BalanceIt: A Unique Approach to Nutrition for Companion Animals

February 13th, 2019 by Heaven At Home Staff

BalanceIt, a vet-guided nutrition companion for pets including senior dogs and cats in West Michigan

Many pet parents struggle to know the best food, and method to feed their companion animals. Commercial pet food recalls can be scary, as can news about the FDA investigating boutique & grain-free dog food as a potential cause of hidden heart disease.

Veterinarians typically recommend commercial or prescription foods that meet these guidelines developed by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association:

  1. Food is formulated by full-time, board-certified Ph.D. veterinarian nutritionists.
  2. Food is manufactured by a company that conducts extensive live feeding trials.
  3. Company’s R&D team publishes peer-reviewed research.

Yet well-meaning pet food stores often direct pet parents toward heavily marketed boutique brands that do not meet these guidelines. Read the rest of this entry »


In Memoriam of Tripp Ullmer

February 12th, 2019 by Laurie Brush

Tripp’s Story:
We adopted Tripp in March of 2016. He was around 14 at the time, had poor vision and poor hearing and the vet diagnosed him with dementia. I am a sucker for Jack Russell terriers and even though we had never dealt with a special needs pet before, we couldn’t say no to his cute face.

We said at the time that whether Tripp lived 3 months or 3 years, it would be the best rest of his life possible. We fulfilled that promise. Tripp fit right in to our pack (we have three other dogs) and was loved immensely. Because he was special needs, he got special care.

He started to go downhill in the past few months and it was obvious he was in pain. We knew that just as we had given him a wonderful home to live out his days, so too would we give him a wonderful and peaceful goodbye. He was surrounded by his family, both human and dog. As sad as I was to say goodbye, I know that Tripp is young and healthy again as he plays with our other dogs at the Rainbow Bridge.

I can’t thank Heaven at Home and Dr. Amy enough for helping us give him the gift of passing in a peaceful atmosphere in his favorite spot, on his bed in front of the wood stove.

Thank you for the incredible service you provide. There is nothing worse than that fateful drive to the veterinarian knowing you are putting your pet down, and the lonely drive home. We will be calling you when it is time to say goodbye to any of our other furry loved ones.


FiveWPets

February 1st, 2019 by Laurie Brush

Keith’s goal is to help pet parents with the health and well-being of their pets by providing all-natural, locally sourced, environmentally conscious treats for fur babies of all shapes and sizes.

After realizing that pet parents often opt for convenience over quality, Keith recognized the opportunity to help owners and animals alike by producing an alternative to off-the-shelf dog treats with better quality ingredients and environmentally conscious production. We love Keith’s vision and want to help spread the word about his delicious treats! You can order treats or find out more by clicking here.


In Memoriam of Major

January 18th, 2019 by Laurie Brush

MAJOR’s Story:
Major was adopted by me at a no-kill facility in Muskegon.   He was only 5 then and we enjoyed him for 8 short years.  God sent him to me and I miss him so very much and see him everywhere. He had a good life here and especially loved our daily walks in the woods, as I did.        
P.S.   he was a border collie/lab mix, 85 lbs.

Dr. Amy, who came to the house, could not have been better with Major and also with me. It was a horrible decision to have to make as I loved him so, but I know it was the right decision and his being euthanized at home on his bed was the best decision, however painful for me, but comforting to him.
Thank you, Heaven at Home.


Keeping Your Senior Pet Warm This Winter

January 3rd, 2019 by Heaven At Home Staff

Few topics inspire as much controversy as (faux?) fashion for our furry friends. Do they really need coats and booties, or is this a classic case of anthropomorphism? Inquiring minds want to know!

In actual fact, the suitability of pet outerwear depends on a number of variables, including your dog’s breed, coat, age and body condition, plus outdoor temperature and duration of exposure.

“Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes,” said Dr. Laurie Brush, founder of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice.

Outerwear:

  • As a general rule, if your dog will only be outside for 10 minutes or less, they typically do not need any clothing.
  • Once temperatures drop under 20° F, all owners need to be aware that their dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite. Watch for signs, including shivering, anxiety, and slowing down. Beware of the wind chill factor.
  • Double-coated dogs such as Siberian Huskies and Newfoundlanders are very unlikely to need clothing.
  • Shorter-haired breeds, senior dogs, puppies and dogs with medical conditions do benefit from the additional warmth.

