Pet Care Tips to Improve Pet Health and Quality of Life

| Modified on Dec 22, 2023
Be Careful
Posted by Nina (Chicago, Il) on 06/11/2017

I'm 70 yrs old & have had animal companions all my life. I've learned to be very careful following the advice on web sites. Cats should not be given Garlic or onion.( they do taste it even in the ears) It can cause digestive upset. Putting Peroxide in an animals ears can cause extreme distress. The bubbling is frightening, especially to a cat.So ids a spray bottle! One of the people that wrote in stated she was putting Garlic & water in a Kittens ears. The poor little kitten's ears were red & peeling from the garlic.Then she switched to Vinegar & water that must have burned terribly, even diluted. Many of the people that read these Blogs simply do NOT have common sense.They can do more harm than good trying to help their animal companions.

Moose Broth for Puppies in Danger
Posted by Cassie (California) on 04/20/2016

I had a friend from Maine that raised Belgium Shepherds. One of her female dogs gave birth to puppies but had complications with the births and the female dog had to be under the care of a Vet and could not feed her puppies. My friend and her husband were up for hours trying to feed the puppies with puppy formula and nursing bottles (they lost 20 pounds each trying to keep the puppies alive). The puppies were starving because they could not eat enough or rejected the formula and everything this couple tried would not work with the puppies.

The couple had a leg of moose meat in the freezer a friend had given them. My friend as a last resort cooked the moose meat and gave the puppies MOOSE BROTH using nursing bottles and miraculously the puppies thrived and lived! I just thought I would mention this in case someone finds themselves in this awful situation.

This is a true story.

4th of July and New Year's Eve Fireworks Issue
Posted by Earth Clinic (Atlanta, Ga) on 07/02/2014

Hi everyone,

Please consider sharing our page on how to keep your pets safe this 4th of July with your family and friends on Facebook. Here's the url:

Thank you!

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Kay (Jax, Fl, USA) on 05/30/2014

Thanks for the input regarding diet for my new pup. I started him on the EN which was the vet requested. I tried 2 other foods which were grain and corn meal free and the minute I was giving him more kibble than chicken and rice, he did poorly. So, far I am now 3/4 EN to 1/4 rice and chicken and no issues. I may try to switch him to another high quality food(dry) but I needed to settle his stomach first.

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/28/2014



You might try adding some activated charcoal to your pup's food for the loose stools. It's dusty, messy, fly-a-way stuff, so you will need to mix it into moistened or wet food and it will turn everything black! One half teaspoon per meal for 3 days - see if that has any effect.

Activated charcoal is good to have on hand for gastrointestinal upsets and in case of parvo or other enteritis type viruses.

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/28/2014

Hey Kay!

What does your puppy's breeder say about the loose stools? Sometimes the breeder will know if there is something in a particular diet that is contrary to their breed.

I never transition my dogs on to any food - I do a hard switch and feed half the normal rations for the first three meals. This usually works for me. Loose stools in puppies can be from eating too large a portion, so you might try cutting the portion size to see if it affects stool consistency. I do find it easier to transition from home made chicken and rice to a chicken based kibble - over say a fish based kibble. I think as long as you choose a top diet you shouldn't need the EN diet - which I did look at and agree it's all corn and gluten and unidentified mystery protien. I did see that the EN is prescribed for stress based gastro issues - perhaps Rescue Remedy would help or a D.A.P. plug in. Does your puppy suffer from separation anxiety? And take the Rescue Remedy yourself in case your stress load is traveling down leash on you! The yogurt idea isn't a bad one, however there are better ways to deliver probiotics instead of dairy. I just buy varying strains of acidophillus from the refrigerator section at the health food store and dose with every meal.

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Kay (Jax, FL, USA) on 05/28/2014

No, my new puppy still has loose stools. I have had him now for 4 weeks and he has been on chicken and rice probably 3 weeks mixed with different dry foods. When I transition to more dry food than rice and chicken, his stools become runny. The vet wanted to put him on a dog food called EN but I found it to be full of grain, corn meal, etc. My last dog which was a different breed, was allergic to all of that, so I am gun shy of starting my new pup. However, someone else told me to add a tablespoon of plain yogurt to his food(dry food only). He also poops several times a day. He is still gaining weight and he is now 13 weeks old. I don't know if I should bite the bullett and go for what the Vet wants to feed him or not. I have had some bad experiences with vets as they seem to want to sell their food, which isn't always better than anything else. This is a new vet for me. Any input?

