Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
If you understand this, your dog is likely to live longer

If you understand this, your dog is likely to live longer

1st chapter of the Health and Longevity Course for dogs

If you are a dog lover, I have no doubt your main goal is to have your canine friend live the longest and healthiest life possible. It's my experience that people interested in a natural, holistic approach to health and diet are keen readers and learners, who know about the dangers of processed food and drugs.

In addition to feeding your dog well and minimizing the use of chemicals in treatment, there is one other part of care that is critical to maintaining your dog’s health and that is knowing what you don't know. 

For example, when you ask 10 people if they eat healthy, it's very likely that 8 out of 10 will say they do. However, when an expert nutritionist asks about their diet, you'll learn that only two to three people really understand healthy eating and the rest simply don't know they eat food that's not good for them.

Just recently, a friend who lives overseas asked me what anti-inflammatory medication she should use for her dog. Most people believe that suppressing inflammation is good. They are not aware that a short period of healthy inflammation leads to faster healing. They also don't know that anti-inflammatory medication used in dogs causes kidney disease, hepatitis and stomach ulcers.

Another example is heartworm prevention. Most people believe heartworm meds are needed every month and don't know there is a better, safer protocol available.

I could list hundreds of other examples of not knowing, but instead, I've made a plan to teach you step-by-step what I've learned in almost 30 years of practicing veterinary medicine. 

Sounds too good to be true? Let me clarify. You do not need to become a DVM to make a huge difference in your dog’s health. All you need to understand are some simple principles of creating and maintaining health that can be used for a variety of diseases and health problems.  

Often, this knowledge can help you prevent disease altogether, other times it'll help you decide on the best options when your primary veterinarian proposes a treatment plan.

The core principle of health is following nature

I love the term natural healthcare, mainly because the term suggests the connection of healing with nature. As a veterinarian, I follow the principles observed in nature whenever I need to come up with the best treatment plan and deal with a difficult decision.

I look for an example in nature and derive a treatment plan from the example.

Everything in nature and the universe is a cycle

Some time ago, I had a conversation with my brother-in-law about his business. We argued because he thought business growth is an upwards spiral and I believed that it's a cycle because everything in the universe is a cycle.

The only difference is in the length of these cycles

The longest cycle we know of is the existence of the universe itself. It's now confirmed the universe is expanding, but eventually, it will contract. 

The life of our sun is similar. Now it is a bright, life-giving, powerful star, but eventually, it will run out of fuel.

The history of life on Earth is no different. Meteorite impacts, changes in temperatures and other factors made life-forms change or almost disappear for a while, only to rise again.

When it comes to our lives or the lives of our dogs, the cycle is much, much shorter, but similar to all the other cycles, the end of it is inevitable.

How can you extend your dog's life?

If you expect me to give you the ABC's of longevity right in this paragraph, it is not that simple.

Learning a new skill such as playing music, painting, speaking a second language, reading or writing takes time and so does learning how to maintain your dog’s health.

For example, when someone is learning how to write, first, we have to show the student how to hold the pen, write letters, spell words, learn punctuation and sentence structure. With music, we need to learn how to read notes and play the instrument before we can play a song.

Learning how to keep your dog healthy and long living requires the knowledge of a few simple principles of healing.

In practical terms, good health represents a large life cycle and poor health and a shorter life can be visualized as a small cycle.

The smaller wheel will go a shorter distance to complete a rotation and the larger wheel will get much further per rotation. Your goal is to make your dog’s cycle of life as large as possible. 

Everyone understands that polluting rivers, burning fossil fuels, making mountains of plastic, over-fishing and over consuming makes Earth's cycle smaller.

The same applies to our dogs. Respecting natural processes of the body makes his or her life longer on average and polluting the body with chemicals by feeding poor food full of toxins leads to a shorter life.

I can imagine that at least one person reading this will remember the grandmother that smoked, drank and ate bad food and lived till the age of 90, but such cases are rare. 

Heal the way the Earth heals

I'm fascinated by nature's perfection and I'm puzzled by humans who are constantly trying to invent new technologies when nature offers all we need in flawless perfection. It grows the best food, it makes the best materials and it also heals the best.

There are three steps in each process of healing, which I call the Healing Cycle.


The earth has many ways of detoxing and cleansing. Rain flushes impurities down the rivers into the oceans and the oceans get cleansed by sun, surf and sand. 

Solar UV rays are known to keep bacteria in check and sterilize and disinfect surfaces. The oceans also absorb huge amounts of CO2 and so do the forests that use carbon to grow plants and trees.

Earth would be in absolutely perfect condition if we humans didn’t constantly tamper with the system. We love making the "next new thing" and inventions, but often don't think through the dangers and consequences. Just try to think of one manmade system that is better than the natural one. 

The body is very similar. It maintains its functions through detox processes, from breathing to urine elimination, liver processing and digestive elimination. Even the anal glands play an important role in the cleansing process.

In the case of the earth, you and I know that introducing foreign substances into the environment leads to a shortening of the life cycle. The way to increase the chances of a longer cycle include the detox process, eliminating or reducing the amount of artificial substances and providing the body what it needs. 

Some people object, mainly because they don't understand the full effect of drugs, preservatives and chemicals on the body. While the primary effects of most drugs and chemicals are known, no one can say with confidence what all the long-term effects of these artificial substances are.

And because we can't know if an artificial substance contributes to diseases in the future, it is better to minimize their use whenever possible. This is your first principle for keeping your dog healthy and happy for many years to come.

Avoid artificial substances, learn what toxins are in your dog's body by hair testing and take your dog through a regular cleanse every six months.

how to make your dog live longer

In the next article, you'll learn what you need to know about disease prevention. 

Did you know this is only one article from our free Holistic Health & Longevity Course?

To read the entire Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs click the links below. 

© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

Health & Longevity Course Chapters

To read the entire Holistic Health and Longevity Course for Dogs click the links below:

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • Why 1 in 4 Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    Learn more about the alarming prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affecting 1 in 4 Americans. Discover its main risk factors, diagnosis methods, and treatment options to better manage or prevent this silent yet severe condition. 
  • A new perspective on brain health, memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia in people and dogs
    The Science of DHA and the Brain: Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily DHA, are the unsung heroes of brain health. They play crucial roles in brain physiology and biological activities, with exciting links between Omega-3 levels and cognitive function. Higher DHA levels have been shown to preserve the integrity of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), your brain's security system
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.

By clicking "Continue" or continuing to use our site, you acknowledge that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. We also use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience on our website. You can find out more about the cookies we use and learn how to manage them here. Feel free to check out our policies anytime for more information.




Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping