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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Cat Poop



How to stop your dog from eating cat poop you ask? This article will provide you with a plan of action…   

If your household includes dogs, and cats you may find yourself in need of tips on how to stop your dog, puppy from eating cat poop. Below I discuss reasons why your dog may be ‘indulging’ his/her self in your cat’s litter box. You can then choose the best course of action from the list of solutions, and ensure your dogs, puppy’s cat-poop eating habit is not a result of a dietary deficiency…

First Let’s Look at Why a Dog Eats Cat Poop
Take a look at the list below – you can check off which contributing factors apply to your situation…
  • Behavioral
    • Acquired habit
    • Habit developed by a mother dog cleaning up stools - a behaviour evolved to protect the young from predators
    • Due to anxiety and stress
    • Greedy eaters
    • Punishment for eliminating (pooping) in the ‘wrong’ place
    • Transferable behaviour - learning by example, watching another dog steal poop from a cat litter box
  • Breed pre-disposition
    • Some breeds have a pre-disposition to poop eating - i.e. Border Collies, Shelties
  • Environmental Factors
    • Enzyme deficiency
    • Inappropriate food
    • Your dog is fed a diet of dry dog food
      • End result is enzyme, and viable nutrient deficiency
    • Your cat is fed a diet of dry cat food
      • Cats that are fed a processed food diet tend to pass stools that are full of undigested matter - this can make the stool appealing to some dogs.
    • Insufficient diet - scarcity of food
      • i.e. dogs that have suffered deprivation - stray dog, puppy mill dog, neglected dog, etc.
  • Medical Issues
    • Gastrointestinal parasites
    • Mal-absorption of nutrients
    • Neutered males are more likely to ‘indulge’
    • Pancreatic Insufficiency
      • Pancreas is not producing enough digestive enzymes
Expectations,  Priorities and Determining a Corrective Course of Action
Once you have identified the possible triggers that cause your dog to eat cat poop, it’s time to formulate a corrective course of action…

Don’ts

Punishment/Discipline – NO
Don’t punish your dog for eating poop. Punishment will simply result in an escalation of anxiety. Doing so will simply create anxiety and will not resolve the issue.

Monosodium Glutamate – NO
Do NOT add monosodium glutamate (MSG) to your cat’s or dog’s diet in an attempt to stop poop eating. MSG is a known inflammatory agent, a trigger for dementia, and a carcinogen. In fact many brands of dry cat (or dog) kibble and / or canned wet food already contain MSG hidden in the ingredient food additives. Vaccines also contain MSG. By adding more MSG to your cats (or dogs) daily diet you are increasing the risk of inflammatory disease and dementia.

Meat Tenderizer - NO
Do NOT add commercial meat tenderizer products, i.e. - Adolph's Original Meat Tenderizer, to your cats (or dogs) diet. Adolph's contains three health deteriorating ingredients - GMO sugar, GMO corn starch, and refined salt. 
  • GMO corn is a known allergen, gastrointestinal tract disruptor, toxin and is proven to cause the growth of tumors.
  • Sugar contributes to metabolic disease, diabetes, obesity, oral health issues, cancer and other inflammatory disease. 
  • Salt in a dogs and cats diet should be obtained naturally from real whole fresh foods - not from refined salt. If your cat or dog is on a diet of dry kibble, or wet canned food, and highly processed treats - his/her refined salt intake may be too high. Salt added to pet food products and non-organic meat tenderizer can be contaminated with heavy metals, particles of plastic and other toxins.


‘For-Bid’ “Stool Eating Preventative” - NO
Do not use products such as ‘For-Bid’ “Stool Eating Preventative”. For-Bid contains MSG and wheat gluten. MSG is a health hazard as noted above. Wheat gluten is an allergen. The wheat gluten used in ‘For-Bid’ comes from wheat treated with glyphosate prior to harvesting. Glyphosate is a known carcinogen. The residue from the glyphosate remains on (and absorbed by) the wheat after harvesting. Once in the body, glyphosate acts as a transportation agent for toxic substances like aluminum and non-organic arsenic. If you vaccinate your dog, feed your dog CAFO chicken, non-organic rice in combination with glyphosate treated food ingredients you increase your dog’s likelihood of acquiring dementia. Glyphosate also interferes with nutrient absorption. On March 20, 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its findings on the herbicide glyphosate, concluding that there is “sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity” based on laboratory studies. You can read the World Health Organization (WHO) report on IARC’s findings be going here. I recommend forbidding For-Bid from your dog’s diet!

Time for a Health Check on Your Dogs Diet

Processed Dry Dog Food
If you don’t want to switch your dog to a raw food diet then you should add some real food to your dog’s daily diet.

Add Real Fresh Raw Food Digestive Enzymes If your dog is on a diet of highly processed food products your dog’s diet will be lacking in digestive enzymes. Viable digestive enzymes are necessary for optimal absorption of nutrients.

Dogs that lack access to viable digestive enzymes may attempt to self-medicate by seeking out alternate sources of enzymes - cat poop may contain left-over digestive enzymes.

