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The 7 ways You Accidently Abuse your Pet or Horse

Dogs ~ Horses


You try hard to meet your animal's needs, as you believe they need to be met.  You also want to make your own life easier and more convenient.  But, are you inadvertently killing your animal with kindness? ...


Common ways we inadvertantly abuse our Dogs ....

COMPANIONSHIP   Do you leave your dog alone all day while you are at work?  Dogs are gregarious social animals that need the assurance, safety and emotional comfort of companions

EXERCISE  Do you walk your dog twice a day?  A dog naturally wants to 'patrole' its territory

PLAY  Do you let your dog run free with other dogs occasionally?  Do you play with your dog?  Playtime teaches social order and offers important behavior lessons for your dog

MENTAL STIMULATION  Do you teach your dog tricks or to perform specific functions, such as fetching the newspaper?  Dogs need mental stimulation and a 'job' to do so they feel useful and understand their value in your family.  A bored dog will cause damage or chaos

PROPER DIET  Do you feed your pet commercially prepared dog foods or table scraps?  Dogs need raw meat that contains no chemicals.  Commercial foods contain grains, by-products, and meat that contains drugs, hormones, etc.  When I recently had my horse euthanized, I accidently discovered the animal disposal company was really a pet food supplier.  My euthanized horse had been given drugs and had a debilitating disease.  Is that what you want your dog or cat eating?

STRUCTURE  Do you maintain consistant discipline of your animals?  Dogs are pack animals that thrive with a strict social order.  They only feel secure when they clearly understand their 'rank' in your family, and know who is their dominant leader

WEANING  Was your puppy or kitten weaned at 6 weeks of age?  Did your puppy cry for days when it was weaned?  Animals will wean their own babies at the right time, allowing the youngster to feel secure and independant on its own.  Early weaning often causes emotional problems later in life


Why dogs may need healing ....

  • Frustration from being unable to communicate with you
  • Anger or depression from rough handling or punishment
  • Depression or frustration from confinement or lack of exercise
  • Lack of social structure and rules or boundaries
  • Grief from a loss of companion or change in circumstances
  • Accidents, shock
  • Lack of companionshipp, loneliness, isolation or neglect
  • Not feeling safe
  • Boredom
  • Care that is unnatural for a dog or does not meet its needs
  • Abandonment, multiple owners or caretakers, preventing the animal from bonding deeply with anyone
  • Owners or caretakers have emotional or family problems in their life at that time
  • Too much work and no 'play'
  • Early or forced weaning

How we can assist your dog....


Here are the most common ways horses are inadventently abused ... 

It happens only because we relate to our horses the way a human measures comfort and not the way a horse measures comfort 

UNCONFINED MOVEMENT  Does your horse or pony roam free, or is he confined in a stall for most of the day?   A horse needs sunlight for a minimum of 2 hours per day on the retina of his eyes to maintain mental function and ensure production of seratonin.  Insufficient sunlight affects blood pressure as well as hormone levels and the pineal gland.  That, in turn affects the entire endocrine system

A horse needs to play every day and experience freedom and joy.  This includes interacting with other horses, rolling, bucking and grazing.  Imagine a child of 4 yrs old shut up for most of the day and only brought out to work.   Boredom results in vices, such as cribbing, chewing, stall walking, and weaving.  Vices are signs of depression and severe unhappiness.  When the horse performs the stress-relieving 'vice', he achieves a release of enkephalon (similar to endorphin), which has a painkilling effect.  This becomes addictive.  That is why it is hard to stop a horse from repeating the vice   

A horse also needs to travel at least 15 km per day to stay sound and healthy.  The frog under the hoof acts like a pump to circulate blood.  Every time the horse takes a step, the pressure applied against the frog pushes the blood supply back up the leg to promote healthy circulation.  A standing horse will develop lameness issues.  As well, horses need to be able to roll freely  

