All species communicate within themselves and with each other. As pack animals, dogs have their own unique way of communicating with each other through body language. Their body language communication is unique to their species however dogs will also communicate these signals to their human family members. This is because, as many of us know, dogs view all of the members of their household as their pack.
Dogs use communication signals to let other dogs know that they are friendly. Communication within their species is crucial to the survival of the pack. These signals can be used for hunting, to raise babies and to alert each other to ‘calm down’. In general, dogs will not seek out conflict within their pack. In the pack dog mind, any conflict can cause injury to one of their members, therefore weakening the pack.
These communication signals are effective tools for dogs to communicate with other species, particularly humans. In the dog mind, they believe that all species will inherently understand and receive these signals. It is quite easy for humans to miss these signals from our dogs of we do not make ourselves aware of them. If they go unnoticed for too long, the dog may cease trying.

While many humans tend to get upset with their dogs for certain behaviours, they may be missing their dogs signals that ‘there’s no need to yell’, or ‘calm down, I understand’ and the dog will get punished anyway. This can lead to sadness and overall frustration within the dog. In some cases, this frustration can lead the dog to act out or to become aggressive.

One such example may be when a human calls his dog to come to him. He has learned in class that he needs to sound strict and dominant so that the dog will understand who is in charge. The dog
finds dad´s voice to be aggressive. The dog instantly gives dad a calming signal in order to make him aware that he need not be aggressive. Perhaps the dog will lick his own nose, yawn, turn his head away. This will result in the human becoming angry, as he perceives the dog as being pig-headed, stubborn and disobedient. The human then punishes the dog for using his calming signals to calm him.

Outlined below are several of the approximately 30 dog calming signals to pay attention to. The more we understand dog body language and behaviour the more harmonious our lives will be together.

YAWNING– When a dog feels threatened by yelling, loud arguing, aggressive behaviour, he will often yawn. When a person is leaning over him, when another dog or person is hurriedly or excitedly walking towards him, the dog often perceives such actions as threatening. He may yawn to let them know to calm, that their intensity is unnecessary.

TURNING HEAD AWAY– Often, when a dog is being scolded or is in the company of aggressive tones, s/he will turn her/his head away from the source. This is another sign that s/he is communicating calmness. S/he is letting the aggressor(s) know that their message is received and she meant no harm. Therefore she need not be punished. Or, she understands the aggressor’s message loud and clear and wishes to share this.

LICKING– A dog will give a quick lick of the face as a calming signal. This licking behaviour is its own type of unique licking only meant to diffuse a potentially confrontational situation. Interestingly, it is more notable behaviour on dogs whose faces are harder to read such as dogs with small noses or long haired dogs.

SNIFFING THE GROUND– Dogs, as a rule use their noses to obtain a wide variety of information. In almost any situation, a dog’s nose is his most powerful sense. However with respect to calming cues, when a dog lowers his nose toward the ground even slightly, this is a sign of calming behaviour. One example might be if a dog is in a crowded area and feels overwhelmed by all of the activity. If there are people or other dogs walking toward your dog, he may lower his nose slightly to let the others in his vicinity know that he “comes in peace’.

WALKING SLOWLY– In the dog mind, high speed is seen as a threat. Coming from dog or person (or other being), walking toward or beside at high speed can invoke the defense mechanism within the dog. This can trigger a calming signal; for example walking slowly. Particularly because the other being is in motion, the dog will have a reactive defense of movement as well. The slow walking is intended to let the other beings in motion know that he is peaceful.

WALKING IN A CURVE– When you call your dog, does she respond by coming toward you in a curve (or walking slowly as per the statement above)? If she does, this may be a reflection of your tone of voice. If you sound overly stern or authoritative, this curved walk may be a calming signal. Your dog my be letting you know that there is no need to be so commanding.
When a dog is introduced to another dog, she will often approach the other dog in a curve as opposed to straight on. This is because the dog feels that she does not want to pose a threat to the other dog. In fact, when humans force their dogs to meet in a straight line format, this makes the dogs feel very uncomfortable. It is important never to force a dog into a meeting and to let it happen naturally. It may help you, as well, to understand this behaviour when approaching any new dog. You may wish to greet the new dog from a curve instead of a straight line. This may help to assist the dog in being more comfortable and lesser threatened by you.
Calming signals coming from dogs can be subtle. It is of great benefit to pay close attention to how your dog reacts to you and other stimuli in her/his environment. These are but a few of the 30+ calming signals that dogs exhibit to each other and to humans. Once we have a solid understanding about what they are and when dogs use them, we may even be able to send them back to our canine companions. When we see our dogs giving us calming signals, we can take the time to lower our voices or carry a more peaceful demeanor. Additionally, by sending calming signals to our dogs, they will be grateful that we have learned their language. They will feel understood and comfortable in our homes and in our hearts. We will surely be creating a more harmonious environment for all!




According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is categorized in many ways. One of these ways is to categorize food into “heating”, “cooling” and “neutral”. This does not mean that the foods themselves are “hot” or “cold”. What it means is that food has a thermal effect on the body. “Cooling foods” help to cool the body, decrease inflammation and can even go so far as to calm the nerves and/or aggressive tendencies of an animal or human. Conversely, “warming foods” can aid in blood and fluid circulation, keep the metabolism running efficiently and can treat arthritic conditions in animals whose suffering is greater in the winter.

Generally speaking, animals have a “hot” or “cold” type disposition. Though both of these body types, in northern climates, can be uncomfortable in the winter season, a “cold-type” will be affected much worse.

If you have an animal with constantly cold ears and feet, if you have an animal who is always stationed by a heater and is making an attempt to find any small speck of sunlight streaming through a window to sit in, your animal has a “cold-type” disposition. Cold type animals will especially benefit from a supplementation of “warming” foods in her or his diet. As always, it’s important to consult your holistic veterinarian or knowledgeable Animal Communicator before adding any extras to your animal friends’ diets.