Your dog will benefit from having good source digestive enzymes added to each of his/her meals. The following list provides some examples of real, whole food source digestive enzymes:
  • Avocado – the flesh only, not pit and skin.
  • Fermented vegetables– such as fresh organic sauerkraut, and kimchi.
  • Fresh raw green tripe
  • Honey  and / or bee pollen - use only raw unpasteurized, 100% natural honey, pasteurized honey is just sugar water. Not for puppies under 1 year of age.
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Other fresh, raw fruit and vegetables – select from this list and make sure you prepare the fruit and vegetables as directed in the article.
  • Mushrooms – i.e. reishi, portabella, etc.
Add Real Fresh Whole Food Probiotics
Viable (live) probiotics are another important element in the digestion of food. Don’t count on the probiotics included in processed dry dog food - the heating and processing kills the probiotics rendering them useless. Most probiotic supplements are junk, and yes that includes many probiotics products sold by veterinarians (conventional and holistic).  
Don’t forget Real Fresh Whole Food Prebiotics to Feed the Probiotics
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - organic, unpasteurized, unfiltered
  • Asparagus
  • Banana
  • Dandelion greens
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Garlic
  • Honey
  • If you are incorporating greens into the diet – make sure you prepare the greens as per my instructions here.
Vitamin B and Potassium From Real Fresh Whole Food 
For example:
  • Banana
  • Bee pollen
  • Garlic
  • Mushroom
If you choose to use supplements rather than real fresh food as a source of digestive enzymes, probiotics, vitamins and minerals - be very careful about the products you use. Supplements are a popular go-to, aggressively marketed by the supplement industry, conventional and holistic veterinarians, dog-health magazines, etc. A shocking number of supplements contain allergens, toxins, dementia triggers, and carcinogens. Sadly, the supplement industry is just as corrupt as the food and drug industry.

If you don’t know what to avoid, and how to identify hidden ingredients, choose real food instead. I see MANY clients whose holistic veterinarian prescribed supplements that contain allergens, toxins and, carcinogens. I remove and all such items from my patient’s health regimen, and replace with minimal clean supplements and real foods.

If you have worked on improving your dog’s diet, and on training (reducing / resolving anxiety, teaching attentiveness, and recall), and your dog still eats cat poop - you need to relocate your cat’s litter box.

Options for Relocating Your Cat’s Litter Box

Litter Box in a Closet or Room with a Door
Move your cat’s litter box to a closet or room with a door. You will need to install a chain and eyelet on the door and frame, or install a cat door in your closet door.

This option works well for dogs that are larger than a cat. If you dog is the same size, or smaller than your cat, your dog will slip through the restricted door opening.

You can purchase small lengths of decorative chain at a hardware or lighting store – look in the light fixture accessory section. You will need about 1 foot of chain, two metal eyelets, and 2 snap hooks. Install a metal eyelet in your door and door frame. Use one of the snap hooks to attach the chain to one of the eyelets. Attach the other snap hook to the loose end of the chain. You can adjust the length of the chain to suit the size of the door opening you require. You can then keep the door open just enough for cats to get in, but not your dog. 

Place the Litter Box Behind a Baby Gate
If your dog is small he / she will not jump a baby gate. Many large dogs won’t jump a baby gate either – for these dogs, a baby gate is a psychological barrier. If your dog fits one of these scenarios you can put your cat’s litter box in a closet or room and block your dog’s access to the space with a baby gate.

Elevate Your Cat’s Litter Box
If your cat is not too elderly, and the other options above won’t work for your dog – you can locate the litter box at a height that your dog cannot reach. For example - place the litter box on top of a horizontal surface like a high dresser or cabinet that your cat can easily jump onto.

Additional Assistance – Holistic Health and Wellness
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 provide you with a quotation for cost of services. 

I offer holistic services to clients located around the world.
 
  • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Services
    • Unbiased advice regarding Diet, Nutrition, Wellness, Food, Supplementation, etc. - for more information go here>>.
    • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Plans - for more information go here>>. 
    • Please note - I do NOT sell food or supplements. I am not aligned with any companies. I do this so that I can remain 100% objective in selecting, recommending and prescribing the best solutions for my individual clients' situation.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Take a Breath, Breathe – Dogs Understand, Breathing is Communication

 
Take a breath, breathe – dogs understand, breathing is communication. Breathing is one of many ways in which dogs communicate with each other. Dogs also observe how humans breathe. By taking the time to learn a little about this natural form of communication, you can increase your understanding of dogs, be more aware of your own state of being, and improve your ability to support / direct your dog.

Think about how we humans react to stimuli – good and bad stress, our breath and breathing patterns are immediately affected. The only time we control our breath and breathing patterns are when we are consciously working to do so. The balance of the time our brain controls our breathing patterns. Your dog hears and observes your breathing to assess how you are really feeling – happy, relaxed, joyful, frustrated, anxious, tense, fearful – all emotions are reflected in how we breath – so too for a dog.

A Few Examples Breathing as Communication

A dog that is very relaxed, having had his/her meal, and exercise may lie down, take a breath and expel that breath as a sigh indicating a relaxed, comfortable satisfied state.

