FOLLOW ME

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Honey Good for Dogs, Cats - Honey is a Natural, Healthful, Healing Food


In this article…
1.   Introduction
2.   History of Honey - As a Food and Medicine
3.   Health Promoting Properties of Honey
4.   Health Benefits of Honey - Prevent, Treat, Remedy Illness
5.   Defining and Understanding the Different Types of Honey
6.   How to Select a Quality Honey
7.   How to Store Honey - Retaining Quality
8.   How to Add Honey to Your Dog’s, Cat’s Diet
9.   Daily Dietary Dosage for Honey
10. Cautions and Interactions

The following provides a comprehensive guide on honey for you and your dog...
1.0 Introduction
Natural Honey (Apis mellifera, also known as raw, unprocessed or unpasteurized honey) is said to be the world’s perfect food - a food that has been revered by the human race for many thousands of years.

Honey offers a rich source of nutrients packed into a simple food which delivers pure energy. Honey also contains multiple, powerful health-promoting and healing compounds that make it a versatile medicine. Honey can be used in emergency medicine, for the treatment and remedy of chronic ailments as both an ingested and topical medicine.

Natural honey is unlike any other food in that honey never spoils.

During their exploration of ancient Egyptian tombs, archaeologists discovered honey that was interred along with the pharaohs. Upon tasting the honey the archaeologists where able to determine that the ancient honey is still perfectly edible.

As a bee keeper, a dog whisperer / behaviourist, wellness adviser and guardian to my own dogs and cats - the topic of honey, dogs and cats holds a place near and dear to my heart and soul.


As beekeepers ourselves, my partner and I work as a team taking great care to provide the bees we have in our care, with a safe and healthy chemical-free environment. We have great respect for our bees and treat them with consideration.

We plant and grow cultivated and wild flowers using organic methods. We do not use any herbicides or pesticides. We are fortunate in that there are no GMO crops near our land on which we keep our bees. We take great care in the handling, processing and packaging of our bees’ honey to ensure the honey and other bee products retain their pristine condition and optimal health promoting properties. 



I love to tend to the bees and feel honoured and humbled to do so. I am comforted by the sound of their wings and fascinated to watch them go about their business. There is nothing that can compare to holding a frame of honeycomb fresh from the hive. Gazing upon the beauty of the comb structure, breathing in the wonderful scent of the honey and wood, appreciating the beautiful golden colour of the honey as my finger accidently creates an indent in the wax of the comb, causing some honey to well-up - which of course I must taste to clean my hands. In awe always, of the grace and tolerance of the bees, as I stand next to the hive while the bees flit about declining to sting me.


Bees are insightful beings. Bees respect those humans who are calm, grounded, quite and can normalize being in their (the bees’) presence, free of fear. Bees will not tolerate intrusion by anxious, aggressive, loud disrespectful humans. 


Bees themselves are amazing beings with a complex social structure and language of their own. The products that they produce are amazing and many - apis (bee venom), bee pollen, honey, honey comb, propolis, royal jelly…

Much respect should be according to the bee. Approximately every third-bite you take of any given meal comes to you by the grace of the bee. As for the precious life giving and healing food they produce which we garner great benefit from...



It takes approximately twelve (12) bees a combined distance of flight equalling 6,000 miles (9656 km) - which also equates to their lifetime’s worth of foraging time, to produce just one (1) precious teaspoon (21 grams) of honey.



2.0 History of Honey - As a Food and
      Medicine

The use of honey as a beneficial food and medicine is mentioned in the ancient writings and depicted in the artwork of ancient civilizations and cultures such as those found in Egypt, Greece, Roman, Saxon, Christian (i.e. bible), Islam (i.e. Koran), Judea (i.e. Torah), Vedas. 


Physicians from ancient times have written about the many healing properties and uses of honey - those ancient practitioners that extolled honey’s virtues include Aristotle, Aristoxenus, Cornelius Celsus, Dioscorides, El Basry, El Mad Joussy, Hippocrates, Porphyry and many more.


The following chart provides just a few examples of honey’s use over the past thousands of years to present day…

Timeline
Highlights
150 Million Years
Oldest known physical evidence of bee-life…
150 million year old fossils of honey bees






7000 BC
Earliest known record of beekeeping…
found on Cave paintings in Spain


2400 BC
Earliest known record of apiculture - keeping bees in hives…
found in the Sun Temple near Cairo - the ancient Egyptians used honey in medicinal compounds and as a sweetener
2000 BC
Egypt…
First documented use of honey in wound management. The Egyptians cherished honey as a food.

 
2000 BC
Xin Dynasty Period …
First recorded use of Juice of Parrot Tree (Butea monosperma,  or palash on Sanskrit) and honey as an Ayurvedic curative
1000 BC
The Saxons used honey to treat…
Sties and wounds, including those from amputation
27 BC
Roman Empire…
The practice of bee keeping flourishes



27 BC
Roman Empire…
The practice of bee keeping flourishes





5  AD
Medieval Europe…
Use of honey as a therapeutic cure becomes very popular in England, Germany, Finland and Ireland
12 AD
Ancient Islamic literature honey bees are often extolled for their creativity, industry and intelligence. One such example is that of a Muslim physician who describes the many healing powers of honey.



50 AD
Greece…
The ancient Greek physician Dioscorides uses honey to treat sunburn and infected wounds.
1368  AD
Ming Dynasty
Honey (Feng Mi) is praised by Li Shizhen for its many medicinal uses.





1446 AD
Europe…
Honey is used as a therapeutic drug in combination with Alum to treat ulcers




1623 AD
Europe…
Honey is used as an antiseptic and mouthwash        

1900 AD
Researchers begin to document the healing properties of honey - which later dies off due to the development of antibiotics. This research initiative will resume in the later part of the 20th century.
1913 AD
Second Balkan War…
Honey is used to heal the wounds of soldiers


2005
Researchers at Purdue University discover that honey acts as a catalyst to calcium absorption in the body
2007 AD
A large hospital in New Zealand begins use of manuka honey to control MRSA 9methicillin-resistant Staphylococcue aureus) and other bacterial infections
2013
Professor Basel Al Ramadi of the Microbiology and Immunology Department at UAE University discovers that Manuka honey can be used to inhibit the growth of several types of cancer.


In Europe, honey continued to be of great importance as a cherished food until the Renaissance period when sugar was introduced to the Europeans. In the seventeenth century - for the first time in its long history of use as a cherished food and sweetener, honey took a back seat to sugar.

