3 Summer Safety Tips to Keep Companion Animals Healthy

3 Summer Safety Tips to Keep Companion Animals Healthy

By Ryan Goodchild

Picture of Zoey Heath ( one of Diane’s beloved clients)


Pets are a constant source of love, affection, loyalty, and support. So when it comes time to plan some summer fun for your family, you should be sure to include any furry members.

Summer can be a blast for your animal companions, as long as you’re aware of some potential hazards. You can protect your pets, keep them healthy and happy, and focus on fun with these three important summer safety tips every pet parent should know.

Furkids and Summer Fireworks Don’t Mix

 Summer celebrations tend to involve fireworks, which can be pretty scary for your pets. In fact, shelter stats show that more animals are reported missing from July 4-5 than any other days or time of the year. One of the most helpful steps you can take is to update microchip info.

However, you may also want to keep your pets safe by adding a fence to your yard. Fence installation prices average right around $4,500, but this number can vary according to the size of your yard and the sort of materials you prefer. Where you live can also impact pricing.


Speaking of location, if you need to find reliable local contractors to install your fence, you should try searching online first. There are plenty of websites that offer reviews and ratings, and you can also use these websites to check whether the pros you’re considering have a license and insurance. With a secure and new fence, you won’t have to stress about letting pets out around holidays.

Beware of Ticks

Now for a summer statistic that will make your skin crawl. Although the warmest months always see a rise in tick populations, entomologists are predicting that this summer will be THE summer of ticks and tick-borne diseases. That’s bad news if you and your pets love the outdoors!

The good news is that protecting yourself and your pets from these creepy crawly pests is pretty easy. If you plan on taking some summer walks in the woods with your furkids, and your area is prone to ticks, consider treating your clothes with a quality repellent. Ask your vet about flea and tick preventatives for your pet to keep them safe on wilderness adventures.

If your pet does bring some ticks home, you should use CDC recommended guidelines to safely remove them and disinfect the affected area. Proper disposal is key since coming into contact with a crushed tick can also spread diseases to you and your furry family members.

Furry Coats Can Leave Pets Prone to Heat Exhaustion


Another summer pet hazard to be mindful of? The sun and heat. Because your pets have fur, walking them outside in peak summer temperatures is like you trying to run outside in a thick winter coat. The normal range for a dog’s body temperature is between 100.5 – 102.5 Fahrenheit.

If your pets are active in the sun, heat, and humidity for too long, their temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels. Their respiratory rate will elevate as well, which can have severe consequences and even be fatal. Flat-faced or brachycephalic breeds are at an increased risk.

The best thing you can do to prevent deadly heat stroke in your pets is to keep them indoors and cool during hot summer afternoons. If you can’t keep them inside, be sure to provide them with plenty of shade and cool water. You should also know how to cool down overheated pets. Most importantly, never leave your pets in a hot car as death can occur rapidly.

Pets are like family. So be sure to protect yours like family this summer! Watch out for dangers like fireworks, ticks, and extreme temps, and have a happy, healthy season with your furkids.


With Diane Weinmann’s guidance and resources, you can communicate with your beloved pet. Be sure to check out her website for more guides like this one and to discover how you can open the door for communication with the animals you love.


Do Dogs Have a Sixth Sense That Helps Them Read Your Mood?

By Sarah Wooten DVM as seen in PetMD and comments by Diane Weinmann


Whenever I am sad, my dog Alma never fails to sit by my side, put her head into my lap and bring comfort. Conversely, when she has done something naughty, Alma has this uncanny ability to slink away as soon as I look at her.

Do you ever feel like there’s a dog sixth sense that allows your pup to read your moods and react accordingly? I can imagine you reading this right now, vigorously nodding your head yes!

If you have ever wondered about this phenomenon, or if you like you are losing it for thinking that your fur friend has supernatural dog senses, you are not alone. Pet parents across the globe have the same question: Can dogs pick up on our subconscious cues, and essentially, read our moods?

The Love Hormone Helps Process Those Emotions

It turns out that animal behaviorists have the same question, and this very concept has been studied in both dogs and cats. Dogs, who have been evolving alongside humans for thousands of years, have clearly demonstrated an ability to recognize and respond to human emotions, and scientists now know that they use ordinary and extraordinary dog senses to do this. A 2009 study found that dogs gaze much longer at happy versus sad human faces, indicating that they may be sensitive to human emotions.

Dogs preferentially look to our eyes to read our emotions, and the hormone oxytocin is also involved in this connection. Secreted by the mammalian brain, oxytocin is nicknamed “the love hormone,” and it affects social behaviors and cognition, among other things.

In a 2017 study, researchers used eye-tracking technology to follow gaze patterns of untrained dogs in response to human faces. The faces displayed positive or negative emotions in order to investigate the effect of oxytocin on eye patterns in the dogs. What they noticed was that in order to process the emotions of humans, all of the dogs looked at the eye region of the human faces.

Researchers found that oxytocin decreases the amount of time that dogs looked at the angry human faces and also decreased the dogs’ preference for gazing at the eye region altogether, even with happy human emotions. While more research needs to be done, oxytocin is definitely involved in our fur friends’ ability to read our emotions.

