Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs Chapter 3
In the 2nd principle of longevity, I revealed how you can find out if your dog's diet and body is tainted with toxins and heavy metals. Most of us know that toxins can build up in the body and cause disease, but how does this happen and what can we do about it?
Most dog lovers get completely overwhelmed by reading articles, news and reports on what is safe and what is not. Also, it is often only a matter of time before a scientific discovery or a claim is proven wrong. Butter is good, butter is bad, margarine is better, margarine is terrible, carbs are important, carbs are evil, fats are bad, fats are essential, DDT is life-saving, DDT is very dangerous, atomic power is the best for making electricity, atomic energy is the most dangerous way of making electricity...
Are you tired yet? I am just by typing this list!!! But what if don't need a list and instead follow a few simple core principles of avoiding toxins? I believe that if you are well informed and learn a few basic principles, the chances of keeping your dog in perfect health into his or her teens are very high. If you want to achieve your goal, you have to understand what happens when a foreign artificial substance, or toxin, gets into the body.
Explaining the effect of toxins on the body
Let’s step away from healing and dogs for a moment. Think of your favourite song and imagine the singer performing in a small, intimate and private performance for you and your friends. You get lost in the experience of the sound and rhythm. The moment is perfect!
Suddenly, you hear a noise and there is a drunken man banging at the door of your house. You try to negotiate and convince him to go home, but he keeps coming back. You know that the only two way to get rid of him is to let him sober up or call the police to take him away.
He spoiled the experience, the harmony and balance, but you also know what to do - you neutralize the disturbance and the concert can go on.
Toxins in the body can be compared to the obnoxious, intoxicated intruder at a concert, where your dog's good health is definitely your favourite song.
Good health is a state where all the instruments and vocals resonate with ease and perfection and every cell and organ and play their part flawlessly. Toxins and chemicals interfere with good health the same way drunks spoil a good time at concerts.
Toxins take over the receptors of the body and disrupt metabolic reactions, which represent the music.
How does one know what is good and what is harmful?
This question is impossible to answer. The interactions of drugs, chemicals, pesticides and other toxic substances are so complex that no testing and research can decipher them. The minimal research requirements for approving drugs and chemicals does not consider the long-term effects of these substances. The truth is that no one can say with absolute certainty that any artificial substance is safe in the long term.
For example, if a dog gets cancer there are thousands of factors that may have played a role in the disease development and no one can be certain what the exact causes are. There are still many people who dare to claim that certain artificial products are absolutely safe. The truth is there are no absolutes in medicine.
The only solution to this dilemma is to limit any artificial substances in your dog's life to a minimum. Some people get very anxious about this and end up paralyzed reading too much conflicting information.
One cannot achieve an absolutely toxin-free state, but lowering toxin levels may be all you need to do.
It is also true that some pharmaceuticals can be life-saving, especially in acute situations such as trauma, emergencies or when a dog loses its ability to produce life-essential hormones, such as insulin or its own corticosteroids. Which conditions like diabetes and Addison's disease, treating them with drugs may be the only solution.
However, the medical conditions where drugs are the only solution are relatively rare. Many years back, I made a commitment to minimize the use of pharmaceuticals in my practice. I was shocked when I was able to reduce the amounts of drugs to less than 10 percent of what I used to prescribe and had better results!
I am not opposed to the use medication when no other options are present, but it is important to keep in mind that drugs are not a true cure, the same way pouring chemicals in water to purify it is not true purification, but a different kind of pollution.
I see drugs are the last resort
In the best-case scenario, drugs are "the crutches" in the healing process and you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
I love my mother! She has never stopped being a teenager, despite being in her 80’s, but there is one thing about her and her generation is very frustrating. She simply does not get the concept that drugs are toxic chemicals that are better to avoid whenever possible.
