Category: Health

Five Steps to a Green Canine and Feline Footprint

photo courtesy of Nedda Wittels

by guest writer Nedda Wittels

Help Yourself, Help the Animals, Help the Earth.

How can having a greener footprint benefit our animals? Here are some thoughts and insights that have changed the way I care for my animal family members.

1. Feed Your Animals Naturally

Have you ever read the labels on your cat and dog food packages? Admittedly, you may need a magnifying glass to do so, but it is well worth the $10 or so investment to discover what you are actually feeding them.

Unfortunately, most of the pet foods readily available and promoted on TV are really full of things that no animal should be eating: chemical preservatives, artificial flavoring, meat by-products, and so on. Do you know what the big, long, barely pronounceable words in the contents list actually stand for? I challenge you to look them up online and discover what you are feeding your animals.

The expression, "You are what you eat " is correct, and today we and our animals are sicker than ever before. A lot of it has to do with what we are eating.

It’s time to tell the corporations that we want to feed our animals natural foods, not foods filled with industrial waste products. Companies are getting rid of industrial waste by putting it into your pet’s food.

Feeding organic foods (and some "all natural" foods) will mean healthier dogs and cats. Animals need foods filled with nutritious substances that are readily available to their bodies.

For example, what is a "meat by-product"? Do you ever see it in the meat section of your supermarket? Do you know that it’s the parts of the slaughtered animal that is considered unfit for human consumption? If humans shouldn’t be eating it, neither should our animals!!

Do you know WHY some pet food have artificial flavorings? Because no animal would touch the food if the real flavoring wasn’t covered up. Continued

The Evolution of Animal Health Care

photo of Cleophas by Karen Nowak

My friend Karen Nowak has put together a fascinating tele-series on animal wellness and health care.

Are you someone who has wanted to see Traditional Veterinary Medicine and Complimentary Animal Healing modalities work together?

Are you someone who has wanted to help change the climate of Animal HealthCare?

Are you someone who has wanted to utilize both Traditional Veterinary Medicine and Complementary Healing in your animal’s health care program?

Then this tele-series "The Evolution of Animal Health Care " Is For You.

Once a week for 8 weeks you will hear experts in :

  • Over-all animal health care – Dr Christina Chambreau D.V.M
  • Raw Food Diets – Bette Schubert & Dr Alexis Soutter D.V.M
  • Homeopathy – Dr Christina Chambreau D.V.M
  • Acupuncture – Dr Gregory Todd D.V.M, CVA
  • Herbs in Western Veterinary Use – Greg Tilford well known Herbalist and owner of Animal Essentials .
  • Animal Communication – Karen Nowak owner of Freedom Reins LLC
  • Food Therapy and Chinese Herbs -Terri Grow owner of Pet Sage
  • Complementary Acute & Chronic Pain Management – Dr Lynn Peck D.V.M

If you would like to help pioneer change in Animal Health Care please visit The Gentle Knowledge website and sign up today. You may continue to sign up throughout the series.

Make a Pawsitive Difference in Your Animal’s Life

photo of Lena by: Julie Gabrielli

A guest post by Debbie Smith

Holistic Healing is not just for humans anymore. Many new websites and animal supply stores are cropping up. On the subject of your garden variety dogs and cats, I can offer some suggestions and my own personal story. We adopted an "SPCA Special" dog. Of course, we opted for the worst-looking animal we could find, but a gentle nature underneath reminded us of our last beloved dog. This dog was so bedraggled: raw spots on her ears, skin and bones, dull coat, and looked like she had recently been nursing a bunch of puppies. I could find no information on the puppies, unfortunately; I would not have minded getting one of them as well. We received the full treatment at the vet and were told that she needed to gain at least 10 pounds and that she was almost two years old and could have given birth twice, TWICE! Poor doggie. The puppies had zapped all of her strength and energy, and stolen any nutrition she had stored.


To start with, a healthy diet will put your pet on the right path to health. Our new dog ate well when we got her home, but her digestion didn’t seem quite right. My friend Lesley suggested that I put her on a natural, no-grain dog food that I could get at my local natural pet store. The store is called Howl , formerly Chow Baby (great names, both!). I chose Verus , which is – according to their label – "All Natural Holistic, Human Grade ingredients that your Dog & Cat will love." (If we ever have any kind of catastrophe or natural disaster, I hope we have some dog food around! It’s high in Omega-3’s also!) Well, you should see this dog now; she’s gained about 15 pounds, has a shiny black coat, no health problems, is hefty and sleek, and whoa, what high energy! Below are listed some Natural food (various brands) locations in Baltimore:

  • The website Dogster has listings that we can’t necessarily vouch for, but you can check it out yourself.