Today sugar is recognized as a significant trigger for illness and disease including cancer, while honey is regaining its reputation as a health promoting, healing food and medicine.

The same properties that make honey valuable to human health make honey valuable to canine and feline health.


3.0 Health Promoting Properties of Honey

The ancients knew that natural honey had many health promoting properties - modern science has revealed that the ancients were correct. Science is now revealing some of the reasons why honey is so beneficial…

 
3.1 Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Antiseptic,
      Anti-tumor, Antiviral, Prebiotic, Probiotic

Natural honey is a powerful broad spectrum antibiotic and kills bacteria by creating an inhospitable environment for the bacteria to thrive and reproduce…


3.1.1 Bacteria do not like acidity
Natural honey has a relatively high acidity level (low pH level) of between 3.2 and 4.5 pH. The acidity level in combination with honey’s natural composition deprives bacteria of nitrogen thereby shutting down the ability of bad bacteria to reproduce.


3.1.2 Bacteria need water to survive; honey dehydrates
         bacteria 
Natural honey is primarily composed of two monosaccharides leaving very few water molecules available for microorganisms - this condition is called low water activity.  Low water activity creates a very unfriendly environment for the growth of microorganisms.

3.1.3 Bacteria can’t thrive in the presence of hydrogen
         peroxide -
Natural honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase. When glucose oxidase is mixed with a small amount of fluid (i.e. from an animal’s body - canine, feline, human and other non-human animals) creates a small amount of diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. This solution is strong enough to kill bacteria and gentle enough not to irritate or inflame skin.

In the case of a flesh wound hydrogen peroxide forms when the honey mixes with body fluids present on the surface of the wound. The hydrogen peroxide is released slowly and acts as an antiseptic.

If you use honey to treat an eye infection or sty a light burning sensation may be felt momentarily due to the formation of the mild hydrogen peroxide solution. Stinging is not usually an issue when using honey to treat skin wounds.

3.1.4 Honey is Free of the Dangers Posed by Conventional
         Antibiotics

Natural honey has been proven to protect against at least sixty (60) species of bacteria - some of which cannot be killed with the use of conventional antibiotics. Unfortunately the number of species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is on trajectory of rapid incline.

Unlike conventional antibiotics, natural honey does not cause a myriad of adverse temporary and long-term side effects, and disease causing bacteria do not become resistant to honey’s anti-bacterial properties.

Honey is also a prebiotic and a probiotic - both functions provide additional support to the immune system. In its capacity as a prebiotic, natural honey provides food to support the beneficial flora (‘friendly’ or ‘good’ immune system supporting bacteria) in the gastrointestinal track (GI Tract).

In its capacity as a probiotic natural honey contributes significant friendly bacteria to populate the GI tract, once again supporting the immune system and healthy serotonin levels. Depending on the floral origin and other factors that contribute to potency natural honey contains varying amounts of the following friendly bacteria - four (4) species of bifidobacteria and six (6) species of lactobacilli.

Conventional antibiotics have the opposite effect as they kill all bacteria good and bad leaving the GI Tract in an unbalanced state, affecting a drop in serotonin levels and depressing the immune system.  A potentially dangerous condition at anytime and for a body that is already fighting illness a precarious state in which further infection, virus and anxiety can take hold.

Natural honey offers a potent natural alternative to conventional antibiotics.  

New research has shown that natural honey also contributes to building the body’s natural antibiotic - white blood cells. Recent findings show that honey may stimulate white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s natural bacteria fighting cells.

3.1.5 Honey Can Help Prevent further Degradation of
         Conventional Antibiotics

Antibiotics are the most over misused, over-prescribed conventional medication used today in both human and veterinarian medicine. With this overuse comes great risk to the individual patient and the collective population. As bacteria become increasingly resistant to mankind’s array of conventional antibiotics - the ability of those antibiotics to fight many diseases has become seriously compromised.

If if you are drinking tap water; if you are eating non-organic meat; dairy, fruit and vegetables you and your dog or cat are probably ingesting antibiotics on a daily basis. Now on addition to that daily exposure imagine if you, your dog or cat is also taking a course of prescribed antibiotics. Not only is the body getting over-dosed and over-exposed, so to is the environment and the disease causing bacteria.

Conventional antibiotics - like most substances that we humans and our animal companions ingest, pass through the body and into the environment. In this manner antibiotics make their way into municipal water treatment systems, into ground water, then on into streams, rivers and oceans. The same antibiotics then end up in municipal drinking water and in the water you shower and bath in.

If you or your companion animal are consuming meat from large factory farms - confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) you are consuming antibiotics in the meat. Animals in CAFOs are fed antibiotics with their feed. CAFO animal manure is also spread on fields. The grains, fruits, vegetables etc. harvested from these fields also contain antibiotic residue.

The collective and accumulated result is antibiotic-resistant disease. If you put your cat or dog on multiple courses of antibiotics you put your cat’s and dog’s short and long-term health at serious risk. In the absence of effective antibiotics all surgery becomes extremely risky. As for the collective risk - antibiotic resistant superbugs are killing more cats, dogs and people every year. If you are interested in reading more about the real threat posed by over/misuse of conventional antibiotics you can read the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Resistance Threat Report 2013.

Conventional antibiotics should only be used when absolutely necessary. If your dog or cat is on conventional antibiotics adding natural honey to the daily diet can help to fight some the adverse affects of conventional antibiotics.

3.2 Antioxidant Properties
Natural honey contains multiple powerful antioxidants as noted further above. Antioxidants prevent and delay cell damage. Free-radicals are biologically destructive chemical agents that are linked to many chronic diseases such as arthritis and cancer. The antioxidants in honey destroy free-radicals.

The antioxidant properties in honey come from monosaccharides (natural sugars) and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals with disease preventing and protective compounds that shield the plant from disease, drought, excessive heat, injuries, insects, poisons (air and soil) and ultra violet rays. When added to the animal (canine, feline, human, etc.) diet, phytochemicals act as antioxidants that protect the body from various conditions and diseases such as aging, cancer, coronary diseases and other inflammatory disorders, neurological degeneration and a host of other conditions.
The antioxidants in natural honey include: Ascorbic acid; Amino acids, and;
Protein.
The polyphenol antioxidants in honey include: Acacetin; Apigenin; Caffeic acid; Caffeic acid phenylesters; Chrysin; Galangin; Kaempferol; Quercetin; Pinocembrin, and Pinnobanskin.

