Fox Tails

16 Jul




Certain types of grass seeds, such as fox tails, barley-type awns with spiky, arrow shaped hairs, can become dangerously lodged in your dog or cat’s ear canal or penetrate through the pad of the foot.  This can cause excruciating pain for the animal as the seed can often times work it’s way deeper into the ear canal or up through the limb causing abscesses along the way.  Sometimes they can work their way out, but often times they need to be removed manually by a veterinarian.    This can happen moreso in the summer months as the seeds of the plants become dry and brittle and can adhere to your pet’s coat or pads of their feet easier.

If a seed is lodged in your pet’s ear, you could observe a sudden and extreme irritation of the affected ear.

Your pet may scratch or shake their head violently trying to dislodge the seed.  They could also try to rub their ear with their paws, or even tilt their head to the ground and rub their ear incessantly.  The ear could become red, swollen and painful to touch.  Horses can get foxtails lodged in their mouth or, most commonly, in their lips.




If your pet has a grass seed lodged in the pad of it’s foot you may notice your pet favoring the affected pad, perhaps limping, or licking the area.  After a few days the paw could become red, warm and swollen.  There may be an abscess already forming.  Sometimes, however, it could take weeks before you notice the damage the seed has caused if it is not removed promptly and is traveling up the inside of the leg.

Some holistic healing tips you could use while waiting for veterinarian care;

The homeopathic remedy, Aconite 30C can be used if your pet seems to be in obvious shock, or distress and/or just abnormal behavior.  Dosing every 15 minutes, up to 4-6 doses, until you see improvement.   If the slightest bit of touch causes pain and your pet is crying out, then the remedy Chamomilla 30C would be beneficial.  The remedy Hepar Sulphuris 30C could help if you notice an infection.  Hepar also helps draw an abscess to a head, helping to draw the infection out.  Furthermore, the remedy, Silica 30C or 6C can help bring the seed, or the foreign matter, to the surface.  It is often a successful choice in remedy to use for those instances, however,it can sometimes take up to two weeks or longer for it to surface.  However, my son had a splinter in his finger that I could not remove.  I soaked his finger in an aqueous solution (dissolving the remedy in 3 ounces of water then succcussing it) of Silica, placed a bandaid over the affected area and the next morning the splinter was painlessly expelled out laying on the bandaid pad.

You could also soak the affected limb in epsom salts and warm water.  That can also help draw out the foreign matter as well as help soothe any inflammation.

Homeopathic remedies can be purchased over the counter at any health food store.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin, D.Vet.Hom, C.N.

Owner of Wellness Matters and Ruby’s Naturals and 

Brenda is a Homeopathic Practitioner, a Veterinary in Homeopathy and Canine Nutritionist.  She has been healing animals as long as she can remember, went to high school for animal science and continued her education throughout her life.  In addition to being  a homeopathic practitioner she developed Ruby’s Naturals,  an all natural pet treat for dogs, cats and horses (or any omnivore or herbivore) which are sold in Whole Foods, local grocery stores, Amazon  or directly online at .  Brenda treats animals and humans locally and globally.

Book an appointment here Wellness Matters or call 803-712-4522 to speak with Brenda directly.

Brenda M. Tobin, D.Vet.Hom, C.N. is neither a licensed veterinarian nor  a medical physician.  She  does not prescribe, diagnose, or treat disease.  Seek the advise of  your medical doctor or veterinarian and inform them that you seeking the advice of a homeopathic practitioner.



Spring has Sprung…How to Treat Your Pet’s Allergies Naturally

31 Mar


Allergies can be caused by foods, which can wreak havoc on your pet. Licking their paws, chronic ear infections, excessive shedding, hives, sound familiar? Dogs, cats and even horses can suffer from seasonal or food allergies.

Elimination diets can help with finding the culprit when your pet suffers from food allergies. Start with these questions; what are you feeding your pet? Is the food source natural, organic and/or holistic? What are the protein sources? Is there more than one protein in the food? Are there grains in the food? If so, what are they? I constantly try to educate pet owners on label reading pet food and treats. Believe it or not, you could feed your pet the best food for their individual needs, and then give them a treat daily that is loaded with ingredients that can cause unfavorable reactions.

