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RUDOLPH the red-nosed retriever Creating a safe place for your dog during the holidays

by Kathey Huckabee

ports them to the organs which filter them out. Massage also increases lymph move- ment, improves muscle health by relaxing tight muscles, and reduces the build-up of scar tissue. Finally, massage affects animals on an emotional level which can help with depression, fear and anxiety while promoting comfort, love and bonding. Combine mas- sage with another form of energy work, such as Reiki, and you have given your pet a very loving wellness gift!

The holidays are here! During this festive time of the year there is infinite cause for celebra- tions that include friends, family, business associates and others. However, let us not forget the special part of many families, our pets. These furry companions, even those who are poster pets for the most well-be- haved, may become difficult to handle dur- ing this time of the year. Disruptions in the everyday routine, unfamiliar guests in our home, as well as our own added stress and are just a few of the stressors for our pets.

How do you remedy the inevitable? One suggestion is to try and keep Rudolph’s schedule as simple and sane as possible. In- clude daily exercise during this time and per- haps, have an extra playtime if possible. Cre- ate a “safe” place for your pet, like a crate or a quiet place in a bedroom, so they can get away from all of the foot-traffic and strangers coming and going from your home.

In addition, just as humans benefit from a re- laxing day at the spa, the benefits of massage for our canine companions are also numer- ous. Although massage is never a substitute for veterinary care, it is a wonderful way to help de-stress. Massage increases blood circulation by opening blood vessels which helps to remove waste products and trans-

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Aromatherapy and the use of flower es- sences are great ways to promote a stress- free environment for your pet. Essential oils or hydrosols are inhaled by the animal or rubbed into the skin which causes the body to release chemicals such as serotonin, nor- adrenaline and endorphins. These chemicals calm, rejuvenate and help to relieve pain in the animal. An example of this is vetiver. This oil promotes tranquility and helps to soothe states of irritability, anger and hysteria. It also has a balancing effect on the central nervous system. If you are interested in which type of oil to use for your pet, consult your vet or a specialized professional who can guide you.

Flower essences are completely safe to use for animals. Cherry Plum is an example of a flower essence that helps animals who are stressed out to the point of losing their tem- per, biting or hurting themselves. The correct combination of flower essences can alleviate problems especially when used in conjunc- tion with other therapies. There are many books about the different type of flower essences and their use, such as Bach Flower Remedies for Animals by Stefan Ball and Judy Howard.

So yes, the holidays are definitely here, but with special considerations for our pets, everyone will certainly ring in the New Year healthy and happy!

Happy Holidays!

Kathey Huckabee is the owner of The Crowne Pawza. She is a Certified Canine Massage thera- pist, Reiki practioner and also incorporates the suggestions listed above when consulting and working with clients. She can be reached in the following ways: or

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