PET | TAO Podcast

Dr. Marc Smith and Dr. Casey Damron (holistic veterinarians and creators of PET | TAO) explore Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) and how it relates to animal wellness in today’s world.

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Saturday Jul 30, 2022

I'm Dr. Mark Smith, veterinarian at Natchez Trace Veterinary Services. People ask me all the time about using Eastern herbal medicine in pets. It helps pets. There's no doubt. The pharmacy I use is Jing Tang Herbal in Reddick, Florida created by Dr. Xie. He's one of my mentors and the big thing you need to know about Eastern herbals and the take-home message from this video is the fact that the only side effect we can really have from Eastern herbals is in some pets, they'll get a stomach, their tummy hurt. They may throw up a little bit. They may get a little bit of diarrhea, but guess what? That'll resolve after a few days, keep on giving the herbal, and lots of times their system will adjust as their energy changes. So if you're interested in learning how we can help your pet, please call us at (615) 790-8100. Look us up on the web at franklintnvet.com.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Dr. Marc Smith: Hey there ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20 year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products. Welcome to episode 19 and this topic today is very interesting, and what we're going to talk about is essential oils in animals. It's something I could never imagine myself talking about, and here I am. I'm doing it. And I have a lovely lady with me today, and I know her very well. She works in my practice. She works in the pet food business. She is an incredible writer. She's an incredible animal advocate, and she's going to talk to us about essential oils, and I want you to welcome Becki Baumgartner. How's it going? Becki Baumgartner.: Going good, thank you Dr. Smith. Dr. Marc Smith: Yes, yes I am so glad to have you here in this setting where I get to interview you. Becki Baumgartner.: Well thank you. Dr. Marc Smith: Because usually you interview me, right? You tell me things, ask me questions about pets and all that. Becki Baumgartner: True. Marc Smith: And so I like being able to put you on the spot. Becki is an incredible lady. She's extremely well-versed in alternative medicine. Tell us some things you do Becki. Becki Baumgartner: So I do a lot with essential oils for pets. I do a lot of training in the Nashville area, essential oils classes, webinars, some herbal classes, and then continuing education classes for massage therapists in the field of Reiki. Dr. Marc Smith: So that's pretty impressive right there. Becki Baumgartner: So, keeps me busy. Dr. Marc Smith: You've got your own website? Becki Baumgartner: I do. Dr. Marc Smith: You have Meetup groups where people flock from all over middle Tennessee right? Becki Baumgartner: Right, yes. Dr. Marc Smith: And sometimes I go by there and I see 30 people there, and that's incredible. And that's a big testimonial to you. You know that right? Becki Baumgartner: Oh, thank you. Dr. Marc Smith: So, the topic is essential oils in pets. And what we're going to do is we're going to give you a history, I'm going to interview Becki, and then ultimately we're going to give you a case. And some of these things you can apply directly in your pet, dog or cat. Okay? So, Becki, tell us about essential oils, general overview back to when essential oils kind of started in history and the historical context of it. Becki Baumgartner: Actually one of the things that stick out in my mind when I started learning about essential oils, is the ancient Egyptians thought that oils were so valuable that when they would rob the pyramids they would steal the essential oils and leave all the jewels and stuff. Dr. Marc Smith: Wow. Becki Baumgartner: And that's actually what they found in King Tut's tomb is they found that's where the vats had been opened and the oils taken, but all the jewelry was still in there. And that's how valuable they thought the oils were. Even the ancient Egyptians used the oils for healing. Dr. Marc Smith: Incredible. Becki Baumgartner: So that was really interesting. Dr. Marc Smith: I always remember when I was a little kid and we would read these Bible verses in school, or in preschool, or whatever. They would talk about Frankincense. And I didn't even know what that was. Tell us what that is. Becki Baumgartner: So Frankincense is actually one of the more pricey oils, but it's a very difficult to get oil if you're getting a pure Frankincense oil. The tree, the Boswellia tree that the Frankincense is actually the sap of the tree, the Frankincense that's used for Frankincense essential oil. The tree itself grows off the side of a cliff, and in order to harvest that the harvesters have to climb up there, climb the cliff, and climb out on the tree that's growing out on the side of the cliff to collect the sap that's used for the Frankincense essential oil. And that's why it's so pricey. If you get a pure oil you get what you pay for, and Frankincense is one of the better ones. Dr. Marc Smith: Wow. So where does Boswellia grow? Where is it most common? Becki Baumgartner: It's in the Asia areas, and in the arid, rocky, cliffy kind of landscape therein. Dr. Marc Smith: Right, and so when the oils are harvested, how do they get the oil? How do they get the sap? Becki Baumgartner: Oh, well the sap has to be cut off the tree with a knife. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Becki Baumgartner: And then, depending on where you get your oils, like the purest oils the sap is collected and then it's steam distilled. And then the essential oil comes from the distillation process and the excess water and stuff is dumped off, and then you have your pure essential oil that's used for medicinal purposes. Dr. Marc Smith: Wow, wow. So, some examples, we have Lemon. I'm assuming that comes from lemon peels. Is that right? Becki Baumgartner: Yes. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, then we have Peppermint. That comes from ... Becki Baumgartner: Peppermint leaves. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, peppermint leaves. Becki Baumgartner: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: And can you just tell us some, just brief overview of the other ones? Oregano is one. Becki Baumgartner: Oregano leaves. Well then some plants you get essential oils from the various parts of the plant. Like Cinnamon for example, Cinnamon essential oil, it's called Cinnamon essential oil, comes from the bark. That Cassia, which is really in taste and scent similar to Cinnamon, comes from the leaves. So there's a lot, too much to kind of go into here about all that, but sometimes several parts of the same plant can be used in the essential oils called by a slightly different name. Dr. Marc Smith: So is there an essential oil, like say if my teenager's acting up, okay? Can I, Is there an essential oil that I can spray on her to make her act normal? Becki Baumgartner: Well it might be easier for you to spray a lot of Lavender on yourself. Dr. Marc Smith: On me? So I don't respond to her the way she acts right? Becki Baumgartner: Yeah. So it doesn't irritate you as much and you can just say she's just a teenager. Dr. Marc Smith: Yes that is a real good point. That's a real good point. Becki Baumgartner: And Lavender works on dogs too. Very well. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah, and I'm going to keep Lavender in my pocket, and so when my teenager irritates me I'm just going to drop a little drop on the top of my head. That sounds like a good idea. Becki Baumgartner: Actually, it would be better for you to rub it on your feet. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, why is that? Becki Baumgartner: With people there's more pores on the bottom of your feet than anywhere else on the body, so it'll get in your bloodstream a lot more quickly and calm you down. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Becki Baumgartner: And on dogs, it's the ear flap it gets in more quickly. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, okay. So you've kind of gotten me into these essential oils, and so I use them. You know, I'm not the kind of guy that would look like they would use essential oils, right? I mean, let's be honest, right? Becki Baumgartner: I know. I tell clients that you use them and they kind of giggle sometimes. Dr. Marc Smith: But I do use them, and I like them. And they make the house smell good, they make, I don't know, it's kind of weird how they do have some emotional or psychological impact on people? And so, we can see those same results in our pets, right? And so if somebody comes into the clinic, and they say hey Becki, I've got a dog that has arthritis, where do you start? Becki Baumgartner: So, well arthritis is an inflammatory disease and there's several essential oils that are recommended for inflammation. Lavender, believe it or not, I would - It was the one I least, before I learned about it, I least suspected Lavender as being an anti-inflammatory, but it really is. Not only does it calm you emotionally, but topically, rubbed in. And if you mix it with a little Peppermint, Peppermint is like a mild anesthetic on the skin, and then the Lavender goes deep down in to help reduce inflammation in the muscles, and ligaments, and that kind of thing. And it works really well. Dr. Marc Smith: So, but how do we put these on our pet? Becki Baumgartner: So with pets you need to dilute the essential oils, and the best thing to do is like at least three drops of carrier oil to one drop of essential oil. Dr. Marc Smith: What's an example of a carrier oil? Becki Baumgartner: A carrier oil, per se, would be like a very popular one is Fractionated Coconut oil. Or maybe Grapeseed oil. But with pets, especially furry pets, I prefer to not use a carrier oil, but to use Witch Hazel instead. Witch Hazel doesn't leave a sticky residue on the fur, so it doesn't leave sticky oil spots on like the carpet, the bed, or wherever your pet goes. Pure essential oil will absorb and not leave a mark, and when you mix it with Witch Hazel, there's just not residue after the Witch Hazel, which is water based, will evaporate real quickly. And there's no residue. The oil will go right in, directly into the dog's skin and do its work that way. Dr. Marc Smith: So, but I want you to explain specifically. So you take a Dixie cup, maybe put a drop or two of essential oil, and then Witch Hazel in it? Tell us that process. Becki Baumgartner: Oh, okay. Well my favorite way to do it, which I think is most efficient is I like to get little 5 mL or 10 mL bottles that have little roller balls on top. And the roller balls are excellent with pets because all you have to do is tip it upside down and roll it on where you want it to go on the dog. So what I do is I could just kind of eyeball my measurements with the carrier oil in the roller bottle. Or if you want to be more specific you could use an eye dropper and squeeze up some oil in the dropper and do one squirt essential oil, three squirts Witch Hazel, if you want to do it that way. Just make sure it's close. Dr. Marc Smith: You could use a syringe too, I guess? Becki Baumgartner: Or a syringe. Just make sure it's as close as possible to one to three, and mix it up in the roller bottle. And if you use Witch Hazel you want to make sure to shake it every time before you use it because the Witch Hazel is water based, and the essential oil will float to the top. But that's a real quick, easy way to apply it to your dog. Dr. Marc Smith: And so where would we apply it? Do we apply it to the place that hurts? Like a dog with Cranial Cruciate Disease. Do we apply it to the belly where you don't have to really go through any fur? Becki Baumgartner: It depends on your goal with the essential oil. So if you're using the essential oil for pain, you want to apply it to where the pain is, or inflammation. If your dog has a tummy ache you can concoct a mixture. You can use just plain Peppermint, or there's some other different ones you can blend together, and rub it on the tummy, and it'll help the dogs with like car sickness or upset stomach. If it's something like oil of Oregano that you're wanting to use as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, you want to put it somewhere on the dog that it'll get absorbed quickly. Like the ear flap has the veins real close to the ear, almost the way you would use like a transdermal medicine. So it just kind of depends on what you want to do. Dr. Marc Smith: Well that makes sense. Is there any side effects, any problems? What happens if my dog licks the essential oils? Is there any problems associated with that? Becki Baumgartner: There could be. You want to be very careful and make sure that you're using pure essential oils whenever you put them where your dog may lick. And you want to at least make sure that the oils are safe for ingestion if you're putting them on the paws, or the back, or the feet. And that's really easy to find out. All you have to do is look at the label bottle and it'll tell you. It'll say safe for ingestion or for external use only. Or it'll have a nutrition label on the back, on the label on the bottle. So you just want to look for all of those. Dr. Marc Smith: All of those little small print, fine things that a lot of us old people can't see right? Becki Baumgartner: Yes. Make sure to read them before you put them on your dog. Dr. Marc Smith: Right, right, right. So what do you, Let's say you have a case. I think you had a friend you've told me about who had a dog that had maybe a luxating patella and a cruciate ligament problem? Becki Baumgartner: Yes. That was Jilleen. She came here and you recommended Adequan for her, and the Adequan worked great. But see what she was trying to do is she came to Dr. Smith for a second opinion. She had a contract with another vet, like a yearly contract. And that vet wanted to refer her out for surgery. What had happened is her little Yorkie jumped off the bed and tore its ACL. And I guess it was a - Was it a partial tear? Dr. Marc Smith: Something like that. I can't remember. Becki Baumgartner: And so she came for a second opinion and saw Dr. Smith and he recommended she do Adequan injections to help rebuild the ligament and help everything. Dr. Marc Smith: Cartilage, joint fluid, etc. Becki Baumgartner: Cartilage and help everything grow back quicker. And she did that, and then she leans towards wanting to follow a natural route and did not want to give her little