Healing Hearts Holistically

At Healing Hearts Rescue, we believe in holistic “whole dog” healing.  We don’t just focus on saving the life of the dog. We also focus on helping guide the dog onto its best possible path through high quality nutrition, mind and body exercise, behavior modification, minimal vaccines/titer testing and reduced systemic/environmental chemicals.



There are many schools of thought about dog nutrition. Doing your research on what healthy diet works well for your pet family is very important.

Choosing the Right Food

When picking your dog’s food, check the Guaranteed Analysis and try to find a food that has 30% carbs or less. To calculate the amount of carbs in the food add up the protein, fat, fiber, moisture and ash (if not listed use 6%). Ideally this total should be 70% or greater.

Max Carbs = 30%
Ideal Carbs = < 10%
Ash (6%)
​- 100

Healthy Weight

Finding and maintaining your dog’s ideal weight can significantly extend your pet’s life. That’s a bonus of nearly 2 extra years of life — just for keeping your dog close to his ideal body weight.

No Rawhides

Say NO to rawhides! A rawhide stick is not the by-product of the beef industry nor is it made of dehydrated meat. Rather, rawhide is the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew.


DCM (Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy) related to grain free kibble.


Mind & Body


As you may have heard, a tired dog is a good dog! Keeping our dog’s bodies and minds exercised is a key ingredient in it’s health and wellbeing.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm prevention is a very important part of keeping a healthy pet. We strongly recommend you do your own research about the life cycle, prevention options and test schedules.

Lawn Chemicals

Before you shower your lawn with chemicals be sure to do your research on which products are harmful to your pets. Imagine walking barefoot in the product you choose for your lawn and if you wouldn’t put your own feet in the product, please consider the same for your pet’s paws.

Flea and Tick Prevention

As we all can agree, fleas and ticks are gross and can have the potential of carrying diseases our dogs can catch.  When it comes to protecting our pets, natural prevention is key.

Natural Bug Spray

We recommend Murphy's Naturals plant-based & DEET-free Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray. This unique, plant-based active ingredient repels mosquitoes, include those that may carry Zika virus, West Nile virus, Dengue virus, and Chikungunya virus.



Behavior Issues

Behavior issues are one of the top reasons people surrender their pets.

Holistic is defined as “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.” It is essential to a dog’s welfare to understand a dog’s physical, mental, emotional and social needs and their methods of communicating with one another and with humans.


Your Dog’s Best Friend, training. Find out more at Leadership Training for Dog Owners.



Bringing Home Your New Dog

So you’ve adopted a new dog and it’s coming home with you this afternoon. What next? We have some advice from The Retrievers

Martingales / Double-Leashing

The martingale collar is a good choice for a variety of dogs because it gives you a little more control than a regular collar. Plus, it has some safety benefits.

Retractable Leashes

Retractable leashes are one of those things that dog trainers love to hate. This is partially due to the fact that retractable leashes are made with convenience, not training, in mind. 

Car Safety

What’s the first thing you do when you get in the car? If you said, “I put on my seat belt”, good job! But what about your dog?


Vaccines & Titer Testing

Over-vaccinating dogs is a definite problem in the veterinary world, but immunizing your pet is nonetheless a necessary part of having one. Core vaccines (distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus) protect animals from severe, life-threatening diseases that have global distribution. According to the AAHA, core vaccines should be given as a puppy (a series of three vaccines given between 8-16 weeks of age). These core vaccines should then be administered one year later, and every three years thereafter, unless antibody titer test results indicate that the dog possesses antibody levels that have been determined to be protective. A titer test is a how you can determine if your pet has adequate immunological protection from previously administered vaccines (puppy or kitten shots). Antibody levels can be measured from a blood draw, in place of revaccination.

The rabies vaccine is also considered a core vaccine. It should be given by the time a dog turns 1 year old (we recommend at 6 months of age) and then again one year later, followed by every three years.

How does HHR help reduce over vaccination?

Many of the dogs we rescue come from unknown backgrounds, thus have an unknown vaccine history. If we do not know if a dog has been vaccinated or not, in most situations will will run a titer test for distemper, parvo and infections hepatitis. With the results of this test and working with our veterinarians, we then can determine if it is recommended for the dog to receive a vaccine. We do not titer for rabies since this vaccine is required by law and proper documentation is required (titer result tests are not yet considered adequate by MN state law).

Here are a couple of articles on vaccinating:

A simple guide to titer testing your dog

When it Comes to Vaccinating Your Pet, Less is More

Beware of over-vaccinating your dog