Category Archives: Health

Going Green: Skin Care for Dogs

Jana Ballinger over at lists recipes for a variety of healthy, holistic dog shampoos tacking a variety of skin conditions for your pup from dry skin to flea and tick repellents.  Here’s the concoction for itchy skin and dogs with allergies.  See the full cookbook here.

Skin Soothing Shampoo for Dogs with Itchy Skin and Allergies

  • 2 drops Geranium
  • 6 drops Rosewood
  • 6 drops Lavender
  • 1 drop Roman Chamomile
  • 2 drops Carrot Seed
  • 1 tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal can be blended in to provide further relief.


Xylitol Warning

My local news last night reported on a pet ferret that got into a pack of sugar-free gum and died from eating the Xylitol it contained.  This seemed kind of far-fetched to me, so I checked it out.  Turns out this very common sugar-substitute is indeed fatal to animals.  I know my dogs have gotten into my purse to pull out gum before, but they are so big, I guess it wasn’t enough to hurt them. 

The Knowles Animal Clinic in Miami has this to say on the subject:

“Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is used in sugar-free products such as gum and candy, as well as for baking and is used in the production of certain low-carbohydrate products now on the market.

As early as the 1960’s, experiments indicated a link between the ingestion of xylitol
and hypoglycemia in dogs. However, it has only been recently that the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has begun to receive reports of xylitol toxicosis in dogs. It is believed that this recent rise is likely due to the increased use of products containing xylitol in the United States.”


When a dog eats Xylitol, it causes a huge insulin rush, throwing the dog into a coma similar to how a diabetic ends up when his blood sugar gets too low.  In as little as 30 minutes, your dog may begin to show the symptoms such as : 

    • Weakness

    • Vomiting

    • Ataxia (uncoordinated movements)

    • Depression

    • Hypokalemia (decreased potassium)

    • Seizures

    • Coma

    • Liver dysfunction and/or failure

                              Pretty scary stuff!


So, until next time, keep that sugar-free candy and gum away from all of your pets.


Good day, and good dog!

Quick Relief Tips for Pet Allergies

Lots of people have pet allergies. Several strategies can help to reduce the incidence of allergic reactions due to pet dander. Simply follow as many of these as you can as often as you can for the best results. After all, if you can’t breathe, who is going to take care of your pets?

  • Vacuum carpets and furniture on a daily basis.
  • Vacuum curtains on a regular basis.
  • Dust with a cloth that picks up the dust and doesn’t just move it around.
  • Avoid upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpeting. Opt for furniture with leather, vinyl, or wood. Install hardwood flooring and blinds.
  • Brush your pets on a regular basis, preferably outside the living area.
  • Wipe down all surfaces on a weekly basis.
  • Consult your veterinarian about sprays that minimize dander. Purchase ones that he recommends.
  • Limit the areas of the home that your pet has access to on a daily basis. Electronic collars can assist with that.
  • Get an animal that is known for causing fewer allergic reactions in people.
  • Purchase an air purification system that targets animal dander.

 If you want to have pets in your home, but you are allergic to their dander, follow the strategies listed for some relief to the potential reactions that you might experience. Plus, visit your doctor and get his advice on the advisability of owning a pet that can cause allergic reactions in you.