Dogs Avoid Angry Humans

Another study, published in 2016, found that dogs process human emotions from gazing not just at the eye region, but also the midface and mouth regions. Dogs are a highly social species, and they are evolved to evaluate social threats rapidly, including threats the come from humans.

This study found that when dogs viewed images of other threatening dogs, they reacted with increased attention to the image. However, when they viewed images of threatening humans, they responded by avoiding the image.

This makes a lot of sense when you think about it—if you come home and you chew your pup out for chewing on the couch, they are going to slink away to avoid you. Your pet isn’t feeling guilty, but is afraid of you.

This has massive implications on the way we interact with and train our canine companions. The fact is, expressing anger by yelling, shouting or frowning at your dog creates conflict within your relationship and can severely damage the human-animal bond.

Some dogs are more sensitive than others; at the slightest hint of displeasure, my dog Alma slinks away from her human family and hides.

A dog that is afraid is more likely to have behavioral problems, a reduced attention span, increased stress, fear-based aggression, anxiety and a shortened life span. They are also more likely to be relinquished to a shelter and have an overall reduced quality of life.

So How Do I Use This Information?

Knowing how your dog interacts with your emotions and facial cues is empowering. You can modify your interactions with your dog to create a healthy relationship that is based on mutual trust and love—both of which dogs give in spades when they feel safe.

First, be extraordinarily mindful of your emotions around your dog and emotions that you direct toward your dog. This is especially important in high-stress situations like veterinary visits, where the dog is already likely to be triggered.

You can use this information to your benefit when training your dog. Your dog is always looking for positive reinforcement from you to guide behavior development. When your dog does something right, make sure to communicate this with your whole face and your voice; that way, your dog will be more attune to your signals and more likely to repeat the desired dog behavior.

If your dog is engaging in undesirable behaviors that you want to stop, in order to avoid conflict in your relationship, you will need to communicate in a way that is not threatening. Simply by lowering the tone of your voice when you say, “No” can be enough to get a dog to stop what they are doing and look to your face for cues.

As soon as they stop what they are doing and look to you, smile, praise your dog and give a dog treat, or provide some fun playtime! That communicates clearly to your dog what is and what is not desired by you.

The more you work with your dog in a non-threatening manner, the closer your bond will become and the easier it will be to communicate. Remember—your dog can read your facial cues, so keep it positive, and enjoy all the benefits that a healthy relationship with a dog can bring.

As an animal communicator for close to 20 years, I can assure you that your pets, indeed know when you are sad, lonely, upset or happy and share all those emotions with you in an attempt to help your situation/mood or to join in the gladness with you!

Spoil Your Senior Pet with These Fun and Frugal Ideas

Spoil Your Senior Pet with These Fun and Frugal Ideas

by Cindy Aldridge


Seeing your pet age may not be easy, but you can still show your furry friend that you care with some special pampering. Older pets can still enjoy love, attention, and bonding with their humans. But there are other ways to treat your favorite friend without going beyond your budget. To ensure your senior pet is especially spoiled, try these frugal yet fun ideas.

Host a Senior Pet Spa Day

Grooming sessions at the puppy salon can add up quickly. A budget-friendly fix is to bring the doggie spa home instead. Everything from bathing and brushing to hair and nail trimming can happen at home.

Make sure to keep the right supplies on hand — like pup-friendly shampoo and conditioner, a waterproof collar for security, and treats for afterward. Investing in a pet-specific comb and some extra towels can help, too.

Not only is the DIY spa method cheaper for you, but it may also be less stressful for your senior pup. Older pets with vision, hearing, or mobility challenges may feel scared at the groomer’s, so staying home means more security and more fun in the bath.

Invest in Must-Haves for Aging Pets

When it comes to making your pet comfortable, you may want to spend whatever it takes. But with a narrow budget, you’ll need to make each purchase count.

Items like a soothing heated bed, raised food dishes, snacks to hide medications in, and older-pet food blends are practically necessities for your pet’s comfort and overall health. Fortunately, you can find a Chewy promo code to help make these must-haves more affordable.

Some senior pet products do lend themselves to DIY, such as steps to make your dog’s climb into bed easier, or you might make a simple ramp to help your aging pet navigate stairs more safely. Think about the biggest challenge to your pet’s mobility and brainstorm ways to make daily living easier.

Bake Special (Nutritious) Snacks

Store-bought snacks can be an excellent treat on occasion. But since many older pets have unique dietary needs, making critter snacks at home could become a regular routine in your household. From minty snacks that help freshen your pet’s breath to pumpkin-flavored bites, there are all types of treats you can bake at home.

Since you’re controlling the oven and ingredients, you can also make softer treats that are gentler on senior teeth — not to mention, kinder on the budget. Once you find the perfect recipe, baking could become both you and your senior pet’s new favorite hobby.

Make Tasty Diet Tweaks

Senior dogs have unique nutritional requirements, says the AKC, including a need for more protein, less sodium, and possibly even more fat. Each pet is different, but older animals, in general, do well with diets rich in L-carnitine, which is present in red meat, chicken, fish, and dairy.

