Saturday, October 16, 2010

More than food and water

We consider ourselves to be very responsible pet guardians and we doubt our dogs lack much, if anything, in terms of health and welfare. But an article I read recently provided a list expanding the definition of "welfare" and we were surprised to find ourselves lacking in a couple of areas.

For instance, we perform weekly physical checks on our dogs, including brushings, nail trims, palpations for lumps and ticks, and ear cleanings. But we don't do "vibe scans." You can do these scans by having your dog lay or stand comfortably in front of you while you hold your hands a few inches above him, high enough to "feel his vibe."

Staying in this "vibe" space, also known as the "energy space," slowly move your hand over your dog's head, down his face, up and down each leg, across his chest and around to the tummy and private areas, under and over the tail, then up and across the back, ending where you started - your dog's head.

The idea behind a "vibe scan" is to look for sensations of pain with your hands and intuition. Note: this won't work on a stranger's dog. You must already know your pet pretty well. Otherwise, the dog could actually block his "energy vibe" if he is not comfortable with you.

If you and your dog have been partners for several years, you can probably do this scan with your eyes closed and still learn what you need to know about his inner welfare. But most people will need to keep their eyes open so they can watch their dog's eyes and demeanor for pain signals rather than relying on intuition and vibe alone.

Either way, these "vibe scans" can be invaluable to checking in with your pet once a week. I'm sure these can be used with most any kind of animal. And they may be inner-species as well because I've actually seen cats perform these scans on their humans!

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