Domestic dogs generally don’t enjoy robust health. Compared with their healthy, wild cousins, dogs are not as vibrant and do not produce such healthy puppies. To some extent the problem is with inappropriate breeding, but this happens more with the pedigrees. When a female dog gets to choose her own mate, she is more discerning and will reject those males who will not give her healthy pups. She doesn’t want to waste valuable energy raising sickly pups.
So a ‘Heinz 57’ variety of dog is more likely to be healthier than a pedigree dog, all things considered. We know this as most breeds have a weak link. Humans select breeding on what the dog can do for us (eg hunting, lap dog, shows, sniffers, etc) rather than on the health of the dogs. Because of the deformities, many breeds of dogs cannot reproduce without the help of humans or veterinary care. How sad is that?
However, breeding is only part of the story.
The other, perhaps more significant parts of the story, are the diet, the health care and the environmental factors.
Let’s examine them each separately.
Largely thanks to the internet, but also due to the times, there is a huge revolution of knowledge happening. For too long, we have been subject to misinformation and myths, largely for the profit of small groups of people, such as a corporations.
The pet food industry consists of large, highly profitable ones. You know this to be true because of the advertising on television, which doesn’t come cheap. They have infiltrated veterinary colleges and have (largely or completely) taken over the teaching of nutrition. If this wasn’t true, why do you see commercial pet food stacked from floor to ceiling in every veterinary clinic?
I am old enough to remember when this wasn’t the case. When vets didn’t sell pet food. When vets had open minds on nutrition. Not anymore. Now, mainstream vets know little about real nutrition, as they have been taught well by the corporations. All except for holistic vets, who are able to see a pattern emerge about the health of their charges and do something constructive about it.
The pet food industry, just as with every corporation, cares more for its profit that it does for the quality of its product. The money is spent on advertising, on pretty packaging and on buying the recommendations of vets. Very little is spent on the food itself.
Let’s first appreciate what dogs need in the way of food, according to their evolution. Bear in mind that dogs have been evolving for many thousands of years, whereas humanity has only been creating pet food for the last half century or so – so who do you think has the greatest influence?
Dogs are omnivores and scavengers. They are opportunists. They hunt in packs when their prey are plentiful. In leaner times, they scavenge what they can. An old, decayed carcass will not do them any harm at all. They can even survive on earthworms. They will eat many plant based foods, such as roots, if there is nothing else. They are very adept at surviving.
Now let’s look at the typical ingredients of dog food.
Meat is expensive, so all the good cuts of meat are sold as human food. Even some left overs are used to make the cheaper meat products such as sausages. What is left tends to be heads, feet, intestines and fat. These are taken to rendering plants. Rendering plants are not subject to the same scrutiny and hygiene regulations slaughter houses are. This is why so many pet foods are constantly recalled due to salmonella or other contamination, as these are rife.
Road kill, diseased and dead farm animals, euthanised animals from veterinary clinics and small laboratories also find their way to rendering plants. Storage of the carcasses is usually outside, unprotected.
When there is enough ‘raw material’, it is cooked at high temperatures and pressures. If you think there may have been any nutrition present, there certainly won’t be much after that treatment. The resulting product is dried and sold to, among others, the pet food industry. Usually this is listed as a by-product on the list of ingredients on the pet food. The rendering plant may add a preservative, which the pet food does not have to list as they didn’t add it.
Depending on the company and the country of origin as well as sale, the list of ingredients do not have to be complete and can be misleading. There are few laws defending animals rights and virtually none that are enforceable regarding the safety of pet food. Be assured, that anything can, and does, happen.
So the meat content of the typical dog food is unbalanced, is often contaminated, is far from fresh, is often high in fat and has been cooked, which alters protein and kills enzymes at the very least.
The story doesn’t end here. This ‘food’ is bulked out with any cheap source of food, such as grain or anything in surplus on the world market, usually plant based. Often this is unfit for human consumption for one reason or another.
Finally, synthetic colours, preservations, ‘nutrients’ and appetite stimulants are added. Anything synthetic is toxic to the body, even the so-called vitamins and minerals. Nutrients should come from food, not a laboratory. Nutrients are never found in isolation in nature, as they co-depend on each other for maximum benefit to the consumer.