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 05/21/2014

Hey Kay!

I recommend starting research on this site first; not all breed clubs participate, however - but the ones that do identify the most prevalent diseases in their respective breeds and actively screen for them.

Next, your friend should be able to get the registered names of the sire and dam to the litter and should be able to search for them here:

I find it also helpful when researching a breeder to google "complaints against X kennel"; if the breeder has a long standing history of selling unhealthy dogs very often they come up in such a search.

And - how's your new puppy? Did the loose stools clear up?

Checking Health of Puppy Litters
Posted by Kay (Jax, FL Usa) on 05/21/2014

Checking the health of puppy litters: I have a friend who found a dog breeder on line and I am concerned they have found a bad one. What website would should the health line of the breeder's dogs? I have already checked the American Kennel Club.

General Feedback
Posted by Dr Ashkar Ve5 (Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt) on 05/06/2014

Your site is wonderful
Pleaee if you have any wayes or remedies we can use it with treatment in dogs or cats tell me
Great work

EC: Thank you for your kind words.  We have a whole section on treatments for pets.

Protecting Pets From Heat Waves
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 01/14/2014

We are suffering a heat wave in Australia 43c (105f) and my poor pets have been feeling it real bad. So for my bird a king parrot I gave him ice blocks and for my little jack russel, I got a childs football sock and filled it with ice cubes and tied it around his neck and within 15 mins he went from painting excessively to sleeping peacefully I left it there till the ice melted and for the rest of the day he was more relaxed. If you choose to do this, do not leave your pet unsupervised.

Neglected Dogs
Posted by Mary Kate (Santa Monica, California) on 08/11/2013

Sorry to hear about this situation. Do you know if the dog has plenty of shade and water? That will really make a difference. I know of a shelter out in the Los Angeles Valley that keeps the dogs outside all year round under very shady spots. The owner of the rescue told me the dogs can adapt to hot weather. However, I think shade and abundant water (baby pools too) are the key.

Perhaps call the local aspca, and no kill shelters or the humane society to ask for advice as to how to proceed.

Neglected Dogs
Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 08/09/2013

Do you know the family who owns the golden retriever? If so, maybe you could offer to take care of it for them. Otherwise, please contact local rescues in your area ASAP and explain the situation to the rescue group! Here is a link of national golden retriever rescue organizations:

Neglected Dogs
Posted by Loraine (Florida) on 08/08/2013

Hey EC... Guys I need your input on this one. My neighbour has a beautiful golden retriever about 2 years old and recently, I noticed that they are leaving her outside in the heat (today was 99%). We live in Orlando so go figure how hot it is in August. It breaks our heart but I am scared to call ASPCA cause I know they will keep her for a few days and put her to sleep and I don't know how to address this issue to my neighbor since we barely say hi to each other. What can I do guys... Any suggestions? please guys help.... Thank you so much

4th of July and New Year's Eve Fireworks Issue
Posted by Jb (Atlanta, Ga) on 08/03/2013

I use a cd called Canine Lullabys. It has a heartbeat embedded in music. Hate the music, children's nursery songs but, the heartbeat is the key. Very calming.

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Jb (Atlanta, GA) on 08/03/2013

Front yard, back yard. Doesn't matter. NEVER Leave Your Companion Unattended! Too much at stake. You would not leave a child unattended, Would You! ?!

Appetite Loss
Posted by Debbie (Denton, Tx) on 04/06/2013

Most of our pets health issues are diet related. Do not give people food to animals, unless it is recommended like fresh veggies and lean meats and brown rice, etc... Do not give your dog grocery store food. Look up some good food alternatives.

It sounds like your dog may have been poisoned? Either someone deliberately did it or maybe it licked up some spilled antifreeze somewhere. It does not take much to kill an animal with antifreeze. It smells and taste sweet so they like it.

Dogs have a tendency to ingest things when their diet is not too good. If I don't watch my dog closely she will try to eat rocks or grass that may have been sprayed with poisons, etc...

Also, those rawhide bones can be very dangerous for some breeds, inc. Mine. She threw them up once and because it was in her stomach for awhile it was almost like pieces of glass coming up. It was a wonder it did not cut her intestines and she bled to death. No more for her.

