Essential Oils: Lavender

For dogs with anxiety, using lavender essential oils can be a great tool to use.

Historically, lavender has been used in humans worldwide for a large variety of things. Some of these things include bug repellent, acne relief, pain relief, respiratory issues, sleep, calming the nervous system, hair care, increasing circulation, boosting digestion, and a whole lot more.

For Sasha, I use lavender oil in conjunction with others to promote calmness and peace. I mostly choose to diffuse essential oils in the rooms that she spends the most time in, because it is the most non-confrontational way to use my oils, and it’s beneficial for everyone in the house. Read the rest of this entry

Arthritis in Dogs

So, arthritis. It’s such a commonly used word nowadays, but what is it?

The official definition of arthritis is “painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints”. It’s a type of degenerative disease that can be very painful, and while it most often affects senior-aged mammals (and possibly other vertebrates), it can affect anyone of any age for a variety of reasons. Arthritis is very common in dogs as well as humans, and it’s important to know about it.

An injury younger in life can lead to early-onset arthritis in that joint, or repetitive movement such as typing or grooming can degrade the joint and cause arthritis sooner than it might have naturally occurred in localized areas. Most often, simple aging results in a degeneration of the joints that affects dogs in their senior years.

Personal experience has shown me that many dogs have arthritis starting at about age seven, when they’re considered seniors. As they advance in age, arthritis gets worse, and depending on their environment, their owner’s responsibility, and their genetics, can get bad very fast, or advance slowly with the proper maintenance.

Here are some things that can affect how bad arthritis gets, and how fast it can get there:

  • Genetics. Proper breeding is important for dogs. In today’s world, it’s so easy to get a dog from a puppy mill breeder, most always with terrible genetics that lead to bad joints and bad arthritis. Consider that when acquiring a dog, and try to adopt from a shelter, rescue, or buy a dog from a responsible, reputable breeder (more on that in another post).
  • Grooming. Regular grooming and nail trims are SO important to maintaining joints that it cannot be stressed enough. Particularly for senior dogs, you have, have, have to get your dog groomed no less than every 8 weeks, and if nothing else, get their nails short and keep them that way.
  • Nutrition. Having a good feeding regime for your dog when they’re young, and keeping them on a good regime for life can help build strong bones and joints, and help keep some bone and joint deformities from forming.
  • Supplements. Throughout life and once arthritis sets in, there are a variety of supplements you can have your dog on to help the lubrication of their joints and reduce any pain they may be in.
  • Exercise. Just like in people, keeping your dog active can keep them at a good weight and keep their joints fluid and not painful. It’s important that they maintain their weight and keep  moving. A walk or two a day in a dog’s senior years can make a huge difference, and exercise throughout life is very important.

There’s so much more to cover on this topic, and I’ll get to that later, but for now consider these points. While there’s not a lot you can do about your current dog’s genetics, there is a lot you can do with their grooming, nutrition, supplements, and exercise that can make a difference for them, no matter where they are in their life.

Morgan Clemens is an animal enthusiast with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a minor in Biology from Northern Arizona University.She has made a career out of caring for animals of all kinds, and training, grooming, and walking dogs.

She is the founder and operator of The Mutt Squad, and she spends most of her time with her furry, four-legged friends from all around the Portland Area.

Grooming Customer Etiquette: No Shows

Here’s a puzzler: Why are people so often inconsiderate and rude?

When working in the service industry as a groomer, you are often commission based, which means you earn a percentage of every animal you do a service on. Most don’t get an hourly wage at all, which means that groomers live and die on appointments and how much work they can do in a day.

I hope that most people don’t realize this and that spreading the word about how groomers make their income will solve the issue of having a customer call, make an appointment, and then not show up. Read the rest of this entry

Essential Oils For Dogs

So my Sasha is now 12 years old. Once upon a time, nothing bothered her. Not thunderstorms, not fireworks, not trucks and buses making their exhaust sounds, not anything. Now, however, and over the last couple of years, her anxiety has slowly climbed up to the point where thunderstorms give her mild panic attacks. Not fun for anybody.

I briefly considered medication, but ultimately decided that as a 12 year old dog who is already on a bucketload of herbal and medicinal supplements, Sasha might benefit from a more natural remedy for her anxiety.

Cue internet research. I ultimately decided to use essential oils, as essential oils have been used worldwide for thousands of years for a variety of ailments or enhancements. There are hundreds of essential oils derived from plants all over the world, so essential oils is a big undertaking, and I decided to do it in baby steps. Read the rest of this entry

Passion Rules Reason

The title of this article comes from a book in the Sword of Truth series written by Terry Goodkind, and it is something that I like to keep in mind when dealing with people from day to day.

There’s also that saying, you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

If you work in retail, you’ve likely been screamed at by an irate customer or two. Particularly if you’re in a service industy, there’s that customer every now and again that loses their mind over something – significant or not – and you can’t get a word in edgewise. Read the rest of this entry

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