Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My favorite products for cats and dogs

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Those of you that follow my writing know that I am not a huge supplement pusher. I believe that whole good quality food goes a long way in our cats and dogs and if you feed a great diet you really don’t need a lot of powders and liquids.

That being said I often get questions about what are the best supplements and you will notice in my homemade food recipes that I often add supplements. See Diets for cancer in cats and dogs. By the way these diets are great for animals without cancer as well.

So for those of you out there that want to add in a little extra to your dog or cat’s food here are my favorites. And yes there are only three.

  • Healthforce’s Vitamineral Green Powder is one of those truly great supplements. I first learned about this powder after getting an amazingly good smoothie at our local Chaco Canyon cafe. Everytime I would order it I felt like I had a little more energy and my digestion was a little better. It contained this product and I soon ordered it and not only took it myself but also added it to the homemade cat food I made instead of kelp. My cats’ digestion also improved and the volume in the litter boxes decreased. Clearly they were utilizing their food better. I highly recommend this for any animals with digestive issues or as an extra health tonic in healthy animals (or humans)
  • I often get questions about medical mushroom supplements for our companion animals. Fungi Perfecti is my favorite company by far. They have a great reputation in the holistic community and really know their stuff. They also make a great companion animal product called MUSH.If you have a breed that is prone to cancers adding in a mushroom supplement can be highly beneficial. Mushrooms are also a wonderful immune booster and unusual that they can be safely used in animals with autoimmune disease or on immune suppressing drugs.
  • Not all fish oils are created equal. In my opinion all liquid products should be refrigerated once opened, if they aren’t that is a problem. I don’t trust many of the animal fish oil products and prefer going with companies that also make human products that regulate for heavy metals, contaminants, and quality. My favorite company, Nordic Naturals, makes a pet products which has the same high quality of their human grade oils. I prefer their Cod Liver Oil for Pets above all other products. Fish oils and cod liver oils help with skin issues, support immune help, decrease joint inflammation in dogs and help with weight loss in older and sick animals. They can also be an added health booster for healthy dogs and cats and because of the stinky fishy taste are usually not only tolerated but liked by our animals.

How to help our elderly animal companions with the seasonal change to spring

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Did you know that spring is one of the hardest seasons for older dogs and cats?

Often times we think of fall with the dark coming and winter with it’s cold short days as the most difficult but coming out of the dark into spring is also a large time of transition and when I unfortunately loss many of the older animals I work with.

I think part of it is that spring is a time of rebirth. Many new animals come into the world, flowers spring out of the earth and the winds bring change into our lives. The other side of this is that many animals who are near the end of their lives choose the transition of spring to do it in. Whenever there are new beginning their are also endings.

From a practical standpoint I think the ups and downs of weather in the spring as particularly hard on our older friends. It is warm one day, freezing the next, dry than wet and the wind can come in and weaken those who are already vulnerable.

From a Chinese medicine standpoint, our bodies change with the seasons. In the winter we hold more blood in our core, preserving our warmth in our organs. In the summer we send more blood out to the extremities which can cause the inner body to be more deficient. In spring we began that process of pumping more blood out. In yin and yang terms we externalize our yang and if we don’t have enough yin to hold to the yang in our bodies it can cause behavior changes such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, organ failures or if yang is not held at all death (the ultimate separation of yin and yang).

So what can we do to help?

  • Consider putting a coat on your older dog when you take them outside, especially one that covers the neck area. The Chinese say that external pathogens can easily get into a body which is already weak and that they come in through the neck.
  • Consider adding some of the tonic foods to your animal’s diet. Bone marrow or a broth made with marrow bones is awesome. Make sure your animal is getting enough protein i.e. meat. Shiitake mushrooms or a mushroom supplement such as MUSH can be helpful. Tender spring bitter greens such as spinach or dandelions help to keep blood moving well.
  • In the older ones consider using infrared light therapy. See Infrared Light Therapy for dogs and cats.
  • If you are in an area where acupuncture is an option it can be helpful with some of the issues of transition.
  • In older dogs the formula Xiao Chai Hu Tang can be helpful to balance yin and yang and to help with times of transition. Do not use this formula if you have a dog in kidney failure without the direction of a veterinarian.
  • Help your older cat and dog to get some exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to help with brain function and to help keep blood moving well.
  • Love them every moment. All of us will pass at some point in time. Unfortunately our dogs and cats live shorter lives than us. Sometimes no matter what we do they are ready to move on and all we can give them is our full love and acceptance.

