November 30th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Yesterday, I posted Part 1 of this series on holiday safety tips for organic pet owners. Here are some additional suggestions from Dr. Lorraine Corriveau, a wellness veterinarian at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
Overeating: Stick to your pet’s normal diet. Table scraps, garbage-raiding and counter-surfing can lead to stomach upset. Too much rich food can cause serious inflammation of the pancreas, which can be life-threatening.
Holiday Visitors: Pets can become overexcited, confused or frightened by an onslaught of holiday guests. Keep them in a quiet part of the house, and make sure they have a safe retreat from children and well-intentioned visitors. Keep pets’ beds or kennels in a safe place, and be sure guests know they’re off limits.
Ornaments: When decorating your tree, help prevent breaks and mishaps by keeping weighty ornaments close to the floor and valuable ornaments/family heirlooms out of reach from curious mouths, noses and wagging tails. Keep knickknacks on shelves inaccessible to animals. Also make sure Christmas trees are tethered to a nearby wall or window frame for ferrets or cats that like to climb.
New Pets: There’s no time worse than the holidays to bring a new pet into the home, but many people surprise a loved one with a new puppy or kitten on Christmas morning. The excitement can cause a new pet to be confused or overstimulated. Wait until the week after the holiday, and then puppy- or kitten-proof the house so the pet can be introduced into a quiet, safe environment. Don’t forget to ask a veterinarian for advice on selecting a new pet.
Read More:Pets & the Holidays (Part 2)
November 29th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
You feed your pets organic food and go out of your way to ensure they’re healthy. But the holidays pose special risks, so follow these tips from Dr. Lorraine Corriveau, a wellness veterinarian at Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine (pictured here with Chili, a military macaw).
Chocolate: You may have more organic chocolate than usual around the house—lovely for humans, but toxic for pets (especially dogs) because it contains theobromine. Bittersweet and baking chocolate, the varieties most often found in kitchens during the holidays, contain more theobromine than the average candy bar. If your dog eats chocolate, call a veterinarian or your animal poison control center immediately.
Candles: Candles should never be left burning unattended. Flames and shadows are tantalizing to pets. Make sure lit candles are always kept a safe distance from them.
Decorative Plants: Some plants and greenery, including holly, ivy and mistletoe, can be very tempting, but they are toxic if a pet eats them. Keep all decorative plants out of reach or out of the home.
Tinsel: Decorating your tree? Cats and kittens seem to find shiny tinsel especially appealing. If eaten, thin pieces of string or tinsel can cause the intestines to bunch up and can even cut through the intestinal wall. Either could be fatal.
Electric cords: Light strands, loose wires and electric cords can be a serious hazard to your pet. Some animals, especially puppies, may chew cords and put themselves at risk of serious burns or electric shock.
Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this story.
Purdue News Service Photo by David Umberger
Read More:Pets & the Holidays (Part 1)
May 25th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
That’s a picture of my “niece,” Shayna, right after a home spa experience (translation: bath—a term that’s far too pedestrian for her).
We’re an unapologetically anthropomorphic family, so Shayna has been given a voice that family members use to speak for her, and she has a penchant for fine cuisine: free-range chicken breast, organic carrots and her personal favorite, penne with tomato vodka sauce (a demi-portion enjoyed in moderation, of course).
Yesterday, Shayna, like Superman, attempted to scale a tall building (actually, a window seat) and miscalculated her trajectory (unlike Superman). She smacked her head against the bench and fell backward, landing on her side. Luckily, she emerged only slightly dazed (was it the vodka sauce?) and skulked toward her “mom” for consolation. More than anything, I think she was embarrassed. She made a 100% recovery as soon as she smelled peanut butter.
Our pets are members of our family, and they, too, can benefit from organic living solutions. If your SuperDog gets into trouble and requires basic first aid, follow this simple tip from newspaper columnist Heloise, author of Get Organized with Heloise: For small scratches, turn to organic lavender oil, which has healing properties. Add three drops to one quart of warm water. Then wash the wound with a clean cloth after you’ve removed any dirt, grass or other impurities.
