2017 New Year’s Resolutions and 2016 Review

Google Adsense—>

Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Reviewing Life Goals

What does that mean for me for 2017? Like with anything, it's about trying, and getting back up to try again when I’m not successful. We aren't perfect. Just because I didn't reach my 2016 goals doesn't mean I can't try them again for 2017.
Best New Year’s Resolutions

How did you do with your New Year’s resolutions in 2016?

Sticking to New Year's resolutions can be hard. I mean, if you think about, it it's a goal you find challenging. If it were easy for you, you’d already be doing it, and you wouldn’t have it on a list of things you want to change.Click To Tweet

Personally, I know my challenges and try to work on them regularly. But, like so many others, I did set forth with three goals for 2016.

  1. Work on my 3-year plan
  2. Weight-loss and healthy eating
  3. Stay organized and on track

Number one on my list, working on my 3-year plan, was always at the forefront of my day. I’m in my forties, so it is important for me to stay focused on my career and future goals. This 3-year plan encompasses a lot of things in my life, some professional and some personal. This year for my career, I wanted to branch out with more pet freelance work and speaking at pet expos, write another pet book, and work on my personal pet blog.

What I didn’t know was that during this process I would end up totally re-branding my company and the focus of my brand-Raising Your Pets Naturally with Tonya Wilhelm. This rebranding was just what I needed. However, with this, I also ended up taking my main website and 3 blogs and merging them to a new website and host. This was—and still is—a HUGE project. I’m still going over 10 years of online pet articles and reformatting, fixing links, and updating images. Then, there is the issue about SEO and getting my new website listed and linked up across the internet. That’s doing well again, but I still have improvements to make.

#1 is doing well, but like with everything I do, I don’t feel like I am where I wanted to be. Maybe my goal is too high.

Next on my list is the notorious weight-loss and healthy eating. I joined a local gym in January and hit the gym almost daily. Things were on track and I was losing some weight. Eating healthy was going okay, but not fantastic. I’m always so busy and I’m single, which makes cooking a healthy meal quite challenging. At one point I told myself, before buying something to eat, I would ask myself “would I feed it to Dexter?” Basically, that meant it needed to be fresh, not from a box or filled with junk.

My #2 goal of losing weight and healthy eating went by the wayside when number #1 kicked in with the rebranding. That felt so central to my life that I didn’t even want to spend the 60-90 minutes away from other parts of my life, like work. I mean, I ALWAYS make my time for my pets and family, so something had to give, right? Since this goal is more personal and is about me, it always gets lost and deprioritized.

Real food for the human in the house. 🙂

A photo posted by Raising Your Pets Naturally (@raisingyourpetsnaturally) on

My final New Year’s resolution was to stay organized and on track. Not being organized has always been funny to me, because I’m a girl who loves drawers, bins, organizational tools, etc. Everything does have a place, but the problem for me has been to get those things back to their place when I’m finished. Maybe it ties in with the second part, staying on track. For me, I have like five projects I’m working on all on my desk, on the table next to me, over there and here. Don’t get me wrong, though—I never miss a deadline, and usually finish early.

This year, I bought a new computer desk, new office chair, a few wall calendars, and a new blogging calendar. I’m even looking at one of those 32-37” professional computer monitors so that I can have two regular-sized windows open at the same time! Keeping my thoughts and tasks in place comes and goes.

This year, I bought a new computer desk, new office chair, a few wall calendars, and a new blogging calendar. I'm even looking at one of those 32-37” professional computer monitors so that I can have two regular-sized windows open at the same time! Keeping my thoughts and tasks in place comes and goes.
Current workstation

The staying on track part for me is to stick with a daily task plan. But that’s always challenging in my line of work. My main source of income is seeing dog training and cat behavior clients in person or via phone/Skype. So I never know what time of day I will end up booking a session, and what time of day will be free for other work. Or an article idea pops into my head and I feel like I need to write it NOW. My goal, is to just keep my ongoing “to write” list going and when my writing day arrives, go down the list. Or if my website optimization day is here, work on that. At least that’s the goal. 😉

What does that mean for me for 2017? Like with anything, it’s about trying, and getting back up to try again when I’m not successful. We aren’t perfect. Just because I didn’t reach my 2016 goals doesn’t mean I can’t try them again for 2017.

My goal this year is to continue on my path. The first thing I will do is to pull out my trusty calendar, and work on scheduling my daily tasks and goals so I can stick to the plan easier. When something actually makes my planner, I am more likely to follow through.

I plan on writing another book this year, this one about kids and dogs, geared toward kids. I am also thinking about writing a cookbook for busy people who are not cooks! That’s me. My theory is if I make healthy eating part of my career (or my now 2-year plan), I will look at it as a necessity to eat better and cook for myself, instead of something to put off to the side.

It was brought to my attention in a blogger group that we must take time for ourselves. I sort of was looking at this part as #2, but if #2 still has a business angle, am I really putting work aside to JUST BE? Even when I’m in bed trying to unwind from the day, I am looking at my phone on how to improve x. So, I think I will add a #4 to my resolution list, to disconnect from anything work related. This may actually be my hardest challenge for the year!

At least those are my 2017 goals for now.

What about you? Do you struggle with New Year’s resolutions? 

Tell me in the comments.

Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube  Vimeo

Latest Articles
Google Adsense—> Dog Shuts Down on Leash Today’s dog behavior blog and video is actually based on a request from one of my private Patreon members. If you want to learn more about my Patreon group and how you can also provide input in my upcoming content, you can check it out here. When you brought your dog home, you may have envisioned a life of traveling, exploring, and going to parks on great sniffy walks. Unfortunately, your dog freaks out on his leash and harness. Or he may freeze and shut down. Your dog, puppy, or rescue dog may be terrified of the leash. When you bring out his dog harness and leash, he goes into a panic, may flatten like a pancake or run away and hide. Why is My Dog Scared to Walk on a Leash? There are a variety of reasons why a dog may be afraid of leashes. The lack of positive leash and dog walking experiences is a big one. In other words, something scary happened to your dog when on his leash. Maybe you were out and about, and he was traumatized by an event. Or, you use less-than-positive training methods. Both of these situations can lead to a dog who is fearful of his leash or going for walks. Lack of leash experience is another reason a dog may be afraid of the leash. This is particularly true for puppies and rescued dogs. Their first experience with a leash may be frighting because it stops them from moving to or away from something the way they would like due to the leash being tight. Watch this article on YouTube.  Don’t forget to subscribe. How to Train a Dog Who is Afraid of the Leash Today I want to teach you how to slowly get your dog comfortable with his leash and harness. It’s important to remember, if your dog has some underlying dog anxiety, do make sure you’re addressing that too because a lot of times when a dog is nervous about something like the harness and leash, they may have other issues that need to be addressed as well. First, if you’re able to ditch your dog’s current harness and leash and start with a new one, go ahead and do that. The set you are currently using has some negative associations and does have a smell, and we know how much that smell means to a dog. If you have the opportunity to start from scratch, you might have quicker results. If not, no worries, but the training may go a tad slower. Next, keep your dog’s harness and leash out in plain sight. Instead of putting it away, consider leaving it out in the living room. Maybe place it on the end table or on your fireplace ledge or even on the floor. This will allow the object to “live” in the environment, and your dog can slowly start to desensitize to the leash and learn it’s not always moving toward him. You do want to make sure your dog’s not going to chew it up or get tangled in it. Also, remember your dog thinks it’s scary, so don’t have the leash mentally blocking your dog from going from point A to B. You may need to play around with the location to find one that is just right. Once you have found the perfect spot for your dog’s harness and leash to live, the next thing you can do is randomly toss some treats around them. Make a large circle of treats around the leash and harness. DON’T try to get your dog to engage. Allow him to do what he wants, when he wants. Your dog doesn’t even have to see you place the treats around. His nose can find them for him. He may or may not go up to investigate it and eat the treats. That’s his decision. Play it by ear and see what happens. All you’re trying to do is teach your dog this isn’t going to come and attack you and that this means good things. Harness/Leash=Rewards This is counterconditioning your dog. Changing his mind from thinking of it as something scary to something that equals rewards and feeling good. Next, it’s time to move one of the pieces of equipment. Let’s take the leash as an example. When your dog is just bopping around doing his own thing (not interacting with the leash), go up to the leash, pick it up and set it down, and say, YES! Then toss your dog a very high-value dog treat. What you’re doing is slowly conditioning your dog that the movement of this leash is something good. It’s not going to come to you and snap around your collar and be scary. Slow and steady always wins the race. Do this a couple of times a day for three days. On day four, it’s time to make it a bit more challenging. This time, pick up the leash and jingle it a bit, then say, YES! And toss that treat. Over the next week, do slightly different things with your dog’s leash. Maybe you pick it up and drop your hand down while holding it. Still, YES! and treating after each repetition. You are going to repeat this training procedure with your dog’s harness, too. Make sure you also click the harness shut and reward, so your dog can get used to that sound. Be careful not to move the leash toward your dog, not just yet. If, at any time during your dog’s training he seems nervous, back off and make things easier. Remember, the goal is to have your dog look forward to these training sessions. Leash=Good Watch me demonstrate with Dexter. The video will start with the demo. After your dog is fully comfortable, and possibly eager, when you are lifting his harness or leash, the next step is to slowly start to move toward him with the equipment. Sit on the floor with the harness and leash next to you. Lift it up, YES! and treat. Repeat. Next, lift it up and slowly start to move it toward your dog’s side and shoulder. Don’t touch him with it. Maybe about three feet away, YES! and treat. You will continue this process over the next few days or weeks, depending on how slowly your dog needs you to go. And, hey. Some dogs will actually move through the training quickly—you just need to follow your dog’s pace. Build on this behavior in small steps, getting closer to the point where you are touching your dog’s side with his harness. The next step, in goes the head. Take a handful of tasty food treats and reach into the harness where your dog’s head will go through. Give your dog a treat from your hand that is outside the harness. As he’s eating the treat, move the harness over his head and onto his neck, treating your dog again. Continue giving your dog treats from your hand as you take the harness off. Note, you are only slipping your dog’s head through the harness, not his legs. As with all your previous exercises, repeat this process over the next few days. Next, when your slip your dog’s harness over his head, allow the harness to rest on his neck while continuing to feed him treats. Once he’s comfortable with that, slowly put his legs through the harness, rewarding him through all your dog’s new sessions. When you click the harness shut, reward your dog for that noise. Again, you may take anywhere from one session to a couple of weeks. How to Train a Scared Dog to Walk on a Leash Once your dog is happy and comfortable with the harness and leash on, it’s time to work on walking with your dog on the leash. Indoors, away from distractions. You won’t want to have pressure applied to his harness or leash—you want to keep it loose. While your dog is in his harness and leash, hold the leash and treat your dog. Take a step backward and encourage your dog to come to you. Reward for this step he takes. Continue this process as your dog builds up his confidence in walking to you while on his leash. In another session, with your dog in his harness and leash, drop a treat on the ground and allow your dog to eat it. As he’s eating it, take a step away from him. He’ll likely move toward you in anticipation of another treat, As he does, drop another treat on the floor. Repeating this process as steps to you, treat, you step back, he steps to you, treat, repeat. Over time, your dog will continue to look forward to his leash lessons. Remember, you are teaching him. This is a fun game, not something to be leery of. Continue to build on this behavior until you and your dog are walking happily around your house for a few days. Then, you start the walking process again outdoors.   