Monday, June 25, 2018

9 Tips to Keep Pets Safe and Calm during 4th of July Week

Did you know more pets go missing over the July 4th holiday than at any other time of year?

Historically, July 5th is the busiest day at Animal Shelters in the U.S.A. 

This year is going to be especially challenging for pet guardians because the holiday lands in the middle of the week. No doubt people will be setting off firecrackers from Saturday, June 30 through Sunday, July 8th.

Celebrating the 4th of July with its loud pyrotechnics and fireworks displays may be fun for humans, but it scares and disorient pets in a matter of seconds, causing them to melt down in terror with many trying to flee from the safety of their homes and go missing. 

Why? Animals become anxious and scared when they hear loud noises and see bright flashing lights. Their instincts tell them to run as fast and far away as possible to escape the source of their discomfort and anxiety.

Throughout the Independence Day weekend, your pets will hear noises you might not be aware of because of their sensitive ears and nervous systems.

Once an animal becomes frantic, it's difficult for them to calm down. It's better for your pets, and you to prevent your pets from becoming distressed in the first place. Once in the "red zone," your pet can no longer hear you.

Instead, their panic drives them to find a safe place away from the perceived danger. This is why animals tend to hide under furniture, go into a closet, or try to escape their backyards and homes by whatever means possible.

This video from PETA shows, from a dog's perspective, how quickly a dog can become spooked and fast they can run from fireworks and firecrackers with potentially life-threatening consequences.

Recognizing the physical signs of stress is the first step to alleviating your pet's distress. 

Here are some physical signs of anxiety and stress in pets:

  • Excessive Panting and drooling
  • Ears Pinned Back
  • Tail Between Legs
  • Excessive Vocalizations like whining, barking, and crying
  • Licking lips
  • Yawning
  • Restless Pacing and Can't Settle Down
  • Refuses Food and Treats
  • Excessive Scratching, Paw Licking, and Over-Grooming
  • Hides under furniture or in a closet

It's essential you communicate with your pets before the holiday begins to help them cope and deal with the fireworks.

Kobe Bear 

Kobe Bear hated fireworks and loud noises. 

My second Keeshond, Kobe Bear, now In Spirit, became extremely anxious during the 4th of July celebrations. It didn't help fireworks could be seen and heard from every room in my house for approximately 30 long minutes, two nights in a row.

The first year I had Kobe Bear, I had no idea how upset he would get from fireworks since my previous dog had no problems with loud noises or pyrotechnics. Kobe Bear, on the other hand, melted down with intense fear and became inconsolable.

Despite being able to communicate telepathically to Kobe he was safe, his fear overwhelmed him to point where he couldn't hear me. Over the years, I came to dread the 4th of July fireworks displays because it was awful watching my dog suffer.

One year, Kobe was so freaked out, he tried to jump out of a 2nd story window when the fireworks display began as he attempted to escape the scary noises and lights that he didn't understand. Despite closing the windows and blinds, keeping him in a back bedroom, feeding him delicious treats and playing music, Kobe could still feel the vibrations the fireworks created.

Unfortunately, Kobe Bear's terror didn't end when the firework displays ended because people in my neighborhood continued to set off firecrackers throughout the holiday. He trembled and barked every time he heard a loud noise. Despite my best attempts to calm and communicate with him, Kobe suffered terribly.

In hindsight, I should have considered medicating him to alleviate his suffering.

9 Tips to keep your pets calm and safe:

Tip #1: Your pet's ID is their ticket home. If you do nothing else, put a collar with current ID tags securely on your pet at the start of the holiday weekend. ID Tags are the quickest and easiest way for your pet to be returned to you if they go missing. Make sure your information on the ID Tags is current and remember to include your cell number.

If you have a horse, you may want to place a safety or breakaway halter on them with your current contact information. This way, your horse is wearing her ticket home just in case she spooks and runs away.

