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How do Fleas Hurt My Dog?

by Dr. Gail Marasse, Active Pet Health

Before I list all the ways that these devilish insects can cause problems, let’s talk about what fleas actually are. They are parasites! Yes, by definition, a flea is a parasite because they live on (external parasite) or in (internal parasite) other creatures. And, it just so happens that fleas really favor our furry pets. Fleas are the most common external parasites found on dogs and fleas like our pet’s tasty, warm blood. (more…)

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Look Out – Understanding your Pet’s Eyes

by Dr. Robert Zepeki, DVM CVCP, owner of Village Animal Group

Your kitty and doggy Friends possess a remarkable stereoscopic vision. They inherited this ability from their hunting ancestors. Both species can see some color. Your doggy Friend has an eye very similar to our eye with one focal point on the back of the eye. However, the kitty Friends are endowed with very good night vision. Their eyes are so sensitive to light that the iris can close to a slit in strong light resulting in two focal points at the top and the bottom of the closed iris. You have probably noticed this when your kitty Friend sits in the sunlight. The eye consists of the following main structures; cornea, iris, lens, and globe or eyeball.


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Open Wide: Understanding your Pet’s Teeth

by Dr. Robert Zepeki, DVM CVCP, owner of Village Animal Group

Did you know that the brains of cats and dogs are very similar to our own? A smaller portion of the brain is dedicated to intelligence but they have the same major nerves and are close to us in their capacity for memory. As you know, their sense of smell, sight, and hearing all exceed our ability. You may have also realized that dogs and cats don’t really chew much. In fact, they mostly rip, tear, and swallow their food. A pet’s teeth, though quite different from ours, require regular check-ups to keep your furry companion happy and healthy. Here is a closer look at canine and feline chompers and how you can keep your pet smiling.


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Animal Reiki – Understated Power Underneath the Gentleness!

Animal Reiki image

by Shuchi Arora Chechi, Animal Reiki practitioner and owner of Antahsaara

“So, does your dog make you feel loved, de stressed, relaxed?”; I asked one of the women attending, as I began the short talk I was conducting on Animal Reiki, at one of the local pet stores, near where I stay. She nodded in affirmation.

“Why?” I continued. “How does it do this? What does it actually do?”

She appeared a tad bit confused, & unsure about what I meant. “Do? Well, Nothing!…” “That’s what! It actually does nothing, right?; I responded. She nodded cautiously, still kind of unsure about what I was getting at, as I continued. “That is what pets do; don’t they! They aren’t really doing anything. They just are. It’s just their presence; simply the ‘being ness’ that acts so powerfully to create feelings of well being & relaxation inside us!” “It is this ability to be simply present for us in that moment, with their whole being; in short, their ability to be mindfully present for us that works the magic!”

Clarity seemed to dawn slightly on the woman’s face.

“That is kind of what Animal Reiki is! We try to create for our animals that space of pure mindful being ness which is absolutely unadulterated. We try to give them what they give us!”; I said hoping to make more sense especially since, another women attending the session has casually & rightly so remarked a while back that it’s difficult to explain Reiki to someone.

And that is what the core principle of Animal Reiki is, for anyone who might find it confusing to understand it. Its very simplicity is its core. And, its core is about aiming to create for animals exactly what they create for us – a space of unadulterated peace, & unconditional love. This is a state which helps them effortlessly connect, in turn, to a state of wholeness that we all inherently lean towards.

Reiki is the Japanese term for the omnipresent, pure, divine life energy that sustains us. I personally, overwhelmingly felt that this is also the same spiritual energy so often being referred to, inside James’s Redfield’s globally best selling, spiritual transformation book ‘The Celestine Prophecy’. Rei is the supremely intelligent, spiritual wisdom; Ki is the omnipresent, unseen, divine life force energy. It is also widely understood by various other names, depending on the tradition; such as Prana in Indian; Chi in Chinese, etc. Although, all living beings are connected to this life energy, since it is the very basis of their being alive, their ability to perfectly channel this energy in all its abundance, & purity starts depleting due to various factors, as they progress through life. When a Reiki practitioner works on you, they are essentially connecting you more wholly to this pure, ever present, infinite source of wellness, joy, harmony, & wisdom.

When we talk of energy, it is no secret that animals are way more energy sensitive & intuitive than average humans. They do not live in an analytical place of existence as humans. This is also what gives them an ability to be present in the moment; without the conscious baggage of any unfulfilled past, or apprehensive future. This mindful existence of these extremely energy centered beings, in turn, allows them to exude a very high & pure vibration of peace when they are in a space they trust, & around those they adore. In that moment, they are feel complete; joyful; content; & think or analyze nothing else.