I know Shayna would appreciate this treatment’s aromatherapeutic qualities. Just another day at the spa for her!
Read More:Organic Pet Care: Tiny Cuts & Small Scratches
May 8th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
In her recent blog entry, Organic Authority Publisher Laura Klein explains why she feeds her dogs organic food. She’s not alone: More Americans are concerned about creating healthy lifestyles for their pets. Interest in natural supplements, organic pet food and holistic veterinary care is on the rise, according to Eric Houtkooper and Leslie Hayes-Houtkooper, CEOs of Pup Life, an online retailer of healthy dog supplies. The company, in fact, is sponsoring Dog Health Awareness Month for the third consecutive year.
“Throughout the month of May, we will be featuring interesting and informative articles about creating healthy canine lifestyles, with industry leaders including Lucy Postins of The Honest Kitchen,” Eric says. “Ms. Postins will speak about the importance of a healthy diet and if switching to a dehydrated raw diet is right for your dog. We will also be talking with Cheryl Carter, agility expert and dog trainer at Candy’s Canines. Cheryl has some great tips on exercise and fitness.”
Leslie is particularly concerned about an epidemic that’s affecting both pets and their humans: obesity.
“As guardians of our dogs’ health and happiness, we need to be aware of the dangers of obesity,” she says, emphasizing the importance of discussing weight management with your vet. “We are seeing an increase in liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes and structural complications like hip dysplasia in the canine population. These increases can all be linked to the rise in dog obesity. You can combat obesity—and complications from obesity—by incorporating simple things into your dog’s lifestyle, including increased exercise, feeding raw or dehydrated raw dog food, and even participating in dog sports like agility or obedience competition.”
Read More:Has Your Pet Gone Organic?
April 20th, 2006 - Administrator
When people meet my dogs, Bamboo and Truffle, they are immediately drawn to their luxurious healthy coats. People invariably ask me what I feed my dogs. When I tell them I feed them organic dog food and organic fruits, veggies and meats they think I’m crazy. When they continue to ask me if I eat organic I say, “of course!” Their reaction: they immediately assume I am some sort of hippy (Do I look like a hippy? No!). I guess you can’t blame them, I used to think the same thing: people who eat organic foods and live a “non-toxic lifestyle” are “granola” people, and who would want to live like that and give up all my creature comforts!
It wasn’t until I went to culinary school that I discovered the true tasty treasures of organic food and one of the biggest secrets of the finest chefs in the world. The best chefs used nothing but the finest ingredients in their dishes which include using as many organic ingredients they can find. I was hooked.
As I got deeper into this organic thing, it started spilling over into my personal life. I began questioning what the heck is in all these personal and cleaning products I use everyday?!? Upon closer look at these products, I threw them all in the trash!
So back to why I feed my dog organic food. Well number one, after uncovering all the toxic chemicals, pesticides and other garbage, agribusiness and conventional food producers spray on their crops and put in their highly processed products, I can only imagine what’s in my dog’s food.
On the advice of my holistic veterinarian, I started feeding my first dog, Bamboo, fresh organic foods including vegetables, some fruits and of course meat in addition to her regular organic dog food, Karma Organic Food For Dogs . He theorized that a lot of the nutritional value in conventional dog food is lost in the processing of the food product. Thus, to ensure that Bamboo gets the nutritional vitamins and minerals she needs fresh organic and natural foods added to her daily diet. Well that made sense! After all, if she were living in the wild that is exactly what she’d be eating!
The result: Bamboo now has the most gorgeous coat I have ever seen (of course I am a little biased, but many people would agree with me). I now have a second dog, Truffle who is seven months old and I have her on the same diet. She, like Bamboo, was a rescue dog who at the time of her rescue virtually had no coat. Now her fur has a nice vibrant sheen to it and is incredibly healthy.
Now when people ask me “what do you feed your dogs” and I tell them organic dog food along with whole organic foods, I then ask them the same question, if they don’t answer organic dog food, I look at them as if they’re crazy!
