This month we feature the "Animal Scents" product line by Young Living
Essential Oils for animals. Young Living offers these all-natural health and
grooming products for pets to reduce the harmful effects of environmental
pollutants, harsh chemicals and drugs.
The Animal Scents Shampoo cleanses animals thoroughly and gently without the
harshness of sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients often found in pet care
products. Sodium lauryl sulfate can damage the immune system and is a potent
carcinogen when contaminated with nitrosamines.
The shampoo cleans an animal's coat without stripping it of essential vitamins
and minerals. Ingredients include saponified coconut and olive oils, aloe vera,
rosemary extract and essential oils of citronella, lavandin, lemon, geranium and
The Animal Scents Ointment is a soothing ointment enhanced with nature's most
antiseptic essential oils. Instead of possible harmful drugs and antibiotics
often prescribed, it combines nature's antiseptics found in Melaleuca
alternifolia and myrrh, skin soothers such as rosewood, palmarosa and patchouli
essential oils and additional natural ingredients such as mink oil, lecithin,
beeswax, lanolin, sesame seed oil, wheat germ oil, carrot seed oil and rose hip
To purchase these products and other essential oils online, go to http://oc-yleo.younglivingworld.com/.
For more information, contact us at info@OptimumChoices.com or phone: (303)
271-1649 or 866-305-2306 (toll-free).
If you are in the Denver area, we invite you to attend our October 4th
workshop on Natural Pet Care which will include how to feed your pet a healthy
diet based on raw meat, bones and vegetables. See the
Classes section below for
Most holistic animal practitioners are now in agreement that a diet of raw meat
and bones is the healthiest way to feed our cats and dogs. Cats and dogs evolved
in the wild as carnivores that eat raw, whole animals so this is what their
bodies are designed to digest. If we can approximate their wild diet, they will
live in optimal health, with increased happiness, fewer behavioral problems and
decreased vet visits.
Since many pet owners don't have time to prepare a raw diet from scratch (which
involves grinding meat and bones and mixing with pureed vegetables), many
companies are now offering premade frozen raw diets that we can give our pets.
This may not be affordable if you have a large dog but we certainly recommend
this for owners of cats and small dogs who are pressed for time. This is what we
feed our cat Connie and dog Mikki. Our dog Mikki will eat anything we give her
but our cat Connie is old and quite finicky so I've noted below our successes
and failures with feeding her various brands.
Following are some of the many companies offering premade raw diets. You can
generally find at least one of these brands at holistic pet supply stores in
large cities or you can order some of these over the Internet (though shipping
can be quite expensive):
We have tried numerous brands of premade raw foods over the past year and
this is our favorite for cats. (They also make raw food for dogs). We just
recently found this at a local pet store and tried it on our cat Connie, who we
are still trying to shift to a raw diet. She likes this brand and will eat it
straight, unlike many other brands or homemade food. Also, since it has few
ingredients, she tolerates it well. Some brands, which make a single food for
both dogs and cats, have a large number of ingredients in them that can be
difficult for cats to digest. We found that Connie had difficulty digesting the
raw food made by Nature's Variety because it has so many ingredients in it. She
became sick on it and we had to switch back to canned food until we found this
We also like the fact that the meats in this brand are free range and hormone
free, unlike typical supermarket meats, so it is much healthier for your pet.
The cat food is garlic-free, which we like. Many companies put garlic in their
food mixes but there is some debate as to whether garlic is safe for cats or can
cause hemolytic anemia, as does onions.
Amore's cat foods are conveniently packaged in small plastic sealed bags that
are approximately the right size for one day's worth of food for one cat. This
makes it more convenient than many other brands that package their food in large
amounts that may need to be defrosted, repackaged in smaller amounts and then
refrozen (thus decreasing nutritional value).
Nature's Variety makes frozen raw, freeze-dried raw, canned and kibble for
both dogs and cats. We particularly like the freeze-dried raw lamb patties which
we use as training treats for our dog Mikki. They are extremely tasty yet also
very healthy, so we don't have to worry about damaging Mikki's health when we
use these for training. We break the patties up into pieces and put them in a
treat bag for use on walks and at agility class. This is far healthier than
buying a typical training treat that often contains poor quality ingredients
like propylene glycol (to make it soft).
In addition to full-sized patties, Nature's Variety offers their frozen raw food
in bags of mini patties, which are an ideal size for small animals. Instead of
having to thaw a 1-pound "chub" (the usual packaging of other brands) and then
repackage and refreeze it, you can just thaw out the number of mini patties
needed for the next meal. We feed these mini patties to Mikki for meals but as
noted above, they don't agree well with our cat Connie. The patties also contain
garlic, another reason to use caution with cats.
While we don't recommend feeding kibble to dogs or cats (particularly cats, who
are not designed to eat carbohydrates), if you must feed a kibble, we think
Nature's Variety makes the healthiest brand on the market and it is also very
tasty. Our cats go nuts over it on the rare occasions that we use it.