COMPANIONSHIP  Is your horse separated from other horses by fences or stall walls so he cannot interact naturally, touch other horses, and feel vital companionship?  Horses are social animals.  They need the emotional comfort of touch and interaction with one another.  They rely on each other for safety.  A solitary horse feels higher levels of insecurity and stress, which can lead to behavior and health issues 

COMFORT  Do you place a blanket on your horse or shave his coat? A horse's fur is comprised of hair shafts that are hollow.  Air in the shaft acts like insulation.  When the weather is cold, the horse's skin will cause the hair to stand up more, creating an insulation of warm air without causing the horse to sweat or cathc a draft.  When you blanket your horse, this natural mechanism is thwarted.  So, your horse feels cold and his body is vulnerable to changes in weather 

MENTAL STIMULATION  Do you ride in a ring or arena all the time?  That is very cruel and boring to a horse.  It makes their world very small, which shuts them down mentally and emotionally!   Horses need variety and mental stimulation, the way they would experience in the wild.  They need to be able to experience expanses so they can stretch out and move in a relaxed manner.  Take your horse for a relaxed hack regularly and you will find the animal performs better and has a better attitude.  It will get used to a wide range of experiences and be better able to adapt  

FREE-CHOICE FRESH FOOD   Do you feed your horse 2 or 3 times a day at periodic intervals?  Do you feed hay and grains?  A horse has a very delicate digestive system.  Food passes through quickly so that gases do not build up.  This means a horse needs to eat constantly, and the food needs to be fresh.  In fact, a horse will graze 16-20 hours per day if left on his own.   When a horse has nothing in his stomach he feels very uncomfortable.  Ulcers and other stomach disorders can result.  Your horse needs free-choice pasture and hay to graze and nibble constantly.  Dry hay and grains are much harder for a horse to digest.  Grains are actually foreign to a horse's natural diet.  Horses obtain most of their energy from the sugars present in grass.  Carbohydrates are no substitute for this.  In fact, many horses are deficient in the digestive enzyme Amylase, which is needed to digest grains and carbohydrates.  Feeding grains can result in metabolic syndrome, candida infections (thrush in the feet, digestive tract or reproductive organs), or diabetes.  Ensure your horse has at least 12-15 gallons of water per day, as well as free-choice salt, and a quality nutritional supplement that includes vitamin E and selenium    

SHOING  Do you shoe your horse?  Metal shoes placed on the feet reduce the natural shock absorption mechanisms of a horse's hooves, resulting in joint stress.  In addition, there is a loss of the natural pressure of the frog hitting the ground, which impairs blood circulation.  Eventually this can cause lameness.  In nature, horse's hooves wear naturally on rough ground and are self-trimming.  But we keep our animals on soft bedding and footing, which is unnatural to them.  We recommend barefoot trimming

SHADE  Is your paddock shaded?  In nature a horse will graze throughout the evening, night and morning, and rest during the hot hours of the afternoon.  The horse naturally knows the sugars in grass increase in sunlight, increasing the danger of colic.  As well, horses can get sunburned, especially on the nose, and are susceptible to heat stroke.  Horses with liver problems can be photosensitive.  Bring your horse inside during the afternoon and leave the horse outside all night to keep him more comfortable and happy    


Why your horse may need healing ....

  • Frustration from being unable to communicate with you
  • Anger or depression from rough handling or punishment
  • Ignorance of the horse's needs
  • Depression or frustration from confinement or over-stabling
  • Grief from a loss of companion or change in circumstances
  • Accidents, shock, fearful situations
  • Neglect, loneliness, isolation
  • Early weaning

How we can assist your horse ....



Enlightened Feelings for Pets

Creating happy animals & owners through Behavior Balancing for Dogs, Cats and Horses

Fonthill ON  L0S 1E6  905-892-3813  Email 

serving Niagara Region including homes and stables in Fonthill, St Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland, Niagara-on-theLake, Pt Colborne, Wainfleet, Stevensville, Ft Erie and Ft Erie Racetrack


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