Healthy Family, Healthy Home, Healthy Pets, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Supporting Your Aging Dog: Diet and Supplements, Part 3

*Disclaimer* This information is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

**UPDATE- some reason this post was deleted from my blog, so I am reposting.  Sadly since the first post of this blog, Daisy has crossed the Rainbow Bridge**

Diet: As your dog ages, his/her diet needs will change. He/She may become less active, weight gain is always a concern with older dogs.  Extra weight can cause tremendous issues on old bones and joints.  Making my sure my dog’s diet is clean and nutrient dense is extremely important to me.  It also helps me manage her allergies.  I have been making her food for the past 7 or 8 years, with great success.  Be sure to speak to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

  • Bone broth.  This has been the key to encourage my girl to eat some days. And so easy to do. I usually give Daisy about a cup of warm bone broth every morning with her breakfast.
  • Steamed veggies.  A great source of vitamins and minerals.  Steaming them is best for older dogs, because it aids in easy digestion.
  • Organ meats. Be sure they are from grass-feed, antibiotic free animals.  Organ meats are the most nutrient dense part of any animal.  Again with older dogs, it’s best to boil the organs before they eat them, unless your dog has been on a RAW diet all along.
  • Wild Game: A great addition to a dog’s diet at any age.  Most wild game, depending where it is hunted/fished  will be the cleanest source of proteins and healthy fats you can feed your dog (and yourself).  Again, the organ meats from wild game is a great additions.
  • Collagen and Gelatin. I use Collagen every day in my coffee, “healthy” lattes or smoothies.  I also using it in Daisy’s dog food.  Collagen and gelatin helps maintain healthy joints, tissue, skin and can aid in skin allergies.  Collagen can be given at any stage of a dog’s life, and the sooner it’s given, the better.  My favorite brand is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and Vital Proteins Gelatin
  • Grain free foods. Dogs were not designed to consume grains. Just like humans, grains can cause inflammation in a dog’s body. This can be especially harmful in an aging dog that may have arthritis. Many times grains can cause itchy skin and yeasty ears.  This is the case for my girl.  For most of her life, I have either made her food or choose a grain-free dog food.
  • Turmeric Paste aka Golden Paste: Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, an effective anti-inflammatory, can help prevent and even treat cancer and protects the liver from toxins, along with many other benefits. Here’s a link to the recipe I use Turmeric Golden Paste for Dogs

Herbs: Herbs are a great way to assist in supporting your aging friend.  A group of herb known as Adaptogens, which are a diverse group of plants that contain substances that help the body adapt to various life stress.  Some examples of adaptogens are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, a variety of mushrooms, and many others. Again be sure to do your research before giving you pet any herbal supplements.  I would strongly suggest working with a Holistic Veterinarian or a veterinarian that is trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Cannabis Oil: I was never a strong believer in the healing power of cannabis oil, until I has suffered extreme flank pain.  I thought it was kidney stones, I had x-rays, MRI, blood test, chiropractic adjustments, nothing helped.  I did not want to take pain killers or antibiotics, because the source of the pain was unknown.  So I tried cannabis oils.  My pain went from a 10 plus, to a 2 within the matter of 15 minutes.  Since this worked so well for me, I thought it would help Daisy and began researching it. I have used it in small doses when her pain is really bad.  Since her mobility has declined dramatically over the past several weeks, I’ve been using it on a regular basis, with great success.  Be sure to be working with your veterinarian before giving your dog cannabis oil. This is a great article explaining the use of cannabis oil on dogs Cannabis Oil for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know .  And this article list places to purchase cannabis oil, along with another great explanation of how it works Cannabis For Your Dog: How it Can Help.

Epsom Salt Baths: I added Epsom Salt baths to this part of the series, because magnesium is a mineral that is missing from not only our pet’s diet, but ours as well.  A great way to get magnesium into the body is through Epsom Salt.  Epsom Salt baths are just as beneficial for your dog, as it is for you.  When Epson Salt is added to water, it breaks down to magnesium and sulfate, which is absorb into the body via the skin. Epsom Salt Baths aid in arthritis pain, swelling, sore muscle and helps cleanse and soften the fur.

