Dancing Hearts Blog

The Holistic Toolkit for Dogs

Holistic Toolkit for Dogs online workshop with Kathy Kawalec

Kathy Kawalec with Lacee and dog Max in 1986.
Kathy with her horse Lacee, and her dog Max, enjoying a snowy winter day in 1986.

My First Dog: Max

When I was a young woman, the first dog that I had the honor to share life with ‘on my own’ was Max, a black standard poodle. What an amazing dog he was. After he died at 11 years old, it took 2 full years before I could speak about him without breaking into heart-wrenching sobs. Just writing this chokes me up, more than 20 years later. (read a bit of Max’s story here)

As is always the case, when one door closes, another opens.

It was losing Max that started me on the holistic path.

MaxI quickly devoured all the information I could find about natural and holistic living for dogs and for people. I changed my own health dramatically, simply by changing the way I ate…which cleared me of daily and intense headaches cause by allergies of all kinds.

I changed the way I cared for my dogs. The way I fed them, vaccinated them, the vet I used…nearly everything.

This holistic mindset, a way of living, led to a complete overhaul of the way I trained my dogs, the way I communicate with them, the way I joyfully live with them.

Much has evolved for me in the past 35 years, as I continue to learn and make new discoveries…but the core philosophy stays the same:

The body, mind, emotions and spirit are all interwoven and cannot be separate and we need to balance ALL parts of ourselves and our dogs.

Wow…has it been an amazing journey of learning. Years of holistic study, courses, certifications, workshops, seminars and personal experience has brought such a richness to my life. Not only has my own life been enriched, but my family, clients and students as well.

I love teaching classes and workshops and one of my favorites was my two-year study program in holistic animal modalities. Such fun!

Dogs have emotional struggles too.

One of the more challenging things that I have helped people with over the years is when their dogs have fear, anxiety and stress…causing their quality of life to be diminished.

None of us wants to see someone we care about unhappy, distressed and fearful. Especially if it’s our dogs.

I’ve found that there are a few simple holistic tools that anyone can use to help their dog become more balanced and happy, along side the other work we are doing.

I always view transformation as a holistic process and I utilize my full system for the best results…but here’s a Sampling of what you can learn in my Brilliant Partners Academy program:

  • How understanding the Mind-Body Connection and physical, mental and emotional balance can be a real life changer for you and your dog.
  • The importance of your dogs physical condition and conditioning and how that influences your training, work, play performance and competitions.
  • Learn about the Emotional Effect…how your dogs emotions change behavior, training, performance…and how YOUR emotions greatly influence your dogs emotions!
  • How to use Hands-On Help anytime your dog is hyper, anxious, reactive or fearful so that you can help to restore calm, attentive and responsive behavior to your dog.
  • The best way to use TTouch and Body Pressure to calm your worried, stressed, hyper or nervous dog.
  • Learn about one of my favorite holistic tools: Flower Essences, and how you can easily use these plant helpers to remedy anxiety, fears, learning difficulties and so much more.
  • Discover how your movement, posture, facial, verbal and emotional expressions, breathing and personal space are very effective communication tools to teach your dog almost any skill and support any training or behavior struggle.

Three of my favorite essential oils that I use to help change fearful, anxious and stressed dogs…into happy dogs.

Stressed, Anxious or Fearful Dog?Peace & Calming essential oil

One of my favorites is a therapeutic essential oil blend called Peace and Calming. This is a gentle, fragrant blend that helps calm tension, promote relaxation and a sense of peace. A few drops rubbed behind the ears or along the back can really help a stressed or fearful dog rebalance emotionally, making it easier to learn and transform  perspectives.

I would start with a couple of drops of the oil in the palm of your hand and pet your dog along the back. Once per day, or any time your dog is likely to get stressed or anxious. This is a great blend if you get nervous at trials too! Click here to order.

More Help for Anxious Dogs who Lack Confidence or are Unable to Cope:

Valor photoValor is another therapeutic blend that I often use. Valor helps to enhance feelings of strength, courage and self-esteem in the face of adversity. I have found this is often helpful with fearful or anxious dogs, helping them to cope and feel good about themselves. I sometimes use a rotation of both of these oils for maximum transformation.

My favorite combination whenever there is anxiety, fear, lack of confidence is Peace and Calming along with Valor. P&C helps bring calm, and releases the energy of anxiety. The Valor helps with personal confidence and flexibility in handling life and life’s circumstances. It’s also balancing.

How to use the Combination:

I would use the Valor and P&C every day. Click here to order.

Start with the Valor, rub a drop or two in the palm of your hands and then stroke behind your dogs ears and down the back.

Then, repeat that with the P&C.

Do this once per day for two to three weeks. It would also be ok to do this twice per day, for the first week.  In addition, I would use the P&C immediately before any ‘event’ that might cause your dogs to be anxious/agitated.

After the 2-3 weeks of Valor/P&C every day and P&C when needed…I would drop the Valor, and begin to use the P&C every day, twice per day for 2-3 weeks.

Then reassess…possibly just use the P&C as needed for a while.  Or, I might start the rotation all over again, with the daily Valor.

Your Dogs Not Getting Along?

I especially love using a blend called JOY … both for the exquisite scent, and for the promotion of emotional balance. This blend is calming and balancing, which is exactly what some dogs most need! Joy is also useful in multi-dog households where there is some friction. All dogs, and the humans wear it in this situation!

I would start with a couple of drops of the oil in the palm of your hand and pet all of your dogs along their back. Once per day, and any time you notice stress building.

JOY smells delightful, and is even great as a perfume for you.

I would also consider using the Peace & Calming/Valor combination mentioned above.

Click here to order.

One *very important* element when there is building tension between dogs is to be a proactive and loving leader by not allowing any snarking to start in the first place. Be sure to interrupt and redirect any eyeballing or posturing instantly, before it escalates into anything further. You may need to separate the dogs and manage them so they are not together for a while. You are working on establishing a new pattern of behavior, and that can take a while.

Events, such as a home coming, are common circumstances for snarking/fighting amongst dogs. Any time there is a high level of excitement, like a visitor arriving, or dinner being prepared, treats being dispensed etc are times when mild tension can quickly escalate into snarking, growling, or worse. It’s up to you to keep your dogs safe by being proactive.


Penny-Wise and Dollar Foolish: Use the Right Grade of Oils

A cautionary tale I’d like to share is to beware the quality of oils. Most oils are not pure and are likely to carry toxins with them right into the body. I only use therapeutic grade oils for myself and for my dogs. They are a bit more expensive, and our health is worth it!

The bottles last a very LONG time. There is a reducer cap, so you can control how much oil comes out.

6 Responses

    1. Yes, it will Ronna! Everyone who registers will get the recording and the workbook pdf. Hope you’ll join us!

  1. I also use Peace and Calming pretty exclusively. In addition to dabbing it onto my greyhounds who are fearful of storms and fireworks, I diffuse it. I can also attest to its effect on humans, which is why I will always have it in the house, along with Rescue Remedy.

  2. Hi Kathy
    I wanted to check out your ‘holistic toolkit’ webinar but I had to work. I have a foster dog that is anxious in the car. Would one of the essential oils work. His nose runs like a faucet, he starts to whine on longer trips and if a very long trip has vomited.

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