Archive for Dogs

Intestinal Worms And How To Treat Them Naturally

Have you ever gone to pick up your dog’s poop and noticed something wiggling around in there? While worms can look like something out of a horror movie, they are fairly commonplace among dogs. Dogs often get worms from eating infected feces, soil, water or carrion. Puppies can get worms from their mother as worms can penetrate the uterus to unborn puppies or can be spread through the mother’s milk. Not only are worms gross, they can also cause harm to your pet and therefore must be treated quickly. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to rid your dog of worms!

 

TYPES OF WORMS:

Roundworms: There are two species of roundworms that commonly affect dogs: Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonine. They are long, white and spaghetti-like and absorb nutrients from the infected dog. These worms are visible in your dog’s poop. They initially infect the intestinal tract and then bury their way into other organs and tissues. Eventually, Toxocara canis make their way into the lungs and then airways where they are coughed up and swallowed again, re-entering the intestine to complete their life cycle.

Hookworms: Are short, blood sucking parasites with teeth. They can be fatal in puppies due to the amount of nutrients they strip from the dog. Hookworms have a similar lifecycle to Toxocara canis roundworm, moving throughout the body, to the lungs before re-entering the GI tract. These are not visible in your dog’s stool.

Whipworms: Live in the large intestines and attach to the colon walls to feed on your dog’s blood. These worms are not visible in the stool unless they are passed in a clump. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. Your dog can get whipworms from swallowing eggs in soil, water or other places that may contain dog feces.

Tapeworms: Live in the small intestine, attaching to the wall with its tiny six rows of teeth to absorb nutrients of food. They are flat and can be as long as a half foot or more. When excreted, the worm usually splits into small fragments and presents as small grains of rice in the stool. Your dog can get tapeworms from licking fleas off themselves or from eating infected animal carcasses or meat.

 

SYMPTOMS:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Cough (hookworm and roundworm infections)

 

While roundworms and tapeworms are visible in the stool, hookworms and whipworms are not. Therefore if your dog has any of the symptoms above, whether or not they present with worms in the stool, they should have a fecal test done.

 

Fun Fact: If you need to get a fecal test done to confirm the presence of worms, try to do it around a full moon. This is when parasites shed their eggs the most.

 

PREVENTION & TREATMENT:

Fed a fresh, whole food diet: Kibble fed dogs are more susceptible to worms because worms enjoy eating the starch and sugar found in kibble. 

 

Fermented veggies, coconut or milk kefir: Fermented food lowers the acidity of your dog’s body making it an unfavorable environment for worms.

 

Pumpkin seeds: The grit and fibre help move the worms out of the GI tract. Grind seeds before feeding.

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Fresh vegetables: Grated carrots, watercress, greens, squash, fennel, cucumber. The fibre contained in these veggies helps move the worms out of the GI tract.  

 

Pineapple: Contains bromelain, an enzyme that digests proteins. (include the stems)

 

Papaya: Contains papain, another enzyme to treat worms.

 

Pomegranate: Treats tapeworms.

 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar: Creates a more acidic environment that’s less hospitable for parasites. 

Olie Naturals Coconut Oil

 

Coconut oil: Facilitate removing the worms from the digestive system.

 

 

Bone Broth: Promotes digestive health and boosts the immune system. Especially effective around the full moon when parasites shed their eggs most.

Food is an effective and much safer method to naturally treat worms in your dog as opposed to using toxic, conventional deworming drugs.

Why won’t my dog eat?

Why won’t my dog eat?

It is not unusual for a healthy dog to occasionally go through periods of little-to-no appetite. If your dog seems normal otherwise and has a good amount of energy, refusing a meal or two isn’t a big deal! Instead of jumping to the conclusion that something is wrong with your pet, take a breather and read through the many reasons your dog may not want to eat.

 

They Are Just Not Feeling Well

Refusal to eat because of an upset stomach is not a health crisis, and not always a cause for concern. Dogs are scavengers! They get their noses into things they shouldn’t and investigate with their mouths. Your dog could have gotten into any number of things in your house or yard, or while out on a walk. Change in weather, flea treatments and other medications can also cause your dog to temporarily refuse food.

