home remedies

The Hungry Pug, the Pastry Bag, and the Stroke of Genius

We love feeding Honest Kitchen to all of our dogs - the whole ingredients can't be beat and dogs need the moisture. Lately, however, Ethel has been having trouble enjoying it out of a bowl. Her forelimbs just can't hold her up at an angle that works for mealtime. By the end of a meal, she is usually exhausted and clumps of the food are all over her and us. But we were recently struck with true inspiration!

Since we originally filmed this, we have upgraded Ethel's feeding solution to an actual pastry bag. It's much more durable and easier for us to hold onto.

Hooray for a more enjoyable dining experience for our paralyzed elder pug!

Tub Time!

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Our little man, Apollo, has pretty pronounced dysplasia in his left hip. Add this to his blindness, and he tends to have a pretty slow gait. After extra exercise or during cold and damp weather, Apollo seems to be a little uncomfortable. We've recently instituted Epsom salt baths to help improve his mobility and reduce pain.

Apollo typically resists passive range of motion (stretching) in his hips. In a warm tub, however, he accepts some gentle hip extension. Resting belly up with his back leaning against me, Apollo takes relaxed, deep breaths in the tub and, from time to time, even begins to doze off.

We think he's enjoying tub time. What do you think?

Oils Are Essential

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As my canine clients know, essential oils are a big part of many of my massage sessions. I also use oils at home, for myself and for our dogs. When we were providing Lucy with hospice care, we made essential oil treatments a key part of nearly every day we shared with her. I believe the oils helped her be more calm, promoted greater appetite for food and water and, ultimately, provided an important ritual and a chance for us to show Lucy how much she meant to us.

When working with my canine clients, I tend to use a lot of oils that focus on calming and pain relief. Some of my clients are obsessed with their oil treatments and get really excited to see them in my bag when I arrive for their appointment. Some of my clients slip into a deep sleep sometime in the middle of their treatment. Most pet parents report that they love the way their dogs smell after their massage and feel more relaxed just by being around when the oils are administered. 

There are many companies that produce excellent essential oils. I tend to work mostly with oils by Young Living. My go-to oils include Pan-Away, Copaiba, Thieves, Frankincense, Lavender, Raindrop, and Sacred Mountain.

We also diffuse oils at home. Diffusing oils creates a peaceful and healing environment and it also helps cut back on the aroma of dog that seems to be ever present in our apartment! 

Consider adding essential oils to your home pet care routine - you'll get an aromatherapy treatment just by snuggling up to your dog. That's what I call a win-win!