In addition to containing phytochemicals produced by plants, natural honey also contains health promoting resins manufactured by the bees themselves. Bees use plant phytochemicals to make resins which are one of the ingredients of Propolis. Propolis, also called ‘bee glue’ is manufactured by bees for use as a sealing substance to keep the bee hive free from health threatening bacteria and other undesirable microorganisms. Honey contains trace amount of Propolis.

These antioxidant properties also contribute to the natural ability of honey to help heal wounds as the antioxidants in honey provide nutritive value to cells which translates into the growth of new, healthy tissue.

The antioxidant composition of natural honey varies based on the botanical and environmental origin of the honey as explained further below.

The antioxidant value of honeydew honey has been found to be greater than that of most other honey.

3.3 Hygroscopic Properties - a Natural Humectant
Natural honey is hygroscopic. When exposed to air honey naturally absorbs moisture from the air. When used to treat open wounds the hygroscopic nature of honey can help to prevent scaring as the moisture collected by honey keeps skin hydrated and fresh; supports the growth of new tissue; helps to ensure wound dressings do not stick to healing wounds/skin.

3.4 Nutritive Properties
Natural honey contains vital minerals and vitamins including…
Minerals -
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Chromium
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Phosperous
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur
  • Vitamins -
  • A
  • B Complex…
  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B9 (folic Acid)
  • C (ascorbic acid)
  • D
  • E
  • K
  • Niacin (Nicotinic acid)
Darker honey contains higher quantities of nutrients than lighter honey. For a more detailed listing of the nutrients found in honey you can look at this chart.


4.0 Health Benefits of Honey - Prevent,
      Treat, Remedy Illness


4.1 A Food For Health and an Ingested Treatment

Natural honey can be used as an ingested treatment for many conditions including…
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Allergies - environmental
  • Analgesic - pain reduction
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Blood and Vascular Health
    • Anemia by stabilizing hemoglobin levels
    • Blood circulation - improve poor circulation
    • Blood sugar control
    • Maintenance of optimal glucose metabolisim during sleep and exercise in support of avoiding the development of:
      • Cardiovascular disease
      • Diabetes
      • Insulin resistance
      • Lower LDL cholesterol
      • Obesity - prevention and weight loss
    • Raise low blood platelet count
    • Raise levels of protective antioxidant compounds (specifically polyphenolic)
    • Septicaemia, prevention and treatment
    • White blood cell stimulation
      • via improving endothelial (cells that line the blood vessels) function
  • Bowel, Urinary Tract Health
    • Laxative (gentle)
    • Relieve constipation
  • Calcium absorption
  • Cancer prevention, treatment
  • Digestive Health
    • Diarrhea healing, also see fasting below
    • Gas
    • GERD
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome - IBS
    • Proliferation of good gut flora
    • Stomach ulcers
  • Urinary Tract Infections - UTIs
  • Ear Infections
  • Energy source (instant) without spiking insulin levels
  • Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Fasting animal due to illness such as diarrhea - these animals can be given honey to help sustain energy levels, fight off ailment and help heal the GI tract
  • Infections caused by catheters used for kidney dialysis
  • Immune system support - activity stimulator
  • Insomnia - relief of
  • Longevity
  • Muscle recuperation support after physical exercise
  • Osteoporosis due to calcium absorption enhancement
  • Reduce oxidative damage
  • Restorative sleep promotion
  • Upper Respiratory Infections - URIs
    • Fight infection and symptoms (cough, mucous, sore throat etc.)…
    • Bronchitis, including chronic bronchitis
    • Chronic and allergic rhinitis
    • Chronic and allergic sinusitis
    • Colds
    • Flu
    • and other URIs
  • Ulcers
Some of the minerals (found in specific concentrations in honey) combine together to form a serum that mimics blood serum - this similarity allows the body to easily metabolize honey.  While this is an advantage for healthy beings who choose to consume honey, it is even more of an advantage for those who are ailing.

4.2 A Topcial Treatment

Natural Honey can be used topically as a treatment for many conditions including…
  • Dental and Oral Health - i.e.
    • Inflamed and infected gums - gingivitis
    • Infected teeth
    • Oral ulcers
    • Sore mouth - mucositis, i.e.
      • Due to radiation treatment
  • Eye Conditions - i.e.
  • Ear infections
  • Skin Conditions - i.e.
    • Abscesses
    • Acne
    • Bacterial infections
    • Hotspots
    • Impetigo
    • Irritated, inflamed skin, rashes
    • Fungal infections, i.e.
    • Sunburn
  • Ulcers  - i.e.
    • Foot and leg ulcers including diabetic foot ulcers resistant to healing and conventional drugs/salves
    • MRSA ulcers
  • Wound dressing and healing -
    • Burns
    • Cuts
    • Draw poison from bites, stings
    • Gangrene
    • Infected wounds
    • Scrapes
    • Skin grafts
    • Surgical incisions
    • Surgical wounds
    • Trauma wounds
      • including the healing of stubborn wounds
If you want to give honey as a dietary supplement or topical treatment on a kitten or puppy under 6 months of age go to the pharmacy and purchase medicinal honey - don’t use natural honey.  See section 10.0 below for more information.


5.0 Defining and Understanding the
      Different Types of Honey

5.1 Types of Pure Honey

5.1.1 Natural Honey
‘Natural’, ‘pure’, ‘raw’, ‘unpasteurized’ are interchangeable terms used to describe honey that has not had anything added to it and has simply been extracted from the honeycomb, and may also be passed through a fine sieve to remove particles of honeycomb, foreign particles that may have been introduced inadvertently during extraction or been present prior to extraction. This minimal processing ensures that honey remains thick and rich with nutrients. Raw honey contains pollen and a full range of health promoting properties typically present in unpasteurized honey. Natural honey may be purchase in various forms such as honeycomb, chunk, liquid and creamed.

5.1.2 Honeydew Honey 


Also known as Bug Honey, Flea Honey, Forest Honey, Tree Honey may also be named after the type of plant it was harvested from - i.e. Cedar Honey, Elm Honey, Oak Honey, Maple Honey, Pine Honey. Honeydew honey is a natural honey but it is not made from the nectar of flowers, instead it is made from a sweet, sticky liquid excreted by specific insects such as the aphid as they feed on plants. Most honeydew is manufactured by insects (aphids and/or scale insects) that feed on the sap of trees however some plants also provide a source of sap for honeydew. These plants include alfalfa and cotton plants, currant vines, grape vines, gooseberry bushes and sunflower plants.