Here is a list of 5 or many readily available “warming” foods to keep your animal’s circulation healthy in the deep-freeze of winter:

1)      KELP– A form of seaweed, kelp has many benefits for you and your animal friend. It is a warming food, lowers the risk of cancer, helps in thyroid gland regulation, and is an immune-stimulant (will keep defenses up against cold viruses). DO NOT USE IF YOUR ANIMAL HAS AN OVERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

2)       SWEET POTATO– In addition to being a warming food, sweet potatoes are very rich sources of necessary vitamins and minerals. Generally speaking, root vegetables have a “warming” effect on the body. Please note that any foods of the potato family should not be supplemented in any animal’s diet who is sensitive to yeast and/or has yeast overgrowth. Potatoes and sweet potatoes contain starches that could offset the balance of yeast in your cat or dog’s body. This may cause a worsening of yeast overgrowth.

3)      CHICKEN– According to Traditional Chinese medicine, chicken is warming due to its rapid nature. The kinetic energy of a chicken is quite high, therefore it’s constitution is considered to be “warming”. The theory suggests that because the kinetic motion of a chicken is rapid, it burns energy and is therefore “warmer”.

4)      SALMON– Salmon swim upstream which means that they swim against the current By virtue of this fact, they are considered to be constitutionally warm. As they swim against the current they are utilizing much kinetic energy which in turn creates more heat. Salmon is also high in necessary omega fatty acids that will help the body to retain moisture on the dryness of winter.

5)      KALE– A warming food that is high in fibre, calcium and antioxidants.

Those who are cat companions know that attempting to feed any new type of food to their cat will result in disastrous catitudes. For cats and small dogs, tiny portions of these foods are all that are needed to have a warming effect on them.

Since many companion animals are susceptible to allergies, it is important to also pay attention to your animal after adding a new food to their diet. It is important to take note of any shifts in behaviour, bathroom habits, itching or any other unusual condition. To be certain that you have all the facts, take note of the behaviour that your animal is exhibiting before the food addition. That way, citing any changes in behaviour will be easier.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: When supplementing your animal friend’s diet with vegetables, it is incredibly important that you cook the veggies thoroughly before serving. Digestive systems of cats and dogs are extremely sensitive and can only digest cooked veggies. If they are fed raw veggies, they will become gassy, irritable, and the whole food will come out in their stool. Begin supplementation with a very small amount of ONE of these options and see how your animal friend reacts. If she or he is good with it, you may slightly increase the increment. If she or he does not like the one you chose, you may want to consider a second option from the list above. Remember every cat and every dog is different and will have different likes and dislikes.

The good news is that not only will these warming foods help your animal stay warm- they can also do the same for you!




first aid foods1


It’s winter! This means our animal friends are itching to be active, even if they can’t go outside. And when they do, they could get themselves into trouble. Whether it’s an encounter with another animal, an encounter with sharp edges, picking up sharp objects in the mouth or any other kind of cut and scrape, we can be sure that they more they rambunctiously play, the greater the risk.

In the face of a cut or scrape accident, most of us would immediately head to the veterinarian for treatment. While a valid form of doing so, it may be unnecessary. Did you know that you probably already have several items already in your home that can treat minor cuts and scrapes? If you don’t already have them, by stocking your shelves with a few of these holistic remedies, you can avoid the unpleasant-for-your-animal trips to the vet and of course those costly vet bills.

Here are five common “first aid foods” that most have in our homes that can be a helpful treatment for a minor cut, scrape or puncture in a pinch:

1)      Coconut oil- Coconut oil is often considered a “miracle food”. This is because it has so many wonderful uses for healing (for animals and people) that it should be a staple in anyone’s kitchen. Coconut oil is full of Omega 3’s & 6’s which are essential to anyone’s diet. Especially in the summer heat when our dogs and cats can easily become dehydrated, coconut oil helps to retain moisture in the skin and coat. As well in the dryness of winter, coconut oil does the same. Did you know that water does not always hydrate our animal friends? By adding coconut oil to the diet a couple of times per week, you will be helping your animal to stay hydrated. It is very important to note here that coconut oil is high in fat. This means that only a very small amount of the oil is necessary to make a difference in health. This oil can also help to fight of harmful bacteria in the system, promoting longevity and healthy quality of life. Lastly not least, coconut oil acts as a sunscreen. Even though our furry friends have fur and hair coats, they also have exposed skin on their noses and other areas of their bodies; particularly lighter coloured animals. Applied topically, this oil is a safe and natural sunscreen or can ease the burn of cuts, scrapes and rashes!


2)      Manuka honey- Manuka honey (as opposed to other honey) is particularly helpful. This honey is made by New Zealand bees from Manuka plants. Manuka honey is a known antiseptic which means that applied topically to wounds, it treats against harmful bacteria. Manuka honey also repairs tissue damage due to trauma such as minor cuts and scrapes. Additionally, Manuka honey has anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it can reduce swelling of injury, and even reduce swelling of sore joints and muscle tissues if ingested. Though most honey has these qualities, Manuka honey is far more potent due to its elevated levels of hydrogen peroxide and methylgloxal (MG). These aspects are more potent in Manuka honey because of their high concentration in Manuka flowers.

3)      Plantain- Plantain looks like a small banana. Though it can be used for cooking, the leaves also have a myriad of medicinal qualities. They treat sunburns, stings, bites, and breakouts. Also, when applied topically, they have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, they can reduce inflammation of swollen joints, muscles and sprains among others. PLEASE NOTE: Plantain leaves are high in tannins which are toxic for animals to ingest. This means that if applied to the skin, the leaves must be wrapped in cloth so that the animal does not accidentally ingest the leaves. To achieve the highest benefits of the plantain leaf, it is best applied beneath a warm or cold compress, depending on the nature of the injury.


4)      Turmeric- Turmeric is another wonder-food. It has many benefits when both applied topically and ingested. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. To benefit from this quality, it must be ingested over a period of time to take effect. This means that we must add a small bit to our animal’s diet every day as it has a cumulative effect. Some of the benefits of turmeric for animals include; arthritis, joint pain, stomach pain, heartburn, intestinal gas, diarrhea, bloating, jaundice , IBS and more. By adding turmeric to the diet of our animal friends, we can also reduce any chronic itching. However, to effectively reduce chronic itching, we must also add black pepper for efficacy. Turmeric is an excellent mouth cleanser for those with animals who have mouth infections or bad breath.

