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Creating a Balanced Immune System for your Pet

creating a balanced immune system for your pet

The immune system is “the great protector.” A balanced immune system protects against a specific disease by inoculation or because of innate or acquired resistance.

The immune system protects the body from pathogens and other foreign substances. It also destroys infected cells.

Why is a Balanced Immune System Important?

The immune system’s job is to respond to infections.

Recent studies show that an animal’s emotions have a tremendous effect on immunity, both positive and negative. Environmental influences including noises, odors, light patterns, and pollutants can also dramatically affect the immune system.

The goal of a holistic approach is to integrate all of the components of the immune system to bring them back into balance.

Balance is very important, because an imbalance in either direction –the immune system is underactive or overactive – can ultimately lead to disease in the body.

Immune System Disruptors

There are many ways immune function can become unbalanced.

Diseases can directly attack the cells of the immune system or they can slowly invade parts of the immune system, decreasing its effectiveness.

Stress can overwhelm the ability of the immune system to respond, which makes your pet more susceptible to disease.

Antibiotics can assist the immune system by killing off bacteria. But they also destroy the protective friendly bacteria that live in an animal’s gut, on the skin, and in other areas of the body.

Maintaining Your Pet’s Immune Health

A healthy immune system is a balanced immune system, and there are several things you can do to maintain your pet’s immune health.

1.  Encourage Your Dog’s Innate Love for Play

Exercise can benefit for your pet’s immune system. When you keep your dog fit it can boost immune health and promote overall well-being.

When your pet works their muscles, it helps to cleanse their body of toxins.

2.  Feed Your Dog the Right Foods

Your dog’s diet is extremely important for good immune health. The gut contains about 70 percent of your immune system.

3.  Harness the Healing Power of Dog Massage

Touch and massage can be beneficial because it promotes relaxation, healing, and emotional health and therefore, your pet’s immune health.

4.  Consider Certain Supplements for Your Pet

To increase the effectiveness of the immune system, you may consider supplementing probiotics because they introduce beneficial microorganisms into the digestive tract. Healthy gut flora promotes improved gut immunity, which has shown to promote improved internal immunity.

5.  Keep your dog at their ideal weight

An appropriate diet will help manage inflammatory responses, which improves your pet’s immune function.

The more antioxidants they receive the better. This is impossible to do if you’re feeding an entirely processed diet in the form of dry or canned pet food.

Animals have very high antioxidant requirements. You can either provide a synthetic vitamin and mineral supplement like pet food manufacturers do it, or you can provide whole food nutrition.

To be vibrantly healthy, animals need lots of unprocessed fresh foods to meet their antioxidant requirements. These include vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and vitamin D. Fresh meats and organs, herbs, and organic, non-genetically modified (GM) vegetables are excellent natural sources of the vitamins and antioxidants your pet needs for a balanced, healthy immune system.

6.  Reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals your pet encounters

Reducing the amount of chemicals on and around your pet is important for maintaining a good immunity.

Offering chlorine-free water is very important, as is toxin-free air.

Holistic veterinarians advocate the importance of balanced immune systems. They have many tools to help re-balance an under-active or overactive immune system. We hope this article has helped you find ways to create a balanced immune system for your pet.

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How do you know if your dog loves you?

How do you know if your dog loves you?

How do you know if your dog loves you

You love your dog, but do they love you back? If you may not be sure since they don’t share our body language, so here are some signs that yes, they do love you back!

Makes Eye Contact

Such a simple concept in the human world – normally we use eye contact to show we’re paying attention and engaging in what the other person is talking about. But for dogs, this changes entirely. If a dog locks eyes with another dog, it can be considered an act of aggression. So, if your dog is holding eye contact you with little to no white in their eyes, it means they’re happy and comfortable around you.

Wagging Tail

This one seems easy but is a more complex signal than humans realize. Tail wags can have various meanings around them, not all of them friendly. If your dog’s tail is over their back and stiff, don’t interact as they are likely tense. To tell if your dog loves you, see if their tail is mid-height at swinging back and forth in a wide arc. Alternatively, for dogs with much shorter tails, they might just end up wagging their entire butt.

Leaning

For humans, leaning on someone is a sign of trust that they will not let you fall. For dogs, this can be very similar – but keep other body language in mind when you look at this. A dog that is making eye contact, with their mouths hanging open, looking calm, and a wagging tail is a happy one. Otherwise they might be anxious or trying to exert control.