I hope the best for your baby! Do your research before you feed him/her.

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Sadsagitarian (Finger Lakes, New York, USA) on 01/28/2013

I'll second that tip of not leaving a pet anywhere where it can be seen from a road, or outside alone with no one around when you are not home. I know of some people who came from Nevada to New York with two really nice dogs that they didn't leave with when they left NY and I know they didn't have the money to buy them. At the time, I called the police and they said there was nothing they could do. To this day one of these persons still has one of the dogs (she is light brown color, longish hair) and I know someone out there somewhere is grieving the loss of this dog. If I have another dog, I will never leave him/her outdoors alone again.

Appetite Loss
Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh/usa) on 12/22/2012

I'm sorry to have to say this, but this really sounds as if it's the beginning of the end for your dear pup, especially since he's 16 and seems to have had a stroke. If money is tight for you, please find a low-cost vet in or near your area. He definitely needs to see a vet.

Appetite Loss
Posted by Leenott (Edmonton, Ab, Canada) on 12/21/2012

Hi, I have a small dog of 16 years and I think he had a stroke a couple of days ago. I don't go to vets as all they will give him are drugs or steroids which I won't use.

He is stumbling around with his head on one side, and it seems he's almost lost what little sight he had, as he peers at me as if trying to find me.

He is NOT eating or drinking. This is the 2nd day he hasn't eaten. He always had a very good appetite, and nothing seems to appeal, it's as if his sense of smell is distorted.

I syringed a few mls of water this morning and it's now almost 1 pm and that's ALL the water he's had today. I also put a few pieces of REALLY good beef in his mouth, he swallowed about 3 tsps, and that's all he's eaten in 2 days.

I would really appreciate any suggestions! Beverley N in Australia

White Vinegar for House Training and Accidents
Posted by Keith (Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa) on 12/15/2012

The best way to house train your puppies is to take them outside after they have had a meal. Use specific words when they do whatever they do. Our words are "make piss" and "make landmines". They will soon associate the words with the deeds, especially if you tell them how clever they are and fuss over them when they have done their "duty".

If you catch them in the act of soiling the house, pick them up and run outside with them. It helps if you have a big plastic bowl to hold under them when transporting them in this way.

For overall health, we put 1. 5ml of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide in 5 litres of water and give two buckets, one with the mix and the other with plain water. The peroxide mix is usually finished before the plain water goes down by 1/8th.

We also feed our dogs animal fat at the rate of 1/2 cup per day each, melted in boiled water, poured over their formula and left to cool. Every morning they are given 10ml of coconut oil each.

We have two Bullmastiff X St. Bernard crosses, littermates and brothers, who will be 8 years old in February 2013. They have NEVER been to a vet, have never been ill and still act as though they are 8 MONTHS old! Namaste.

Foaming Water Fountain
Posted by Artekatz (Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africae) on 09/25/2012

I have recently bought a concrete water fountain for my cattery and my cats will use it as their primary watersource. The waterfall part is clear water, but the water in the bowl foams up. Any natural remedies to rectify this foaming?

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Barkoutloud (Tampa, Florida) on 08/22/2012


Re: Dog in yard... If you have a small dog, BEWARE! Hawks and owls prey on small animals, and if your dog is small, they will be swept away! I knew about that, and inherited a small dog recently. I've been taking her out into the back yard, and had forgotten about that until a hawk swept by me and landed on a branch eyeing my little dog! It made me shiver knowing that if I hadn't been right there between her and the hawk, I would have been left standing watching the hawk take her away! Now I take her out on a leash every time!! .. And I hold on tight!

Charcoal Use
Posted by Ky Mama (Clinton, Ky, Usa) on 07/30/2012

When my goats get sick we use charcoal. Once a baby goat was bloated and wouldn't drink. We put 1 T. Charcoal into her milk bottle and gave it to her. She was better within hours. We continued treated her with this at each feeding for a couple of days. When a mother goat had diarrhea and was off her feed and lethargic, we mixed charcoal 1:1 with blackstrap molasses. We gave her 2-4 T. Of this in a large syringe several times a day. It took several days but she was slowly getting better and recovered completely. When a goat had an infected hoof, we mixed charcoal with flax seed and water to make a paste and packed the hoof. We covered ith with a sock and a bandage. That was all that was ever needed for her to recover. We use activated charcoal, like we use for ourselves.