Though you can purchase affordable supplements for your older pet, changing up their diet to feature tasty staples is also a great and more cost-effective idea. Many of the foods that are healthy for humans are great for animals, too. Foods like peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and bananas are all great snacks to offer your senior pet, notes Whole Dog Journal. Bonus points if the tidbits come from your plate — everyone knows pets love to be treated like one of the family.

Even if they’re slowing down a bit, senior pets love pampering and special treats just as much as younger animals. With these frugal ideas, you don’t have to shell out a ton of cash to keep your pet comfortable and cared for. Need more ideas on showing your furry friend some TLC?

The 10 Funniest Questions Pet Nutritionists Have Been Asked


Animal nutritionists and experts know that their clients love their pets, and sometimes, they can ask some interesting questions. Needless to say, if you’ve ever felt silly asking something about your dog or cat, don’t — you’re certainly not alone!


We asked dozens of pet professionals from around the world the funniest question they’ve ever been asked, and the results are definitely entertaining. One thing we have to add, though: you should never feel strange asking your vet or pet nutritionist your questions because chances are, they’ve heard it all!


Don’t have a pet nutritionist yet? That’s okay! Check out How To Find The Right Pet Nutritionist For You & Your Pet to find the perfect match and have all your burning questions answered.



1. “Is it okay for my dog to eat cat food?”


Lynes Downing of Pet Sitting Professionals in Novato, California said he’s heard this question before. The short answer is, if Fido sneaks a few bites of your feline’s food, it’s probably fine; however, cat food will not provide a balanced diet for dogs, and should never be given as a meal.



2. “Can I eat this dog food?”


“We sell a dry food that it is made fresh monthly, a customer asked if they could eat it themselves,” says Carlos Deleon of Pet Wants San Antonio North in San Antonio, Texas. “I said, ‘There’s nothing bad in the food, all good, high-quality ingredients, so it should be fine … she proceeded to eat it. She said, ‘it tastes good!’ I was crying!”


How’s that for some human-grade kibble?



3. “Can my dog eat the same meals that I do?”


There are some healthy human foods that can add nutrition to a dog or cat’s diet, but the nutritional needs of pets are not the same as humans. “It still boggles my mind that some people believe that their pets can eat the same meals that their owners eat,” says Concetta Ferragamo of King’s Cages International, LLC in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She continues, “and, they seem to usually be a poor choice of meals, such as hotdogs or beans and rice (with nothing else) … Yikes!”



4. “Can I neuter my female puppy instead of spay her?”


“One time a client asked us if she could neuter her puppy instead of spay her since it was much cheaper,” recalls Kyle Goguen of Pawstruck.com.


Neutering is for males and spaying is for females, so needless to say, that would be impossible.



5. “Can my pet be vegan?”


Lisa Bliss of Fluffy Mustaches Pet Grooming in Mustang, Oklahoma was once asked by a client, “Can my dog live on strawberries? I think I want him to be vegan.”


It’s not natural for pets to live without meat, especially cats, who are obligate carnivores. That means they’ll eventually die without meat in their diets. This is because meat provides more than protein; it’s full of other essential nutrients, too.



6. “Is bread nutritional?”


This question was asked to Richard Nowak of Avian Sanctuary and Protection in Utah.

A bite of bread won’t hurt your pet, but it’s not very nutritional (and all those carbs can back on the pounds), so they should only enjoy small bits, if any at all.



7. “What’s a bully stick made of?”


According to Diana Farrar of Fifi & Fidos Pet Boutique & Holistic Nutrition Center in San Antonio, Texas, the funniest part about this question is the answer.


Farrar remembers a hilarious exchange with customers that went something like this:


“What’s that?”

“A bully stick.

“What’s it made of?”

“A bull penis!”



8. “What food would help calm my dog?”


Margaret and Steve Gelinas of Market Pet Shop recalls hearing this question from a customer. In actuality, diet can sometimes help with hyperactivity in pets. However, most naughty or anxious behaviors must be addressed through training.



9. “Why should your animal be fed human-grade food?”


George Craft of GGC Healthy Paws in Willingboro, New Jersey has heard this question before. Pets should be fed humane-grade food because it’s the safest, most nutritious way to maintain a healthy diet. Also, they’re family!



10. “My dog likes to eat cat poop. Should I feed it to him every day?”


A client asked this to Chris White of The Urban Zoo in Hamilton, Ontario … and his answer was likely a resounding “no!”


Eating cat poop is a common habit of dogs who live with felines, however indulging in this “snack” should definitely be discouraged.



We hope you found these questions entertaining, and more importantly, we hope you don’t feel silly asking your own questions after reading them!

The next article in our pet nutrition series is called 7 Healthy Dog & Cat Homemade Treats Recommended By Vet and Pet Nutritionists, containing ideas from experts around the world. If you’ve ever wondered about the healthiest snacks to feed your dog or cat, stay tuned for lots of amazing ideas!


Written by:
Suzie Cyrenne


Suzie Cyrenne co-founded HomeoAnimal over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the homeoanimal staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.

Although Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field, she is studying at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France), in order to earn her degree.

Feel free to contact me anytime at support@homeonanimal.com