Yorkie Rimadyl. So I recommended that she try Peppermint and Lavender mixed with Witch Hazel, and just rub it on her leg every day maybe three or four times a day. And she did that, and she followed Dr. Smith's Adequan protocol, and the little dog actually liked getting the essential oils. I guess she liked that she knew that it made her feel better or something, but she would just sit real still and stick her leg out for it. But the dog's doing great now. Dr. Marc Smith: Doing great, getting around well. Becki Baumgartner: Not even limping, actually. Dr. Marc Smith: Not even limping. Does she think you did that, or I did that? Becki Baumgartner: Of course she thinks you're the hero. Dr. Marc Smith: Well I want her to give you a lot of credit because you deserve it. Becki Baumgartner: Well she was happy with her essential oils. Dr. Marc Smith: I know. I know. So there's a lot of different companies out there that make essential oils, right? Becki Baumgartner: Mm-hmm. Dr. Marc Smith: And how would people - What can you tell them, or is there something you can tell them when they're trying to decide the brand? I want you to give them some insight into how they choose a brand that actually gives the best benefit. Can you do that? Becki Baumgartner: Yeah, so regulation of essential oils in the United States is not very stringent right now. So in order for an essential oil product to be labeled 100% pure organic essential oil, all that has to be in there, that's really nothing but essential oil is 10%. The rest can be a carrier or whatever. And that's just our labeling laws. I'm not sure why it's that way. But that's the way it is. So you really have to do your homework to find out what the best oil is for you. And I'm not going to talk about the decision I made, but before I made my decision I did a lot of research. I looked at scientific studies. I looked at what oil companies were doing scientific studies, and made my choice that way. Dr. Marc Smith: So is it safe to say that probably the oils that cost more are more pure, refined, and ultimately better? Is that safe to say? Becki Baumgartner: You know, I couldn't find any research on the companies that have the less expensive oils to know. So I really can't say. Dr. Marc Smith: It's hard to say. Becki Baumgartner: I can just say which oils I would know and trust, I've become quite an oil snob and I'm very particular. Dr. Marc Smith:  You are an oil snob. Becki Baumgartner: I'm very particular to even what I put on my skin now. Dr. Marc Smith:  And an oil freak. I know. I am too. Can you believe that? Becki Baumgartner: But I'm very healthy. Dr. Marc Smith: Good, that's good. We all want to be that way, right? Becki Baumgartner: And our pets too. Dr. Marc Smith: We want our pets too. Becki Baumgartner: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: Right, that's good. So can you think of anything else to tell people? Becki Baumgartner: Be very careful using essential oils with cats. Cats are sensitive to a lot of oils that most other mammals are not. Cats and birds are more sensitive than dogs, and guinea pigs, and rabbits. Dr. Marc Smith: Can you tell us specific oils, or? Becki Baumgartner: So rule of thumb with your cat is pretty much anything is okay in the diffuser as long as the door is open, and the cat can leave, and fresh air can circulate in and out. The reason oils cause a problem in cats is because their livers and their kidneys don't process a lot of the different oils the way other mammals do. I think it's because of evolution and them just being totally carnivorous and not eating plant materials, is what I've learned. So they don't process it, so you don't want to put a lot of oils on your cat's skin, topically on them. Diffuser only. Be very, very careful and check with your veterinarian that is familiar with essential oils if you want to apply oils to your cat. Diffuser is okay as long as the cat can get in and out. There are two that I feel are safe with cats and that's Lavender and Frankincense. But that still needs to be diluted a lot and not used every day. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. So you're using the term diffuser, and some people may not know what that term is, right? So what is a diffuser? Becki Baumgartner: So a diffuser that works well with essential oils to provide the therapeutic effects would be a cold diffuser, which is a diffuser you fill with water, drop the oils in. There's usually a little disk in the bottom that causes a mist, that is not a steam, it's not hot, it's a cool mist. So a cool mist diffuser. If you don't have one of those you can put drops of essential oil in a cool vaporizer, but that puts a lot of extra moisture in the air also. What you don't want to use, is you don't want to use any of those little things that you put a candle underneath and put the oil in. If you heat the oil, a lot of the therapeutic properties are lost. Dr. Marc Smith: And so those, they're not real heat stable? Those oils? Becki Baumgartner: The oils are heat stable, well, the smell is heat stable, so it'll smell good and it'll fragrance your room. But the molecular constituents that have therapeutic effect on your body are not heat stable. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, well that makes sense. That makes sense. Well that's cool. Becki B.: Yeah, and it smells good. Dr. Marc Smith: It does smell good. And I remember you used to crank those things up and play the… what was that music you used to play in the clinic? Becki Baumgartner: Oh, Music in the Key of Om? Dr. Marc Smith: Yes, that music. And it used to just mesmerize people and pets when they came through the door, you know? Becki Baumgartner: Very relaxing. Dr. Marc Smith: It was a very calming, relaxing, kind of the atmosphere that we try to have in our clinic to help pets and also to help the people, you know? It was really good and I attribute all of that to you. Becki Baumgartner: Oh thank you. Dr. Marc Smith: That's awesome. So ladies and gentlemen, I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to essential oils in pets by Becki Baumgartner. Becki, I forgot to tell everybody that you are a master herbalist student. And when are you planning on graduating and? Becki Baumgartner: Hopefully December 2017. So very excited about that. Dr. Marc Smith: Awesome, congratulations, that's a big deal. Are you doing your homework? Becki Baumgartner: I'm trying. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, well you got to do your homework, right? Becki Baumgartner: I know. Dr. Marc Smith: So anyway, thank you for being here. In future podcasts we're going to talk about essential oils for specific problems like arthritis, like allergies, like GI distress, diarrhea, vomiting, really anything you can kind of think of that ... problems that may afflict our pets. And using essential oils to help them heal and to help them feel better, and to get better. If you want to look up information about Becki ... Becki, where can people go to find out information about you? Becki Baumgartner: Oh you can find information about me at BeckiBaumgartner.com and friend me up on Facebook. I have a Facebook page and on that page I have a list of all my upcoming events. I do a lot of free webinars. If you're interested in essential oils, you can learn a lot there. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. And Becki, let me tell you something. Becki knows what she's talking about. She's a real asset to what we do. And I can't thank you enough for being here. I mean you're incredible. You know that right? Becki Baumgartner: Well thank you for having me. Dr. Marc Smith: I tell you that all the time. I hope you know I'm being very sincere about that. Becki Baumgartner: Oh thank you. Dr. Marc Smith: So anyway, if you want other information on how to empower yourself to learn the best way to take care of your pet, then go to our blog at www.pettao.com. Becki is one of the writers and she's got tons of great information there, and tons of beneficial information that you can use every day to help your pets be happy and be healthy. Thank you for listening, and if you liked what we talked about today give us a rating on iTunes. And if you have any questions or you want to know information that we can cover on our podcasts that can help your pet, then feel free to submit questions through our PET | TAO website. Again it's pettao.com/contact/. Submit your questions and we'll answer them. Becki, you are awesome. Thank you for the interview and I'm sure everybody enjoyed it. Until next time everybody, thank you, and we'll see you next week.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Dr. Marc Smith: Hey there ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products Podcast. I am your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20-year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products. I have a special guest for you, a lady that I've known for about a year now. She is a dog trainer and her name is Noelle Blessey. Noelle, can you say hello please? Noelle Blessey: I can say hello please. Dr. Marc Smith: Hello, good to see you, glad to have you here and I'm excited to talk to you on an interview basis. Noelle has been a client, or you've come to my clinic for about a year now. Noelle Blessey: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: We went through kind of a troubled time with one of your pets and I've gotten to know her on a client basis, but also a friend basis and that's real important to me. Noelle is a dog trainer. She's been a dog trainer for eight years and Noelle, like I said, we have had multiple dog trainers on our podcast and we like to present our listeners with different ways of people doing things. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I'm sure you've heard of that. Noelle Blessey: Absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: Noelle went to the University of Texas. Let me tell you something and I want to make sure you understand this, okay. Texas has a T in it, but they're not the Big Orange, let's get that straight, okay. That's the first thing. Anyway, she went to University of Texas and she's got a degree in marine biology. She graduated in 1993. Noelle Blessey: Easy. Dr. Marc Smith: She is a lifelong dog owner. Noelle, can you just tell people how you got into dog training? What motivated you? Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Lifelong dog owner. I remember going through training with the family dog when I was a kid. Actually, I always wanted to be a whale trainer, or be involved with marine mammals. That's why my degree is in that. Didn't pan out, life took me a couple different places and the profession of dog training became an option to me through some other avenues, but I met a wonderful mentor in Jill Bowers, who's my business partner. It's my passion, so I've definitely ended in the right place. Dr. Marc Smith: Now, tell me about Jill, because I don't know her. Noelle Blessey: Okay, so Jill started the Thank Dog Training company in LA. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Noelle Blessey: She was probably training already for ten years when I met her. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. She started a company to help you get started- Noelle Blessey: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: Help you learn the craft and those type of things. Noelle Blessey: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: I know we've talked and your kind of suggestion, or maybe your angle is you train dogs primarily in their environment, in the home, right? Noelle Blessey: That's right, that's right. Dr. Marc Smith: Why do you do that? Noelle Blessey: Well, my main focus with training is behavior modification. The clients I'm seeking out, or the clients who are seeking me out are dealing with behavior issues. It's primarily obedience training. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Noelle Blessey: There's a lot of great trainers in town who do primarily obedience training and they'll actually compete in obedience. I'm actually going into homes where they're having some pretty serious issues. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Noelle Blessey: The environment is a piece of that. Keeping them in that environment, working through what they're going through in that environment at the direction and the hands of their own owners, so I'm doing a lot of people training too. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Just so everybody knows, you've got obedience training. That's where you teach Rover how to sit, stay, pee-pee outside, poop on the left side of the house, all those type of things, right? Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: Then you've got problem-solving behaviors like separation anxiety maybe is a good example. Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: Or, maybe a dog that's aggressive, or maybe a dog that's ... I don't know, what's another one? Noelle Blessey: Leash reactivity, so you can have a dog on a leash who is making a lot of noise and jumping around and maybe that's aggression, but maybe that's just excitability. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah, okay. Noelle Blessey: Like he wants to go meet the other dogs. Basically, it's the owner doesn't have control. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. There's two different facets kind of, of dog trainer, maybe broad categories. Noelle Blessey: At least two, yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah, at least two. You have on the one side obedience, and that's the basic stuff, and on the other side you have kind of the problem-solving, or reactive, or behavioral side of it. We're going to stick with the behavioral. Again, why do you prefer to do that in someone's home? Is that because you can see the actual behavior? If you can treat the pet and the owner, because obviously the owner plays a big role in why the behavior started in the first place, right? Noelle Blessey: That's right, absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Why do you ... Why in the home? Just so you can tell everybody, why? Noelle Blessey: A lot of times a dog's behavior is really dependent on an environment, so if I took the dog out of that environment, and I'm a dog trainer, so I'm going to do things in a certain way with that dog. A lot of times dogs will not show me the behavior that they're showing for their own owners in their own environment. In a way, we have to have them in that environment in order to actually see the behaviors that they're showing. