Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips:
1. Create a mealtime routine
Animals love routine. It’s important for dogs to establish a mealtime routine whether they get fed first thing in the morning, after their walk or as small meals throughout the day. By establishing a routine, your pooch will quickly catch on when it’s mealtime.
2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy
Does your dog eat too fast? Do you want them to make a game out of their meal? Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime. They allow them to slow down to truly enjoy their food, making mealtime fun! Head to your local retailer to choose the correct bowl or toy for your dog.
3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety
Dogs and humans alike enjoy food with variety! That's why for nearly three decades, Kibbles ‘n Bits(R) has been making dog food with its signature combination of crunchy kibble & tender bits to bring joy to your dog’s every bite. With varieties including Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food and Steak & Cheese Flavored dry dog food, you will be sure to find the perfect match for your furry friend.
4. Turn mealtime into a dance party
Have you ever danced due to excitement? Well, now your dog will, too. Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat. This new bonding ritual will create more fun for all family members and will have your dog busting moves in anticipation in no time!
5. Make it a training opportunity
Use mealtime as an opportunity to train and reinforce wanted behaviors. Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.
To learn more about Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food and what variety is right for your dog, visit https://www.kibblesnbits.com.
When buying pet food, be sure to check the ingredients to ensure your pet is getting the best--no fillers, grain-free, no GMOs and so on. This will help keep them healthy for many years to come.
By Karen Thomas for Paradise Pets Magazine
Aromatherapy and essential oils have been used for thousands of years for healing and anointing. Records dating back to 4500 BC describe the use of balsamic substances with aromatic properties for personal, medicinal and spiritual use. The rediscovery of essential oils into modern medicine began during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse PhD, a French cosmetic chemist known as the father of aromatherapy, began studying oils in 1907. Gattefosse discovered lavender oil’s ability to assist in the healing of burns after immersing his own burned hand into a vat of lavender oil following a laboratory explosion in 1910.
Essential oils are the volatile liquids and aromatic compounds distilled from flowers, trees, roots, bushes, shrubs and seeds. An essential oil contains the true essence of the plant it was derived from and is highly concentrated. These oils have regenerating, oxygenating and immune supporting properties which can assist our animals in the healing process.
Essential oils provide energetic balance and help in healing through the sense of smell. As the olfactory system is stimulated, physiologic functions are supported which allows the body to self-heal. They also have antiseptic, antimicrobial and detoxifying properties and can help with emotional issues such as anxiety and stress. In addition to direct inhalation another excellent way to get these benefits is by diffusing the oils in a cold air diffuser.
Essential oils may also be used topically or ingested. As a rule, when working with animals, LESS is MORE, as sense of smell is highly developed in many animals due to their instinctual nature. For example, a human has 5-6 million olfactory receptors while the dog as 220 million.
Domestic and wild animals will naturally seek out plants that bring their bodies into a state of balance. Rubbing against a pine tree picking up the oils from the bark will help soothe sore muscles and joints. Burying their nose deep into an herb or flower, inhaling the aroma of the entire plant can help the animal keep calm. Or eating a plant and allowing the properties of the plant to be absorbed will assist with overcoming digestive upset.
Whether working with humans or animals be sure that the essential oils used are therapeutic grade. Therapeutic grade oils are pure. They are grown, harvested and packaged with minimal harm to the plant. These plants are wild crafted, meaning the soil has never been exposed to chemicals and wind patterns are studied to see that nothing harmful can blow onto the soil. The plants are distilled with a low heat, low steam and low-pressure process to maintain the integrity and therapeutic benefits of the plant.
Synthetic oils are mostly made from petrochemicals, try to duplicate the smell of a certain plant and are created for a specific purpose, such as perfume. Fragrance grade oils used in perfumes do not assist with healing and can actually cause more harm than good because of their ingredients. Inexpensive oils are most likely not therapeutic quality.
Caution should be exercised with cats when using essential oils with a high phenol content. Cats do not have some of the liver enzymes needed to help metabolize the phenol constituents of certain oils. Melaleuca oil (Tea Tree) should never be used on birds. Melaleuca can cause an adverse reaction in birds which may result in death. In maintaining the health and well-being of our animal companions just remember the LESS is MORE rule. When in doubt consult your veterinarian or a holistic animal practitioner who is experienced with the use of essential oils.
Komitor, C. CMT, HTCP/I, CHBMT, HTACP, ESMT
(2013). Healing touch for animals level 3 workbook (6th ed.). Highlands Ranch, CO: Komitor Healing Method, Inc.
Shelton, M. DVM (2012). The animal desk reference
Essential oils for animals. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. DBA On-Demand Publishing, LLC.
Young, G.D. et al (2011). Essential oils desk reference
Special fifth edition. Orem, UT: Life Science Publishing.
Karen Thomas, R.N., is a Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) Practitioner in the Florida Keys. Healing Touch for Animals is a holistic approach influencing the health and well-being of animals through energy and intention. HTA techniques restore harmony and balance to the energy system while providing physical, emotional, mental and instinctual stability, thus supporting the body to self-heal. This work can be done in person or distantly. Karen can be contacted through her website www.pawsitivetouch.org
The spring season not only signifies the start of rain showers, colorful flowers and more outdoor activities, it also brings a rise in spring cleaning. Shake off the cold weather blues and revisit the simple parts of everyday life that could use a cleanup.
From storing your winter essentials to cleaning up your whole family’s diet (including your furry friends), these tips can help infuse the spring-cleaning spirit into your busy lifestyle.
Tidy Up Your Space
Spring cleaning starts by identifying what area to tackle first. Set yourself up for success by picking a small space, such as your pup’s abode. Clean his or her bowl, replenish old toys and freshen up the bed. Using a removable cover on the bed can help to keep the space tidy all-year long.
Store Away Winter Essentials
As the days get warmer and you start to break out your spring jackets, bulky coats and clothes may go unused. Declutter your closet by storing your winter essentials in bins and setting aside items to donate. This can help to make room for those bright spring clothes you’ve been waiting to wear.
Pay Attention to Hard to Reach Places
You may not realize how much dust collects on the top of your ceiling fan when it’s not running. Avoid circulating dust bunnies by giving ceiling fan blades a good brushing with a cloth or vacuum. In addition to keeping your home nice and neat, this can also help ease springtime allergies.
Dust Off Those Sneakers and Get Outside
With spring in full swing, freshen up your sneakers by throwing them into the washing machine (by themselves) and hanging them outside to dry. Once you’re ready to get moving, be sure to include your four-legged friend. Playing outside together can increase both of your activity levels and help you enjoy the warmer temperatures.
Refresh Your Diet and Your Pup’s
Spring means that fresh fruits and vegetables are starting to come back into season. Spruce up your diet by reintroducing these items, as well as quality proteins like chicken or salmon. In addition, ingredients with sources of fiber, like sweet potatoes, can help fill you up without adding too many empty calories. These foods are not only good for your health, they’re also beneficial for your dog. In fact, these ingredients are often found in many high-quality pet foods such as the NUTRO™ WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™ line of dry dog food. As part of the NUTRO. FEED CLEAN™ philosophy, these dog food recipes are made with real, recognizable ingredients, allowing you to share your healthy eating lifestyle with your pup.
Sources: Family Features | Nutro
Supporting an animal’s natural ability to self-heal
By Karen Thomas, RN, Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner
Many of you have or know of an animal who is suffering from injury or illness, or is struggling with behavior challenges. Often animal lovers easily recognize these challenges but do not know how to help their beloved friends. Our animals’ inability to verbalize what they need can leave their human companions feeling stressed and helpless. As a Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner I am dedicated to helping these animals by using a language they both understand - energy therapy.
Healing Touch for Animals (HTA) is a holistic approach influencing the health and well-being of animals through energy and intention. Heart-centered energy therapy restores harmony and balance to the animal’s energy system while providing physical, emotional, mental and instinctual stability. Stabilizing the energy system allows the natural flow of the immune system which supports the animal’s natural self-healing process and promotes well-being.
HTA can be used on all species of all ages, small and large, and benefits our animals in many ways:
What happens during a Healing Touch for Animals Session?
Upon meeting the animal in person or through distant communication, I assess the animal’s energy system and connect with his or her spirit. I will then utilizes appropriate HTA techniques using touch and intention to clear, balance and strengthen their energy system. This treatment may include aromatherapy with therapeutic-grade essential oils, sound and/or vibrational therapy with the use of tuning forks. Usually the first response noted is relaxation which is the foundation for optimal health. I will often receive messages from the animal in the form of pictures, words and feelings through animal communication which assists with the healing process as well. A single session can take up to an hour depending on the animal and situation.
Healing Touch for Animals works in cooperation with traditional veterinarian medicine to provide the best care for our animal companions. HTA practitioners will work in conjunction with any veterinary diagnosed and prescribed treatment plan. As a cooperative practice this modality serves to bridge holistic animal health care with traditional veterinary science.
In home and distant therapy sessions
I offer Healing Touch energy work in the comfort of the animal’s home or the environment where they’re most at ease. My range of travel, at this time, is open to all of the Florida Keys.
If you are outside of the travel range or the home environment is not suitable this work can still be done distantly since energy is not limited by time or space. During distant work it is helpful to create a quiet and relaxed atmosphere for the animal during the scheduled sessions. The session will take place during an agreed upon time and be followed up by a telephone or email consultation for feedback and questions.
For more information on Healing Touch for Animals or to book a session please visit my website at www.pawsitivetouch.org
Reference: Komitor, C. CMT, HTCP/I, CHBMT, HTACP, ESMT (2013). Healing touch for animals level 3 workbook (6th ed.). Highlands Ranch, CO: Komitor Healing Method, Inc.
Paradise Pets Magazine