Benefits of Walking Your Dog

I get most of  my walking exercise with my dog, which is healthy for both of us. Not to mention bonding with my furbaby. Regular walks can be extremely beneficial to your dog’s digestive system also. If you have a timid or fearful pet, regular walks can help your pet to build confidence and trust. Walking is great for socializing as Fido meets others along your walk.

Health Benefits of Walking Your Dog infographic by PetSafe

infographic brought to you by PetSafe.

Sources: Pet MD, PetSafe

The Truth About Grains

by Alyse Stark, Only Natural Pet Nutrition Consultant

Choosing the right food for your furry friend can be a daunting task, even when you’re only dealing with one seemingly simple question:  should your pet go grain free?  Although the “Grained versus Grain Free” debate has been in full swing for quite some time, the basic arguments remain the same.

Dog in a field of Wheat Grain

To Grain or Not to Grain?

Proponents of a grain based diet for dogs argue that grains increase protein content and are a good source of necessary nutrients.  In the case of working breeds or active sporting dogs that digest and assimilate grains well, they may benefit from the higher carbohydrate content of a grain based diet.

Always choose a premium brand that does not contain a grain as the first ingredient.  Grains should be used as a carbohydrate and not as a primary protein source.  It is important to note…

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New Beginnings: 3 Reiki Techniques to Help A New Dog Join the Family

Are you thinking about bringing a new fur-baby into your home? Kathleen Prasad is an Animal Reiki Master Teacher, author and founder of Animal Reiki Source. She wrote the following article for ‘Dogs Naturally Magazine’ about adding a new dog to your family. 1) Find the perfect dog-though I believe THEY choose us. Usually you will be ‘drawn’ to a particular dog. (This is not you, it is the dog). All my pets, except one, just ‘came’ into my life. 2) Coming Home-visualize the positives. 3) Ongoing Support-connect through the heart. Connecting through the heart is central to Reiki practice and animal communication. You do not have to be a Reiki Practitioner to use these techniques. Dogs pick up on our energy (feelings), words, thoughts and images. They also pick up on our habits and rituals quickly, i.e., leaving for work, having dinner, going to bed.

New Beginnings: 3 Reiki Techniques to Help A New Dog Join the Family

Originally published in the February 2013 Issue of Dogs Naturally magazine

By Kathleen Prasad

I remember so clearly that day, Mother’s Day 2011: the day that we adopted our dog Mystic from her foster home, at the tender age of just six weeks. Her pregnant mother had been rescued last minute from euthanasia at a shelter somewhere in Utah. Mystic’s mother and her nine puppies had ended up at a cattle dog rescue here in California, and were listed online at petfinders. She was such a baby, just four pounds (she is now forty pounds!).  I knew it must feel so strange for her to be taken from her siblings and mother and brought to a new home filled with unknown people and smells.

dogs-naturally-comboPhoto credit: Kathleen Prasad

Technique 1: Finding the Perfect Dog: Be mindful of past blessings and future possibilities.

By opening our hearts to new beginnings, we can remember the past with gratitude, but make room for new love.

The deep love we have for an animal who has shared our life stays in our hearts always, even after our animal has died. Yes, the physical body may be gone, but the energetic essence will go on forever, and we will always be connected in our hearts. Inviting a new dog into your home is a wonderful way to honor the former dog—as if we are saying “this home just isn’t a home without a dog in it. This family just isn’t complete without a dog.” What a beautiful testament to the gifts and blessings dogs bring to our lives!

After we lost our 16-year-old dog Dakota, we waited three years before we were ready for a new member of the family. When the search for a new dog began, I would spend a moment in meditation each morning, connecting in gratitude with the positive memories of Dakota, and opening my heart to the possibility of connecting with a new dog. When we take just a little time every day to open our hearts in compassion to new possibilities, the right dog will find us at just the right moment. My family will never forget how special Dakota has been in our lives, but at the same time we realize the blessing that Mystic is now to our family.  How amazing that our hearts are always big enough to hold another dog!

Technique 2: Coming Home: Visualize the Positives.

This is a wonderful technique to use not only at the very beginning when you bring your new dog home, but also anytime you are introducing him to a new experience.

You have already prepared your home for your dog’s arrival—bought a bed, leash, food and dishes, toys and treats, but don’t forget to prepare your mind and emotions! On our drive home, I held Mystic in my lap, comforting her with my voice. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, letting all my concerns and stresses about our new arrival blow away like clouds in the sky.

