Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
As a child, we always had a houseful of animals. We had Siamese cats, gerbils, fish, guinea pigs, a ferret, usually two dogs at a time and I had a horse. You could say we were an animal loving family. Because we lived on a couple of acres of land with a barn for the horse, people believed we were fair game for dropping off any and all unwanted cats and kittens. My parents always let us keep them — they lived in the barn with the horse, received vet care and were fed the same as the “indoor” animals.
I don’t remember what kind of food we fed the animals but I assume it was whatever was on sale that week — our pets apparently had stomachs that are much sturdier than Henrietta, the diva poodle’s, is. They received table scraps, bones, and likely switched foods often. It was a different time.
When I became a pet mom to Henrietta I became a label reader. I wanted her to have high quality foods — both dry and wet. I wanted to make certain she had foods from manufacturers that hadn’t had recalls and that adhered to high levels of food processing for their pet foods. The other pets in the house also receive the same attention to detail, but Henrietta has specific needs because on those days she gets something different than her usual foods, the night involves lots of stomach rumbling and mad dashes to go do “outs.”
The attention to detail paid to what our pets ingest was further heightened following my cancer diagnosis. As the family moved away from processed foods, items that had GMOs, non-organic and those high in sugar, it made sense that we’d pay even more attention to what we fed our pets. If processed, GMO-laden, non natural foods weren’t good for us, they weren’t good for our pets and since we are their custodians, I want to make sure they are as healthy as they can be.
With a switch to natural and more organically made foods, Henrietta’s stomach issues calmed down, we found we have to feed less than we did before and honestly I rest better knowing that I am doing what I can to assure my pet’s health.
Then, over the summer, Henrietta was doing her “agility” on and over and under our furniture when she fell and tore her ACL. After a frantic visit to the vet’s we were sent home with the instructions of “bed rest,” lowered activity and pain medications as well as supplements to help strengthen her joints and muscles.
As with the pet food in the house, I immediately began “label reading” the medications Henrietta had been prescribed. I found long term use of the pain meds could cause liver damage. Believing that her liver was much too tiny to be ingesting pain meds long term, I started shopping for natural pet products for her pain and for supplements. During my searches, I found natural pet products and purchased supplements for both Henrietta and our other dog, Spenser. We also started using natural ear drops because Henrietta is prone to ear infections and needs almost continual ear drops to keep them at bay. Another item I found that we will be trying is a line of organic flea drops. Our area of the country seems to be flea-central and without treatment, Spenser brings fleas in and helps to infest the indoor kitties. Prior to finding the herbal, natural flea drops I’d stopped using the others on Henrietta because I’d read articles about some of the health issues that other dogs had suffered.
As a 21st century pet parent, I take to the internet to find cures, hints, tips and tricks when it comes to taking care of my pets. Because my children are grown, I admit my attentions have turned to researching the highest quality products for my pets — yes, I dote on them! I rest easier knowing that Henrietta (and the rest of the pets) are eating natural products and being treated with natural products and using supplements that are all natural.
When you consider that, according to an American Pet Products Association, pet parents spent $55.7 billion on our pets in 2013 and it’s projected that we will spend $58.5 billion in 2014, it’s only natural to imagine that many of those pet parents are doting on their pets the way I dote on mine. I believe that many of them are turning their attentions to natural products and herbal remedies to keep them safe and healthy. Do you embrace natural pet products? Have you considered a switch to a more natural, or a raw diet, for your pets? What do you use to treat fleas or other issues that could potentially impact your pet’s health?
(Photo: Shutterstock Relaxing Siamese)