Some dogs, won’t be so excited for this one. However my girl doesn’t mind taking baths.  Be sure the water is warm and the tub full enough so that the water covers most of your dog.  Allow your dog to soak 10-15 minutes.

For Small Dogs under 10 lbs: 1/4-1/2 cup of Epsom salt
For Dogs 10 lbs-40 lb: 1/2 cup-1 cup of Epsom Salt
For dog over 40 lbs: 1-2 cups of Epsom Salt

Rescue Remedy: Is a liquid of flower essences that can be given to your dog, via a dropper into the mouth, in your dog’s water, applied to their gums or even rubbed on their paws.  The most common brand is Bach’s Original Flower Remedies.  Bach’s brand contains the essences of 5 different beneficial flowers.  It assists with their emotional support and is helpful for dogs that are hypersensitive, fearful and have a hard time adjusting to new situations.  I’m not sure how helpful this has been for Daisy? I haven’t seen a dramatic change in her behavior during stressful situations, but each animal is different.  You might find this very helpful for your pet.  I know when I was the kennel manager at a Humane Society, we used in every dogs water. I found with some dogs it was super helpful, while others it had no effect on them.  For more information: Rescue Remedy for Pets

Check out my other post in this series. Supporting Your Aging Dog: Body Work Modalities and Supporting Your Aging Dog: Using Essential Oils

 

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Creating Sacred Space…..

After a 2 year journey to become a surrogate, I’m finally in the midst of hormone injections and on the eve of the doing the embryo transfer. This has been a journey of magic meets science. Pregnancy is a magical rite of passage for a woman, and this is an extraordinary situation that not many get to participate in. I had to honor this very special event by doing a ritual, a Yoni Steam. Not only was this a physical creation of a scared space in my bathroom, it was also creating a sacred space in my womb.

sp4I turned my bathroom into a scared temple of fertility by setting up an altar, adorn with flowers, candles, a sacred turtle fertility statue, a small birds nest with a moon stone sphere, and other crystals.

I began the evening by lighting candles and starting the slideshow I created with photos of fertility goddess set to the music of Nina Lee’s Sacred Pregnancy: The Deep Drink. I discovered this powerfully beautiful album when I was pregnant with Elliot. The music made me feel so powerful and connected to the great creator.

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I saged the room and myself, boiled water and filled a bowl full of herbs. A beautiful mixture of lavender rose petals, chamomile and yarrow. Once the water was hot, I added it to the bowl of herbs. I ran a bath and filled the tub with lavender, chamomile, rose petals, and then a few drops of vetiver essential oil.

sp2I wrapped the bowl with a towel, so I that wouldn’t burn my legs, and straddled the bowl. I allowed the steam to enter my womb. I began to mediate. I envisioned that my womb was full of love and lush with fertility, waiting for baby magic to be placed there to grow and thrive for the next 9 months.

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After about 20 minutes of the Yoni Steam, I got into the tub and breathed in the delicious smell of the herbs and oils. I let the warm water hold me and absorb any fear, anxiety, or doubt that may have been lingering around this journey. As I soaked in the loving embrace of the water, a little voice began calling my name. My 3 year old was looking for mama and thought it was exciting that I was having a bath in flowers. He climbed into the bath with me. His innocent and curious energy was a great addition to the divine feminine energy overflowing throughout the room.

Once we finished with the bath, we sat on the floor, breathing in the energy that was created. Energy that overflowed of love, devotion, feminine divinity, strength, power and magic. Then we closed with a prayer.

I felt an incredible openness in my womb. As if it expanded, and double its size. My womb was now a sacred space to create magic, love, and to complete a family.