If his mood and activity are relatively normal, and he’s not repetitively vomiting or having watery diarrhea, missing a meal or two may be just what he needs. Give his digestive system a break and a chance to clear out whatever is irritating his stomach. Ensure he gets plenty of fluids (goat’s milk or bone broth work well to entice your dog to drink more while providing some nutrition), and your dog should be feeling much better soon.

If your dog is experiencing some loose stool, pumpkin can be beneficial and is a healthier alternative to starches like rice or oatmeal. The starchy nature of grains causes them to convert to sugars in your dog’s body, which can irritate their digestive system. Pumpkin is much less starchy, while also containing lots of vitamins and nutrients helpful to a dog who doesn’t want to eat. Pumpkin has lots of fibre, which will help bulk and firm up your pet’s stool, while having a soothing effect on the stomach. The slightly sweet taste and aroma is also enticing for a dog who might not be interested in his usual food.

Another cause of a change in appetite could any recent vaccinations. A common complaint after vaccines is a change in behaviour, temperament, and appetite. This is known as vaccinosis, and these changes aren’t always immediate. They can manifest themselves some time after the vaccines take place. We carry a fantastic product called Anti-Vaccinosis which will help to eliminate any negative side-effects of vaccines without decreasing the effectiveness of the vaccine.

They May Have Been Over-fed

We often have the idea or feeling that food=love and have the tendency to feed too much, or give lots of treats and snacks to our pets. In reality, our dogs have a stomach which is extremely elastic, and is made to eat large quantities of food in order to sustain long periods of time without any food. This is because their ancestor, the wolf, doesn’t have constant access to food like our pets do. When they are able to successfully hunt and capture a meal, they gorge themselves and then often go days before their next meal opportunity. While Fluffy or Fido may not look anything like a wolf, their DNA is almost identical, and their bodies work in pretty similar ways.

Now I’m not saying to let your dog gorge on a huge meal and not feed them for a few days, but take a look at just how much your pet is actually eating. All of those snacks and chews on top of their daily meals can quickly add up. It’s not hard to give another meal or two worth of treats throughout the day. How can you feed your pet “less” without starving them?

  • If you’re doing a lot of training and find yourself feeding lots of treats, replace meal time with training time! Those treats will now become his meal, and having him hungry at training time will also make those treats much more enticing. Check that your treats are healthy and balanced, since they’re making up a large portion of your dog’s diet. In fact, we often like to use freeze-dried or air dried raw foods as training treats! Check out some of our favorites here!
  • Try feeding fewer meals. Many adult dogs do very well having one meal a day instead of two. This is a more natural way of eating for them, and allows their body time to develop a stronger appetite before each meal.
  • Try doing a fast day or “bone day”.  A few times a month, try replacing your dog’s meal with a nice Image result for raw meaty bonesjuicy bone. His digestive system and organs will benefit from a period of rest to “cleanse” themselves.  In addition, a bone keeps him busy while giving him the satisfaction of chewing. It is no surprise that some of the healthiest dogs we see miss meals from time to time! Check out our guide to feeding bones here!

They Are Getting Bored

We wouldn’t want to eat the same thing for every meal, so why would our pets be any different? Variety is the spice of life!

  • Try rotating between a few different proteins to keep things interesting for your pet. Eating a variety of meats is often healthier for them too, as each animal has a unique nutrient makeup. Try to incorporate a good mix of red and white meats.
  • Think outside the box (or bag)! Feeding whole prey like an entire herring or quail, or a meaty bone like a neck or rib, is a great way to bring some excitement to your pet’s meal time. These are high value items to your dog, as he doesn’t get special treats like these every day! They are also great because having a “difficult” meal (as opposed to ground meat) is also mentally stimulating for your dog. Another great benefit is that crunching on bones cleans your dog’s teeth and keeps his breath fresh.

They May Be Stressed Or Anxious

Have you recently moved, or had a change in your family such as a new baby or dramatic shift in work schedule? Dogs can be stressed by change just like we are, and they also feed off of our own stress and energy levels. Sometimes these stressful periods will cause a dog to have a change in appetite or behaviour. Keeping to the same daily schedule of feeding times and walks throughout these times can help normalize daily life for your pet and ease some of their stress. You may also consider trying topical treatments or supplements.

They Could Be Simply Picky

We all want to do the best for our dogs, but sometimes we give in too much and end up fostering a picky attitude. Dogs who are offered many alternative foods or even treats when they turn their nose up to something, learn very quickly how to manipulate their humans. They know that when they turn down a particular food, something better (and probably less healthy)  is about to be offered next.