Some higher end pet foods may start out with slightly better quality ingredients, but most are still subjected to much of the processes already described.
Do you think your dog can be healthy on this diet? Do you consider this diet will prevent canine diseases such as renal problems, heart failure, liver failure, mouth issues such as gingivitis, stomatitis or loose teeth or auto-immune diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, leukaemia or cancer?
Most people who are lucky enough to share their homes with a dog or two, rely exclusively on veterinary services for all their health care needs. Yet veterinary health care is more adept at managing disease than promoting health.
The sad thing is, vets, along with doctors, for the most part, strongly believe they know best. So they use persuasive and emotional tactics to convince you, who are probably feeling vulnerable and fear losing your precious dog.
I am not alone in discovering that animals know best what they need. Given a choice, they will accept or reject the medicine that is offered, according to their innate, intuitive ability of discerning. I use this strategy when treating any animal, with great success.
Sadly, vets force medication. Picture the dog being dragged into a veterinary clinic with tail tightly clamped between his legs. Could anyone portray a more obvious picture of ‘NO’, yet do we listen? All manner of tactics are employed to ensure the dog complies. I am sure you have used some of them yourself at various times. I know I have.
Yet wild dogs survive very well on their own, taking what they need from Nature, when they need it.
I suggest that the use of holistic health care, in particular homeopathy, offers your dog a far better way to recover from health problems, as well as to stay that way.
The last important area that I believe contributes to poor canine health is their living conditions.
It is common to remove young puppies from their mother far too early, as they are cute, appealing and salable. In Nature, the mother dog will keep her puppies for at least six months, often longer, instructing them for their life ahead. The removal of any youngster from the mother too early causes great grief in both. Add this scenario to the poor diet of most mother dogs plus the veterinary care and the result is sickly pups.
Dogs in the wild live in packs. This offers incredible social support. It isn’t just the mother of the pups who helps with their raising. Other adults in the pack will baby sit or teach the youngster the ways of the canine world. In the wild, dogs just don’t exist on their own. Yet so many domestic dogs are the only dog, often with the people out at work all day. Can you even begin to imagine the terrible loneliness, isolation and yes abandonment these dogs feel?
Dogs need to run, to play, to romp to develop their skills. Yet, too often dogs, especially young dogs are confined to an outside kennel, to a room in a house, or worst of all, to a crate, because they destroy things when the humans are out.
Of course they destroy things. They need to exercise at a level beyond most people. And young dogs in particular, destroy things because they need to chew to help their teeth come through.
Barking dogs are nuisances to everyone, but they only bark when they have a reason to. It isn’t just that dogs bark at intruders or potentially unpleasant people. They bark when they have a need that is not being addressed. They bark to go out, to come in. They also bark when they are lonely.
Dogs receive messages through smell. If you like their nose is their iPhone or email downloader. It’s how they keep up with the local news. Yet you often see dogs taken for walks on leads and the human keep walking. The dog looks like a zombie, as they have long given up on trying to keep up with the changing smells of the world around them.
Dogs need to self medicate. They will do this if they have access outside to a variety of healthy, non-sprayed, plants. Your dog needs healthy grass to use as a cleanser, as well as other herbs of their preference. You can enjoy finding which ones suit your dog.
Many households are noisy. Dogs are sensitive animals and dislike the constant noise that many modern humans seem to feel is normal.
Dogs are far more sensitive to toxins than most humans are. Many household cleaners and furnishings are toxic, often emitting a constant stream. Try to avoid anything toxic in your home, for the sake of you and your family as well as your dog. Use safe and natural cleaning products, such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and natural furnishings and floor covers. Air your home as much as possible. Avoid garden insecticides, fertilisers, slug pellets and the like. Dogs can be poisoned by these, especially youngsters who are still experimenting and finding out about life.
If you can’t manage all of my recommendations, then I consider the food the most important. Feeding your dog naturally, according to their evolution can save you a great deal of heart-ache not to mention hard cash, as their health will be so much better.
How do you feed them? Discover that here.
A natural diet, combined with holistic health care, can safeguard against fleas, worms, respiratory and other viruses, bacterial infection and fungal infections and diseases (such as distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, parvovirus, herpes virus infection, new diseases, etc) because the immune system is in a strong enough order to enable this.
Become empowered by the truth! Fear then fades into oblivion.