dog afraid of leash and harness, how to train a scared dog to walk on a leash, rescue dog terrified of leash, dog freaks out on leash, dog freezes on leash, how to train a dog that’s never been on a leash, dog shuts down on leash, Your questions or comments are welcome below. Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome. Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube   If you found my blog helpful, please consider a small contribution. Dexter and I thank you! Google Adsense—> [...] Read more...
Google Adsense—>   How to Help a Dog Overcome Fear Yes! Yes, please help and comfort your fearful dog or puppy. I get it. You may have heard that comforting a scared or fearful dog will reinforce their fear. That is just nonsense. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this topic with a study published in 2013. The study went something like this. A dog was brought into an unfamiliar room. Then, a menacing stranger approached the dog in a threatening way. The researchers evaluated stress markers in the dog visually and by measuring the dog’s heart rate. During the next part of the test, the dog’s owner was sitting in a chair with the dog as the menacing stranger approached. The researchers once again evaluated the dog for stress. In order to keep the test as accurate as possible, the sequence was reversed for half of the dog participants. In other words, in half of the tests, the dog was with the owner first as the stranger approached them alone during the second portion of the test. Stranger Test Results The results showed that if the stranger entered the room without the dog’s owner, the dog’s stressors were very high, showing the dog was quite stressed from the situation. But, if the owner was present during the stranger interaction, the dog was considerably less stressed. The dogs who had their owners with them first showed less of a stress response in the second scenario than the others. Meaning, after the dog experienced a stressful situation with their owners, they were not as stressed the next time when alone. The takeaway: dogs feel more secure when their humans are with them. We, humans, provide comfort and support to our dogs. We all know this in our guts and hearts. So, to return to the “wisdom” that by comforting our dogs in fearful situations we are reinforcing their fearful behavior. And why I strongly disagree with that theory. One of my favorite applied animal behaviorists, Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB Emeritus has this to say about the notion of not comforting a dog during a fearful event. “There are several reasons why that advice is wrong. Here’s one of them: Fear is designed to be aversive; that’s why it is an effective way of affecting behavior and keeping animals out of trouble when they encounter something that might hurt them. Fear is aversive enough that no amount of petting or sweet talk is going to make your dog more likely to shiver and shake when she hears thunder rolling as the clouds billow and the rains begin.” If your dog comes to you for protection, by all means, comfort him. However, it is important to understand why your dog is fearful and to slowly work on a positive behavior modification program in order to change his anxiety. Continue Reading: Socializing a fearful dog with other dogs Help for a dog afraid of thunderstorms Training a fearful dog Why is my dog afraid of me? Dogs afraid of fireworks Dogs afraid of people Your questions or comments are welcome below. Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome. Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube   If you found my blog helpful, please consider a small contribution. Dexter and I thank you! Google Adsense—> [...] Read more...
Google Adsense—>   Older Dog Suddenly Becoming Anxious Honestly, I never thought senior dog anxiety would be part of Dexter’s life. For those new to our blog, Dexter is my 13.5-years-young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I raised him to be a very secure, happy, stress-free dog, who has shown no anxiety until recently. And when I say, “no anxiety,” I’m not kidding. Unless you consider his love-hate relationship with feathers, he never bats an eye at the loudest noises, dogs barking at him, strangers making any kind of racket, or separation anxiety. Dexter has had a bit of a life-change. You see, we are an adult household of three, and two adults retired three years ago. This means, more family time, and less alone time. Don’t get me wrong, I still make it a point to ensure he has some alone time, but he has had a lot of Grammy and Eddie time when I’m not home. The other change is two episodes of canine vestibular disease, or old dog disease as it’s also referred to. His episodes happened at night. Knock on wood, his attacks were temporary, but I am prepared should they happen again. Anxiety in Older Dogs: Dexter’s Symptoms I’ve been noticing Dexter becoming a bit more clingy and, sometimes, he can be a bit whiny. When he seems fussy, I check on him to make sure his needs are being met, that he can get up, isn’t in pain, and isn’t asking me for something. Dexter is also exhibiting mild signs of senior dog separation anxiety. Before, when I left, he would happily trot into his crate for a siesta. Now, it’s a bit of a hit or miss. Sometimes, he goes right in, other times he stands outside his crate and I need to coax him, and even then he doesn’t settle as before. Sometimes he even barks or cries. Now, if I’m already at work, and Grammy puts him in, it’s not an issue at all. Dexter’s Medical and Environmental History Dexter also has been going to canine rehabilitation, basically on and off, throughout his life, for his Chiari malformation. We’ve bumped this up to almost weekly sessions and added in more regular acupuncture treatments. Canine enrichment is always part of his life. We play games, go for sniffy walks, take strolls, go to parks, indoor stores, and use food toys. Plus, we practice his canine fitness exercises and tricks at home at least four times a week. Dexter is on a fresh DIY raw diet and gets healthy and supportive supplements. I don’t use chemical products on Dexter, and he lives a pretty natural lifestyle, with the exception of some necessary pharmaceuticals due to his CM & MVD. He sees his veterinarian four times a year for a full physical exam, CBC panel, thyroid test, and urinalysis. So, what’s going on with Dexter? I thought this would be a good time to reach out to some pet professionals to see why senior dogs develop anxiety, symptoms to