To break the picky cycle, offer your dog his meal and if he won’t eat, take his food away for a couple hours and try again later. Eventually he will learn that if he’s hungry, he will have to eat what’s in front of him. Think of it this way: if your children wouldn’t eat their veggies, you wouldn’t panic and offer them some chocolate, so why do this for your dog?

Next time your dog decides he doesn’t want dinner, don’t fret! Letting your dog get hungry is not a bad thing, and you aren’t being a bad pet parent! Look at your dog’s overall well-being, and try out some of the strategies we’ve given you. It’s also important to remember this: no healthy dog has ever starved itself to death!

Cannabis And Your Pets

Marijuana vs Hemp

No, the Cannabis products you’re giving to your pets are not the same as what you would find at Woodstock. While marijuana and hemp come from the same plant, Cannabis Sativa, marijuana’s THC content (the chemical which gets you “high”) is usually between 10 and 15 percent; but hemp must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less. At this level, cannabis has no intoxicating effect, for people or pets. Hemp is higher in CBD, the substance that provides the therapeutic effects, and as such, medicinal CDB products are typically derived from hemp rather than marijuana.

 

How does CBD work?

CDB is short for cannabidiol, one of over 60 chemicals found in Cannabis called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDs are the therapeutic cannabinoids, while THC is the cannabinoid that gets you high. CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, and therefor does not alter your consciousness in any way.

All vertebrates have something called an endocannabinoid system, a nervous (or communication) system that exists throughout our entire body. This system works in reverse from how most nervous systems function, and instead of sending signals from the brain to the body, it sends signals from the body to the brain.

Two main cannabinoid receptors have been identified: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the nervous system, connective tissue, gonads, glands, and organs. CB2 receptors are located in the immune system and its associated structures.

Endo means inside, and this means that the body produces its own form of cannabinoids. Our endocannabinoids are not nearly as strong as phytocannabinoids (the ones found in Cannabis), but they are so similar that they “fit” into the same receptors. You can think of the receptors as locks and the cannabinoids as keys. If we can supply extra keys to these nerve receptors, we can alter the signals that the nerves send to the brain.

 

How can our pets benefit from CBD products?

The use of CBD products may be beneficial in the treatment the following conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cognitive (brain) function
  • Deteriorating quality of life
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatty tumors
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Inflammation
  • Joint and mobility issues
  • Seizures
  • Skin problems
  • Stress
  • Tumors

As with any herbal medicine, for most ailments you may not see an immediate effect. You’ll need to be patient to fully see how it benefits your pet’s condition. Your pet may feel some pain relief in a few hours but other symptoms like inflammation may take a few days to show improvement.

 

How to give and dose CDB

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to dosing, and each pet may respond differently. We recommend starting slow with 1/4-1/2 of the recommended dose, increasing every couple days until you reach your desired effect. CBD can take 30 mins-1hr to take effect, so give each dose time before giving more product.

CBD is very safe and has no known drug interactions, and it is safe to exceed stated dosage levels if needed, as there is no risk of overdosing CBD. You can repeat doses every 4-8 hours or as needed.

 

We have several CBD products to suit you and your pet’s needs

Oils:

Apawthecary Pets:

  • Uses hemp terpenes, which also have some medicinal benefits, instead of CBD
  • Hemp terpenes work together with CBD to increase its effects, making it great to pair with CBD products for pets which require high doses of CBD
  • Flavoured and unflavoured to help finicky pets readily accept the oil
  • Available in 2 strengths, containing 4mg and 10mg of terpenes per mL

Noah’s Ark

CBD with Coconut Oil from Noah's Ark

  • Organic and non-GMO
  • The most highly-concentrated product we carry, this is a great option for moderate to severe conditions or large pets that would otherwise require high amounts of product
  • Available in two strengths containing 10mg of CBD per mL and 26mg per mL.
  • Each batch is tested for quality and purity assurance.

