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What, Are You High or Something??!!

My Opinions on CBD for Pets

CBD (cannabidiol) is getting a lot of attention these days. For a number of years, I’ve been reading about CBD and dogs. Finally, after researching all of the wonderful benefits, I decided to try it.

I have a small dog with small dog syndrome. Plus, she suffers from high anxiety and fear, which sometimes leads to aggressive behaviors. It breaks my heart to see her struggling with this anxiety. Aside from positive training, we have tried many, MANY other remedies, both holistic and traditional.  And while her behaviors showed some improvement, she still suffered from severe fear and anxiety.

So, after reading about how CBD can help with anxiety, I decided to check it out. And what did I discover:  IT WORKS!
After taking CBD, my girl is much calmer and less fearful. People have even commented how different her behavior is (without knowing she has had some CBD). Don’t get me wrong – she is still fearful, but it is noticeably less.

When we first started, I started her out on the low end of the recommended dose, but this was too much for her. I ended up cutting her dose way down. So, what I learned is to start below the recommended dose and work my way up.

I recently read an article in Dogs Naturally Magazine that gives some great information about CBD for pets. Below are some of the highlights from the article, but I encourage you to read the whole article yourself!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About CBD Oil For Dogs

  1. CBD is not psychoactiveit’s a compound found in cannabis & hemp. It contains no/very little THC, so your dog won’t get “high,” but will get all the benefits without the intoxication
  2. CBD oil reduces anxiety
  3. CBD can fight cancer & help increase the effectiveness of cancer meds
  4. CBD can treat seizures & epilepsy
  5. CBD relieves pain & inflammation
  6. CBD can help with inflammatory bowel disease
  7. CBD reduces chronic inflammation & autoimmune disease(s)
  8. CBD protects the nervous system & helps with neurodegenerative diseases (& is especially good for senior dogs)
  9. CBD increases appetite & helps with nausea
  10. CBD promotes cardiovascular health

A Few Additional Notes. CBD is:

  • a powerful antioxidant, more powerful than vitamins C & E
  • legal (for dogs) in all 50 states
  • has antibiotic properties
  • safe – numerous studies show that CBD appears to be safe, even when taken in high doses & over extended periods of time
  • side effects are mild & animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance

Not All CBD Oils Are The Same – Choose A High Quality Oil!

  • Buy organic
  • Don’t cheap out: The higher the quality/purity, the higher the cost
  • Get the analysis of the amount of CBD in the product – it makes a difference
  • Make sure there is little or no THC in the product

Important Notes To Consider

  • Talk with your vet about CBD
  • Start your dog off low &slow
  • Buy CBD as a tincture: it’s easier to adjust the dose in a tincture

So….How Does This Relate to Massage?

In my practice, I see a lot of anxious and/or fearful pets, both chronic and acute conditions, and sometimes even aggressive pets. Before a session I will often use put a few drops of CBD  on my hands, or offer some to the guardian to give to his/her pet. I also recently purchased a room spray to try.

For me, CBD oil has been a great addition to both my dog, and at times in my practice. Please remember, this is all my personal experience and opinion – I am not a vet, nor do I play one on TV 🙂

Thanks for checking in!

 

MehrKatWhat, Are You High or Something??!!
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Great Pet Massage Events in June!

It’s the beginning of summer and The Right Spot Pet Massage is ready to meet new four-and-two legged friends!

Come out and learn about pet massage and let your companion experience a free mini massage at one of these great events!

Bentleys Pet Stuff – Long Grove, IL

  Saturday, June 3, 2017, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Right Spot will be talking about pet massage and giving a free demo at 11:00 am. After the demo, The Right Spot will be offering free minni massages to companion pets. Call Bentley’s to reserve your spot! Bentley’s Long Grove 4196 IL Route 83, Long Grove, IL 847-793-0500

Pet Blessing at Unity Chicago – Chicago                                                                                       

Come out to the beautiful Unity Garden for a Blessing of the Animals! Dr. Share Siwek, DVM (Kindred Spirits Healing Arts), Master Teacher Billie Topa Tate (MSI Healing), and Mama Little Wolf will be offering a wonderful blessing for companion pets. Please visit www.unitychicago.org for more information.