Use ID tags in addition to microchipping your pet. It's important to microchip your pet especially if they end up in an Animal Shelter.

If your pet isn't microchipped already, talk to your veterinarian about getting your pet microchipped. It's a good time to double check that your microchip information is up-to-date.

Remember, your pet's ID Tags are their ticket home if they go missing.

Tip #2: Never use fireworks around your dog or other pets. The noise will spook them with an excellent chance they may run away and go missing. Fireworks can quickly burn the fur on an animal, so it's best to keep them away from this type of hazard.

Tip #3: Exercise reduces your pet's stress. On high-stress days, like the 4th of July, it's an excellent idea to give your animals their exercise early in the day, so that they can be tired when their world starts to explode. A tired animal tends to cope and deal with the loud noises better than a pet who has too much energy. 

Also, take your dog out for a long walk and potty right before the start of the fireworks displays, which will help them sleep. Taking your pets out during the fireworks display or later, when random firecrackers are set off, will significantly increase the chances of your pet going missing. 

Tip #4: Leave your pets safely secured inside your home. Put your pets in a quiet "safe room" or crate where they can't accidentally escape. Having a "safe room" will help reduce their stress.

Cats are amazing escape artists. Put cats, including outdoor cats, in their "safe room" with their litter box and fresh water. Make sure they are wearing a collar and ID. You may want to consider using a GPS collar if you're concerned about your pet escaping.

Your pets will be happier and safer if they stay home. You may think it's fun to bring your dog to fairs, holiday celebrations, and fireworks shows, but I promise you, it's no fun for your dog. In fact, it can be a scary experience. If it's hot, your risk burning your dog's paws or experiencing heat stroke.

Tip #5: Stay home with your animal friends. It's important you remain home to be a calming influence for your pets especially if they feel like their world is crashing down around them. Many animals tell me they cope better when their person is with them. Otherwise, they say, it's overwhelming to deal with loud, thunderous noises that might swallow them up or even worse, hurt them, without their person to protect them.

Tip #6: Decrease visual stimulation. Bright, flashing lights can upset animals, sometimes to the point where they will jump out of a 2nd story window.  Keep blinds and curtains shut and close the windows. If need be, put your dog in a crate with a towel placed over it. 

Last year, someone let off a large firecracker near my home. The big flash of light before the loud boom freaked Bodhi out. Up until he saw the light, he was doing okay dealing with the noise.

Tip #7: Use Anxiety Vests, Sound Therapy, or CBD to Calm Your Dogs and Cats

Anxiety Vests, also known as Thunder Shirts work to calm down your dog or cat's anxiety without the use of drugs. They work by applying gentle, constant pressure to a dog's or cat's torso which provides comfort. Click Here for more info about using Anxiety Vests.

Playing music from Through a Dog's Ear and Through a Cat's Ear help desensitize and relax your pet. I played Through A Dog's Ear music for Kobe Bear. I now play it for Bodhi Bear every 4th of July and on New Year's Eve to minimize his stress. 

Click here for FREE SAMPLES, so you can choose what music is best for your animal family.

Relax Your Dog YouTube Channel plays calming music for your pets as well. 

In general, uncomplicated classical music like Mozart and Beethoven are good choices to play for your animal family as it's soothing for both animal and human.

Hemp CBD oil or treats help to calm pets and relieve anxiety. Never give THC products to your pets and only use products made from hemp, which has no psychoactive properties. It's always best to check with your veterinarian before using. Click here for more info on Hemp CBD products for pets.

Tip #8: Distract and redirect your pet's focus by using chew toys, playing games and offering them treats as a reward for ignoring the booming explosions, if you can. 

Don't be surprised if your food motived hound refuses treats when fireworks are happening. Many times, when pets are stressed or scared, they refuse food or treats.

Chewing reduces a dog's stress.  Give your dog something fun and safe to chew on like a frozen Kong filled with deliciousness like chicken or peanut butter to keep them occupied

Playing with cats reduces their stress so grab your cat's favorite toy and have fun playing with them.

Tip #9: Talk to your Veterinarian before the start of the holiday week. If you've tried the above suggestions and your pet still suffers anxiety during fireworks, it may be time to discuss medication options to ease their fears and tension. The 4th of July and New Year's Holidays are the two times of year that I strongly suggest medicating your pet if they tend to melt down.

Your Vet should be one of your best resources to help your pet through this potentially nightmarish holiday week. Never give your pet any form of medication without consulting your veterinarian first given the potentially severe side-effects. While the use of drugs should be your last resort, it's a good option if your pet is like Kobe Bear.

If you choose to medicate your pet, make sure you do give it to your pet sooner than later.  Every 4th of July holiday,  I receive numerous calls from clients whose pets are frantic from the noise and lights and some whose pets have gone missing animals.

A large number of pets end up in the Veterinarian ER during the Independence Day holiday.

During the 4th of July holiday; large influxes of pets go to the Vet ER for ingesting inappropriate picnic and BBQ foods such as hot dogs and fatty meats. 

Even ingesting a corn cob can make your dog very sick. Fatty BBQ meat can cause pancreatitis. It's better to avoid these types of foods to prevent gastric upset and a possible trip to the ER.

If you are having a party, it's better for your animal family if they are kept away from the noise and potential danger of eating the wrong foods.

Pets also visit the ER because they burn their paws on hot pavement or become dehydrate and overheated from the mid-Summer heat.

Finally, you may want to set up a long distance Reiki session to support your pets with calm, grounding and nurturing energy.

I'm available throughout the week if you need to talk with your pets about what's going on around them or offer them Reiki.

The Animal Muse Family wishes you and your animal family have a safe and fun 4th of July Holiday!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Should Your Pets Stay or Go On Vacation?

Have you shared your summer plans with your animal family?

Bodhi Packing for A Recent Vacay
If you're a pet parent making arrangements for your summer vacay, then you will need to decide whether it's best to bring your animal family with you or leave them at home.

It's amazing how much calmer you and your animal companions will feel when you include them in your decision-making process because you're not second-guessing what your animals may need or want.

Communicating telepathically with your pets will help you make important decisions about their care while keeping their perspective in mind. 

There are many things to keep in mind when you bring your pet on a trip, including what your pets might want to do on their vacation. My dog, Bodhi loves to go to the beach, while some dogs enjoy taking a hike in the woods; going to cafes and restaurants, or wine tasting with their humans.

It can make a world of difference when you elicit your animal family's viewpoints on what they'd like to do on their “summer vacation.” Knowing how your pet feels about your plans can help you avoid, for instance, hiring a pet sitter your animal dislikes or taking them to the beach when they'd prefer to stay with their grandparents.

If you decide to take your pets with you on your vacay, websites like Bring Fido are useful resources for dog-friendly hotels, locations and adventure options in the United States and abroad. These websites offer a variety of accommodations that include fun perks like "yappy hour," canine goody bags, dog poop bags or on-site doggie daycare.

Some pets, like my cats, Mona Marie and Elvis prefer to stay at home because change is hard for them. Plus they don't enjoy traveling. Bodhi, on the other hand, loves to go whenever he can,

Bodhi is clear he's not okay being left alone at night when he can't travel with me, and my cats need human companionship, so I hire a pet sitter to spend the night in the house. Also, I give them permission to have fun with their caregivers while I'm away.

If you don't have a neighbor, friend or relative to watch your pets, websites like can help you find a reliable pet sitter in your area. Your veterinarian may be an excellent resource to help you find a reliable pet care provider.

Before you finalize your trip, it's helpful to check in with your animal family to make sure they understand and approve of the plans you have chosen for them. 

Donna recently called me as she was finalizing her summer vacation plans to Virginia Beach. Donna inquired if her dog, Sadie wanted to go the beach or preferred staying at her human grandparents' home.