The second type of allergy is Seasonal allergies. We usually see these occur during Spring and Fall seasons. Similar to food allergies, your pet can start licking their paws, develop yeasty ears, rub their face a lot, erupt with hot spots – which are an infection on your pets skin, which starts off by your pet chewing, there will be hair loss and eventually an angry red spot will be produced – as well as get little irritating red bumps on their stomach and genital region. Although food and seasonal allergies sound similar, you can recognize it as a seasonal allergy if these symptoms do not occur year round.


As with a food allergy, seasonal allergies can become inflamed when feeding your pet a food high in carbohydrates. Chose a grain-free food, or a raw diet, which will help with inflammation.

Homeopathic Remedies- There are many homeopathic remedies that can be used, depending upon the individuals symptoms, and several combined homeopathic remedies that work well. Homeopathic remedies not only eliminate the symptoms of allergies, but help build up the immune system.

Quecertin- which is a bioflavonoid found in the rinds of green citrus fruit, rose hips and black currants – is an excellent histamine suppressant. Histamines are what cause redness, puffiness and irritations as the result of an allergic reaction. Think of it as natures answer to Benadryl. When my son, Jack, was little, he would have severe reactions to bug bites. The bite would swell to the size of a small golf ball. We would use Quercetin and within an hour the swelling would go down. Quercetin is safe for pets too. We always keep Quercetin on hand in our house. You can find Quercetin in any health food store.

Bromelain and Papain – These enzymes increase the absorption of Quercetin which helps it work more effectively. They are also histamine blockers. You can find these enzymes in the supplement I recommend, NuVet Plus. These water soluble supplements contain the exact combination of human grade, natural antioxidants, amino acids, bioflavonoids, fatty acids, minerals, herbs and vitamins. You can buy these online at . I’ve seen countless pets recover from seasonal allergies while taking this supplement.

Coconut Oil – Contains medium chain fatty acids, also known as medium chain triglycerides or MCT’s. MCT’s increase metabolism and fight viruses and bacteria. The most prominent MCT is Lauric acid, which has been shown to destroy several types of bacteria, viruses and even yeast. Consider giving your pet a heaping teaspoon of coconut oil daily, for a medium sized dog, to help combat the yeast your pet may have due to seasonal allergies. Coconut oil is easy to find now in any grocery store, health food store or online. I prefer to use organic or virgin coconut oil.

Bathing your pet frequently with an all natural shampoo is helpful. It relieves the redness an inflammation on your pet’s skin, as well as help reduce allergen build up. Choose a shampoo that has limited ingredients in it as well as a grain free product. Some pet shampoos contain corn starch, which could make your pet itch. There are some really nice coconut shampoos on the market.

Allergies can be healed effectively by natural healing approaches. A useful approach is to build up the immune system so that it can help the body heal quicker if allergies become a problem.

Is your pet suffering from allergies? Contact me today at and schedule an appointment. Successfully treating you and your pets locally and globally.

-Written by: Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, D.Vet.Hom, Cert.C.N.
Wellness Matters

Brenda is a classically trained homeopath for people and has her degree in veterinary homeopathy and canine nutrition. She successfully treats people and animals locally and globally by way of skype or phone.     


15 Aug

Homeopathy is a type of natural healthcare for pets and people that has been around for over two hundred years. It is defined as the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing, or simply put, stimulating one’s immune system. Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like-cures- like”. In other words, the substances which cause symptoms can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms. Two like diseases cannot survive in the same body at the same time. With the principle of “like-cures-like” the homeopathic remedy is similar to the disease, but stronger, therefore pushing the disease out of the body inducing a cure. These substances, or remedies, are highly diluted, making them non-toxic. Homeopathy is safe, effective and doesn’t cause side effects especially when used correctly and through the advice of a classically trained homeopath.