Bentleys Pet Stuff – Skokie, IL

  Saturday, June 17, 2017, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

The Right Spot will be talking about pet massage and giving a free demo at 11:00 am. After the demo, The Right Spot will be offering free minni massages to companion pets. Call Bentley’s to reserve your spot! Bentley’s Skokie 5229 Toughy Ave, Skokie, IL 224-251-8677

The Red Door Shelter – Walk for the Animals

   Sunday, June 11, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Indian Boundry Park

Celebrating The Big Easy!! Woo-Hoo!! Come out for this fabulous event and have a blast! The Red Door Shelter (www.reddoorshelter.org) looks for forever homes for rabbits, cats, and dogs. The Right Spot will be there offering free mini massages to all the four-legged participants.

Hope to see YOU at one of these great events!

MehrKatGreat Pet Massage Events in June!
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Strut For The Strays Event

Strut For The Strays hosted by CARE (Community Animal Rescue Effort, Skokie IL) had a wonderful fundraising event this past Saturday, May 13, 2017. It was hosted by the fabulous folks at Evanston Subaru.

There were well over a hundred participants, both 2 and 4-legged, and it was a perfect day for a strut through the wonderful Sculpture Park off McCormick Blvd.

The Right Spot was there offering free massages to all the 4-legged participants! Below are some photos taken at the event.

For more information, or to contact C.A.R.E, visit click here

                     

                   

 

MehrKatStrut For The Strays Event
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Touched By An Animal / Cats Are Purrsons, Too

WHAT A GREAT EVENT!

I had the pleasure and honor of attending Touched By An Animal / Cats Are Purrsons, Too’s Spring benefit yesterday.

The event was beautiful with a wonderful vegetatian and vegan lunch buffet and fabulous auction and raffle prizes (I cannot wait to go to my first 2017 Cubs game thanks to this event and some fabulous donor!)

I also had the extreme honor of speaking on a panel with a very impressive line-up of speakers including: Dr. Share Siwek, DVM (Kindred Spirits Healing Arts), Dr. Ashley Rossman, DVM (Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital), Mary Szczurek, Flower Essence (Inner Spirit Healing), Gina Israel, RMT, Reiki Energy Healing (Alternative Therapies for Health), Linda Roberts, Animal Communication and Essential Oils (Whispers of Love), (me) and Dr. Christine Jurek, DVM (TOPS Veterinary Rehab).

WOW! What a group!

 

 

I LOVE doing charity events, but I typically am doing demos and offering free “minI” massages, so this was a real treat! Iam looking forward to many more events!

 

 

 

MehrKatTouched By An Animal / Cats Are Purrsons, Too
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The Right Spot on Groupon & Living Social

I’ve done it! I decided it was time to join the deal sites to get the word out about the awesomeness of pet massage! I know how much I love a good deal, so I thought others might too! The Right Spot Pet Massge is now offering deals on both Groupon and Living Social. If you have been thinking about getting your beloved pet a massage, but have been holding off, NOW IS THE TIME! Please follow the links for the deals!

Click here for the Groupon Deal

Click here for the Living Social Deal

There is always fine print, so please be sure to check it out.

I look forward to meeting new pets and their people!

 

MehrKatThe Right Spot on Groupon & Living Social
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NO! Not A Muscle Spasm!

OUCH! Most of us have experienced the sudden pain of a muscle spasm. A muscle spasm can wake us from a deep sleep, keep us from activity, and can happen wherever there is muscle mass. A muscle spasm is a sudden, involuntary contraction of a muscle, or group of muscles, that causes pain and even inflammation. Spasms can affect the whole muscle, large parts of a muscle group, or even neighboring muscles. They usually occur suddenly, cause a visible twitching, usually resolve quickly, and are almost always painful.

Pets and Muscle Spasms

In our pets, muscle spasms are easily noticeable as a localized twitching or tremor in a muscle that feels tight and tender to the touch. Muscle spasms can be caused by a variety of conditions including overexertion, muscle strains or injuries, dehydration, pain in the back or legs, protecting an area from further injury, allergies, neurological disorders, or a physical injury. They may also be an indication of a more serious condition, such as a pinched nerve, a slipped disc, or muscle damage.

