Many canines suffer needlessly from a dizzying array of preventable health problems. Environmental toxins, overuse of vaccinations and pharmaceuticals and biologically incorrect diets cause the majority of the disease and degeneration found in our dogs today.
If you can right now, take a look inside your dog's mouth. It is an evolutionary work of bioengineering excellence. The jaws are hinged and powerful. This design is specific to allow for effective tearing and crushing of raw meat and bones. A canine's stomach is highly acidic and their saliva lacks amylase. The high acidity facilitates the break down of raw meat, bones, and bacteria. The lack of amylase makes carbohydrate, cellulose and fiber break down and digestion very difficult. Your dog is anatomically and physiologically designed to eat a carnivorous diet. Because canines evolved following the laws of nature (not the laws of convenience and enterprise), once you start following these natural laws, your doggy's tail will never stop wagging in gratitude!
Your dog is a carnivore. What this means is that they require muscle and organ meat, bone and fat in their diet, every day. One meal containing raw muscle and organ meat as well as a small amount of dairy and one meal containing raw meat and bone, such as bone-in chicken (neck, leg, back or wing), lamb shank, ribs, etc, every day, will provide a solid nutritional foundation for a healthy canine. It is very important to add that the most effective way to limit exposure to all the "-cides" listed above is to make sure all animal products used for food are pasture raised and organic. Local sourcing and getting to know your meat provider personally is also encouraged.
Many raw feeders and raw feeding advocates recommend adding vegetables to a canine's diet. We think dogs do best on a starch-free, carnivore-type diet. Vegetables provide a multitude of essential vitamins, minerals and roughage for nourishment. Some animals, particularly ruminants and termites, can digest cellulose with the help of symbiotic micro-organisms that live in their guts. Humans can digest cellulose to some extent, however it mainly acts as a hydrophilic bulking agent for feces and is often referred to as ‘dietary fiber.’ Canines are not physiologically designed to eat roughage and carbohydrates. Plant cellulose (fiber) is very difficult to break down without powerful digestive enzymes (specifically amylase) in the saliva, which canines lack. Instead, canines salivate to provide a functional waterside for large chunks of torn flesh and bone to ride into the stomach where they are dissolved for digestion. The challenge of dissolving plant cellulose without a digestion designed to do so can easily cause pH imbalances in a canines stomach, leading to the raw muscle and organ meat sitting in the stomach and small intestine for longer than is biologically appropriate. This can cause many problems from toxicity to digestive enzyme and pH imbalances. Carbohydrates also slow the digestive process. Therefore, if you do have vegetables (plant cellulose) or carbohydrates in your canine's diet, they should be cooked and run through a food processor so they can pass through their digestive system more easily.
Finally, a high quality raw bone to clean and sharpen their teeth is recommended for oral hygiene. Be sure that this bone is raw. Cooked bones can splinter and crack into sharp pieces and cause harm. Organic, pasture raised marrow-filled bones are recommended for dogs, and they love them.
Canine health is compromised by most commercial dog foods that contain grains such as corn, wheat or soy, processed meats and chemical additives and preservatives. Commercial dry and wet food frequently replaces animal protein with grain or vegetable protein; these proteins are not the same, as dogs require meat protein for healthy bodies. Also, the high levels of processing involved in the meat protein used destroy most of the available nutrition. Most commercial foods are laced with preservatives to maintain their long shelf life. Common commercial preservatives in dog foods are BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, propylene glycol and potassium sorbate. These chemicals contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity (cancer and tumors). Eating grain-based food will essentially make most dogs sick, inflamed and obese. When fed correctly, dogs are sleek and slim.
The pet food industry is part of the human food and agriculture industry, the tail end to be exact. Pet food is an excellent way to increase profits from what would otherwise be discarded slaughterhouse offal including, heads, hooves, fetuses and udders, as well as diseased and cancerous animal parts, 4D meat (dead, dying, diseased, disabled), animal by-products and grains unfit for human consumption.
Most commercially produced dry and wet dog foods are inappropriately formulated and use cooked or processed meat. Cooking and processing meat damages the fats and enzymes, as well as many essential nutrients dogs require in their diet. Additionally, most commercial dog food is made with some form of carbohydrate filler, typically a grain. Grains are not a natural food for dogs to consume. The most common grains used are corn, wheat, soy and rice. Dogs cannot digest corn. Wheat, soy and rice are common allergens to dogs, frequently causing inflammation and bloating in their bodies. Feeding a dog grains can compromise their immune system as well. Chronic exposure to allergens will burn an immune system out over time, especially an immune system that is being given biologically incorrect nutrition. Add to this the long list of chemical preservatives, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicide and fungicide residues, and heavy metals from processing machinery, and it becomes clear why dogs are suffering from an array of illnesses such as diabetes, skin problems, behavior problems, blindness and various forms of cancer. This can help explain why cancer is now the leading cause of death in dogs over two years of age.
Common health problems associated with commercial kibbles and wet/moist foods.
Be consistent, feed the same quantity of food each day.