Homeopathic remedies are made from plants, minerals, salts and even insects. The remedies look like little pellets, about half the size of a pea and taste sweet. Don’t let the small size fool you, though – they are very powerful, and can have varying levels of potency.13083367_610062579156497_5291757545815981973_n When the correct remedy is chosen, a single pellet can sometimes be enough to do the job. I’ve seen remedies work as quickly as ten minutes and others produce more subtle changes within a day or two, or in severe chronic cases it could take months.
Single dose remedies contain a single active substance, such as Arnica, which is made from a flower called Leopard’s Bane. Arnica is the go-to remedy in my home for aches, bumps and bruises.
In the barn, I keep a cream made from Calendula and Hypericum. Calendula, commonly known as Marigold, is great for cuts and scrapes- a natural antibiotic- while Hypericum, or St. John’s Wort, soothes the sharp pain of exposed nerves.
It’s important to remember that a homeopathic remedy must be chosen carefully, to match the specific symptoms of the individual patient. It’s not simply based on the name of a disease.
Sometimes, as with traditional medicines, it may take a few tries before the right match is made for the particular symptoms. This is why it is important to communicate in great detail the symptoms you or your pet is experiencing to the homeopath, making it clearer as to which remedy to select.
And while homeopathy is a safe and effective choice for healing, I recommend seeking the 11267056_473564942806262_3517063292423591679_nadvice of your classically trained homeopath or traditional naturopath.

The main differences between the practice of veterinary homeopathy and human homeopathy is the veterinary homeopath practitioner is treating a sick animal instead of a human being, still while using the application of homeopathic principals. The homeopath may look at symptoms and repertorize in a different way according to each species.

                                                                          Treating Animals
Animal caregivers may choose to treat their animals homeopathically as it is more cost effective, it is environmentally harmless and there is more emphasis on the guaranteed effectiveness of the treatment. When a farm animal is treated homeopathically, it is safe and there are no chemical residues in the meat, eggs or dairy products. Furthermore, homeopathy is safe for a pregnant animal (or person) and will not cause any harm to the fetus.
Veterinary homeopathy is used in both acute and chronic disease. It is wonderful proof that homeopathy works when treating animals and there is a successful cure. Unlike when treating humans, who could disprove the success of homeopathy, by saying it is in “the mind of the patient” or the cure was psychosomatic.
Veterinary homeopathy differs in case taking. The veterinary homeopath has to rely on the observations from the caregiver. Most caregivers are unobservant and cannot provide detailed information or notice peculiar symptoms in their animal. It is the duty of the veterinary homeopath to listen to the caregiver and ask detailed questions as well as observe the animal if they are able.10941905_964820376883295_3215644802053136224_n
The homeopathic veterinarian must also take into consideration what constitutes a learned behavior from an animal as compared to a symptom. For example, did the horse have a negative experience going through a puddle?  Or did the horse all of a sudden develop this fear of puddles making it a peculiar symptom?  Another example would be if a dog is timid, could he be timid as the result of a negative experience brought on by his caregiver?  Or, could this timid behavior be a peculiar symptom for this dog?
As in treating human’s homeopathically, the veterinary homeopath should also know the animal’s diet, shelter situation, social situation as well as their likes and dislikes.
All things considered, it is the goal of the homeopath, when treating either human or animals, to cure the patient of their symptom(s). However, the veterinary homeopath must be very observant and pay attention to both the caregiver’s description of symptoms and the animal’s behavior.

To schedule an appointment today, please call 803-712-4522 or submit an appointment request online at

Successfully treating you and your pet locally and globally. I am able to treat household pets, farm animals as well as exotics.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, D.Vet.Hom, Cert. C.N.


20 Mar


Beautiful spring days are great for heading outdoors with your pet, but with nature in bloom – from wildflowers to tree pollen to vegetable gardens – it’s important to be aware of which plants could be harmful to your pet.

American bittersweet, for instance, is a robust ornamental vine that grows in many parts of the United States, but it is toxic to cats, dogs and horses. Symptoms of animal poisoning include weakness, convulsions, vomiting and diarrhea. Unfortunately, American bittersweet can spread prolifically and become invasive, so be sure to keep an eye out for its distinctive appearance – summertime vines with small greenish-yellow or greenish-white flowers that, in the fall, become round orange-yellow capsules that burst open with scarlet red seeds.

