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Letters 02/99

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The Case for Kindergarten

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Best Nail Clippers For Your Dog

It’s really a safe and simple procedure; one that most dog owners can easily learn to perform on their dogs. I have done it to my own dogs since I was a little kid. So it never ceases to amaze me when I ask my training classes how many owners clip their own dogs’ toenails and an average of only one out of eight raise their hands. That means the other seven either neglect this important procedure, or spend hundreds of dollars over a dog’s lifetime to pay someone else to do it.

One Lucky Puppy

When our grandparents (or perhaps great-grandparents) were children, it was not uncommon for people to have big families – say, eight or 10 or more kids – but to have only a few survive due to childhood diseases, a lack of modern medical care, and, sometimes, poor nutrition. This is a story of Dusty, a dog with just such a background; he is the sole survivor from a litter of 11 puppies. But despite being born in modern times, superior medical care and technology failed to save Dusty’s siblings.

Answers From Experts 02/99

We love our Labrador Retriever, Bailey, very much. We rescued her when she was six weeks old. She is now almost two years old. We believe that a dog is part of the family and therefore should live inside the house with the rest of the family. However, we were warned about Labs and their desire to chew and need for a lot of exercise. We were prepared for the worst. We limited Bailey’s living quarters to the kitchen and family room.

A Holistic Dog Behavior Consultant’s Opinion on Dog Door Aggression

As a holistic behavior consultant, I believe that most problems people experience with their dogs are not really dog problems but rather communication problems. Dogs don't have problems being dogs; they have problems being dogs who live with humans. Most humans don't even know how to communicate with each other! Every interaction you have with a dog teaches the dog something about living with a human.

Using Homeopathic Remedies to Help Your Dog

Last month, we looked at how homeopathy works to help a patient’s body heal itself. In this article, we’ll explore how you can use homeopathic remedies to help your dog – and suggest when your dog would be better off in the care of a veterinary homeopath. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, homeopathy can bring amazing cures of deep-seated illness. But it can also be used by the layperson to treat minor acute problems. What kinds of ailments can you tackle at home? “You can always treat injuries,” says veterinary homeopath and author Richard Pitcairn, DVM. The best candidates for at-home treatment include bite and puncture wounds, insect bites and bee stings, minor burns, and digestive upsets.

Creative Dog Toys

Dogs can never have enough toys, and here at Whole Dog Journal we are always on the lookout for creative new toys to help you enjoy your canine companions. Good toys are crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, bored dogs are far more likely to engage in behaviors that – while perfectly natural and reasonable activities for a dog with time on his paws – are not the sort of things that will please you. Things like barking at anything that moves outside the windows of the house, attempting to dig out the source of a trail of ants in the kitchen, or chewing on the table legs.

Holistic Veterinarians Take on The Annual Vaccination Schedule

Holistic veterinarians have long decried the annual vaccination schedule recommended by many conventionally trained veterinarians for all dogs. Many holistic veterinarians suspect that many of the complex ailments that plague our modern dogs – from allergies to digestive problems to aggressive behavior and so on – have their roots in immune system problems brought on by excessive and unnecessary vaccination. However, many of us are convinced by our veterinarians that our dogs won’t be safe unless they receive these boosters every year. Fortunately, a recent study indicates that most dogs retain humoral antibody protection from past vaccinations for longer than previously thought.

Moving Blues

For the last three years, Bailey (my six-year-old Chow/Shepherd mix) and I have been living with my boyfriend and Colleen (his eight-year-old Norwegian Elkhound)....

The Force MAY Be With You

I wanted to write you and tell you of an extraordinary experience that I had using homeopathy for my dog. Last summer our seven-year-old Shepherd-mix developed a hard lump near her shoulder. It grew to the size of a large marble. We took her to our vet, who performed a needle biopsy. It came back as reactive lymph tissue – baffling because there should be no lymph tissue in that area. To be safe, he recommended surgery, since a needle biopsy can only test a fragment of the lump. The surgery would have to go deep because the lump was imbedded in her muscle. I took a deep breath, listened to my own inner calm and immediately decided to boost her immune system using the herb astragalus and a maitake mushroom tincture. I also boosted her vitamins.

Veterinary Acupuncture is Becoming Mainstream

It is generally accepted that the practice of human and veterinary acupuncture had their beginnings in ancient China. According to legend, veterinary acupuncture was discovered when lame horses were used for battle and became sound after being pierced by arrows at distinct points. Regardless of the accuracy of the folklore, there is evidence that veterinarians practiced acupuncture around 2000-3000 BC. The early use of the technique on animals was probably prompted by the economic importance of horses, camels, elephants, cows, pigs, and chickens as sources of transportation and food. Now, veterinary acupuncture is used worldwide to treat all types of animals including many exotics.

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