Diets for cats and dogs with cancer -You are what you eat, a fighting cancer machine (repost)

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

Good nutrition is very important in any animal fighting cancer. You are what you eat and with cancer we need a diet that feeds and supports the body but starves the cancer. In fighting cancer with herbs and holistic medicine, we are relying on the body to do the fighting. This takes a strong immune system and a lot of energy. You need good food for this.

Cancer cannot utilize fats but loves to use carbohydrates, especially processed ones. Protein is somewhere in between.

A diet high in protein, moderate in fat and with no grain or very low grain is ideal. Home-made cooked, or raw diets are best. If that is not possible then a good quality high protein, canned commercial diet or a hydrated freeze dried raw diet can be substituted.

If your animal is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation you should not use a raw diet (freeze dried is fine). However for these animals a great option is a cooked diet. After they are done with these treatments the food can slowly be transitioned to raw if desired.

If your dog or cat is very debilitated from cancer and has not been on a raw diet before stick with a cooked or freeze dried food.

Commercial raw diets can be cooked as a more simple way to make home cooked food for your animal.

Below are a couple diets I have been using for years for my clients who have time to home cook. It is not an exact science so feel free to play around with them. Scroll down to see some of the commercial diets I recommend (canned, freeze dried and raw).

Sample cancer diets

Dog (approximately for a 40 lb dog per day)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or raw meat including liver and organ meat (if you use fish or pork make sure it is cooked)
  • 1 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1/4 cup yam, sweet potato or pumpkin, cooked or canned
  • 1/8 cup nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or cashews
  • 2 T yogurt with live cultures
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Nordic Naturals Pet Cod Liver Oil
  • a calcium supplement (see below)

Cat Cancer Diet See Making Crazy Awesome Homemade Cat Food

An alternative cat food recipe is Making Crazy Awesome Cat Food Part Two.

For homemade dog food (cats are hard to add extras to their food)

  • If possible I also recommend adding reishi, shitake, and/or maitake mushrooms to the diet. Mushrooms are strong immune stimulates and have anti-cancer properties. Add them in as some of the veggies. Mushrooms should always be cooked as the cooking releases their helpful properties and when they are not cooked they are mildly toxic.
  • When picking vegetables, broccoli and other leafy dark green vegetables should be considered. Many studies have been done on broccoli’s effects against cancer. See the article Broccoli Fights Cancer.
  • The pumpkin, sweet potato, yam, and cod liver oil are high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes mechanisms in the body that kill cancer cells and cause cell differentiation. Consider adding other sources of vitamin A such as liver and carrots.
  • A calcium supplement needs to be added to any diet made for cats and dogs. There are many ways to do this.
    • There are many commercial products such as Animal Essentials Natural Seaweed Calcium.
    • Bone Meal Powder can also be used. Use one teaspoon for an average sized dog.
    • Many people prefer to add a Centrum Silver a day for average to large sized dogs.
    • If you are feeding a raw diet you can feed raw chicken necks for calcium.
    • If you are using eggs in your diet consider smashing up the egg shell and adding it to the diet. One egg shell provides enough calcium for an average sized dog. 1/8-1/4 of an eggshell provides enough for a cat.
  • If you are making raw food make sure the meat is frozen for at least 48 hours to kill off any dangerous parasites.
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds and cashews are high in trace nutrients, minerals, vitamins and good fats. If possible include these in your diet. Cats sometimes do better with a little almond butter. Avoid macadamia nuts which are toxic to dogs.

If you are using a commercial canned food I recommend the following

  • Weruva is a great food that seems home made. They have many varieties so make sure you find a grain free one. I have found this food much cheaper on Amazon.com
  • Instinct is completely grain free and very high in protein.
  • Taste of the Wild is another quality food I use in a lot of the dogs I work with.
  • There are other good ones out there but make sure they mostly contain meat and are grain free.

If you are using a commercial raw diet ideally pick one local to your area. I really like Darwin’s for raw dog and cat food and Rad Cat for cats.

