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10 Easy Ways to Make Your Dog’s Life More Holistic

ava in yellow flowers

Meet Ava, Leesa’s creme Chow Chow!

 In honor of National Holistic Pet Day on August 30, here are a few ways that you can help your dog lead a more holistic — where your dog’s soul, body and mind are interconnected — life because a balanced dog is a happy one. (Obviously, before trying any of the tips below, always do your research and consult your trusted veterinarian.)

1. Provide frequent, clean water — Like us, dogs are mostly (roughly 70 percent) made up of water. On average, dogs need “8.5 to 17 ounces of water per 10 pounds (55 to 110 milliliters per kilogram) per day.” There could already be bacteria or other unwelcome things in your dog’s water bowl, so incorporating nice clean water is important. If you make it a point to drink filtered water, make sure the water you give your dogs is also nice and clean.

2. Feed them more raw foods — Dogs are also what they eat. They probably don’t want to eat “food” that’s constantly recalled and pulled from the shelves because other dogs are dying from it. A raw food diet — or even a more raw food diet — that you prepare at home is a sure way to help your dog get the nutrients that he needs. If you’re interested in this, look into what your dog needs for a full, healthy diet, and consult your veterinarian to make sure it’s the right choice for your dog’s health.

3. Practice the art of DogaDoga is yoga that you and your dog (or other pet) can do together. If yoga’s not your style, then good ol’-fashioned exercise will get the tail wagging.

4. Take a mindful walk — This also falls into the exercise category, but walks aren’t just about your dog. Your energy and presence matter, too. Be confident so that your dog wants to follow you; it’ll also help you avoid the less pleasant aspects of walking a dog, e.g. pulling you. The Natural Dog Blog recommends focusing and playing-training for you to truly walk with your dog in a mindful way.

5. Make your dog work — Dogs actually like to work. Give your dog some life purpose by giving her a job. Her breed and natural quirks will help you decide the job for her. A few common examples are making her carry a backpack with your personal items, fetching things for you because you’re too lazy, guarding the house or chasing the cat (just kidding!).

6. Go on a doggy date — Your dog should definitely not be anti-social. There’s nothing like a dog chilling with another dog. Even if you don’t have your own dog pack, training classes, dog parks and dog meet ups are easy ways meet new dogs. Dog socialization isn’t just about making your dog happy and entertaining the humans with their antics. Dog socialization will boost your pooch’s confidence and make them more reliable.

7. Stimulate their mind — Play is the no-brainer way to engage your dog’s mind. You can use it to simulate the thrill of the hunt or stick something tasty in a toy that makes your dog forage for food like his ancestors. You can also get your dog’s mind going by learning a new trick or giving him a new challenge.

A word of caution about dog toys: Part of human holistic living is avoiding toxins and chemicals that are not good for our bodies. Well, they aren’t good for our pets either, but many dog toys are full of them. The Bark notes how many dog toys imported from China are full of carcinogenic and poisonous heavy metals, e.g. cadmium, lead and chromium. Avoid dog toys that reek of chemicals, use bright colors or have fire retardants or stain guards. Never assume that a toy is safe just because it’s made in the United States, either.

8. Unwind with a dog massage — When the fun and excitement is over, it’s important for your dog to unwind. Like us, a good massage can help with that. Holistic Veterinary Healing lists the Tui Na massage as an effective technique to help your dog’s joints and muscles. The technique is used to prevent injury, restore joint and tissue function, improve their performance and endurance and prevent the loss of joint mobility. Another massage technique involves no physical contact. Reiki for dogs works to align all of their chakras from head to tail and remove their pent up negative energy.

Your Holistic Dog has more massage tutorials that will walk you through giving your dog the perfect massage.

9. Relax with some musical therapy — You can also let some music do the relaxing for you. A calming tune offers more benefits than pure relaxation. Pet MD explains that “music causes changes in brain activity, neurohumoral, cardiovascular and immune responses.” While there are many recordings to choose from, studies show that classical music is especially effective.

