Find Out What You Really Need For Your New Puppy

Find Out What You Really Need For Your New Puppy

By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

The best part of being a veterinarian?  First puppy visits!  I absolutely adore seeing new puppies, especially as a house call veterinarian.  This means we get to play with them at their house.  We have time to sit down with the owners and casually and carefully address every question and concern they have about owning a new puppy.  My hope for this blog is for you to be a part of this conversation.  There are so many things to know about new puppies and I don't want you to miss a thing!


One of THE most important things to cover is socialization.  You have a very short window of time in which to socialize your new puppy.  Ironically, you also have to protect your puppy from exposure to potentially deadly illnesses at this same time!  So, how do you guard your puppy from illnesses and expose them to social situations all at the same time?  It can be done.  

The socialization period will close at about 12 weeks old.  You need to get your puppy around all kinds of situations including people and noises during this time.  It must be done in a positive way, never causing fear.  Pause to think about your life and what your puppy will be exposed to in the future.  Sports games?  Horses? City noises?  Make sure your puppy sees and hears these things during this time to make him or her acclimated for a lifetime of happiness.  Some things are universal such as different ages and colors of people, delivery people, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, car engines, etc.  

There are some breeds that this will be incredibly easy for such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Pugs, and other naturally friendly dogs.  Some breeds this will require much more work - such as Chihuahuas, Dachshunds,  or German Shepherds.  For very nervous breeds, you may use some natural anxiety relief such as Rescue Remedy.   Mixed breeds can come either way.


There are a few things to consider when owning a new puppy:

Parasites are an early concern and most puppies begin the deworming process as early as 2 weeks old.  If they are born to a well-cared for mother, this is less of a concern, but that is not always the case.  A fecal exam by a veterinarian can determine if there are intestinal worms which can be easily treated.  Please be cautious with flea and tick control in young puppies as most of the commercial products are not safe until at least 9-12 weeks of age.  Natural remedies, such as Away spray or Flea & Tick Soap Bar, are safe for young puppies.  

Puppies have a series of vaccinations, usually a set of 3, beginning from 6 to 9 weeks of age depending on each individual puppy's circumstance.  Your veterinarian will examine your puppy and give appropriate vaccinations depending on your pet's lifestyle.  This is a great time to show up with a list of questions about your puppy.

The diets you choose will play a vital role in your puppy's growth. You should feed puppy food for the first year of life.  If you have a large breed dog, you should feed "large breed puppy food".  Adding an omega 3 fatty acid supplement to your puppy's food is a great idea.  This will help with brain development with the DHA contained in omega 3's and with the training period.  It also has components to help with skin and coat health.  


Potty training is always at the top of the list!  You can accomplish this by scheduling feedings instead of leaving food down.  Pick 2 (or 3) times a day that work with your schedule and put the food down for 10 -15 minutes and then pick it up.  It won't be long before your puppy learns to eat when the food is given.  Then immediately go outside to the "potty spot", the same spot, every time.  Use the same command "go potty" or whatever you choose.  When your puppy is successful use praise and a training treat (such as Beef Nibs).  As soon as your puppy eats or chews, the reflex to poop kicks in, so make sure not to waste time in getting to the potty spot.  Other times to target are after waking from a nap, or chewing on a chew toy.  Basic obedience training would be beneficial to start at this young age as well.

Speaking of "chew toys", you are going to need plenty!  Your puppy will be teething for about 6 months.  You will want to keep plenty of options and rotate them out to keep things fresh and new.  Use the distraction method when your puppy begins to chew on something inappropriate and redirect them to an appropriate toy.  Please make sure not to use rawhide chews (see blog post about dangers here).

Some breeds such as retrievers will enjoy balls and retrieving toys, some terrier breeds will enjoy tug and pull toys, herding breeds and shepherds will enjoy interactive thinking toys, and all puppies will love teethers.   

I hope this will help you have a well adjusted and happy puppy for many, many years to come!