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. What is the most common reason you get called, or you get calls? What are they? Noelle Blessey: Some of the big ones are definitely dogs who have been labeled aggressive. We have to be really careful. That term is used pretty generally. Usually that means the dog is growling in certain situations, maybe he's barking a lot on leash and lunging. There's a difference though between an aggressive or vicious dog, and a dog who has and shows aggressive behaviors. Most often, most dogs are good dogs showing aggressive behaviors, and so we're addressing that. Sometimes it's fear though. Sometimes we've got some really timid dogs. Sometimes especially if it's a new rescue, they're just very, very shy, very timid, underexposed to the world in general, so that's one that we do a lot of too. Dr. Marc Smith: I guess a lot of it's perception, right? Noelle Blessey: Absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: On the owner's side. Noelle Blessey: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: They may think the dog is being aggressive, but you go out there and you ... It's not really that aggressive compared to all the pets you work with and that type of thing. Noelle Blessey: That's right. There's a spectrum. An owner's reality is what they know and as a professional I see an entire spectrum. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Noelle Blessey: Like the assessment piece, an initial consultation is extremely important when you're doing this kind of training, because an owner will write you a long email and tell you all kinds of things, but until you actually see the dog and put together what the owners, "story" or perspective is, but then see it yourself, could be slightly different than what you've been ... What's been described to you. Just because you know different ... As a professional you know some different things about behavior and motivation. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: Let's think about this, or let's pretend this. Let's pretend Rover, that's my dog, okay. Rover, every time the mailman comes up, he runs outside and growls, and barks, and slings saliva all over everybody. Just tell people real quick, how would you approach that? I mean, the mailman, he's tinkled in his pants, right? Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: The dog is throwing saliva all over the place, right? Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: How would you approach that with an owner if they called you up and that was their long email or that was their complaint, how would you approach that? Noelle Blessey: Well, the first thing I would talk about with them is a lot of times people have what they believe to be the why of why a dog is doing something, and so we'll talk about ... Let's talk about dog brain, let's talk about the way they actually think and it tends to be much more simplistic than what we as humans think. We put a little bit of human perspective a lot of times on dog behavior, so I'll say to folks, "You realize the postman approaches your house every day and the first time your dog barked at the postman, because he didn't want him approaching his house, the postman left, didn't he?" Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Yes. Noelle Blessey: In a dog's mind, because he barked the postman left. Dr. Marc Smith: He won, right? Noelle Blessey: He won. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah. Noelle Blessey: The postman, he didn't listen, he came back the next day. Now, the dog thinks, "Well, maybe I better tell him a little louder, maybe I'd better be a little more serious this time. Oh look, he left again. It worked, me being louder worked, right?" Will the postman come back the next day? Now the dog's going to ... It's just this escalating, elevating behavior because this continues to happen and the dog says, "This isn't working. Why does he keep approaching the house?" His behavior just gets more elevated and more elevated. That's number one. Let's talk about why the dog is doing it, what does he think he's actually accomplishing? Then let's talk about how do we deal with this? How do we ... There's a management piece. There's not allowing the dog to be in a place to maybe observe the postman for a certain period of time, while we can teach the dog an alternate behavior to reacting that way. We do still use obedience commands for behavior modification, it's just that we're creating a desired behavior that we want to then introduce in place of an undesired behavior. Dr. Marc Smith: With that being said now, so you're replacing the undesired behavior with the desired behavior. Noelle Blessey: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: How do we reinforce the desired behavior? Okay. If I think about with my friends, right? Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: I tell my kid, "Put your cellphone down please." Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: The older I've gotten, the more I realize that I need to say, "Hey honey, can you please put down your cellphone," right? Then I don't get the desired effect. Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: The next time I'm like, "Hey, put your cellphone down now." Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: Then the third time I'm like, "Get that damn thing ... If you don't put it down I'm throwing it in the trash, now." Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: What you're telling me is a dog does it the same way, kind of the same way. Noelle Blessey: Yes. Dr. Marc Smith: Okay. Then, but if he uses that, "Hey honey, put your cellphone down." How do you enforce that, or reinforce that behavior? What is an idea to do that, or a way to do that? Noelle Blessey: No, well that's a great example, because the way that you described it is a way that dog owners often ... It's a way that they often approach their dogs. They'll ask for something, if they don't get it the first time they'll get a little louder, get a little more serious. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah. Noelle Blessey: "No, really, sit. Come on now, I really mean sit," right? By the third, fourth time, you're angry, you're loud and the dog goes, "Oh, I'll do it now." Now you've got a dog who will only do it when you get loud and angry. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Noelle Blessey: Because that's become a routine. They're routine-based animals, so repetition is easy if they sense that you really mean it at the point that your face gets red and you're screaming at me. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Noelle Blessey: However, most dogs are pretty easily motivated. We'd rather come from a place of using a dog's motivation to get him to want to do something for us, as opposed to intimidating him into doing something for us. It's much more likely you're going to get it to repeat if you can get him to work for something he wants for himself, because dogs are selfish creatures. Dr. Marc Smith: What's something he'd want? Food, snack, play time, what is something he'd want? Noelle Blessey: Could be a treat, could be a toy, could be as simple as, "Good boy." You're around animals all the time and you're dealing with energy and emotion a lot, right? They're in your practice, they're maybe not comfortable, but coming in and just using a voice that is soothing, or happy, they do pick up on tone. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Noelle Blessey: If I've got a dog, I ask him to do something, we've gone through it enough times that he knows that if he does it the first time, "Good boy," right? He gets that and they lock ... They tend to really watch you and engage when you give that. Plus, maybe a little pat on the head, a little scratch on the ear. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah. Noelle Blessey: A lot of dogs are really motivated by emotion. Dr. Marc Smith: It's funny you mentioned that, because I kind of don't do things the traditional way, so I don't wear a white coat. Noelle Blessey: Sure. Dr. Marc Smith: I may wear shorts. I may even wear my crocs and I ... Most of my exams I do on pets while I'm sitting in the chair. Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. Noelle Blessey: Just casual. Dr. Marc Smith: I don't put dogs up on the table. I've done that, sometimes I might, but it seems like the response out of the pet is, "Okay, this guy's being real casual. He's cool, he's hip, he's not doing anything to me. Yeah, I'll sit here and I won't bite at him." Noelle Blessey: Right. Dr. Marc Smith: When you say that, what you just said, that reminds me of my approach and maybe my energy or whatever you want to call it, is casual and so the dog doesn't, or the pet doesn't seem to be in a ... I don't even know the right word, but in a "prone" position maybe. Noelle Blessey: Sure. Vulnerable, anxious. Dr. Marc Smith: Vulnerable, yes. Noelle Blessey: They get anxious when they feel tension. Dr. Marc Smith: Absolutely. Noelle Blessey: Yeah, absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: Absolutely. That's an interesting concept. What other problems do you treat? I just mentioned aggression. What are the most common problems you treat? Noelle Blessey: We tend to see a lot of separation anxiety, especially if it's a new dog in a new home in a new environment, or it's an old dog who's going through a lot of change. Maybe folks who have had to move around a bunch recently, maybe they bought a home and then it wasn't ready, or ... There's a lot of ... Any circumstance where there's a lot of change going on in a household, the dogs notice because they are such routine-based animals. Dr. Marc Smith: Right. I agree. Noelle Blessey: When they can't predict what's going on around them, you'll see things like anxiety pick up, you'll see things like fear pick up. Fear really is the base of most aggression, so then if it goes on long enough, it does usually get to aggression. Dr. Marc Smith: I did a podcast, that brings up another interesting point, a couple of episodes ago that talked about this emotional cycle of change that people go through and it's pretty predictable. Pets, we don't really apply it to pets from this depth that I go into it on the podcast, but they probably do, but we know that when that pet changes, it sure does apply to the owner. Noelle Blessey: That's right. Dr. Marc Smith: They're changed behaviors, they're emotional changes they go through, so that's another interesting point. I'm pretty ... I'm becoming enlightened today, thank you. Noelle Blessey: Good, absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: What I would ... This is kind of my opinion, but I'm going to broadly or generally say that a lot of these behaviors in pets, not all of them, but some of them, a lot of them, let's say that, they are kind of maybe not caused by the owner, but they are ... Gas is thrown on the fire by the owner. Noelle Blessey: They're linked. Dr. Marc Smith: Would you say that? Noelle Blessey: They're definitely linked. They're definitely related. I don't tend to walk into a home and say, "You're the reason for the issue," but I'll say, "There's definitely a connection between something you're going through, or just a way that you're trying to communicate with your dog may not be working for the dog." Sometimes it's just as basic as inconsistent communication. Maybe there's not a whole lot of craziness going on in the household, but if you're not doing something the same way every time you do it, the dog can't understand that you want the same response. Dr. Marc Smith: Structure. Noelle Blessey: Structure, consistency, repetition. Dr. Marc Smith: Right, right. How do you ... That's hard to tell somebody and for them to act on it. Noelle Blessey: Absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: That's kind of like hard for me to say, "Hey, don't feed Rover 16 ice cream sandwiches and then his kibble, you need to cut out on the ice cream sandwiches." Well, they don't do that, right? That's a big hurdle to get across. Noelle Blessey: It is. Dr. Marc Smith: Any tips? Does that lead to a lot of failure? Does that lead to why maybe some problems that you could help, you can't because of their inability or unwillingness to do that? Noelle Blessey: I'm pretty honest with the owners upfront in a very gentle way and most people can understand that it is somewhat related to them. We'll talk about a way ... We'll point out specific instances of a way they might be doing something and get them to see that if they just shifted slightly this way, that they would get better results. Usually what I'll do is I'll say ... We'll kind of look at a subset of things that are going on for them and say, "Let's just start with these." Honestly, where we start with everybody is really breaking habits of the human involved and the dog just follows along, because now I've got the human doing things differently. I don't generally get a lot of pushback on that, because the results tend to speak for themselves. I tell people right upfront, I said, "I'm confident your dog is capable of change. I've seen enough dogs in my time to know that 95% of dogs can be helped. The biggest factor, the biggest variable involved in this, is the human owner." Dr. Marc Smith: Okay, that's good to know. Noelle Blessey: We lay that out really early and most people are pretty accepting of that. Dr. Marc Smith: Cool. Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: Cool. Noelle Blessey: Some take a little longer to change than others, but we talk about that. We stay in close contact throughout the process, so we're constantly checking in on, how's that going? What's going well, what's not going well? Dr. Mark Smith: We're going to kind of wind this down just a little bit and I think everybody understands that you handle behavior problems. There's two difference in ... Two broad differences in the way we ... There's obedience and then there's behavior and there's other things, but those- Noelle Blessey: Sure. Dr. Marc Smith: Are the ones people are most familiar with. Then we talked about common problems and how dogs ... Things you do each and every day in your interaction either reinforce things or they ... Positive behaviors, or they tear down positive behaviors. Now, what I want to say is how do you stay on top of dog training? What do you do to learn more? Is there anything you do to learn more? Noelle Blessey: Absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: How do you stay up with it? How do you provide, or how do you try to provide the best to the people that call on you? Noelle Blessey: Sure. I'm a part of an international organization of canine professionals, it's not just dog trainers actually, it's basically anyone who is in a business situation or a professional that works with canines. Through that organization I've become acquainted with some of the top dog trainers in the country especially, but some actually in other countries who are doing a great job of putting out videos and sharing stories, and case studies, who are open to receiving questions from other dog trainers. I'm a part of a network here in the states of folks who have trained with the same master trainer that I did. I can always go to them and have discussions and I think that open communication with other professionals in your field is always important. You can always learn from other people, "How do you handle this kind of client and how do you ... Here's what I've already tried, what do you do?" I think a big thing in every profession is just the open-mindedness that there may be a better way to do it than the way you've been doing it. There's a lot of that. We have continuing education opportunities through conferences, or through workshops, whether it's in person, or on video, or some practical hands-on that I can take my own dogs to. Dr. Marc Smith: Awesome. Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: We're going to end up. If you had one thing to tell these listeners to prevent a behavioral problem in their pet, one thing, tell them. Noelle Blessey: If you were only going to do one thing at all, I would say exercise your animal. Dr. Marc Smith: Exercise, exercise, exercise. Noelle Blessey: A tired dog is a good dog. Dr. Marc Smith: That's right. Noelle Blessey: If there was nothing else you were going to do, exercise the animal. Dr. Marc Smith: That's right. Me tired on Saturday watching football's a good thing too, right? Noelle Blessey: Well, and you want your dog to be tired and- Dr. Marc Smith: That's right. Noelle Blessey: Welcoming laying on the couch with you. Dr. Marc Smith: You're exactly right. Noelle Blessey: Yeah, absolutely. Dr. Mark Smith: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening. Noelle, you were awesome. Search her out, look up if you have any dog training questions. Noelle, thank you for being here. Noelle Blessey: Thank you so much. Dr. Marc Smith: You were awesome. Thank you for bringing your pets to my clinic. Noelle Blessey: Absolutely. Dr. Marc Smith: That's a big deal to me. Noelle Blessey: Well, thank you and for what you do. Dr. Marc Smith: Yeah. Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: Anyway, listeners out there, thank you for tuning in. If you liked what we talked about today, then give us a rating on iTunes, because that helps us out. That helps get more outstanding information to people so that they can learn how to take care of their dogs and cats. Also, if you have questions look up our blog at www.PETTAO.com. Have you looked at that? Noelle Blessey: I have. Dr. Marc Smith: Well, okay. Noelle Blessey: Yeah. Dr. Marc Smith: Look at it, there's some good books on there, you would like them, okay. I wrote a lot of them. Noelle Blessey: I know. Dr. Marc Smith: Now, they're about medical problems, but they're good, okay. Noelle Blessey: I'm on it, yep. Dr. Marc Smith: Go there and look and we will see you next time. Thank you again, Noelle.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

 Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast, I'm your host and today I've really got a special guest, friend, and colleague, and his name is Stewart Clay. What we're gonna be talking about today with Stewart is training your dog and what you need to look for, what you need to be aware of, and get some professional advice from somebody who I've dealt with for a long time, who I've trusted with client's pets and actually I do work for Stewart both as a veterinarian, as a collaborator on different dog issues, and so please welcome Stewart Clay. Stewart, how's it going? Stew Clay:  Good Marc, thanks for having me. Marc Smith, DVM:  Stewart, can you tell everybody what you do? Stew Clay:  I own a website business called K9 Contenders. It essentially helps people find puppies, breeders, trainer, stud dogs, if you're looking for a breeding dog, really everything sporting dog related, sort of a resource to help you find the right people and connect with them in a way that it enhances the experience of going through that process. Essentially represent professional trainers and breeders all over the country to help people find things like puppies, reputable trainers, breeders, that kind of thing. Marc Smith, DVM:  You say sporting dogs. That may be a term that a lot of people don't understand. What exactly is a sporting dog? Stew Clay:  It can mean a lot of different things. In my world, it's a gun dog, a retriever, a duck dog, or a dove dog, it can be a flushing dog; most of it's a retriever-type dog. It's meant to be for any sporting dog, whether it be agility, dock diving, hunting, or all of those types of things. It's a relatively new business, so right now, it's pretty sporting dog related in terms of hunting, but it's really meant to be anything that is an active outdoor type tool or something you would use for an activity outdoors if you will. Marc Smith, DVM:  Those dogs, they're high-powered machines, right, and they have to be trained to do what the owner wants. Stew Clay:  Absolutely. Marc Smith, DVM:  What we're gonna do is Stewart, he has this awesome website, but he also has trained dogs for how long, Stewart? Stew Clay:  Oh gosh, 20 plus years for sure. Marc Smith, DVM:  Twenty-plus years and he's dealt with all different kinds of dogs, and so what we're gonna do is we're gonna talk about some ideas and some concepts from a professional dog trainer, and like I said, I've known Stewart oh for probably ten years, and he's a client, and I refer a lot of people to him, and I have a lot of faith in what he does because he gets results out of the way he trains dogs and his training methods. Stewart, if you're telling people, as far as training their pet, let me back up. Let's talk about a scenario. Somebody goes out, and they buy a puppy and bring it home, and it's great, and everybody's happy, and life is wonderful, but then they're faced with the hard task of getting this dog to be a functional pet in their home. Can you talk about that and talk about the advice you give people. I know you train a lot of those dogs, but can you give people advice for some things that they can do at home or to make this transition from a crazy puppy to a functional pet or a functional young adult dog? Stew Clay: Yeah, sure, I would say the most important thing to start with is to get the right puppy. They're not all created equal. They all have their purpose and they're bred for a reason in most cases, so it's important to find out that the temperament is a fit and that the type of dog is a fit for you and your family. I would say first use a reputable breeder or someone like myself that's familiar with those people to make sure that you get the right puppy out of the gate. That's probably the most important decision you can make. Secondly, start right away. That's a blank canvas just like a child, so it's important that you start to train that dog on how it needs to behave in every walk of life. The second you get that dog home at 8, 9, or 10 weeks old, that's when you start training. A lot of people think that you start training at 5, or 6 months old, but that's not the case. Marc Smith, DVM:  You're already behind the eight ball a little bit. Stew Clay:  Right. A lot of the things that I see as a trainer that people encounter with young dogs and even older dogs, is these are habits that they've created as a puppy and they've gotten away with those things, and so now they have habits that have turned in to almost daily activities, so they're conditioned to do these things. As a trainer what I like to do is to build that puppy from the very beginning so that I can show it the things that I want and don't want in terms of its behavior. It's important that you work with that dog right out of the gate and you do it in a manner that makes sense to the dog and the picture is clear. In most cases, dogs are very black and white, so if you can paint that picture for them, then you can teach them, but if you can't teach them, you can't train them. Marc Smith, DVM:  When we've given these puppies these 6, 9, 12 sets of shots, they're like, "Hey Dr. Smith, how do I get my dog to pee in the right place, how do I get them to go to the bathroom?", can you tell people real quick how you do that? Do you give them a trophy, do you shower them with love, what do you do? Tell everybody. Stew Clay:  I train all dogs this way to start, no matter what the age, but when I get that puppy home, the first thing I'm gonna do is buy a kennel or a crate, whatever you want to call it, and I'm gonna use that as a tool. I'm gonna use one that is small enough to contain that puppy in a small environment, with no blankets, no toys, I mean it can have toys, but no blankets, no beds, no padding of any kind, and that's not to be cruel, that's to teach the dog to hold the potty. If you get a dog and you put it in a crate that has a blanket in it and it pee-pees, the blanket is just gonna soak that up. There's no ill effect to that, so the first thing we want to do is teach that puppy that it has to start to control itself, and if it pees, it has to sit in it, so that process makes the puppy think well that's no fun, I'd rather hold it longer and see if I can go out. The second thing, the most important thing to do with a young puppy is to take it out of the kennel, carry it to a spot in the yard, set it down, and give it a job. Marc Smith, DVM: The same spot every time? Stew Clay:  Yep. I'm gonna take that puppy out, I'm gonna set it on the ground and I'm gonna say hurry, hurry, hurry, potty, potty, potty, whatever word you want to use. Marc Smith, DVM:  Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. Stew Clay: Yeah, it can be Cheerios, as long as it's always Cheerios. I'm also going to use a food called Bil-Jac, that I use to train, again new dogs, certainly puppies, and so I'm gonna have that food with me, and I'm gonna say hurry, hurry, hurry, when the puppy goes to the bathroom, I'm gonna say yes to mark the behavior, and then I'm gonna feed it. Marc Smith, DVM: Yes, to mark the behavior, that means you're telling the puppy good job, kudos, hell yes, whatever it may be but yes. Stew Clay:  Can be a lot like a clicker trainer, you know clicker marks the behavior and then the reward, so yes is telling the puppy I want that, that's what I'm after and here's your reward. Let me explain something quickly, and maybe we should cover this in another segment or something, but this is not reward training. This is food motivational training or luring. However you want to call it, there are lots of different names for it, but the goal is to use that puppy's desire to eat to your favor. Everything that I do with a puppy is gonna be driven by that dog's desire to eat, and in most cases, I don't even have to talk to the dog. It does what I want, I say yes and I feed it. It doesn't really even need a name. Through the process, the dog starts to learn what I'm after. Marc Smith, DVM:  Right, okay, that's really good for people to hear, and the structure of putting the puppy in the same place every time, the structure of giving a treat in a predictable manner speeds up the whole process of this puppy learning what's expected when they're a young puppy and growing up. Stew Clay:  Yeah, I think it's important to clarify one thing. At first, I'm gonna carry that puppy from the kennel to the yard, as that puppy starts to get bigger, I'm gonna give it more freedom and more leeway to do it on its own, so for instance, I'm gonna carry the puppy out, set it down, tell it what to do and then when we go back inside I'll carry the puppy to the kennel, set it down in front of the kennel and tell it kennel and help it in, so I want it to get in the kennel on its own. Marc Smith, DVM:  Then you say yes, and then you reward it at that time for doing what you want. Stew Clay:  As it gets bigger and gets the process down, I'll let it follow me outside and follow me inside, but at first, I don't want to do that. I don't want it have an accident on the way out or the way in; that's one of the reasons you use the same spot. It's familiar, it becomes conditioned, so it's a process. Marc Smith, DVM:  We've gone over these elementary ways of house training, let's say, gotta be consistent. How long should somebody expect that to take if they're consistent with marking the behavior, giving them a treat, how long, three months, six months, four years, how long? Stew Clay:  Every dog is different, certainly a couple of weeks. The key is, is to test it in the right environment. We could go on and on about this forever, this process, but at the end of the day, the goal is to have the puppy learn the process; so for instance, a lot of people take puppies out, and they play, and they don't do anything, and they take it back inside and the next thing you know it's had an accident. Marc Smith, DVM: In the house? Stew Clay: Right. That's because the dog didn't go outside with a goal or a purpose, so this way you teach the dog what you want, so it goes outside, it runs in the yard it pee-pees because it's hungry, it wants something to eat, it earns that food, so it starts to learn the process. As you continue to do that, and you keep an eye on it and all the things that you do with puppies, it ought to happen pretty quickly. Marc Smith, DVM: Let's say this little puppy you've trained, and he's doing well how do you handle it if he pees in the dining room? How do you handle it when there's a step back? Stew Clay:  Accidents in the house are not bad as long as you catch them and they don't ruin your rug. The thing about accidents is you almost need them to happen to a certain extent in order to teach unless you just do a really good job. At the end of the day, the biggest thing about a puppy is, is to let it have its time with the family, but watch it, keep it contained or confined so that if there is an accident, you catch it. If you catch it, no more of this paper to the backside or rubbing its nose in it or anything like that. I'm just gonna say no, no, no, I'm gonna pick that puppy up, no, no, no, all the way back outside where I'm used to going, I'm gonna set it down, and I'm gonna say hurry, hurry, hurry. At the end of the day, even if the puppy doesn't go to the bathroom at that point, it's already gone in the house; it's no, no, no, yes, yes, yes. It's very black and white. I don't want that, I want this. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay, well, that's good to know because when Rover goes and hikes his leg on your wife's new suede shoes, you know that can create some problems, right? Stew Clay:  Absolutely. Marc Smith, DVM:  All right, so we've talked a little bit about these puppies, and then let's talk about, let's go to the adult dog, and let's talk about what are the most common reasons send you an adult dog. I'm talking about a family pet, I'm not talking about a hunting dog or sporting dog. What are the most common reasons people send you a family pet, and for what problem behavior or training problems are they having? Stew Clay:  Greeting people, they jump, they're hyper, they jump all over people, they pull on a leash when they go for walks. They're just generally unmanageable and uncontrollable from the standpoint that they don't greet people the right way; they, in most cases, haven't been around a lot of dogs so they don't do that well. They drag their owner up and down the street, they don't come when they're called, they don't have any manners, they're on the couch, on the table, they're just everywhere. Marc Smith, DVM: You know what irritates the hell out of me? Stew Clay: What? Marc Smith, DVM:  When I dive into somebody's driveway and I got the window rolled down and the dog runs up and jumps up and scratches the side of my truck. That really irritates me. Stew Clay:  As it should. Marc Smith, DVM:  That's what you're talking about, so how do you take that dog and prevent him from jumping up on people with his muddy paws and ruining their new shirt? How do you prevent that, or what do you do in that situation? Stew Clay: There are a couple of ways. First of all, you can train the dog as a puppy, mind you, not to do these things. In most cases, that's a learned behavior. The best thing to do is to never allow it to start. To fix it, I do a couple of different things. I'm always gonna start with the food motivational training or whatever it is that I'm doing, something that's gonna teach that dog with the clearest message that I can give it in terms of what I want and what I don't want, so for instance, I get that dog, we go outside, I've got the food that I always use, he's hungry, I'm either working him first thing in the morning, or in the middle of the day before he eats, he's always gonna be hungry. I'm gonna use that food to teach him, so he's gonna run up to me, he's gonna jump when his feet hit the ground, I'm gonna say yes, and I'm gonna feed him. He's gonna jump, I'm gonna ignore it, his feet hit the ground, yes, feed him. Cause and effect, he's hungry, he wants to eat. He's gonna greet me multiple times in most cases; when I do that, it's cause and effect, what gets him what he wants. Sitting or standing in front of me always gets him what he wants. Jumping never gets him what he wants, so you essentially take it away by never rewarding it. What people don't understand is that in most cases, when a dog jumps, they say no, no, get off, get off, and they knee and they jump, and they slap, and you know they get all animated, right? Everybody gets animated. Marc Smith, DVM: My teenage daughter. Stew Clay: Right, that actually fuels the behavior even though they're trying to stop it. How does the dog know what you want, teach, force, and reinforce is the process. Force is kind of a poor word there, but as an example, I'm gonna teach a dog to sit, then I'm gonna force it to sit, once it knows the command. If I say sit and it doesn't sit, I'm gonna push down on its bottom. I'm gonna make it follow through with that command, right? That's the force. Reinforce is yes, that's what I want, and the positive reinforcement that follows that. I'm gonna teach that dog through repetition what I want, and so if I never give it anything for jumping, hopefully, that will lose its value, so running up to me and sitting gets it what it wants. Running up to me and jumping on me never gets it what it wants. Then, if that doesn't work, or not to the extent that I need it to, then we go to a leash and a choke chain or slip lead or something like that, and we give a snap of the collar and a correction when they jump and a no. Sometimes you have to build on that. In most cases it's pretty easy to stop, but the thing about dogs is they have a perception of everyone. I can stop a dog from jumping pretty quickly. The second their owner returns, they're gonna revert back to that behavior because it's what they know. It's then very important for the owner to then take the ownership of that problem and continue to fix it. I can only teach it. Marc Smith, DVM:  What you're saying I think is very important, is that people, if you go out and hire a professional trainer, you still have to do your part. Stew Clay:  Absolutely. Marc Smith, DVM:  If you don't, your dog will revert to doing the same old stuff and it is a total waste of time. Stew Clay:  I hear it every day from people. I saw a friend of mine the other day that had sent their dog to someone else in Nashville, said they did a wonderful job, very complimentary of the training, it's all gone, dog didn't remember any of it. Marc Smith, DVM:  People you've got to keep up. It's not train a dog and it's done the rest of its life, it's a constant, chronic battle, long term commitment. One other thing I want to ask you about, and I'm not sure how much experience you have with this, but dogs that get separation anxiety, where this dog is a normal family pet and then the kids go to school and people go off to work and then they come home six hours later and the house is torn up or that type of thing. Stew Clay:  You can certainly be successful and there's examples of rescues and things that come with some baggage that you don't ever know about. They don't give you a lot of information, so you don't know about circumstantial situations like that where it's ingrained in them to such an extent that you really got to dig it out, but just a dog in general, that's in most cases caused when people give their dog too much attention. The dog's never independent, it's never by itself, it's always the center of attention. A crate can really help with that. Crate training a dog allows it a place to be by itself and be independent. It's great for dogs like that to have to sit somewhere close to the family, in a crate and be secondary, not always be the center of attention. When that dog whines or barks or carries on, you correct that behavior and then you teach it. It has to be independent. I would venture to say, and some may not agree with this, but I would say that 80% of that, that I see is human created. People create it and they're not willing to see the process through. They put the dog in the crate, the dog whines or carries on and they think oh no, Fluffy's feelings are hurt, I got to take him out, I got to rescue him. Marc Smith, DVM:  That just teaches them to whine. Stew Clay:  Right, and Fluffy puts that in his back pocket and says I get this process. I can manipulate everybody in this house. The best thing to do in that situation is teach that dog to be independent. Marc Smith, DVM: That's great advice, Stewart. Ladies and gentlemen, Stewart Clay he's been an awesome guest. Stewart, how can people get in touch with you if they have questions, if they want to check out the website, can you tell people again, please? Stew Clay: Yeah, it's k9contenders.com, the letter k9contenders, you can email me at stew@k9contenders.com, we're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, all that. Marc Smith, DVM:  And you train dogs from all over the country, right? I mean people bring you dogs because of your skill and your expertise because you can help them have a functional pet and lots of times solve their problems. That's another thing that people need to consider; I mean, you're a professional, you're a pro, this is your living, you're an expert. Stew Clay: Yeah, absolutely, this is what I do, I work with other trainers as well, but I have a training business of my own that functions around my other business and that kind of thing, but this is a passion of mine and something I've been interested in for a long time, and there's such a need for it. I've got many, many more people coming to me than I can possibly handle, and it's fascinating to me that a lot of these things can be prevented if people will just start early and build that puppy instead of letting it get to a certain age and then saying oh crap, I got to get somebody to help me because a lot of these things are created, and you represent that anxiety or that stress or that excitement to that dog. A trainer can help you in that situation, but ultimately you're the only one that can fix that problem. Marc Smith, DVM: Perfect, thank you, Stewart. Thank you for coming. You did a great job. That was very informative. Ladies and gentlemen and everybody out there, thank you for listening; once again, I'm Dr. Marc Smith, your host, and if you liked what we talked about today, then please give us a rating on iTunes, and if you want to learn more about the best ways to take care of your pet, then head over to our blog at www.pettao.com/blog, read up, learn, empower yourself because we can teach you the best way to take care of your pet. Until next time, we'll see you next week, so long and have a safe and happy week.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20-year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products. I've got a podcast today that's really going to make you laugh, it's really funny. I thought I'd tell you about it, because see in my practice, I do a lot of Chinese medicine, Eastern medicine, and even though a lot of what we do in Eastern medicine is cool, and it's neat, and it's interesting, and it does help pets and animals, sometimes there's a dark side. I was reading today an article in TIME Magazine about how traditional Chinese medicine and the resurgence of traditional Chinese medicine in China, because of their growing fluids has led to the slaughter of a lot of animals and a lot of animal parts in the procurement of a lot of animal parts. They're used in Eastern medicine and used in Chinese medicine. The interesting thing about it is, that this article, it started off and I really don't know if I'm going to pronounce these words right, but the article started off by discussing or talking about a restaurant that specializes in the sale of penises. Yes, you heard me right. Penises and testicles. Yes, you heard me right again, testicles. This restaurant, it's almost unbelievable, but it is a franchise. It has 19 different restaurants all across China. The one we're going to be discussing today is in Beijing China, one of the biggest cities in the entire country. The funny thing about this is that these restaurants, like I said, they specialize in selling penises and testicles. They sell penises and testicles from all different types of animals. The reason why they sell these body parts is because in Eastern medicine every different body part has an energy that's associated with it. When that energy is deficient, then you eat the body part associated with the deficiency. As I'm sure you can appreciate, the profit center from the penis restaurant is yes, you guessed it, middle-aged men. Middle-aged men that want to gain back their vitality and their masculinity, and middle-aged men that want to prove their self worth. They rush into these restaurants and they order penises and testicles with the hope that eating this food will supply the energy to help their own penis and testicles perform normally and perform optimally. What this type of behavior has done, is that it has put at risk many different types of animals, because of the illegal trade associated with harvesting these animals and of course, selling their body parts. I want to read you this quote from one of the cooks at one of these restaurants. What he says is the following, "In terms of nourishing the yang, tiger penis is definitely at the top. If you handle tiger penis properly and mix together with Chinese herbs, it really has the best possible effect, much better than Viagra. In fact, lots of people come here asking for tiger penis and it's illegal and so therefore we don't sell it." That quote came straight from one of the restaurateurs that's involved with this penis restaurant. I can't pronounce the name, or I would, but you can look it up on the internet and get more information for yourself. The thing about these body parts is that according to Chinese medicine, they are yang foods. What we call yang foods. They're outward foods, their energy goes outward, it goes upward, it's pronounced, it's strong, it provides all those things that a lot of these middle aged men want when they go to these restaurants that sell all these different penises. They sell bull penises, they sell fur seal penises, they sell tiger penises. The sad thing about this is that you can meet these energetic effects by consuming other things from animals that are not so exotic, or not so far-fetched maybe. You can eat beef kidney, or you can eat kidney, or you can eat even testicles in this country. In the US we have what we call Rocky Mountain spotted oysters and those are bull testicles that are fried up that are actually pretty good to eat. I've eaten many of them and I'm sure a lot of you have as well. This idea and this act of harvesting these animals and this act of this illegal animal harvest to propagate something when other options exist, to me has got to stop and it's ludicrous and we do not need to be, as Chinese medicine practitioners such as myself, we do not need to be propagating these type of behaviors. I hope you've enjoyed this podcast on penises. I know that's a funny topic and everybody's laughing in the background, but yes, it is true there are restaurants that sell penises specifically and they're in China and you're welcome to look those up. If you like what I talked about today, then give us a rating on iTunes, or if you want to know more about Eastern medicine or things we can do at PET | TAO to help your pet, then go to www.pettao.com and please join us next time as we bring you more interesting information to help you and your pet. Thank you.