Aloe Vera is a spear-leaved succulent perennial well-loved for its medicinal qualities for people, but it is poisonous for cats and dogs. It can cause vomiting, depression, anorexia, tremors and changes in urine color in small animals. That’s not to say you can’t keep aloe around the house – I just transplanted my aloe plant into my garden since the weather has been so warm, and I’ll bring it back inside during the cooler months. The important thing is to keep it in a place where your animals can’t get to it. gallery-thumbnails-6

Chrysanthemums are another one to keep away from pets. These flowers are popular, pretty and even beneficial – they deter mosquitoes and have medicinal properties. But they are toxic to pets, and can cause depression, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, salivating and dermatitis.

gallery-thumbnails-7Begonias are a popular garden and container bloom that are also toxic to dogs and cats. The tubers, or roots, are the most poisonous part. Symptoms include an intense burning sensation around the mouth, tongue and lips, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.

The gorgeous and fragrant Lily flower is extremely toxic to cats (but not dogs), even in small amounts. Many types of lily (Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, Casa Blanca) can cause kidney failure in cats. gallery-thumbnails-8

Hostas are a robust landscaping favorite, but they are poisonous to dogs and cats. Symptoms include, vomiting, diarrhea and



Tulip bulbs are very dangerous for pets, because they have the highest concentration of toxins. Be careful if you have a dog who enjoy digging, like mine do – they love to “help” me when I’m planting. If you store your bulbs indoors during the winter, keep them in a secure place. Symptoms can include gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

If you notice your cat or dog eating or even nosing around any of plants – or if you notice any of the listed symptoms – bring your pet to the vet right away. Then, while you are waiting for veterinarian help, you can try the homeopathic remedies Nux Vomica or Arsenicum Album, which are both helpful with upset stomachs and/or poisoning.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

new bags ruby's  to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, Homeopathy and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email

Homeopathy for Pets

26 Feb


Just like homeopathic practitioners for humans, veterinary homeopaths use specialized, nature-based practices to address the symptoms of health problems. The big difference, of course, is that veterinary homeopaths treat a wide variety of animal species. A specific treatment plan is created for each individual animal, whether the case  is chronic or acute. And there are many benefits – it’s more cost effective than traditional veterinary care, it’s harmless to the environment, and it places a strong emphasis on the gallery-thumbnails-2effectiveness of the treatment. Another benefit is that treatment with homeopathy can occur through long-distance communication.  I’ve treated animals all over the country and even horses as far away as Canada!   Homeopathy is especially great for treating farm animals and livestock, since there are no chemical residues in the resulting meat, eggs or dairy products.

Another difference is that while humans understand the idea of a placebo effect, this is not the case with animals. They don’t have an innate understanding that medical treatment should result in healing, and many animals benefit from homeopathic remedies. The results can be amazing – for instance, when the symptoms of a chronic condition disappear and the animal begins to heal.

If you have your pet treated by a homeopath,  it’s important to discuss with the practitioner what you have observed about the animal’s behavior and symptoms. In homeopathy, knowing about the events surrounding an issue can be just as important as the animal’s physical exam. Try to recall the details about what you have noticed as the pet’s condition has started or progressed.  For instance, a horse might present with the behavioral issue of suddenly shying away from a puddle. The homeopath will ask specific questions about the incident and try to determine whether it’s the result of a bad experience in this puddle, or is instead a sudden fear of water in general. Another examplegallery-thumbnails is a dog who becomes suddenly timid – is this a new, general timidity, or the result of a specific incident? These are different symptoms with different homeopathic treatments, and part of the practitioner’s job is to ask detailed questions about the cause and circumstances of a health issue, as well as the animal’s diet, shelter situation, social situation, likes and dislikes. All of this information helps the  homeopath toward their goal of relieving the animal’s symptoms and ultimately curing the patient.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

new bags ruby's  to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, Homeopathy and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email


3 Feb

As a canine nutritionist, I am often approached by people who are vegetarians and want to feed their pets a vegetarian diet as well. Although I feed my dog’s left over cooked vegetables, this certainly does not make up the bulk of their diet.