Insects such as aphids feed on the sap of plants by piercing the plant (stem, leaf, etc.) with their needle-like mouthparts. The sap is released under pressure and shoots into the aphids food canal and forces previously ingested sap out of the aphids ‘bottom’ - elimination canal. The expelled liquid (now a processed sap) lands on the branches, leaves, needles of the plant and the surrounding ground. The sap - once it has been processed by aphid’s digestive and eliminatory system is called ‘dew’…it is no longer just sap. Bees and other insects collect the honeydew the same way nectar is collected from flowers and processes the sap the same way floral nectar is processed. The bee may also mix the honeydew with floral nectar. Honey that is produced primarily of honeydew is called honeydew honey.

While bees prefer floral nectar - if environmental conditions (i.e. drought, or seasonal constraints) or geographic location result in a lack of flowers from which to collect nectar, honey bees will collect (more) honeydew. In some regions honeydew is as a major source of nectar for bees - northern California is one such region. New Zealand exports Beech Tree Honey as a premium export honey. Honeydew honey tends to be more expensive to purchase than standard natural honey.

Honeydew honey is typically lower in glucose and fructose, higher in complex sugars, richer in minerals and antioxidants, tends to be very dark in colour and stronger in taste than standard natural honey. Honeydew honey typically contains more oligosaccharides than floral honey which makes honeydew an excellent prebiotic. Oligosaccharides help to promote and maintain friendly bacteria in the GI tract. Honeydew is very rich in antioxidants - some types of honeydew honey contain higher levels of antioxidants than floral honey. New Zealand Beech Tree Honeydew Honey has exceptional high levels of glucose oxidase providing antibacterial activity that exceeds the activity of some Manuka (Leptospermum - tea tree) honey.

Honeydew can be used in the same manner as standard natural honey and daily dosage is the same as standard natural honey.

5.2 Types of Modified Honey

5.2.1 Medical, Pharmaceutical, Surgical Honey
Medical, pharmaceutical and surgical honey / products used in hospitals and available in pharmacies are typically made from extracts of Leptospermum (tea tree) or alpine honey. The methylgloxal is sterilized and mixed with sugar and turned into a powder that can then be used to make creams/ointments, eye drops, nasal sprays, pills etc. Unfortunately these products made by extracting methlygloxalfrom honey lack the other beneficial substances that would be present in whole natural honey. 

The company Medihoney uses whole Leptospermum honey (as opposed to extracted elements) in the making of their products. Medihoney uses a sterilization process to eliminate any Botulism spores that may be present. The sterilization process used does not destroy the beneficial properties of the honey.

5.2.2 Processed Honey
Most of the honey found on grocery store shelves is processed honey. Processed honey is filtered, clarified and pasteurized, and may also be watered down. Processed honey is usually a blend of various honeys from multiple sources.

Pasteurization
During pasteurization the honey is heated. The enzymes in honey can sustain heat up to 160 degrees for a short period of time. Pollen, other health promoting substances and friendly bacteria cannot sustain the heat and are destroyed in the pasteurization process.

Processed Blended Mix of Honey
Typically the food manufacturer or distributer will combine a regional honey with the most inexpensive imported honey that they can find. The imported honey may be less expensive to purchase as it may be produced in high volume under very unrestricted/ non-regulated conditions resulting in high volume at the expense of safety and quality of product.

Processed Watered Down Honey
If water is mixed with honey it loses its low water activity and therefore its anti-microbial properties. Watered down honey is nothing more than sugar water. Much of the commercial honey found on a grocery store shelves has been processed and watered down. The water creates more volume thus adding to the profit margin of the manufacturer and retailer - but destroys its antibacterial quality, as does pasteurization. A very large portion of the honey sold on grocery store shelves in Canada and the U.S. is not truly ‘honey’ instead it is a conglomerate made up of corn syrup or rice syrup, malt sweeteners  (also called ‘jiggery’ - a cheap, unrefined sugar) to which is added a minimal portion of honey.

5.3 Colour of Honey

Honey comes in many colour variations including amber, brown, (almost) black, red and white. The colour of honey is influenced by the floral species that the nectar comes from and as well from the time of year that the nectar is collected. A few examples can be fund just below…

5.3.1 Colour Variation by Floral Species
  • Nectar from the buckwheat plant results in a very dark colour honey as does nectar from the Manuka tree (also called Leptospermum or Tea Tree)
  • The time of year that the pollen is harvested
  • Nectar from early spring flowers results in white honey
  • Dark honey occurs naturally when bees harvest nectar from plants in the later part of the summer season.
 
Darker honey offers greater potency of health promoting properties - the darker the honey the stronger the taste, health and medicinal properties. The exception to this rule occurs when an unethical beekeeper dilutes a good quality dark honey with tailings from the processing of beeswax which results in remaindered burnt honey. An unethical beekeeper may add the burnt honey to the prized dark honey to extend volume and increase profit. Remember - heating honey destroys its beneficial properties so the introduction of the burnt honey results in a lesser quality product.

 
5.4 Forms of Honey

5.4.1 Natural Comb Honey
Recommended
The rawest form of honey is honey comb honey. Bees manufacture honeycomb using beeswax which the bees also make. The bees fill the cells of the honeycomb with honey. The bees then cap-off each filled honeycomb cell with a plug of beeswax. Comb honey provides excellent nutritional and health promoting value as both the honey and the comb contain pollen and a full range of health promoting properties typically present in unpasteurized honey. You can give comb honey to your dog or cat as a treat or as a part of their daily diet. Daily dosage should be similar to that of raw liquid or solid honey. My dogs love comb honey.

5.4.2 Natural Chunk Honey
Recommended
Chunk honey is simply raw honey that is put in a jar or container with a piece of honey comb. Chunk honey can be fed to your dog or cat the same way as comb honey and liquid honey.

5.4.3 Natural Liquid Honey
Recommended
Natural honey extracted from the honeycomb is a thick viscous liquid. You can give liquid honey to your dog or cat as a treat or as a part of their daily diet. Daily dosage is provided further below. My dogs and cats all eat natural honey as part of their daily diet. Natural honey is part of my daily diet as well. Natural liquid honey is the preferred from of honey for use as a topically applied medicine to treat skin conditions and various types of wounds.

5.4.4 Natural Creamed Honey
Recomended
Creamed honey is made by adding a little finely crystallized honey into liquid honey. The transformation from liquid to creamed does not affect the health promoting properties of the honey. Daily dosage for dogs and cats is the same as liquid honey. Don’t use creamed honey topically to treat wounds or skin conditions as the sharp microscopic crystals can cause irritation to the skin.

