Photo Credit Nancy S. Mure

Photo Credit Nancy S. Mure

What's Eating Your Dog?

Everything I know about holistic nutrition, I learned from having a symptomatic dog.  

Seriously.  

While that may be hard to believe, there are many things we humans can learn from our pet's eating, and healing behaviors.

To illustrate, think for a moment, about how an animal behaves when he is sick, injured or in pain. Does the pet eat? No. Instead, the pained animal retreats to a quiet place rest. In doing this the animal can attain full physical and physiological rest until its body heals itself and its health is restored. This is done this instinctively.

Now, consider some ways humans behave when they're sick, injured or in pain. Many humans get a fever, then head to their local pharmacy. They purchase every so-called remedy they think will heal them. They take the over-the-counter-fever reducer, check e-mails, go online, watch TV, maybe hit the gym, and head home again. Before they make it to bed, they may pop another two ibprofens so they can head out to school/work the following day. 

In short, humans don't follow their instincts. This leads to lack of rest when the body demands and ultimately progression or recurrence of disease.

Consider how your dog eats. Does he gulp down a drink between bites of food? No, he doesn't. Do you know why? The blanket answer is because it's not natural.  

Have you thought about how your pet digests their meals? Your pet eats, then lays down to digest. Again, your pet knows instinctively that digestion occurs at rest.  Incidentally, if your pet doesn't lay down, digestion will not occur.

There's a definite parallel between the animal and human body when it comes to natural behavior. How dogs behave in both sickness and in health is always instinctual and natural. Humans can learn so much about their own physiological needs from them.  

When we learn how to nourish and heal ourselves, we will become better able to help our pets live the healthful and vigorous life they deserve.  The big bonus for us is that our pets get to stay around with us a little longer.

You see, just as humans require a species-appropriate diet, so do our pets. Where humans need raw foods (fruits and vegetables) to maintain an alkaline balance in their bloodstream, dogs and cats, for example, need to have meat to achieve that alkaline balance.   

It's common knowledge that like many medical schools, veterinarian schools are not throughly focused on nutrition. Pet nutrition, it seems, was never a part of their school curriculum, although it may have recently changed with the advent of Holistic vets. One can only hope.

The next time your pet as recurring ear infections, bad breath, body odor, dull hair, hotspots, or attracts fleas, think about what's eating him.  It just may be his diet.

Now... getting back to humans.....

Chances are if your diet isn't appropriate your pet's diet won't be either.  Take a moment and assess if your pet is eating a processed food diet.  Ask yourself what your pet needs to thrive.

While we're working on getting you healthy, feel free to ask for nutrition tips regarding your pet.  There is nothing like walking the path to superior health with your best friend.

Want to learn more about how to help your pet lead a longer, more natural life? Locate a Holistic Veterinarian near you at the American Holistic Veterinarian Medical Association.