Tuesday, November 11, 2008

MORE DOGGY DIALOGUES! Q's & A's: Canine intuition, joint health

As author of The Healing Art of Pet Parenthood and Mom of a dog who survived canine cancer and lived to be 19, people ask me lots of questions about holistic care, senior care, and grief. I am not a vet. Loving pet parent, avid researcher, and holistic pet care advocate are my credentials. That said, please email your questions and let The Doggy Dialogues begin!

Question: from Donna
"Without a doubt the canine mind knows instinctively what's healthier for them than humans do and I thought I'd just post an eye opening observation and perhaps get your opinion. Why do dogs prefer drinking from the toilet? Well I discovered, when I threw out the plastic bowl and replaced it w/an old fashioned crock bowl, that our dog willingly went back to drinking from her own bowl. And this was well before all of the publicity about plastic bottles. Perhaps you might like to elaborate on the 'why,' Nadine. Thank you, Donna"

Dear Donna-
Your observation is spot on and your canine is lucky to have you- such an astute pet parent! Throughout my book, I describe the process of Buttons' and my communication: how I came to not only decipher her canine communication, but how to rely on her innate wisdom. During our intense holistic regimen to stop the cancer, I often followed her lead on what to do, when, and how much.
In an earlier post, I have info w/links regarding the dangers of plastic and the alternatives I found to work best for me. Thank you, Donna, for a great question and for your high level of awareness!

Question: from Pepper the dog
"First I think that a list of the things that people don't realize can be toxic to their pets would be good. Some times people give their pets people food with these toxic things in them. Also, what are some natural aids for arthritis in older large breeds."

Dear Pepper-
Here is a good list of what you should never eat no matter how tempting:
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apple seeds
  • Apricot pits
  • Avocados—toxic to birds, mice, rabbits, horses, cattle and dairy goats
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate, which is toxic to dogs, cats and ferrets, and any candy containing the sweetener Xylitol)
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
  • Grapes
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy foods
  • Mushroom plants
  • Mustard seeds
  • Onions and onion powder
  • Peach pits
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Raisins
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Tea (caffeine)
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • Walnuts
  • Yeast dough
Also don't forget to avoid those delicious looking holiday plants:

These plants are probably the most popular holiday plant and are easily recognizable by their large red, white, pink, or mottled leaves. These plants also contain a thick, milky irritant sap. In general, it would take ingestion of a large amount of this plant to see possible clinical signs in your pet. Signs could include vomiting, anorexia and depression. The symptoms are generally self-limiting and treatment is rarely needed. Your Vet may recommend limiting food and water intake for 1 or 2 hours if your pet is suspected of becoming sick after ingestion of poinsettias.

Easter Lilies
Some members of the Lilly family of plants can result in serious illness in cats. Specifically, Easter Lilies, tiger lilies, Japanese show lilies, rubrum lilies, many lily hybrids and day lilies have been known to cause kidney failure.

What kept Buttons spry and hiking well into her 18th year was, I believe, the yucca extract I added to her food everyday. That's pretty amazing considering she'd been hit by a car when she was 3 and had her back legs pinned under the car's front wheel. But for THOSE healing details, you'll have to read the book :) Thanks, Pepper!

Wishing you vibrant health
and precious moments-
Nadine (and Buttons)

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