Jumping

Jumping is seen as a negative to a lot of humans – especially for bigger dogs at the risk of knocking someone over when they do. But that does not mean this is their intent – quite the opposite! Most times, when a dog will jump they are trying to get closer to your face to observe things like your eyes and give you that big “welcome back” lick they’ve been wanting to give you. If your dog gets bouncy when they’re around you, they might just be showing how much they love you.

These are only some of the ways your dog expresses caring, but what about you?

How can you show your dog how much you love them in return?

Leave their Toys out

If you must leave for work most of the day or go out for an extended amount of time, try to leave your dog’s toys out. This allows your dog to remain distracted and gives them plenty of mental stimulation instead of worrying if you’re every coming home. And bonus? There are toys made to put treats in, so your dog has an incentive to play and stay engaged in their toy!

Let Your Dog Come too

If you need to go to work, see if you can have your dog come with you! Even if you make sure they do nothing but lay under your desk while you’re working, it will help them feel loved! Bonus points if they can lay their head in your lap or cuddle up against your feet. Stress relief while you’re busy writing that last minute project!

Going for a Drive

If you can’t take your dog to work, you can take them for car rides! If it’s a short errand like going through the Starbucks Drive Thru for their latest specialty drink, or picking up someone, let your dog join you. They’ll love the car ride, plus often they get to sit in the passenger seat – without that scary vet at the end of the ride. Just take caution, if you do bring your dog with you, be sure to not leave them in your car. Even on cool days, the temperatures in your car can reach sweltering levels.

Praise

We all love telling a dog they’re a good boy/girl, and that can really make them excited! But there are other ways to give them attention as well – and it helps enforce positive behaviors too. If they’re lying on the ground while you watch TV, give your dog a treat or some love. This might also help calm them! The same can be true with when they’re doing something adorable or laying by your feet calmly while you’re at your job. Pay attention to your tone when you do this, make sure you stay calm and kind. Getting excited can excite them.

Reduce Stress and Keep Them Healthy

Stress in pets is caused by many things, such as being separated from owners, being given a different diet, having to cope with other animals (or humans), or simple changes in regular routines. Ex-rescue dogs have undergone acute trauma in their work; other adopted pets may have had similar experiences leading to stress. Poor nutrition and infections also contribute. Stress can be tough on non-complaining pets. Help keep your pet healthy with Pet Stress Relief.  It is the nearly perfect supplement for tuning up your pet’s health, immune function and providing ongoing support against illness and disease.

And if all else fails, learning how they show their love can go a long way! Just by you recognizing their affections and responding appropriately, you can help them feel loved.

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6 Common Health Problems Your Dog May Be Suffering From

6 Common Health Problems Your Dog May Be Suffering From

Health Problems Your Dog May Be Suffering From

Your dog may be happy and energetic, but does that mean they are free of health problems? Just like humans, they can have a variety of health issues. Some are more common than others, but here are some of the common health problems your dog might be suffering from.

Ear Infection

Just like humans, ear infections can happen for a variety of reasons. Be it allergies or ear mites or bacteria, they suffer just the same. Some signs they might be suffering from an ear infection are:

  • Head shaking or tilting
  • Strange back-and-forth eye movements
  • Redness in the ear canal
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Ear odor
  • Inability to remain balanced
  • Outer portion of the ear swelling
  • Vigorous scratching

If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, take them to a veterinarian right away.

Vomiting

Just like ear infection, vomiting can be caused by a variety of reasons. Intestinal parasites, kidney failure, poisoning, or heatstroke are only some of them. If your dog is suffering symptoms of vomiting – including heaving in their abdominal region, repeated vomiting, inability to hold down liquids, or lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately. Otherwise, they are at risk of live-threatening dehydration.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be caused by stress, infections, or food issues, among many other options. If you suspect your dog has diarrhea, look for their stool to be loose, watery, or a liquid. Like vomiting, this can lead to dehydration. Make sure your dog has plenty of clean water and take them to the vet if their diarrhea lasts more than one day. If they have a fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, or dark or bloody stools, take them to their vet immediately.