5)      White Vinegar- This vinegar is not just good for salads! It also has many household uses for you and your animal friends. By spraying the vinegar on your couch where the cat scratches, you will find a significant reduction in scratching activity! (Be sure to do a test area for staining first!). Also- if you are the fortunate companion of a horse or dog who always has flies around, spray the animal with white vinegar- avoiding the face- and the flies will fly away. Vinegar is an excellent antiseptic. This means that if your dog or cat has a skin rash, you may find the either in pill form or topically, vinegar; either white or apple cider, is a natural way to alleviate the rash. As an aside, white vinegar spray and baking soda eliminate litter box odour, in home “accident” odours and even skunk spray odour!

These are just five of many simple household remedies that most of us have in our homes. Instead of rushing off to the vet and potentially causing anxiety for you and your animal friends, give one of these a try next time your dog or cat has a rash, cut or scrape. He or she will be glad you did!








Bladder crystals: we have all heard about or witnessed the excruciating pain that befalls an animal when she or he is suffering from crystallization of the urine. Many of us look to our medical veterinarians for help. All too often our beloved animal companions are unnecessarily euthanized far too early. Many of us feel scared for our animal friends and are unaware of how bladder crystals got there or what to do when they are found. Bladder crystals are frighteningly common in companion animals. But where do they come from? Is there a way to prevent them?

As a matter of fact, in almost all cases (except genetics) there are ways to prevent bladder crystals in cats and dogs. As with all companion animal health imbalances, we will want to first examine what bladder crystals are and how they are formed.

As some of us may remember back to grade 9 science class, we studied the Acids & Bases scale (also known as the PH scale). For those who may not remember what the scale represents, it is quite simple. There is a numerical scale that ranges from 1-14. Number 1 on this scale represents extremely acidic substances (such as battery acid) and number 14 represents the most basic (such as milk of magnesia). The goal of the body, animal or human, is to maintain a neutral 7 on the PH scale.  For a reference point, the average human diet is often extremely acidic. When humans regularly consume fast foods, “junk” foods and other excessive amounts of fried foods, salt and sugar, the body’s constitution becomes unhealthily acidic. These body types would register at a 4 or 5 on the PH scale. In some severe cases they may register at a 3. Often when this happens there are severely adverse health effects such as kidney stones, obesity, gall bladder attacks, ailments of the gastrointestinal tract among many other painful diseases. The goal of any human with such an acidic constitution would be to consume basic substances in order to bring their body’s PH system back to a neutral 7. This, should you yet be unaware, is why businesses try so heavily to market alkaline water. Alkaline water is said to have a very strong basic constitution. This is said to be helpful for those with an acidic constitution aiming to bring their PH level back to neutral 7.

Now that is fine and well for humans. However, when we take a closer look at the companion animal diet, we will notice a major variation from the human. Contrary to the average North American human diet, the average North American canine and feline diet are excessively high in magnesium. Magnesium is the polar opposite of acid. This is to say that most feline and canine store bought foods are too basic (remember, leaning towards the ‘14’ on the acids and bases scale as noted above). All commercial cat and dog foods are high in magnesium. In fact, some run so high that they create a build up of magnesium in the urinary tract. Have you ever smelled feline urine? It often smells like ammonia. This ammonia-type smell is a direct result of excessive amounts of magnesium in the diet. Occasionally our canine companions will emit a similar smell for the same reasons. When there is too much ammonia in the urinary tract, it has a strong potential to cause crystallization of the urine in the bladder. This, as many of us know, can and will cause a tremendous amount of pain for our animals. This can also be fatal for our animal friends as often the crystals prevent them from urinating. In these horrific cases, their little bodies become too toxic and they do not make it through.

Prevention and treatment of bladder crystals is a lot easier than you might think. Of course, with any companion animal ailment we must first examine the diet. It is extremely important that you ask your holistic veterinarian what an appropriate level of magnesium is for your animal friend. Many consumers assume that veterinary recommended brands have adequate levels of vitamins and minerals for cat and dog health. However, the FDA approved levels of vitamins and minerals in animal food is so far off from what keeps their bodies regulated that it frequently causes irreversible diseases such as bladder crystals, hyper/hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, obesity and early stage organ failure. ALL OF THESE diseases are PREVENTABLE by doing appropriate research into species appropriate diets. Please do not be fooled and take the word of professionals over your own research.

Many human grocery stores carry cat and dog food brands. Most of these brands have a strong imbalance of nutrients to include high levels of magnesium. Once again, researching appropriate levels of magnesium for your individual animals (species, age, environment, etc) is the most efficient way to ensure that they are not ingesting too much of it, running the risk of bladder crystal development.

Excessive sugars, starches and grains can also cause bladder crystals in cats. Cats are not genetically wired to properly digest grains, sugars and starches. In fact they lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for digesting the above. As a result, the body will try to remove these substances in the urine and stool. Because they are not digestible for cats, they can cause due damage to the elimination system. Ensuring that your cat is eating a grain free diet is the best way to prevent this from happening.

Kibble (dry food) is often the culprit when it comes to bladder crystals. This is because dry food utilizes all of the body’s water in order to process it through the gastrointestinal system. When there is repeat offense in this area, the body becomes to dehydrated and water stagnates in the bladder. This stagnation of water is the sum and parts of urinary crystallization. By adding wet (canned) foods and/or whole foods to the diet, we are diminishing much of the bladder crystal cause. Further, by adding more omegas 3 & 6 to the diet, we are enabling the animal’s body to retain more moisture. This will assist in keeping the body’s fluids moving so that they do not stagnate.