look for, and senior dog anxiety treatment options. What Causes Senior Dog Anxiety? Theresa Fossum DVM, MS, Ph.D. Diplomate ACVS, and author of Small Animal Surgery said, “With both AD and CCD, neurotoxic proteins accumulate in the brain, and these plaques, along with cerebrovascular disease (compromised brain vasculature), contribute to the brain impairment that is a hallmark of these disorders.” She continued by stating, “ Although dogs with CCD are typically recognized as showing cognitive impairment by 8 years or older, there is considerable evidence that the processes leading to this clinical state begin earlier in life. Furthermore, dogs become geriatric at different ages depending on their breed. Large and giant breed dogs tend to become ‘old’ at an earlier age than do small breed dogs. Large and giant breeds dogs are often mentally old at 5 or 6 years of age, while medium breeds are mentally old at 8-9 years, and toy breeds may not show evidence of CCD until they are 10 years of age or older.” Alex Schechter, DVM, founder of Burrwood Veterinary, said that, “Every dog is unique, and anxiety can be spurred on by several factors, including changes in the dog’s environment, health problems, or previous experiences.” I was curious as to whether a senior dog may become anxious as he ages due to his declining senses, including neurological decline. Dr. Schechter suggested, “The deterioration of aged dogs’ cognitive capacities is one possible factor in their anxiety. For instance, dogs may exhibit cognitive decline similar to people with illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s, resulting in bewilderment, disorientation, and anxiety. He went on to say, “Additionally, as they age, dogs may endure sensory changes that might make them worried or uneasy, such as deteriorating vision or hearing. This may be particularly true if the dog is anxious and depends on their senses to feel secure in their surroundings. Navigating the world and acclimating to new environments might be more difficult as they age. As a result, they could experience anxiety and agitation in strange environments.” Dr. Schechter went on to say, “Also there are instances where the older dogs may exhibit more anxiety because their brains are experiencing stress due to declining sensory abilities combined with other factors such as arthritis and osteoporosis, which make it difficult for them to physically move about easily in their surroundings without falling somewhere along the way.” Environmental changes also can increase a dog’s anxiety. Dr. Schechter stated, “Changes in their living situation, such as moving to a new house or altering their routine or daily activities are additional variables that could be causing anxiety in older dogs.” Anxiety in Older Dogs: Symptoms Dr. Fossum explained, “Fortunately, dogs with cognitive decline or dysfunction seldom show the severity of cognitive dysfunction seen in humans with Alzheimer’s disease; however, even mild or moderate changes can make living with affected pets difficult. In addition to nighttime restlessness, when dogs have memory loss, they may urinate or defecate in the house because they don’t remember how to get outside, or they forget where the appropriate place to urinate or defecate is.” Dr. Fossum continued by saying, “They may exhibit anxiety, and they may become less interactive with their owners. They may also develop a loss of motor function and forget how to do things that they were taught as a puppy (how to sit or stay). In a word, these pets show signs of becoming senile.” Why Is My Senior Dog Restless at Night All of a Sudden? Dr. Michelle Burch, from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance discussed Sundowner’s syndrome. “Dogs with symptoms similar to human Sundowner’s syndrome is similar to canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). CDS occurs in senior dogs who have a gradual decline in their cognitive abilities.” Dr. Burch continued by stating, “The decline in abilities is due to loss of brain tissue resulting in fewer neurons. Also, there is evidence of micro-hemorrhages, which result in loss of oxygen to portions of the brain. It is estimated that 14-35% of dogs develop CDS, but veterinarians think this is underestimated.” The aging dogs may feel restless, especially at night, due to their growing confusion and disorientation. Either they won’t know how to react to a new situation or respond through pacing. Pet parents may also notice a drastic change in their sleeping schedules and habits. Lisa Davila, a veterinary nurse at Aggieland Animal Health Center also said “We do not fully understand why Sundowner’s syndrome occurs in pets or even people, but it is possible that the change in lighting is a trigger.” Megan Conrad, BVMS, from Hello Ralphie told me, “There’s a multitude of reasons why elderly dogs become more restless and struggle to sleep through the night. Many factors associated with general aging could contribute to this. A dog could be experiencing more pain brought on by aging joints and other potential ailments such as UTIs and cancer. This could keep them from sleeping comfortably or cause pacing behaviors. Your dog could also be experiencing symptoms of incontinence, causing them to possibly have to urinate or defecate in the night.” Dr. Conrad also stated, “Some breeds could experience sleep apnea. This is common in brachiocephalic dogs due to their anatomy such as English bulldogs and pugs, and usually happens when they become overweight. This can also worsen as they age.” Patrik Holmboe, head veterinarian for Cooper Pet, added, “As for helping a senior dog that might be developing anxiety, absolutely there are some underlying issues that should be ruled out. This can mostly be done with a standard blood and urine exam, and looks at organs such as the kidneys and liver.” I would definitely add setting up a full exam with a canine rehabilitation practitioner. These specialists are truly a blessing and are underutilized in caring for dogs, particularly senior dogs. They know the ins and outs of a dog’s musculoskeletal problems and can set up a specialized treatment plan for a dog to help address the actual cause of a dog’s body aches and pains. Dexter has been with his veterinarian rehabilitation doc since 2013 and now started weekly sessions with his local canine rehabilitation practitioner. I’m 100% certain it’s because of this ongoing care that he is aging gracefully. Senior Dog Anxiety Treatment and Medication If you have been following my blog for a while, you know the first step in treating a dog’s behavior or medical issues is to know the why. Now, that I have a better understanding of why older dogs may suddenly have anxiety, the next step is to find out what I can do to help Dexter through his new anxiety. Miss Davila suggests, “Adding or increasing mental games and positive dog training. As you well know, old dogs can absolutely learn new tricks! We encourage our clients to enroll their middle-aged and senior dogs in positive-based training classes and to explore new things like nosework.” Miss Davila explained that, “Scent discernment takes up a large part of a dog’s brain, so encouraging them with foraging games, nosework classes, and sniffy walks is so helpful for engaging and protecting brain