Thursday, June 25, 2015

Don’t let your dog go AWOL (Absent With Out Leash) – Earth Heart’s Summer Safety Contest

"According to the National Council of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society, a family pet is lost every two seconds in North America. The organizations also report that more than 10 million pets are lost each year and one out of three pets will be lost during its lifetime. However, only one in 10 pets is found.” 

Earth Heart is sponsoring a summer contest to raise awareness of Pet Safety. As we mentioned in our last post, more pets are lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. And July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. Unfortunately less than 20% of pets will find their way back home from a shelter.

Even the most loyal pets will run from fireworks. Maybe your pet has never run away - as pets age their hearing changes, and noises that didn’t bother them in the past can suddenly become a problem.

A few reminders from Earth Heart, PetHub, Sunny-Dog Ink and John Paul Pet:

1) Keep your pets calm – create a safe space, exercise them early in the day, and use a natural calming product like Canine Calm.

2) Keep dogs on a leash – bolting from a car is one of the biggest factors on July 4th. It’s not just about the hours of 8 pm to midnight when the big fireworks displays are happening. We’ve all heard a firecracker go off in a parking lot unexpectedly, or a neighbor setting a few firecrackers off in their yard. That’s all it takes for your pet to become a statistic.

3) Make sure your pet IDs are up-to-date – don’t rely just on a microchip; your pets should have a tag as well. Here are some facts from
* If the vet or shelter does not have a universal scanner your pet’s microchip may go undetected.
* The microchip can migrate and not be detectable.
* The information on the microchip is not up to date with your contact information. (Depending on the brand of microchip it can take anywhere from 24 hours to 2 months to update your microchip information.)

4) Be sure to have a Pet First-Aid Kit (PFA) – assemble your own or purchase ready-to-go kits from Sunny-Dog Ink. Be sure to replenish items as they are used up or expired. Also consider taking a pet first-aid class from a certified instructor.

5) Keep pet wipes in stock – these can be helpful for cleaning up messes and odors from head to toe when traveling.

In honor of Lost Pet Prevention Month, Earth Heart has partnered with Pet Hub, Sunny-Dog Ink and John Paul Pet to give away products for your pet’s safety.  

Donated by Sunny Dog Ink:
Week 1: Pet First Aid for Kids book
Week 2: Dog First Aid & CPR pocket guide
Week 3: Cat First Aid & CPR pocket guide
Week4: Set of Choking/CPR laminated posters

Donated by Earth Heart:
Each week: Canine Calm and Guard Well 2-ounce mists

Donated by Pet Hub:
Each week: Gold Paw ID tags and mobile subscription

Donated by John Paul Pet:
Each week: Tooth & Gum, Ear & Eye, Body & Paw Pet Wipes

Submission Terms:
  • Submissions start July 1 and end August 1.
  • Share a photo or video - it can be dogs on a leash, a photo of your cat with a tag on his/her collar…anything that shows how you are keeping your pet safe. We will be posting some of our favorites, so give your pets their 15 minutes of fame!
  • Post your photo or video in the comments section of our Facebook announcement here.
  • At the end of each week, Earth Heart will randomly select one (1) winner from submissions received that week via Facebook post or email.
  • You can post something new each week. If you have more than one pet or more than one example of Pet Safety, please submit them. The more, the merrier!
  • Winners will be notified by email no later than July 15, 22, 29 and August 5, and prizes will be mailed to each winner on receipt of mailing address.
  • All photos and videos submitted become the property of Earth Heart Inc. for use in educational or promotional purposes, including the right to post those submissions on Earth Heart’s website and social media accounts.
  • Open to residents of the USA and Canada.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More Pets Go Missing on July 4th Than Any Other Day of the Year. Please Read and Keep Your Pet Safe.

July 5th is the busiest day of the year for Animal Shelters because July 4th is the worst day of the year for runaway pets. Animal Control Services see a 30% jump in calls between July 4th and July 6th, and sadly less than 14% of lost pets are returned to their owners. Please don't let your dog or cat end up a statistic by losing your pet to the loud noises and bright lights of July 4th festivities. Often it's the pets that have never shown signs of fear that get lost because their owners don't take precautions.  It only takes an ounce of attention to keep your animals calm, safe and protected

The best advice for July 4th is to keep your pets inside and restrained. (Download our "July 4th Calm Home" infographic here.) Most pets are lost on July 4th because they bolt out the door or window of a home or a car unexpectedly from the noise of firecrackers. Dogs and cats have extremely sensitive hearing so even noises at a distance can make them react without warning. And while getting lost and ending up miles from home is often the fate on July 4th, the bigger issue is a frantic dog or cat bolting into the path of an oncoming car. 