Love, magic and fertile wombs,
~Jen~

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Healthy Home, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit, Uncategorized

Sacred Owl Medicine

This week broke me open.  It was full of spirit, fear, love, and rites of passage.  I planned to do a lot of self care during the week to prepare for the upcoming embryo transfer.  Sunday was spent doing my usually meal prep, cooking and cleaning. I wanted to make sure I had the most nourished dense foods to help my body accept the embryos and allow them to thrive. Monday, I had an amazing massage. Tuesday, a relaxing float and on my way to pickup my son from daycare, I spotted an owl in the road.  My heart sank, the owl is one of my power animals and a beautiful mystical creature.  I couldn’t leave her in the road.  I turned around, hoping that she was just stunned or injured, but sadly she was dead.  I scooped her up and carried her back to my car. img_0526 As I starred at her trying to find meaning in finding a dead owl, I knew that I had to honor her with a ritual. Grandmother Owl is know to possess very powerful hearing and vision.  Those that have been blessed with this medicine are usually gifted with the ability to see into the human psychic and are clairvoyant listener.  Grandmother Owl is often believed to come to those who need to let go of some part of their life that no longer serves them. She teaches us to see past our shadow, push through the darkness and fear, into light, love and knowledge. Once my little guy and I got home, we set to work in creating a sacred space. Elliot arrange the jars of herbs, as I laid out some muslin.  “Looks like a tree, Mama.”  I laid Owl on the muslin. She was a magnification specimen of wisdom, strength, and magic.  Elliot was mesmerized by her feathers, and stroked her wings gently.  Now mind you, my wee one in only 3 and doesn’t completely understand the meaning of death.  But he was delighted to participate in celebrating Owl.   We lit candles, saged the room and ourselves, and Elliot did some drumming as I called in the Directional Elements South, West, North, East, Mother Earth, Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the Brother and Sister of the Star Nation.’

 

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We anointed Owl with Essential Oils: CEDAR: Prosperity, Purification SANDLWOOD: Purification MYRRH: Healing, Purification, Protection CYPRESS: Endings Karma cycles and spread herbing over Owl: BASIL: Protection, Love COMFREY: Healing LAVENDER: Memories, Peace MISTLETOE: Protection MUGWORT: Inner Sight ROSES: Purification SAGE: Wisdom THYME: Purification FRANKINCENSE TEARS: Purification, Spiritual Transformation.

 

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After dressing Owl, I asked Elliot if we should sing a song, “Yes Mama, Free Falling” Oh my sweet boy.  I guess that was the most appropriate song out of his small song repertoire.  I was just glad he didn’t choose “Dude Looks Like a Lady.” After singing some Tom Petty, we wrapped Owl gently in the muslin and tied multi-colored ribbons Owl’s body.  Each ribbon we said a little pray for Owl.  We laid Owl to rest on my alter. We are planning to release his body on the full moon, in a fire ceremony.

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Prayer of the Owl By Ron O.

Mighty Santa Muerte I Call Upon You, to Ask Your Permission to Summon Your Wise Owl Santa Muerte You Who Know All the Secrets of the Universe I Seek the Knowledge of the Owl Who Is Ever Present With You

My Mighty Queen, I Need to Open the Pathway to the Secrets of Your Mantle I Need Help of the Wise Owl to This Plea……….. Show Me Santa Muerte, Who My Enemies Are, Who Is Harming Me and My Loved Ones, Mighty Owl Grant Me Your Eyes, That See All to See the Right Way in Life to Follow, Teach Me Mighty Owl How to Be Closer to the Santa Muerte, Grant Me Mighty Owl, Your Great Hearing, to Hear All the Rumors and Lies, Being Said About Me and My Loved Ones Behind Our Back Teach Me Mighty Owl Patience, to Be Always Patient and Humble to Help Those Who Are Need of Help

Santa Muerte I Thank You for the Use of Your Owl Thank You Owl for Use of Your Gifts

Santa Muerte I Humbly Thank You for Your Kindness

Amen.

Brightest Blessing, Love and Magic to you all!