10. Find a holistic or alternative vet — If you’re loving the idea of holistic medicine for your pet, then there are vets with holistic and alternative trainings. The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association helps you find an accredited vet where acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, dog chakra clearing and homeopathy are the norm. You can also check out International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing and International Veterinary Acupuncture Society for more information.

Bonus Tip: Be balanced, be happy — I’m not sure if it’s because they study us every day or there’s some ethereal soul contract at play, but our dogs are truly our mirrors. If you strive to live your best and most holistic life, then you’ll give them permission to do the same. Now that’s a gift.

Leesa recommends a visit to Bella and Ava’s Best on her website,, where you will find products and services made it onto  Bella and Ava’s 5 paws up list!

By Jessica Ramos


Want to lead a more holistic life too?  Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  

Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!   We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 

Member Inernational Association for Health Coaches 

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5 Things to Know About Taking Care of Yourself

5 Things to Know About Taking Care of Yourself


I was lying on a table and she was hanging from two bars on the ceiling,  skating over my back with her feet–a little like she was snowboarding or  skating, only it was warm and there was a silky lotion and I could feel that her  feet were not calloused like mine when I said, “It’s amazing what you can learn  here in just three days that you keep with you for a lifetime.” She replied that  it’s also amazing how many people come back again and again and don’t seem to  learn anything. She’s been working at Canyon Ranch for 23 years. I’ve been  coming every few years for two decades. This time, I brought my 16-year-old for  her first spa visit and my 31-year-old for her second. It’s like an intensive  health and healing camp, and this time I was signed up for the ashiatsu massage,  which is when someone massages you with their bare feet. It was good–much more  pressure than someone can get with their hands–but only able to focus on the  biggest muscle groups.

You see, I come to Canyon Ranch both to learn what’s new and to explore the  edges of health and healing. I also come to take care of myself, which over the  years I’ve gotten better and better at, thanks to Canyon Ranch. In fact, I told  my daughters that this was the first time I’d come when I didn’t feel I needed  to be brought in on a stretcher.

So why is it so hard for us to take care of ourselves? What does it mean to  take care of ourselves? After all, it’s not like it’s taught in school. It’s up  to parents to teach children. But if we parents don’t know how, we may be  teaching the wrong things, and then it’s up to each person individually. Which  it truly is anyway. My oldest, for example, won’t listen to a thing I say about  health, but THAT’S OK because what makes her healthy and happy is different from  what makes me healthy and happy. (Although, for her sake, I wish I’d known what  gluten intolerance was 30 years ago….)

I know everybody can’t afford a few days at a spa every couple of years. So  I’m going to share with you a few of the things I’ve learned from the experience  that you can take with you and do anywhere.

• Get inside your body. The first thing you have to do is  really, truly feel yourself in your body. Many of us spend a lifetime trying to  pretend we don’t have a body. We abuse it. We overeat. We think if we keep it  covered or don’t look too closely it will just exist without us. That may work  for a while, but to truly be healthy and happy, you have to really feel your  body and get to know it. That means exercising. Getting massages that help you  feel it. Looking at it. Going to healing practitioners–medical and  alternative–that help you see inside your body. Don’t be afraid to push  yourself–in fact that’s where the good stuff is. We all took a kettle bell class  together and it was HARD and I was SORE, but the soreness got into a place  (which I won’t mention) that I’d been trying to get into for years.

This isn’t about having a perfect body; it’s about learning to love your  body. Your body is essential to every aspect of your life, so pay attention and  take good care of it. Now, some people are ONLY inside their body. Athletes, for  example, can be truly inside their body, but then it’s easy to see that may not  be enough on its own. There is more.