My friends, the proof in the pudding, simply take one look at and feel my dog’s luxurious coat and there is little left to convince people of. Particularly when cancer rates, heart disease and obesity are on a steady increase in animals just as it is in humans. Now who’s crazy not to be eating natural and organic foods?
If you want to know where you can order organic pet foods, visit Only Natural Pet Store online.
By the way if you want to see a picture of Bamboo, check out her photo with me on my home page at www.OrganicAuthority.com .
Read More:Why I feed my Dogs Organic Food
April 20th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
A few weeks ago, I had a momentary lapse in judgment. I had steamed too much broccoli and had neglected to freeze the leftovers. The remaining refrigerated portion needed to go, so I threw it down the garbage disposal.
Wrong move. My plumber, I should note, believes garbage disposals are decorative accessories and discourages using them for anything larger than a few lettuce leaves. When he arrived to blast the resulting clog, the pipe he opened spewed decaying broccoli particles and green-tinged water under the sink and onto the floor. It was a nasty cleanup effort—tiny particles of broccoli everywhere, seemingly embedded in the wood. After 24 hours, the wood was still soaked, and the stench was becoming overpowering. I was worried about mold forming—smelly, sulfurous broccoli mold.
I called my father, who excels at household fix-its and foul odors. His solution: kitty litter. It would absorb the excess water and neutralize the stench. Brilliant! It worked!
If you live in a cat-free home, you can find organic cat litter at most large pet stores. Two brands are also available on Amazon.com’s Pet Supplies Store: Cat Country Organic Premium Litter for Cats and World’s Best.
A final note: Don’t put broccoli down the disposal. Much too fibrous!
Read More:An Organic Solution to a Stinky Problem
April 14th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Last week, I shared some home remedies for people (and their pets) who embrace organic living. I’m following up with another mini-recipe from newspaper columnist and author Heloise, author of Get Organized with Heloise.
To make this simple dog breath freshener, you’ll need a 20-oz. (or larger) plastic water bottle. Fill it halfway with cold water. Add one very small drop (.05 mL) of peppermint essential oil.
Cap the bottle and shake for 30 seconds to mix thoroughly. Fill the rest of the bottle with cold water. Shake again and pour the water into your dog’s bowl.
Sweet breath—and a happier owner!
Read More:Organic Dog Breath Freshener
April 6th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Newspaper columnist and author Heloise has been dubbed “the world’s best-known housekeeper” by People magazine. Her daily column runs in more than 400 U.S. and international newspapers, and she has published 11 books, including the recently released Get Organized with Heloise.
For readers dedicated to organic living, Heloise offers the following natural health tips for dogs.
Natural Flea Control
Lavender essential oil is considered a safe, effective way to eliminate fleas. Using a dog brush as a guide, cut a piece of fabric larger than the “head” of the brush. Dab several drops of lavender oil on the cloth, and spread the oil around. Put the fabric over the brush head, and press it into the bristles. Brush over your dog’s coat, rinsing the brush in clear water, if necessary.
Freshen Dog Beds
Add three drops of lavender essential oil to one quart of warm water in a plastic spray bottle. Spritz your pet’s sleeping area and freshen pet bedding.
Read More:Organic Pet Remedies
November 30th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Actor Paul Newman has done it again—and this time, your canine companions will be the ones to swoon over the handsome screen legend.
Newman’s Own Organics recently expanded its line of organic pet food for dogs and cats, adding heart-shaped organic dog treats. Four flavors are available: vegetable, peanut butter, chicken and cheese.
Like all of the company’s premium pet foods, the treats are made with human-grade ingredients and organic grains and vegetables. They contain no wheat, corn, soy or hydrogenated oil, and they’re certified by Oregon Tilth to be free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives and synthetic colors/dyes.
Paul Newman donates all of his after-tax profits from Newman’s Own Organics’ royalties to charitable organizations.
Read More:A Heart-y Organic Treat for Your Dog