Paw Protection:

One of the biggest threats to healthy paw pads is the salt used to melt ice on driveways, roads and sidewalks. Prolonged contact with deicers can lead to chemical burns on dog paws. Use pet-friendly salt, and cover your dog’s paws when out on walks with paw wax or booties.

  • Booties offer the best protection: Options include rubber-sole styles with double Velcro straps, waterproof nylon socks, and disposable rubbers.
  • For elderly dogs who are more prone to slipping and falling on ice, you may wish to try booties with a grip.

 

Bed Warmers for Arthritic Dogs and Cats

If your feline friend or canine companion is elderly and/or suffers from arthritis you may wish to offer a heated orthopedic bed. Styles range from simple heating pads to luxurious heated lounges. Use caution with external heat sources, ensuring your pet is able to get up and move off the heat source if he/she becomes too warm. You may wish to discuss the type of heat source you should use with your veterinarian.


In Memoriam of Aries

December 28th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

Aries’ Story:
Aries became my dog after my son died unexpectedly – he only had him 3 weeks. I was a little unsure about keeping him, but he really helped me after Chris died. If he saw I was feeling down, he would bring a toy and want me to play with him. For the next 8 and a half years he was a great companion. Even after his health began to fail due to cancer, he was always there for me – I really miss that big goof.
 

 

 

I could not have asked for a better and more peaceful end for him. Amy was great – very gentle and reassuring. She helped make a very difficult decision easy to make. Thank you everyone for your kindness.


In Memoriam of Harley

December 20th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

December 10, 2018 –
Harley’s last footprints…

Our pup, Harley, had surgery on November 12 to remove a blockage in his intestines. We didn’t know what the problem was at the time, he was refusing all food and we had to force water into him. The surgery revealed a malignant tumor that was causing a blockage in his intestines. No wonder he had lost 15 pounds over the course of a month!
The veterinarian was able to remove the worst of it and told us it was a grim prognosis with or without chemo treatment, survival of 2-6 months.
Within two days of the surgery he was feeling so much better and when the sutures were removed the day before Thanksgiving, he was feeling and acting like his old self, full of energy with a great appetite. Knowing that our eight year old pup’s days were numbered, we gave him the best we could. Tom and I both feel fortunate we have been able to truly appreciate him in his last days.

This past Sunday was a great day. Tom gave Harley a real feast at dinner time and then more because Harley had been doing so well and gaining back some of the weight he had lost. Sometime overnight, there was a dramatic change. He was very lethargic with a high fever on Monday morning. Over the day, he became more withdrawn, to the point we think he was somewhat comatose. We will never know what happened; possibly brain damage from high fever or a stroke, but he seemed comfortable and essentially slipped away over the course of two days.


Thank you everyone for your kind words. Tom and I are dog-lovers.
OMG!-Between us we have over 100 years of dog ownership! We both agree Harley was hands down the best dog either of us has had. I feel equal measures heartbroken and thankful for every second with this sweetheart.

Thank you so much for helping us with this transition. Being able to have Harley home, comfy in his bed for his last moments was priceless. Your comforting words and gestures helped so much, Dr. Tay.

Tips to Avoid Stressing Your Elderly Dog or Cat During the Holidays

December 19th, 2018 by Heaven At Home Staff


You might think holiday stress is confined to last-minute-shopping humans, over-burdened hosts or folks with in-laws they secretly refer to as “outlaws.” If the holidays are stressful for you, imagine how your aging pet feels. Your own stress plus the bustle of the holiday season compounds pet stress, and it takes elderly animals longer to bounce back. Follow these tips to help your pets have a stress-free, happy holiday.

Read the rest of this entry »


Books for Adults on Grieving Pet Loss

December 18th, 2018 by Heaven At Home Staff


Whether you recently experienced the passing of a pet or are having trouble letting go after some time has passed, The Heaven at Home team has resources that may help you through this difficult time. Books can be an invaluable part of your support system, and we’ve curated a few below that we feel will really help a pet parent navigate the loss. Read the rest of this entry »


Books for Children on Grieving Pet Loss

December 7th, 2018 by Heaven At Home Staff


The Heaven at Home team knows that grieving the passing of your fur-baby is difficult and requires all the support you can get. On top of dealing with your own loss, if you have children, you also have to help them navigate what might be their first experience of losing a loved one. Books can play a helpful role in helping your child through the process.

The following are a few of the “gold standard” books written for children that are designed to help grieve a pet who has passed. Read the rest of this entry »


 
Compassionate home care for your companions!
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