• Get beyond your body. Emotions, the way you think about  things, your spirit or soul–all these things extend beyond your body but are  rooted in it, and if you don’t pay attention and work on those things too, a “healthy body” will never be enough. In fact, sometimes you can’t truly get  inside your body until you clear out the blockages that are in your head or  heart. What are the emotional drivers and beliefs you hold that keep you from  truly taking care of yourself? Sometimes those things need to be addressed  first. For us women, it’s almost standard to think we have to take care of  everyone else first before we can take care of ourselves. I’m trying to teach my  daughters otherwise, but sometimes the world around them enforces that  stereotype more than I do and they need to learn to see through it. This is  where it’s really important to get different perspectives. Take a class. See a  therapist. Read books. Which leads to my next point…

• Always go deeper. I think what that woman standing on my  back was really talking about (because you never really know what’s inside  another person) is that you can stay on the surface or you can go deeper, and  the good stuff is always deeper. For example, I’m sure there are a lot of people  who go to spas and stay focused on the outside of their body–facials,  mani-pedis, and such–making their body look “perfect” to achieve some ideal of  beauty that will never last. All this is fine, but it’s not where true health  and happiness live. I took a class with an energy healer who talked about the  conditions he treats at Canyon Ranch: anger, depression, paranoia, fear, living  with a sense of doom, worry…. All these emotions greatly impact health and are  really avoidable if you learn how to deal with them. In fact, he said, another  emotion he sees all the time is passivity–which he believes is at the root of  back pain. Think about it. Passivity comes in all shapes and sizes and, as he  said, makes a person shrink over time. “Spineless,” he said. Medication might  help, but it never addresses the root issue. To address the root issue of  anything you have to go deeper. Underground! Into the dark, fertile soil where  roots grow.

• Give yourself a break. I will admit, I worried about  writing about this blog. Why? Because people can make up all sorts of things in  their heads about what I’m sharing. They may be angry with me for taking time  off or spending money they don’t have. They may have a view that spas are  hedonistic indulgences. But these are exactly the kinds of fears that hold  people back. For each of us, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other  people think. What matters is what we think and how we live in the world.

The last morning at Canyon Ranch, the three of us woke up and went kayaking  very early in the morning (a teenager woke up at 6:00 a.m. on vacation!). As we  floated on a small lake that was smooth as glass, a warm rain started to fall,  making a field of bubbles all around us, and the water lilies filled the air  with a sweet, magical fragrance, and I simply enjoyed the moment. You don’t have  moments like that without “getting up early and getting on the boat,” which is a  metaphor for just doing it, whatever it is. Because…

• You have incredible power. Use it. If you believe you are  a victim, I can guarantee you will be a victim. If you believe that you will  never have enough money to go to a spa, I can assure you, you will never have  enough money to go to a spa. What I’ve learned from years and years of  experience and learning is that we truly do create the world we live in. And if  we believe the world is one of doom and despair, it WILL be a world of doom and  despair, and everything you experience and see will confirm it. What harm would  it do for you to try to see the world as a brilliant, wonderful, loving, and  glorious place? Try it for a day. Try it for a week. You’ll be amazed at how  brilliant, wonderful, loving, and glorious the world becomes. Surround yourself  with love–good things, happy things–and it will spread. It will infiltrate your  body and your life and your heart. Doesn’t mean you won’t have bad days or sad  days or troubles, but you’ll have a greater context and power to work your way  through them, and you’ll see that you are capable, strong, and glorious.

You have incredible power. Use it.

By Maria Rodale


Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!   I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284

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7 Home Remedies For Your Dog

7 Home Remedies For Your Dog


When you’re feeling under the weather, you might find that the  perfect thing  for treating what ails you is something you already have  in the kitchen. Did you know  that you can treat your ailing dog with  some simple home remedies too? Below  you will find seven great natural  remedies for making your dog happy and  healthy again.

TIP #1

Vitamin E is good for preventing those pesky age lines on your face,  and  it’s also great for your dog’s dry skin. You can give your pup a  doggy massage  by applying vitamin E oil directly to the skin, a soaking  bath with vitamin E  added to the water, or you can go all “Hollywood”  and pop your dog a pill (of  vitamin E, that is).

If you give the vitamin orally, check with your vet on the recommended dosage  for your specific dog breed.