function.” Dr. Fossum also suggests, “Cognitive enrichment, such as regular exercise, social interactions, and introduction of new toys, may also improve cognitive function in dogs with CCD and prevent or delay cognitive decline in dogs as they age.” Miss Davila said, “At this time, there is no treatment for CCD, but we do recommend supplement intervention starting early (around 7 years if they aren’t already taking them) with fish oil high in DHA and organic MCT ( medium-chain triglycerides) oil.” She also said, “There is also a nice product called Senilife, made specifically to protect the aging dog brain, that contains resveretrol.” Dr. Burch also recommends adding medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) to the diet. She stated, “MCTs help provide an alternative energy source to the brain and improve the brain mitochondrial activity, which will decrease the symptoms.” Dr. Burch went on to recommend, “Supplementation with essential fatty acids can also improve cognitive function. Fatty acids are a building block of the brain and encourage regeneration of the lost tissue while helping to slow degradation.” She continued by suggesting, “Supplementing a dog’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables to improve the impact of antioxidants. Since the brain uses an abundance of oxygen, it is susceptible to free radical attacks. Antioxidants help to remove the free radicals, which can cause damage to the brain, and improve symptoms.” Dr. Fossum said, “Fortunately, dogs with CCD typically respond well to medical intervention, especially if instituted early in the disease process.” She has developed a proprietary formula, CogniCaps, to prevent and mitigate the effects of cognitive decline in dogs. Dr. Holmboe, suggests, “It is also crucial to provide a safe and secure environment with a consistent routine. As their physical capabilities are declining, you absolutely want to make sure they are mentally as comfortable as possible. This might be something like letting them out more often to urinate (if they can’t hold it as long), or providing steps to allow them to more easily get up on a couch or bed so they don’t have to struggle with aging joints. And dogs always love a routine, but even more so as they age. If possible, try to keep walks, playtime, feeds and other events as consistent as possible.” Follow Lisa & Jiminy @disneythespaniel #bedtime #bedtimeroutine #lullabyandgoodnight #goodnight #sweetdreams #stairs #stairmaster #petstairs #safetylights #rescuedog #livinghisbestlife #independence #agency #seniordog #ckcs @trupanion @dogagingproject ♬ ceilings – Sped Up Version – Lizzy McAlpine Miss Davila suggests, “Melatonin is a natural way to help alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation in our dogs, although strict attention must be paid to the labels because many human melatonin tablets contain xylitol. If this is not helpful, or if is not enough to help the pet relax, a veterinarian can prescribe medication to alleviate anxiety.” As always, contact your dog’s veterinarian for the appropriate dose and ensure it will not interact with other medications your dog is currently receiving. Dr. Conrad suggests, “Keeping a good routine can help as well. Maintain a consistent bed and wake time for your dog, and give them plenty of activities during the day. Enrichment toys such as treat puzzles are a great way to keep your dog from sleeping due to boredom during the day, and will keep your dog’s brain active, delaying worsening dementia-like symptoms.” She continued by saying, “Also, providing a more comfortable place for sleeping will help with easing any other pain your dog may be experiencing. Make sure your dog gets the chance to fully relieve themselves outside before bedtime, or begin providing puppy pads for when they can’t make it until morning.” Tying It All Together for Dexter Dr. Holmboe had some additional insight into Dexter’s senior anxiety. He said, “Chiari malformation and syringomyelia are both conditions which can cause a wide range of symptoms (and severities) depending on the individual animal. I think the main takeaway is that there could be many things going on that might be changing his behavior, and that those things might not be specific, nameable things. Perhaps there is some nagging pain, or a small loss of motor function. It might not be noticeable to you at all, but it makes him feel a bit different. This might make him seek a bit more comfort from you, and thus he shows some increased signs of separation anxiety.” Since I noticed Dexter’s anxiety, I have actually increased his enrichment games and activities. I’m trying to think of new ways to mentally stimulate his brain. I’ve introduced new dog tricks, fitness exercises, interactive food toys, scent games, and canine massage. Again, not new to us. I’m just trying to think of new things to keep it fresh and interesting. With the help of Dexter’s veterinarian team, I’m giving him melatonin on the days I have to put him in the crate. I don’t need to give him any when Grammy puts him in, just me. I recently purchased a flower essence that is helpful with dog separation anxiety, but I haven’t started that yet. It was a tossup between the separation anxiety formula and the life’s changes formula. So, we will see. Fingers crossed that Dexter can continue to lead a stress-free and full-filled life for twenty more years. I don’t think that’s asking for too much, do you? Shop my favorites. Your questions or comments are welcome below. Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome. Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube   If you found my blog helpful, please consider a small contribution. Dexter and I thank you! Google Adsense—> [...] Read more...
TweetPinShareShareRedditShareFlipYumGoogle Adsense—> Turmeric for Dogs Like you, I’ve heard that turmeric for dogs can help reduce inflammation, is an antioxidant, offers antimicrobial properties and is great to boost a dog’s immune system. Truth be told, I’ve also used both organic turmeric powder and a golden paste in Dexter’s care. On a rotational basis, of course. At Dexter’s last rehabilitation exam with his holistic veterinarian, she suggested I incorporate turmeric on a more regular basis. I thought this would be a good time to talk with a few leading veterinarians regarding the pros and cons of turmeric for pets, its dosage, and the best way to give turmeric to dogs. Hint: Dexter’s boosted golden paste recipe is at the end of this post. Turmeric for Dog’s Health Benefits I talked with Dr. Paola Cuevas, a veterinarian and behaviorist with Hepper. She offered this insight about the health benefits of turmeric for dogs. “Turmeric or Curcuma longa is a root related to ginger. Used for centuries in ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, turmeric is highly valued due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin.” Dr. Cuevas went on to explain, “In pets, turmeric has proven a valuable natural treatment for several health issues, of great importance in the treatment of arthritis. Turmeric inhibits COX-2 enzymes preventing the pain, inflammation, and swelling that is normally resulting from these enzymes’ activity. Other benefits of turmeric include the support of a healthy gastrointestinal tract.” She continued by