How much of our time do our loving dogs deserve?
Today, on the way to my morning swim, I was dropping off a couple of bottles of FeelGood Omega for a friend. She recently got injured and I thought she would benefit from an extra boost of Omega-3s, the miraculous fats that help with healing, inflammation and cell repair. Generally, the body (human and canine) can’t make them. I guess some people bring a bottle of wine when they visit others, I bring a bottle of omega-3! 😇
Coincidentally, as I was walking back to my car, I ran into another friend and her Golden Retriever, who I know from my morning swims. Usually, they come swimming, but unfortunately this time, they could not because my friend's dog had surgery for an auricular hematoma (a kind of blood blister on the ear that is relatively common in dogs). Poor pooch… no swim, no fun!
In my article on ear health and infections, I mention that the ear canal and the ear flap (pinna), are closely connected to the digestive tract, diet, toxin levels and liver health. Naturally, I was curious and wanted to hear what my friend was feeding her dog. I wasn’t surprised to hear that he was on a “mega warehouse” store brand of salmon and sweet potato food. Sorry, I can’t name the store nor the brand as I have a rule not to comment negatively on a particular product but I am sure you can figure it out 😉.
Salmon and sweet potato sounded pretty good until I did some research and read the label. I have to admit that the bag did contain “salmon DNA,” but it was in the form of “salmon meal" mixed with "ocean fish meal.” It said nothing about the proportions of salmon and what fish the "ocean fish meal" contained. This is very important because some ocean fish are high in mercury which can severely affect the health of your dog.
I have written a few articles on this topic and performed thousands of HairQ tests, which clearly show that dogs fed a fish-based diet have higher levels of mercury in the body. Also, if this “fish meal” contains ground up fish bones, there is a greater chance that it contains higher levels of radioactive strontium, an element that competes with calcium and deposits in bones.
See an example of a dog on a fish diet below.
So what happened when I realized what my friend was feeding her dog?
Call it a professional weakness, but I could not just walk away without opening a “gentle conversation” about kibble, diet and hair testing. I also looked at her dog and he looked pretty run-down for a young Golden Retriever and I could not resist at least giving it a try.
Usually, I do not have much time to get my point across before people are off to go on with their day. I often have only a minute or two and know that the best way to keep dogs’ ears healthy is to follow this 5 step plan:
- Take the Raw & Cooked Diet Course.
- Read the article on the holistic approach to ear problems.
- Give your dog a HairQ test to find out what heavy metals are in the body.
- Do a Liver Cleanse to get rid of heavy metals and other toxins.
- Try our Healthy Dog Tool to choose the right supplements to provide what is missing in the food chain.
I guess my friend loves her dog and cares about him, yet, she also mastered the most common excuse I hear, “I WOULD LOVE TO BUT I HAVE NO TIME to prepare food for my dog.”
How does one respond to that? Everyone has ten extra minutes in a day! It is just about setting priorities. I confess I didn't dare to say this out loud because people don’t like being caught in making excuses and I didn’t want to lose the chance of helping her dog.
After years in veterinary practice, I knew there was no way of convincing my friend that she had the extra ten minutes in her day. Instead, I went for a swim to clear my head but even then I could not stop thinking about the interaction.
Are ten extra minutes per day too much to ask to prepare a healthier meal for your beloved dog?! Why do some people make excuses that they do not have the time? Even if they sacrificed just ten minutes out of the time they spend watching TV, browsing the Internet or sleeping, their kibble-fed dogs would do so much better!
What can you and I do?
If you are reading this newsletter, I gather there is a good chance that you already feed your dog a homemade, raw or cooked diet. However, if you don’t or if you have some friends who don’t, I hope it is ok that I openly share this story.
In three decades of working as a veterinarian, I have seen that it does not take much to add years to a dog’s life.
Just the other day, I found a memory card with photos I have never seen before. It contained images of Skai just three months before we lost him at 16 years of age. What I now see from the pictures is how happy and well he was, hiking along with us up a 10,000-foot volcano!
What I have come to accept is that no matter how long our dogs live, we can’t stop the natural cycle of life. However, what we can do is to extend it and help them be well until the very end.
GOOD NEWS! Here is an even shorter version of the above steps to better health. Use our Healthy Dog Tool to create a customized health plan for your best friend. It only takes a few minutes to get it done :-)