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products Podcast. This is episode 15 and I'm your host Dr. Marc Smith, 20-year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products. I want to tell you how much I thank you for tuning in. Today, we're going to start by thinking about the day you brought home your new puppy or your new kitten, a new pet. Think about it and what I want you to do is I want you to focus, to focus on remembering how you felt on the first day your new pet came home. Did you feel excited? Did you feel happy? Did you feel a sense of relief that you finally searched out and got your new best friend and you finally got this pet in your house? I bet your kids were fighting over the new arrival's affection. Or maybe you were on the other side of the fence where you felt nervous about all the time involved in having a new pet. Nervous about the bills associated, the veterinary bills, the food bills associated with having a pet, and even anxious about having to wake up in the middle of the night to all the whining. Or maybe you dreaded the fact that you would have yet another person to take care of and clean up after. No wonder people refer to having a pet as having a baby because all of the care involved is actually exhausting. If you look back on these feelings you may have had about your new pet, you probably experienced a little bit of both. Both the good and the bad. This leads us to our kind of the meat and potatoes of what I want to talk about in this podcast. What I want to talk to you about is what's termed the emotional cycle of change and how it relates to bringing home a new pet. This concept of the emotional cycle of change, it doesn't just apply to a new puppy or a new kitten, but it really it could apply to any pet of any age. If you adopt an older dog, it could apply to that dog. An older cat, it could apply to that cat. The key is, it's got to be a new pet that comes into your home. The other thing that you need to think about is that this cycle of events, or this cycle of emotions that you go through, it comes after making a voluntary decision. Having a new pet, we all know it's a voluntary kind of a privilege, is the way I look at it. The emotional cycle of change is actually a model, and it was a model created by two psychologists, Don Kelley and Daryl Conner. This model outlines a predictable cycle of emotions a person experiences when making a voluntary change - in this case, bringing a new pet into the house. These two psychologists identified five distinct phases that every person goes through when they bring or they implement a change in their life. Those five phases, or those five stages I'm going to call them, the first stage is called uninformed optimism. The second stage is called informed pessimism. The third stage is hopeful realism. The fourth stage, informed optimism. The fifth stage is completion. Okay, so we know the five stages of these emotional cycles you go through when you make a change that is voluntary. Just think back to the last time you made a change in your life. Perhaps you changed jobs, maybe you bought a new home, or you may have enrolled your kids in a different school. Chances are, you went through some ups and downs, some peaks and valleys during this new change. The thing is, when you know what to expect about your emotional changes, then it's much easier to cope with those emotions that arise. These same emotional stages that I've talked about prior, and I'm going to elaborate on here in just a minute, arise after you assume the ownership of a new pet. I'm going to tell you exactly what to expect so that you can deal with these emotions when your new pet arrives home. Let's go through the stages and see how they apply to your situation. Like I said, the first stage is called uninformed optimism. This is the time when everybody's excited; when everybody's wanting a dog. It's kind of like the honeymoon phase. Think how great it's going to be when that dog or that cat gets to your home, fits in, kids are happy, and everything seems wonderful, right? Maybe you love looking at different dogs on the internet and seeing glimpses of your future best friend. Or maybe you like going to the humane society and looking at all of the different dogs and evaluating how they could fit into your family. Or maybe you thought to yourself, "Hey, I can go out and adopt a rescue pet and really do some good in the world." Everything at this time, this uninformed optimism stage, is great. Here's the thing, what you do during this stage, is you shut out the reality of how challenging this new change of bringing home a new friend will actually be. You stuff away the commitment to pet ownership, you look the other way. This stage lasts from the time you decide on making your change up until the first 24 hours that your new friend is home. The second stage is called informed pessimism. You have your new pet and let's pretend you call him Ralph. All of the new excitement is starting to go away with Ralph's newness. He's awful cute, but you're getting a little bit tired of him. You know what I'm talking about. This second stage is kind of marked by when the good things, the excitement, and all the fun start to back off. It's starting to shrink, and those bad things are starting to get more intense. They're starting to resonate with what you've gotten yourself into. It kind of sounds like, when I was reading about this, it sounds like when you have a new girlfriend or a new boyfriend. It's all the honeymoon phase, but when you move in together, everything changes. Ralph, your new puppy, he tinkles on the carpet. Then, Ralph vomits and poops in your bedroom. He even chews into little itty-bitty pieces of your husband's new silk underwear. Even in the middle of the night, when you take him out to pee because you're doing your job, Ralph casually walks around without a care in the world, thinking it's playtime. Ralph could care less if you're tired and you tend to think, "What in the hell have I gotten myself into?" Now your once prized possession, Ralph, has turned into a royal pain in the ass. Unfortunately, this is the time during this second stage when a lot of people give up; they quit. Sometimes it's extreme, and pets like Ralph are given up even for adoption. It can be really a sad time. This change can also turn to regret and significant resentment. Let's say your wife brings home a new puppy, and you don't want to fool with it, being the husband. You can get very, very, very resentful. What you need to know is that there is hope if you stay the course, because very soon your new friend Ralph, Ralph will learn, and he will mature, and he will become better, and if you stay that course long enough things will ultimately change. When they change, that's when you enter the third stage. The third stage is called hopeful realism. This stage occurs when you realize your current path, having a new pet like Ralph, is at the very least, comparable or at least on the same level as your old path, where you didn't have a pet. Things are really starting to even out, and you get this thought in your mind that if you continue on and you stay the course, you'll make it to your goal of having a functional well-developed family pet. Getting to this point, though, it may not be tomorrow, or it may not be next week. It may not even be next month, but you're getting to the point where you're seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. The change of Ralph's existence and the way he fits into your home starts to seem normal in this phase. It doesn't seem to be as much of a problem. For example, Ralph may whine less. You may have to clean up Ralph's pee and poop less, and your whole home may seem more structured. The goal seems distant, but the changes you've made in your daily life with Ralph are starting to become the norm, and you understand that the daily outcome is better than your old path of not having a pet. The ultimate goal of having a functional pet becomes almost palpable, and you're dedicated to staying the course without a doubt. This is when you moved into the fourth stage. The fourth stage is called informed optimism. The key sign of informed optimism is that you start to feel a confidence about your decision to bring a new pet into the home. You become confident that you know you made the right choice. The boundaries you set with your pet have become very clear. Everything's starting to go with the flow, and you're starting to feel that not only is Ralph a new family member, but that Ralph is an important family member. Taking Ralph out to pee in the middle of the night takes minimal effort, not the 30 minutes it took when he was a puppy. Now Ralph is at the point where he instantly walks out and hikes his leg and urinates on your husband's new truck tire. Things now seem normal. Ralph is becoming the ideal family pet. In fact, some people may say that he's starting to act like an older dog. Everything becomes easy. It becomes straightforward. Ralph makes your life better and more fulfilled. What's really common in this stage is a family friend might be inspired to adopt a new pet as they notice how laid-back Ralph acts, and how Ralph actually fits into the family. It's shocking because a lot of people would say, "If only you know how many struggles I've been through to get Ralph to this point." This point kind of leads us into the fifth stage, which is term completion. As we think about Ralph, he started off as a new puppy, kept you up at night with his constant whining. He peed and pooped all over the house, he chewed on everything in sight, he even dug holes in your new garden. He was a total headache. Now, Ralph, he doesn't dig, he doesn't chew, and he goes out and pees and poops on command. What a relief, you feel relieved and happy with the feeling of completeness, because you have just finalized your goal of having a well-grounded functional family pet. A pet just like Ralph. I'm sure you can see it. You can see Ralph hanging out the window of your husband's new Trans Am, or maybe hopping from backseat to front seat in your wife's minivan. He is the perfect ideal family pet. Next, he'll adorn your Christmas card with your three kids. Congratulations, congratulations to you and Ralph for this change. If you like what I had to talk about today, the emotional cycle of change and how it can impact your ability to cope with your emotions when you bring a new family pet home, then go to our blog at www.pettao.com and search for yourself, empower yourself and learn the best ways to take care of your pet. Thank you for listening, and please tune in next week to episode #16.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Marc Smith, Co-Creator of PET | TAO and also 20-year practicing veterinarian. This podcast is going to be a little bit different, because I'm going to tell you a story and it's an inspirational story, I hope. This story is about a book that inspired me as a kid to develop my love for animals, my appreciation for animals, and ultimately, it propelled me to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. The thing about this is that this is a wholesome book and a wholesome story. I read it occasionally today, but I remember it very frequently in my practice and in my professional life. The book is called Where The Red Fern Grows. It's by Wilson Rawls. See, when I was a little kid, we had to read books and we had summer reading, and all those things. Just like many of you did. And one of the books, a lot of you may remember it, that we read was Where The Red Fern Grows. Just to refresh your memory, this book is about a little boy. His name is Billy Colman. Billy lives in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma and he was all boy. He liked to play outside. He liked to hunt. He liked to fish. He liked to do things that they did back in those rural parts of America. Billy, he wanted a pet, and see his family was poor. Billy saved up his money, a total of $25, and he went to town and he bought two Redbone Coonhounds. He named the girl, Little Ann, and the boy, Old Dan. Little Ann and Old Dan, two Redbone Coonhounds, that this young boy trained. He became friends with, he cared for them, he assumed the responsibility of these two fine dogs. Billy had this goal. He was going to compete in these hunting contests and he trained these dogs day and night, and he put his time in, each and every day feeding, watering, taking care of them, and he learned the responsibility and the meaning of what it takes to care for pets. Ultimately, Billy, everybody in the region, they heard of Billy's two famous coonhounds, Little Ann and Old Dan. Ultimately, Billy made it into the upper echelons of the hunting world with his dogs. One night when he was competing in one of the championship hunts, he was lucky enough to take home $300 as a young boy, because his dogs won the championship. Later on, as he was training his dogs continually, his dogs in the woods came across a mountain lion. The mountain lion attacked Old Dan. Ultimately, Old Dan succumbed to his injuries. There weren't any veterinarians in the Ozark Mountains. Nobody to help Old Dan and Billy out, and Old Dan died. Up on a hill, Billy went and he carried Old Dan, and he buried Old Dan. He was grief-stricken. Here was a young boy, burying his best friend, his dog at a young age, he was gone. Three days later, Old Dan's sister, Little Ann, was overcome with grief and stress. She died, too. In a matter of three days, Billy had lost both of his best friends, both of his dogs, and he was heartbroken. Again, up on the hill he went and he buried Little Ann right next to Old Dan. Billy went on for days dealing with his grief, his sadness, and his sorrow. He had lost his two dogs. He had put a lot into his dogs and his dogs, like all dogs do, they gave Billy a lot of love back. A couple of months later, Billy, he went up on the old hill to visit his friends, and a red fern had grown on top of their grave. For many of you that don't know, according to Native American legend, only an angel can plant a red fern, and knowing that an angel had bestowed this red fern on his two dogs, Little Ann and Old Dan, Billy feels like he's ready to move on, knowing his dogs will always be remembered. Getting back to the point, this book inspired me, and it inspired me, because at a young age, it showed me what pets can mean to people. How to take care of pets, why pets are important, and ultimately, it also showed me that grief and sorrow that people can feel and the sympathy that people can feel when they lose a pet. Another thing is the perseverance. Sometimes we forget, we've got to persevere, even when we lose our best friends. When I was thinking about doing this podcast, I was thinking, "What was the main point?" Well, it was to tell you that lots of times, as a young person, we get inspired by things that we don't even know and we don't even recognize. Then when we become adults, it's funny how these things pop back in our mind. This may be a way that we can inspire others. What I would do, is I would encourage you to share this book with your kids and maybe your grandkids, because this book will help people, young people, to develop a healthy sense of responsibility, love and compassion towards our best friends. If you liked what I talked about today and you want to learn more about your pets, then go visit our website at www.pettao.com and empower yourself and learn the best ways to take care of your pet. Also, if you liked what we had to talk about today and you find it useful, then give us a rating on iTunes. Thank you for listening.