"This pill for that" approach to medicine is one of the main reasons why so-called "doctor's error" is the third cause of death in the United States. We all should be asking if it is possibly more important to change, transform and rebuild our medical system than be terrified of terrorists? Is it possible that there are more people dying of side-effects of drugs and ineffective treatments?
Is it possible that the most important task for our society is to prevent drug companies from conducting their self-serving research? Wouldn't it be safer if independent, government-regulated bodies conducted research in all areas of medicine, so the main focus is not on developing toxic drugs?
Many people still fall for the idea that this pill is for the heart, this one is for a cough and this one is for sore joints.
They don't seem to understand that pills are chemicals that are "foreign" to the body. One can never be one hundred percent sure that a drug is completely harmless because, in most cases, it is not naturally occurring in the body.
The body is programmed to get rid of everything that is foreign. The process is called cleansing or detoxification. In a young individual, these cleansing processes are more effective, but with age the efficiency slows down, similar to a water filter.
The cleansing process
I can’t resist going back to the concert and your favourite song. If an obnoxious drunk appears, the security may remove him or if there is no security, your good friends and allies will help you get rid of him.
In the case of your dog's body, the process is not much different. Some toxic elements are pushed out, but essential minerals compete for the same spot in the cell. For example, calcium and magnesium are capable of pushing lead out of the body. Cadmium has less of a chance to remain “on the stage" if your dog's diet is abundant with zinc. The problem is that soil are mineral depleted and therefore so is food. This allows toxins to have a greater chance to stay in the system.
The most important detox pathways are closely connected to the liver, kidneys, lungs, anal glands and the digestive tract.
Tears can also help eliminate toxins. Many dog lovers report their dogs' tears are no longer staining the hair around the eyes or that their dog’s eye discharges stopped after a simple cleanse.
Logically, if you want to keep your dog healthy, you need to do all you can to avoid the use of chemicals whenever possible. This means in your dog's body and also in the environment.
And while it may seem overwhelming to try to understand what chemical product is safe or not, it is actually very freeing and simple to say that the safest way is to avoid any artificial chemical you can.
That includes washing powders, cleaning products, the food we buy, drugs, flea products pesticides and so on.
It is quite simple and I will touch this topic in more detail in future articles on the principles of longevity.
However, be ready because you may come across some people who will try to discount what you say. In such cases, you don't need to argue. Just ask if they would be willing to sign a legal document that they will give you their house if the chemical that they argue is safe will be proven harmful in the future. If they refuse, you caught them in their own delusion because they are not certain their claim is solid.
So here is the 3rd principle of longevity
If you are choosing a product, choose the ones that are made or grown by nature and try to replace chemicals with natural alternatives.
The only remaining thing I’d like to share with you in Part 3 is what I do for my patients and my dog Skai when it comes to a cleanse and detox.
Similar to home water filters that need to be serviced from time to time, your dog's detox system is no different. You need to keep the "filter" in top notch shape.
A simple cleanse program
It is sometimes hard to get orientated in the infinite number of cleansing and detox protocols out there, but the following protocol has worked very well for my patients and also for my dog Skai.
Step 1. Push out toxins by supplementing your dog's diet with essential minerals, chlorophyll and amino acids. I mentioned above that good minerals compete with toxic elements. Imagine that there is only a certain number of chairs in a concert hall and if all of them are taken, the "uninvited guests" will have nowhere to sit.
Step 2. Clean your dog's main filter - the liver by doing a liver cleanse every six months for a year. I suggest that you put a recurrent reminder in your computer or phone so you won't forget because time flies.
Step 3. Follow nature's footsteps and use water as your dog's internal cleansing agent. Offer your dog fresh filtered dechlorinated water to support the kidneys and general cleansing. The reason why water should be dechlorinated is chlorine can have a negative effect on probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract. If you still use plastic bottles or water tanks for your water needs, remember that any packaging that is not made by nature is potentially harmful. A glass container or a built-in water filter is the best solution for your dog and your environment.
If you would like to see the combo pack suggested above on one page, click here.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM