Top 5 Products for Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The information within this blog post is not to be taken as medical advice. If your dog has medical issues, please bring them to the veterinarian.

When we rescued Bailey in December 2014, she had Giardia. She had just finished a round of antibiotics, but her stool was still loose and had a very distinct, unpleasant smell. We kept bringing her to the vet; she would go on a round of antibiotics and within a month, she would get Giardia again. We made changes; we would pick up her waste as soon as she went to the bathroom (instead of doing clean-up days a few times a week) and made sure there was no standing water anywhere in our backyard, but low and behold, Giardia would return, rearing its ugly head. I researched a more holistic way to treating Giardia, and wanted to incorporate products into her diet that would help her have optimal joint and dental health, along with a shiny, soft coat. Below are the top five products I use for Bailey and my foster dogs daily:

Kochi Free

This is an herbal product used to boost the immune system, rid microscopic parasites, helps rid the body of free radicals, kills viruses, bacteria, and fungus. Kochi Free can be used to treat Giardia, Coccidian, and Campylobacter. It doesn’t get rid of round, hook, or tape worm. You administer Kochi Free via dropper. I must be honest, I don’t think Bailey likes the taste. She goes straight for the water bowl after I administer Kochi Free. In conjunction with the probiotics below, Kochi Free has helped her remain Giardia free!

FortiFlora Probiotics

One of my friends recommended Purina Fortiflora  probiotics for Bailey’s reoccurring parasites and GI issues. The probiotics come in little sachets that I rip open and sprinkle on top of kibble or wet food. I have been giving Bailey probiotics for over a year and a half. The added microorganisms have made a huge difference with her GI health.

Zesty Paws Pure Salmon Oil Dog & Cat Supplement

I only use Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats. It is made in the USA from all natural Alaskan salmon. This product provides Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to add shine and softness to Bailey’s coat, and to aide her joint function, immune system and heart health. You pump the oil into kibble or wet food and mix with a spoon. How much you pump into the food varies by weight – directions are on bottle. I have been using this for a few months, and I notice that Bailey sheds less and her coat is much softer. The foster dogs usually come to me malnourished, and the Zesty Paws Salmon Oil helps add good fat to their diet. Zesty Paws Salmon Oil is cost effective for me since I do pump this on to my cat’s dry food as well.

Glucosamine Chondroitin

Bailey is a high-energy dog. Our veterinarian cleared us to run up to ten miles. She can jump four foot fences, and gives my younger foster dogs a run for their money when playing in the backyard. I know that one day she will not be as spry, so I want to do my best to protect her joint health. I have tried numerous glucosamine chondroitin products, but Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews  is the product I wholeheartedly recommend. Yes, it is more expensive than other products, but it works the best. I didn’t notice much of a difference from other products, where when she is on the Dasuquin, she seems to move faster and with greater ease.

Tropiclean Fresh Breath Plaque Remover Pet Water Additive 

A big complaint from most dog owners is bad breath and tartar or decay. Professional dental cleanings are super expensive. Besides brushing Bailey’s teeth and giving her dental chews, I use a water additive to fight plaque and freshen her breath. In the morning, when I re-fill her bowl with fresh water, I add a few drops of water additive to keep her teeth clean and breath fresh. The Tropiclean Pet Water Additive  is cost effective, and I can use this in my cat’s water, too.

Final Thoughts

I always tell people, Bailey is a long term investment. I want her to be happy and healthy. The five products above aren’t time consuming and have made a significant difference in her overall health.

What do you use to keep your dog healthy?




My At-Home, Budget Friendly Spa Day

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I am writing this wearing a leopard robe. Coconut oil is swishing around in my mouth. 11 more minutes to go before I spit my toxins out into the garbage can. My face has a dark grey, charcoal mask on it. A nose strip is waiting for me on my bathroom sink. That fruity sugar scrub is going to exfoliate the winter dryness off my scaly body. A hair mask will hopefully tame my split ends and make my natural balayage tendrils extra soft and shiny. A lip scrub and conditioner will make my pucker extra plump and smooth. Today, is a day of at-home pampering.