Is Your Dog Genetically Predisposed to Allergies?

Is Your Dog Genetically Predisposed to Allergies?

By:  Debbie Reynolds, DVM

Let's begin here by talking about the word "allergies".  If your dog has allergies, or if you have owned one, you know about the symptoms.  Many people are not aware of how different dog allergies are from human allergies.  As a veterinarian, I often am called on for an "itchy dog" appointment.  They are very surprised to find out that dog allergies = itchy dog.  You know, the dog that goes thump-thump-thump in the night.  The dog that keeps you up licking and chewing on their feet while you try to sleep. 

The medical term for dog allergies is "atopic dermatitis" or "canine atopy".  Using these words as search terms on the internet will yield you much better results.  I trust the website "Veterinary Partners" and recommend them quite often to my clients who like to research. 

The subject matter of this particular blog is to help you realize if your dog may be genetically predisposed to allergies.  This way, you can practice intervention early, or be vigilant in watching for the symptoms.  The breeds listed below are commonly known to have allergies, and different breeds are more affected in geographical locations of the United States.  

Golden Retriever

Labarodor Retriever

English Setter

Irish Setter

American Hairless Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

Boston Terrier

Bull Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Fox Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Miniature Schnauzer

West Highland White Terrier

Wheaten Terrier


Bichon Frise


Brussels Griffon

English Bulldog

Chinese Crested 

Chinese Sharpei

Cocker Spaniel




German Shepherd

Lhasa Apso 





Shih Tzu

(White dogs of any breed)

CANINE ATOPY is for life.  Once you have it, it never goes away.  It is managed.

If you have one of the above breeds I would recommend that you look into pet insurance.  It is a good idea anyway, and will be a huge help financially throughout the life of your dog and you can choose whatever treatment you deem best without cost playing a factor in your decision.  We use Nationwide Pet Insurance at our practice, but there are hundreds of pet insurance companies to choose from.  One of the great things is that you can use any DVM anywhere with any of the pet insurances.  

What symptoms should I watch for? The primary symptom we see is paw licking or chewing on any or all four paws.  Itching can be anywhere and everywhere on their body - tail-based, underarms, flanks, back, head, chest, literally - anywhere.  Sometimes they itch and their coat looks healthy.  Sometimes they have rashes, crusty areas, flaky skin and even bald spots.  Ear infections and puffy or runny eyes sometimes accompany this itch.  It is a pretty miserable condition for the dog.  It is the itch that you can't scratch away. 

What causes canine allergies?  There are three categories of allergens that can make your dog itch: (1) Environmental (2) Insects and (3) Food. 

Environmental allergens are things such as grasses, trees, pollens, or anything your dog is in contact with in the environment.  I've had some patients, after testing, come back allergic to human dander!  One of my patients was even allergic to cat dander. 

Insects commonly are fleas and household dust mites.  This doesn't mean your dog is infested with fleas or you have a dusty house.  Just one flea bite can set off a nasty hypersensitivity reaction to make your dog itch for weeks!  It is actually the flea saliva that they react to and it just takes one bite to do it.  Household mites are everywhere, even in the cleanest homes - some dogs just react to them when many do not.  

Food can also cause an allergic reaction. There has been a trend towards grain free foods recently, but I find that pet owners still end up feeding grains to their pets, unknowingly, in the form of treats. Pizza crust, oddly enough, is also a commonly given treat.  

How do you treat allergies in dogs?  Ideally, you could alleviate your dog's allergy by avoiding the allergen.  This is difficult because most people don't know what the allergen is and even if they do it is usually impossible to avoid.  So, we as veterinarians do the same thing that people with allergies do.  Give "allergy medicine".  For dogs this is usually steroids or other pharmaceuticals.  But there is a way to avoid allergy pills for life.  

