Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Food that can kill your dog

January 15, 2018

Food that can Kill your Dog

Barehoof Pet Care and Exercise·Monday, December 4, 201718 Reads


At Barehoof Pet Care & Exercise, we REALLY care about the health and wellness of your fur-kids! We know how tempting it is to give in to those big ol’ puppy eyes staring at you for food next to the table, HOWEVER….it’s important that you know what food is NOT safe to give your dog during the holidays.

Use our handy graphic on the right to help guide you. Your fur-kids can be happy and full by eating their own food and avoiding some foods on your plate like:

•Turkey Skin

•Cooked Bones

•Onions & Garlic







If you think that your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance call your vet immediately, take your pet to the nearest emergency vet, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Do you still need pet sitting services for the holidays? Give us a call at 334.787.7156 OR email us at [email protected]

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, from the gang at Barehoof Pet Care and Exercise!

Herbs for Horse Coughs

December 14, 2017

Wet or Dry Cough? There’s an Herb for That!

Herbs for both wet and dry coughs for horses

by Andrea Baldwin

Paula deSilva

horse with cough

When your horse is coughing, focusing on the quality of a cough can help you determine the best way to bring balance. Is it a wet cough with excessive mucus? Or is it dry with little to no mucus? Once you determine the type of a cough, then you can choose herbs to dry or moisten your horse’s airways.

For horses with a wet cough use herbs that dry dampness, such as:

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a hot, dry herb that is antibacterial, antioxidant, dries excessive mucus and has vasodilative actions. Best used in small amounts in a formula, it is not recommended for a dry cough or hot lung conditions, or GI inflammation such as gastric ulcers. Dosage: Vinegar Tincture, 1.5–6 ml; up to 3 times daily.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is another hot, dry herb with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, circulatory stimulant and expectorant properties. Avoid in horses with heat signs, yellow/green thick mucus, or fever. Dosage: 1/8–1/2 tsp. of a ground root; up to 3 times daily.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a cool, dry, bitter, pungent herb with anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial, antioxidant, and expectorant actions that when used as a cool tea or tincture will help to dry up over-secretion of mucus. Also, think of using this herb if there is an infection present. Avoid use in pregnancy or lactation as it can dry up milk. Dosage: 1/2–1 tsp. of dried herb; up to 3 times daily

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a warm, neutral herb that has expectorant and antispasmodic properties that will help calm a cough. Avoid use if your horse has a fever or if your mare is pregnant. Dosage: 1–2 tsp. of dried herb; up to 3 times daily.

For a dry cough consider moistening herbs such as:

Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) offers soothing relief to horses with dry coughs with its cool, moist and bland properties. Avoid using in if your horse has a cold/damp cough. Dosage: 1 tsp. of a ground root, add up to 8 oz. of warm water, allow to sit until slimy; up to 3 times a day.

Red Clover (Trifolium pretense) has cool, slightly moist energy with a sweet, mineral-rich flavor that can help dry coughs. It has a history of use as an alternative, lymphatic tonic and due to its mineral content is osteoprotective. Dosage: 1–2 tsp. of dried flowers; twice daily.

Aloe vera juice (Aloe barbadensis) (from the inner leaf gel) offers to cool and moistening to dry membranes. Most horses love the bitter taste of this herb. Dosage: 30 ml; up to 3 times daily.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is a slightly cool, neutral, bitter herb that is useful in wet or dry coughs when combined with other appropriate herbs. Horehound is indicated for chesty, nonproductive coughs. Dosage: 1–2 tsp. of dried herb; twice daily.

For either a wet or a dry cough, Elecampane is a good choice, however, its bitter flavor makes it hard for some horses to tolerate.

Elecampane (Inula heleniu) is a neutral, slightly moistening herb with a bitter flavor that is used to help diminish allergic rhinitis symptoms and coughs with pain in the ribs and chest. Elecampane also has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory activity. Due to elecampane’s neutral energy, it can be used if your horse has a dry cough (no mucus) or a wet cough (mucus). Dosage: 1/2–1 tsp. of dried root; up to 4 times daily.

If your horse’s cough worsens, please consult your holistic veterinarian as there can be other underlying causes of coughing. The most effective way to help you and your horse towards wellness is choosing herbs or herb formulas based on their energetics and your horse’s constitution. Often a holistic approach of looking at your horse’s environment, diet, workload and emotional well-being can offer answers to address your horse’s cough.

Andrea Baldwin is a Clinical Herbalist with training in various herbal traditions, including Western, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic and Native American. As a lifelong horse advocate, she believes that herbs and other holistic modalities, when used thoughtfully, offer the gentlest and most powerful way to bring balance to your horse. Andrea is the co-author of Equine Herbal and Energetics. www.equibotanical.com


healthcoughherbsequine healthhorse cough

by Andrea Baldwin

Hay is missing key nutrients

December 18, 2017

Hay is missing Key Nutrients

Barehoof Pet Care and Exercise·Thursday, December 14, 20172 Reads


Hay is Missing Key Nutrients

Dr. Getty's Tip of the Month

by Juliet Getty, PHD

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Hay in a field drying

Living pasture grasses and alfalfa are rich in fat and water-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein. But once they are cut, dried, and stored as hay, many nutrients that were once plentiful begin to dwindle.

Fat-soluble vitamins. These include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin A (as beta carotene) along with vitamin E quickly become oxidized (destroyed) shortly after cutting due to exposure to heat, air, light, and moisture. Vitamin K diminishes as well, though the hindgut bacteria can generally produce all that the horse requires unless his microbial population is weakened due to illness or antibiotics. Sun-cured hay does maintain adequate amounts of vitamin D, but the longer the hay is stored, the less vitamin D will remain. However, horses with normal sun exposure do not typically need additional vitamin D supplementation.

Water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin C is the known as “the most unstable vitamin” and will quickly oxidize. B vitamins take longer to diminish, but over time their levels will taper off. Fortunately, a healthy liver is capable of producing vitamin C, and the hindgut microbial flora can synthesize the B vitamins.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs). Two fatty acids, linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are plentiful in fresh grasses and alfalfa. Hay, on the other hand, loses these EFAs as storage time progresses. Since by definition, essential nutrients must be in the diet, it is imperative that a source of LA and ALA be supplemented. Adding a feed source that has higher amounts of ALA than LA will better match what originally exists in living forages. Unfortunately, most commercial feeds are high in soybean oil, providing more LA than ALA, significantly increasing inflammation. Adding ground flaxseeds or chia seeds will help bring the ALA to LA ratio back into balance.

Protein and minerals tend to remain at similar levels as pasture. Water soluble carbohydrates (simple sugars and fructans) and starch, however, will decline after cutting because there is still some enzymatic metabolism of carbohydrates in hay until there is not enough moisture to support it.

In summary, horses who mostly rely on hay as their predominant forage source require supplementation to fill in nutritional gaps. Keep this in mind during the colder seasons when pasture is not as nutritious or plentiful.


horse nutritionhayequine healthhorse health

by Juliet Getty, PHD