Friday, February 27, 2015

Dog Behavior and Toxic Fragrances

Artificial scents may make your house fresh and fragrant, but the chemicals that go into them can be toxic, especially to your dogs.

I took in a little dog with behavioral issues who was said to be a picky, picky eater and one who didn’t have any interest in treats.  Immediately, day one, I found him to be a ravenous eater who absolutely Loved meals and treats!  His keen sense of smell was also quickly in evidence.   Being extremely allergic to most perfumes and chemicals, I maintain a fairly fragrance-free home, but I verified that the previous owner used perfume and scented hand creams every day.  This is the only explanation for the radical difference in this little dog’s relationship to food and was most likely a factor in his other behavioral problems (which also quickly vanished).  As careful as I already am, the following article from Animal Wellness Magazine gave me much more to consider regarding my Cairns’ daily environment.

Something Smells! 
by Sara Jackson, Animal Wellness Magazine, © 2009
You’ve seen the ads for all those air fresheners, room sprays and scented laundry products with their flowery, pine forest or sea breeze fragrances.  They make your home smell nice and fresh, but don’t let those “natural” scents fool you.

Most scented commercial household products contain chemicals that can have a detrimental effect on the physical health of your human family, and especially your animal companions, who are much more sensitive than we are.  Some of these chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and brain damage in humans, so it’s reasonable to assume they’re also harmful to dogs and cats. 

Two Absorption Routes 

A study conducted by the Environmental Working Group tested 43 common chemicals found in household products, including scented ones, and discovered that dogs have higher levels of these substances in their bodies than humans do.  How is this possible, when many of these products don’t seem to come into direct contact with your animal?  Veterinarian Dr. Gloria Dodd says there are two main ways animals come into contact with fragrance chemicals – by inhaling the fumes or rubbing against your clothes or skin.

“Researchers have found that through inhalation, these chemicals get into the animal’s bloodstream and affect every organ the blood touches,” Dr. Dodd says.  “Secondly, the chemicals can get into his system through physical exchange with the person’s skin or clothing.” 

Take fabric softeners, for instance.  The chemicals that leave your clothes feeling so soft and fresh-smelling are released into the air and also stay in your clothes for a long time.  So your companion may either inhale the fumes or absorb them through his skin when he snuggles up for a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears.  “The chemicals in fabric softeners are pungent and strong smelling – so strong that they require the use of heavy fragrances just to cover up the smell,” adds veterinarian Dr. Deva Khalsa.  “Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents.”

So is it the smell or the actual chemical that your animal reacts to?  According to Dr. Khalsa, inhaling these toxins has basically the same negative effect on an animal as direct skin contact or ingestion.  “When you inhale pollens or smoke, you get an allergic reaction,” she says.  “Inhaling is just the same as skin contact or ingestion.” 

Symptoms and Treatment 

When animals come into contact with synthetic perfumes, their bodies will begin reacting to them.  Symptoms to watch out for are sneezing, and nasal and eye discharge.  The liver can become toxic, affecting digestion, and immune and musculoskeletal symptoms can also emerge.  Chronic disease may result, or the eventual development of cancer or organ failure.

Itching is another sure sign of a reaction to the chemicals your companion has come in contact with. Dr. Khalsa adds that gastrointestinal symptoms can also occur, but most veterinarians don’t attribute these signs to toxins and chemicals in the environment.

If you suspect your dog may be reacting adversely to any household product, whether it’s scented or not, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.  Dr. Dodd recommends seeking out a holistic veterinarian who is familiar with detoxification and support methodologies.  “Orthodox veterinarians would only give steroids and antibiotics, which make the health of the animal worse,” she says. 

Dr. Dodd adds that effective treatment consists of detoxification with homeopathic remedies called nosodes.  Support may also be needed for the liver, and respiratory and immune systems, using homeopathy, ortho-molecular supplements and oral oxygen drops. 

Preventing Exposure 

In order to make yourself and your home toxin-free, consider switching all cleaning products – scented or otherwise – to those made with all-natural ingredients.  Baking soda is great when used in either homemade cleaners or just sprinkled right on the surface to be cleaned.  If you have carpets, cornstarch does as good a job as most carpet cleaners.  Lemon juice or white vinegar helps remove grease, mildew and hard water stains.

If you want fragrance, add a touch of lavender oil or rose water to your homemade cleaners.  You can also buy naturally-scented non-toxic cleaners, room sprays, laundry products and deoderizers.  And instead of reaching for a bottle of synthetic perfume, try essential oils such as eucalyptus, jasmine, lavender, rose or sandalwood.  Just be sure to use caution with essential oils if you have cats. 

At the end of the day, we really don’t need to use synthetic fragrances and scents.  As Dr. Dodd so aptly puts it: “Just keep clean – forget the perfume!”

According to the Environmental Working Group, gaps in our public health protection system allow many chemicals on the market without any type of mandatory safety testing.  The EWG also states that chemical companies do not have to prove products are safe before putting them on store shelves.

Reprinted with permission of Journeys End Ranch Animal Sanctuary, home to animals large and small which were abused, neglected, unwanted, at the risk of euthanasia or slaughter.  Here, in Arizona's high desert, they get the care and love they need to heal and live out their lives in peace and comfort. 

Animal Wellness Magazine

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Col. Potter Training Tips: Proper Introductions!

Contributed by a Col. Potter Volunteer
Proper introductions are essential for harmony in the pack!

Are you thinking about adding a new Rescued Cairn to your family?  There are many things to consider, and lots of planning to do.  You can expect to get many great tips to help you integrate your New Cairn into your home, so it is good to know that some of this advice will also apply to your current resident dogs.  Introductions is a great example.

