Thursday, December 15, 2016

Earth Heart has a gift for you in 2017!!!

A new vehicle for botanical therapy to help dogs relax during storms, fireworks, parties, grooming, clinic visits, training, rescue and other fearful or unsettling times.

Sign up here for product details and a coupon code for your free sample when available.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Essential oils can help your dog weather environmental irritants

Living close to the ground, dogs encounter a wide variety of irritants as part of their daily lives. Exposure to lawn or pool chemicals, road salts, pollens, viruses and bacteria, or long-term use of medications can cause some dogs to suffer from itching, swelling, skin problems, and other minor illnesses. Over time these irritants can affect your dog’s natural immunity.

When asked to develop a remedy that could safely help dogs with immune system issues, I found several essential oils that have historically been used to bolster the immune system and support the lungs, liver and skin. While essential oils such as lemon, eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, bay and thyme can do that, I wanted to formulate something that is both powerful and gentle. Three essential oils really stood out – niaouli, ravensare and frankincense.

Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora) is an Australian tree that is related to tea tree. It has similar properties to tea tree, a much more pleasant scent, and is gentler to the skin and mucous membranes. Niaouli has been used in remedies for first aid, and to soothe skin disorders such as herpes, roundworm, sores and abscesses. It is helpful with viral, fungal and bacterial infections, including those that affect the ears and throat. As a natural antihistamine, niaouli can help relieve allergic reactions, especially those affecting the skin and ears.

Ravensare (Ravensara aromatica) is a tree that is related to the bay laurel and is native to Madagascar. It is a gentle yet powerful antiviral and antibacterial that can help support the immune system. Ravensare has been used in remedies to relieve flu, sore throat, bronchitis, fibromyalgia, mononucleosis, chronic fatigue and shingles. Some canine practitioners have used ravensare to help dogs with compromised immune systems or during the vaccination cycle.

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) has been an important commodity both socially and economically. It was used for thousands of years in incense, perfumes, and embalming agents, and more recently studied for its antitumoral activity. Frankincense is nontoxic and nonirritating to tissues, and because of its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal and astringent properties, it’s been used in preparations for wounds, acne and boils, and to relieve dry, chapped or maturing skin. Frankincense can help support the lungs and immune system to relieve colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma. It has also been shown to slow and deepen respiration, which allows feelings of calmness, comfort and serenity – simply inhaling the scent of frankincense can be soothing during unsettling times.

Using pure essential oils of niaouli, ravensare and frankincense, either singly or in combination can help your dog (and you!) find relief from itching, sneezing and other symptoms related to environmental irritants.  Earth Heart’s formulation of these three essential oils is called Guard Well (instructions and ingredients here), and is currently available as a water-based mist or diffusion blend.

As with any home remedy, it is important to know and follow the use and safety guidelines, and to recognize when it is time for professional help from your veterinarian. Here’s to a sneeze-free, itch-free year using (safely diluted) essential oils!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

6 tips to keep your dog safe this July 4th holiday.

More dogs run away on July 4th than any other day of the year. Avoiding fireworks can be difficult. In addition to community events, neighbors might have their own noise makers.

Here are 6 ideas to create a calm safe home for your dog during the 4th of July festivities:

1. Keep your dog on a leash when in or out of the home to prevent bolting from unexpected noises or flashes of light.

2. Be sure your dog is wearing a visible up-to-date ID tag on the collar. Carry a current photo of your dog with you. 

3. Take a long walk, play hard and make sure your dog’s bladder and bowels are empty before festivities begin.

4. Keep your dog in a crate or small room during festivities. Make sure favorite toys and foods are available. Swaddle with an anxiety wrap if needed.

5. Play soft gentle music in the room where your dog is staying. Close doors, windows, and shades to
dampen loud noise and bright lights.

6.Spray the room or crate pillow as needed with a calming mist. Scolding only confuses the dog and reinforces fearful behavior. 

Earth Heart wishes all of you a calm, safe and fun July 4th. 

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

Monday, May 9, 2016

Using aromatherapy safely to help your dog.

It’s been exciting to work with the essential oils used in aromatherapy products. A lot has changed since I started blending in 1992. Along with increased interest in the healing power of essential oils, there is a greater understanding of their potency and that “less is more” is the best approach to take.

A dog’s sense of smell is remarkably better than ours. Dogs have about 40 times more scent receptors than humans, allowing them 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.

As with any home remedy, it is important to know the use and safety guidelines, and to recognize when it is time for professional help from your veterinarian.

Use products containing pure essential oils.

The essential oils used in aromatherapy are most commonly extracted by steam distillation from the rind, flower, leaf, bark, root or resin of aromatic plants. The scent of essential oils can vary with each harvest because the chemical composition changes with variations in growing conditions.

Fragrance oils are created in the lab to insure that each batch has a consistent scent.  These synthetic products are not therapeutic, and have been known to cause problems such as headaches, agitation or allergic reactions.

