Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pet Hospice Care

I have a lot of experience with pet hospice care not only with our own pets but with clients' pets too. Our last four pets that passed away most recently did so at home under hospice care (as well as many of our other pets), with only one being euthanized (by a mobile vet) due to her severe discomfort. 

Though pet hospice care may not be for everyone, it comes naturally to me. Maybe it just runs in the family, as my mother was a home hospice nurse (for people) for 12 years. She has been a great teacher and means of support for me while my own pets were receiving hospice care. The dying process of pets is very similar to that of humans. 

I have been providing hospice care for my own pets since before the internet was even available, so now it's nice to find different websites and organizations online that are educating and supporting people who are interested in pet hospice care. I have listed the links to a few of them below.

I recently received this wonderful (26 min.) video via email with Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian, and Dr. Ella Bittel, a holistic veterinarian from Germany, discussing hospice care for animals.

Here are some pet hospice websites:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pet Food Test Results

As expected, there have been several articles written in response to the Association for Truth in Pet Food's recently published consumer funded pet food test report. It is the first of its kind. And as suspected, the results were not good, and so of course it is going to upset some people and/or groups of people.

I have shared this report with the intention of bringing awareness. What others say or write about this report -- whether it is veterinarians, pet food companies or whomever, does not matter. As Susan Thixton states in a recent reply to all the doubters: this is not a study, it's a test result. This test was done for the pet food consumers who paid to have it done. It's for us -- not you. We want answers. We want the truth. We paid to have it done ourselves because no one else is going to do it. 

As Susan points out in her response to these articles, (and she speaks for me as well) it boils down to trust, doesn't it? I trust my common sense, my experience and my pets more than I trust anyone else.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Kitten-Proofing Your Home

I love kittens! They are so much fun because they have all that energy and just want to play! I have been getting new clients with kittens and some of our long time clients have recently adopted new kittens.

I have noticed over the years that some kitten/cat parents are not aware of the household dangers for cats. (As well as some dog parents/dog dangers.) It doesn't matter whether they are young kittens, seniors or in between. Cat-proofing your home is very important. It can mean avoiding an emergency trip to the vet. It can mean the difference between life and death. In the same way that you would child-proof your home for a new baby, you need to kitten/cat-proof, puppy/dog-proof, bird-proof or whatever-it-may-be-proof your home.

When you take on the responsibility of sharing your home with a living, breathing being -- no matter what kind of animal it is, it's important to do your part in learning about the care of them -- part of which includes learning what is dangerous or toxic to them and how to keep them safe.

Many people get pets on impulse and then do not bother to learn anything about them. Or they rely only on something they've heard before or maybe check out one source of information, that may or may not be reliable.

When you buy a new appliance, you read how to set it up, use it properly, take care of it so it lasts. You probably even did some research before buying it.....deciding which kind would fit properly and be the best one for you. Did you do any research before you adopted your new furry or feathered family member (or other animal)? Did you prepare for them? Have you read some books or talked to others that are knowledgeable about the care of them? 

Even if you have had pets your whole life, what we learn and discover about these beautiful creatures changes daily. Some books and things you may have heard or read about in regards to the care of pets in the past have been replaced with new knowledge and understandings. We are always learning. Things are always changing. Nothing stays the same. It's something you have to keep up with  -- always keeping your mind open for
what we'll discover next.

As this topic of pet-proofing your home has been on my mind lately, wouldn't you know that I just received an article from one of my favorite holistic veterinarians, Dr. Karen Becker, on the subject of kitten-proofing your home. Please check out her 10 tips here.

One thing she doesn't mention that is fresh on my mind because we just went through the holidays, is the dangers of Christmas trees. This is worth mentioning again. Read about one example that I experienced a couple years ago here.

If you have cats in particular, and are going to go out of town for Christmas, please plan ahead. Plan so you can do whatever needs to be done so that you can take down your tree before you leave. Or put it in another room if possible and close the door! There is no sense in leaving a Christmas tree up when you're not even going to be there but yet your cat will have plenty of unsupervised time with it. It's not worth the risk. Sure, people leave their trees up, go out of town and they have cats and nothing has happened. That's great. You think it won't happen to you. It can. Are you willing to take that risk? Cats are animals and they love to climb. If you put a tree in their environment, which is not only something new but enticing, expect that they may decide to climb it! Even if they are a senior. Error on the side of caution. Play it safe. They are counting on us to keep them safe.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pet Food Test Results Pulled from Internet

Well, it's hardly a surprise that one of the largest press release services in the U.S. has pulled our press release about the pet food testing results from the internet. Read more about it here. Big Pet Food does not want the test results known, of course. Such is to be expected, right?

Instead of depending on a large press release service, there are plenty of us -- the pet food consumers, and we have the internet, so please spread the word!

Please forward this press release to your local media:

Press Release:

Read more about the press release being pulled here.
Read The Consumer Funded Pet Food Test results here.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pet Food Test Results

As some of you may know, The Association for Truth in Pet Food, of which I am a member, had a fund raising campaign back in April of 2014. The goal was to raise $10,000 to begin our own independent scientific laboratory testing of cat and dog foods. This is something that has never been done before. History in the making.It is the first consumer funded in-depth examination of pet food. Not only was the $10,000 raised quickly, but it was surpassed and over $15,000 was raised by very determined pet food consumers.

The testing began and now the moment we have been waiting for....the results! What was found "is truly shocking and sad", says Susan Thixton, founder of the association. Personally, I can't even begin to express how I felt as I read the report. There just aren't enough words. Disgusted is one word.

I have written about the dangers of the ingredients in some commercial pet foods and though yes, those are a serious problem -- the test results add insult to injury. It's even worse than I thought. This is a huge wake-up call for not only all who own pets but veterinarians as well. This cannot be ignored or denied any more. 

We, the determined pet food consumers, are fed up and are having the foods tested ourselves. And now with our first scientific laboratory results in hand, we -- the pet food consumers, have to speak up and share this information with our representatives in order to change things. We must also share it with all pet food consumers in order to educate.

Pet food consumers provide state governments with an estimated $1 billion dollars in sales tax revenue per year on pet food purchases alone. The question has to be asked...what are pet food consumers getting in return for this revenue?

Please click here to read the results and find out how to contact your representatives. (She makes it easy with an example letter.) There are also links to download an infographic overview, a printed two page overview and the entire 54 page report -- so please share!

Click here to learn how you can be part of the team that changes the future of pet food!