Walks, Food, Learning From Your Pets
Posted by Swhit (Los Angeles, Ca) on 06/04/2012

Yes, walks everyday are the best if you can do it but, I am a rather dissapointed by this comment of making it illegal. I wonder if you have thought that through.

Dogs are a great source of companionship/healers to the handicapped, mentally disabled, children with life threatening diseases and seniors. Many rescue dogs are taken in by these people. They (for the most part) find it hard to take a dog for a "walk" let alone once a day.

A rescue dog if in a kill shelter is doomed unless someone takes them in. Because they do not get walks every day does not make someone an abuser. There are many professions which require 24hr shifts ie. , doctor, nurse, fireman so there is no way the dog can get a walk every day.

Not all dogs need a walk especially if they have a yard. Small dogs can get enough exercise just playing and people/dogs visiting for socialization. Talking of Cesear - he recommends a treadmill. Then we have people at home sick for the day, flu, food poisoning etc., do they get fined/jailed/animal taken away?

I have a Border Collie, who is high maintence she gets water play, obstacle course and friends coming to play. She would rather play (jumping for the water), ball or new commands/tricks sometimes than go get her leash because BC's need mental stimualtion as well as physcial. She gets 3 days of walks during the week (work schedule) and a full day on Sunday going to the mountains an all day hike, visiting with our family, sheep herding and any other activity that is geared around her. It is her day.

Lastly, ever heard of the Constitution? Think, Educate and not penalize please!

Treadmill for High Energy Dogs
Posted by Swhit (Los Angeles) on 06/04/2012

Jonnna, Border Collies need to be socialized early if not they become skittish and fearful. I believe you mentioned somewhere you got your dog later in life so this can be a problem. They are by nature not protectors even though they were crossbred with the wolf.

Our girl had Parvo when we got her and caused a fear of humans (vets/IV's/death doorstep). We took her to the Zoom Room to get rid of that energy and then tried her with one of their classes (the dogs have rules, 6ft apart) she did ok, not great and also had a barking bout but what we learned was valuable. It really helped a lot. We stayed away from the dog parks (the herding instinct kicks in).

What worked for us was the command "touch it". We practiced by showing her the back of our hand (as if she was going to smell it) and praised her when she touched with her nose. We got stick um's and put one on my leg, gave the command and she would touch it (treat), then gave her other things to "touch it". While walking when passing people we gave the command showing the back of the hand and treat. This kept her attention away from people walking past. She got used to them being there and then were able to take her to more crowded places. At any time we were aware of overwhelm and would quickly divert her attention and lead her to a quiet place for a few minutes then resume back to what we were doing.

Getting off the energy first is the key, then keeping their attention fixed on you with a bag of treats in your pocket but a couple in your hand for an immediate response. After you get her socialized, can do basic commands I suggest taking her for a sheep herding test. It works wonders for them. There are a few places in the LA area.

Cat and Dog Products
Posted by Had (White River Jct, Vermont) on 05/23/2012

I will confess, I had short haired dogs, great danes. I NEVER shampooed them. In most instances a damp washcloth wiping down was sufficient. Of course, rinsing just w/ water and rubbing gently w/ hand for mud etc.. My dogs had gorgeous coats, lots of shine and no skin issues. All the chemicals they put in pet products are not good for the hair or the skin (just like w/ people)

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Lestine (Chicago, Il) on 05/08/2012

Wrong, I was at the Animal Welfare facility where a very, very happy man was reunited with his boxer after being stolen 8 years ago. Eventually they have to go to the vet. Dog and man were in heaven.

Administering Liquid Remedies
Posted by Linda (Toronto, On) on 03/15/2012

Instead of adding Apple Cider Vinegar to my dog's drinking water, I add it to their food.

Stop Lawn Spots
Posted by Zenguy (Salem, Ma) on 02/10/2012

Buy cheap tomato juice and pour 1/2 cup onto your dogs food at each meal. This worked great for my female lab and she loved it.

the Declawing Cat Issue
Posted by Susan (USA)

We applaud West Hollywood (the first city) and then California (the first state) for banning the declawing of cats, both big and small. Read more about the amazing veterinarians who started this successful and inspiring movement at

Summertime Tips From Cesar Milan
Posted by Susan (USA)

Posted Fri, Jun 29, 2007, 12:26 pm PDT

Want your dog to enjoy the 4th of July festivities as much as you will? Here are some tips on keeping your dog safe in hot summer temperatures.