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Marc Smith, DVM:  Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to PET | TAO.FM, the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20-year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products, and I want to back up for a minute. I want to talk about and I want to address things that really get to the point, and the reason why is because I had a caller, a person call in today to the clinic, and they said, "Hey, Dr. Smith. I need to ask you a question." The question was, why should I neuter my pet? I've answered that question now going on 20 years, and I've answered it on the phone many times, and I thought, you know, it would be a great idea to do a podcast about that, why should I neuter my pet? [It'd also be a great idea to take the opposite angle, or the opposite approach, and consider the fact why you should not neuter your pet. In this five or ten minute podcast I'm going to tell you, I'm going to answer both of those questions, first why you should neuter your pet, and second why you should not neuter your pet. I'm going to answer those questions to you as best I can, and so you can know the options you have moving forward if you have a new puppy or even if you have an adult dog. The first question: why should you neuter your pet? The biggest benefit I see out of neutering thousands of pets over my career is that neutering your dog changes their behavior. They feel better, so I'm sure when you were a teenager, for the guys out there or the girls out there, you behaved differently than when you were older. One reason why you did that, or you do that, is because your hormones change as you age, and so we neuter pets because when we neuter them, remove their testicles, we remove the source of testosterone, and their behavior automatically changes. Behavior such as, they don't mark, so they don't go and hike their leg, and piss all over everything they see. That's one thing. They don't roam. They tend not to roam off looking for a mate. Number three, they're not near as aggressive, so there's less fighting. I think the main reason I explain to people, just to summarize, of why you should neuter your pet, is because it changes their behavior, typically and most likely for the better, and those animals become better pets. That's it, so let's take the opposite viewpoint. Why should you not neuter your pet? I just want to explain something, and I want to reiterate something. When I'm talking about neuter, neutering, I'm referring to male dogs where we castrate them, not female dogs where we spay them, but male dogs when we castrate them. Why would you not want to neuter your pet? There's really one primary reason. When you neuter a dog, as I mentioned earlier, you take away the testosterone, okay, and I can't remember it from vet school, but testosterone and estrogen together, they play a role in your fat burning and how your body metabolizes fat, and also in the strength, the pliability, and the flexibility of all of your tendons and ligaments, okay? One reason, and the main reason why I tell you you don't neuter your pet is because the pet obesity epidemic is directly related to neutering and taking away the fat burning power of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. What's going to happen is if you keep your pet whole, you can feed more calories, because those dogs are more efficient at burning calories. If they're more efficient at burning calories, what happens? They don't gain weight, but when you remove those testicles, you remove that furnace that burns calories, and those dogs blow up. They get fat, and so the main reason you wouldn't want to castrate your pet or neuter your dog is because they gain weight. Another reason is because, like I said, when you remove those hormones, the testosterone and the estrogen, you're also changing the way the soft tissue structures like the tendons, ligaments work in the body, and so those dogs are at a greater risk of cruciate ligament tears or ligament tears. Common problem. It's an expensive problem, and dogs who are neutered and even spayed have a greater risk of tearing those structures. If you liked what we talked about today on the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast, then give us a rating on iTunes, and if you want to learn more about pets and the best way to take care of your pets, then go to our blog at www.pettao.com and educate yourself and empower yourself, because we give you the best information on how to take care of your pet. Until next time, have a safe and happy holiday, and we'll see you soon.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Marc Smith, DVM:  Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to PET | TAO.FM and the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20 year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products. Today I'm joined by Eliza Burbank. We are going to talk about what to do when you find wildlife. Eliza Burbank:  Hi everyone. Marc Smith, DVM:  Eliza is an important person to me. She is a mentee. She's also a veterinary student. Eliza Burbank:  Almost. Marc Smith, DVM:  Well, close enough. I'm going to call you that, so that's what matters. Eliza Burbank:  Okay. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay. Then Eliza's credentials, and then that's going to carry us into what this podcast's about, but Eliza has been an assistant animal care manager at City Wildlife in Washington D.C. Can you tell us what you did there Eliza, please? Eliza Burbank:  Sure. City Wildlife was a wildlife rehabilitation center. They took in injured and orphaned animals in D.C., and would help them. Marc Smith, DVM:  Rehabilitate them. Eliza Burbank:  Rehabilitate them back to health and then release them back into the wild if they could be released. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay. Eliza Burbank:  I assisted with that. I would help the vet staff treat wounds, feed animals. Marc Smith, DVM:  All those different type things. That gets to the point of this podcast and what the point is is that we want to identify what people need to do in case they come across, in their regular walks of life, injured wildlife, an injured animal, or some other animal that may need care. Because lots of people call me every day and they say, "Hey, I got ... There's a deer in the backyard that's sick, or there's a squirrel that's been run over and it can't use its back legs." Actually, as a veterinarian I don't know what the exact licensure is, I don't know, but I don't think I'm supposed to take care of those animals. We need to tell people what they need to do in case they come into contact with animals in those situations. Eliza, what would you tell our listeners to do in case they came into contact with an animal, a wild animal, wildlife, what would you tell them? Eliza Burbank:  Well the first thing people need to figure out how to do is learn how to identify an animal that is actually injured, learn how to identify an animal that's actually orphaned. A lot of people think they found orphaned animals and the animals are actually perfectly healthy and they end up, for all intents and purposes, kidnapping animals and bringing them to wildlife rehabilitation clinics. Marc Smith, DVM:  Deer, that's a big one. Eliza Burbank:  When they were healthy and actually would have lived a much better life if they'd been left alone. Marc Smith, DVM:  How do we do that? Eliza Burbank:  Well, so telling an orphaned animal is a little bit easier. If it's a baby squirrel that you find, they should not be alone or without the mom, so if you find a baby squirrel on the ground and it seems as though it might have been on the ground for a while, which you can tell if it has ants on it, or any kind of bugs on it, the mom should be taking care of that. Marc Smith, DVM:  Mommy should be taking care of it. Eliza Burbank:  Then you know that that is an orphaned animal. However, you don't necessarily want to just take it if you find a baby squirrel on the ground. Sometimes the mom is able to come back for it. If there's no injuries anywhere on it, you can put it into a box, if you're worried about cats or something like that, but leave the top of the box open so that the mom can see, and put it up next to the tree that you think the mom came from. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay, that's cool. Eliza Burbank:  If you actually know where the nest is, it's okay too to bring the squirrel back up to the nest if you can reach it. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay. Eliza Burbank:  A lot of people think that mothers are driven off by the smell of humans, but that's not true. Marc Smith, DVM:  Right. Eliza Burbank:  That's true for baby birds too. If you find a baby bird on the ground and you know where the nest is, put the baby bird back in the nest. Birds actually have almost no sense of smell, so they won't be able to tell that you've touched it and they'll be happy to have their baby back. Marc Smith, DVM:  Right, okay. Then what about deer? I mean, in Tennessee we see deer. Deer have twins, most of them do, right? It's pretty common for one little baby to get off, away from mommy, and then a hiker or something says, "Oh, the baby's lost, pick up the baby, take it to the vet or do something." I think with deer it's just best to leave them alone, unless they have an overt obvious injury. Eliza Burbank:  Right. Marc Smith, DVM:  A bone sticking out, or they got blood pouring out of them. Wouldn't you agree? Eliza Burbank:  That's true. One thing that people usually don't know about deer is that baby deer actually don't stay with their mom while the mom goes off to feed. They will lie down in the grass, they try to camouflage themselves, they stay as still as possible, while the mom wanders around feeding. It would actually be bad for the mom if the baby was wandering around with her, because animals attack babies if they see them. It's better for the baby to be as small and un-visible as possible. They stay away from the mom and basically lie down for a significant proportion of the day and then the mom will come back and feed them. Unless the baby deer is making distressed calls frequently, or has been in the same spot for multiple days, it's probably okay. Marc Smith, DVM:  That's kind of covered squirrels and deer, what's some other animals that we see? I mean, the ones I can think of are maybe hawks, or owls, that get shot. Eliza Burbank:  Right. Marc Smith, DVM:  Or they get hit by a car, or that type of thing. Eliza Burbank:  Right. You have to be very careful with animals like that because their claws are very strong. Most people are afraid of the beak and they don't even realize that the claws of those birds are what you have to be afraid of. Marc Smith, DVM:  They'll eat you alive. Eliza Burbank:  You can get pierced straight through your hand in you're not careful. Marc Smith, DVM:  Whole hand, gone. Eliza Burbank:  I would recommend calling a government organization, animal control, or a wildlife rehabilitation center. Walden's Puddle is one in middle Tennessee and they usually can walk you through what you need to do in the moment for the specific case, or sometimes they'll come out and pick up the animal for you. Marc Smith, DVM:  Yeah. Eliza Burbank:  Because those are very dangerous animals and even if they're injured they can still harm. Marc Smith, DVM:  Very dangerous, they'll hurt you. Eliza Burbank:  Right. Marc Smith, DVM:  They'll hurt you bad. Welders gloves, I have used welders gloves... I've handled some of those animals. Eliza Burbank:  Me too. Marc Smith, DVM:  In my 20 years, okay. Eliza Burbank:  Yep. We had an osprey one time that I had to hold and it was terrifying. Marc Smith, DVM:  Yeah. Eliza Burbank:  You had to wear goggles over your eyes because they'll go for your eyes. Marc Smith, DVM:  They'll eat you alive, won't they? That gives you a little bit different perspective on people that handle the wildlife, doesn't it? Eliza Burbank:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  Sometimes when you get in there amongst them your perspective changes, right? Eliza Burbank:  It's a dangerous game. Marc Smith, DVM:  It is a dangerous game. The normal old urbanized person, they're going to come into contact with birds and squirrels. The take home message for those people just to reiterate is what? Eliza Burbank:  Well, don't try to raise them at home, always contact a wildlife rehabilitation organization, verify that they actually need to be taken care of first. If you think they're an orphan. Marc Smith, DVM:  It's really important. Eliza Burbank:  Make sure, because they do much better with mom than they do at home. Don't try to handle a dangerous animal on your own, always get help with that, it's not worth the risk. Actually, if it's a rabies vector animal like a raccoon or a coyote, if you try to handle them and you're bitten, they by law will have to be euthanized so that they can be tested for rabies. It's better for the animal and for you if you get somebody else involved if it's a dangerous animal. Marc Smith, DVM: That's a real problem. Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, Eliza, awesome you did a fantastic job. Eliza Burbank:  Thank you. Marc Smith, DVM: It was great information that a lot of people can use. Ladies and gentlemen, if you liked our podcast and the topic today, then give us a rating on iTunes. If you want to know more about the best ways to take care of your pet and empower yourself to make the best decisions for your pet's health, then go to www.pettao.com and look at our blog. We have tons of great information that you can assimilate and learn and use to the best benefit of your best friend. Thank you and we will see you next time.