If you are looked for a good freeze dried raw Stella & Chewy’s is my favorite and even picky animals including cats seem to like it. With any of the freeze dried foods I recommend hydrating them.

I hate to see dogs and cats with cancer on dry food but if that is the only option then a no grain high quality diet such as Orijen can be used.

Remember that any food in the belly is more important then the best food sitting uneaten. Sometimes animals with cancer are so sick that they have very little appetite. In that case give them anything they will eat. When they are feeling better, focus on trying to get them to eat what is best for them.

Return to Integrative and Holistic Methods for Treating Cancer in Cats and Dogs.

I will be a guest on the Tripawds’ radio show November 17th at 3pm to talk about holistic cancer care

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Tripawds_Logo-LG-BWI am excited to make my first radio appearance with some great folks.

Tripawds is a community for people who have three legged cat and dog companions. They have a great website with some amazing information and support. I’ll be talking on Holistic Cancer Care at 3pm Pacific time on Sunday November 17th. If you are around please listen in to Tripawds holistic care for dogs and cats. If you aren’t able to hear the show it will be recorded for later listening.

Paw Weaving

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Our dog Alli doing paw weaving.

Our dog Alli doing paw weaving.

Kingdom of Basil has opened on etsy.com – healing herbs for animals

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

I have always had a dream to have an herb shop. I picture a little brick storefront with large front windows full of plants. When you walk in the smell of herbs meets you at the door. For those of you who have never walked into a Chinese pharmacy it is hard to explain the wonderful delight of so many flavors mingling together.

Someday I will have this shop and run a healing practice full of wonderful acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians, massage practitioners, and other healing workers for animals and people in the rooms behind it. We could have classes in the evenings on herbs and healing and support groups for those who have recently lost animal companions. Maybe a library for those who want to come in and look through books.

I wonder if it could be a third place for those with companion animals? Somewhere that folks could meet up.

But most of all it would be full of my herbs. My pharmacy has grown to almost 300 herbs over the years and I would love a place to show them off. Can you imagine dog treats infused with herbs for health? Chocolates for humans with calming herbs such as lavender in them? Tinctures for when our animal friends have to go under anesthesia. Ground herbs to mix in homemade food of older dogs.

Two days ago I opened the first version of this business. I have always been one to start small and create from there. So this business is on etsy.com which allows people to display their talents and homemade items. Please come and visit me at Kingdom of Basil online. Someday I hope to see you in my beautiful Seattle shop!

Christmas lilies and cats

Thursday, December 15th, 2011


Christmas lilies are extremely beautiful but also deadly to cats. Every year cats die from nibbling on lilies and once they become sick it is too late. Just a couple bites of lily will destroy the kidneys of a cat and send them into renal failure. Usually they die within 24 to 72 hours.

All lilies, not just the Christmas type are poisonous to cats, this also includes lucky bamboo which is actually a lily.

Please do not bring lilies into your home if you have cats even if you think they will not eat them. It is heartbreaking to have to tell a cat’s person that there is nothing you can do. If your cat does eat a lily call your veterinary clinic or emergency hospital immediately and get instructions to induce vomiting.

Will you help me?

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Will you help me?

With what you ask –

There is only one of me. This world is full of brilliant people with rich experiences.

When I started Path With Paws I really wanted a place where, not only could I share my stories and articles, but where people could come to find community. I have seen that happen in the comments of various articles but I really want to start to move that into the forums.

Why do I want this?

The most important is that I think it will be easier for people to connect with others and get help. The other issue is I am finding I will soon not be able to keep up with the comments and questions I am receiving and need help. You can help! There are so many wonderful people out there with knowledge and experience. I can learn from you as well! And what you have learned can help someone’s beloved animal.

I am going to start moving comments in the articles into the forums if they end up in the comment section. I promise to participate in the forums as much as I can. But I also want them to grow and develop a life of their own. This should be fun!

So if you have a question will you post it in the forums?

If you have some advise or a story to share will you share it?

Together we can make this site great and a place of support for those who need it!

Please join me!

Go to the forums now.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Funny Pictures - Cute Halloween Kittens
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Funny Pictures - Happy Mother's Day Cats
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!