As I breathed quietly, I filled my mind with positive images. I pictured lots of things about our family, and filled my heart with a feeling of joy that Mystic was now also a part of our family. I envisioned things such as where we lived, what our house looked like, what the yard was like for her to play, where she would sleep, eat and drink, how many times a day we would feed her and so on. I visualized in my mind a typical family afternoon playing and hanging out. And then I let myself imagine Mystic being a part of it.  I imagined us going for walks in our beautiful, hilly neighborhood, with so many interesting and wonderful things for her to see and smell. I visualized taking her to visit my horses at the farm where they lived, saw her running around and playing with the other dogs there, and so on. As my mind and emotions relaxed into these peaceful and joyful thoughts and emotions, I could feel Mystic’s little body relax into my arms, falling into a deep sleep.

Technique 3: Ongoing Support: Connect from the heart.

This is a great meditation to use with your new dog, not only on the first night you bring him home, but also as a daily way to connect with him.

Sit near your dog, cross-legged on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your spine is nice and straight and place your hands palms up on your lap. Close your eyes and take three deep breaths in and out. With each in-breath, imagine your breath as a beautiful white light that is coming up from the earth through the base of your spine and through your body into your heart. With each out-breath, see this white light traveling back down your body and out your spine into the earth. Feel how this breath centers you and makes you stable upon the earth. Sit in this stable space of the earth for a few moments and then visualize your heart as a beautiful center of white light. Imagine you can expand this light out in all directions around you. With each breath, see your light expanding farther and farther, and feel the light becoming brighter and brighter. After a few moments focusing on your heart, just relax and let the energy of your heart flow all around you. Very gently, in your mind and with your heart, simply invite your dog into this beautiful heart space. Imagine your dog can step into or out of this space as they wish. Imagine that your two hearts can connect harmoniously. Feel peace and calm encompassing both of you. Relax and just share this connection with your dog for as long as they remain relaxed with you.

In conclusion, we often think of Reiki as a system of healing to support the ones we love when they are sick or ailing, but it is so much more. Reiki reminds to connect from our hearts and create a compassionate space in all that we do. In remembering and accessing our inner compassion and deep connection to each other as much as possible in our daily lives, (especially in times of change or stress) we will discover that balance and peace is always possible. Try Reiki to help your new dog fit into your family; you just might be amazed at the results!

Dogswell Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats-aka Veggie Life, Vitality, Vitakitty and More Brand Names

July 26, 2013 — Arthur Dogswell LLC has today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing certain Dogswell and Catswell brand duck or chicken jerky treats with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 (or any earlier date).
Dogswell Logo
The vast majority of these products were distributed via retail stores and mail order companies before March 1st, 2013.

These products may contain trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States.

According to a letter posted by Dogswell, the affected jerky treats were made in China.

There is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets or humans.

The company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of the additive during a routine product sampling.

Antibiotics are commonly used, both in the USA and other markets, when raising animals fit for human consumption. And the antibiotic in question is accepted for use in poultry in other parts of the world.

What’s Being Recalled?

The withdrawn products include Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky marketed under the following brand names:

  • Breathies
  • Happy Heart
  • Happy Hips
  • Mellow Mut
  • Shape Up
  • Veggie Life
  • Vitality
  • Vitakitty

The affected products contain a “Best Before” (or earlier) date of January 28th, 2015. No other products are affected.

Additionally, Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky products with a “Best Before” date of January 29th, 2015 and later have been fully tested for these antibiotics and are not affected.

The “Best Before” date can be found stamped in black ink on the back of the package on the bottom right hand side.

Company Statement

According to company spokesperson, Brad Armistead…

“We encourage our customers to reach out to us with any questions about this withdrawal.

“It is important for consumers to know that all Dogswell and Catswell products remaining on the market are safe for dogs and cats to consume and enjoy as directed.

“Since January, the company has been using state-of-the-art testing procedures to ensure that our chicken and duck products do not contain these unapproved antibiotics.”

What to Do?

In the event a consumer is in possession of any of the affected products, he or she should contact Dogswell to arrange for a full refund by calling 1-888-559-8833 from 8 AM to 5 PM PT, Monday through Friday.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area. Or go to

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How Quickly Your Car Becomes an Oven

how fast care becomes oven

Tea Tree Herbal Salve

Sweet pea patch at the barn.