Health Care

When it comes to taking care of those beloved animals, it’s good to know there are also Holistic vets. Dr. Christina Chambreau has a website that offers not only homeopathic remedies for what ails your pets, but ways of keeping your pet well throughout his or her life. Consult the website first, but it is good to know she is near Baltimore in Sparks, Maryland.

Another holistic avenue you may want to try for taking care of those quirks and neurosis, that come with pets (and most humans) is Acupuncture. I have some experience on the receiving end of the human version. I only did it onc, and I know that’s not enough, but it was very soothing and Barbara Kandel is a great listener as well. She can treat things such as nausea from cancer treatments, anxieties and depression, to maintaining overall well-being. She has worked with dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, children and adults. She can make house calls, too (for animals). You can find Barbara Kandel, L.Ac., M.Ac. on this web directory for Acupuncture professionals, or email her at Brkandsam(at)


If you are lucky enough to be able to own a horse, there is a wonderful organization called Day’s End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. which is a non-profit, volunteer based humane organization whose mission is to ensure quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education, and outreach. You can adopt or sponsor a horse from there or they can rescue and rehabilitate.


There are people among us who can speak with animals energetically. Stay tuned for a future post from Julie about some gifted animal communicators she is getting to know as part of a business development program. In the meantime, the curious among you can check out Nedda Wittels and Karen Nowak . Karen is starting a teleseries on June 29, called "The Evolution of Animal Health Care," which will touch on a variety of topics, including acupuncture, homeopathy, raw food diets, herbal medicine, and animal communication.

Medication Disposal

photo: unknown

Recently my family and I have been faced with the unfortunate decision to move my grandmother into an Assisted Living Community, based on her increasing battle with Dementia. In addition to many other things, one of my jobs has been to find a place to dispose of her unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications — which had probably been mounting for quite some time. Based on a few conversations and reading a few disheartening articles (one which came from Johns Hopkins ), the consensus seems to be that one option is to dispose of unwanted medication by dumping them into the toilet.

However, with some more research, I found that this is incredibly unsafe. One reason is that septic tanks and waste treatment plants aren’t designed to remove 20th-century synthetic drugs, most of which aren’t even biodegradeable. This means that a huge percentage of this stuff is getting fed right back into our water supply; eek!! It also negatively effects surrounding ecosystems and public and private land. A common alternative and a suggestion that came from the FDA is to to mix or dilute meds with undesirable substances like kitty litter, soda, dirt or cayenne pepper and throwing them into the trash, which theoretically will deter children or household pets from accidentally harming themselves. Although I think this is better then dumping them into the toilet, it’s still contaminating the earth by potentially leaching into the ground once they’re dropped into a landfill, thus creating unknown health effects. Some suggestions that are easy and might engage the public more on this issue:

1. First, see if the medication has a label for advice on disposal. This is usually done because of concerns with illegal uses, overdoses or human or animal contamination.

2. Call your doctor to talk about taking back unused medication.

3. See if there is a take-back program in your community.
Call local pharmacy
Call trash service
Call local hospital or Medical Center

4. Donate to a developing country. One example is the Starfish Project .

5. Donate locally. Kansas has a new law that lets mail-order pharmacies, nursing homes and other medical facilities donate unused drugs, which is producing a windfall for the state’s safety-net clinics. Why not get one of these passed in your state? Continued

All you Need to Know about the Future of Integrative Medicine

arranged by: alyssa

Just a quick post to encourage those of you who are interested in the role of integrative medicine in health care reform. . . . Our own U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski is holding a week-long series of hearings to elicit the wisdom of the best and brightest in this field. And — the hearing from Monday, 2.23, is all on video ! Go, Babs! What’s next? YouTube?

Among those testifying, be sure to watch Tai Sophia Institute ‘s Bob Duggan and University of Maryland ‘s Brian Berman (my son’s homeopathic doctor). There are more hearings next week, so stay tuned.

EPA: Maryland

photo by: Julie
The Environmental Protection Agency has a way for you type in your area code and keep tabs on what businesses have regulations on pollution, hazardous waste sites, and other regulatory information. It’s called

Beyond Postures

photo arranged by: alyssa
Beyond Postures is a Baltimore-based yoga and meditation center offering private sessions in multiple categories, including thai yoga massage, ayurvedic services, marma point therapy, and now phoenix rising yoga therapy. Each class is suitable for any level of experience, as they operate in a safe way that allows one to be in charge of their own posture and limits, as opposed to expecting one to meet a certain ideal. Beyond Postures is run by Dianne Mekelburg, an Experienced (E-RYT) and nationally Registered Yoga Teacher with The Yoga Alliance, a member of the International Yoga Therapy Association, the International Yoga Association, and The Himalayan Institute. Visit the website for articles and books or information on workshops and retreats.