Immunotherapy is the gold standard for treatment of allergy dogs.  This is done by finding out what your dog is allergic to.  You can inject the allergens into the skin, find out what is causing the allergies, then make a vaccine for it.  This is normally done at a specialist - a veterinary dermatologist (this is why insurance is a great idea).  You inject the vaccine at tapering doses and then your dog builds up immunity to the allergens and you don't have to give medicine for life.  

Prednisone is not something you want your dog to take for any length of time due to the side effects which include increased thirst, increased hunger, increased urinations or bloating. In some cases it can even create diseases such as Cushing's and liver disease.  Newer medications such as Apoquel and Atopica are effective with less side effects but are expensive to take, especially for life.  Most dogs are diagnosed at age 1-2 so they have many years to go.

What can I do to help?  What we like to do at our practice is start hitting the supplements hard if we have a breed that is predisposed to allergies.  Here are some ideas if you have an allergy dog or a genetically predisposed breed:

1.  Shampoo at least once weekly.  You need to wash the pollens and dander off of your dog's fur.  Especially if you have a long haired dog.  At LEAST once weekly.  Use a non medicated soothing shampoo such as oatmeal or eucalyptus.  If your dog is itchy, don't give a warm bath.  Heat makes the itch worse so use a slightly cool temperature.  

2.  Omega 3 Fatty Acids added to the diet daily is an amazing way to supplement your dog's itchy skin.  We use Grizzly Salmon Oil and you can read about all the amazing benefits of this oil on our prior blog post here.

3.  Dermoscent 6 is a topical essential oil that is applied in one spot on the skin once weekly to help re-establish the broken skin barrier.  It helps to keep the allergens from affecting the skin.  

4.  Boost in a Bottle essential oil is used topically 2-3 times weekly.  There is a blend of 22 essential oils to make this an effective way to replace steroids and medications.  You can read about all of it's benefits on our prior blog post here.

5.  Raw diets are incredibly helpful in helping keep your dog's immune system at its top level.  This food is made for your carivorous dog and can enhance their health in many ways and make them thrive!  We use The Honest Kitchen and Primal diets, but there are many to choose from.  Raw diets are so easy these days - buy a bag - measure the amount- and add water.

The Blessed Pet Shop can be your one stop shop for any and all of these products.  

Whether you choose immunotherapy, medication, or want to strictly try holistic support, I would encourage you to try any or all of the above.  All of these have to be used on a consistent basis and it can take 4-6 weeks to see results, so hang in there.

There is not much more frustrating to you, me and the poor dog than allergies.  As a veteriarian, I hate to diagnose canine atopy.  Since this condition is for life, we will be life long partners with the patient and their families to help them get through this.  Often, the medications become less and less effective over time.  It a difficult and often miserable condition to be in for everyone involved. 

However, don't be disheartened if your dog has allergies or if you have one of these breeds.  They can be successfully managed for life with persistent care.  You can have a happy, healthy dog, it just requires family support.  Please consider starting supplements if you have one of these breeds or if you have noticed that your dog may have some of the symptoms.  

If you have any questions - please comment below!


The ONE essential oil that does it all!

The ONE essential oil that does it all!

By: Debbie Reynolds, DVM

Boost in a Bottle. The name pretty much says it all. I mean, who doesn’t need a “boost”? Best of all- it’s an essential oil! Anyone who owns a dog can appreciate the no pills part. Even better - it is applied by PETTING. So this supplement is definitely dog approved. Two paws up!

The “boost” we are referring to is made possible by combining 22 essential oils in one bottle. That’s right - TWENTY TWO. This is not done in someone’s backyard or bathroom. This is carefully studied, and well thought out by Dr. Melissa Shelton of AnimalEO. She has done all of the research and work needed in making sure each oil is correctly sourced and perfectly blended.

I am certified in animal aromatherapy and have studied essential oils quite extensively. I have read books, attended seminars, webinars and conferences on top of the training and education I received for my certification. This boost in a bottle is quite an accomplishment. You can’t just mix any two oils together. Dr. Shelton has cracked the code on how to efficiently blend the right oils together, to ensure the synergy and chemistry of each oil works most effectively.