saying, “Turmeric or curcumin has also been shown valuable in the prevention and treatment of certain cancers.” Side Effects of Turmeric on Dogs With the good, always comes the risks. I spoke with Dr. Dilber Hussain, a veterinarian at The Malamute Mom. He gave me a few things to consider before diving into the turmeric bandwagon. “As with any supplement or medication, there are potential risks associated with giving turmeric to your pet. In some instances, turmeric can act as a blood thinner and cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs.” I always suggest speaking with your pet’s holistic veterinarian prior to adding a new supplement or herb. Dr. Hussain agreed, stating, “It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the proper dosage of turmeric for your pet, as well as to rule out any potential allergic reactions. Additionally, it is very important to monitor your pup’s health and behavior when giving them any supplement or medication. Though turmeric can offer numerous benefits for our canine friends, it is always best to consult a professional before introducing any new health regimen.” Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more free content. Black Pepper, and Fat Turmeric for Dogs Dr. Cuevas explains that, “When giving turmeric as a treatment to pets, it is important to source an organic and chemical-free product. Turmeric that is highly bioavailable and complete meaning it contains the 3 isomers or active curcuminoids: curcumin, demethoxy curcumin, and bisdemethoxy curcumin.” Various research studies, it has shown that turmeric is better absorbed and activated with the addition of pepper. This is because piperine, the active ingredient of pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin. Studies have also shown that you can further increase curcumin’s bioavailability even more by adding it with a healthy fat such as coconut oil or fish. Manuka Honey Health Benefits for Dogs Personally, I love adding Manuka honey to my coffee, tea, and even bread. I find the flavor rich, and similar to caramel. Sort of. 😉 But, what are the health benefits of Manuka honey for dogs? Dr. Michelle Burch, a veterinarian from Safe Hounds Pet Insurance said, “Potential benefits of Manuka honey for dogs include decreased inflammation of the intestinal system and decreased skin inflammation due to atopy dermatitis (contact skin allergies) when given orally.” Manuka honey is a natural prebiotic, which supports a dog’s gut health. Manuka honey boosts the immune system and even helps fight gum disease. As a bonus, it’s sweet nature. Dogs typically love it! Understanding Manuka Honey Grades When looking to purchase the best manuka honey for dogs, I was blown away by the wide variety of prices. And what do all those letters mean on the front of the jar? I asked Dr. Burch for her insight. She offered this explanation. “Unique manuka factor (UMF) measures the antibiotic effect compared to phenol (a disinfectant). MGO is the measured amount of methylglyoxal, the ingredient in manuka honey responsible for its antibacterial effect. The UMF is determined by having the honey tested by certified and approved labs by the UMF Honey Association. MGO levels can also be tested at accredited labs, but products can also obtain their MGO content from labs that are not certified.” She continued to note, “UMF labeling indicates that the product is well controlled, while products with the MGO content can be good but do need research into the laboratory in which they were tested. UMF values will range from 5+ to 28+. Ratings of 10+ are considered to be therapeutically valuable. The higher the rating, the higher the amount of MGO present in the honey. A UMF 5+ has a minimum of MGO 83, while UMF 20+ has a minimum of MGO 829.” Is Manuka Honey Safe for Dogs? As with anything, speaking to your dog’s holistic veterinarian prior to use is my first recommendation. Typically, honey should not be given to dogs under a year of age. Also, diabetic dogs or dogs that are allergic to bees should avoid honey, unless directed by their veterinarian.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770259/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25856323/ Print Recipe Turmeric for Dogs Boosted Golden Paste Recipe Yum Boosted turmeric paste for dogs recipe. Course Healthy Additions Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings Ingredients 1 cup water1/2 cup organic turmeric powder order turmeric powder1/3 cup organic coconut oil Order organic coconut oil1 tsp organic ground pepper order organic pepper2 tbsp Manuka Honey Order Manuka honey Course Healthy Additions Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings Ingredients 1 cup water1/2 cup organic turmeric powder order turmeric powder1/3 cup organic coconut oil Order organic coconut oil1 tsp organic ground pepper order organic pepper2 tbsp Manuka Honey Order Manuka honey Instructions Place the ground turmeric, black pepper, manuka honey, coconut oil, and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk to combine and cook until it forms a paste and the coconut oil and honey are fully melted. Transfer the golden paste into silicone molds. Place molds into the freezer. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and store them in a plastic bag inside the freezer. Thaw before serving. Recipe Notes Your questions or comments are welcome below. Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome. Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube Check out My Cavalier Eats Better Than Me apparel and gifts     Recent ArticlesThe Myth of Reinforcing Fear in Dogs | How to Help and Reduce Fear in Dogs and Puppies (Early access for our Patreon community) Read more...Senior Dog Behavior Changes and Senior Dog Anxiety at Night (Early access for our Patreon community) Read more...Vet Recommended Turmeric for Dogs | Dexter’s Boosted Golden Paste for Dogs Recipe (Early access for our Patreon community) Read more... Google Adsense---> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Share this Recipe [...] Read more...
Google Adsense—>   Pet Evacuation Plan Do you have a pet disaster preparedness plan for your pets and family? Preparing a disaster and pet evacuation plan prior to an emergency will help keep you and your family safe during a disaster. Your personal pet disaster plan and kit will be a little dependent on where you live, your evacuation route, and the kinds of disasters your area is prone to. Here are some tips to keep you and your pet safe during a natural disaster. Alex Schechter, DVM, founder of Burrwood Veterinary, suggests creating a checklist of essential items for your pets, such as food, water, medication, and identification. A prepared checklist will help ensure you remember everything you and your pet may need. This is especially helpful during a time of stress, such as an evacuation. Dr. Schechter also suggests that your pets be microchipped and wearing updated identification tags. Double-check to ensure your contact information is updated on your pet’s microchip records. If you can add an out of the area contact, do it. Remember, you may not be reachable during a disaster, but someone out of the area may be. It’s not a terrible idea to actually write an emergency phone number in marker on the inside of your pet’s thigh or ear, particularly if he is not microchipped. If you are able to have a GPS tracker on your pets, this is an extra safety measure. Along with your pet’s checklist, you should have an emergency contact list. This should include your pet’s local veterinarian, emergency animal hospital, and out-of-town friends and family who may be able to care for your pet. Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit The best thing you can do is always to have a pet disaster preparedness kit filled and ready to go. Keeping all your pet’s supplies in a waterproof container is a great option. I would, however also have a backpack in case you need to have something a bit more portable during an evacuation or emergency. You can never have too many options. Keep your pet’s emergency kit in a handy location. Every couple of months, go through the kit to remove and update any information and outdated food, medications, or contact numbers. Inside Your Pet’s Emergency Kit Food for two weeks. If you feed your pet a fresh-food diet, I would recommend purchasing freeze-dried food. Your pet’s updated medical records stored in a plastic bag. Medications for two weeks. Leashes Harnesses/Reflective Collars Current ID/Tracking Collar/Pet Photo Boots Jackets Blanket Bottled Water Bowls Treats/Toys/Enrichment Pet Carrier & Cover/Sheets Disposable Litter Box/Litter Waste Bags Flashlight Shampoo, Brush Towels Pet Oxygen Mask Pet First Aid Book Gauze Medical Tape Vet Wrap Instant Ice Packs Thermal Blanket Tick Remover Antibiotic Ointment Muzzle Gloves Scissors Thermometer Stethoscope Syringe Tweezers Needle Nose Pliers Plan your evacuation route prior to leaving. Plan a variety of travel routes in case you run into road closures. Look for pet-friendly shelters, boarding facilities, and hotels along your route. Call ahead for reservations. If there are not any pet-friendly hotels, call any hotel along your route and ask if they would waive their no-pet policy. Stephen Quandt, a cat behaviorist who has worked in the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team, offers these tips. “Practice evacuating with your family and your pets. Make sure you can get your cats and small dogs into a carrier and into your car. Practice staying calm. Your pet watches your body language for cues as to how to react, your stress can become their stress, and a disaster will be stressful enough even if you remain calm.” Mr. Quandt also recommends, “If you believe an evacuation order may be coming, do NOT leave your pet behind should the order to evacuate come. If it isn’t safe for you to stay, then it isn’t safe for your pet. To prepare for an emergency, don’t wait for the disaster to be imminent—get prepared now.” Remember, pets are family. By having the right pet evacuation plan and kit in place, you and your pet will be able to safely navigate a difficult and possibly dangerous situation. Your questions or comments are welcome below. Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome. Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube If you found my blog helpful, please consider a small contribution. Dexter and I thank you! Google Adsense—> [...] Read more...
B12 Injection for Dogs As part of Dexter’s weekly rehabilitation and physical therapy, his veterinarian wanted to start giving him B12 injections. Before giving the all-clear, I needed to find out more about B12 injections for dogs, the benefits and side effects. After all, I’m Dexter’s mom, and I needed to do a little research prior to giving the green light. I spoke to a few pet professionals, and this is what they had to say about B12 injections for dogs. B12 Injections Benefits and Side Effects Lisa Davila, a veterinary nurse at Aggieland Animal Health Center explained that, “Vitamin B12 is very important in the function of the nervous system, red blood cell formation, brain function, and intestinal function. Whole food sources of B12 include organ meats, eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy products. It is a water-soluble vitamin, so any excess is excreted in the urine making it very safe. Most healthy dogs get plenty of B12 from a well-balanced diet, however, some health issues can impede the absorption of this vitamin particularly diseases of malabsorption involving the GI tract, kidney disease, liver disease, and pancreatic disease.” She went on to say, “Geriatric dogs also may absorb less B12 as their ability to digest certain proteins declines.” Dwight Alleyne, DVM, a veterinarian advisor at betterpet also stated, “Vitamin B12 is commonly used to treat digestive issues in dogs and cats. It has shown to have some benefit in dogs that have a pancreas insufficiency improving their response to therapy.” B12 Injections for Dogs with Neurological Conditions When I asked Dr. Alleyne about Dexter’s Chiari malformation and syringomyelia, he suggested that, “Vitamin B12 contributes to cell function, growth, and reproduction, which is why it may assist with conditions such as Chiari malformation and syringomyelia. It also helps with the production of myelin, which is the covering of the nerves which is responsible for transmitting nerve signals.” I also spoke with Fortune Ultado, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student from the University of the Philippines who offered this insight, “Vitamin B12 supplementation as a treatment for Chiari malformation and syringomyelia will be very helpful for Dexter, as it can suppress neuropathic pain (NeP). Vitamin B12 injections help in reducing the severity of neuropathic pain, thereby alleviating your dog’s suffering and improving his quality of life over the course of the veterinary care plan.” B12 Shots Location Lisa explained, “The veterinarian may prescribe either an oral supplement or routine injections to supplement a dog with a deficiency. Vitamin B12 is also used in acupuncture points to enhance the effectiveness of the individual point, a practice known as aquapuncture.” Are B12 Injections Safe for Dogs? All three experts stated that Vitamin B12 appears to be very safe for most pets when under the care of a licensed veterinarian. Since Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, any excess is typically removed during urination. B12 Injections for Dogs Dosage and Frequency Your dog’s veterinarian will determine the correct dose, frequency, and application to meet your dog’s needs. Currently, Dexter has received three applications a week apart. He seems to be doing quite well with his weekly B12, acupuncture, dry needling, and canine rehabilitation program. Anything to keep the monkey moving. Dexter’s acupuncture and B12 Injections @lifewtonya Dexter’s weekly acupuncture & B12 injections. –> https://raisingyourpetsnaturally.com/b12-for-dogs   #raisingyourpetsnaturally #healthypets #dogcare #dogtips #doghealth #healthydogs #naturaldogcare #naturalpetcare #ChiariMalformation #Syringomyelia #SM #CM #CavalierSM #CavalierKingCharlesSpaniel #DogWellness #DogFitness #CanineFitness #seniordog ♬ Sunshine – WIRA Your questions or comments are welcome below. Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome. Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Instagram  YouTube If you found my blog helpful, please consider a small contribution. Dexter and I thank you! Google Adsense—> [...] Read more...

