Sunday

DIY Pet Hair Release Odor Busting Vacuum Carpet Powder


 
You can purchase carpet products to use with your vacuum to help eliminate pet odor and 'release pet hair' from the carpet.Or, you can make your own and save that money. You probably already have the ingredients in your house.Some store bought carpet powders contain phtalates and formaldehyde which have been linked to hormone disruption,cancer,infertility,ashma and allergies. They are not required to list the ingredients on the container and pets lay on the carpet breathing in these toxic chemicals. Here is how to make your own carpet powder that in my opinion,out performs the store bought ones. In a bowl, add 1/3 cornstarch with 1 cup baking soda and add 1/3 cup crushed dried lavender. Mix well, then add it to a recycled shaker can. I prefer to use a mortar and pestle to crush the dried lavender but your hand or a sifter will do fine. It is my fragrance of choice because it is calming and has germ killing properties. Dogs' sensitive noses seem to like it. I don't use essential oil in this mixture because it takes away from the dry powder consistency you need.In addition, some essential oils are toxic to pets. I also don't want to use oily products on my rugs. The commercial carpet powder manufacturers will tell you to test for colorfastness and I will too. But I have had no issues using this DIY version and you see it pictured here on an antique vegetable dyed rug.

     Cornstarch releases the static lock that the carpet has on pet hair and the baking soda neutralizes doggy odor while the lavender makes the room and your vacuum smell delightful. Of couse you can omit the lavender if you don't like the fragrance. Dried orange peel ground to a coarse powder will work as well. Be sure to vacuum in cross directions to help pick up those dog hairs. This is a safe, cost effective, non toxic way to keep your carpets smelling fresh. Because the lavender will scent the room you can eliminate toxic air fresheners. Products like Febreze have proven harmful to small animals so why would you want to spend money on that? Our homes are often filled with cleaning chemicals that are toxic to our dogs. This simple recipe makes for a healthier environment and saves you money.

Saturday

Women Who Throw Away Dogs


If you have read this blog before you know I have voiced my opinions more than once. Today on the anniversary of Gilby being dumped in a kill shelter I am thinking about the type of person who does that.

Who do you think that type of person is? A careless heartless creep, who throws dogs away like dirty kleenex? Sometimes, but most likely that person is your next door neighbor...
Your next door neighbor, your co-worker, your yoga instructor. Don't believe me? It's true. There are many, many people out there who pretend to be do -gooders and it is all for show. Gilby's previous owner is a prime example!
Gilby's mother was a puppymill breeder dog. She was sent to a livestock auction where a rescue group pulled her out of the puppymill rollercoaster. He was raised in a loving environment by his rescue foster and adopted to a family in Tennessee. A perfect American family with a big house and a big yard and the money to take the best care of him. He became an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen, a therapy dog and was ring bearer in a wedding. He received excellent veterinary care, but at some point, he was unwanted. Granted he had a heart condition and a bileous liver that caused him issues but he was still the sweet dog with the enormous heart he always had been ,and he loved his family very much.

But none of that mattered. Because he was unwanted he was left at the county dog pound, a kill facility, to die because almost NO ONE adopts older dogs. You might think his owner didn't know any better but the fact is she did. She was active and knowledgeable in dog obedience, had other dogs and belonged to rescue groups including one that educated people about puppymills. Reread that last sentence. Why, you ask, would someone like that dump a dog at the county dog pound? I wondered why he was dumped too, and when I pulled him, I asked the dog pound employees if I could contact her. They said no, the previous owner must remain anonymous but they offered to call her and let me speak to her, which they did. She told me what he ate, Iams ( the first clue she was an uncaring dog owner) and that he was sent to the pound because she was tired of him being head shy. Really? She wasn't willing to work through that? No, she wasn't because she is an uncaring dog owner, she only wants people to think she is kind and compassionate. She doesn't want to do the real work. Sadly, there are many people like her out there.

The other day I stumbled upon an advertisement of an upcoming event she is teaching. She is conducting a Guided Meditation class,Chakra with Chocolate she called it. Yes, this person who turned her back on an old dog and sent him to an uncertain future in the county dog pound teaches Yoga, Guided Meditation, and specializes in helping people with PTSD. Worst of all she owns dogs and fosters. She professes to be a person teaching enlightenment but she is nothing but a Charlatan. Using spirituality and using dogs, so people will think she is something she is not. I discovered who she was as soon as I got Gilby home from the dog pound. His CGC medallion was hidden, matted into his coat and had to be cut out. On that medallion was her name and address, of course I Googled it, wouldn't you wonder who would do this to a dog? I resent this woman. I worked long and hard to get Gilby over his heartbreak. I changed his name back from what she called him to the name he was given when he was born into the hands of the rescue worker, a name that was given to him out of love. I put him on a diet that corrected his bileous liver and helped to stabilize his heart condition. I am certified Reiki and he loved his Reiki sessions, loved his Chakra balancing (using sound) and his aromatherapy massages. I spoiled him rotten. But it has still taken a long time to heal his heartbreak. I resent her for the pain she caused this sweet dog. I resent that she uses dogs to make herself look good. I resent that she uses energy healing modalities to make her look like someone she is not and charges unsuspecting people money for it. 
 