Should we be reading this article too late and have animals who are currently suffering from bladder crystals, or should we even so much as suspect that one of our animals is suffering, we may not need worry. If we refer back to the initial part of this article, we will note that when humans consume too much acid, the solution is to consume enough base to bring the body back to neutral PH 7. Because the vast majority of store bought cat and dog foods are high in magnesium, in other words, high in base, which is often the root of bladder crystals, we will want to bring in a source of acid that will in essence bring their PH levels back to neutral 7. Incidentally, this is exactly why companion animals should never drink alkaline water. Their diets are far too high in magnesium which is precisely what alkaline water will enhance. It renders itself harmful to any animals consuming diets that are far too basic by adding a more basic substance to an already basic diet. This can be terribly harmful and significantly increase the likelihood of bladder crystals and kidney failure.

Concerning cat and dog foods that are high in magnesium, it is crucial to balance out their body’s PH by adding acidic substances to the diet. Of course many sources of acid can also be harmful so finding the right supplement is vital. There are several natural sources of acidic supplements readily available at your local health food store. Before adding any supplements to your animal’s diet it’s important to ask your holistic veterinarian or Animal Communicator.

Before rushing off to your western medical veterinarian, be sure that you understand that you have options. Far too many animals are unnecessarily euthanized due to completely treatable heath imbalances. By taking the time to consult a variety of reliable sources about animal health and wellness, we are able to widen our spectrum of treatment. Often in cases such as bladder crystals there are a variety of holistic treatments that relieve the body of pain and are able to keep our animals healthier for longer. 




An exciting week awaits us! At the end of this week, we will experience themes of culmination. With both the end of the autumnal season as well as the current lunar cycle, we are sure to experience much shifting and fluxing. As with all celestial culminations, this powerful storm of events will create the ideal conditions for us to shake off all that no longer serves our highest and greatest good.

To break it down, Friday’s winter solstice is cause for celebration. The winter solstice is the first day of winter. It is also the point at which the northern hemisphere experiences its least number of daylight hours and most number of darkness. The winter solstice brings about a ritual of honour. We are honouring the silence that the darkness brings; its beckoning for us to slow down, rest and dream. As our Mother Earth rests peacefully under the blanket of the darkness of night, so do we; envisioning our dreams and desires for when the Light returns. Animals hibernate, leafing trees lay dormant and the silent lullaby of winter overtakes the northern hemisphere. We, as caretakers of all of her inhabitants, respect winter’s nature.

Because the winter months are the darkest, winter is a time for self-reflection. Spiritually, darkness represents a window into our subconscious- a widow into our deepest most innermost thoughts. The darkness of winter allows is the space and silence for reflection. As we ruminate over the previous year’s events and circumstances, we may ask ourselves: how do we feel about them? How do we feel about our actions and reactions toward them? What aspect of ourselves do we wish to improve upon in the coming months? How do we envision ourselves doing so?

To add fuel to the emotionally reflective fire, in the day following the winter solstice, we witness this year’s full moon in Cancer; the final full moon of 2018. Because the zodiac sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon, this sign feels right at home during this lunar event. Cancer is emotionally sensitive, maternal and nurturing. For those born in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), this full moon will feel particularly comfortable and homey for you. For those born under these signs or for any other emotionally sensitive people, finding creative ways to outlet your emotions is highly recommended. Be it writing, drawing, dancing or cooking, any activity into which you are able to channel your strong emotions will be beneficial as this full moon may be a time of deep healing. As Cancer is a water sign, there is a strong likelihood that we will be guided to attend to any outstanding matters that require deep emotional examination. This could undoubtedly cause great waves in the ocean of self-healing.

While the moon waxes full in Cancer, the sun looms large in the earth sign of Capricorn. Capricorn the earthy, grounded and practical. Thankfully we may rely on his energy to anchor us from a potentially outlandish emotional state. Drawing on Capricorn’s grounded nature will allow us to approach any self-healing work from a stable state. As always, when engaging in any spiritual or healing work, doing so from a rooted state will provide us with the most balanced clarity.

Correspondingly, both Cancer and Capricorn hone in on the home. Both signs concentrate on harmony and beauty within the physical home as well as the family unit. In tandem with the winter solstice, this full moon weekend promises to be an excellent time to spend with family. With focus being on loved ones and reflection, we will feel inspired to surround ourselves with those for whom we are grateful.

Further, for those who love to nurture, this moon will be a carnival. The full Cancer moon brings out the maternal caretaker in all of us. Kindness is readily available and there is an air of ‘giving free of attachment’. This concept is of very high vibration and will be quite spiritually rewarding. That said, there is danger of giving and gifting to the point of exhaustion. Cancer also highlights our need for security in our familial and intimate relationships. There is a potential for us to get lost in the need to feel secure by way of giving and gifting to make ourselves feel secure. Be mindful that this is overcompensating behaviour for our deepest insecurities with loved ones. When we feel that we are running ourselves ragged for others, let us take a moment to ask if our exhaustive actions and behaviours rooted in love and nurturing others? Or are they are reflection of our own deep need to feel secure in our relationships? Be mindful to nurture yourself first. Remember: you cannot pour from an empty cup.

This weekend is sure to be full of fun, feelings and festivity. As with all emotionally charged astrological alignments, we have a choice. We can fall victim to the dark nights of winter and darkness of deep emotional healing or we can rise above, accept the challenge and face it head on like a warrior! The choice is ours.




Cats have a funny relationship with water. Have you noticed that cats do not drink much water at all? As with any feline habit in question, the first thing we will want to do is examine water’s role in feline genetic history. How did wild cats get their water? What sorts of drinking habits did they develop? When we observe ancestral felines in the wild, we will note that ancient cats had a very unique way of deriving moisture for survival.

The origin of the feline species is first noted in the ancient deserts of Africa. Water was sparse. Ancient cats learned to kill their prey and derive moisture from their bodies which were approximately 75% water. This was usually adequate moisture to keep the animals alive and well in the heat of the African desert land.

What does this mean for modern day felines? All this is to say that drinking water has become a learned behaviour in companion cats. This means that their genetic wiring lacks the desire to drink water on its own. Drinking water has become a behaviour that has been a learned practice that has come along with the feline species’ migration out of Africa and into Asia where tigers drink from streams as they catch fish. Following, wild cats came through the North American wild where streams and lakes are plenty. Despite the migration and evolution of cats and water, drinking water is still second nature for companion cats.