Saturday Jul 30, 2022

Marc Smith, DVM:  Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to PET | TAO FM, the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20 year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products, and today is actually the second time that I've had a student on my podcast, and I want to introduce you to Eliza Burbank. Eliza, tell everybody hello. Eliza:  Hi, everybody. Marc Smith, DVM:  Eliza, Let me back up. I like and I've taken a real interest in mentoring young people, just like Eliza, and Eliza, you know I've done this a lot, okay? That's why I want to have you on our show, so that you can tell people about your mentor experience with me, but also so people can get to learn about you. Correct me if I'm wrong, but on January 7th, you've got a pretty big date. Can you tell everybody about it? Eliza:  Yes. I'm getting interviewed to go to veterinary school, which has been my dream for the last three years. Marc Smith, DVM:  That is awesome, and congratulations. Eliza is a rockstar. I remember telling your mommy and daddy, your mommy came in there last year and I said… I can't remember your mom's name. What's her name? Eliza:  Sally. Marc Smith, DVM:  I said, "Sally, your daughter kicks butt and she's a rockstar." I think your mom was pretty impressed by me telling her. I know that made her feel good as a parent. That makes me feel really good when somebody tells me how nice ... Eliza:  Oh, she loves it. Marc Smith, DVM:  ... And good and all those things that my kids are. I wanted to tell your mom that and I know that made a big difference to her, Eliza. Eliza:  Yes. Marc Smith, DVM:  Great to have you here. You are a rockstar. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you currently go to school? Eliza:  I actually don't go to school right now. I graduated from American University in Washington DC in May and I took a couple classes at MTSU in the fall, but I've already finished with those. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay. MTSU is Middle Tennessee State University. Eliza, you would have learned a lot more if you'd have gone to University of Tennessee. Go Vols. I never heard of American University. Eliza:  That's where I'm going for vet school. Marc Smith, DVM:  I know that, but I'm just saying, go Vols. I'm a big Vol. Why did you think you wanted to be a veterinarian for your career? What got you into it? Eliza:  Right. Well, I've always been interested in animals, but my mom was a doctor and so I thought that I didn't want anything to do with medicine because I saw how stressed she was all the time, so I never even considered veterinary medicine until my sophomore year of college. At the very end, I started volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center and there were vets that worked there, and that was the first time I saw that vets could work not just in a private practice, but they could work for the government or work for organizations, like this one that I was working at.  Working with them is what made me start to consider it, and the more I worked there, and then I came for a summer with you, the more I was doing all this stuff, the more I realized, "Wow, this is actually what I want to do and it's not at all like what human doctors do." Marc Smith, DVM:  Right, right. It's unique about what veterinarians really do, and I think a lot of people don't really understand the important role that we and one day you will play in animal health, but also in human health. It's a pretty big deal, and since I've been doing research on my podcast to try to talk about interesting topics, even I've learned more about what veterinarians mean to pets, to people, to public health and all those things. It's pretty impressive. It's pretty impressive. I'm sure you've learned that too, as well. Do you feel like you're prepared to go to this next level, to go to school? All the people in your class are going to be A students, right? Eliza:  Right. Marc Smith, DVM:  Are you prepared to do that? Eliza:  I think so. I'm a very hard worker, but obviously everybody that gets into vet school is a hard worker. I think the thing that sets me apart is that I'm very efficient. Marc Smith, DVM:  You are efficient. Eliza:  I do not take ... Marc Smith, DVM:  You learned fast in my office. I remember that. Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). It takes me about 10 minutes to do what takes the average person 30 minutes. Marc Smith, DVM:  I said that. Did I write you a recommendation to vet school? Eliza:  You did, yes. Marc Smith, DVM:  Was it good? Eliza:  I never got to see it. Marc Smith, DVM:  I told you you could read it before I sent it. Eliza:  I had to sign a thing saying I wouldn't. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay. Well, anyway, I told them that you were efficient and that you could really get things done, and when you worked in my office, I knew that about you. Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  I knew that you were a problem solver and you could execute things and you could do it confidently and quickly and efficiently and that's a big deal. That's a big deal to being a veterinarian. You're going on to vet school. You're going to get in probably. Eliza:  We'll see. Fingers crossed. Marc Smith, DVM:  Unless you botch the interview, and this is practice for the interview, okay? You're going to go on to vet school and you're going to be successful in what you do, but is there anything that I did or is there any advice you could give me during my mentorship, or when I mentored you, during that time, is there any advice you could give me to be better? Eliza:  To give you to be better? Marc Smith, DVM:  Yes. Eliza:  Oh. Marc Smith, DVM:  I'm all about getting better. Eliza:  I thought you were going to ask me to tell them what you taught me. Let me think. Marc Smith, DVM:  Do that first, then. Say that first. Eliza:  Well, he always taught me communication. Marc Smith, DVM:  I did. Eliza:  Communication was the biggest thing that he pounded into me, that the majority of your job was not even necessarily diagnosing animals, but communicating with the owner about what was going on and communicating their options. Marc Smith, DVM:  There's three types of communication. Can you tell me what they are, in veterinary medicine? Eliza:  Oh, dear. You've told me this. Let's see, verbal. Marc Smith, DVM:  Verbal. Eliza:  Body language. Marc Smith, DVM:  Yes. Eliza:  Written. Marc Smith, DVM:  Simple, straightforward. Yes. That's great. I'm glad you remembered that. If you remember that for the next 10 years of life, you'll be successful. I can tell you that, at whatever you do. That was the biggest thing you learned from me. Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  What is something that you could tell me that I can improve upon? Remember we talked about politics, okay? I think you got pissed off at me all the time. Eliza:  A couple times, yes. Marc Smith, DVM:  Yes, but that's okay. Eliza:  Maybe don't talk about politics with your customers. Marc Smith, DVM:  We can agree to disagree. Yes, I don't talk about politics or religion with my customers, but what is one thing that you can tell me that I can do to be more impactful on people that I'm mentoring? Let's face it, Eliza, some people may call me abrasive, some people may call me intense. I'm really loving and compassionate and all that stuff. Eliza:  Of course. Marc Smith, DVM:  But, some people, that makes them nervous. Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  What is something I can do? I'm not sure I can change that about my personality, but I'm sure there's things that I can take from you so that I can improve. Eliza:  You could slouch a little bit so you're not quite so tall. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay, I can slouch, but what's something you can tell me to improve on? You've got to tell me something. Eliza:  Oh, I don't know. This is putting me on the spot. Marc Smith, DVM:  Good. That's what you need. I'm talking about in my mentorship. Eliza:  In your mentorship. Marc Smith, DVM:  Yes, not in the veterinary medicine. Eliza:  Well, I really liked when I first came in, you had me write a couple mini essays. I don't know that I liked it at the time, but it was helpful when I was going through to apply. I think you could do some more of that stuff to help them for the application itself, not just showing them ... Marc Smith, DVM:  That irritated you, and the reason why it irritated you is because you had to do some thinking and some work, right? Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). I didn't like it. Marc Smith, DVM:  I know you didn't, but lots of times, things you don't like are good for you. Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  Those are things you need to learn, because I've looked back on my life, and a lot of things my dad made me do or my mom made me do, I didn't like, but now I realize they're good for me, and so that's what I was trying to do with you. Actually, I've had people quit and never show up when I told them, "Look, this is what you need to do. You need to write down why you want to become a vet. Is it because you like pets? Well, everybody likes pets. Put something unique, something original." Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  I want to improve as a mentor. I want to be good for young people like you who are trying to search out and decide what you want to do with your life, because that's a big decision, right? I feel like I'm improving at that as time goes on. What do you envision yourself doing after you become a vet and you have a successful practice or whatever you choose, what do you envision yourself doing to give back or to help young people who are interested in veterinary medicine? Eliza:  Right. Well, it depends on if I end up doing what I want to do. Right now I want to be either a zoo vet or a wildlife vet, and I know that the wildlife vets that I worked with at City Wildlife made a huge impact on me, not just in deciding to become a vet, but in applying for vet school in the first place and in coaching me through writing my essays, sort of like you did. If I become a wildlife vet, I think even just working with the volunteers that come into the wildlife place and including them on the things that they got to do instead of just going off and having the veterinary things to be separate and having the volunteers ... Marc Smith, DVM:  Making them feel a part of the team. Eliza:  Yes, bringing them in on it and saying, "You can be a part of this, too." I think a lot of times in some of the other wildlife places I've volunteered at, the vets or the staff members don't have time to teach the volunteers new things. Marc Smith, DVM:  Or they don't take the time, right? Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I would want to take the time and make sure everybody felt included, because it makes a big difference. That's why I decided to be a vet. Marc Smith, DVM:  Right. Well, cool. Eliza:  Yes. Marc Smith, DVM:  You said wildlife. Why do you want to get into wildlife? Eliza:  I'm very passionate about conservation. Marc Smith, DVM:  Okay. Eliza:  I went to school actually for environmental sustainability and then later decided I wanted to do vet school, but that's where I came into vet school from was from that standpoint, so working with wildlife, either native wildlife or exotic wildlife if I work at a zoo I think is a really good way to try to promote conservation and save a lot of the animals that are starting to go extinct. Marc Smith, DVM:  Earlier, I've got a couple podcasts on, I'm sure it really irritates you, on this traditional Chinese medicine and how traditional Chinese medicine uses some of these exotic animals for their body parts and how they're killed lots of times by poachers, the rhinos and the horns. I know you're familiar with that. Eliza:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Marc Smith, DVM:  Those are big deals, and unfortunately they're probably not going to stop. Hopefully people will wake up and understand that there's different ways to honor that system of medicine and it doesn't have to be so barbaric and so maybe ill-founded. There's other ways to achieve those things outside of harvesting these potentially extinct animals. Eliza:  Right. Well, that's where your communication things comes in is teaching people what works and what doesn't, safe ways of doing things, humane ways of doing things. There's a lot of stuff where people are just ignorant and they don't realize that what they're doing is wrong, and that's our job as vets is to teach them. Marc Smith, DVM:  And to help them understand that maybe there's two ways to skin a cat. You ever heard that one? Eliza:  Yes. Marc Smith, DVM:  Yes. Don't forget that, okay? All right, so Eliza, I've enjoyed having you on the show. Let me explain one more time to our listeners is that in my practice, I get calls each and every day from young people like Eliza, from elementary school kids to professional students, PhD students, veterinarians who want to come to my practice and see what I did, and I open my arms to those people, for only the reason that I feel like I need to be a good mentor and a good advisor and I need to give these kids credible advice so that they can make the right decision about whether or not to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. That's important to me. One day when you become Miss Wildlife Veterinarian, you will feel the same way. Eliza, thank you for being on. Eliza:  Thanks for having me. Marc Smith, DVM:  You're a rockstar. Good luck. You are. I mean that. Good luck with getting into vet school. You deserve every accolade that comes your way, I promise you. Eliza:  Thank you. Marc Smith, DVM: Ladies and gentlemen, if you liked what we talked about today and you enjoyed the interview with Eliza, there are other ones on the PET | TAO Podcast and if you would be kind enough to give us a rating on iTunes, I would appreciate it. Until next time, thank you very much, and we will see you soon.

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