Lucy Postins on Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Lucy Postins on Keeping Your Pet Healthy

My pets mean everything to me – they are a huge source of comfort. It’s hard to care for your pet when you are in the midst of a migraine. I’m pretty much incapable of doing anything besides lying in bed. My pets, however, don’t understand and still need to be fed and taken outside. When I’m not having a migraine, I walk my dog everyday and spend quality play time with him and the cats before bedtime. But I just can’t care for them like that when I’m in pain. So, I wanted to learn some alternative ways to stay on top of my pet’s health and happiness for when I was stuck in bed.

Preventative Pet Health Care Goes a Long Way

Lucy Postins on Keeping Your Pet Healthy

One of my personal favorite pet food brands, The Honest Kitchen, has a site that is full of great health information. So, I reached out to the founder, Lucy Postins (pictured above), to see if she’d be able to offer some guidance on caring for your pet when you have a chronic illness.

Do you have any tips for easy ways to stay on top of your pet’s health?

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to managing a pet’s health. Providing good quality food and clean water is paramount, as is adequate exercise. Sometimes, it’s possible to team up with a family member or neighbor to ‘timeshare’ pet ownership; for example, a neighborhood family who doesn’t have time for a full commitment to owning their own pet, might love the opportunity to invite your dog for a sleepover when you aren’t feeling well, or to take him for walks for you when energy is low. Some cities also have organizations such as PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) which we have here in San Diego, to help provide food, care and vet transportation needs through neighborhood outreach, on behalf of guardians. We make our food up ahead of time and refrigerate in individual portions for easier serving on days when their guardians aren’t feeling well.

Keeping Your Pet Busy

When I’m not feeling well it seems like my dog senses it – and for some reason that’s the time he pesters me the most to play. I feel guilty when I can’t take him out for a walk or play fetch because I’m in pain. I also feel badly when I can’t give my cats the attention they need.

For pet owners who can’t go for long dog walks, are there any games/fun training that will provide mental stimulation?

Sure! Something as simple hiding small treats around the house for your pet to find provides fun and mental stimulation to keep them busy. Interactive puzzles and toys will also give them something to focus on. KONG makes some of our favorite interactive toys. Fill them with treats or food and watch your dog or cat work to get the reward!

Do you have any easy DIY recipes to make my cat/dog a treat that are healthy and yummy?

Yes! There are several DIY pet food and treat recipes in the book Dog Obsessed. In addition, our blog has a wealth of information and includes an entire section on DIY projects and free recipes.

Enter to WIN a prize from The Honest Kitchen (CONTEST OVER)

If you interested in learning more about The Honest Kitchen, check out their blog at TheHonestKitchen.com But we’ll do you one better – we’re teaming up with The Honest Kitchen for a giveaway!

One Dog Prize containing one (1) 2 lb box of Embark and one (1) package of Joyful Jerky Chicken Bites. Approximate retail value of $38.48.

-or-

One (1) Cat Prize containing one (1) 2lb box of Prowl and one (1) box of Wishes treats. Approximate retail value $36.48.

One lucky winner will receive either a cat or dog prize. Winner will be notified by email on February 28, 2017 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another winner will be chosen – so be sure to check your spam box. Please read our Terms and Conditions prior to entering.

To Enter:

Do you #LoveYourPet? Leave a comment below telling us why you love your pet. All comments must be received between February 21, 2017 10:00am and February 28, 2017 at 12:00 am Eastern. Good luck!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

