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Peanut Butter Alert! – Contains Your Dog’s Peanut Butter Xylitol?

Peanut Butter Alert! – Contains Your Dog’s Peanut Butter Xylitol?

Peanut Butter – An Easy And Inexpensive Dog Treat

Peanut Butter, many dogs LOVE it for the nutty sweet taste and dog owners for it inexpensiveness and easiness to fill Kongs and other stuffable dog toys. Even better frozen in the hot summer months!

The new hype though with everyone trying to go low sugar, low calorie is that brands substitute real sugar with the sweetener xylitol but you won’t be aware unless you read labels.
For your four legged friends though this can be a fatal mistake!


Xylitol – A Dangerous Sweetener For Your Dog

We know Xylitol for years for mainly being used in sugar-free gum and also know that these are toxic to animals but now have to be aware that this sweetening substitute made it into other foods.
Xylitol when ingested tricks the pancreas with thinking that it is real sugar, triggering the release of insulin which in return causes the body to remove glucose (drop in blood sugar) and then results in acute hypoglycemia.
Symptoms for hypoglycemia are weakness, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, disorientation and even potential seizures!

That not be enough, Xylitol can also cause hepatic necrosis in dogs leading to acute liver failure. Though for that to happen it seems that it would have to be given in higher dosages and over a prolonged time.

It does not take much of this sugar subsitut to trigger hypoglycemia- only 0.045 grams per pound of body weight but though it does not sound all that much, a typical stick of gum already contains 0.3 – 0.4 grams!


Please Read Labels

Please make sure to always read labels before you give any human products to your dogs and be alerted when you read “sugar free” or “no sugar added” to make sure those are not indicated for sugar being substituded. Peanut butter is just one food product containing Xylitol but you can find this sugar substitute also in medications and supplements like in some fish oil or vitamin brands.

Known peanut butter brands with Xylitol:

  • Go Nuts, Co
  • Krush Nutrition
  • Nuts ‘N More
  • P28 Foods


Aim For An All Natural Product

Of course your dogs don’t have to give up on their favorite peanut butter stuffed Kong toy and peanut butter is overall a healthy treat alternative when chosen the right product, all natural and with no added sugar or sugar substitutes – for happy and healthy pups.


What do you have in your pantry with Xylitol?


photo credit: JeepersMedia Jif Peanut Butter with Omega-3 Creamy, 12/2014, by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Jif #Peanut #Butter #Omega #3 via photopin (license)

Is Your Dog Suffering From Itchy And Dry Feet? Here An Easy Remedy How You Can Give Him Relief.

You may have noticed that your dog is often nibbling on his paws or licking in between his toes, even to the extend to were it gets all red and raw. Uhhh, I can imagine how it must be to have itchy hands and feet!


Seasonal And Food Allergies As The Cause

Often caused by seasonal allergies or food allergies which can be quite a process to find out the exact cause and lots of trial and error to find the perfect food without the ingredients causing the issues, there are some easy “home” remedies to give your pups some relief from the symptoms.

When you suspect seasonal allergies so pollen causing the discomfort, it is wise to rinse your dog’s feet when coming in from the yard or after a walk.
Especially grass and tree pollen are known triggers and of course stick to your dog’s feet and fur. Just look at your car in the spring time and you can imagine what is all stuck to your pup 😉

Either a garden hose or a small sized bucket to give a quick rinse will do the trick and of course a towel to dry off. Your pooch will get into the routine.


An Easy And Inexpensive Recipe

For irritation, itchiness and dry, cracked pads here is an easy and fairly inexpensive salve you can make from just two single ingredients:
[Best choice is always all organic ingredients]

2 Table Spoons Coconut Oil
10 Drops of Lavender Oil

[for bigger batches just multiply the amounts equally]

Heat up the Coconut Oil in the microwave or on the stove and mix in the Lavender Oil, then put in a container with lid and apply as needed to the entire paw, in between the toes and massaging into the pads.
The Coconut Oil salve will harden once cooled but it melts in your hands so it’s easy to apply.

A soothing and safe “paw conditioner” for your pup!


