Sunshine, rain clouds and everything in between.

She wasn’t being rude

She wasn’t being rude.

Please read the above article.  I know at times I can be very hard on vets and vet clinics, but story warms me up on the coldest days of the year.  We could all learn a thing or two from this vet.  I tend to have a soft spot for helping those who can’t afford, however, I am usually quite hard on those who can’t afford their pets.  I too have to work on understanding all walks of life.  If you have a great vet story please share it with me.

We live in a world where there are fleas, ticks, worms, mosquitoes and goodness knows what other creatures that just wreak havoc on us and our furry companions.  Aside from being annoying these pests could be carrying so horrific and deadly diseases. Just the thought of them alone is enough to make you itch, adding in that they could give you a disease too and that would have any sane person running to the nearest vet for something to keep these tiny blood suckers at bay.  We don’t stop to consider how much money it costs we just want everyone to be safe and worry free, so we shell out some amount the vet does their thing and depending on which method they used we’re told to come back in a month or 6 months.  Now that our furry companion is safe from all those blood suckers we breathe easy and forget about it.

But wait what exactly did the vet put on my pet? Of course they have the animals best interest in mind that’s why they became a vet right? Right?

While I would love to believe that every vet out there has your pets best interest at the top of their list I can’t say it’s true.  The fact of the matter is it’s just as hard to find a ‘good’ vet as it is to find a ‘good’ doctor, one that doesn’t push pills on you, that gives you the option of natural cures, that cares more about your animal than your wallet.  I lucked out I found an amazing vet who stopped me when I wanted to get flea medication for Sapphire (my rabbit) who helped me figure out what was giving Echo (puppy) the squirts.  They did not receive any money for these things, in fact they lost money on the rabbit.  They did this because they care about the animals and knew there were some risks involved with the medications they could prescribe.

So ho do you control fleas without that pesticide that most vets and stores keep pushing on you?  The first step is to determine what you are dealing with; what animal? are there pests present already? If yes what are they?

No pests currently:

  • Flea Free = natural protection from anything that sucks blood
  • Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade) = protection from worms
  • K.F. = a spray to keep on hand in the narrow chance that some pest does make it inside (can be used as shampoo or spray)

Fleas have been seen:

  • Same as above
  • DE = (in addition to above) spread everywhere including on pets, make sure area is dry before.

Worms:

  • Same as ‘No pests’
  • DE = min of 90 days

Please read all instructions carefully before using any product.  Prices my vary but it usually costs me arround $5 – 15 per month.

Coming soon… instructions on how to use DE effectively.

Everyone is looking for that miracle cure to everything, this really isn’t anything new.  If you remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding the miracle cure was Windex, in the early 20th century it was colloidal silver, when I was in college it was whiskey, and in the late 90s early 2000’s it was Murphy’s Oil Soap.  All of these things did a great job at what they were intended for and some of them did a great job for things they weren’t intended for, but that doesn’t make them the cure for everything.  Thanks to social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and tip sites like Lifehacker, it is even easier to spread these misconceptions to the world and the only people benefiting from it is the share holders of the products.

For the last 2 years I have noticed that everywhere I look someone is making a comment about how amazing Dawn Dish Soap is, and that they use it for everything.  I have been trying to keep up with this misconception, but it is way too large of a movement for just one person.  Please don’t take this to mean that I am against Dawn as a company; I am not, I even use their dish soap for more than a few things around the house:

  • Dishes
  • Cleaning oil splashes and spills
  • Cleaning vents above the stove
  • In my hair to strip the oils and help it dread lock faster

Have you noticed the pattern here?  Dawn Dish Soap does an amazing job at breaking down and striping oils, all oils. So what happens when you use it on something that requires oil to function, to survive, to protect?  It strips the oil away!  So when you use it on an animal who requires natural oils to protect their skin from dryness, and infections you guessed it, it strips the oils away and your beloved pet is left with no protection.  So now is about the time when someone pops up and says “You have to use the original blue, not the new stuff, it’s gentler.” Yep you’re right because the original is not concentrated it is gentler, but it does the same thing. Dawn Dish Soap strips the oil away, that’s what makes it such a good dish soap!