Eye infection

If your dog is showing discomfort, redness, or a sensitivity to light, they might have an eye infection. Eye infections can also have a variety of underlying reasons, such as pink eye or red eye, an inflammation in their cornea or another interior portion of their eye, or an anomaly in their tear glands or their eyelids. Symptoms your dog might have an eye infection are

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Watery/thick/smelly discharge
  • Squinting
  • Blinking
  • Holding their eye closed
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pawing of the eye

It is important to take them to their vet, as they can identify and provide a solution to help your dog. To help prevent an eye infection, considering closing the window to your car when you drive – this can allow foreign elements to hit their eye, and keep the hair around their eyes trimmed and the rest of their face clean.

Bladder infection

Pets who look like they are trying to go, even when there is little pee available, are likely to have a bladder infection. If your pet is passing little to no potentially blood-tinged pee, or they are having accidents in the house, they might be suffering from a bladder infection. In certain cases, they might not be able to pee at all. If this is the case, take them to a vet right away.

Arthritis

Like humans, dogs can suffer from joint-paint and arthritis. The symptoms your dog has arthritis will be subtle – as if they are limping or giving any outward signs of pain it could be a sign of long-term degeneration. The subtler symptoms include weight gain, less interest in playing, changes in attitude, or they begin to sleep more. If they are cautious when climbing stairs or not as excited when greeting you from returning home, these can also be signs of arthritis.

If you suspect your dog has arthritis, take them to see a vet and discuss options for medications – but do not under any circumstances give them medications intended for humans, including Ibuprofen. To help relieve your dog’s arthritis symptoms, try to help keep your dog at a reasonable weight and get them a soft and comfortable surface they can sleep on instead of hardwood, tile, or a doghouse.

To improve your dog’s immune system try Max-Immune Forte™.  A specially formulated powder that contains five important immune-supporting ingredients.  The fact is, intestinal flora imbalance is a major underlying cause of veterinarian visits. Complications such as persistent diarrhea, vomiting and constipation are stressful for both pets and owners. Dietary changes, exposure to environmental stressors, a less than optimal diet, or ingestion of found substances can all contribute to gut issues in animals, leading to further reduction of health and immune function.

 

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Holistic Pet Care the Natural Option

holistic pet care therapies

Holistic Pet Care Therapies

Holistic pet care therapies can work well for pet parents seeking more natural and effective means for the overall health and wellness of their pet. By blending conventional medicine and holistic medicine, if offers pets customized care. This way healing can be focused on the individual pet rather than a standardized approach to treating an ailment.

Holistic pet care therapies may include:

  • Veterinary acupuncture
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathy
  • Nutritional counseling and targeted supplements

The benefits of these holistic pet care for dogs and cats can include:

  • Reducing or eliminating side effects from regular medications.
  • Improving mobility and pain management for older pets
  • Addressing chronic diseases and health issues through improved healing, and strengthening of the immune system
  • Reducing healthcare costs over the life of your pet

Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine that can be applied to pets by promoting the body to heal itself naturally. Acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin where nerve bundles and blood vessels are located, called energy points that improve blood circulation, oxygen, nerve stimulation, and releasing hormones to help with inflammation and pain.

As part of an integrative approach to pet care, holistic pet care can complement conventional medicine. Herbal therapy combined with veterinary medicine has a long history of effective and safe treatment for many conditions and illnesses including: allergies, digestive issues, heart disease, and pain management.

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How to Tell if your Dog is Stressed

how to tell if your dog is stressed

How to Tell if your Dog is Stressed

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if your dog is feeling anxious, stressed or worried. You might think your pet can’t tell you if they are sick or stressed, but they can if you know what to look for. Dogs communicate their emotional state through body language and behavior. It’s just a matter of decoding the cues and knowing what to look for.

Noticing the signs of stress early is important. It will give you an opportunity to help your dog before things escalate and become dangerous.

Signs that your dog is stressed:

  1. Aggression toward People or Animals – Aggression towards people or animals can indicate a stressed or sick dog. Consult your vet before the problem gets worse. You may also see signs of fear, submissiveness, or unusual body posture.
  2. Sleeping More – If your dog is sleeping more than usual of seems overly quiet or lethargic, it can be a symptom that your dog is sick or injured or upset. There are also other severe health conditions that this can be a symptom of. Consult your vet.
  3. Alone Time – If your dog is regularly isolating himself from people or other pets he may be suffering from sickness or anxiety. Your vet can help you identify the cause.
  4. Drop in Appetite – If your pet stops eating or loses interest in their food it is important to consult a veterinarian. It could be due to stress or another health condition.
  5. Diarrhea, constipation or other digestive problems – Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea or constipation can also be caused by anxiety. Speak to your vet if this is unusually severe or lasts longer than 24 hours or if the diarrhea is bloody.

