We live in a world at war with nature. People have been primed to fear all germs at all costs. Every bacteria, virus, parasite, fungi must be killed in whatever which way. Every acute childhood, or puppyhood, disease must be prevented at any cost to the dog (or child).
This is upside down thinking. No animal survived this long on this planet by killing germs. Or by being at war with nature. As Gregory Bateson said “The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think it works.”
This upside down thinking has worked very handsomely for those who created it, first by instilling fear (take the year 2020), then by doing their best to convince everyone that they, and only they, have the answer (2021).
Most people, at least in the so called developed world, now considers acute illness is bad, that suppressing all signs and symptoms is good, that all microorganisms are germs, that cleanliness is next to godliness.
And that modern medical interventions are good.
Nothing could be further from the truth. These ideas don’t benefit the end user. In fact it harms them. Often for life. For example, a single course of antibiotics can adversely affect the microbiome for a whole year, before it is restored to its natural state. Several courses one after the other can so affect the microbiome, it never recovers.
When the microbiome is not in a natural, healthy state, sickness becomes common. In other words the microbiome IS the immune system. And the more sickness is treated with drugs, the worse the immune system becomes. The less it is able to protect the animal.
A Healthy Dog Needs A Healthy Microbiome
The microbiome is a new area to science. It’s not new to holistic medicine. Holistic practitioners are, for the most part, familiar with the importance of the gut microbiome. However, it really extends all over the body. The gut is just a small part.
The microbiome consists of bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea (single cell organisms) and protozoa (single cell organisms or groups of them). Maybe others so far unidentified.
What’s fascinating about a healthy microbiome is that the microbial cells number 10 times more than the body cells. And 100 + times more than DNA. There are 10,000 different microbial species and 100 trillion different organisms. It’s a bit mind boggling.
What this means is that every living being, dogs included, are made up of far more microbes than body. It’s very complex. And the microbes are everywhere. No-one can live a healthy life without them because they support healthy digestion, growth and the function of every system of the body. The body (of anyone, including dogs) and the microbiome are inseparable and interdependent.
You may now be able to see why antibiotics can be so harmful. They indiscriminately kill off large numbers of the healthy microbiome which inevitably leads to poor function in every system. And poor growth in puppies.
Poor growth in puppies, not just in the physical size, but in their internal environment, leads to unhealthy adults. It may not be possible to fully restore health to how it would have been had the puppy been allowed to experience acute diseases.
Acutes Diseases In Puppyhood Are Essential For A Healthy Adult
No youngster, puppy or anyone else, is born with a full compliment of the microbiome. A naturally healthy pregnancy, vaginal births and mothers milk help to get this off to a good start. Then being exposed to a wide range of other dogs, puppies and natural environments will provide the puppy with exposure to various microbes.
This exercises the immune system. It’s only by experience that the microbiome develops. As John Keats says “Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced.” In other words, the immune system needs to practice to become perfect. Not unlike learning to ride a bicycle, or playing a musical instrument or anything else.
Preventing acute diseases and treating them with drugs prevents the full development of a healthy microbiome. The vast majority of veterinary drugs adversely affect the microbiome, depleting the dogs natural immunity.
What are the alternatives?
Once you appreciate that a healthy dog needs a healthy microbiome, it becomes quite easy to implement it. Raw meat and bones, the diet dogs have evolved on (which should tell us something), supports their health on many levels, including increasing their exposure to healthy microbes.
Allowing them to eat other animals stool, especially wild animals or untreated domestic animals, will support this. They instinctively know what to do even when it does unset our sensibilities.
Using holistic medicine such as homeopathy, ensures you support the health of the dog without compromising their microbiome.
The combination is unbeatable, with a dog’s health taken to a new level.