Of course I know someone is wondering about the commercials where they are cleaning oil off animals and talking about the low impact on the environment.  They aren’t lying, those animals have crude oil all over them and with out immediate action they will die, and the soap as far as I know is non toxic.

What about fleas, your vet said you could use it, yea you could use it, and yes it will help to drown fleas.  But is it worth the risk?  Lets say you wash your pet in Dawn, it miraculously kills all the fleas, then your dog scratches an itch there is no oil to protect and it lightly breaks the skin, there is now an opening for bacteria and no oil for them to get stuck in.  Now your dog has a skin infection, you head back to your vet who gives you antibiotics.  The antibiotics then kill off all bacteria with out discrimination between good and bad and your dog gets sick because there are no good bacteria left, so you go back to the vet… Do you see how this cycle goes?  Yes this is a worse case scenario, but even if you only experience half of this or all that happens is your dogs skin is dry is it really worth sacrificing your dog’s comfort?

If you have been using dish soap (any dish soaps) on your pets, stop immediately head out to a pet store that you trust and ask about their pet safe shampoo options, as always don’t get pulled in by a label read the ingredients if you don’t know what something is and the attendant doesn’t know time to pull out the phone and look it up. Same goes for natural flea medications and preventions too.

That all said if you are having problems finding info or getting help in your nearest pet store drop me a line with your question or concern.

By the way after using it in my own hair it took me a month of applying therapeutic oils before my scalp started properly creating oils again, and unfortunately it has (seemingly permanently) changed the natural smell of my hair and scalp for the worse.

Recently a quote was brought to my attention… “So many girls out there say, ‘I’m not a feminist,’ because they think it means something angry or disgruntled or complaining, or they picture rioting and picketing.  It is not that at all.  It simply means you believe women and men should have equal rights and opportunities.” -Taylor Swift

No this is not the post praising her and all the other misguided women and men out there who still think feminism means equal rights.  Equal rights means Equal rights; simple as that!  Feminism on the other hand means rights of women, which by nature exclude the rights of men.  I am proud to stand up and say I am NOT a feminist I AM and equalist!  That is to say I believe in completely equal rights, no double standards, no exceptions based on gender or sexual orientation.

I know some of you are thinking women don’t get special treatment or you’re thinking that women deserve special treatment, but to receive this special treatment is to say that we are not equal to men and that they must treat us differently.  In some professions where physical strength is a requirement for the job women are given easier levels because we are apparently weaker.  Can you see how this thinking hurts all women?  If we are weaker and expected to do less how are we equal.  Of course this goes both ways, we cannot allow special treatment of men, for example higher wages

Equal Rights not Female ONLY Rights!

Tattoo

It’s going to happen, I have been pondering, planning, thinking, chickening out, changing my mind and making excuses for years.  I think my issue was a never had a reason, there was never anything behind the design so I would fall out of love with the design.  This time around instead of designing the tattoo I made an inspiration board, including subject matter, colour, style and other tats I like.  Now I just need to find a good artist that can do water colour.

INSPIRATIONAll these pictures have been found online, I do not know the artists that deserve the credit.

My Dog is ITCHY!!

There are many reasons why a dog would be itchy and many different types of itchy.  Of course the first thought that runs through most pet parent’s minds is fleas, and without checking they run out and buy as much flea pesticides as they can afford either from the vet or from stores.  Before you waste your money on these chemicals stop for a second and analyse the situation.  When did your dog start itching? Is it localized to a specific area? Has this happened before? Have you seen any flea dirt or actual fleas?