 

Additional Signs of Stress to Look For

  • Unnecessary shaking or shivering
  • Abnormal shedding
  • Tense muscles
  • Excessive drooling
  • Itching and scratching
  • Licking lips and nose
  • Yawning

Why is My Dog Stressed?

There are some causes that are obvious. Moving to a new living situation or home can be extremely stressful for your dog.

Here are some other reasons why your dog may be stressed:

  • Noise – Our dogs are constantly dealing with sounds. Especially when living in a metropolitan area. Fireworks would be a prime example of a noise stressor that could give your dog extreme anxiety.
  • Routine– Dogs are very routine oriented and when it’s disrupted they get nervous. Does your dog let you know when it’s time to be fed? That’s because they are used to the routine.
  • Mental stimulation is lacking. Dog toys, exercise, walks, these are all important to reduce stress.
  • Others– all dogs react to new guests, children, crowded situations or strange hands petting them differently. Please keep in mind that these things will impact your dog’s nerves significantly.
  • Your mood and anxiety level – Pets are very sensitive to our moods and anxiety levels.  When you are upset, then they feel upset.

How Can I Reduce My Dog’s Stress?

  1. Prevention– The number 1 way to reduce your pet’s stress is to reduce stressful environmental factors, like exposure to noise or crowds. Follow a routine that includes exercise and mental stimulation.
  2. Emulation– When your dog licks his lips or blinks, copy the behavior. This supports your dog’s efforts to calm down.
  3. Give your dog a Safe Place– It can be a dog crate or area that is “their spot” to feel safe and calm down.
  4. Dog Training– If your dog knows how to please their human, they are happy. Untrained dogs suffer anxiety trying to figure out how to please you.
  5. Caregivers– Spending a long time in a kennel can create stress, so can new people. Having a regular dog sitter or dog walker can greatly reduce their stress.
  6. Pet Stress Relief – Just like people, our pets experience immune issues caused by stress in their lives. When your pet is under stress, immune support is one of the first areas of their health to be affected. Our Pet Stress Relief can help tune up your pet’s health, immune function and provide ongoing support against illness and disease.

Knowing the signs of stress in your dog is important. It gives you the ability to help your dog before things get out of control.

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Is Your Dog Suffering from Allergies?

Here are some basic steps to eliminate allergens and natural ways to relieve the symptoms of dog allergies.

dog allergies pet allergies

What are the different types of Pet Allergies?

  • Food Allergy
  • Contact Allergy
  • Flea Allergy
  • Inhalant Allergy

The canned dog food or kibble that you buy at the store isn’t the best way to feed your pet when they have an allergy.  The ingredients that you find in those commercial pet foods such as wheat, corn, soy, rice aren’t the typical foods for a dog. So, it’s not unexpected that they develop an allergy to them.

Raw Pet Food

When you feed your pet raw food on the other hand, it gives your pet the nutrients they need in a way that their system can deal with. Meaty bones, muscle meat and organ meat help to restore the healthy gut bacteria which play a big role in allergy prevention.  Another way to improve their gut health is with Max-Immune Forte™. The components in Max-Immune Forte™ contribute to comprehensive immune support and gut health for all dog and cat breeds.

Fleas

Fleas can cause hives, dermatitis and major itching for all kinds of dogs. And they can be difficult to get rid of. Even when you kill the fleas living and breeding on your pet, you still have to take care of the eggs that can hatch around your house.

You can treat with chemicals since they get the job done quickly but these products can be problematic. If you want to treat with natural flea control methods, they may take longer to work so you must be persistent.

Reduce Exposure

Minimize Exposure to allergens that are airborne. If your dog has a runny nose, sneezing, swollen eyes or reverse sneezing, this can be caused by exposure to airborne allergens.

How can I reduce my dog’s exposure to allergens?

  • Keep your pet indoors when the pollen count is up.
  • Use an air filter in your home.
  • Wipe the surfaces in your house with a damp rag to pick up the dust.
  • Use HEPA filters in the vacuum.

