Scratching the Itch

It’s almost summer, and it seems the occupants of this house have been focused heavily on fleas and how to eradicate without topical or ingestible poison.

After spreading diatomaceous earth all over the deck, patio, under shrubs, along the fence, and basically throughout the yard, I realized that is the ingredient of my flea powder that made the Pugs scratch like crazy.

AWESOME! 

#fail

Thank God for the recent deluge that washed it all away.

I finally decided to just hire a mosquito service to come spray the yard every 3 weeks from now until October. Expensive, yes, but still cheaper than some of my vet bills.

The treatment is effective against mosquitos and fleas. Here’s hoping that approach, when paired with weekly baths, daily flea-combing, and boosted immune health will adequately address our issue on that front. I’ll keep you posted.

Even with all that, they have still been scratching incessantly, especially at 4am (which puts me in an especially bad mood).

What’s the prob?

I mean, I feed them raw, local honey daily, which should homeopathically address pollen allergies (I mean, it certainly has worked for me. First time in years that I’ve gone all spring without a sinus infection. Just sayin).

I feed them raw, fermented goats milk daily, which is a natural antihistamine.

They have a raw and grain-free diet, of course.

The diatomaceous earth is gone now.

What the deal-io?

I may never know for sure, but I’m not going to run to the vet for steroids or antibiotics that will only mask the symptoms and ultimately cause more harm than good over time.

As I was pulling on my hair and furrowing my brow over what to do, Dogs Naturally Magazine posted this article that gave me some options.

How fortuitous! Answered prayer, perhaps?

I read through it and realized I had most of the natural itch arresters right there in my pantry!

Being a throwback hippie is starting to pay off!

The most immediately effective thing I tried was coconut oil. I scooped some out, warmed it in my hands, and rubbed it into their skin where they seemed to be most bothered. They stopped scratching instantly, curled up and went to sleep.

DANG!

The next day, I pulled Basil and Oregano from my herb garden-window box and made a strong medicinal tea with it. I plucked about 2 tablespoons of each, boiled water, removed from heat, added the herbs and let it steep overnight. I then poured it over their meals.

Seems to be working. Not as instantly noticeable, but they’re not scratching quite as much, especially using the two together.

Then I dug around in my dried herbs and saw I had Calendula petals (Marigold) right there in a little bag in the fridge! I made a very strong medicinal tea with it, using the same method.

Boiled water first, removed it from heat, added the herb, and this time, I let it steep for 2 full days. It was very concentrated, so I got a big bowl with a lid, added almost a gallon of water to the concentrate, and stuck it in the fridge to use as a rinse after baths.

I bathed them and poured generous amounts over their coats as a final rinse, and let it air dry.

No. Scratching.

AND they smelled simply delightful! 🙂

Tip: Let the stuff come to room temp or close to it, unless it’s super hot outside, because it will be super cold fresh out of the fridge, and your dog may not love you that much after you freeze her tooter off.

I also have an arsenal of lemons and garlic at my disposal, and once the Calendula tea is finished, I can make a different rinse using them.

Options a-plenty! I encourage you to experiment with these if your dog is scratching the never-ending itch. Making the rinses will take a little bit of time and planning, but really, much much less expensive and a much healthier option than a trip to the vet. And if these methods absolutely fail, then you might have something else going on that does need medical attention.

pugs & kisses!

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SMOOTHIES!!!

Berry smoothie for dogs

You too can make your HOL dog a smoothie that he will LOVE.

Basically, any fruit will do, and the recipe is largely the same except for the fruit. You could drink it yourself, except that the Answers raw, fermented goats milk I use in all of them is not for human consumption b/c it’s not pasteurized. So, here’s you some options to get you started. All recipes are for a 50lb dog. Adjust according to your dog’s size.

SMOOTH AWAY!

Straw-Monkey

  • 1 whole banana, peeled (duh) and broken into pieces
  • 5 strawberries, topped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • small bunch of fresh mint leaves without the stems
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Berry Blitz

  • 2 oz Blueberries
  • 2 oz Raspberries
  • 2 oz Strawberries
  • small bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon or turmeric
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Orange Crush

  • 3-4 small carrots, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric or cinnamon
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk.

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8 oz.

Green Goblin

  • 1 small avocado, pitted and peeled
  • small bunch of mint and basil, stems removed
  • 1 tsp dried kelp
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 1/2 cup raw, fermented goats milk

WHIRRRR in the blender till smooth. Makes 8oz.

I make an 8oz smoothie every morning and divide it between Pearl and Truman. That is their breakfast. They get their meat meal at night.

The goats milk provides them with protein, as well as probiotics to start their day. The cinnamon or turmeric act as natural anti-inflammatories, as well as digestive aids (among other things–enough to fill their own blog post). The garlic is for flea & tick avoidance. Such a small amount should not bother your dog, but some dogs may be hyper-sensitive to garlic. So try a little and see how your dog reacts. If he doesn’t have a reaction, go with it. If he does, please use your brain and quit giving it to him. The raw, local honey is an antimicrobial, contains wonderful phytonutrients, and helps keep seasonal allergies in check.

Give them a try! Simple as pie!

pugs & kisses,

Raw Roundup 2015!

Y’all, I am so excited to be attending the Raw Roundup 2015 this weekend!

It is sponsored by Dogs Naturally Magazine, and is tonight through Sunday, all from the comfort of my home office.

The lineup of speakers and topics is top notch. I can’t wait to saddle up my computer chair!

I’m sure I’ll have LOADS to share when I’m done, but more than that, I’m excited to continue learning all I can about feeding my dogs a raw diet.

With each passing day, I become more and more convinced I’m doing the right thing by nourishing their bodies in a more natural, wHOLesome way to strengthen their immune systems and give them longer, stronger, higher quality lives.

It makes me feel like a better guardian of God’s creatures.

Deep Thoughts

by Jack Handey

So stay tuned and prepare yourselves for a wHOLe bunch of information about herbs, fruits and vegetables, healthy snacks, and nutritional balance.

pugs & kisses!

Time to Plant those Herbs!

After we finished laying the ground work for fame and glory on Saturday at Railroad Park, I decided it was time to plant an herb garden.

I’ve been talking about it for months. I don’t really know what I’m doing, though.

It is surprisingly difficult to get good quality, fresh, pesticide-free herbs in the grocery store.

I know you’re shocked. Try to calm down.

I’ve become quite fascinated with the healing power of herbs, my favorite being Basil.

I’ve tried all during the winter months to grow Basil in a glass on my kitchen counter, and I have failed again and again. It’s been quite discouraging.

But now that the weather has begun to warm, and Spring has officially sprung here in the ‘Ham, I decided to dig in the dirt.

It was therapeutic.

I have a window box on the front of my house that should be a perfect spot. Direct sun in the mornings, and protected from extreme heat by tall pines.

…But then I read on each little plastic spear that they all need FULL SUN…

Womp Womp!

I may have wasted my money. We’ll just have to see.

Here’s a poor shot of the fledgling collection of sage, arugula, basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, peppermint and spearmint.

It was dark and about to pour rain by the time I finished. Here's hoping they don't die! Fingers crossed!
It was dark and about to pour rain by the time I finished. Here’s hoping they don’t die! Fingers crossed!

IF they grow, (and that’s a big IF) I’ll have my own stash that I know is grown organically, away from highway fumes, and without chemical pesticides. Perfect for incorporating into our diets. Perfect for use in herbal healing home remedies.

I’m so excited!

pugs & kisses,