A dog that is anxious will exhibit early warning symptoms of that anxious state – one of those signs is an increase in rate and intensity of breathing which, if not checked, will progress from open-mouth breathing to heavy panting and may also include anxious pacing.

Do you have a dog that exhibits aggressive-reactive behavior? Have you seen your dog go suddenly stock-still? Have you felt the silence, the absence of breath - inhaled or exhaled? That sudden stiffness and absence of breath is a sign that your dog is about to act/react. You have split seconds to provide direction to your dog to de-escalate the situation, and prevent a dog fight.  If you are like most people in this situation you won’t realize that you are inadvertently directing the situation to culminate in aggression…

You have probably stopped breathing – you are holding your breath.

Your hands are probably clenched - your mind and body are tense.

Your dog is following your direction.

It’s time to breathe – you have split seconds to start the process of de-escalation, breath. Release the tension.

A dog that is anxious may yawn – you can help calm that dog by yawning and then taking a few dep breaths. Dogs also use yawning as a communication tool to help other dogs calm – you can help calm the pack by taking a few deep breaths, and making sure you release all tension in your own body.

True leadership requires that the person leading be willing, and able to be that thing first that they want the other being (in this case your dog) to be.

A Few Simple Breathing Exercises For You and Your Dog

Start by taking a deep breath. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth - close your eyes and think of nothing but that breath while breathing in and out.

Notice how you feel - did you forget about everything else for those split seconds? Did you forget to be worried, did you find peace for a second?

If you did the exercise properly, you attain a state of grounded calm – at least for those seconds you were focused on that deep breath. If you did not then breath again - in through your nose and out through your mouth, this time close your eyes as you breath. Now did you feel grounded?

When you breathe as per my instruction above you are, for those seconds grounded - your own anxiety, anger, frustration, tension, anticipation of ‘bad’ behaviour is forgotten. Everything changes for that second - your body language, your thoughts, your eyes, your face and even your scent may change. Tension is released. In that moment of that breath you become what you want your dog to be - grounded, relaxed, rational, calm and comfortable, confident and logical.

Stand or sit near your dog and breathe as instructed above. While you breathe observe your dog.

Did your dog look at you?

Did your dog's ears move – make sure you observe carefully – the movement of the ears may be very subtle, very slight?

If yes to one or both of the above your dog was listening!

Try doing this when you are at one end of a room and your dog is at the other. See if your dog looks at you or if his/her ears move just the slightest. If your dog is calm your dog will hear you breathe.

Did your dog come to see you when you breathed?

Did you observe your dog relax after you breathed?

If you have a dog that is currently in an anxious state your dog may not 'hear' you the first time you do this. Repeat the exercise, breathe deeply.

Daily Life with Your Dog - Use Breathing to Communicate and Direct

When you are about to give your dog a direction - i.e. 'sit', take a deep breath before you direct your dog with the command 'sit' or before you use a hand signal for sit.

After the command is given take another deep breath.

Don't repeat the command.

Just wait, don't speak - you can take another breath to reinforce and hold the command. By doing so you are exercising patience, self-restraint, self-awareness, self-discipline. You are quite, non-reactive, grounded, attentive, consciously observant and directive.

You are communicating logically.

You are being that thing that you want your dog to be – self-aware, self-disciplined, self-restrained, self-correcting and you are directing using one of the techniques a well-balanced dog use to direct another dog.

Now take this communication skill and apply it to every situation where you currently, or should be directing your dog.

Train yourself to do this consistently in all low-level situations. By doing so you develop a positive, reliable habit – your dog knows that he / she can rely on you, and that there is no need to escalate to more intense behavior.  If you do encounter mid to high level situations you can use the same techniques to direct your dog to normalize. 

Stay Connected, Cue Your Dog - Breathe

Stay connected with your dog. If your dog has a habit of barking at every sound, at the door bell, at a passerby.  If your dog is tense when passing another dog cue your dog to relax before he/she reacts. Take a deep breath so your dog relaxes rather than stiffens.

Timing is everything - to support good timing you need to be a conscious observer. Breathe for your dog - concentrate on your breathing. Force yourself to breathe and clear your mind instead of anticipating and thereby directing your dog to do exactly what you don’t want. Listen to your dog's breathing and watch your dog's ears - if you hear breathing begin to intensify, if you see ears stiffen, it is time for you to take a deep breath, it's time for you to make sure you don't have any tension in your hands, your body, your mind. By doing so you are communicating and directing your dog to calm and still – you are leading by example. And you never said a word - natural wisdom, a dog's way.
 
Additional Assistance – Holistic Health and Wellness
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 provide you with a quotation for cost of services. 

I offer holistic services to clients located around the world.
 
  • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Services
    • Unbiased advice regarding Diet, Nutrition, Wellness, Food, Supplementation, etc. - for more information go here>>.
    • Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Plans - for more information go here>>. 
    • Please note - I do NOT sell food or supplements. I am not aligned with any companies. I do this so that I can remain 100% objective in selecting, recommending and prescribing the best solutions for my individual clients' situation.