I wish I could afford facials and massages, but those are luxuries, and do not fit into my budget. I will ask for them as a gift for special occasion like my birthday or Christmas. In the interim, when I have some extra time, I try to take care of myself at home. Here are some easy, but effective ways to make yourself feel good on a budget.


I fill up a huge (wine) glass of ice water, and then add a few slices of lemon and/or cucumber. Drinking water helps maintain your metabolism, increases energy, decreases fatigue, and improves your complexion. I hydrate during my in-home pampering experience.

Meditation and/or Music

I turn off my cell phone and other electronic devices and really take the time to focus on me. I type “guided meditation” into a search engine, and play something that takes me to a calm headspace. Sometimes, of I want to zen out without a guided meditation, I will turn to Trevor Hall. If I’m not in the mood for calm, then I will turn on Amy Winehouse or Joss Stone. Set the atmosphere for your mood.

Robe & Scents

I absolutely love my fleecy leopard robe that I bought myself and my bridesmaids for my wedding. It is incredibly warm and comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about pulling anything over my head. (I don’t want to get my face mask on my clothing). I usually put a headband on as well, to keep my bangs out of my face. Then, I light a candle in my bathroom, so I can smell a relaxing scent as I perform my at-home pampering routine.

View my ipsy Glam Bag

I subscribe to the ipsy Glam Bag. Each month I receive a bag with 5 samples including facial cleansers, blushes, face masks, primers, moisturizers, eyeshadows, hair care items, and brushes. It has introduced me to so many different products and brands. On my at-home pampering days, I go through my ipsy Glam Bag and see if there is anything new I can implement (usually the hair/face masks, moisturizers, body lotions). The ipsy Glam Bag  costs $10/month, or you can sign-up for their yearly plan which is $110/year.


The Full Package: Teeth, Face, Hair & Body

It sounds counterproductive, but you want to start with a clean canvas. Brush your teeth swish with mouthwash, and floss. Wash your face with a mild cleanser or exfoliant (I use what I have received in my ipsy Glam Bag), then I use a toner to make sure my face is stripped. I apply Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Mask and scoop 1 tablespoon of Carrington coconut oil into my mouth. Oil pulling, when performed regularly, pulls toxins out of your blood and benefits your oral and overall health. I swish for 20 minutes, and then spit my toxins into a garbage can. I have oil pulled for 2 months straight and my teeth are noticeably whiter and it feels like there is a protective layer covering my enamel. After the 20 minutes are up, I hop in the shower, where I wash the face mask off, cleanse with a mild cleanser, and exfoliate my body with Yes To Coconut Polishing Body Scrub. I rub Sara Happ Vanilla Bean Lip Scrub on my lips to exfoliate dry skin. While I am shaving, I apply Marc Anthony True Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Deep Nourishing Conditioning Treatment. The mask needs 3-7 minutes to be effective. I wash it out, then shampoo and condition. Before I towel off, I slap a Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strip on my nose and then slather lotion all over my body. After I remove the nose strip, apply a cream moisturizer to my face and a lip conditioner. Bam, new me.

Power the Temple: Food & Vitamins

On my at-home pampering days, I make a nice healthy green shake (water, spinach, banana, strawberries, blueberries) or salad. In healthcare, sometimes meals happen, and sometimes I can be found scarfing a Larabar on my way to see my next patient. When I am home, I try to savor each bite, really focusing on the taste and texture of what I am drinking or eating. After I have a full belly, I make sure to take my vitamins.

Open your Mind: Read

Read something, anything. We spend way too much time on our electronic devices. Pick up and hold something in your hands. I subscribe to a newspaper and ten magazines. Books sit patiently on my built-ins waiting for my attention. Find a comfortable spot to lounge, read, and relax. I try to spend at least 15 minutes each day reading something that inspires or motivates me. It is another gratifying, stress-relieving activity.

Feel Good, Be Good

When I spend time pampering myself, I feel better physically and emotionally. You don’t have to have a lot of money to feel good and clear your head. Even if you pick one or two things to do from my post, you will reap the benefits. If you need someone to tell you to make time in your schedule to treat yourself…

Stop what you’re doing and go take care of you.