Quality products include the botanical (Latin) names of the plants on labels.  This identifies the exact plant used in product. It’s important to note that there is no regulatory agency that grades essential oils, and so “therapeutic grade” or “medical grade” are for marketing purposes only.

Less is more – dilute, dilute, dilute.

From both conservation and safety perspectives, diluting pure essential oils is not only responsible to your wallet and the planet, but also to prevent overwhelming your dog’s sense of smell, irritating the skin and mucous membranes, or causing sensitization.

External use only.

There are two methods of using essential oils safely and effectively in the home: topical application and inhalation. Internal use (oral, vaginal or rectal) is not advised unless recommended by a health care practitioner appropriately trained in clinical or veterinary aromatherapy.

You can add your favorite essential oil single or blend to an unscented product or base such as vegetable and nut oils, gels, lotions or shampoos.  Start with 2 drops per ounce for puppies over 10 weeks of age, senior dogs and those with compromised immune systems, sensitive skin, or other serious health issues.  Using 4 or 5 drops per ounce is acceptable for most adult dogs with no serious health issues.

Inhalation of essential oils vapors is used for emotional or respiratory support and to create a calm healthy environment. Essential oils can be inhaled by misting a water-based spray onto a favorite bandana or by diffusing (diluting by air).

Be sure to diffuse in well-ventilated areas for short time periods (15 minutes to 2 hours) away from infants, toddlers, and young children, cats and birds.  Longer exposures to diffused essential oils in high concentrations could cause headaches, vertigo, nausea and lethargy.

Create a bonding experience.

Scent is the only one of our five senses that has an emotional response before a cognitive one. This is because the olfactory bulb has a direct link to the limbic system, the seat of emotion, memory and learning. For example, you don’t need to see a skunk to know it’s a skunk!

Because of the memoristic nature of scent, it can be beneficial to introduce aromatherapy at a nonthreatening time. This allows your dog to associate the scent with a person of comfort and safety rather than with an approaching storm or scary travel experience. Sometimes an essential oil is chemically sedating, but because of a bad memory associated with it, the scent actually causes agitation.

Sprays and massage or grooming products containing pure essential oils, can be physically applied to create a bonding experience and potential behavior modification. This can provide comfort for dogs that are fretful during storms, fireworks, travel, competition, adoption, bath time, veterinary or kennel visits, and holidays.

Many people have noticed that when the cupboard opens, the dog comes into the room and sits or lies down, waiting for the aromatherapy experience to begin!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Create A First Aid Team And Assemble A Comprehensive Pet First Aid Kit

Earth Heart welcomes Denise Fleck, certified Pet First Aid & CPR instructor, author, creator of Sunny-Dog Ink Pet First Aid Kits.  Denise is a strong proponent of being prepared: "Every home and vehicle should have a comprehensive first-aid kit. Don’t find yourself wishing you’d learned Pet First Aid and assembled a kit. Gather the tools now and learn how to use them for times your pet may be counting on you."

What Is Pet First Aid?

Veterinarians are the experts, but most of us are not lucky enough to have a vet-in-residence 24/7, and even if you live in a house with other people, odds are that when the dog stops breathing or the kitty cuts a paw, you will be home alone and it will be after veterinary hours.  That’s why it’s so important that pet parents know how to jump to the task to rescue Rover or help Fluffy feel better before professional medical help is available!

My goal as an instructor is to make you and your veterinarian a first aid team for the sake of your pet. Pet First Aid is by no means a replacement for competent veterinary care, but there are some things you can master to help determine whether your pet needs veterinary care:
·         If you know how to lower your pet’s body temperature due to heat stroke, you can prevent brain swelling and gastrointestinal injury.
·         If you know how to stop bleeding, you can prevent your precious pet from severe blood loss on the way to the vet, and through proper bandaging you can help prevent infection.
·         If you know how to induce vomiting, you can expel poison from the body.
·         If you know how to alleviate choking, you can prevent your pet from going unconscious.
·         If you know how to perform Rescue Breathing and CPCR (a second “C” for cerebral means improved techniques for moving blood and oxygen to the brain), you can keep that life-giving blood and oxygen circulating, keeping the animal alive until you get to medical help.

Why Is Attending A Class So Important?

Reading a book or even watching a video is helpful, but not a replacement for actually attending a class where you can view demonstrations and participate in hands-on skills practice which enables you to go on ‘auto-pilot’ when your pet needs you most.  I have found that practicing on animal mannequins allows students to make a hand-to-brain connection aiding them in working on the real thing.

Since I don’t teach yoga or meditation, I don’t claim to get my students into a “zen zone,” but what I do to alleviate their stress – which is so important since our animals pick up on our energy and vibes – is to teach them techniques and run scenarios through their heads so that nothing is brand new, and they have a plan A as well as a plan B in place.  I teach my students to take a deep breath before running to the rescue, and before classes start, I spray my canine and feline mannequins with the calming scent of CANINE CALM to take the edge off, because I’ve noticed that if my students aren’t anxious about everything they have to learn, they stay more focused and soak it all in.

