Monday, November 30, 2009

Handmade Holiday Lip Balm Recipe

Originally posted on Handmade Holiday Blog

This is for a human lip balm recipe but this can be reinvented to be a great spot treatment for dog hot spots. The changes from dog to human will be in red. Apply as needed to hot spots, dry skin or minor cuts.

See our live spot on Virginia This Morning on December 12.08.09 between 9-10 am. Where you can see how to make a Lip Balm step by step and hear more about our wonderful vendors!

Lip Balm Recipe by Jackson Sage
Use this simple and fun recipe as gifts, to promote and event or company, or party invites.
This recipe fills 24- .15 oz lip balm tubes.

Step 1: Create Lip Balms


4 fl oz Sweet Almond Oil (for doggies add Olive Oil)
4 TBS Beeswax
1- 1.5 tsp of flavoring (Essential oils such as Peppermint, Lime, Lemon, Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus) (for doggies leave out the flavoring, since we don't want to encourage licking. Add Essential Oils of Lavender and/or Tea Tree)

Add Beeswax and Sweet Almond Oil into a glass measuring cup.

Microwave approximately one minute till beeswax is melted.

Add Flavoring and stir.
Pour into lip balm tubes.

Let cool. If you spill some down the side, let cool and then wipe away.

Where to purchase supplies:
From Nature with Love
SKS Bottles

Step 2: Create Labels


White Full Sheet of Labels (such as Avery 8255
X-acto knife (can use scissors)
Cutting Mat
Label template download. Click here to download.

Once lip balms are cool, about an hour, you can add the labels.
Import Label template to word processing program.
Create labels.
Print on highest Quality.
Cute with X-acto knife. Apply to Lip Balm Tubes.

Hints and tips:
Want a firmer lip balm, add more beeswax. Too hard, add more oil.
To test how hard or soft your lip balm will be, after heating oil and beeswax and before poring, place a small amount on a spoon and place in freezer for a few minutes. When it cools you can test the consistency of the mixture.
If oils harden in your mixing jar while pouring into containers, just place back into the microwave for a few more seconds to re-melt.
Mint Essential oils will tingle the lips, less may be more.
Citrus Oils are lighter in scent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Safety Tip: Pet Poison Assistance

Princess Buttercup got herself into quite a mess today, and unfortunately not the usual "I stole my Human's shoes" or "how muddy can I get before the Human stops me?"

I had set a bottle of my medication on a table. I knew better. I knew to not leave it there but I was going to come back and take it and then put it away. But of course I forgot about it, phone rang, soap was ready, neighbor knocked on the door. Somehow, Buttercup found the bottle and decided to chew on it... of all the other things on the same table she could have picked, that was the thing she picked to chew.

My Husband found the bottle. And then we found Buttercup looking very sad and sick. She then began to vomit.

I called my vet and they said to call Animal Poison Helpline. I then called another vet that we have used. They also gave me a number for Animal Poison Assistance. Both said to call that number and then, if need be, take her to an emergency clinic.

All vets will forward you to a poison control assistance before they see you. Here are the numbers and their fees so you can have those handy if you ever need them, which I hope is never.

Here are the numbers:
* Pet Poison Helpline: 1.800.213.6680
They are 24 hours. The fee is $35.
* ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 1.800.548.2423
They are 24 hours. The fee is $60.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Health Tip: Lyme Disease

Last year around this time my dog Oliver was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. It seemed very unlikely that he would get sick or even die from it, since most dogs do not become terminal. Unfortunately, he had been misdiagnosed 5 months earlier and treated not for Lyme's but for general infection. So by the time October rolled around, he didn't just have Lyme Disease but liver and kidney failure. He was such a strong dog that it was not apparent how sick he was till he was too ill to eat. Oliver is a rare case for something that can be completely prevented. Then the second blow came when my dog Eva, in the Spring, was diagnosed through a yearly test with Lyme's. She was treated early and had no liver or kidney damage. This shows the importance of early and regular testing.

Signs of Lyme Disease:
Lots of dogs show no signs. The most common sign is stiff legs.

You can easily protect your dog from Lyme Disease:
Transmitted through ticks, Lyme Disease can lead to kidney and liver failure, which may lead to death. The good news is that it is preventable and treatable with regular care.