Treats:

Treatibles

  • Grain-free
  • Treats are a great alternative for picky pets who don’t like oils
  • More portable than liquid for travelling
  • 4mg of CBD per treat

Topper:

Steve’s Real Food Enhance Cannagurt:

  • Made with raw goat’s milk for vitamins, minerals, probiotics and amino acids
  • Added hemp protein which is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is also high in fiber, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes and maintains energy
  • 2.6mg of CBD per ounce rehydrated

Cool Cat or Hot Dog? Finding Balance with Food Energetics

Cool Cat or Hot Dog? Finding Balance with Food Energetics

 

“Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

What is Food Energetics?

Image result for yin yang cat dog

Food energetics is the concept that specific foods can alter the flow of energy within the body, with either cooling or warming effects. These warming or cooling properties can be used to bring balance to the body, and to promote healing or aid various bodily processes.
This concept comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine, where diet is used as prevention and treatment of diseases and ailments. The goal is to harmonize the flow of Yin (which is cooling) and Yang (which is warming) through foods which contain these same properties. Through observation, ancient scholars discovered that foods had predictable physiologic and metabolic effects on the body. They named these effects “food energetics.” Foods are classified into four categories: cooling, neutral, warming, and hot. We will be focusing on the foods which may be found in our pet’s diet.
So, what observations led to their discovery of food energetics? Initially, ancient scholars observed the human body and how it was affected by various stimuli such as food, herbs, and the environment. Then, they observed how animals and fish behaved, how plants grew, and how they all interacted in natural environments. For example, some fish live in the deepest, darkest, coolest depths of the lake; whereas, some fish live more toward the surface. The fish at the bottom of the lake prefer cooler temperatures and are less active. Conversely, the fish at the top of the water more towards the surface, they prefer warmer temperatures and are more active.
Can you guess which fish would be considered “cooling”? That’s right, the fish who is less active and prefers colder water.

Is your pet hot or cold?

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Some signs that a pet may be “hot” and could benefit from a cooling diet include:
  • Seeking out cool places to rest, rather than a bed or crate
  • Panting when it’s not warm out, or seems inappropriate
  • Red, itchy eyes or skin issues like rashes or hot spots, or other allergy issues
  • They may be anxious, easily aroused or seem generally restless

 

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Some signs that a pet may be “cold” and could benefit from a warming diet include:
  • Joint or other inflammation issues like arthritis
  • Asthma or breathing difficulties
  • Poor appetite or a generally low energy
  • Urinary or digestive issues like IBD
Your pet may not fall under these “hot” or “cold” categories. Even for pets which do not suffer from any apparent imbalances, providing a diet which is more cooling or warming can be used to provide a seasonal balance. For example: on a cold winter day, we seek out foods which give a feeling of warmth and comfort, rather than foods which are light and refreshing.

Neutral foods

These foods can be used in combination with other foods to provide variety, or ease the harshness of a very cooling or warming diet.
  • Meat: Beef, Bison, Tripe, Pork, Goose, Quail
  • Fish: Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardine, Sturgeon, Tuna
  • Vegetables: Beans, Peas, Pumpkin, Yam, Cabbage, Carrot, Potato
  • Fruits: Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry
  • Grains: Brown and White Rice, Lentils, Rye
  • Other: Chicken Eggs, Cow’s Milk, Flax Seeds, Peanut

Cooling foods

These foods will cool pets with hot properties, providing relief of allergies and skin irritations
  • Meat: Duck, Rabbit
  • Fish: Cod, Crab, Clam, Whitefish
  • Vegetables: Bamboo, Celery, Cucumber, Kelp, Lettuce, Mushroom, Seaweed
  • Fruits: Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Mango, Pear, Strawberry, Watermelon
  • Grains: Barley, Buckwheat, Millet, Wheat, Wild Rice
  • Other: Duck Eggs, Flaxseed Oil, Peppermint

Warming foods

These foods will warm pets with cold properties, providing relief of arthritis and digestive issues
  • Meat: Chicken, Pheasant, Turkey
  • Fish: Anchovy, Mussell, Shrimp
  • Vegetables: Black Bean, Squash, Sweet Potato
  • Fruit: Cherry, Date, Peach
  • Grains: Oats, Sorghum
  • Other: Coconut, Basil, Cinnamon, Ginger, Goat’s Milk, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric

Hot foods

These are the most intensely warming foods, and care should be taken that these foods are not overly used, even in cold dogs
  • Meat: Lamb, Venison
  • Fish: Trout

Using food energetics to heal your pet

The key here is balance. Having a “hot” dog doesn’t mean your pet should only eat “cold” foods. After all, variety is also important in a healthy, balanced diet. These classifications act as a guide to equalize your pet’s energy through diet. Reducing the foods which share the same energy as your pet, and increasing foods with an opposite energy will help to create that balance.

