As part of our Wondercide Giveaway this month (#WhereIWondercide), we're featuring our winner, Karen, and her two pups Yeti & Champie. Learn a little about a fellow Wondercide fan and see how living naturally has changed her dogs' lives – and her life! – for the better:
Hello, My name is Karen Sanner, and I'm from Honolulu, Hawaii ?I'm married and a doggie mom to 2 rambunctious and lovable pups. Yeti is my 4-year-old Shih Tzu and Champie is my 3-year-old Boston Terrier. My husband and I consider them our kids ?In the last year, my mom became ill,and so my life changed. I quit my job and became her caretaker. I now have time to focus on my own health as well as my family, which I never did before.
Why I Chose Natural Pet CareI first got interested in more of a natural lifestyle for my dogs when I got Yeti, my Shih Tzu. Even as a puppy, he would scratch at himself constantly and his ears were always infected. Since he was my first dog, all I knew was to listen to advice from my vet at the time ?, which was updating him with his shots, medicating him and feeding him the packaged food that they said was the best for his condition. Then, I started researching and reading about a more natural approach. I always felt that medicating him, along with the greasy kibble he was eating, was not making him better. It seemed like he was allergic to everything. The more I read, the more, "Oh my goodness!!!" moments I had. There were so many things out there that shocked me. That’s when the changes began: I started making homemade dog food and took both of my dogs off the harsh monthly flea & tick meds.
Meet My Wonderpups
Yeti is my 4-year-old Shih Tzu and my first dog. I was told because of his breed he is prone to allergies, from grass to food, insect bites, etc. Right before he turned 4 years old in October 2014, I noticed he started acting strange. Within 2 days, my spunky little buddy started circling, getting stuck in corners of the house, panting heavily and staring at the wall. He wandered in the house non-stopas if he were looking for something but couldn't find it. My husband and I made an appointment with the vet here to get an MRI done on Yeti's brain and see what was going on. He was diagnosed with GMEor Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis. He had significant lesions on his brain with an unknown cause.
I am not a vet, and I can't speak for other pet owners, but I believe that after 4 years of monthly flea & tick treatments, combined with “due” vaccinations, harmed him neurologically. I consulted with a holistic vet to aid me with a natural approach in healing Yeti. So far, we have had a successful 6 months with Yeti's healing. We've incorporated homemade foods &added supplements and did away with unnecessary harsh flea and tick control.
Champie is my 3-year-old Boston Terrier. His issues are more with digestion: lots of gas and soft stoolWhen Yeti was going through his issues, I decided to start Champie with a natural approach as well. It made me sad when he would hide from me and start foaming at the mouth when he knew it was time for flea meds. He was trying to tell me something. At times, he would throw it up as well. So, I stopped that monthly medication for him, too. As for the gas and soft stool, homemade foods have definitely made a difference! Both dogs have been more playful and energetic ever since!
The Benefits of Living NaturallyIt comes down to peace of mind. I'm much more aware of what goes into my body now and how what I eat and drink affects how I feel ?I see my pets as a little reflection of me. What I mean is, since I started making their homemade foods, I know exactly what is in it. My husband would say, “Why are they eating so healthy, and why are we eating so bad?!” We started changing our own eating habits and even started exercising. It was hard at first, but we've been feeling better ever since!
How to Get StartedThere are so many websites and advice out there for anyone who is curious. It can be overwhelming and the feeling can be that you want to change everything immediately. You can start small by even baking your own doggie treats. You can take comfort in knowing what ingredients are given to your pup instead of all the mumbo-jumbo written in the back of the treats that are sold (especially with all the recalls on pet food and treats happening in the last couple of years). Making your own food and treats, in the long run, will prevent unnecessary trips to the vet and illness.
Why I Wondercide
We are fairly new to Wondercide but already so grateful. I came across the products at a boutique here called Calvin and Susie. I go there a couple times a month, but I think they just started carrying it. I do bathe my dogs often, but I was also looking for a natural product I could put on them that would repel AND kill fleas and ticks ?The timing was perfect, and I was so happy when I found it. Yeti's skin at the time was susceptible to fleas, and shampooing was not enough. I went home, found a flea on him and sprayed. I was used to products just repelling fleas, but Wondercide killed them, never to return. I don't have to worry about fleas coming into and hanging out in our home as well.
My Two Cents
I also wanted to tell people I understand that listening to your vet is important. But, if you have a feeling about changing things in your pets' lives, don't hesitate to ask your vet. Don't be intimidated by, "They HAVE to eat this, or They HAVE to be on this flea medication once a month." I once thought that with my dogs being medicated and always vaccinated, they were 100%. I had to learn the hard way, but we've come a long way ?Pets have smaller bodies than us and really can't speak about how they feel. I don't want to preach but just want to share my experience!