Understanding all this, also makes the true process of Animal Reiki, quite different from its human counterpart. Unlike sending Reiki to a human, the practitioner does not begin with the assumption that they shall be placing their hands on an animal. An animal, especially one that is unfamiliar with the practitioner; or has been recently rescued from a shelter, has undergone some sort of trauma like abuse, or is otherwise of a nervous or aggressive disposition might not be prepared for the energetic experience of Reiki hands being laid on them. No matter how benevolent the intentions, this might be something too overwhelming, & uncomfortable for such an animal, to begin with.

Animal Reiki blog imageTherefore, the process of Animal Reiki works from a distance, unless the animal indicates by its own mannerisms the need for closeness or its comfort with a hands on approach, or is familiar with the practitioner. In addition, the practitioner also always takes what may be called energy based permission from an animal. He/She goes into what is called Reiki meditation mode, beginning by grounding themselves, & then into creating an energetic mental space of deep silence, love, & peace. From this space, they mentally connect to the animal or its heart space for receiving permission to send them Reiki. This, asking for permission, fantastical as it may sound, is one of the chief cornerstones of Animal Reiki. Reiki is pure energy from the source; this kind of energy always respects free will. That is why, even in human Reiki, it is always recommended that the in order for Reiki to work more powerfully, the receiver be completely open to receiving it.

Animal Reiki is above all a process which acknowledges the inbuilt subconscious intelligence of all animals to be guided towards that which will serve their highest good. Remember, animals are naturally tuned in to the presence of most things from danger & safety to food in their surroundings. When the animal gives permission, which they usually, & thankfully do give (again, because they are acutely sensitive to the energetic appeal & intent of what is being offered to them, & by who) they automatically start being receivers of this healing energy. In fact, not just an animal for whom this energy may be intended, but every other animal in the vicinity has a choice to tune in to, or not, to this energy, especially if the session is happening in a barn or a shelter! In the absolute wholeness of this healing energy lie infinite possibilities of wellness & healing, & an animal or bird; be a dog, a cat, a horse, or a hen is being guided effortlessly to an inner state of wholeness. It is in this deeply relaxed state that the body & mind’s self healing mechanism, & their ability towards greater immunity, & vitality gets activated. This makes Animal Reiki a blessing for animals in different conditions, & environments, whether they are suffering from just living in a stressful space; are physically ill; or are preparing to undergo a surgery etc. It can also be a graceful support to help very old, or terminally ill pets pass over gently.

Not just this, animal Reiki is known to relieve stress levels & create an ambience of greater peace, & relaxation for the human counterparts; be their owners, or their caretakers, in an area where animals regularly receive Reiki. Reiki, after all, is beautiful all sustaining pure energy. It flows across the barriers of time, & space, & of its own practices no discrimination in who should receive it.

It is widely known & proven scientifically that animals end up overwhelmingly absorbing all that their humans might be undergoing – tension; joy; even disease. Animal Reiki is one of the most beautiful, non invasive, absolutely safe, holistic way there is to reward them with a chance towards a state of greater equilibrium; & to regain all that they so effortlessly give.

About the Author:

Shuchi Arora ChechiShuchi Chechi is a Vipassana meditator & an Usui/Holy Fire III Reiki Master who feels guided to support people find the same deeper sense of wholeness & happiness through these tools that she
found. She is a Certified Aromatherapist who loves to educate on the correct therapeutic value of essential oils, and a Tarot guide who helps shed insights & clarity into someone’s ongoing soul journey when they feel unsure & lost. As a dog lover, she was introduced to the wonderful option of dog fostering after moving to Los Angeles and felt logistically unready to adopt a forever fur buddy. She continues to foster different dogs (one at a time!) since then. Somewhere along the line, she felt logically inspired to combine her eternal love for human holistic healing & mindfulness meditation & for dogs, & get certified in Animal Reiki. Her name Shuchi means ‘pure’ in Sanskrit. She is a spiritual soul finding increasing joy in discovering the larger mysteries & meaning to her existence on this plane. She loves embracing the soul nourishing presence of nature; & receiving clear insights that flow, in moments of silence when the heart is connected to consciousness; untouched by the noise of the mind.

Request a quote from Shuchi Chechi


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Animal Hydrotherapy and Weight Management

Animal Hydrotherapy

by Leslie Gallagher McMahon,  owner/founder of Two Hands Four Paws

The call from Alex’s owner was typical. “My dog is somewhat overweight and needs to have surgery for a torn cruciate ligament, but the vet cannot do it until he loses some weight. Can you help us??”  I replied that of course we could help and we set up an appointment. Alex turned out to be more than “somewhat” overweight. He was, in fact, absolutely enormous. For a golden retriever a good weight can be anywhere from 70-90 pounds give or take. Alex was 165. As soon as I saw him my heart sank, and I knew we had our work cut out for us. (more…)