Tips for prevention:
1.) Use flea, tick and heartworm medication ALL year. It is way too easy in the winter months to think the cold will kill off the ticks, and to try to find a way to save a little money by cutting out a few months a year of medication. Ticks can be found on dogs in mild winters.
2.) Find a tick preventative that kills ticks under 48 hours. It takes over 48 hours for the disease to transfer. If it says repels but not kills, do not use, it will not help protect your dog from ticks.
3.) Ticks don't just like country living, they can be found in the city too! You can find them in your backyard and parks.
4.) Have your vet do a yearly check for Lyme's. Ask your vet for a yearly test that combines Heartworm and Lyme's. If your vet offers these separately for an additional cost, ask them to consider using a test such as the Snap 4DX, which tests for heartworm, ehrichiosis, Lyme, and anaplasmosis. This test should not cost more than the Heartworm test. Testing yearly for Lyme Disease can save your dogs life. By detecting it early there is less likely to a be liver or kidney damage, the causes of death from Lyme Disease.

Please discuss the best option for your dog with your vet.

In loving memory of Oliver

A little about Oliver:
Born January 27, 2004 in Richmond, Va, his background was a humble beginning. His Mother a Pointer Mix was found pregnant on the streets. She was taking in by the wonderful people at AARF. He was adopted by a young women named Erika with no knowledge of dogs on March 15, 2004.

This young women did not come to about Oliver but his brother. Yet, Oliver had other plans. He decided to curl up in this young lady's lap and fall asleep. It was to be the beginning of a partnership that was a struggle and a learning experience for both involved.

Oliver is best know for stealing food off of the kitchen counter, eating cat food when no one was looking, barking at people that walk by his fence, pulling like hell on the leash, distrusting strangers, snuggling on the bed, being aloof, W-A-L-K-S and best of all running like hell when he was allowed off lead to run free. He nicknames included " Damn it, Oliver" "Bad Dog," and "O." He loved to eat and his favorite food was cat food, peanut butter, cheese, and popcorn. He never would dream that a dogs place was on the floor, he preferred the bed, and if he to he would sleep on the sofa.

His education background included Basic Obedience, Agility 1 and 2, Tricks, and Dog Aggression Class at the SPCA. He was smarter than anything but refused to use it to please anyone. He loved to learn with food but would look at you like you have lost your mind if you asked him to "Super Fly" (a trick Erika created where he spins and then jumps up to give ten) without treats. His biggest trick though was waiting till we left the room to tip toe to the kitchen to steal food and then freeze like a statue when caught as if being still meant he could no longer be seen.

Although his education background showed merit, his aggression never allowed him to pass the Canine Good Citizen Test. Erika dreamed that together they would pass the test before he passed away. She figured the only way to have a dog with that kind of head strong personality was to going to pass was to try again when he was 12, hopefully by then he would be to old to care. It was something that would have meant a lot to Erika (Oliver would have not cared either way).

According to his handler his greatest accomplishment, outside of being a model for the Pet Premier Harness, was that he helped teacher her love, patience and got her on the right track in a time when she was lost. She early on gave him the name "guardian of the secret" somewhat after a Jackson Pollack but also because that is what he was to her.

Although he was aloof, he was a excellent big brother to Eva. He was especially wonderful when she was a puppy, he would hold toys in his mouth and gently play keep away with her. He also was a very good friend to the many foster dogs we had including a wonderful dog named LuLu that he helped become comfortable in the house.

When speaking about Oliver, Erika says " He was the bain of my existence, and I mean this in the most positive way. By most accounts he was just a dog, and a bad dog at that. A dog that most would have given up on due to his early aggressive behavior and his perpetual head strong determination, but the behavior made him all the more charming and loving. It was a gift to be given the time to work with him. It is times like these that I think of the book The Little Prince and how it is the time you spend with your rose that makes it so important and unique. He was unique in a way that only spending time with him could create. He gave me a greater understanding of myself, and through him, I became a strong more confident person. Some might say he is just a dog but he was so much more. It will be quite around here without him."

His passing was few minutes passed midnight on December 10, 2008. May he ever run free.

Love you O!