Sadie confessed that despite being a black Lab, the ocean scares her. Sadie then asked her Mom if she could stay with her grandparents where she was far from the sea and felt safe.

After her vacation, Donna shared that talking with Sadie reduced their stress and anxiety around their holiday. Donna explained she felt more relaxed knowing Sadie was happy and secure with her grandparents. Sadie said she had a good time with her grandparents

Rachael likes to check in with her adorable 14-year-old Pomeranian, Kiki before traveling for business or pleasure. With my assistance, Rachael tells Kiki about the pet hotel where she will be staying, so her little friend is well=prepared for the upcoming shifts her daily routine.

Companion animals want their humans to prepare them for changes in their daily routines especially upcoming travel plans. 

Susie contacts me every time she goes leaves her dog, even if it's for a day or two. She feels it's essential for her senior collie, Bettie is apprised of the upcoming changes in Bettie's routine. Susie finds it's beneficial that Bettie is okay with her pet sitter. Susie and Bettie find communicating with one another reassuring and helpful. When Susie leaves her collie, both dog and human have peace of mind. And Bettie feels validated because her voice was heard.

Going on vacation can be a challenge, especially when you have pets. In my experience, your animal family tends to be more relaxed and happier when you include them in your planning process. After all, the goal is to have a stress-free summer vacation free from worry about your animals.

I'd love to hear about your summer adventures with your animal family. Please leave your comments and stories here on my blog or by posting on my Facebook page.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Animal Reiki Helps People, Too

“Just as water ripples outward with the drop of a pebble, Reiki flows to exactly where it's needed for the highest good of all."  

~Cathy Malkin, The Animal Muse

As a Reiki Master Practitioner for over ten years, I'm still in awe of the incredible healing power of Reiki. 
The more I practice Reiki, the more I see how the Universal Life Force Energy ripples outward flowing to precisely where it's needed the most.

When clients sent up Reiki sessions for a particular animal in their family, I encourage them to be with their pet during the treatment because Reiki frequently benefits other family members including pets and humans. 

An excellent example of what I call the "Reiki Ripple Effect" happened when I offered a beautiful 16-year-old Golden Retriever mix named Shanti distant Reiki.

Shanti's human, Serena requested Reiki to support her best friend, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, and for an upcoming move. 
Given all the different holistic options, Serena felt long-distant Reiki was the best choice to compliment Shanti's cancer treatments and help decrease her anxiety around the move.

Before Shanti's first Reiki session, I suggested Serena and her two cats create a "healing circle" around Shanti. In other words, I wanted Shanti's family to sit or sleep close by one another while I offered Reiki to Shanti.

After Shanti's initial treatment, Serena shared the following feedback:

Reiki goes where it needs to go, right?

It went straight to my own body, which has been in intense body pain for over a week. After Shanti's Reiki session, I had NO pain for two days!

As for Shanti - the light in her eyes are bright as her eyes tend to become dull when she is uncomfortable. And her gorgeous coat has shined up. . . it's palpable!
The cats? They’ve have been playing more. 
Also, thanks for getting rid of my dang virus that had a hold on me.

That's the Reiki Report!
After Shanti's third Reiki treatment, Serena wrote:
Three times is apparently the charm. Shanti seems transformed this evening standing for her supper, which she hasn't done in weeks.
Serena and Shanti's experience highlights Reiki's innate intelligence and its ability to go to whoever needs it, which in this case, created positive healing results for the entire family, including Serena.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Sunday Hawk Encounter

 “A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.”  

--Paul Simon

As I gazed out my living room window on a sunny Sunday morning, a huge bird flew straight towards me. As he got closer to the window, he quickly veered off to the right and landed on my neighbor's roof.

Curious, I jumped up and quickly ran outside to see what kind of bird it was. At first, I thought it might be a Blue Heron or even a Turkey Vulture, given its enormous body and broad wing-span.