Aside from the genetic lineage of cats, there is a very pressing need for cat caregivers to ensure that their cats are drinking sufficient water. Many store-bought cat foods will inhibit moisture retention and cause havoc with the body’s water systems. Particularly dry food (kibble) can strip the body of almost all moisture. Because dry food is dehydrated and devoid of any moisture at all, in order for cats to process the dry food through their gastrointestinal systems, the dry food will draw water from all of the body’s vital organs so it can pass through the body to become metabolized and then eliminated. With prolonged and repeated exposure to this type of digestive process, the body’s vital organs become abused and depleted of water and energy. In the longer term, this is where early stage kidney failure begins.

Dry food also heavily increases the probability of constipation. Gastrointestinal systems devoid of water cause a build up of waste in the intestinal tract and prevent cats (and all other mammals) from a proper removal of waste through the bowel. In some cases, if the waste build up is full of toxins from low quality or malnourished foods, in addition to constipation we run the risk of causing inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, blood in the stool and other painful intestinal trauma.

Every companion cat needs at least a 90% wet food diet. Wet (canned) food is engineered to contain enough moisture for a healthy cat to live well. Even the lower quality grain free (for more information on why your cat’s diet should be grain free read: ) wet foods are infinitely better for our feline friends’ vital organs than high quality dry food. This is never to say that anyone should opt for lower quality anything when it comes to feeding our furry friends. However, if we are going to want a longer and healthier life for our kitty companions, wet food is unequivocally the best way to get there.

That said, cats still require a large enough volume of daily water to flush out their organs of toxins. Toxins are present in any environment, whether airborne, in food (any and all processed foods have toxins), outdoors- pretty much anywhere. Whatever the origin, the gall bladder and the liver have to work overtime to process the toxins and get them ready to be eliminated in the urine or stool. Clean water can help the process by aiding to flush out the liver, gall bladder and intestines. Of course, water is vital in terms of hydrating the kidneys so that they can relieve the body of its toxins. Drinking water can impede the kidney failure process that comes along with consuming dry food or low quality grain-based wet food.

Most cat caregivers have likely noticed that cats can be fairly reluctant to drink water. This is because, as many of us are aware, cats are finicky creatures. Though cats are infamous for doing what they want when they want to do it, we as caregivers must take a stand to ensure that they are adequately hydrated. For those who may yet be unaware, here are eight ways to help our feline friends stay hydrated:

1)    LOCATION– believe it or not, the location in your home in which you place your cat’s water bowl is likely the most significant reason why your cat may not be drinking. Again, in examination of the genetic lineage of the feline species, cats would never do their “kill” by a water source for fear of contamination of the water. Cats would kill their prey far enough away from the water to keep it clean. Translating to your home, by placing your cat’s water bowl beside her food, she may not be inclined to drink it due to the aforementioned genetic link. By placing her water bowl in another corner of the kitchen or feeding area, you may find that she is more inspired to drink.
Additionally, by choosing to place more than one water bowl around your home, your cat with appreciate that you are letting her (or him) be in “control” of the situation in terms of choosing where she or he wants to have a drink.

2)    WATER FOUNTAIN– Because some cats have difficulty with depth-perception, they are often confused by how much or how little water is in the water bowl. This will often cause them to put a paw in the water to gauge its depth. Once they have put their paw in, they may be reluctant to drink it because it has become contaminated. By creating a stream of water for your cat, s/he will always be able to see the running water and be comfortable with drinking it. In addition, if your cat is one who likes to ‘play’ with water, such as drinking from the water tap, shower or alternative sources to bowls, investing in a kitty water fountain will mirror this activity.

3)    SIZE AND SHAPE OF BOWL– As finicky as they may be, some cats take issue with the size and shape of their water bowl. Many cats will avoid drinking from a water bowl in which their whiskers do not fit. This is because the width of the cats whiskers let the cat know what he or she can and cannot fit into. Thus, if a drinking bowl compromises a cat’s whisker measurement, instinctively s/he will turn away from it. For their comfort, the size and shape of your cat’s water bowl should be in alignment with the size and shape of his head and whiskers.

4)    TYPE OF BOWL– many cats prefer metal or glass to plastic. This is because plastic water bowls tend to hold onto bacteria and germs that cause pimples around the cat’s mouth. Many cat caregivers fail to realize how easily plastic can amalgamate dirt and particulate matter. Cats are a genetically very clean species. Any human interference with that is not acceptable!

5)    BOWL CLEANLINESS– Many companion animal caregivers fail to realize the importance of a daily practice of cleaning out their animal’s water bowl. Cats are sensitive to the bacteria that can be found at the bottom of their water bowl should their people neglect to wipe out the bowl after they dump out the old water and before refilling it with new. According to your cat, washing the bowl before every use is the best way to entice him to drink.

6)    CLEAN, FRESH WATER– Cats prefer daily fresh, clean water. Some cats will drink day old water, however all cats will prefer fresh water every day. It is important to be mindful of what type of water we are feeding our kitty friends. Note that tap water is full of heavy metals and toxins that infiltrate the water systems and bloodstreams of your cat. While cats may not notice a difference when the water is fresh, finding the cleanest water source possible is always the best way to keep our cats healthy and living well for longer.

7)    PROXIMITY TO LITTER BOX– As per the earlier notation about contamination of water, cats will not appreciate having their water (or food) bowl close to their litter boxes. After all, would you poop where you drink or eat? For those living in smaller homes or apartments, take moment to be mindful of how far you from your cat’s bathroom you have placed their food and water. Be mindful that fecal germs can travel fairly far and your cat may be uncomfortable with the proximity between her bathroom and her water (and food) bowl.