Drop me a line to let me know how you like it 🙂

Alternatives To Declawing Your Cat Or How Do I Save My Furniture

What’s Up With This Annoying Scratching

For cats the scratching is what a Pedicure is for us, taking care of their claws and especially to remove the outer dead layer of the nail [sometimes you can see a cat trying to pull it off with their teeth].
Of course it’s also a form of play and stretching out from head to toe and when you watch a cat closely, you will recognize that the scratching is also used to communicate with humans and other cats alike.
So overall an inherited trait of species cat, no matter if tiny kitten or huge tiger.


The Humane Alternatives To Keep Kitty From Destroying Your Furniture

Instead of amputating a cat’s toes [what declawing really means] here are the safe, humane ways to save your furniture from Ms Kitty’s claws:

Keep Your Cat’s Nails Trimmed

Clipping the sharp point of your cat’s claws makes it less destructive and less painful while playing of course ;)
It may take a while for your cat to get used to this pedicure session but it can really be trained and a routine be established.
The easiest is to have Ms Kitty on your lab and pet her while touching the paws and eventually apply pressure which exposes the nails. Now it is important to just clip the white portion of the nail and not get into the pink part, the quick.
The white is the dead part similar to our fingernails but the quick is full of nerves and will bleed when cut.
If this should happen, dip the nail into simple flour and it will stop bleeding.

Applying Soft Nail Caps

You can even get really fashionable with colorful or sparkly claw soft caps [neutral Cat Claw Capsavailable too ;) ] which are applied after trimming the nails with an adhesive similar to faux fingernails and last for about 4-6 weeks and save your furniture and yourself when ruff housing with your cats.
They are now readily available at Petsmart and Petco or directly online at i.e. SoftClaws Nail Caps

Providing Scratch Surfaces For Your Cat

When your cat tends to scratch inappropriate areas, observe if those areas are vertical or horizontal and what the material is like and what height or coverage is affected.
This can determine the best cat scratching device for your cat which could be a scratching post covered in sisal rope or a flat or slanted corrugated cardboard scratch pad.
By now there is a good selection in store to choose from and many already come with catnip to rub or sprinkle on Ms Kitty’s new scratch parlor to attract her to it.
I would recommend to stay away from carpeted material as the cat cannot define an allowed and forbidden carpeted area to scratch and the soft material is not sufficient enough for the cat to condition her claws.
Keeping the new scratch post or pad near the undesired area and later gradually moving it to a more desired area usually works with patience and a treat for rewarding.

Training Your Cat To NOT Scratch Where You Don’t Want Her To

Covering the affected areas of attack can happen with draping a blanket, applying double sided tape or aluminum foil which Ms Kitty doesn’t like for the sensation those cause.
Don’t try to correct her with yelling or hitting, it will have no or worse, reverse effect –> bad attention is attention too!
Catch her in the act of scratching [after is too late!] with a loud noise giving a quick scare and your cat will start associating the noise with scratching. An air can for the noise [and the noise only, do NOT spray a cat with the air] is working beautifully.
Squirting water with a spray bottle is a way too but means you must be close and of course have the water to clean up after.

I think when understanding that Ms Kitty isn’t viciously scratching just to annoy her owner, it is easier to work WITH the cat’s trait instead of taking away a vital part of inherit behavior and worse, her claws/toes.

1.) photo credit: Mr. T in DC via photopin cc
2.) photo credit: .robbie via photopin cc

How Simple Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Your Dog To Be A Happy Healthy Dog

Is your dog suffering with constantly recurring ear infections and itchiness and you seem to see your Vet way to often?
Is it a constant cycle of medications and even steroid shots, just for the ear infections and itchiness to come back soon after?

It can be so frustrating but foremost worrisome and we feel bad and often helpless!

A simple, easy and inexpensive natural remedy can do the trick and help your dog to feel better!

What Causes Frequent Ear Infections?

In most cases ear infections in dogs are actually yeast infections, meaning an overgrowth of yeast in the entire body and manifesting in the delicate ear area.
Yeast is a fungus which thrives in an unhealthy, unbalanced acidic PH balance, feeding off sugar and starches, like found in most commercial dog foods with ingredients like sugar of course, but also mostly corn starch, corn meal and corn meal byproduct which turns into sugar during the digestion process.

To take the feeding ground away for the yeast, we want to balance the PH to a more alkaline state for which it is suggested to find a healthy natural food without fillers and starchy ingredients and Apple Cider Vinegar too can help the balance from an acidic to a more alkaline environment in your dog’s body.