5.4.5 Processed Honey
Not recommended
Processed honey is equivalent to sugar-water. It lacks the beneficial properties of natural honey and when consumed it spikes insulin levels. Processed honey is an inflammatory food and does not provide the medicinal properties of natural honey.

5.5 Taste Variation in Honey
The taste of honey - insipid or flavourful, weak or strong is directly influenced by the: Floral source of the honey, for example lavender honey will have a distinct taste as will buckwheat honey or orange blossom honey;
The richness of the honey - for example natural honey vs. processed honey and dark vs. light colour honey.

5.6 Variation in Health Promoting, Sustaining and Healing
      Properties

If the floral source of the pollen was contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, or other environmental pollutants the honey will also be contaminated. Honey that contains a high level of toxins is not healthful.

This is determined by a host of factors…

5.6.1 Antioxidant Value
The floral source of honey accounts for great variance in the antioxidant composition in honey.
  • Honey produced from bees that are feeding off organic floral sources contains greater nutritional and medicinal value.
  • Honey that is made of nectar collected from a single source floral, such as buckwheat or clover or lavender or rosemary will have different antioxidant profiles.
  • Honeydew honey is very high in antioxidents.
  • Honey that is made from nectar collected from multiple floral sources will differ in antioxidant value by localized region.
  • Honeydew honey has very high antioxidant levels. 
5.6.2 Probiotic Value
The probiotic properties of honey also vary based on environmental and floral species - in general honey contains a large quantity of good (friendly) bacteria comprised of four species of Bifidocacteria and six species of Lactobacilli.

5.6.3 Healing Compounds
Honey that is made from the nectar of plants that contain active healing compounds (i.e. lavender or oregano) will contain those specific healing compounds found in the plant.

Any good quality unpasteurized honey can be used as both a dietary supplement and as a treatment for healing and wound care.

The honey currently most prized for wound healing properties is produced from the nectar of the Leptospermum (tea tree) trees or shrubs. Leptospermum is a genus of 80 to 86 species of plants from which the nectar of the flowers is gathered by bees to make Leptospermum honey. Leptospermum honey from New Zealand is produced from the nectar of the Manuka tree. The Kanuka tree (a close relative of the Manuka tree) is also a source of potent anti-bacterial honey. Leptospermum honey from Australia is produced from the Jelly Bush or Lemon-scented tea tree. Leptospermum honey such as Kanuka, Manuka and Lemon-scented Tea tree honey contain a higher concentration of methylglyoxal than other honey. Methylglyoxal is a potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal agent.

Manuka honey is readily available in natural health/natural food stores, grocery stores, etc. around the globe as New Zealand exports Manuka honey to many countries around the world.

Buckwheat honey is prized for its use as an ingested treatment for upper respiratory tract infections and related symptoms such as coughing.

5 .6.4 Degradation of Health Promoting Properties due to
          Toxins

The plants and the local environment from which the bees harvested the floral and plant nectar, pollen, resins and saps used to produce the honey is a determining factor in the quality of the honey as pertains to purity safety - quality. If the soil that the flowers and plants grew in were contaminated with heavy metals, if the plants and soil were dosed in herbicides and pesticides, and fertilized with manure high in antibiotic residue the honey can be toxic.

Another example of tainted honey can be seen in the practice of honey ‘laundering’. Cheap honey imported from Asia was being dumped on the Canadian and U.S. market at artificially low prices. This cheap Aisan honey has been found to contain multiple toxins including antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, lead and other heavy metals. Many large and some small North American honey producers/packers/distributers/ were buying up this honey to either: a) sell after falsely relabeling it, or; b) use it to water down locally produced honey. The U.S. Department of Justice added import duties to discourage the dumping of the cheap Asian honey. The importers simply worked around this by first shipping the Chinese honey to Thailand and then imported to the U.S.  

When honey is stored in lead welded storage tanks, or plastic storage containers that were not BPA-free the honey will be contaminated. The same can be said of honey that is packaged in non-BPA-free plastic containers. There are many factors that can degrade the health-promoting value of honey.

I know of many local bee keepers that use the utmost of care when harvesting, processing, storing and packaging honey. I know of other local beekeepers that introduce toxins to the honey during the harvesting, processing, storage and packaging of the honey. The sad thing about those beekeepers is that many of them have absolutely no idea that storing honey in non-food grade plastic storage tanks puts their customers - the purchasing public at risk. And yes, there are other beekeepers and distributers of honey that know but just don’t care.

5 .6.5 Degradation of Health Promoting Properties due to
          Honey ‘Laundering’

As noted further above the colour of honey darkens with age. Some bee keepers take advantage of this fact by using old honey that has sat at the bottom of a pail or holding tank for +/- 5 years to mix with dark speciality honeys such as buckwheat. In so doing the unethical beekeeper is able to stretch the volume of the specialty honey with non-descript aged honey.

This stretching of a finer quality honey is also done by mixing the fine quality specialty honey with tailings (burnt honey) - a waste product created during the processing of raw comb wax to solid beeswax.

6.0 How to Select a Quality Honey

A truly organic product will have the best potency of flavour, nutrients and medicinal qualities. A non-organic but good quality natural honey will also offer good nutritional and medicinal value

Look for honey that is labelled ‘100% Pure’.

Read the product label - including the fine print. Fine print may divulge important details regarding the quality of the product. For example…
  • That the honey is imported, or;
  • A blend of local honey mixed with imported honey;
  • Make sure the place of origin for the honey is not a geographic location where the soil is said to be highly contaminated…for example China;
  • If the label includes the word ‘Pure’ the honey may be watered down;
  • If the label states ‘100% Pure’ then the honey should be truly pure. 
Look for honey that is viscous (a thick fluid) rather than a honey which is thin, runny or watery - an indicator that the honey has been ‘watered down’.
Purchasing locally produced honey from a reputable beekeeper is a good way to ensure you are getting a quality product. Remember that any good quality natural honey will be rich in nutrients, health promoting and medicinal qualities.

As noted in the sections further above if you want a honey to have optimal nutritive content look for a dark coloured honey.

If you want a honey to have optimal wound healing properties look for a dark coloured honey. Remember don’t use crystallized honey on wounds as the sharp crystal molecules can irritate the skin.