8)    VULNERABILITY WHILE DRINKING– Especially for cats who are new to your home, placing their drinking bowls against a wall away from the room’s entrance way could be a deterrent. This is because while a cat is drinking (or eating or bathing), she is in a vulnerable position. A cat may feel threatened if, while drinking, she cannot see whether or not anyone is approaching her from behind. Genetically linked to this concept, if a cat in the wild cannot see if anyone (a predator) is approaching, she runs the risk of a surprise attack. Cats do not like surprises. This is why it’s best for you to place her drinking bowl in such a way that she can see the entrance ways to the room. Cats are most comfortable with their backs against the wall.

There are innumerable reasons why cats are so particular about their drinking experience. The above are 8 of many ways to remedy this. The underlying message is that companion cats need to drink far more water than most people are aware of. By guaranteeing that our cats drink clean, fresh water daily, we are on the road to keeping their inner organs healthier and giving them a better quality of life!





Friday, December 7th is the final new moon of 2018. As with all new moons, this one is a time to create, create, create! Each lunar cycle begins with the new moon, which is why its spiritual significance correlates to new beginnings of cycles in our lives. This aspect of the lunar cycle is an excellent opportunity to plant seeds of intention. As the moon grows, so do our seeds into flowers.

This last new moon of 2018 resides in the sign of Sagittarius. With both the sun and the moon in Sag, we can expect to feel as if anything is possible. And it is! Sagittarius is confident, boastful and full of life. It is intellectually thirsty with an ever present desire to learn everything it can about anything. For those who wish to create an improved living situation for any reason, harnessing this delightful Sagittarian energy during this time can help to employ the means to get there. Taking the time to write down our intentions for the lunar cycle that follows is a primary example of organizing our dreams and desires. As always, by taking our dreams to pen and paper, we are allowing Spirit to witness what we truly desire and work behind the scenes to help us to create it.

Perhaps most noteworthy is that because this new moon is the final of 2018, we can utilize this opportunity to contemplate the changes we wish to see in the coming year. Through this strong and empowered Sagittarius energy, we can regain creative control of our lives. This moon is the opportune time to believe in ourselves and our dreams.

For those of us in romantic partnerships, this new lunar cycle will cast light upon the darkness that the Scorpion sun had left. Romantic partnerships may have been tried and tested throughout last month’s icy chill. Fear not as the fiery Sagittarian energy will melt the ice and have us back in each other’s warm embrace. For those who are not entangled in romantic partnerships and wish to be, this powerful new moon is a highly positive time to manifest the partner of your dreams! By creating a “wish list” of qualities we wish to see in our next romantic partner, we are, akin to creating a list of intentions or a vision board, allowing Spirit to witness our desires and dreams for a partner.

As positive and exciting as the tandem Sagittarius sun and moon may be, caution is also warranted. Should we carelessly adapt to the power-charged Sag alignment, we may find ourselves falling prey to a need to control every detail of our lives- and the lives of others. There is a strong likelihood of getting swept up in the confidence and direction that the Sag sun and moon bestow upon us. It is important to be mindful of our responsibilities; where they begin and where they end. Remember: we are only responsible for ourselves. We do not have the authority to take responsibility for others, nor do we to tell them what they can and cannot do. We must remember that every individual has free will. We must detach from our wants and wishes of situational outcomes. When we place expectations on circumstances, we will likely be disappointed. As Buddha stated, “Attachment is the root of all suffering”.

The Sagittarian need for control comes from an air of “knowing what’s right”. Be cautioned that “right” is subjective. Every person is entitled to her or his opinion and actions. Being mindful to avoid interfering with other people’s karma takes discipline. Acknowledging that any experience that another person is going through is a direct result of what they have thought, believed or felt. We must, as they must remember that every action has consequence, therefore always acting out of kindness will bring us desirable consequences. By letting go of control and allowing circumstances to unfold naturally, we are allowing Divine miracles to shine through.

Sagittarius is full of spontaneity. Allow yourself to live! Live every day, be free. Let go of every belief that holds you back from living the life you aspire. Live your truth, let go of that which no longer serves your highest purpose. When you are in alignment with your highest good, everything is possible!




Depression in companion animals is very serious and often overlooked. In part one of this article we studied the why’s and how’s of companion animal depression. ( In the second part of this article, we listed several signs and symptoms of depression in companion animals ( ) with the promise of a third article part in which we relay method of treatment of the depression.

Many animals who experience or live with depression are often misunderstood. It is important to review the above list of symptoms and note whether or not you feel your animal may be depressed. Thankfully, most companion animal depression can be treated with simple changes in the animal’s routine. Most often, there is often NO need for medication when it comes to treatment of depression in animals. To assess which of the below treatment options is right for you and your animal friends, acknowledging its origin is an asset. Should we locate the origin of the animal’s depression, its treatment has more of a likelihood of a specified treatment plan. Here are several easy and effective ways to combat depression in companion animals:

1.    EXERCISE– exercise is an important component of mental health. In addition to increasing cardiovascular health via endurance and strength, exercise releases endorphins that act as mood elevators. Exercise increases self-confidence in animals (and people) and increases circulation. This means that on colder days, exercise helps to keep our animals warm. This is especially important for any animals who have arthritis or kidney imbalances as these conditions correlate to an imbalance of fluid circulation in the body.


2.    SUNLIGHT– Sunlight brings joy to all living beings. Because it radiates warmth, in the colder months it can assist to bring peace and calmness to animals. The warmth and golden light of the sun has a rejuvenating feel to animals who suffer from winter-based depression. Additionally it will help to increase the animal’s exposure to sunlight (either outdoors or in a window) as much as possible throughout the winter. Animals are often affected by seasonal affected disorder. Increasing sunlight hours and window-sitting in the sun will assuredly help to combat the winter blues.


3.    SPECIES APPROPRIATE DIET– Unequivocally, an animal’s diet is the single most important aspect of mental health. If an animal’s diet is unhealthy, she is likely not receiving an adequate balance of nutrients. This can cause malnourishment and affect the hormonal balance of the brain. Malnourishment also causes muscular atrophy (the exact opposite of what we aim for with regular exercise). When an animal is not receiving adequate nutrients s/he will often resort to eating non-food items which both wreaks havoc on the animal’s inner organs as well as causes upset within the family home. Ideally, an animal’s diet will be as similar as possible to that which they would eat in the wild. There are many new schools of thought that a science based diet is the best diet for companion animals. However when we examine its ingredients more closely, we will note how little nutritional value it actually contains. Feeding animals whole foods that are nutrient-rich will allow for a healthier and longer quality of life. More to the point of this article, the richer the nutrients in an animal’s diet, the more “brain food” they absorb. Higher quality foods result in hormone regulation in the brain and body, healthier weight, healthier joints and bones and proper hydration which all create a healthier mental state for our animal companions.