 Sadly there are so many people like her out there. People who pretend to care and and are completely incapable of true compassion. I have found that people like her have a deeply imbedded sense of worthlessness that they NEVER come to terms with. Deep, deep inside they think they deserve nothing. Having a dog who knows the REAL person and loves them unconditionally, conflicts with their inner knowledge that they are worthless. They begin to resent that dog...eventually the dog is mistreated,
dumped or given away. I have seen this over and over. Just because Gilby's previous owner lives in an exclusive neighborhood does not exclude her from feeling worthless.


Several years ago a woman I will call Lisa, consulted me on training her huge dog who was just a big lovable 140 lb. mutt that had not been given any parameters in the house. I worked with them both and they were making huge progress. Then suddenly, she dumped him at our city pound. I was appalled and let her know in no uncertain terms what I thought. But Lisa, like Gilbys' previous owner, had no sense of self worth and as she was developing a bond with her dog and having success with their training, she could not cope with having someone, even a dog, think she was wonderful. Often these women have a history of domestic abuse, either from a spouse or a bad situation growing up. But truthfully, that is NO EXCUSE! Lots of people come from bad situations and don't throw away or abuse their dogs.

The people who do, like Lisa and Gilbys' previous owner, don't take ownership of their lives....they go through life pretending, pretending,pretending...fearful of acknowledging their lack of self worth...hoping others believe their facade, because inside they know they are living a lie.. and sadly, the dogs who love them will never know true love in return.

Sunday

Can Home Cooking Make Your Dog Live Longer and Lower Your Vet Bills?


Over the years I have fed most diets out there. Being a believer in the works of  the incomparable Juliette de Baircli Levy, whose dogs great health is legendary, I do believe in raw diets. But quite honestly my own dogs have fared best with home cooking.
The healthiest dogs I have ever seen were Whippets decended of the famed English Pennyworth bloodline that ate whole rabbit and chicken, pressure cooked with just a bit of vegetables until the whole contents was mush, cooked until the bones were jelly. Because they were consuming a whole animal everything was in balance. There was no guessing as to the phosphorus/calcium ratio because the bones were completely digestible being pressure cooked to jelly. May I remind you that pressure cooking retains all the vitamins and minerals in the food. They are never cooked out. One reason this diet worked so well for these dogs is because they are sighthounds whose ancestors survived on small game.  I am a firm believer in feeding a dog as closely as possible to his original country of origin diet.
 That being said,I feed the  Japanese Chin a diet rich in tofu and root vegetables as well as fruit. The above photo is a typical meal. It consists of sweet potatos, salmon , tofu, peas, carrots and broccoli. If you don't have a pressure cooker or don't want to, here is a simple recipe that you can adjust for your dog that is based on NRC guidelines and is 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fat. The quantities given are for a 50 lb. dog. I half the protein and fat for Gilby as he was rescued with a bileous liver and we don't want any pancreatic attacks. But for a normal healthy dog, these are very good proportions.
Pick one protein:
1 1/2 cups cooked meat such as chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb.
or
1 1/2 cups unsalted salmon or tuna
or
4 cooked eggs, preferably organic
or
 1 1/2 cups tofu

Pick one carb:
3 cups cooked whole brown rice
or
3 cups cooked sweet potato
or
3 cups pearl barley
or
3 cups cooked regular potatoes
or
4 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal, no sugar or flavorings.
To this add 1/4 to 1/2 pureed vegetables and dogsafe fruits such as peas, broccoli, carrots, or brussel sprouts.
One tablespoon fish, flax, or coconut oil.

I generally give a little fruit as a treat like blueberries or a bit of banana or pumpkin so I tend to leave it out of the meals. I also make enough on the weekends to feed all week and bag it up and freeze it, thawing it out as needed.
I have been blessed with healthy dogs for years who live a quality of  life well into their teen years. Gilby will be 15 this fall and he plays like a puppy. And he is on no meds whatsoever. If you have a picky eater or a senior dog who can't chew up his food well the above suggestions should help him or her get the most nutrition out of their meals. The biggest problem with home cooking that I have found is that the dogs want to eat all the time!