We also want to share some advice from instructor, author and pet advocate Denise Fleck of Sunny-Dog Ink to help your pets stay safe during the July 4th weekend:

Close the drapes and turn on a radio or television to mask any noise and distract the pet’s attention from the pops and bangs. Triple check that all doors, windows and gates are secure, and if your pet is easily agitated, make sure someone stays with him during the festivities. The pleasant smelling formulation of essential oils, gently rubbed into Fido’s ear flaps or sprayed on his favorite bandana is sure to help him relax.

Enjoy your cookout, but keep your pets on their normal diet. Burgers, fries, salty chips, and fried chicken can all upset your pet's stomach while fats from an abundance of these foods can result in pancreatitis, and alcoholic beverages can result in a coma or respiratory failure. Chocolate can be lethal.

Keep pets far away from sparklers and firecrackers. One spark on precious fur and you'll need an emergency trip to the veterinarian. Allow paw, snout or any part of your furry friend close to a firecracker, and the results could be deadly.

Paws Off
Keep insect repellents and sunscreens out of reach. If ingested by your pet, these products can result in neurological problems, vomiting and diarrhea.

Make sure your pets can't find your matches or lighter fluid. Some matches contain chlorates which if ingested by Fido can damage his red blood cells, cause difficulty breathing or even kidney problems. Lighter fluid can irritate the skin, cause gastrointestinal, central nervous system and pulmonary distress.

Also, since the hot days have arrived, make sure your pet doesn't walk on any surfaces that could burn his paws. If it's too hot for your bare feet, it's too hot for Fido's four paws!

Be aware of the dangers of Heat Stroke and make sure your pets have plenty of cool, fresh water and shade to retreat to. Getting over heated can result in permanent brain damage and death to your pet, so never, never, never leave him alone in a parked car -- even for a short time. It only takes a few minutes (with the windows rolled down which can present a danger in itself) for the car to heat to deadly temperatures.

Earth Heart and Sunny-Dog Ink wish all of you a calm, safe and fun July 4th. Watch for our contest next week. We have some great prizes being offered. Details in our next blog.

Download our "July 4th Calm Home" infographic here.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fragrant Friday: The Journey of an Aromatherapy Newbie

I was recently at a conference on marketing to Baby Boomers and I met Pat Campbell, a semi-retired marketing executive who has started a new company called In Pursuit of Greytness. She is helping baby-boomer women who are starting new businesses develop their digital strategies. I was interested in her background and new venture, and she was a self-described newbie to aromatherapy. We had a wonderful conversation and she asked many educated questions. As is the case with many people I speak to, she had a healthy dose of skepticism but was totally open to learning about essential oils. She has a horse, several dogs, and in the past has had as many as eight dogs at the same time, several cats and lived on a horse farm.

Here are just a few of her questions and my answers: 
When combining various essential oils do you use them all in equal amounts?

Sometimes, but not always.  It depends on the purpose of the blend, which essential oils you select, and whether a particular scent profile is important.  For example, a simple blend to use in a hand sanitizer might combine equal parts of tea tree, lavender and lemon in a base of aloe gel and witch hazel extract. If you’re using a very strong scented essential oil such as rose, peppermint or sandalwood, you’ll use less of those than citrus, which are very light and fleeting.

Can you use the same essential oils on cats and dogs? 

Cats are more at risk for essential oil reactions because their livers work differently than dogs.  When necessary we use essential oils very sparingly on cats. Some potentially toxic essential oils for cats include basil, birch, citrus, clove, hyssop, oregano, pennyroyal, sage, savory, tansy, tarragon, thyme, tea tree, thuja and wintergreen. 

Since animals metabolize and react differently to essential oils, it is important to know about species-specific differences before using them. People often overuse oils. More isn’t better! Continual diffusing can lead to an unintentional overdose for their pets. 

When diffusing, maintain good ventilation and circulation of fresh air. Make sure your cat can leave an area that is being diffused. You can reduce your cat’s exposure by diffusing for specific reasons, and only when necessary. Just 15 minutes 3 to 4 times a day or during sleep can be adequate essential oil therapy even during family illness. 

While not all cats may react negatively to all essential oils, exercise caution and watch your cat for subtle changes in behavior as well as a lack of energy. Using essential oils with cats can be managed, and it is generally believed that limited exposure to quality pure essential oils is a better option than using synthetic or adulterated fragrances. 