This company makes a huge variety of raw meat, bone and vegetable meals for
dogs and cats. The company is a division of Miller foods which has been
producing meat for the restaurant industry for 50 years, so the pet food is
human grade meat. It is not organic but you will find a wider variety of
products than most other brands of raw pet food. Our cat Connie likes the raw
turkey/bone/vegetable mix made by Oma's Pride but she refused ground rabbit and
bone. Many cats love rabbit so it's just a matter of trial and error to see what
your cat will eat.
Steve's makes frozen and freeze-dried raw food, with separate products for
dogs and cats. Our cats turned up their nose at the frozen food though they will
sometimes munch on the freeze-dried cubes a little bit. It contains salmon so if
your cat likes salmon, you may have good success with it. This brand
contains less ground bone than other brands but they do carefully balance the
calcium and phosphorus ratios and add bone meal if needed. Like Oma's Pride, the
meat is human grade.
We have not tried this brand since it is not available in nearby stores but
it may be available in your area. Dr. Billinghurst is an Australian vet who
pioneered the concept of feeding raw meat and bones to dogs (BARF=bones and raw
food or biologically appropriate raw food). This company makes frozen and
freeze-dried raw food products for dogs. See the book section below for Dr.
Billinghurst's pioneering book "Give Your Dog a Bone".
Add Years To Your Pet's Life With Natural Pet Care
Saturday, October 4, 10:00-2:00
Panera Bread, Grant & 13th Avenue, Denver, CO
This workshop will show pet owners how they can play an active role in extending
the life expectancy of their pets through optimum nutrition and complementary
wellness therapies. We will present many natural options for
pet owners including the raw foods diet concept, natural shampoos, aromatherapy,
Reiki, Bach Flower remedies, and canine massage. Participants are invited to
bring their pet food package labels for a free analysis and to receive
recommendations for necessary diet modifications.
The cost is $22 per person with advance registration through Saturday, September
27 and the price includes lunch (the price is $27 after September 27). A portion
of ticket sales will be donated to the Table Mountain Animal Center in Golden.
Add Years to Your Pet’s Life will cover topics on how to:
Design an optimum nutrition program for your pets
Avoid the dangers of today’s pet fast-food diets
Properly read pet food package labels
Boost your pet’s immune system
Wash coats and treat wounds with natural shampoos and ointments
Improve your pet’s health with massage, Reiki and flower remedies
To register, contact Optimum Choices at (303) 271-1649 or Russell@OptimumChoices.com.
Beyond Aromatherapy — The Wonderful World of Essential Oils
Saturday, November 22, 12:00-3:00 PM $20 through Nov. 15 ($25 after)
Journey Books & Gifts, Lakewood, CO
Essential oils have been around since the beginning of recorded history. Ancient
Egyptians used essential oils for medicinal purposes and to cleanse the
emotional body. Come join us as we rediscover the therapeutic value of essential
oils. The class will include hands on use of oils for physical conditions,
emotional release and clearing mental blocks for a fully integrated mind, body
Call Journey Books at 303-239-0382 to register.
Living the Ancient Tao in a Modern World
Saturday, December 6, 12:00-5:00 PM $65 by Nov. 26 ($75 after)
Journey Books & Gifts, Lakewood, CO
Could you be good at playing tennis without ever using a backhand stroke? Would
you like to have double the amount of options in figuring out a problem at work?
Would you like to go through life without ever being disappointed? Answers to
these questions can be found in this ancient Eastern philosophy of life.
Students will be introduced to the Tao with a comparison between today’s modern
Western ways of life. Readings will be done from the Tao Te Ching. Emphasis will
be on how to make this ancient Taoist knowledge practical in every day life
including the corporate world. Come discover the Universal Truths inherent in
all religions and spiritual practices. Come learn the basis for most
metaphysical principles and see how the new age thought is not so “new.”
This book, by Australian vet Ian Billinghurst, came out in 1993 and was a major
factor in persuading breeders and pet owners to begin feeding raw food to their
dogs. Dr. Billinghurst was a pioneer in using raw diet with dogs to resolve
health problems. This book is now the "bible" for raw diet for dogs. It is not
available on Amazon.com but can be ordered on the BARFworld website
www.barfworld.com, which describes the book as follows:
"Give Your a Bone deals exclusively with feeding dogs their natural or
evolutionary diet. This book contains vital information for all dog owners. It
is a must for the owners of new puppies. Its 320 pages are packed with practical
authoritative dog feeding advice that will drastically reduce vet bills. It
shows that a dog’s diet, which is based on raw meaty bones, is simple to
produce, promotes health and is inexpensive. “Give Your Dog a Bone” explains why
processed foods are the major cause of growth, reproductive, dental and most of
the degenerative diseases including problems such as cancer, diabetes,
arthritis, kidney failure, cardiac disease, the auto-immune diseases etc."
You can also find other books by Dr. Billinghurst and a video on raw diet at
Nothing on this website has been evaluated by the FDA. This information
is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please
see a qualified healthcare practitioner for any disease or illness.