For medicinal purposes and wound healing you can look for honey known to have exceptionally high glucose oxidase levels, for example:
  • Buckwheat honey to treat upper respiratory infections
  • Manuka honey or New Zealand beech tree honeydew honey for wound healing.
Remember that honey derived from herbal flora such as chamomile, garlic, lavender, marjoram or sunflower will take on the medicinal qualities inherent in that particular plant species.


If you want to give honey as a dietary supplement or topical treatment on a kitten or puppy under 6 months of age go to the pharmacy and purchase medicinal honey - don’t use natural honey.  See section 9.0 below for more information.

7.0 How to Store Honey to Retain Quality

To maintain maximum potency of the honeys nutritious and healthful properties…

Honey should be stored:
  • In an air tight container so that the honey does not absorb moisture from the air
  • A glass container is preferable to a plastic container
  • While pottery is attractive if the glaze is not impermeable, moisture from the air can be absorbed through the pottery by the honey.
  • At room temperature or slightly cooler;
  • In a dark place (i.e. cupboard) vs. a place exposed to high light levels.
Over time natural honey will eventually crystallize and solidifiy. This does not mean that the honey has lost any of its beneficial properties (other than being a little more difficult to spoon out or spread) nor is the honey spoiled or gone bad in any way. Don’t heat the honey at a high temperature as beneficial attributes will be destroyed. Don’t microwave the honey as doing so will also destroy honey’s beneficial properties. If you want to return the honey to a more liquid state simply place the honey (still in its container) in a warmer room or in some warm water. Leave the container standing in the warm water until the honey can be stirred or poured. The fact that the honey does solidify indicates that it is pure and not processed.

Due to lower glucose and fructose content, honeydew honey crystallizes at a much slower rate than floral honey. Some honeydew honeys do not crystallize at all.

Don’t use crystallized, solidified honey to treat wounds or skin conditions as the sharp microscopic crystals can cause irritation to the skin.


8.0 How to Add Honey to Your Dog’s,
      Cat’s Daily Diet

  1. You can add the honey to your dog’s or cat’s food once a day at meal time
  2. You can give the honey to your dog or cat as a treat
  3. You can use the honey as part of a treat - you can find example recipes here.

9.0 Daily Ingested Dosage for Honey

Non-Therapeutic Use - for daily intake as part of a health-promoting diet

Dogs and Cats
¼ tsp for every 20 pounds of body weight

9.0 Application of Honey on Wounds

As noted in section 4.2 above honey can be used topically to treat and remedy multiple types of skin conditions and wounds of various types and severity. Honey can be applied directly to skin to aid and speed healing, cleanse the wound, prevent and remedy infection, reduce pain,  pus, and swelling, slough away dead cells, etc. and prevent dressings from sticking to wounds, heal stubborn wounds that conventional treatments have failed to cure.

9.1 Applying Honey to a Wound

  • Honey should be applied liberally and for deep wounds make sure that the honey flows into the recesses of the wound;
  • If possible cover the wound with a dressing;
  • For wounds that are stubborn/ resistant to healing, daily application of honey to heal may require a course of treatment that extends over the course of months;
  • Honey and fresh dressings must be applied daily;
    • If it is not possible to cover the wound then try to discourage your dog or cat from licking the wound for a minimum of 20 minutes by which time the honey will have had an opportunity to begin it’s healing effects;
    • Reapply 2 to 3 times daily
  • For wounds that do not require dressing apply honey 2 to 3 times daily
  • You can also purchase pre-made dressings that contain medical honey made by companies such as Medihoney.
9.2 Applying Honey to Treat Other Skin Conditions
  • Apply honey two to three times daily on the affected area
  • Persist until conditions clears

10.0 Cautions and Interactions

Kittens and Puppies under six (6) Months of Age
Natural honey can contain a few Botulism spores - not enough to harm a teenage or adult dog or cat but may have the potential to harm a very young puppy or kitten. For this reason natural (raw) honey should not be ingested or topically used on:
  • Newborn puppies or kittens;
  • Puppies or kittens less than 6 months of age or older puppies and kittens with a suppressed immune system or otherwise weak constitution.
If you want to give honey as a dietary supplement or topical treatment for a kitten or puppy under 6 months of age you can purchase medicinal honey from a pharmacy or on-line. Medihoney is a well known manufacturer of sterilized medicinal honey.

Alcohol
Nigerian Citrus sinensis Osbeck honey reduces peak blood-alcohol (ethanol) levels, as such interactions with alcohol may occur. This is a caution more for humans than for dogs or cats however as alcohol is itself toxic to dogs and cats and should be strictly avoided.

Blood Sugar
When ingesting honey plus other herbs and supplements that may affect blood sugar levels employ caution.

Carbamazepine and other Anticonvulsants
If your dog or cat is on carbamazepine or another conventional anticonvulsant drug use honey with caution as honey may react with anticonvulsants.

Conventional Antibiotics
Honey is a broad spectrum antibiotic. If your dog or cat is on a conventional antibiotic and you do not want additive antibiotic effect employ caution. If you do want additive effect then use honey.

Diabetes
Honey can spike insulin levels if too much honey is ingested in a single serving;
If your dog takes insulin, reduce the standard dosage of honey (provided further above) to 1/4 of the full dosage.

Pollen Allergy
If your dog or cat has an allergy to pollen some allergic reaction may occur. 



11.0 Holistic Support



Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.
 

Monday, 13 January 2014

Anxiety in Dogs - Treatments, Remedies - What Works, Might Work, Dosen’t Work



My German Shepherd x Malamute 'Jordie'
In this article...
  1. Loving Dog Owners - the Vulnerable Consumer Trained to Trust not to Question…
  2. A question that I am often asked - ‘Are you familiar with the Thundershirt?
  3. Understanding Limitations
  4. Setting Expectations
  5. Commercially Available Products - Can They, Do They Really Help
  6. Remedying Root Cause v.s the Band Aid Approach

Dogs acquire chronic anxiety for many reasons and with different outcomes. Anxiety may exhibit as localized to a specific situation or may be exhibited in multiple situations. Here are a few examples - 
There are a lot of products marketed to 'solve' anxiety but do they really work, and if the products don't work what does solve anxiety...

1.0 Loving Dog Owners - the Vulnerable Consumer  

Trained to Trust not to Question…

In the pet-care industry there are so many products that are promoted as being the ‘solution’. But what if that product is not the solution? What if the person pushing the product is not truly educated in the limitations of the product? What if you purchase the product and it does not meet your expectations?