1. Keep him hydrated. Make sure your dog has access to water. If you're on the move, carry a portable bowl and bottle of water.

2. Different dogs have different needs. Darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats, and overweight dogs dehydrate faster. Keep this in mind when taking your pack on a walk.

3. Never leave your dog in a parked car. A car retains heat, even in the shade. Add an overexcited dog to the equation, and dehydration can result. On long trips, keep the AC on or roll down the window, and make sure water is available.

4. Be innovative. A wet towel, a water spritzer, a kiddie pool, a fan in front of a pan of ice: these are all great ways to help keep your dog cool.

5. Dogs cool from the bottom up. Lay a wet towel under your dog instead of on top of her coat. Don't forget your dog's paws and stomach when spraying water.

6. Be vigilant! Watch for signs of dehydration. These include excessive drooling, lethargy, bloodshot eyes, and loss of skin elasticity. If you're concerned, get your dog into the shade or go inside, provide water, and contact your veterinarian.

Hardwood Floors and Steep Stairs
Posted by Earth Clinic (USA) on 04/10/2010

Hardwood floors can be very difficult for aging dogs due to their slippery surfaces. As your dog approaches the end of his/her life, the hardwood floor issue becomes especially pronounced. Some dogs may find it impossible to stand up on hardwood floors, especially large breeds. An easy fix is to simply cover the area where he or she walks with throw rugs and runners.

Neutering Vs Vasectomy
Posted by Lauren Loves Green (Florissant, Missouri) on 11/07/2011

I had to neuter my 3 male dogs to keep them from trying to kill each other. They were so territorial that I was taking care of their wounds they inflicted on each other every day. There is definitely a time when neutering is the best and only solution. They are all three best of friends now. No more aggressive behavior.

Administering Liquid Remedies
Posted by D.williams (Wilmington, Nc, Usa) on 10/13/2011

I am a life long lovers of cats and have found the most gentle and safe way to secure your kitty so that you can give them liquid meds is to take an old bath towel or small blanket and wrap them just like you would a human baby. This also works on small dogs and other small critters. Lay the towel over your cat's back from the neck down, you want the longer ends to it's sides, scoop them up in your lap and wrap the blanket securely around them tail end first then one side and the other. Make sure that their legs are tucked as if they were lieing on their belly with the tail tucked along their side or up along their stomach. Make sure it is tight but not strangling, especially around their neck, as they will squirm their way out if they can. Sit on the floor indian style with your kitty between your legs and gently but firmly hold their head with your thumb under their chin. I prefer a medicine syringe or eye dropper. Slide the tip of the syringe between their lips toward the back of the mouth and squeeze a little at a time into their mouth. They usually will open their mouth somewhat when the liquid enters and work their tongues to swallow, but don't stick it into their mouth any further than you have to or they will gag. Talking sweet to them and rubbing their head helps to calm them, especially if they start to freak out.

This also works great for ear cleaning/meds. This way their claws are away from you and they can't run like hell when they see the medicine! Even the most honery and psycho of kitties can usually be dosed this way. After reading so many posts of people being bitten and scratched by their beloved furry friends I had to share this with all of you. I've got my fair share of scars trying help my furry babies so I totally understand how hard it is to get their meds in them. I hope this helps and bless all of you, two legged and four legged.

Don't Leave Dogs in the Front Yard
Posted by Holly (Waco, Tx) on 09/06/2011

Microchipping doesnt help you recover a dog that has been stolen. It is not a GPS device. It must be scanned by a special microchip scanner. Only if someone takes the pet to a shelter does it do any good.

And then, it does a LOT of good.

Supplements for Dogs/ Cats
Posted by Diane (Lakeland, Florida) on 08/28/2011

Came across this web site and felt it was necessary to pass this along. It lists all the vitamins and minerals that pets need. It explains the symptoms of deficiency and even dosage. It further explains how the supplement heals the body. A must read... and a must article to print and save.

Charcoal for Spider Bites
Posted by Rose (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Usa) on 08/14/2011

I had a nasty spider bite like that a few years ago. It turned out it was a wolf-spider bite. I used a triple antibiotic and it healed quite nicely!

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