What does that mean for me for 2017? Like with anything, it's about trying, and getting back up to try again when I’m not successful. We aren't perfect. Just because I didn't reach my 2016 goals doesn't mean I can't try them again for 2017.

37 thoughts on “2017 New Year’s Resolutions and 2016 Review

  1. I have found that in order for New Year’s Resolutions to stick is to make them very specific. “Working on weight loss and healthy eating” is very vague. Set a specific target, as in “I will weight “x” by “date”. I will eat “x” servings of fresh fruit and veggies per day. I will eat no more than “x” unhealthy items per day. Much easier to stick with. Just a thought.

    1. Thanks, Judy! I do have weight loss goal/date. 🙂 Missed it in 2016. 🙁 I think you’re right about having more of a food plan. That might be better for me since eating fresh is so hard for me. Maybe if I force myself to eat those things I will start to enjoy them more and even feel satisfied. Thanks for the tips!

  2. I am so impressed with all you hope to have in store for yourself in 2017! I like the thought of not giving up all you had wanted in 2016 and letting it carry into 2017. Life happens and the goal to just keep striving is the best attitude. My only hope is that you succeed in moving yourself up more to the forefront and not leave yourself at the bottom. Your family human and furry and your friends who care about you..want you to be happy and healthy..not perfect. Give to yourself more often so you can give to others as you choose in a happier state. Putting your family high up in priorities is so important and its admirable that you do. Some have lost sight of this. On the food front, eating healthy as been a challenge for me, I did not meet my goals..at all. I know my body has suffered and most likely I’ve had more migraines as a result. One thing that helps and I hope to utilize more, is to look for uncooked but prepared foods. Like meats and veggies prepackaged together..minus all the extra chunk. I am also going to try harder to have two crock pots going for freezing meals, one for pups and one tweaked more appetizing for humans. I actually love cooking so I guess that motivation and time is lacking..or more accurately time management. Your comment on being organized and liking drawers/containers and such made me laugh..same..same here. I hope 2017 brings you closer to your dream! The beach is waiting..you will get there. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Barbara. That is very kind of you. I really am hoping to take care of myself this year. Reminds me of the old Seinfeld episode, The Summer of George. lol

  3. Long ago I forgo making any resolutions, at least I don’t call it that anymore. Instead I focus on what I would like to do and accomplish in the upcoming year, that way it’s not as overwhelming.
    Professionally I want to focus on my blog – refining it and planning out my posts in advance.

  4. My hardest job is setting aside time just to….be. With nothing else going on. When you work for yourself, and are always “on” with never ending projects, there’s no quitting time. So I’m struggling to get better about that.

  5. You seem like you have your goals figured out with a plan on how you will achieve them. I think that is a really big deciding factor if you’ll actually be able to stick to them. Good luck to you, I’m inspired to set my own!

  6. Oh my gosh, you and I have SO much in common! This year I marked 16 months of a serious lifestyle change, re-branding of my blog (still working on that) and the struggle to pay more quality attention to myself is ever-present. We are twinsies! 😀 You go!!! You can kick butt this year! It sounds like you have already come so far!

    1. Hahaha Thanks, Shannon! I’m glad I’m not the only one with these struggles. You go too!

  7. Hey – I think you are doing fantastic! Good golly, you’re doing a lot and often times it’s when we are busy ‘doing’ that it’s harder for us to practice self-care. But I hear you – exercising and losing weight are tough, maybe if we focused on health (like you asked yourself about “would you feed this to Dexter”). We often laugh when we nibble on Cheetos, admitting that the dogs eat better than us. Hey, maybe we need to start a healthy eating pet blogger support group!! I’m right there with you!

    1. I wish you the best in 2017. Being open for new things would be a great one for you! 🙂

  8. I have had a hard time thinking of resolutions for this year. 2016 was a great year for my blog! I know I need to set some goals to help 2017 to be just as good, or hopefully better!

  9. Those sound like wonderful New Year’s Resolutions! I have found that my own resolutions don’t last that long, so now I’m just try to make better adjustments. Unfortunately, I haven’t been very successful with some of them, especially exercising and eating healthy. I bought some new cookbooks and I hope that will make a big difference.

    1. Thanks for sharing Beth. I hope those cookbooks help. I’m not sure about recipes for me, that’s my downside, I just tend to wing it, hence not such a tasty meal. I need to be better!

  10. You’ve had so much success, that’s wonderful! You tackled a huge project in 2016, that alone is a giant goal. I like to tell myself to set goals but to be Flexible, that way I’m not too disappointed when I go off track with a new idea or opportunity. Flexibility is important. I’m finalizing my goals for 2017 right now, I’m hoping for a successful year!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    1. Thanks, Cathy. I appreciate your comments and support. I try to go with the flow, and I do, but my type A kicks in….haha

  11. Those look like great goals, and you seem to be off to a great start. Well done! I’m working on daily goals and organization. I plan to celebrate each accomplishment and not beat myself on anything that will be carried over to the next day.

    1. Thanks, Sadie. One of my goals is to have daily goals, so I can feel like I’ve done something. 🙂

  12. Good luck on your goals! We have several goals we wish to accomplish as well. Healthy eating is definitely one of them!

  13. Best thing I ever did was focus on nutrition. About 7-8 years ago I slowly dropped sugar, wheat, refined and processed foods and so on … it’s 70% of any weight loss process versus exercise that counts for the remaining 30%. Feel so good…. but it was a HUGE lifestyle change. That is for sure. YOU GOT THIS!

    1. Thanks, Sonja. I’m so scared about trying to drop sugar. I’m such a sugar junkie. Little steps, little steps.

  14. I have to ask myself the same question when I’m about to eat something – I’m picky when it comes to what my dogs eat, but I forget to eat fresh foods myself!

Comments are closed.