Comments

View Comments (24)
  • Rebecca moderator author
    2 years ago

    SORRY! THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

  • Adawehi
    2 years ago

    We have 3 cats (shelter/rescue kitties.) They are my furry nurses.
    Jezi Cleocatra is 8. Of the 3, she’s the one that’s actually mine. She walked into my apartment as a kitten, maybe 2-3 months old and staked her claim. (She rescued me not the other way around, truth be told.) If I curl up laying across my recliner because I can’t lay down in bed without the nausea getting worse, she will immediately come over and curl up with me. She watches over me on the worst days, gives me a massage by kneading on my leg, hip, back or whatever and will even meow at me if she thinks I’m overdoing it. It’s like she’s saying “You need to rest, Mom.”
    Chloe Joe will be 10 in April. A shelter kitty who came home when she was about 6 months old, she’s a born nurturer. She’s my son’s cat and she raised one of my mom’s Chihuahuas. She takes a turn watching over me and will curl up around my head and purr sometimes, so I have a kind of furry, purring heat pad that gives kitty kisses on my pillow.
    Chelsea Liz will be 17 in April. A shelter kitty my son adopted when she was about 6 months old (or younger) because he thought she was pretty and had a cute meow. Queen of the house, she will snuggle next to me in my recliner, cuddle up when I try to lay down in bed and likes to snuggle my feet on really cold days so they don’t get too cold. Her purr is loud, but so comforting.
    These three cats keep me going despite my pain, giving me love when I need it most, entertaining me when I feel lonely and watching over me no matter where I go in the house. On the days I can actually leave the house, I am greeted by at least one at the door, the others not long after. Meows, purrs and headbutts… I’m truly blessed by these little love gluttons. 🙂

  • Adawehi
    2 years ago

    I’m sorry.. my head’s a mess and I got my furries’ ages wrong.. Jezi is 9 and Chloe will be 11 in April. (Brain fog, eesh.)

  • Mrs.Doyle
    2 years ago

    Has anyone navigated the service dog path that could shed some light on terms to research or organizations to look into?

  • kimgirl89
    2 years ago

    I #lovemypet Luna, who is a tripawd german shepherd we rescued two years ago!
    She is so energetic and happy all of the time. On my good days, we go for runs, hikes, and play at the dog park. On my days where I am bed ridden with a migraine, she lays by my side with her head in my lap watching over me. If I have to go to the bathroom to be sick, she lays her head on my legs and uses her head to bump my hand to pet her. She knows that when I pet her, it calms me down. She is six years old and learned this in the two short years I’ve had her. I’m so grateful to have such a loyal pal that loves me even when I can’t get up to play!

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Wow Kimgirl89!! What a fantastic sounding pup! So happy you have such a sweet & caring one by your side…she sure does sound loyal! Thank you so much for sharing. -Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

  • Angiestl
    2 years ago

    I have a papshund, Nova, which is a daschund and papillion mix. She looks like daschund but has a white a tan coat, with speckles on her legs going all the way up her sides. I #lovemypet because she can go from devil dog to the sweetest pup ever in a flash! Some days she’s more of one than the other. I’m very lucky, I live next door to my parents, and if I’m having a horrible day, she is usually welcome to come to their house for the day. Or even for months at a time, as that I spent a month in the hospital last fall, then Nova and I had to spend two more months at their house, only just having moved back into our house a little over a week ago. Usually Nova is up for a good, snuggly nap, though she is full of energy when we get up. If it’s daylight, I can let her use her wireless fence, so that she can run and run. I’m always too nervous to leave her outside alone for very long, so I usually go out with her or I check on her every few minutes. We live way out in the country, and there are a few feral dogs out here, so I’m always worried her little Napoleon-complex having self will start a fight she can’t finish!! And she never goes out after dark. Y herself, maybe I’m being overprotective, but better that than falling apart from guilt and grief!! She knows I feel guilty on the days I’m not able to spend a couple hours in the sun with her, and she knows how to play off my guilt. She was at my parents today, and by the time I went to get her, I guess she was starting to wonder if it was going to be another month before she saw me again, so she ended up scratching my legs up from jumping on my legs. She only got away with it because she looked so excited to see me, like that month had already gone by!! Right now she’s so tired from her adventures with my mom’s dog, she’s napping on my legs lol!!

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Angiestl,
    Thanks for sharing those sweet personal tidbits about your dog. She sure does sound wonderful! May she continue to give you the support and snuggles when you need them most! 🙂 Thanks for being part of our community. -Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

  • Mrs.Doyle
    2 years ago

    That avalanche of love that comes to you when you return….. THAT! I don’t think I could maintain that level like dogs do. Maybe it is because they are masters of “mindfulness” by not dwelling on yesterday or focusing on tomorrow, they don’t have greed math (if you add ‘some’ to ‘some’ you get ‘some’, if you take ‘some’ from ‘some’ you have ‘some’), quick to forgive and don’t fret if they forget. I recently had an adverse reaction to medication and was flipping out because I had “dog brain” and lost worry, math, reading… all my favorites! Then the dog looked at me like I had STPD instead of PTSD and it clicked. That’s what “mindfulness” is trying to get to. I still suck at “mindfulness” but the dog gave me a metaphorical plate to lick and I like what I tasted 🙂

    That much time in the hospital sounds like the worst when you don’t feel good! May you never need to experience that again, and should you need to, may your good doctors and nurses surprise you with encouragement to bring in your sweet Nova!