Since our wonderful pets want to make us happy, your companion may hide the fact that she is experiencing a painful muscle spasm. This is especially true of smaller muscle spasms. However, when they are severe, the muscle may bulge, and even vibrate, will be visibly noticeable, and/or felt under the skin at the site of spasm. When we humans get a pain like this, we will often stretch and massage the area ourselves. But for a pet, this new pain can be both traumatic and confusing.

How Massage Can Help

 

It is always best to consult your veterinarian first.
Once the vet has ruled out any serious conditions, MASSAGE can help! Massage will assist the muscle in relaxing. while also relaxing the surrounding muscles. A variety of techniques, including gentle stretching, will be utilized to relax and “unwind” the affected muscle(s). Other areas in the body will be assessed to see if tightness is occurring anywhere else. Massage will also assist in bringing blood and necessary nutrients and proteins for healing to the area so healing can occur.

If muscle spasms continue, not only will your pet be in pain. but the affected muscles may cause your pet to avoid using them resulting in muscular atrophy and weakeness. Massage therapy is perfect for these issues, preventing this to occur, or at least reducing their severity.

As a preventative, massage can be used to warm up the muscles before any exercise, and also in the cool down process following activity. Another important factor in preventing muscle spasms is to make sure your pet is well hydrated, especially when the weather is hot, or during activity and exercise.

Thanks for reading! Please contact me with any questions or to make an appointment!

*Disclaimer: No dogs were harmed in these photos. Both were happy to help!

 

MehrKatNO! Not A Muscle Spasm!
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Teeth Brushing and Massage…HUH?!

February is National Pet Dental Month. To celebrate, let’s talk about how massage can help your dog with this healthy task.

From personal experience, I know how difficult it can be to brush a pet’s teeth. On the flip side, it can also be a very satisfying task, for both you and your pet.

Many pets, especially those who are unfamiliar with teeth brushing, will twist and turn to avoid that dreaded tooth-brushing experience. Your companion will clamp his/her mouth shut, all the while turning his head and neck, raising her head up high, and wiggling her whole body, all to avoid the teeth-brushing . OUCH!!

Massage to the Rescue!

Before starting the teeth brushing, use massage to help relax your pet. One wayto help your pet relax is to gently rub her face starting between the eyes where the snout meets the face, then back to the middle of her head. Gently rub the ears, starting at the head and working your way down. Do this slowly, reassuring her quietly, for a few minutes until she calms down.

At any point, if your pet does not calm down or gets upset, stop the process and try again at another time.

Start by desensitizing your pet’s mouth. If your pet is not comfortable with having his mouth/muzzle touched, start by gently massaging his face and ears. Choose a quiet, non-stressful location and time and begin by gently rubbing your dogs face and ears. As your pet becomes comfortable with having her head, ears and chin touched, move on to touch her muzzle, then her lips. Try small circles on the muzzle, gently rub the length of the muzzle, over the gum line, and stoke in a downward pattern from the top of the muzzle down over the gums and teeth. You can even try using a soft cloth or a super soft baby hair brush to brush the outside of the muzzle. The goal in doing this is to not only relax your pet, but also get her used to the idea of touching the mouth area.

Teeth Brushed, Now What? More Massage of Course!

Following the teeth brushing, an at-home mini massage is beneficial, especially for those pets that twist and turn to try and escape the dreaded teeth brushing. This twisting and turning can result in sore, tight neck and shoulder muscles.

Begin by once again gently massaging your pet’s head and muzzle. Using an open flat hand and gentle pressure, slowly proceed from the back of the head, under the jaw, and down the neck. Continue by gently going down the shoulders to the front of the ribcage. This slow, gentle pressure over these muscles should help your pet relax. This may even help your pet associate something wonderful with teeth-brushing!

Thanks for checking in! For more information or to book an appointment, email Katie at katie@therightspotpetmassage.com

Thanks to MyDogLikes (http://mydoglikes.com/brushing-blue-bones-dogdentalhealth/) for the awesome phote of the dog with the toothbrush! Thanks to my girl Lucy for posing for the other pictures!