TIP #2

Flavorless electrolyte-replacing liquids, such as sports waters or  pediatric  drinks, not only help athletes to replenish fluids, and babies  to rehydrate  after an illness, they can also supply your sick pooch’s  body with much needed  fluids after a bout of diarrhea or vomiting.

Consult your veterinarian as to the appropriate dosage amounts when giving  these types of liquids to your dog.

TIP #3

Deliciously plain yogurt is a healthy treat for your dog. Just as  with  humans, the live acidophilus in the yogurt keeps the good bacteria  in your  dog’s intestines in balance, so that bad bacteria is swiftly  knocked out. If  your dog is on antibiotics, a little yogurt will also  help keep yeast  infections at bay (a common side-effect of antibiotic  treatment). You can also  give your dog acidophilus pills — wrapping the  pills in bacon is strictly  optional.

Puppies are especially prone to yeast infections, so a little plain  yogurt  as a snack (or even dessert) can help keep things in balance;  especially useful  while the intestinal system is building immunities.

TIP #4

Chamomile tea uses the natural disinfecting effects of the chamomile  plant  to settle upset doggy tummies. It is recommended for colic, gas,  and anxiety.  It can also alleviate minor skin irritations. Just chill in  the fridge and  spray onto the affected area on the dog’s raw skin. Your  dog should feel an  immediate soothing effect as the chilled tea kills  the yeast and/or bacteria on  the skin. A warm (not hot) tea bag can also  be used for soothing infected or  irritated eyes.

TIP #5

An itchy dog can be quite an annoyance, especially as it goes around   scratching itself on any piece of furniture it can reach. Forget the   backscratcher. Finely ground oatmeal is a time-honored remedy for  irritated  skin. You can use baby oatmeal cereal or grind it yourself in a  food processor.  Stir the oatmeal into a bath of warm water and let your  dog soak in the healing  goodness. Your dog will thank you, trust us.  Dogs with skin allergies,  infections, and other diseases which cause  itchiness have been shown to gain  immediate relief with this approach,  too.

TIP #6

Dogs can be like kids at times, and as such they are bound to suffer  from  wounds and the occasional unexplained swelling. Try treating these  ailments  with Epsom salt soaks and heat packs next time. A bath  consisting of Epsom salt  and warm water can help reduce the swelling and  the healing time, especially  when combined with prescribed antibiotics  and veterinary supervision.

If soaking your dog in an Epsom salt bath twice a day for five  minutes isn’t  convenient or practical, a homemade heat pack using a  clean towel drenched in  the same warm-water solution can be applied to  wounds for the same effect.

TIP #7

Does your dog have fleas? Never fear. Before turning to the big guns,  try  some borax powder. The standard stuff at the store will work  wonders on fleas by poking holes in their crunchy insect  exoskeletons. A good way to  make sure those parasitic suckers get  annihilated is to sprinkle the  borax on your floor, and then sweep or vacuum up  the excess. The  invisible borax crystals left behind will kill the fleas and  you won’t  even have to lift a finger. It’s inexpensive and practically  non-toxic  compared to an appointment with the exterminator.

For the dog, try a simple solution of lemon water. Fleas are repelled  by  citrus, so this can work both as a flea preventive, and for making  your dog  smell clean and refreshing. A useful solution can be made by  pouring boiled  water over lemons and allowing them to steep over night.  This solution can then  be applied all over your dog’s skin using a fresh  spray bottle. And, the tried  and true Brewer’s yeast method cannot be  left out. Brewer’s yeast can be given  as part of a regular diet in  powdered form, sprinkled over the dog food, or in  tablet form, perhaps  wrapped in a small slice of bacon or cheese.

Home (or holistic) remedies aren’t just for tree huggers anymore.  It’s  important to take care of your dog from  day to day, not just when  it’s  feeling a little under the weather, and the best way to maintain  the best  health is often the most natural way. But most of all, it’ll  help keeping your “baby” from crying like a hound dog.

By Nicholas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and  well-being of pets. The site maintains the world’s largest pet health library,  written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to  inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets  and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more  information, visit


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