Products marketed for 'reducing' or 'solving' anxiety include a wide range of applications - for example:
The 'Thundershirt' a garment that apply pressure to your dog's body;
Pheromone and herbal spray collars, and;
Veterinarian prescribed drugs such as Reconcile.

At best you may be disappointed.

At worst, failure of that product to meet its advertised goal can seriously and adversely impact on yours’ and your dog’s psychological and  physical well being, and can even cause death.

In the case of a chronic issue such as anxiety, a strategic and comprehensive approach that addresses immediate symptoms and root cause creates a recipe for success.

However when a single product is promoted as a ‘proven solution’ to a complex condition you should be suspicious and you should question the validity of the claim. This is so even if the product is recommended by your favourite pet store employee, your trainer/behaviourist or your veterinarian. 

I have seen much damage done to dogs and their people when trust was assigned without question.

Some products have only negative value - meaning that due to the nature of the product only an adverse result can be and will be realized. 

Other products may contribute great value when used in the context that they are really intended for or may be applied to a new situation with success as part of an overall strategy to address the situation.

Lastly - some products that are designed to and actually do provide helpful support to ameliorate a temporary condition do not provide the same quality of result when applied to a chronic condition. Regardless of a not-so-perfect outcome the manufacturer may decide to aggressively market the product becasue it is a good business decision when the priority is to make money. If the product finds a niche it can become very popular - but popular does not necessarily equate with appropriate, good or safe.

Sometimes a product migrates from its intended use as a means to address an emergency situation, into mainstream use for ‘treating’ a chronic condition. When a product has attributes that can be used in emergency, temporary and chronic conditions, multi-application is truly justified. When use is not justified but pushed for the sole gain of the company, the consumer may be ill served.


2.0 A Question that I am Often Asked...
‘Karen are you Familiar with the Thundershirt?’

When it comes to the topic of anxiety and dogs, people often ask me ‘Are you familiar with the Thundershirt’.

I cringe every time I see the product for sale in a pet store with the product packaging promoting it as the, to quote “proven solution for dog anxiety”.

I cringe when I hear sales people - who know little to nothing about dog and human behaviour advising customers to purchase the product to resolve the issue of anxiety. Resolve? Wait a minute, you must mean aid in the resolution of? Surly you don't mean actually resolve? The disturbing thing is that I do know that the person having the conversation thinks that the product can actually resolve the problem.

I cringe when I have people - now desperate and coming to me as a last ditch effort to save their dog, retell their experience with using that or another product. How did they and their dog end-up in such a desperate state? Because product manufacturers, sales people, trainers and behavourists that don’t understand the cause and effect behind the development of unhealthy behaviours, nor the real solutions required to right the condition push the Thundershirt as a remedy.

While the Thundershirt may have some value in some circumstances to ameliorate some or a single symptom of anxiety it is not the panacea for cure that is evoked by the product’s labeling as a "proven solution for dog anxiety”.
My Beagle x Fox Hound 'Willow'
3.0 Understanding Limitations

The Thundershirt works on the theory that by applying pressure around the majority of the body a feeling of comfort will be triggered in the being wearing the shirt. An intervention that has been found to have varying degrees of success when dealing with a human that is in a state of psychological distress. While this may work for some individuals it has little to no effect on other individuals.

The Thundershirt was developed for use in slaughter houses with an end-goal of ‘comforting’ animals (i.e. cattle, horses) as they did their final walk to the slaughter room floor.

The Thundershirt was designed to treat a symptom in an emergency situation experienced by an individual animal once in his/her life span.

It is very important to understand that the act of applying pressure to the body does not alter the root cause of the distress - which is the fact that the animal is about to be slaughtered. If that animal were to experience the stressful situation on a daily basis the ravages of stress on the mind and body would not be completely of even partially eliminated in all or even in some of the animals.

The application of pressure to the body does not teach a being how to cope with the situation - the pressure simply triggers an auto-response by body and brain to relax to one degree or another in some individuals.

The Thundershirt was not designed for use as a remedy for a chronic condition experienced by an individual animal, nor was it designed to foster a permanent resolution of the root cause of the anxiety.

4.0 Setting Expectations

Understanding the logical reality of a product such as the Thundershirt means that you, the consumer and loving pet owner can set some reasonable expectations around the use of the product.

The company’s marketing strategy includes the following statements…
  • “The Thundershirt is the best solution for dog anxieties caused by thunderstorm, travel separation and more”
  • “Proven solution for dog anxiety”, and;
  • “Over 80% of dogs show improvement”.
So what do these claims really mean? I would say that the phrasing and words used in these claims should be scrutinized for their many permutations. "Over 80% of dogs show improvement" - does that mean that the issue of anxiety was resolved? I don't think so - in which case the product is not a solution. How do they define 80%? Do they get feedback from every customer that has ever purchased a Thundershirt? I don’t think so. Do they define the percentile from recording the results experienced by the dogs in the companies' ‘Training Center’? Do they define the percentile based on a group of dogs that they tested the product on during development of the product?

The statement also does not define what type of improvement was achieved - minor improvement? Major improvement? What percentage of dogs experienced what type of improvement?

These claims by the company are, in my opinion a good marketing strategy but a very unfair means of selling the product as the words used can create an expectation in the dog owner that the product may not be capable of delivering.

The claims all come down to symantics. 

How do you define ‘solution’?

Do you define a solution in the context of a big picture? Meaning that a solution provides a complete remedy to a condition? Or does ‘solution’ pertain to modifying an element of a condition? To attain ‘improvement’ in your dog so you just put the shirt on your dog and walk away, or do you need to sign up for the company’s training program or work with an affiliated trainer?

The answer to those questions requires contemplation, thought, comparison on the consumers part. Quite frankly when you are desperate for a solution you don’t always have the circumspection to read the fine print or compare and interpret the manufacturer’s use of a term (i.e. ‘solution’ or a phrase i.e. ‘over 80% of dogs show improvement’) against your understanding/interpretation of a term or phrase. You are more likely to buy into the desire to believe in the marketing and / or ‘advice’ being provided to you.

I have had many client’s that tried the Thundershirt first – for both separation anxiety, thunder anxiety, travel anxiety - to no avail which is why they end up coming to me to resolve the problem. Prior to trying the Thundershirt most of them have been to one or more trainers and behavourists who attempted to resolve the anxiety and some also recommended the thundershirt to the owner - which is why they tried to use it.  The trainers failed to remedy the anxiety because they did not understand the dog or the dog’s human companions. The same trainers and behavourists try other interventions such as pheromone and herbal spray collars, Bach remedies etc. Obviously if the approach had worked the people would not have had to seek me out and engage me to truly resolve the anxiety.