  • Aga
    2 years ago

    I#lovemypet because she understands me completely. Mopsy is a nine year old Shih Tzu. She thinks she is human and whatever I feel, good or sick she tries to feel it with me. She shows me her love all the time and is by my side even now as I type. She is my baby, my companion, my best friend, the love of my life and a cartoon character. #chinese princess.

  • Operadiva76
    2 years ago

    I #lovemypet because my 3 cats can sense when I am not feeling well. Spyder has been by my side for almost 13 years, snuggling up beneath the covers, & keeping me warm when I just can get warm enough. He has even let me use him as a pillow when I have been exhausted from throwing up, & can only curl up on the bathroom floor.

    Cherubino is my quiet cat, who guards me & watches over me when I sleep. He makes sure no one bothers me, & will swat the other 2 away if they are too noisy.

    Houdini is my little showman, who attempts to entertain me when I am low. He brings me “gifts” & does tricks on his cat condo. Then when he’s done he curls up on my lap & gives me kisses.

    On days, like today, when my entire body hurts, & even stretching to get out of bed is painful, all 3 cats are asleep in a triangle pattern around me. My husband & I call it a “Cat Party”, our version of a Slumber Party!

  • Mrs.Doyle
    2 years ago

    I #lovemypet because he reverse trained me!

    He is 95 pounds of second-chance German Shepherd and hound dog love. It was apparent at the beginning that he had some sort of formal training for something more than sit & stay, we’ll never know what, but, it seems picking up on stress response, triggers, emotions, other changes might have been part of it (or he’s just that smart!).

    He started alerting me to prodrome/aura signs before I knew what he was doing. It didn’t take long to learn his ways of prompting me to someplace quiet or to sit down before falling down. If I’m alone he lays with me and if my husband is home he’ll go get him or bark a very specific bark (he seems to know when not to because of pain, brilliant dog I tell ya’!)

    It got confusing this last year or so when he was doing it but no migraine followed, until we realized I was having silent migraines. His diagnosis has earned him an honorary doctorate of medicine at our house.

    Dr. Matlock is in! and he seems to think adding a kitten as a RN is a great idea, he is FASCINATED at the vet with the kitten too and just gets these big soft sweet eyes, melts my heart! My husband (studly-do-right, he’s no dud) has been getting allergy shots the last few months so we can get a cat(s…S!).

    A lot of wonderful love comes my way because of pets, even our Beta fish, Einstein (fins loook like the genius hair), will give my finger tip a kiss that is so subtle that my nervous systems stops in its tracks and asks, ‘whaaaaa?’ And that can be enough of a distraction that I can slip a toe in the pool of calm-down and build from there. And 30 seconds with a fish tank doesn’t have side effects unless my bladder is full, ha!

    I’m so Blessed to have the diagnosing dog who trained me to sit. Once his RN is trained we hope to get him an intern puppy and maybe keep a chain of self-trained furry support perpetuating 🙂 <3

  • Angiestl
    2 years ago

    So lucky to have Dr Matlock!! I’m somewhat jealous, but like I said to begin with, you are very lucky that he has the training or just is that much of a guardian to you, to know what’s going on. There are studies saying that our body chemistry changes with every change of the body, causing the pheromones to change, which is what Dr Matlock is detecting. Just amazing that dogs can detect the changes in that way! My brother has a friend that served in the Army, in Iraq I believe, and now has severe PTSD. He has a service dog that alerts him to when something is going to trigger his PTSD. I’m not sure how their relationship works, though my mom said it’s pretty interesting to see how the dog gets his attention and helps him through it. Animals are much smarter and able to do a lot more than we currently give them credit for, as a species. There are many individuals that can see this and help animals live up to more than just something that gives us unconditional love. Again, back to my first statement, you are so lucky to have found a dog that has come into the knowledge that you need him to have, however he got that knowledge!!!