To my surprise and delight, it was my Power Animal, the Red-Tailed Hawk who lives in the open space adjacent to my home. When a Power Animal gets my attention, it means they want to share a message of wisdom.

I first met this particular Hawk several months ago while walking in the open space with my dog, Bodhi along with our good friends Jan and her dog, MacGuyver. As Jan and I chatted and the dogs sniffed about, I spotted a large raptor on the ground no more than four feet away from us happily eating his prey.

Jan and I immediately stopped. We became silent as we watched this magnificent raptor tore apart and ate his supper unfazed by our presence.

Interestingly, the two dogs were oblivious a Hawk was only a few feet away from them because they were all-consumed with smelling the smorgasbord of earthly delights around them.

And before we knew it, the Hawk soared off with the remainder of his food in his talons to a nearby Oak Tree. It was a magical encounter.

From the moment we met, I intuitively knew this particular Hawk was one of my Power Animals.

A Power Animal is a Spirit Guides in the form of an animal, reptile, or insect. Spirit Guides aid humans by sharing their valuable wisdom and insight. Indigenous cultures, like Native Americans, embrace Power Animals as an integral part of their culture.

According to Native American lore, the Hawk is known as "The Messenger." Therefore, when you spot a Hawk or hear its cries, it means to pay attention because an important message is about to be conveyed. In other words, be aware of the "signs" that are offered.

As the Hawk sat on my neighbor's roof staring at me, he shared the following telepathic communication:

Greetings, Cathy. Thank you for taking my call by noticing my presence.  
Keep sharing the wisdom of the animals with all those who are willing to hear our cries. 
Animals' "Voices" need to be heard and honored. 
It's easy to forget that we are interconnected and interrelated to all species who share Mother Earth together. 
Be gentle and kind with yourself and others as you share our messages.

After conveying his message, the Hawk flew to the top of the lamp post across the street from my house, where we spent a few more moments sharing our hearts together as One.

As the Hawk flew off towards the Open Space, I thanked him for sharing his wisdom and promised to share his musings.

I heard the Hawk replied, "Until we meet again, keep soaring."

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Do You Talk to Your Pets?

In a recent survey about pets by Mindful Magazine, readers were asked:

"Do you talk casually with your pets?" 

98% of the respondents answered "yes" to the question.

When Mindful readers were asked, 

"What's the hardest thing about having a pet?" 

Two of their top responses were:
  • Not understanding what their pets want or need.
  • Not knowing what their pets are thinking.
These answers suggest it's easier to talk with your pets than it is to listen to them. 
Animals want to be heard and understood just like humans.
It's frustrating for pets when they don't feel understood. Plus misunderstandings can lead to unwanted behavioral and emotional issues like inappropriate peeing or increased anxiety. A professional Animal Communicator, like myself, can help eliminate these problems by giving animals a "voice" so they can share their hearts and minds. 

Clear, open communication creates a deeper bond with your pets. Mindful listening conveys to your pets how much you love, honor, and respect them which makes them happy, healthy, and more balanced. 

One way to develop Mindful Listening Skills with your pets is to spend at least 5 minutes daily (the more time, the better) sitting quietly feeling all the love you have in your heart for your animal family. Invite your animal family to join you. Sit with this feeling for at least 5 minutes. If you find your thoughts wandering, take a deep breath and gently return your focus back to your heart center.

Doing this simple exercise will open the door to mindful talking and listening to animals.
Are you having trouble communicating with your pets? 
Want to know what your pet is thinking and feeling? 
Empower your pets and make them happy by giving them a "voice" with my assistance.

Email me or use the contact form below to schedule a phone session to talk with your animal family.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

What Do Pets Really Want?

If you could give your pet anything in the world, what would it be? A new toy or a favorite treat? A new friend?

The Best Present You Can Give Your Pet Is Your Presence. 