4.    ADD MORE OMEGAS– Omega’s 3 & 6 are a vital staple of any companion animal’s diet. Simply put, their benefits and functions are many. What most human caregivers of animals are unaware of is that water alone cannot hydrate the body. Water helps to flush out the organs or toxins in a healthy way however water alone is not an adequate source of hydration for companion animals. By adding omega’s 3 & 6 to an animal’s diet, we are increasing the amount of water that is retained and evenly distributed throughout the vital organs of the body. This organ moisture is crucial to an animal’s longevity and overall quality of life. More to the point, however, omegas have been linked to a reduction and/or prevention of depression. This is because those who suffer from minor to moderate depression show lower levels of EPA and DHA (two components of fish oil and other complete sources of omegas). By adding one or more sources of omegas to an animal’s diet, in addition to their innumerable other health benefits, you can lower the risk or severity of depression. Common sources of healthy omegas 3 & 6 for cats and dogs are:
a) Fish oils such as wild salmon or sardines

        b) CBD oil

        c) Flax seed oil WITH DHA (flax seed oil is only a complete source of protein when    it contains DHA

        d) Pumpkin seeds

        e) Chia seeds


5.    REIKI/ENERGY WORK– An animal’s wellness extends far beyond her physical body. Often animals (and people) live in negative environments that affect their mental, emotional and spiritual health. Animals are like sponges, taking on and taking in every thought, feeling and belief of her people. Simply put, because all thoughts, feelings and beliefs are energy, when they impede an animal’s health through negative energy, they can easily be balanced by positive energy. This is a fundamental component of energy work. Reiki has been proven to treat depression, insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure and various other chronic mental and physical imbalances. Practicing energy work on your animal will help to bring all of their deep rooted emotional and mental imbalances to the surface for you to remove through several Reiki/energy work sessions. An energy field of a companion animal frequently embodies many energy blockages that originate from life experiences, environments or their human family members (past or present). These blockages are composed of thoughts, beliefs and feelings that an animal has taken on from an external source that are harmful to an animal’s mental and emotional wellness. The purpose of treating an animal with Reiki is to learn to remove the energy blockages within their energy field before they become manifest in the physical body as illness. Treating a depressed or ailing animal with Reiki/energy work nurtures their minds, bodies and spirits back to balance. Because animals’ primary language is energy, animals do very well with energy healing work.

As the daylight hours get fewer and the darkness greater, as humans are more reluctant to spend time outdoors because of the chill in the air, companion animals may feel the brunt. We will want to remain attentive to their needs, ensuring that though we may not want to spend as much time as usual playing outside with them, we can find fun indoor activities to keep them active and well. Though not completely eliminated every time, companion animal depression is often lessened by the above forms of treatment. In cases of severe depression, you will want to contact your Animal Communicator or Holistic Veterinarian for safe and effective treatment.






Thursday, November 22, 2018 births this year’s full moon in Gemini. Particularly affecting those born into the element of air, (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra), this air- based full moon can have us maximally indecisive during the course of this 24 hour lunar period.

Ruled by the planet Mercury who stands for all types of communication, Gemini is a highly communicative planet. However this Gemini moon waxes full during one of three Mercury retrograde periods in 2018. For more information on what Mercury retrograde is, see: During this retrograde period, there is a tendency to internalize all of our emotions and thoughts. There is a pull to go within and self examine.

Gemini is known as the sign of “dual personalities”. Often Gemini people are seen as those who easily go with the flow. However they have a second side to their personalities that can take anyone by surprise. They are often cunning, premeditative and defensive. Because the moon waxes full at this time in this sign of Gemini, aspects of both of the Gemini sides may be illuminated within each and every one of us. We may find, in fact, that we are unable to make up our minds about which persona we wish to be.

While ordinarily, the nature of the Gemini is to appear (key word- “appear”) calm, cool and collected, this lunar period is heavily influenced by a Mars – Jupiter square. Any time there is a celestial square in the night sky, we can expect ourselves to react to situations in a bullheaded, stubborn, combative manner. This square is no different. While Mars has strong warrior energy, Jupiter is highly intellectual. Thus, we are faced off between our physical and intellectual needs for self expression. Whereas neither of these pursuits are alone harmful, should we find ourselves stifled in either of these cases, because of this full moon there is an immensely powerful need to lash out.

Jupiter’s influence will also seduce us into overindulgence. It is important to practice moderation in order to maintain health and avoid the frustration that Mars will bring which comes along with self-blame for overindulgence. The Mars’-Gemini influence can also lure us into reckless behaviour that could result in accidents or injuries. It is important to THINK BEFORE YOU ACT. Conversely, the Jupiter-Gemini influence will have us feeling the need to express ourselves in a sensual way. We may find ourselves acting out based on our need for physical validation. Again, should this need become thwarted in any way we may tend to react in a hot tempered fit of frustration.

Contrary to all of the inconsistencies of the Gemini moon, our sun holds still in the sign of Sagittarius. While Sagittarius is also a highly sensual sign, it is far more comfortable in conjunction with Jupiter as Jupiter is ruled by Sagittarius. This means that they share many enlightened qualities, bringing about a strong desire for wisdom and intellect. However, under Gemini’s rule of Mercury in retrograde and in opposition to the Sun’s Sagittarius, we will surely develop very strong opinions on just about everything. We will feel the desire to speak our minds thoughtlessly without regard for others’ feelings or opinions. It is vital that before we thoughtlessly offend anyone, we consider how others may feel should we choose to speak.

