Your dog can live 20, 30+ years. So can your cat. Humans can live easily to 110+. It begins with good stock, good genes. We amplify good genetics with lifestyle. When they’re fed over-processed foods, breathe polluted air, drink toxic water, live around man-made chemicals, don’t get enough purified and fresh air, and exercise, this affects their DNA. Their offspring inherit those DNA changes. And so it goes down that line, mutated, degraded. Genetics is the gun, our lifestyle pulls the trigger.
To enjoy your animal companion for decades takes a practiced approach on nutrition and environment or lifestyle detox as I call it.
Our dogs and cats used to live far longer in the 60’s, 70s and even the 80’s. Cancer has risen with 50% of canines 9+ years old now getting it. This doesn’t happen in the wolf community. We have been conditioned to thinking our cats and dog are seniors at 8 or 10 years of age.
Food and environment can be the most potent, safe form of healing medicine or the slowest deadliest form of poison.
We, humans, are the only species that purposely poison ourselves (and our family members) over profit and convenience. Let this sink in. How smart and high ranking are we, exactly? I believe we can be the most stupid of all the animals because no other creature does this. None would. Those other animals who also communicate, use tools, build homes, have friends and family they protect, leave a small footprint, and show us that they are far truer, more compassionate, and more mentally balanced than the folks behind most of the corporations, government, and highest powerful places with mankind. Absolute power corrupts absolutely? This is not our world, it is ours and theirs. We are the ones who forget that. They know the truth of it already. We build fences and ignore reality.
As guardians over our animal companions, we are to be good stewards, looking at their best interests and welfare. Those under our care trust us to do this very powerful role. But this can get so complicated when we are not educated on the state of chemicals in our environment and those outcomes, what processed food is, why it’s not good, what a species-appropriate diet is and what our options are.
Most corporations are driven by profit and not by what is best for the consumer. I look at plant-based options for health and animal kindness and what I see is carcinogenic canola oil in everything from prepared foods at Whole Foods (they used to use only olive oil) to vegan foods from veban eggs on the market to salad dressing and pretty much everything, you must read your labels and yes, canola is in a ton of pet food out there including a couple of pet-centric MLMs that ostensibly are selling you better holistic fare. READ LABELS!
Kibble is inflammatory and dehydrating. Home prepared is ideal. Canines are primarily carnivorous but also eat plants, typically in the stomach of their prey. I sell and promote Dr. Harveys which makes complete meals as well as several holistic base mixes that you add your protein to and quality oil. I prefer the base mixes so that I can select wild, organic, kosher or halal meats and dairy which are going to be the cleanest source. Nothing good comes from factory farming. You will want to augment with about 10-15% organ meats, too, spleen, liver, heart, pancreas… I am a raw proponent but otherwise recommend slow, low heat cooking to retain as much of the digestive enzymes and nutrition as possible. Our intestines are long and we do not process meat well, but a dog or cat has short intestines and processes quickly. Nothing sits long and festers. They are designed for meat. We are not. I know a hamburger is delicious but we simply, from our teeth to our guts, are not really made for it. They really require it, especially felines who become sickly without a meat-based diet.
If you are buying food, premade, the first ingredient should not be corn. No dog is sitting in a field just waiting for the corn to ripen up. They might be eying that rabbit in the field, but not the corn.
ORGANIC – WILD-CRAFT INGREDIENTS – When you go organic and wild, you are avoiding GMOs, genetically modified (God Move Over) bull-hockey Frankenfoods and amping up nutrition. Just saying ‘Non-GMO’ is malarky and here’s why: It does NOT mean the product was not sprayed or came into contact with Glyphosate/round-up ready crops and pesticides.
GMO’s & Glyphosate ROUND-UP POISON
Glyphosate was originally created as an antibiotic or anti-life. Many of the foods we eat are composed of up to 60% chemicals. The 1990s is when Glyphosate was heavily used and why the 90’s were the crest of the gut issues we are seeing today, leaky gut, SIBO, IBD, autoimmune conditions, cognitive brain diseases. HRI Labs, HRIlabs.org/ will test urine for glyphosate.
Just as it is for us, food has been dumbed down and pollution amped up. You should augment meals with enzymes, probiotics, glandulars, and alkalizing superfoods.
Avoid synthetic supplements and opt for whole foods, preferably organic, supplements. For omegas, there is Chia, Phytoplankton, and Dr. Harveys has a cleaner small fish oil using sardines and mackerel.
I see it in some people who get hooked into drama, living in the sympathetic nervous system mode, high on adrenaline and caffeine. This flight or fight mode is meant to be temporary, to get us momentarily out of harm’s way. Our goal should be to live in the parasympathetic, the rest and digest mode. Our animals mirror us and pick up on our stress so they also end up living in the parasympathetic mode which shortens their lifespan. It is so important to dial down.
LIFESTYLE & TOXINS
We are bombarded with man-made chemicals daily. It’s in our air, water, soil, and many of the items and products in our homes. There is no pristine place anymore. Our fur kids are at ground level, touching everything, grooming themselves, and ingesting everything. Some toxins are:
Fire Retardants in clothes, furniture, carpets
Vaccines (mercury and other carcinogens)
Fish (Mercury, plastics and pharmaceutical drugs)
Laundry soaps, detergents
Medications, including heartworm, flea, and tick treatments
Extruded processed foods and bad oils such as canola
There are safer, natural ways to ward fleas and ticks away, and please limit vaccines to what is absolutely necessary. And, no, you do not need annual boosters of anything. Get titers if you have parvo or what have you running rampant in your area, before getting vaccines.
Sometimes it is necessary, but try to avoid antibiotics, (going into the body) as they wipe out the gut flora which is vital to healing.
Medications, over time, can deplete body stores of nutrients and minerals and increases levels of toxic metals.
VETERINARIANS – THE best vet is one schooled in holistic modalities after finishing allopathic studies. This means they have taken training in nutrition, TCM or western acupuncture, herbals including homeopathy. When you have a vet like this, you are getting a very well-rounded, educated approach to wellness. The best vitality comes from an approach that marries allopathic with holistic old-world modalities.
HTMA – Get a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to detect shortages at a cellular level. This will also test for heavy metals and up to 48 minerals.
Lastly, I want to discuss Spay/Neuter. There’s a great Facebook page on Ovary Sparing Spays and canine vasectomy. I bring this up as when we remove all of these hormones, we affect not just sex, but growth, the growth platelets, the development of the bones, muscles, tendons of the dog. There is no cut-and-dried answer here. We chose an OSS for our Doberman which we did at 6 months of age, prior to her first heat. Another option would be to let the dog go through a cycle or two before neutering. Our vet stated this is most likely why our boy died at 9.5 seeming to be perfectly healthy. She stated that all the longer-lived dogs she sees are either intact or were de-sexed later in life. As a therapist, I see my share of hip dysplasia and stifle/ACL/CCL issues, and TPLO surgeries. Retaining these hormones helps to mitigate that.
Our fur babies are a bit like toddlers, at ground level, innocent of dangers and into everything! It is up to us to proof our place and be our animal companion’s best advocate at home and at the veterinarian’s office. If you would like a consult, kindly reach out.