What is Colostrum? And why should my pet have it?

What is colostrum?

First, what is colostrum? Colostrum is the first milk that all mammals produce when they give birth. It is a complex liquid that nature designed specifically for the unique needs of the newborn. It cannot be made artificially or by using man made formulas. While colostrum’s original purpose is to provide a concentrated source of nutrients, energy and immune-boosters to newborn animals, Bovine colostrum is beneficial as a health supplement for cats and dogs of all ages.

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Why should I feed colostrum to my pets?

Colostrum provides a range of natural growth and immune factors that work to optimize the immune system, the health  of the gastrointestinal tract, oral cavity, musculoskeletal system, and skin and coat health. As your pet ages, the body gradually produces less of the immune and growth factors that help them maintain and support health. In aging and senior pets, colostrum helps to maintain normal body function and a state of health.  It also provides a form of additional energy. For working and performance pets, colostrum delivers a source of key factors that work to support natural stamina, endurance and normal recovery.

Uses of colostrum

Colostrum can be useful in the treatment of IBD, gastroenteritis, colitis, diarrhea, absorption deficiencies, pancreatitis, constipation, and food allergies. In addition to these, colostrum also provides immune-boosting, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal support to healthy cats and dogs.

 

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Colostrum and allergies

Allergy symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to the presence of a substance (an allergen) that’s not normally considered to be of danger to the body. When a dog is hypersensitive to one or more allergens, the body assumes it’s being invaded by something nasty and calls up the defense forces to neutralize the offending substance. Unfortunately, the release of histamine during this response produces unwelcome symptoms such as itchy, irritated ears, scooting, itchy feet, hot spots and breathing difficulties.

Colostrum contains a hormone called Proline-Rich-Polypeptide (PRP). This hormone can either stimulate an underactive immune system or in the case of allergies and autoimmune diseases, regulate an overactive immune system. PRP’s ability to reduce allergic symptoms is thought to be partly due to inhibition of the white blood cell and T-cell overproduction that’s normally associated with allergies. PRP is also thought to help create special cells (helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells) that can suppress and switch off the immune response. Other studies have shown that PRP is highly anti-inflammatory, which helps not just with allergies, but other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.

 

Colostrum and leaky gutImage result for leaky gut graphic

Most of the immune system function happens in the gastrointestinal (or GI) tract. One of the major benefits of colostrum is its ability to control the health of the GI tract and seal the lining so undigested food can’t pass through and cause inflammation and allergy symptoms. There are several recent studies that show colostrum can help reverse gut irritation and the chronic health issues it can cause including yeast. Because colostrum contains probiotics and has antibiotic activity, it can help restore a healthy gut flora, which is key to healing leaky gut. For more information on Leaky Gut, read our blog post.

 

Colostrum and illness

A 2007 study showed that colostrum was three times more effective than the flu vaccine in preventing the flu. The same immune-boosting properties that help prevent and treat cancer and allergies can also protect your dog from viruses such as bordetella (kennel cough), parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease and more.

 

Colostrum and would healing

Colostrum contains growth factors, which help the newborn grow and develop. These same growth factors can stimulate wound healing. Studies show that when applied externally, colostrum can speed wound healing, skin growth and cellular repair. Colostrum also contains antibacterial properties, which will prevent and heal infections.

Topically, colostrum can be used for:

  • Dermatitis and skin infections
  • Gingivitis and oral infections
  • Ear infections
  • Abscesses
  • Cysts
  • Insect bites
  • Surgical wounds

To use colostrum topically, mix the powder with distilled or sterile water until it forms a paste, and apply it directly to the infected area.

 

Colostrum and cats

Colostrum isn’t just for dogs! Add some to your cats diet as well and allow them to reap the same benefits!

 

In conclusion, colostrum is a versatile superfood which is beneficial to animals of all ages and life stages, and supports a wide variety of conditions. It is a palatable and easily-digested addition to your pet’s healthcare regime. Try colostrum with your pet to experience its wide range of benefits.