Because of the many factors at play during this lunar event, this is an excellent opportunity to practice  mindful behaviour. Being conscious of how our thoughts and actions affect others is the highest and best way to wade through the tumult of this astrological alignment. Though we may be tempted to give in to our ego and feel scorned on more than one occasion, we must remind ourselves that any rash behaviour toward others or toward ourselves will not achieve desired results. We must empower ourselves with the knowledge that this too shall pass. We must remember to find wholehearted compassion for ourselves and those around us, for our positive reactions may encourage like reactions within those around us. Let us lead by example and be a light to others!






Cat lovers around the world wish more than anything for their feline companions to live long and healthy lives. With so many marketing schemes and options out I consumer-land, how do we know which food is the best quality food for our cats?

For all living beings to properly process food, they need proper digestive enzymes. What most cat caregivers fail to realize is that cats lack the digestive enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown and digestion of grains. This enzyme is called amylase. This digestive enzyme, amylase, is present in all other animals and humans. Since cats’ digestive systems do not produce this enzyme, their metabolisms are unable to break down grains.


For those who are yet unaware, grains in cat food are mostly made from human grade cereal and starchy substances such as rice, potatoes, oats and barley. Generally speaking, these types of grains and starches can cause undue harm to our kitty companions. Because they are physically unable to digest the grains that are found in cat food, their gastrointestinal systems will run into problems attempting to pass the food through the body. Given that the grains found in cat foods (especially dry food) are quite high in sugar, the insulin levels in the cat’s pancreas will take issue with trying to remove the waste. The grains from the food will metabolize as sugar which in turn will create spikes in insulin levels in cats. This, of course will often lead to diabetes. Diabetes is a blood disease wherein the body’s blood glucose levels exceed healthy limits. For those who are unfamiliar with where feline diabetes comes from, it comes from food with grains that are high in sugar.

In addition to the trauma of diabetes, grains in dry food can cause a whole host of other health imbalances. For example, feeding dry food to a cat for her/his whole life will undoubtedly cause dehydration of the major organs. This is because as the cat’s body attempts to pass the dry food through the GI system, the organs work overtime to provide sufficient moisture to process the food. This is particularly taxing on the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for eliminating toxins from food, water and the environment through urine. In order for the kidneys to do their job, they must have a healthy amount of moisture. Should the cat be exposed to dry food her/his whole life, eventually in its attempt to process the dehydrated food through the system, the kidneys will become entirely too depleted of moisture. This, if we don’t already know, is where kidney failure is born.

Believe it or not, water is not an adequate source of hydration for our feline friends. If we look at their genetic lineage, we will note that ancestrally, cats originated in the deserts of Africa. There was virtually no water for them to drink, so they utilized the moisture from the food they hunted to hydrate ad nourish their bodies. Thus, for house cats, drinking water has become a learned behaviour. True, it flushes out their organs in a very healthy way. However, in terms of allowing the cat’s body to retain adequate moisture for survival, it does little.

Additionally, starchy foods and sugary grains have been heavily linked to yeast problems in cats and dogs. If your cat or dog has yeast overgrowth it is imperative to switch foods. Often, both dogs and cats have a genetic intolerance to grains and will exhibit allergy-type symptoms. If you suspect that your cat or dog has symptoms of yeast overgrowth, please read the list of ingredients on your dog/cat food labels. It is also a wise idea to seek holistic veterinary care.

Sadly, too, veterinary recommended foods list “corn gluten” as their second ingredient. Corn gluten is not food and causes inflammation in the joints and organs. Corn gluten is a preservative that is intended to “glue” the other ingredients together. Corn gluten is a by-product of corn processing. So, not only are you feeding your animals corn which they are not wired to digest, you are feeding them the by-product that is created in the processing of corn. It is considered to be a protein source in animal feed. Varieties of corn gluten are used as weed killer by inhibiting crab grass. Needless to say, there are few if any nutrients on corn gluten. Because it is not real food, it causes inflammation in animals that can lead to arthritis and other painful chronic issues.


There are several easy ways to prevent the pain and trauma of undue illness in our feline friends. The first of which, of course, is to find a healthier choice of food. By feeding “wet” food as a main staple of their diets, cats will derive adequate moisture from the food t keep their organs moisturized. This will allow the kidneys a much higher likelihood of survival. As per the topic of this article, you will want to read ingredients to ensure that the wet food is grain free or at the very least has low grain content. Lower grade wet foods still contain human grade cereal which is very high in sucrose and very unhealthy for our kitties!

Finding species appropriate diets that contain more whole foods is a beneficial way to keep our cat companions healthy. Researching foods with whole protein sources such as chicken, turkey, bison or rabbit instead of meat by-product will surely nourish the bodies and souls of our furry felines. Be sure, of course, to have a look at the first 5-8 ingredients and watch for any grains such as rice, oats, corn gluten, potato, sweet potato or any other grain or starch. If there is such an ingredient listed in the first several, please exercise caution.

Perhaps most confusing is that the companies/brands of cat food that are aware of cats’ inability to digest grains have removed them from their ingredients. This has lead to a severe lack of fibre in the healthier choice cat foods. While the lack of grains is a very noble feat on their part, cats are often left constipated and gassy. It is important, on the subject of illness prevention, to be mindful of low fibre cat food. By adding several supplementary sources of fibre to your cat’s wet food, you will be ensuring a healthy digestive and elimination process. Examples of effective supplementary non-grain based fibre sources include: Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, canned pumpkin, marshmallow root- to name several.

If you are a brave soul who chooses to venture into the homemade cat food world, please be aware that you will need to thoroughly research the precise levels of vitamins and minerals that cats need on a daily basis to stay healthy and active. Many people believe that feeding chicken or fish alone is a healthy diet for cats. This is terribly incorrect. Cats, akin to humans, need a precise balance of vitamins and minerals in their diet to stay healthy. It is CRUCIAL that if you wish to make homemade cat food that you consult your veterinarian. In fact, it is always a good idea to consult several reliable sources (NOT the internet!) before proceeding into the art of homemade cat food.

For more information, contact your holistic veterinarian.


J Morgan Saifer- Animal Communicator & Medium