Do you know of any oils that will calm a horse? What makes a horse different than a dog in the use of Essential Oils?
We have had customers use our products on horses and have lots of testimonials that Buzz Guard and Canine Calm have been beneficial to both dogs and horses. A dog’s sense of smell is remarkably better than ours. There are about 40 times more scent receptors than humans have, allowing dogs to identify smells between 1,000 and 10,000 times better than us.  Dogs also have remarkable olfactory memory, and because their world revolves around scent, aromatherapy is ideal for use with them. 

The horse's range of smell is more acute than that of humans but less sensitive than that of dogs.  We typically recommend that our products be massaged into the tips of dogs’ ears. On horses we recommend rubbing the products on the ear tips as well as on the forehead, cheeks and muzzle. 

The use of aromatherapy with dogs and horses is time-tested. Scientific studies in Germany and France regarding the medical effects of essential oils on animals and humans were quite advanced by the mid-1800s. Early clinical studies with dogs and horses had positive results, and so the practice of veterinary aromatherapy was not uncommon in those countries. 

Pat has written her own blog this week about her journey through the maze of aromatherapy. Whether you are deep into the subject or just learning you will definitely enjoy her experience so far. She has two dogs, a horse and several cats so this subject has become near and dear to her heart. Click here to read about her first aromatherapy test with Calvin her four-legged best friend at Pat's blog.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Three Crucial Traveling Tips For Happy Tails

"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love." ~Ernest Hemingway

Perhaps that is why about 30 million people will travel with their pets this year. Planes, trains and are some tips on how to make travel a happy experience rather than a vacation disaster.

Tip 1: Cute But Totally Unsafe...Don't be Fooled


Cute? But....
While we all laugh at these adorable photos of animals with their heads hanging out of cars, it's in fact incredibly dangerous not only for the pet but also for the owners and cars passing by.

Debris and dirt flying up from the road can cause a pet to lose an eye or have major damage to their eyesight.

If the pet escapes (which happens more often than you might imagine) the pet can be hit by an oncoming car, harming the pet, causing an accident and hurting other drivers. Unrestrained pets can cause a major distraction to the driver of the car which often leads to major accidents. This is a FACT: At 35 MPH, a 60-lb dog becomes a 2,700 pound projectile!

The answer is simple. Using animal restraints is really crucial to pet owners. It is NOT a punishment to the pet; it is in fact a potential life saver. There are many wonderful pet restraint products on the market and every pet owner should have one.

Although driving without securing a child is illegal in all 50 states, only New Jersey bans unrestrained pets in cars. And 98% of dog travelers admit to not properly restraining their pets and 33% of those admit to being distracted by their pets while driving. It's as bad as texting while driving. No laughing matter.

In Australia drivers face hefty fines and jail time if a dog is injured as a result of being unrestrained!

Tip 2: Avoid the Bolt

Many dogs are lost each year when people open the doors of their cars and the pet bolts before the owner can restrain him. This happens a great deal when traveling because the pet is typically more excited and potentially anxious from a longer trip and the commotion which usually precedes a trip. It is so important to put collars (with tags) and leashes on before opening the door. Fumbling with either once the door is open increases the risk that a dog gets lost or injured in the parking lot. And when traveling, if a pet gets loose in a strange place she is more likely to bolt.


Tip 3: Keep Calm - Mentally and Physically

Just like humans, pets can be prone to motion sickness. It’s more prevalent in puppies and young dogs than cats or older dogs. We are dealing with three primary areas that may affect the animal prone to motion sickness: fear and anxiety, stomach upset, and an upset sense of balance due to perceptual differences between the inner ear, eyes, and body position. There are several natural methods that have been shown to benefit these issues.
  • Conditioning is really helpful. Take your pet on short car rides to a fun place – a park, a friend’s home, a pet store. Bring along a favorite toy and blanket or towel with familiar scents. Keeping your pet occupied can really help.
  • Take your pets on short trips to learn whether they are happier on a full stomach or an empty stomach.
  • Moderate exercise about 30 minutes before leaving on a trip can help your pet relax.
  • Give your pet a place to curl up and sleep in a constrained cage or carrier.
  • Natural remedies have shown great results for calming restlessness and stomach upsets. Ginger has been used for centuries to relieve nausea and vomiting, and essential oils such as lavender and bergamot can reduce restlessness, whining and other signs of stress from traveling.

Our own Travel Calm has worked wonders for many customers. Click here to read some testimonials. It may not work in all cases so we suggest you use it on short trips, like in the tips above, to see what works best for your pet.