I found essential oils out of necessity and now I use them because they are amazing. I needed to help my daughter with special needs who could not take many pharmaceuticals. Out of desperation, I began using essential oils on the humans in my family. It wasn’t long before I wanted my patients to start using this amazing, God-given, natural, plant-based medicine!

So the “boost” is a huge one! It covers almost every body system you can think of. It works as prevention, treatment and builds up the immune system. I would say the main reason I reach for Boost in a Bottle is to help a patient with a chronic condition. Let’s say - atopic dermatitis - you know, the itchy dog. That poor dog that licks their paws all night and their leg thumps in the night because they are scratching incessantly- keeping everyone awake. This is one of the supplements I prescribe for a dog with allergies. I place them on a raw diet if possible, such as Primal; omega 3 fatty acid supplement, such as Grizzly Salmon; and Boost in a Bottle, which is also used as a steroid replacer. Sometimes we add topical Omega 3’s, such as dermoscent and weekly shampoos to get the pollens out of the dog’s fur. I love it when an allergy dog stops itching with all natural, healthy supplements.

I also love to use Boost in a Bottle with senior aged patients whose body conditions are declining and need additional support with their joints, emotions, and immune system. It’s good for dogs that frequent kennels, groomers or day care to improve their overall health and immunity. It is excellent for multi-pet households and allows for harmonious family dynamics. I use it for ANY patient with a chronic illness such as diabetes, hip dysplasia, kidney disease, liver disease, chronic urinary problems, chronic ear infections and on and on. You get the idea! It really is so easy- there is no reason not to use it!

Below, we have the details of Boost in a Bottle for those that need the details. There are a lot of details and we are happy to answer any questions you may have about this product if you want to comment on our blog post below.

What can Boost in a bottle be used for?

Boost in a bottle can aid in conditions such as arthritis, tick borne diseases, autoimmune conditions, allergies or itching, chronic bacterial or yeast skin infections, or be a replacement of steroid drugs! It can also give added support if already infected with Pneumonia, cancer, parasitic infections, inflammatory bowel disease, viral infections, or neurologic conditions! Boost in a bottle is THE Go-To essential oil in animal aromatherapy to treat or prevent a variety of illnesses and disease.

How should you apply Boost in a bottle?

You can apply Boost in a bottle easily using the raindrop technique. Simply drip 4-6 drops down your dog’s back beginning at the shoulder blades and ending at the base of the tail. Use a petting motion to rub the oils into the fur! EASY! There really is no wrong way to apply this oil! This technique follows the natural flow of your dog’s energy field along the spine, known in Chinese Medicine as the meridian. You do not have to know about energy fields or Chinese medicine for this technique to work for you! Just simply drip- and pet! If you have a dog with sensitivity to the drips, you can always apply the drops to your hands first, and then pet them onto your dog.

How do essential oils work?

Essential oils work best transdermally when applied to skin and fur, to quickly enter the bloodstream for fast and effective results. They also work through inhalation and are safe to ingest if licked. How often should you apply Boost in a bottle? The application amount will vary depending on what you are using the oil for. For general health and supplementation, you can use the oil at least monthly. In other conditions, you would apply it every 1-3 days initially and use your judgement on how often to apply based on the results you get and what you are trying to achieve.

What oils are in Boost in a bottle?

Ingredients: Fractionated Cocolut Oil, Essential Oils of Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis), Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea), Marjoram (Origanum majorana), Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), Tangerine (Citrus tangerina), Black Spruce (Picea mariana), Oregano (Oreganum vulgare), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), Helichrysum (H. italicum), Melissa (Melissa officinalis), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Anise (Pimpinella anisum) Juniper (Juniperus communis), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) Blue Cypress (Callitris intratropica), Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin).

So what are you waiting for? Try Boost in a bottle today!

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.

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