MehrKatTeeth Brushing and Massage…HUH?!
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This Cold Weather is Ruff!

There is no mistaking it, the winter cold weather is here. For those of us in the Midwest, we had a short reprieve of warmer winter weather…but not anymore! Welcome to the cold winter months!

Just step out into the cold to know that cold weather affects us all physically. This is true for our four legged companions as well. When we go out into the cold, it can be a shock on our system – we shiver, muscles tense, teeth chatter, and our body tightens. Our pets can have a similar experience. Going from a warm house out into the cold air is a big change.

In A Nutshell  
In normal circumstances, blood vessels transport warm blood from the internal organs to the skin. When the body gets cold, the blood vessels closest to the skin’s surface shrink in order to reduce heat loss, which also slows the blood flowing through the vessels. Next the shivers begin, which are muscle spasms designed to generate body heat. These spasms can occur in any muscle of the body. Therefore, when the body gets cold, muscles tighten / contract, leaving our muscles feeling tight, stiff and cold!

Tighter muscles and less blood flow restrict the movement of the muscles in the body. Joints also tend to feel tight, stiff and locked, especially if the joint is already compromised from a previous injury or arthritis.

Beware of the Ice!
Another concern in these cold winter months is ice. Slipping on ice is such a danger! So, not only are our muscles already tense from being cold, add slipping on top of that and the result is messy!

While many public areas use salt to melt the ice, salt can burn your pet’s paws. And while there is pet friendly salt available, many public places do not use this. If your pup suddenly lifts his paw while walking, check to see if salt and/or ice have gotten lodged into his paw pad.

Massage Can Help!

 

 

 

So, what can we do to help our companions during these cold winter days? Massage of course! Massage warms and relaxes the muscles of the body. Massage can take those tight muscles and gently encourage them to relax, stretch, and return to its normal state of rest. Massage also gets the blood flowing back into the contracted muscles and joints, improving the overall feeling of comfort in the area. If your pet slips on the ice and it results in pain, tenderness, or a soft tissue issue, massage can help alleviate the pain and inflammation in the area while also supporting other areas in the body that may be affected.Two simple massage techniques for warming your pets muscles before or after going out into the cold are:

  • Rubbing the body – gently rub your fingers and/or palm over your pets body (avoiding the spine) to increase the blood flow to the body. This is especially good over the large muscle groups of the leg (“thigh), along the back, about an inch from the spine, the neck, and the shoulders.
  • Light compressions – using the palm of your hand, lightly press and release the large muscle groups of the shoulders, hind legs, and neck. Be gentle, this is a light compression not a squeeze! This acts like a pump to get the blood moving in and out.

A Few Winter Thoughts

  • Dress for the weather – use a dog sweater or coat if necessary. Both of my dogs have fine fur and get cold easily. They don’t go out in the cold without their sweaters on.
  • Keep the paw pads (and nose) moist – this cold weather can cause your pups paw pads and nose to crack. Rub some organic, virgin coconut oil on these areas of the body. Coconut oil is great! It is a wonderfully healthy oil that will moisten the pads and nose of your pet. It is also safe (and healthy) for dogs to eat, so if your pup licks it off, no worries
  • PAWS Boots – I love these! They look like rubber balloons, but they are for your dog’s feet. They are lightweight, so not as cumbersome or awkward as some of the other boots out there. On a personal note, when my lab was older and began slipping on our wood floors, I put these on her in the house to prevent her from slipping. They were great! She no longer slipped, and she was much more confident in walking and standing.
  • Make your own paw wax – there are many great paw protectors on the market, but I recently came across this recipe on the internet posted by Rodney Habib (and from Dr. Karen Becker):
    In a pot melt: 3 oz. beeswax, 2 T coconut oil, 3 oz calendula oil, and 3 T avocado oil. Pour into a small jar, tin, cupcake mold, etc. Let cool and harden. Rub on the paw pads before venturing out! Note: this may be greasy, so don’t apply in the house or your pup could slip and/or get rugs, furniture, beds, etc. greasy.

Wishing you and your companions a safe and Happy New Year!

 

MehrKatThis Cold Weather is Ruff!
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