5.0 Commercially Available Products - Can They, Do They Really Help?

5.1 The Thundershirt

I think it would be fair to say that in some cases the Thundershirt is able to and may provide temporary relief of one or more of the symptoms of anxiety and if used consistently overtime the Thundershirt may change a dog’s association with events that lead to anxiety. Note the word some and may.

I would say that the Thundershirt - when it does work may do so in one or two of the following ways, depending n the circumstances:
One - via applying pressure to the body as discussed further above and;
Two - via a placebo effect.

It is my belief that the Thundershirt can have a placebo effect on some humans which then transfers to the dog. This is what I mean - the thought of using the Thundershirt calms the human because he/she thinks it will work. One of the fundaments of repairing anxiety in a dog is the ability to communicate a state of calm to the dog. By being that thing first you want your dog to be you set the example and provide the direction. I teach my client’s (the human client’s) how to achieve calm as in so doing they provide pure, logical direction to their dog to calm. For the most part dogs do exactly what their human’s communicate - the problem is that humans have become hasty and ineffectual communicators.

In a mild case of anxiety the Thundershirt may provide some positive impact on reducing symptoms. How much this product can achieve varies depending on the genetic and psychological make-up of those involved, dog and human, on the plan of treatment and on the knowledge and skill of the person - if any that teaches the dog’s owner how to implement a plan of treatment. Is the product going to be used alone or as part of a larger strategy?

5.2 Specialty Spray and Scent Collars, Bach flower essences, Rescue Remedies, etc.

Once again, I think it would be fair to say that in some cases these products may have some positive effect on mitigating some symptoms of anxiety in some dogs BUT these products will not normally cure the anxiety.

Once, again - how much these products can achieve varies depending on the genetic and psychological make-up of those involved, dog and human, on the plan of treatment and on the knowledge and skill of the person - if any that teaches the dog’s owner how to implement a plan of treatment. Is the product going to be used alone or as part of a larger strategy?


5.3 Veterinarian Prescribed Conventional Prescription Drugs

These pharmaceutical products cause me the greatest concern of all. While products such as the Thundershirt and speciality collars may simple not create a looked for result that may lead to added frusteration on the owners part - pharmaceuticals can do immediate and long-term damage to the health of a dog. Products such as Reconcile - (Prozac renamed for use by allopathic veterinarians) can and do cause mild to serious to lethal harm. And when used long-term are known to cause an enlarged heart, seizures and an early death. You can read about Reconcile here. This is not a product that I ever recommend and if I am going to work with a client whose dog is on the drug I ask them to get the dog off of the drug prior to a session.

There are many natural nutraceuticals and herbs that can be used on a temporary and permanent basis along with a properly designed diet which will BETTER support the reduction of anxiety than any conventional drug. These natural items can also do double duty by supporting over-all health and the immune system. These natural items will NOT have the serious adverse consequences that conventional drugs impose on the dog. 

There are many listed and unlisted ingredients in most pet foods that can - on their own, create anxiety in a dog. Another reason why I approach all matters in a comprehensive, holistic manner rather than relying on stop-gap measures that were never designed to use on a long-term basis and will not result in actual remedy.

In an emergency situation and when used for a very short time when access to alternative knowledge is not available, the use of conventional drugs may in some cases have some value, however the side effects of the drug may far out-way benefit. 

It is interesting to note that Reconcile - in addition to exposing the dog to adverse and serious side effects also has side effects that create the same symptoms that the drug is supposed to 'treat' - anxiety. 

Once again, I think it would be fair to say that in some cases conventional drugs may have some positive effect on mitigating some symptoms of anxiety in some dogs BUT these products will not cure the anxiety and the side effects of using the drug may have far worse consequences than the actual issue the drug is supposed to 'treat'.


6.0 Remedying Root Cause v.s the Band Aid Approach

In my opinion based on years of working with dogs and people - the real remedy to anxiety is comprised of multiple elements - you can read about those many facets here and how they interconnect and when accomplished properly result in a remedy for anxiety.

While there are commonalities amongst most cases of anxiety, including separation anxiety, there are also unique variables that exist in any single given case. These unique variables are a direct reflection of the reality that each person and each dog is a unique individual. When one or all of these key contributors is not understood and/or not addressed the root cause is not resolved. The issue remains.

Although I work with dogs and their humans who are experiencing truly extreme anxiety - the dog is chewing his/her way through metal crates, drywall, doors, electrical wire and sustaining severe physical damage (and yes I do mean both dog is anxious and dog’s human is anxious). I have never had a need to use products such as the Thundershirt, special spray collars etc. I am fortunate in that I have (and have the knowledge, understanding and skills to perceive root causes and effect solutions by working with the actual psychology and physiology of a dog and his/her human. This allows me to perceive what triggers behaviour (good and bad, human and canine), identify and apply methods that resolve the issue, which I then teach to the dog’s person.

My methods are based on leveraging a holistic strategy that addresses root cause and contributing factors including diet. These are all part of a kit of tools that can and should be used to create a successful resolution. The other tools I use and which I teach my client’s to use are tools that we all have within ourselves - which just happen to be the same tools that a dog has to use. These tools are also very portable as both the dog and the human carry the tools with them wherever they maybe. No fear of forgetting one of the tools behind. No need for treats, clickers, special shirts etc.

Some of the tools I use and teach my client’s to employ are -

  • The ability to perceive, understand and communicate using multiple senses - for this is how dogs communicate and should the dog’s person not learn in part to do the same the person will always be at a great disadvantage when seeking to provide support for their dog;
  • The development and deployment of self awareness, self discipline, patience, persistence, determination to lead by logical and true example;
  • The ability to read a dog’s face and body language,
  • The ability to learn from your dog.

These skills provide a remedy to canine anxiety and human anxiety they also create positive growth in the human and the dog. By making sure diet is also addressed a complete solution is provided.

I think it is safe to conclude that a Thundershirt or any other single product is no match for a real solution.

I think it is safe to conclude that no single product used in isolation of a larger strategy can be expected to remedy anxiety - the product may instead, simply help to create a band aid ‘solution’. And this may be better than no intervention.

Consumer beware and adjust your expectations to suit. If you are successful to any degree in your use of a product you will feel good about it rather than stressed. If you feel stressed your dog will too.




Additional Assistance

Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.