Think Ahead about All Introductions!

Whether making introductions to family and friends or other dogs, it is important that you have your calm, secure, Alpha attitude firmly in place so that you can communicate to your New Cairn that this is all under control and there is nothing to worry about.  Remember: your New Cairn is a body language expert, so you communicate everything you project.  Be sure to send the right signals to your Cairn!

Whenever possible, plan ahead when your new Cairn is first meeting a family member or friend, especially if they also have a dog.  Arrange to have both dogs walking outside, in a neutral setting, moving in the same direction, towards a meeting point.  If you imagine a wide “V”, you each start out on opposite sides of the wide end and walk towards the narrow end at approximately the same pace.  Walking in the same direction allows both dogs to get closer and closer while not actually presenting the threat of facing a “new” dog.  When you get close enough to talk to the other person, speak in a happy, positive voice so both dogs know this is a friend.  Avoid handshakes or hugs, at this point, so you don’t accidentally communicate that either dog should feel the need to defend their human. 

You should expect the two dogs to scope each other out.  The best situation is where the dogs sniff one another, without any signs of dominance by either one, and, after a few minutes, they basically ignore one another and begin sniffing the grass or acting as if they want to continue their walk.  Sometimes this happens. Often it doesn't. 

Sometimes one dog may really want to sniff and sniff and sniff, and the other dog feels that he or she has been sniffed enough.  Use whatever words you use around the house to calm the other dog down, like "EASY", stated firmly as “Ease-eeeeeeeeeee”, and it helps the dogs to back off each other.  Then you should continue your walk, as you would normally.

Be calm and observant, always prepared to act quickly if needed.  You will know by your Cairn’s body language how to proceed in a natural manner that communicates “All is well and under control!” 

Rescuing one Cairn will not change the world, 
but it will surely change the world for that one Rescued Cairn

Read More About It:

Toto: The Other Side of the Story!

And the Oscar goes to…

Col. Potter Needs a Few More Introductions! 
Please Volunteer to Foster and help us help every Cairn in need!

Please  Consider being a CP Volunteer!

CP Foster Home Application form:

CP Transport Volunteer Driver form:

CPCRN Volunteer form:

Col. Potter’s Name a Rescue Cairn Program

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wacky Wednesday!

Wednesday is the day to be WACKY! Each week we will showcase a terrierific cairn picture with an appropriate caption. If you have a terrierific cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at! All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or out reach purposes.

 A big shout out to Skye for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sprout is Healthy, Happy and in His Furever Home

Forever Mom Val Rae wrote:
Ann personally delivered Sprout with her daughter Sommer yesterday (02/21/15).
From the moment he entered our home, our cairns were happy to see him and have accepted him as part of the pack.
Sprout is quickly integrating into the family and has been busy exploring his new home and finding his favorite spots.  He doesn't seem to mind the cold MN weather at all and spent a little time exploring the yard today on one of our coldest days of the year so far. 
Here are the photos I took this weekend. 

He is such a sweetheart, so full of love, and has the most beautiful soul. I know this is thanks to the loving care he received in his foster home.
In just 6 days we are celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Pippa's adoption! Thank you to all of the volunteers, the foster homes, and Col Potter for brining so much joy to our lives.
Barrett, Val Rae, Sparky, Pippa and Sprout!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

WiiGii just waiting for Spring!

Bilbo, Jameson fka CP Chevy, and Hemingway

Happy Birthday Gibbs!

Birthday Girl Anna and sister Daisy



Gertie fks CP Trudy Lou


Tommy R

Lola fka CP Egypt


Sadie Jo and Skye La

CP Belgium nka Mia Bella

Friday, February 20, 2015

Got Kefir?

Contributed by a CP Volunteer

Dogs love the taste of Kefir and are happy to lick the bowl - or bottle!

One of the easiest and best things anyone can add to their dog’s food which will give enormous benefit to their digestive tract, nervous system, and overall immune health is a wonderful milk product called Kefir (pronounced “Kee-fur” in the US and “ki-Fear” in Europe).  Most dogs really love the taste of Kefir and consider it a wonderful treat!

Kefir is easy to make at home!

Kefir is a thought of by many as a “liquid yogurt” but it is fermented milk, with no cooking involved, and it is loaded with beneficial bacteria.  Kefir originated in the Caucasus Mountains more than 2,000 years ago, meaning “feel good" in Turkish.  It helps to balance the intestinal flora, helping the body to maintain optimal health and strengthen immunity, enhancing longevity. 

Many use Kefir as part of our overall, day-to-day preventative health routine for our dogs (and ourselves!), but adding Kefir can be especially important after a course of antibiotics.  Antibiotics kill the good intestinal flora along with whatever bad bacteria was the target, and this has a negative impact on our overall health – human or canine.  Simply adding Kefir to the diet will quickly improve the situation!

In addition to balancing our digestive flora, Kefir also delivers the natural healing powers of minerals and essential amino acids, including Tryptophan, well-known for its beneficial effects on the nervous system, plus calcium and magnesium, critical nutrition for a healthy nervous system.  It is also rich in vitamin B12, B1, and vitamin K, and is an excellent source of biotin, aiding regulation of kidney and liver function, as well as promoting healthy looking skin, boosting energy and promoting longevity.

All you need are healthy Kefir grains and milk
Humans can enjoy Kefir in many flavors, but dogs must use only plain, which you can buy in the grocery or health food store, or you can make it yourself at home!

Kefir from Lifeway:

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