Would you like other options before you take your dog to the shelter? (or cat?) Personally, I want to see fewer dogs, cats and other animals end up in shelters. It’s a good goal, right?


One of the reasons to keep animals out of shelters is euthanasia. Give me a quick, uncomfortable moment to talk about euthanasia in shelters.

There’s some good news.

According to Hal Herzog, PhD in The Puzzling Geography of Animal Shelter Dog Euthanasia, the US euthanasia rate has decreased dramatically! It’s now 2%, (2 in 100) down from 20% (1 in 5) in the 1970’s. Thank you, animal welfare groups! They alerted us to this crazy rate.

As a result, we started thinking of our animals as family, neutered more animals and adopted animals from shelters. Plus a lot more strays are being returned to their people. However, the actual number of dogs and cats being euthanized is still enormous.

But you’ve got a real problem on your hands!

You just don’t know what to do anymore. You’re discouraged. Stuff happened that you didn’t count on. Sometimes, what we thought we could handle, we find out we can’t.

Spiritual Leadership

Before I share resources to help with worrisome behaviors, please look inward. This is tough because I’m asking you to check on your emotions.

Ask yourself, have my negative emotions taken control of the relationship? No judgment, just asking you to notice where you’re at. I, too, experience negative emotions over my animal’s behavior. But if those feelings are my go-to responses when I think of my animal, it’s hard to move things to a better place.

How to generate positive vibes

mac cat and his toysWrite a love letter to your animal and focus on the good stuff. Not a letter writer? Tell them out loud what you love about them; why you were so excited when they came into your life.

Or think about activities that bring you both joy and do them with your whole heart. I throw bouncy balls for my cats when the dogs are out being walked. And I’m taking more time playing with my cat Bunnie as we work through her issues.

Try this – Imagine the desired behavior with excitement and talk to your animal about how happy it will make you. It helps!

Now let’s check out these great resources!

Most of this information is dog-specific. Check to see if it’s safe for cats, who have a different metabolism than dogs, and smaller animals. And remember, smaller animals, smaller doses.

People return dogs because of allergies

People return dogs and cats to the shelter because “treating allergies is expensive and rarely work” according to Dog Allergies: 7 DIY Remedies that WORK. Itchy skin, ears or feet, digestive issues, diarrhea are potential signs of allergies.

Did you know that bovine colostrum can help? I found a group that ethically collects bovine colostrum from mother cows without hurting the calves. (That’s a huge deal for me.)

And Chinese herbs may help, although you’ll want to see a holistic vet to get the right combination.

Alternatives to rehoming pets

The Animal Humane Society has a great article on alternatives to rehoming your pets. They share ideas on behavior issues, if you can’t afford care, domestic or disaster situation or if you’re moving/don’t have adequate housing.

Are they in pain?

Check to see if pain is aggravating a problem behavior. Chiropractic and acupuncture help. You might also try CBD oils.

Muscles pain can be a problem, too

Many times, muscles are the culprit, especially as our animals get older. People overlook that.

I use my massage therapy training to help my doggies stay limber. The cats have not wholly converted yet, but I’m working on it!

There are animal massage therapists that can help your animals and even show you some moves you can do at home. Plus, it’s a FANTASTIC way to bond with this soothing touch.

TTouch is another idea for healing touch.

Can’t afford care?

There sure are some big-hearted people out there! How do I know? Because I found this web page, Financial Assistance for Veterinary Bills! It’s from Veterinary Partnership website.

Will training help?

 Read this article on DIY training from Dogtime for problems such as going potty inside, separation anxiety, leash aggression, herding behavior, Too much energy, digging or chewing, biting or jumping up, and food aggression.

If that doesn’t work, find a wonderful trainer who uses positive reinforcement tools.

Animal Communication

cat looking at woman

Animal communicators SHINE when it comes to assisting with worrisome behaviors. We love helping families move towards a relationship of love and enjoyment. As with people, animals crave being heard and understood.

We find out what they think of themselves and ask how they’re feeling. Just being heard helps them listen to what we’re asking for. We can also find what’s aggravating the problem. Many of us (me included) can do body scans.

I’ve personally had some amazing results with separation anxiety, potty issues, aggression and not eating.

Here’s one happy story:

cat eatingAfter a presentation, a wonderful woman came up to talk to me about her cat who wouldn’t eat or take his medication. She was pretty worried as he had lost weight! She showed me his picture and of course, as animal lovers do, I fell in love with his energy.

What the heck, I feel connected, let’s go for it. So I remotely asked him to start eating again and taking his pills. Then I gave him the “whys.” “Because you’ll stay on the planet longer, get to be with your family, and you’ll feel better. Best of all, you’ll make your people ecstatic!!”


He started eating food and voluntarily taking his pill pockets again!


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