Dog’s and especially cats require animal protein to make up the majority of their diet. gallery-thumbnailsSimply put, they need amino acids and nitrogen and the most effective and easiest way to obtain these are through meat.cat_and_dog_206704

All dogs require 22 amino acids for proper growth and maintenance. They are able to make 12 of these on their own, and require an intake of 10 amino acids, derived from food. If there is a deficiency in the amino acids, this could cause an imbalance or metabolic disturbance. Protein intake must be balanced so that all the essential amino acids are being fed.

Cats, on the other hand, are obligatory carnivores. Cats require taurine in their diet, as they cannot synthesize this on their own. Taurine is essential for cats and meowing_cat_194269a deficiency could cause heart and vision problems. Taurine is found in meat, seafood and eggs. Furthermore, cats do not have the ability to conserve nitrogen from their body’s reserves. The only alternative that ensures sufficient conservation of body protein is for them to consume high levels of protein.

Plants break down into dietary fiber when fed. There are certain microbes that are found in the large intestine of dogs and cats that are able to break down the fiber to some degree. This bacterial fermentation produces short chain fatty acids (SCFA). Ruminants and herbivores are able to derive a significant amount of energy from the SCFAs produced from the fermentation of fiber. Dogs and cats are not ruminants or herbivores and therefore cannot derive significant amounts of energy this way. This is due to the relatively short and simple structure of their large intestine, which is made to digest meat and pass it through quickly. Although SCFAs are an important energy source for dogs and cats, because it helps the epithelial cell lining of the gastrointestinal track, it does not gallery-thumbnails-3provide the energy that protein does for proper growth and maintenance. Fiber can be used to regulate stool consistency. Since fiber normalizes the water content in the intestines, it either adds moisture to help with constipation or absorbs water to help with diarrhea.

There are vegan and vegetarian diets on the market, which are balanced, however, I get concerned when someone is feeding a home-prepared diet in this manner. It also interests me when dogs are fed carrots and apples as snacks or treats. Dog’s and cats are unable to break down the cell wall structure of raw plant matter, including fruits and vegetables. Over time they may develop crystals in their urine as a result. Carrots and apples contain a lot of sugar, making them not the low fat treat as their owners think. Cooked or pulverized fruits and vegetables are a safer option than feeding raw, however, gallery-thumbnails-1it is more important to feed high quality protein found in meat, rather than plant material to your omnivore and obligatory carnivore.


Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

new bags ruby's  to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email


13 Jan

Healthy Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Yogurtgallery-thumbnails

Yogurt is very beneficial to feed to your dog. It is a natural source of calcium and it also contains much needed pro-biotics, which are live microorganisms such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus. Pro-biotics are helpful in inhabiting the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. In addition to calcium, which helps build strong bones, yogurt also contains potassium and magnesium as well as healthy carbohydrates and is a protein source which is easily digested.

Yogurt is of great value in helping combat yeast infections, irritable bowel syndrome, during whelping and times of stress, as well as during deworming. Some studies suggest that yogurt containing the probiotics Lactobacillus GG, acidophilus or bifidobacteria may help ease some types of diarrhea, Yogurt is a further benefit if your dog is going through a round of antibiotics. Yogurt can restore the healthy bacteria in the gut and further boost your dog’s immunity.


Choose a brand of yogurt that is all natural, sugar free, and if you have a portly pooch, then fat free would be a good choice. Be certain to read your yogurt ingredient label for sugar content and for pro-biotics. I use plain greek yogurt for my dogs. Depending upon how much your dog weighs, typically one or two tablespoons mixed into their food daily is sufficient. If your dog is on an antibiotic, or his immune system is being compromised, then you can increase the amount of yogurt. Additionally, if your dog has tummy upsets including flatulence, then adding an additional spoonful of plain yogurt will be beneficial.

