprays that give dogs and cats a pleasurable feeling.  These are sprayed on our clothes, or a towel.  We can't smell them, but the cat or dog usually gravitates right to the spot where we have sprayed it.  

Another "odd" thing we may ask you to do is put your cat in a bathroom before we get there.  We don't knock on doors of our cat patient homes because we know how most cats hate that sound.  They much prefer a quiet environment and no sudden noises or movements.  We enter slowly and quietly.  The benefit of them being in the bathroom is that we can relax in an area where they can't run away or hide and let them get used to us.  Also, the sink works as an amazing space for an exam.  We will use a pheromone scented towel and place your cat in the sink area.  They feel secure and hidden and are comfortable there.  

One of the big differences you will notice is that we may have you pick up some medicine before your appointment.  We will also ask that your pet be hungry at the appointment so we can distract them with high value treats.  We may be spending a little more time with your pet so we can let them acclimate to us and get to know us.  After we learn the nuances of your furry family member then we will have our protocol down and will be ready for the next visit.  

It definitely costs more time and money for the veterinary team, but the payoff is well worth it!  The reason I began doing house calls in the first place is to get back to the basics of loving animals.  I wasn't able to do that in clinics.  I am now, though, and the fear-free practice makes it even better.  

We are excited about this new journey we are on to make our patients free of fear, stress and anxiety and to make each visit a happy one - for everyone!

Your Senior Pet Could Be One Slip Away From a Serious Injury. What can you do to help?

Your Senior Pet Could Be One Slip Away From a Serious Injury.  What can you do to help?

By:  Debbie Reynolds,DVM

Now that I have evolved from a clinic DVM to a house call DVM, I see at least once daily a pet that is struggling walking on wood or laminate flooring.  I have seen them seriously injure themselves and become so fearful of the floor, they won't even step on it. This type of flooring has become so popular, that it has become a serious problem for our pets who are trying to ambulate around on soft, furry, slippery paws on a slippery surface.  It's a recipe for disaster.

Dogs were not made to walk on smooth surfaces:  

     *Their toenails are designed somewhat like cleats, they are meant to walk on terrain  and provide traction.  

     *If the nails aren't kept short, they make it even more difficult for a dog to walk on tile or hardwood.  They elevate the paw pads and/or cause the claws to spread apart.  

     *When you add in to the equation the hair that grows in between the pads of their paws, it's a slip and fall waiting to happen.


This is a serious problem for aging pets.  One slip can be disastrous.  They can tear a cruciate knee ligament, cause serious hip pain, cause their discs to be inflamed and can even have a fracture or a break.  They really cannot afford to have a single slip.  

Many of my senior aged patients even start using the bathroom in the house because it is just too much to rise up from a laying or sitting position, walk across a dangerous surface, and often go up or down steps to use the bathroom.  That is when we see pets that have never used the bathroom in their house have accidents.  After a scary slip or fall, many dogs will not walk on the slippery surface anymore, at least not without great fear and anxiety.  

Throughout my course as a house call veterinarian, we are able to put some traction control on their feet in a very simple way.  We have tried many products, but Pawz is our favorite.  They are versatile, affordable and easy to use.  Pawz (click here to purchase) are very simple to fit to your dog with just a quick measurement on the bottom of the paw.  Then you place them on your dog and that's it.  Make sure to take them off at night so they are not on  the entire time.  They are weatherproof and wear well on all surfaces.  They are thin enough that your dog can still feel what they are walking on as if they didn't have anything on.  


A recent case from Veterinary Home Healthcare:

We have placed these on many of our patients with immediate and drastic results.  Most recently we went on a house call for a little dog that was using the bathroom indoors when he never did that in the past.  The home had laminate flooring throughout and the patient was on the couch when we arrived.  When we placed him on the floor and encouraged him to walk around he was reluctant to move.  I recognized this as his fear of the floor because I have seen it many times.  The owner couldn't understand why her baby suddenly was reluctant to move and was pottying indoors!

We grabbed a measuring tape, checked his paw pad measurement, placed a set of Pawz on him and within 2 minutes he was like a new dog.  No medicine needed.  No expensive lab tests.  Just some traction and sure footing.  

If your dog is older and must walk on slick surfaces, won't you consider trying these - $19.99 will buy a few sets and they last a very long time!  Such a small investment to keep your pet from pain and fear! 

Is Your Pet's Breed Genetically Predisposed To Cancer? Learn What You Can Do To Help Them!

Is Your Pet's Breed Genetically Predisposed To Cancer?  Learn What You Can Do To Help Them!

By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

You can pretty much name off any breed and a list of diseases pops up in my brain.  In veterinary school, we are taught to be aware of breed tendencies to be vigilant and watch for them.  It is far better to be proactive than reactive, and that is what we want to help you with.

You might be surprised how prevalent cancer is in certain breeds.  Dr. Steven Steinberg of VCA Veterinary Referral Associates has been collecting data on rates of cancer by breed at the Vet Cancer Registry and built the following table based on a database of confirmed cancer cases compared to the numbers of AKC registered dogs in that breed. 

Breed Number AKC Registered Number with Cancer Percentage with Cancer
Golden Retriever 56,124 561 9.81%
German Shepherd 46,963 197 3.45%
Poodle 33,917 178 3.11%
Boxer 34,340 155 2.71%
Rottweiler 22,196 143 2.5%
Sheltie 17,453 140 2.45%
Cocker Spaniel 20,655 125 2.19%
Doberman Pinscher 11,829 124 2.17%
Beagle 44,610 105 1.84%
Miniature Schnauzer 23,926 105 1.84%

I don't want you to feel too discouraged if you have one of these amazing breeds as a member of your family.  I would love to introduce you to Sunshine in a Bottle (click to purchase) which is a very easy and affordable way to protect your pet.  

Sunshine in a Bottle is an essential oil that contains Tangerine, Grapefruit, Frankincense, Copaiba and Orange, all blended especially for animals, with a multitude of health benefits - most importantly, anti-cancer and anti-tumoral.  These citrus oils are high in limonene which is researched heavily for these benefits.  Frankincense is also well known by researchers as being an anti-cancer powerhouse oil.  Copaiba is a powerful anti-inflammatory oil in animals and most people are aware that inflammation in the body is the root of most diseases.   

Not only does Sunshine in a Bottle greatly reduce the risk of cancer, but it has many other physical and emotional benefits.  It may aid in fluid circulation, immune function and support, liver health, senility, obesity, detoxification, and with tumors, cysts, and lipomas.

I wish you could smell it because it even smells amazing!  It is easy to apply by petting your dog or cat.  Another simple way to use it is by diffusion.  A wonderful side effect is that you can benefit from it, too!

Please comment below if you have questions!



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