If the itching just started and your poor dog is scratching like they want to rip their fur out see if you can take a look at the skin around that area.  You want to look for any blemishes, hot spots flakes or dirt; if you find dirt put some on a white paper and add some water to it, if it turns red you have fleas.  If you find a spot and it looks infected please call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible.  In the mean time there are a few things you can do, my personal favourite is coconut oil (organic virgin) there are a number of things this will do A/ soothe sore dried skin B/ mild antibacterial properties help keep things clean C/ coconut oil contains lauric acid which helps kill fleas.  When things look a little worse I reach for colloidal silver, I mention this with caution because there are many types of colloidal silver on the market and some of them are down right horrible for you and your pet.  Please do your research before you make your purchase. If it makes a difference I have been using True Raw. Silver is a natural broad spectrum anti viral and anti bacterial to which viruses and bacteria can not develop resistance to.

In the case of random itching, do a check once again for any flea dirt (will turn red with water) or dry skin.  In the case of dry skin make sure there is adequate water provided and add some coconut oil or salmon oil to their food.  (There are many other types of food supplements that can help just please don’t add canola or vegetable oil).  This is a good time to check out the quality of the food as well.  Don’t forget to take a look at your cleaning products, are they pet friendly? are you using any air fresheners (this includes candles, waxes and pot pourri).  Fabreeze, Swiffer, and most other are neither pet or kid friendly and your pets and kids spend most of the day on the floor.

When you see the itching start year after year at the same time you can almost bet that it is an atmospheric allergy or sensitivity.  Do your best to narrow it down but don’t fret if you can’t.  Take a trip to your nearest holistic vet or pet store and inquire about seasonal allergy medication.  There are quite a few out there that are completely natural.

As mentioned above food can also cause the itchies; allergies, yeast, by-products, GMOs etc.  For dogs the usual allergen culprits are chicken and grains, if those ingredients are in the food OR treats you are giving switch everything even if your dog has been on it for years and the vet said it was good.  Even if your mother’s brother’s daughter’s cousin is a vet tech and said it’s a good food.  It doesn’t matter how good someone thinks a food is if your dog is allergic to it it’s no good for your dog.  You should start to see results in a short time but it can take up to a month for your dog’s system to rid itself of the symptoms.  Always remember your dog can’t be allergic to something they have never had before, when in doubt start with a limited ingredient diet (LID) containing a protein that your dog has never had and if possible a starch your dog has never had.  After have good results for a few months slowly start to reintroduce one food at a time, stop immediately if any reaction occurs.  If you want to skip all this, and I can understand the desire for that, ask your vet to preform an allergy test.

Sometimes however your dog is already on a grain-free chicken-free diet or they tested negative for allergens; once again time to look to the ingredient list for sugary foods.  This can be a little tricky as most of these foods seem good for example, too much potato or corn can cause a rise in blood sugar and feed a yeast infection.  Usually yeast infections are seen on paws, and ears but can show up anywhere.

So what happens when you have tried everything and nothing has worked? Then we look at pro-biotics, enzymes and pre-biotics.  Often over looked is how your dog is actually digesting things, no mater how good the food is if your dog does not have the proper enzymes and healthy gut flora your dog is not getting the full benefit of the food.

So you have decided to not to feed your dog grains good for you! Now you are being overwhelmed by your options of grain free foods, which is the best for your dog?  What should you avoid? How do you know when they are just pulling your leg?

Ok first thing is turn the bag around so you can see the ingredient list, you are most concerned with the first 5 ingredients you want to see a specific meat first, for example chicken, beef, rabbit etc.  Of course keep in mind that the ingredients are listed by weight not by amount and since fresh meat is 70-80% water in most cases even though it is the first in the list it’s not the main ingredient.  Meals on the other hand have had the water removed and weigh very little.  In most cases I like to see both on the list first and second.

Now comes all the other ingredients, When you take the grain out of the kibble you have to fill that hole with something, many manufacturers have done this by adding things like potato, potato protein, and in some cases more potato.  You really want to look for one that is lower in potato, if not a potato free kibble.  Even better look for kibbles that are actually meat based, meaning they have more meat than everything else.

When in doubt ask, ask the sales staff, that’s what they are there for.  If they are not available (or not helpful enough) check out a site that I often refer to Dog Food Advisor.  Of course you are also always welcome to ask here too!

Cheers!