Keep it simple. Feed your dog a species appropriate diet. Feeding should be done twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Avoid specialty waters with added vitamins, energized water or alkaline water. These waters all tend to be harmful to a dog's health. For info about different types of water, recommended drinking water, filtration, and more, read: Water
Dogs need high quality drinking water. Dogs fed a species appropriate raw diet will drink very little water because much of the hydration they require is present in the food. But they still need water, especially in hot weather or when exercising. Most municipal tap water, and most well water contain way too many toxic chemicals and metals to maintain health (think about that for yourself too!). The very best option is natural spring water, followed by carbon-filtered water. Distilled and reverse osmosis water is generally free of toxins, but it also has all the minerals removed from it. This type of water will draw nutrient minerals out of the body and is not recommended for regular drinking water, as it will deplete the minerals in the body.
Movement. Every animal needs to move, frequently. Dogs need a good place to run around, dig in the dirt, chase small critters, and play the games they love. Dogs need these activities to keep their bodies strong and agile and their minds sharp and alert. If they do not get proper activity, they will get tired and bored easily. The amount of activity needed varies between breeds, but it is safe to say that at least one hour of playtime outside, walking, chasing, fetching, swimming, daily should suffice to keep their minds and muscles working properly.
Sleep. Sleeping is the physiological state when the most effective healing is accomplished (just like in humans). So it's excellent that dogs like to sleep, a lot (especially if there is nothing going on). This is a completely normal behavior. Of course, they will sleep fewer hours outdoors as there are constant stimulating and exciting smells, sounds and movements to get involved with and investigate. It is important to note here that you must provide shelter for your dog from the elements (cold, sun, rain, wind, snow, etc.). If they are left outdoors year round they must have a nice warm doghouse and ample shade and shelter from sun, snow, rain, cold and heat. Canines and humans have a lot in common when it comes to sleep disorders. For more info about how to get the best sleep, see: Sleep
Collars and leashes. When used incorrectly, collars and leashes can seriously damage your dog's health and well being. Because of this, we encourage proper training if your dog needs to be restricted to a certain area or boundary, restrained on a lead in busy places, or is prone to running away when not secured. Please stop using "choke" and "prong" chains and collars, they elicit pain and fear. Also, never use any type of electric shock device. There are much safer and more effective harness and restraint options.
Through research and clinical experience it has been determined that feeding your dog a species-appropriate diet does not eliminate the toxins that are present in the body, nor does it provide the precise mineral balances necessary for optimal health and protection against toxic exposures. Therefore, most dogs require a few nutritional supplements to support the species-appropriate diet. The specific supplements vary for each animal. Combining the hTMA results with the dog's health symptoms and behavior problems provide a blue print for supplement requirements. All vitamins and minerals have stimulating or sedative effects and exhibit synergistic and antagonistic effects upon one another. Without hTMA diagnostics, supplementation is directed by guesswork. An animal's specific needs are very difficult to identify using guesswork, and giving supplements in this way can do harm.
For example, digestive enzymes are necessary for proper digestion and utilization of the food a dog eats. If a dog is fed a raw diet, the vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes necessary are naturally present in the meat and bone. On the contrary, when fed a cooked or commercial diet, these vitamins, minerals and enzymes are destroyed through the high temperatures necessary to cook or process meat. Therefore, a dog on a cooked or commercial diet will face various imbalances depending on which vitamins, minerals and enzymes survived the processing procedure. Additionally, a compromised digestion is unable to effectively absorb and metabolize nutrients even when they are present in the food. Knowing the exact nutrient minerals lacking in the dog's body tissues is critical for proper supplementation and correction of mineral balances. This is a good illustration of why your dog's diet will effect his individualized supplementation prescription. However, when switching from commercial processed food to home prepared food, it is important to assess the dog's digestive state. A compromised digestion can have difficulty at first and may require gradual changes to the diet. Supplementation and diet recommendations vary with each individual animal and will be determined based on your dog's hTMA screening results, specific needs and diet.
Most dogs require individual dietary attention and supplementation to reach optimal cellular energy production and immune system function. The ability to properly produce energy, along with the benefit of a fully functioning immune system, allows the animal to not only manage stress, but also to improve their physical and emotional health. This optimization leads to higher levels of functional or working performance. hTMA is an effective method for evaluating your dog's biochemistry (metabolic type), toxic body-burden, and frustrating, otherwise difficult, or impossible to diagnose symptoms. Toxicity and mineral imbalances lead to illness and behavioral issues. A serum blood screen has limitations in identifying chronic toxic metal exposure, whereas hair is used as a tissue of choice by the Environmental Protection Agency. hTMA screening can identify both toxic and nutrient mineral imbalances.
hTMA is an invaluable health assessment and tox screen tool for canine professionals. Beyond food exposures, environmental toxins and the overuse of immunizations and pharmaceutical drugs have burdened our dogs with unmanageable levels of toxins. The hTMA lab test identifies these issues, and helps in directing the practitioner to corrective diet and supplement recommendations. Environmental stressors are as big a health issue for canines as for humans. The hTMA report will also identify your dog's immune function and stress response ability.
Feed your dog real food (species, size and activity appropriate). Go outside and run and play with your dog, every day. Return the love that your dog gives to you, unconditionally, because when you give a hug, you get a hug.