Consider coating your homemade dog treats with plain yogurt. Another fun way to get yogurt into your dog’s diet is to freeze the small cups of plain yogurt. You could also place yogurt into ice cube trays and freeze it that way. Pop a cube or two and put directly into your dog’s food bowl, or let them eat their healthy and tasty treat outside if the weather is nice.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email

Travel Sickness

29 Nov


With the up and coming Holiday season, some of us will be traveling to family or friend’s house and bringing our furry companions along. Some pets do get car sick and I wanted to offer some natural remedies to help prevent this. As a general rule, do not feed animals prior to traveling. If you are going on a long trip, you may want to offer small meals.

Homeopathic remedies are very beneficial for the treatment of travel sickness. This troubling condition may occur during travel by land, sea or air. The main symptoms are excessive salivation, frequent yawning, restlessness or dullness, nausea and vomiting.

The first remedy to consider would be Cocculus, which has been proven to be effective in up to 70% of cases. I would recommend dosing with Cocculus 30C about an hour before travel and repeat again every 1-4 hours during the trip, only if necessary. If your pet is feeling well, then you do not have to repeat the dose. If Cocculus is unsuccessful then the homeopathic remedy Tabacum 30C would be a good second choice. Dosing the same as you would the Cocculus.

Cocculus is also beneficial for jet lag, however, dose three or four times daily for 2-5 days until the symptoms disappear. Additionally, Arnica 30C four times a day for 3-7 days is of use when there is a long journey and the pet is fatigued, sore or stiff.

Calm Stress is a homochord blend (a mixture of several different homeopathic remedies made into a liquid) which also works quite well for motion sickness.

Other remedies that help especially with anxiety along with motion sickness is Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Rescue Remedy is a liquid product made from flowers, although it is not homeopathic, it is natural and safe. You can administer the drops directly into your pet’s mouth, or add some to their drinking water. You can even apply a few drops onto the ears of your pet and gently rub into the skin, avoiding getting any liquid down into the ear canal. Give the Rescue Remedy, which can be found online or in any health food store, before departure and as needed, every half hour or so as the pet needs it.

If you have essential oils on hand, Lavender or Peace and Calming would be perfect choices for calming a nervous pet. Essential oils can be applied to the pads of your pet’s feet, or massaged into the ear, again, avoiding images-1any oils to enter the ear canal. You just want to rub a drop or two onto the top of the ear and gently massage. Additionally, adding a drop or two of a calming essential oil to a blanket that your pet will be laying on will be helpful as well.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email

Healthy Benefits of Pumpkin

23 Nov




Pumpkin is a squash plant variety that are usually round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin that is deep yellow to orange in color.  It has a thick shell and the inside contain seeds and pulp.  Pumpkins are considered a fruit because they contain seeds. They are members of the Curcubit, or gourd, family which include squash, watermelon, melons, cucumbers and pumpkins.
The pumpkin flesh can be eaten raw, but should be cooked for your pets.  You can do this by either by roasting or boiling, such as you would with a butternut squash or other variety.  Cut the skin off the flesh and cut the pumpkin into cubes.  Remember to take all the seeds out and place to the side for later use, do not throw them away! The seeds are very nutritious too.  When boiling, place your cubed pumpkin into a pot and fill with water to cover the pumpkin.  Boil the pumpkin until fork tender.  When roasting, place cubes of pumpkin onto a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil or coconut oil over the cubes.  Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until fork tender.  You can feed the cooled cooked pumpkin cubes directly to your pet, or transfer the cooked pumpkin to a food processor and blend until smooth.  If you do not have time, or aren’t a home cook, you can always purchase pureed pumpkin from your local supermarket.  Be certain to read the label and purchase pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, which contains sugar and spices.

Pumpkins have significant health benefits, so do not discount this amazing fruit as just a fall tradition. Pumpkin flesh contains no fat and is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C and E, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. Altogether, the nutritional benefits of pumpkin mean healthier skin, healthier eyes, a healthier coat and a healthier immune system for your pet.