It's easy to forget your animals want something incredibly simple from you: your undivided attention in a mindful way, even if it's only for five minutes a day.

Throughout the holidays and the rest of the year, we tend to get consumed and overwhelmed by the many distractions life brings. These diversions prevent you from being fully and peacefully Present with your pets. 

Animals consistently tell me that spending quality time with their humans is the best gift they could ever receive because they never get enough quality time with their cherished humans.

Being with your animal family while you're talking on the phone, watching TV, or surfing the web isn't the Present your animal family craves. They want you to disconnect from your cell phone, computer, or whatever is preventing you from becoming fully Present in mind, body, and spirit.

If you think about it, your pets are consistently Present as they quietly support you with their Presence. They appreciate it when you reciprocate in kind.

Taking time each day to be quietly Present with your animal brings about many benefits including hearing your intutitive voice and your animals' voices. Plus it brings deeper awareness, understanding, and balance to your relationship.

Being Present with your pet might look like sitting quietly on the couch together, taking a walk in Nature, or going on a joy-ride to a favorite destination. Or it could be offering Reiki which is an easy way to be fully Present.

Your animal family will thank you for giving them the best Present ever: your Presence.

Looking for a fun meditation to create more mindfulness around your animal family? Click here for an easy meditation from Kathleen Prasad of the Animal Reiki Source.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Cockatoo Benefits From Animal Communication and Reiki

After Experiencing A Seizure, Tula the Cockatoo benefitted from Animal Communication and Reiki. 

Tula is a vivacious, spunky, and stubborn 17-year-old Cockatoo who has severe health challenges including hormonal imbalance and frequent seizures caused by abnormally high zinc levels.

Tula's person, Paula called me to communicate telepathically with Tula as well as offering her Reiki. Paula was concerned about how Tula was feeling after experiencing another seizure which left Tula abnormally quiet and withdrawn.

Besides talking with Tula during an Animal Communication phone session, Paula felt a distant Reiki session would also help Tula feel better.

Tula the Cockatoo

During our Animal Communication phone session, I  telepathically asked Tula how she was feeling, She immediately showed me that her body felt inflamed as though it was on fire. Tula felt sad, withdrawn, and depressed especially since her last seizure. Tula said it knocked the wind out of her.

Tula went on to say,

Besides my body feeling like it's on fire, I'm bored. I know Paula does her best to keep me busy and engaged, but she can never replace Nature with her trees, streams, and fresh air. I need to go outside.
I want Paula to take me on car rides. When I'm in the car, it feels like Paula and I are flying! There's nothing better than feeling the wind flowing through my feathers while breathing in all the many different smells that whip by me. 

I relayed Tula's message with Paula, who was 100% on-board with the idea. In fact, Paula described taking many fun car trips with Tula as her co-pilot. Paula confessed she couldn't remember the last time they went on a ride together.

Paula then promised Tula that they'd take a joy ride to one of their favorite destinations, the San Francisco Bay, after receiving Reiki. As Paula described their past car rides, I felt Tula's mood brighten.

After her Animal Communication session, I offered Tula Reiki. During her distant Reiki session, Tula drank in the healing energy like a fine wine. As she received the universal life force known as Reiki, I felt Tula's mood lighten up even more.

Tula Joy Riding After Receiving Reiki

After Tula's Reiki Session, I received a phone call from Paula. She told me that Tula became so relaxed during her Reiki session that she nearly tumbled off her perch. Paula was surprised by this since Tula rarely goes into deep relaxation or falls asleep during the day.

Tula After Receiving Reiki

Later that afternoon, I received the above pictures of Tula after Paula took Tula on a joy-ride to the San Francisco Bay. As you can see from her photographs, Tula is one happy Cockatoo! 
Paula was thrilled because she noticed a happier, more energetic, and upbeat Tula almost immediately after the Animal Communication and Reiki sessions were done. Paula admitted she was also feeling more optimistic now that Tula was acting more like her usual self.