For Ear Infections And Maintaining Healthy Ears

Two words of caution:
You want to be certain that your dog’s ear drums are intact as you don’t want to damage the ears and hearing with any fluids when the ear drums are not intact.
Please never use Apple Cider Vinegar pure as it is too concentrated to use without diluting it with water. The dilution 1 part ACV and 1 part water is good for most topical applications.

Direct Application Of Apple Cider Vinegar Dilution

Application is easy with a syringe or a little squirt bottle to flush the ear with the ACV/Water Mix, just making sure to not insert the syringe down into the ear canal to avoid injuring the drum. Your dog will shake the access fluid out and the area and accessible part of the ear should be dried off with a cloth. You want to do this twice daily with an existing ear infection until all cleared up and then a couple of times a week to maintain healthy ears.

Even if your dog only has one infected ear, you always want to treat both.

Internal Application Of Apple Cider Vinegar

As mentioned above, yeast infections only manifest in certain areas of the body like the ears, but actually yeast holds hostage of your dog’s entire body, so an internal approach of taking away the yeast’s “playground” is also something what should be considered.

Here too, Apple Cider Vinegar comes into play and can be used internally with adding it to your dog’s meals.
Start with one teaspoon mixed in wet or dry food twice a day and if necessary it can be increased to one tablespoon (per about 50 lbs of body weight and more or less ACV accordingly) helps creating and maintaining a healthy more alkaline PH balance which yeast doesn’t like at all.

Additional Benefit: Dogs suffering from acid reflux also benefit from Apple Cider Vinegar added to their food as here too, the acid of the stomach is neutralized.

Are You Wondering What Your Dog’s PH-Balance Is?

You can easily test that with getting little PH test strips at any local pharmacy and hold it in the stream of your dog’s morning urine.

Readings between 6.2 and 6.5 show a healthy PH balance for your pup, readings of 7.5 and up is a bit too alkaline but readings below 6.0 are too acidic and more of concern and more widely spread.

Apple Cider Vinegar- a great boost for your dog’s overall health. Inexpensive and a great addition to any kitchen and home apothecary.

Read about Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar for pets (and humans) HERE


Disclaimer: As usual, of course, this natural remedy is not intended to replace your pet’s Veterinarian and the Author doesn’t claim for this to cure or heal. You always want to consult your Veterinarian to discuss care.

How Do Best Prepare For Your Pet Sitter Before Going On Vacation

Though stay-at-home pet sitting is the most convenient form of pet care for pets and pet owners alike, there are still a few things which should be planned and prepared for to make it a positive experience for pet, pet owner and pet sitter.

Here are the most common things a Pet Sitter runs into or finds missing on the job:

For Your Home:

  • Check all windows and doors upon leaving if all are closed and LOCKED, sometimes it’s simply forgotten to put that lock back in place after a beautiful sunny day.
  • As nice as the plug-in room fresheners and Sensy wax warmers smell, they should be turned off or unplugged when leaving as they are a fire hazard and the wax warmers could also easily be tipped over by your jumping or playing pets.
  • Table lamps are not the best and safest choice for ambient light for your pet, the cook top light or a ceiling light in a small hallway or with a dimmer is a safer choice.
  • Ensure that the thermostat is on a comfortable temperature for your pets, they too can shiver when too cold or overheat when too hot in your home.

For Your Pets:

  • Pet food, treats and needed medications or supplements should last and then some for the time away
  • Extra towels for the event of rainy weather or accidents, then your pet sitter can switch them out while washing and drying the dirty towels.
  • Extra litter, litter scooper and enough plastic sacks for the daily litter box scouring.
  • Things which could be dangerous for your pets should be tugged away where they can’t get to. Medications, small items they could chew and swallow, plastic sacks cats could get caught in, glasses which could be knocked over and break, just to name a few.

For Your Pet Sitter:

  • Ensure that all pet care and personal information is still up to date so your pet sitter has clear current instructions and doesn’t need to question or assume what needs to be done.
    Whilst notes left in your home for your pet sitter is not a bad thing, it’s much better to keep your online profile up-to-date in the event a back-up sitter has to cover.
  • Leave a note for your Pet Sitter if your pets already have gotten breakfast or dinner from you before leaving and if they received all their medications when applicable.
  • Cleaning supplies are the essentials for a Pet Sitter; ensuring that solvents, dish soap and especially paper towels, a broom and dust pan are at home, makes your pet sitter’s life much easier.