Pumpkin seeds have been shown to be beneficial for urinary-tract health. The oil of pumpkin seeds is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids, which may be good for urinary health.  Pumpkin seeds have been used as a natural de-wormer, containing cucurbitacin, a possible anthelmintic that eliminates tape and roundworms.  When preparing pumpkin seeds,  gallery-thumbnails-9place cleaned pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet, drizzle with coconut oil or olive oil, and in a 400 degree oven, bake for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown in color.  You can also pulse the cooked seeds in your food processor and mix 2-3 tsps. of the  “pumpkin powder” into your pet’s food.  My dog’s will eat pumpkin seeds that I have baked in the oven directly out of my hand.  They love them!

Pumpkin is a fibrous food that can help with diarrhea and constipation.  Being fibrous it can help firm up a loose stool, and with the high moisture content can help with constipation.  Pumpkin flesh contains around 90% water, so a little cooked or purred pumpkin added to your dog or cat’s dry food can combat dehydration.  By increasing moisture and fiber into your cat’s diet, it can help reduce or eliminate “hairballs” that are sometimes eventually regurgitated.
Another added bonus to the high fiber content in pumpkin, at 3 grams of fiber per cup,   it can help your overweight pet feel fuller faster and without adding fat calories.  This is a healthier alternative tocanned green beans.
For a fun treat, place pureed pumpkin into ice cube trays.  Freeze and pop out for a cool , healthy and tasty treat for your pet.


Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

to purchase our all natural pet treats visit 


With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email

Body Language

8 Nov


I see a lot of pictures on Facebook where a young child or baby is laying on top of a dog, or around the dog’s food dish, and so many people post how cute the photo is.  I see the photo and cringe as I am not looking at the “cuteness” but rather the body language of the dog.  I see a worried dog, ears pinned back, eyes big where you can see the whites, also known as whale eye,  he is not laying in a relaxed state, his body weight is mostly in the front and it looks as if he is wanting to dart off.  That is scary to me because dog’s are fight or flight creatures.  I do not want harm to come to an innocent child because people are not paying attention to the body language of their pet.

How about going for a walk with your dog who is well trained on the lead, your walking with a nice heal, your dog is on your left side, loose lead, and coming down the road is the person who has the happiest 80 pound dog pulling them towards you.  Their dog is happy, happy, happy and your dog stands still, with their fur up in between their shoulders, tail is erect and head is held high.  Clearly your dog is posturing – making themselves look bigger for the “enemy”, but the other person does not see these clues and continues to let their dog drag them over to you.  While your dog may be friendly with other dogs, in this situation your dog may be thinking this dog is running over to harm you, and is reacting.

Animals communicate to us and to other animals 90 percent of the time by using body language.  Here are some examples of reading body language:

“It’s OK to approach me” – your dog’s head is held high, but not too high, their ears are forward and alert looking, their tail is down and relaxed and could be wagging, their mouth could be slightly open.

A scared dog will lower their body down, their hair will be raised on their back and in between the shoulder blades, ears are back and some will wag their tail very quickly. It is not like an approachable dog who will do a big tail wag which can include the hips.  stock-photo-11673683-black-fearful-puppy-with-hangdog-expression

A dominant aggressive dog will stand tall, their tail will be held high or even curl over their back, the hair on their back and in between their shoulders will be raised, their ears will be erect and their head will be held as high as possible.  Their lips will be raised up and you could even start seeing teeth, their nose will be wrinkled and they could be doing a low growl.

A submissive dog will lay down and expose their belly.

A worried and fearful dog will crouch down, tail held tightly between their legs which may wag slightly, ears pinned back, eyes squint, they may piddle a little bit as they circle. stock-photo-18888954-scared-dog

A playful dog will bow down – their rear is in the air while their front feet are stretched out before them.  Their tail may be wagging as well as their whole back end.  Their eyes are open and bright.  Their mouth may be open and they could even do a playful bark.

Start to recognize what your dog is trying to communicate to you through their body language and it will expand your relationship.

Written by:  Brenda M. Tobin-Flood, Cert. C.N.

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With a background in Animal Science, Animal Nutrition, and Natural Health, I can help you to create a holistic wellness plan for your animal companions.  Does your pet have an acute or chronic disease? I use natural curative treatments such as homeopathy, herbs and essential oils.  Have any questions, or to schedule an appointment,  email

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