  • Mrs.Doyle
    2 years ago

    *kitten room at the vet

  • Sassy4057
    2 years ago

    I absolutely adore my little Imperial Shih Tzu! Since I am not able to get out much, she is my best friend. If we do go anywhere, she has a car seat and is just thrilled to get to go “bye bye”. My Sister was terminally ill and she insisted that I get my Nelly. My Sis passed away a year and a half ago, and I just don’t think I would be able to go on without my little Nelly. Besides suffering from debilitating migraines several times a week, I have depression and anxiety, Fibromyalgia, a knee replaced and the other needs replaced, a bad back, osteoarthritis, bad allergies and other things that keep me down for days at a time. Nelly is always by my side and let’s me know if anyone is around or there is any kind of noise that I need to be aware of. She is my best friend and my world revolves around her!

  • Sassy4057
    2 years ago

    #lovemypet

  • Chy
    2 years ago

    I #lovemypet (s) because they are always there when I’m not feeling well, want to curl up and sleep next to me through all of my migraine attacks! Plus, they are so fun and full of energy when I’m feeling well that I can’t help but be happy when around them! 🙂

  • sw17
    2 years ago

    I definitely #LoveMyPet with all my heart!! When I rescued her at 8 weeks, after her and her mother and siblings were saved from death row, she was actually exactly what I needed.
    I had just went out on short term disability 3 months prior for migraines and since have been on continued long term disability and depression with her by my side through everything! Even though puppy training was hard and she wakes me up every night to go potty she gives me a reason to wake up and live for a better day!!!

  • Stace31601
    2 years ago

    I have a chihuahua/pug rescue. She has been such a surprise. I recently got to the point that I am no longer able to work because my migraines have got so severe. If I am cleaning and as always trying to do too much because I am feeling good, she will nip (no teeth) at my heels until I go sit down and in a few minutes the pain will hit me. She has never nipped at anyone before this and doesn’t do it every time I get up. I was surprised with how much she has been a comfort dog for me. I would be lost without my Tiger Lilly. #loveyourpet

  • Abby
    2 years ago

    I #lovemypet!! Apollo is an Irishdoodle. Sometimes he alerts me to the worst aura migraines. He’s such a snuggle bug and will lay with me ALL DAY. When I feel good enough to work on my computer, he’s at my feet. If I can paint, he lays underneath my easel and gets paint all over him 🙂 We adopted Athena (a goldendoodle) because we felt bad he wasn’t getting enough exercise. I didn’t realize she would have more energy. I love them both so much, but I am calling family all the time to walk them for me and am constantly buying new chew toys to keep them occupied. I really appreciated this pet-series because it’s the first time anybody has address the hardships of having a pet when you’re sick all the time

  • aliCat50
    2 years ago

    My lab mix Bella is my migraine pal. She knows when I’m getting a migraine. She stays very close to me and if she feels I’m getting up too soon she will hold me down. She puts one paw on my head and one on my shoulder as if to say “not yet”. She is so sweet. I don’t know how she knows but she does. Absolutely love her!

  • Rebecca moderator author
    2 years ago

    CONGRATS aliCat50! You were randomly selected as the winner of The Honest Kitchen food and treat prize package.
    I’ve sent you an email with the details, so please be sure to check your spam box. Remember, you have 48 hours to claim your prize before another winner is selected.
    Thanks again for participating!

  • JillH
    2 years ago

    I love my dog, Buddy. He is a puggle and acts like a puppy at 10 years old. But somehow Buddy seems to know when I’m in the midst of a migraine. Maybe it’s the towel on my head that he sees as sign that “Mommy’s down”. And it’s during these times that he changes from a rambunctious puppy to a “snuggle pugglle”. Every time. He settles by my side to give me deep pressure. And when the pain lifts and the hangover begins, he keeps me from getting up, as if to say “Nope. You need to chill.” I don’t know how he does it, but he won’t let me get up until I’m rested. And I love him for it and for the unconditional love that we sometimes don’t receive from humans who just don’t “get it”.
    Buddy “gets it”.

  • suzanblankenship
    2 years ago

    I love my dogs because when I am down with a migraine they stay right by my side and just cuddle with me. Almost like they are taking care of me. I just love that about them.
    #mylittleloverboys

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