Your Pet Sitter appreciates it VERY much when a front porch light is left on for her or him when visits start at night; it can be pretty spooky to walk toward a house all in the dark.


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Happy Traveling! 🙂

Did You Know That You Could Save Your Pet From Over-Vaccination?

The Scare And Mass Hysteria?!

You must vaccine for this ailment and since we’re at it, this is a scare of the year too…. does it ever stop?
It’s business and an abundance of revenue because it is so easy to make money of fearful people…. scare them enough with putting horror stories out about dying and diseased folks and pets, mass hysteria guaranteed. Who’s benefiting?

Now the media (aka pharmaceutical industry) found a new source of revenue and scare dog owners that they must vaccinate their dogs for the flu! Really?!!

It’s getting truly out of hand with how often pets need to get boosters for rabies, distemper, bordetella, canine hepatitis, parvovirus…. my head is spinning…. I’m sure I forgot to list a few…
Cities and states already require certain vaccines to be renewed on an annual basis like rabies while other areas allow for a 3-year period, other vaccinations are not required by the city or the State but sure enough especially when boarding cats or dogs or make use of a doggy day care.
Of course it is important to ensure that pets don’t cross-contaminate when getting together for those daily play dates or staying at a public facility and eventually picking up on what the pooch from before suffered from.

AND: Vaccination does not give a 100% guaranty that your pet doesn’t pick up the particular disease! It a hit or miss and some praying, just like the yearly flu shot where we hope that not the other but given strain of influenza hits~ 50% hit or miss.

The Titer Test~
Why Does Almost Nobody Know About It?

Though, there is always just the big scare put out what all those diseases cause and do to your pet and that it WILL happen if you do not vaccinate your dog or cat religiously but why is no or almost no Veterinarian [I have to say no because I haven’t had a Veterinarian ever tell me about titer tests] educating and advising their clients about the possibility to test the pet’s antibodies?? The Titer Test is a simple blood test to find out if a pet has enough to be immune for a particular disease or if a booster shot is necessary.

What are antibodies?

When a living being’s body [human, animal, plant] is attacked by bacterias, viruses and fungi, the individual’s self defense system [when working properly] IMMUNE SYSTEM is kicking in and building antibodies to fight attacking intruders. Like a mini war if you will.

Giving a vaccine is a purposeful initiation of such mini war, for the body to produce antibodies to fight the just injected virus.
Once the antibodies are produced and fought the virus, chances are that the body becomes immune to those intruders as i.e. the chicken pocks in humans… you eventually only once in your life get a series of boosters and not anymore.

Why should this not happen for other forms of viruses too? Why is the popular believe that a vaccine must be given each and every year until a pet passes?
Why not rather performing a titer test to see if a vaccination is even necessary or if eventually the dog or cat is already immune to certain diseases?

Listen to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM talk about the truth of pet vaccines and titer testing


Vaccines Might Have The Reverse Effect

Tricky and eventually even dangerous it gets when the pet develops an allergic reaction to the given vaccine~ keep in mind, we are speaking of life or dead viruses injected, initiating this “mini war” in the pet’s system… quite a battle to fight [just think of how we feel after some shots]
Lethargy, loss in appetite, vomiting are signs for a reaction to i.e. rabies or distemper. The pets needs to be taken to the Veterinarian immediately and will be usually kept to monitor in the event the pet would go into allergic shock.
Experiencing this once, this particular vaccine cannot be given anymore.


Vaccines And Elderly Pets

Seeing that vaccinations are not easy on the body, especially the owners of elderly pets want to rethink and retire their dog or cat from the annual booster shots~ Mr Pooch and Ms Kitty won’t mind skipping this Vet visit…


Will you ask your Veterinarian about titering?

Listening to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM explaining what Veterinarians learn in Vet school, keep in mind that you might run into reluctance regarding anything different than the traditional common views on vaccinations as it is still taught and with the suspicion that lobby Pharma industry has strong connections as it is money we are talking here.

Look at your pet, your fur kid and you know you will do him/her right when making an educated decision even though it means to swim against the (still) mainstream and being a step ahead of the game.


photo credit: ghinson via photopin cc