There are Herbal Antihistamines Available for your Pet.

Quercetin, a plant flavonoid acts as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory product that blocks the production of histamine to prevent allergy symptoms.  It can also halt the allergic reaction and calm itching and respiratory symptoms.

These basic steps help to ensure that you’ve dealt with the most common causes of allergies in dogs and relieve the symptoms in a safe and natural manner. We always recommend that you consult your vet.

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10 Signs Your Dog May Be Sick

Holistic pet care therapies

Your pets can’t tell you when they are sick or hurting. Here are some signs and symptoms that your dog may be sick.  By watching for these signs and symptoms you can help keep your dogs as healthy as possible.

Excessive drinking or Urination

Excess drinking is frequently a sign that your dog is sick and losing water at an unhealthy rate. Polydipsia, or extreme thirst can be an early indicator of several serious illnesses. In addition to excessive thirst, your dog may also experience an increased appetite, hair loss along the back, and increased panting. Contact your vet for a diagnosis if you notice any combination of these symptoms.

Bad Breath or Drooling

Bad breath is a result of bacteria in your dog’s mouth, lungs or gut. Persistent bad breath can indicate that your dog needs dental care of that something is wrong with the gastrointestinal tract, liver or Kidneys. This is something to investigate with your vet.

Cloudy eyes or discoloration

Red eyes in dogs often indicate a negative reaction or allergy. Red eyes may also be the result of a tear or injury to the eyelid or tissue. If your dog has cloudy or bluish-gray eyes it can be a sign of cataracts or nuclear sclerosis, a normal change in aging eyes.

Irritability

Many dogs can’t vocalize their pain until someone tries to touch them. If your sweet pup suddenly growls when people approach, he may be protecting a painful body part or injury. Seek veterinary care if your dog develops a sudden grumpy growling disposition.

Coughing

Frequent coughing in dogs can be an early sign of lung disease, heartworms, or other heart diseases. A hacking cough is a common symptom of kennel cough. As the name suggests, kennel cough is most often contracted from other dogs in crowded areas like dog parks and daycare facilities.

For most dogs, symptoms of kennel cough typically go away within two weeks. Puppies with kennel cough, however, may be at risk of contracting pneumonia. Furthermore, kennel cough and other respiratory problems are often more severe for dog breeds with flat faces, such as boxers, bulldogs, and Boston terriers.

Appetite change

When your dog won’t eat it is called anorexia. This is a complete loss of appetite in dogs. Even though most dogs can go a few days with out eating, it is better to address the problem as early as possible. This can be a sign of cancer, infections, pain, liver problems and kidney failure.

Dry, itchy skin

Dry and itchy skin is often a sign of allergies to a food in their diet. Dry skin may also indicate a flea allergy or atopic dermatitis. Dermatitis can affect dogs of any age and is often accompanied by recurring ear infections.

Sores or skin ulcers

Sores or skin ulcers can be a sign of a food allergy or other nutritional issues. Severe and widespread sores may be the result of a fungal or bacterial infection, autoimmune disorder, congenital disorders, and parasites. If the top layer of your dog’s skin has been compromised, it may result in skin lesions and ulcers that affect the deeper layers.

Hair loss

The most frequent cause of hair loss are pesky ticks and fleas, but it could also be a sign of a more serious illness. Like dry skin, hair loss can indicate food allergies, and is often accompanied by redness and hot spots. Hair loss in dogs may also be a sign of a hormone imbalance like thyroid disorders, pituitary dwarfism, and adrenal gland deficiency.

Stiffness or arthritis

If your dog has difficulty when walking or getting up and down, it may be an early sign of arthritis, disc disease, ruptured ligaments, or hip dysplasia, which causes the hip joint to develop abnormally.

Though arthritis and stiffness are often signs of aging, there are many tools and practices to improve your dog’s quality of life in their golden years. If you notice stiffness as a sign that your dog is sick, contact your vet to discuss options to preserve their mobility for as long as possible.

Help keep your dogs as healthy as possible. Remember, your dog can’t describe their symptoms to you. By being aware of the signs and symptoms of diseases in dogs, you can help reduce the risk of being affected by them. If your 4-legged friend shows symptoms of being ill, please contact your veterinarian immediately.