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Newsletter - April 2013

We Canadians are known to be enthusiastic about warm weather. We're wearing shorts before it's 70 degrees F, swim in cold water, and drive with the top down even if we have to wear a scarf while we're at it. We're also known to do some major planting on the May 24th long weekend, and lose some of the plants to a cold front that might come along for the last time the following week. Even our dogs seem to be typical Canadians at heart. Frolicking in deep snow, but happy to bask quietly in the sun as soon as there's a hint of warmth in the air.

Tori prefers cold weather, but even she's had enough now. She's taken to meandering through the yard as if it's nice and warm even though there's still a solid chill in the air. But just when I was sure that winter would never go away, she came back inside on four paws dripping in mud. The ground is softer, wetter; our floors need to be washed more's spring - sort of, and we're cheering it closer by the day.

Get $1 off Our Exceptional Evening Primrose Oil

We were fortunate enough to get a a bit of a break when we ordered more of this product, so don't miss out on this opportunity to save $1 per bottle while quantities last.

Evening Primrose Oil: sensational results vs. hype

When it comes to Primrose oil (also known as evening primrose oil), the hype swings both ways. From telling you to ignore all the positives you hear about it to suggesting that it's almost a cure-all, websites, self-proclaimed health gurus and scientific data seem to be at odds with each other for the most part. Here's the skinny on primrose oil:

1. Back in 1995, it was shown that the combination of evening primrose oil in combination with fish oil had a therapeutic effect on canine atopic disease. I've used it with success for many dogs over a period of about 13 years.

2. Over the last 10 years or so, I've used primrose oil to help dogs with eye "goop" and even dry eye. The first step is to have your dogs' eyes checked by a veterinarian, but with that done and any medication necessary being given, you may find what most of my clients have: feeding primrose oil helps! My own dog had dry eye and although we used artificial tears for her, she had eye goop. I searched the internet and found that people with Sjogren's syndrome (a disease that causes dryness in mouth and eyes) were helped by taking primrose oil daily. Cassie's eyes improved so much that we needed to use less of the artificial tears (proven via the Schirmer's test). That's when I started suggesting it to my clients, and in fact, someone on my K9Kitchen list recently posted about it helping her dog as well.

3. Primrose oil has been touted to help people with eczema, headaches, alcoholism, heart disease, impotence, acne, MS, PMS, obesity, certain mental illnesses, and if we wait a while longer, it'll probably be promoted as the fountain of youth. Sometimes, truth is in the eyes of the beholder because you'd have a difficult time telling someone who's headaches improved after taking primrose oil that s/he was imagining it. Science, while attempting to be true, can miss the mark, but what it points to currently is that primrose oil can be helpful in cases of eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and breast pain. It's supposedly not helpful for menstrual symptoms, and iffy for PMS.

Per a naturopath I was seeing, I take 1,000 mg of primrose oil twice daily at...ahem...certain times of the month. There's no question that it helps, but truthfully, it's not always consistent. Night sweats are easier, though, and my skin looks better than it did. I take 1,000 mg daily throughout the rest of the month.

4. One thing to keep in mind is that primrose oil can cause seizures in people and dogs with epilepsy. Don't confuse this with it being the cause of epilepsy - it's not! People and dogs with epilepsy should stay away from it, borage oil and black current oil.

Lastly, quality matters. You'll find primrose oil prices all over the map and there's a reason for it.  Our product is cold-pressed which is top-notch, but there are cheaper oils that are extracted with a chemical called hexane. Ours is in a gelatin capsule that's made out of plant gelatin. Other brands can include gelatin derived from beef or pork, and worse, the two can be switched based on pricing of raw materials, so there's no way to know what your dog is reacting to if s/he starts to get itchier instead of better. Ours is sourced in the U.S. Much of the market is flooded with product from China. Ours is preserved with natural vitamin E. Very few brands are.

Personally Speaking

Learn more on my blog:

When Too Much Good Goes Bad

What Should I Eat?

Monica "Whoever said that diamonds are a girls best friend never owned a dog" ~ author unknown



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