Summers Past Farms

I bought tea tree herbal salve, a natural antiseptic, at Summers Past Farms. I bought it to use on my daughter, she fell off a horse and had some scrapes and abrasions. Then I used it on my daughter’s shih tzu’s hot spots, my cat’s wounded paw and a sore on my golden’s tail. It has so many uses and replaced so many unnecessary products in my medicine cabinet. Oh, and I also use it on my dogs paws, they were very rough and the hot pavement does not help. (watch your pet’s paws on hot pavement and sidewalks). Their paws are silky smooth and I am sure feels a lot better!

Our wisteria arbor.

Summers Past Farms

I use natural products on my pets, they are safer and cost-effective. My cat and shih tzu licked the salve and they are fine, but use with caution, tea tree oil can be toxic to ingest and you do not want to put pure tea tree oil on skin. I used in an open wound on my cat’s paw and wrapped for three days, it healed quickly. I changed her dressing everyday.

Tee tree  herbal salve  is only $7.95 for 2 0z. Ingredients: sweet almond oil, olive oil, beeswax, wheatgerm oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera. Infused with  lavender flowers, calendula, chamomile, rose geranium leaf, rosemary leaf, comfrey leaf, lavender, ylang ylang and tea tree essential oils. Great for dry hands, best for cuticles and the feet! Beeswax holds in moisture and keeps out germs. (ingredients are not listed in order of quantity as in food and other products)

our cat Chamomile

Chamomile the Cat

Summers Past Farms they grow their own herbs and make their own salve and other products. butterfly on white flowersMarshall and Sheryl Lozier are the proprietors. Over the years, Summers Past Farms has been featured in quite a few magazines. They have been named “Best Herbs” in the Best of San Diego edition of San Diego Magazine’s June 2005 Issue. Click here to see other notable magazine articles written about Summers Past Farms. Check in your area if you have a farm of this kind or you can shop online at Summers Past Farms.



Petition: End Deadly Injuries to Greyhounds


Target: Sarasota Kennel Club

Goal: Stop unnecessary greyhound deaths due to unsafe race tracks

Greyhound racing is a cruel and inhumane act in and of itself. Beautiful greyhound dogs are cramped in tiny kennels, deprived of social interaction and experiences. Many are killed when they are no longer suitable to race, and others are injured from overexertion or unsafe race tracks, which was the tragic case for two dogs that died on the track at the Sarasota Kennel Club in Florida.

A greyhound, just shy of two-years-old, died suddenly during his third official race at Sarasota. He was reportedly bumped by another dog, stumbled, and “landed on the electrified lure tracks that are located under the guard rail.” The veterinarian’s report was as follows: “Dog fell or was pushed within 20 yards of leaving box. Fell under rail. Death by electrocution, burns on jacket.” Appallingly, the race continued without interruption, despite the dog’s brutal death. The lure track operator reportedly said he was “thankful that no one was seriously injured” following the horrific event.

This was not the only tragic death to occur at the Sarasota track. Only weeks earlier another dog died from similar causes. A state investigation report reveals that 14 greyhounds died at the Sarasota Kennel Club between November 2009 and April 2010, including one instance when three dogs died on the same day. These gentle, hard-working animals deserve so much more. Demand that the Sarasota Kennel Club ensures the safety of all dogs that run on its track, guaranteeing that no more tragic deaths will occur, or that it closes its doors to spare the lives of other greyhounds who are forced to run on this deadly track.

Sign the Petition:

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Dear Sarasota Kennel Club,

Recently a greyhound died of brutal electrocution during a race on your track, a tragedy that was simply swept aside as the race continued on, with no changes being made since to ensure that such a terrible fatality does not occur again. This is not the only death that has occurred at your facility. According to state reports, in recent years 14 deaths had occurred over the span of a short five-month period. Only weeks before the recent tragedy another greyhound died of similar causes. Doing nothing to better your track in order to prevent these unnecessary deaths is despicable and cruel.

I urge you to either take drastic measures to ensure that your facility is safe for the greyhounds who are forced to race there, to ensure that no more innocent animals die at the Sarasota Kennel Club, or close your doors for good. Greyhound racing is a cruel practice in and of itself, but allowing the dogs who race at your facility to encounter such horrific sudden death and injury is unimaginable. Put an end to such tragedy today.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Adam J.W.C. via Wikimedia Commons