I also suggest to them that during an emergency, they kindly ask any humans on the scene to leave who cannot remain calm.  Send them for a bucket of water or a stack of newspapers, but get them away from the injured animal.

Once you have taken a class, refresh your skills and take a class again because things change and our brains forget.  CPR is now CPCR (again, the second “C” for cerebral means improved techniques for moving blood and oxygen to the brain), so keep up with cutting edge methods to help your four-legged friend when he needs you most.

Do You Have An Up-To-Date, Easily-Accessible Pet First Aid Kit?

In addition to knowing Pet First Aid and having the confidence to react, anyone who spends time around pets must have a well-equipped tool kit (aka your Dog or Cat’s First Aid Kit).  Once assembled however, this kit is only as good as the human on the other end of the leash, meaning if you use something up, you must replace it; if an item expires, get another; and take special care of items that can go bad due to temperature changes. Medications and creams, adhesive on wraps and tapes as well as Hydrogen Peroxide all do not hold up well if they get hot. 

Each year, thousands of pets needlessly suffer and many die from ingesting common household foods and substances.  Accidents can happen to your pet any time, any place, so knowing what to do and having the necessary tools to bandage a wound, pull a tick or soothe an upset tummy at your fingertips is good pet parenting.  Precious time is often wasted looking for what we need, so here are the most basic items your Pet First-Aid Kit should include:

PET FIRST-AID HANDBOOK:  To assist with the important details you need to know.

PHONE NUMBERS & ADDRESSES:  Keep this information regarding your Veterinarian and nearest Animal Emergency Center readily available. 
AROMATHERAPY MIST:  To alleviate anxiety in both the injured animal and yourself as the rescuer.  I love CANINE CALM by EARTH HEART because it smells really good and helps everyone relax. Your initial contact with the pet becomes a gentle bonding time, rubbing a little into the ear flaps and making them feel more at ease with what lies ahead.

3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: To flush minor wounds and induce vomiting due to poisoning.  To induce vomiting, dribble 3% Hydrogen Peroxide into your pet’s mouth with a needle-less syringe.  Dosage is 1 tablespoon per 15 lbs. of the animal’s body weight. Take vomit, poison container and your pet to the Vet or Animal ER as soon as possible. If poison was a caustic or unknown substance, you will be instructed to dilute (instead of inducing vomiting) by feeding your pet water or milk, or my favorite – non-fat plain yogurt. Activated charcoal (or even burned toast) may also be recommended to absorb the poison. Learn what to do for the various kinds of poisons, and have phone numbers nearby.

EYE WASH OR SALINE SOLUTION:  To flush minor wounds and clean eyes. Eye wash should be nothing more than purified water with salt, with no chemicals like those found in contact lens solution.

  To control bleeding. 

To secure the gauze squares in place. 

ADHESIVE TAPE or SELF-ADHERING BANDAGE:  To secure the gauze squares in place.

COLD PACK:  To aid in heat stroke, swollen joints, burns and bee stings. 

  To soothe and promote healing. 

  To administer medications and other liquids. 

DIGITAL THERMOMETER:  To check your pet’s temperature.  Normal temperature is 100.4° - 102.5° Fahrenheit and is taken “under the tail.” 

STYPTIC POWDER & COTTON SWABS:  To control bleeding on a minor injury. 
SAFETY SCISSORS:  To remove bandages or cut proper lengths of bandaging materials. 

TWEEZERS:  To pull tick or remove debris from a wound. 

ANTIHISTAMINE TABLETS:  For those times when a bee stings or a snake bites.  Dosage is 1 mg per pound of pet’s body weight (ex. 10 lbs. cat gets 10 mg), but if your pet experiences major swelling or breathing difficulties, GET TO THE VET! 

ANTACID TABLETS:  To soothe an upset stomach. 

ELECTROLYTE REPLENISHER:  To aid in re-hydration. 

LEASH:  To wrangle a pet in need of help or to use as a temporary muzzle.

TOWEL OR BLANKET:  To cover a pet who has gone into Shock OR to use as a sling or stretcher.


How Can Scent Help Your Pet In An Emergency?
Dogs respond well to scent and touch, and topical applications of properly diluted pure essential oil remedies such as the EARTH HEART mists can lead to an emotional response, coupled with a bonding experience and potential behavior modification. The scent itself can anchor a positive experience with a trusted caregiver, and the end result is comfort for both the animal and the caregiver.

How Can Pure Essential Oil Remedies Enhance Your Pet First Aid Kit?

As mentioned above, I spray CANINE CALM on our practice mannequins to help students stay calm and focus (I know dog and horse trainers have used it for the same reason!). I use TRAVEL CALM in our travel kits for dogs who have stomach upset during travel. BUZZ GUARD is in our hiking kits to help improve outdoor activities any time of day or night.