How I keep my dog healthy and active naturally
Who knew attending an interval training class the other day would lead to sharing Pax's wellness routine and eventually my own?
I love going to these classes because it gives me the opportunity to hang out with fun people while getting my heart rate up, which, as many health experts say, is important for health and longevity.
During one of the classes, my coach Nicole and I started chatting, and I mentioned I've been a vet for 35 years.
“How old are you?” she asked me.
“I will be 60 in January”, I replied with a little hesitation because, in my head, 60 is ancient.😅
“What?! You are as old as my dad, and he can’t even move!” Nicole replied.
I think I blushed a little, and went on to the next cardio segment, but I could see Nicole was genuinely surprised by my fitness level, and I honestly never expected to still be able to do as much as I do at this age.
Yes, I've had some injuries over the years, but, in general, I've been able to maintain the same body weight and fitness level I had 20 years ago.
Perhaps you're wondering why I don’t really talk about what I do to keep myself and Pax fit and healthy. It's stupid of me not to, but the reason is I don’t want to give you the impression that I'm “selling to you.”
However, I also know that not sharing means that I'm not helping you and your dog, which is my ultimate goal.
It's heartbreaking to see dogs and people we love and care about falling apart because no one took the time to share with them the basics of how to create long-lasting health.
So I'm once again pushing myself to overcome my deep-seated hesitation to share with you Pax’s wellness routine and also my own (coming soon) in point form.
Pax’s wellness routine
Pax gets mainly raw meat and blended veggies. I've been serving his supplements in veggies, with Omega-3s and extra olive oil. He likes it that way.
I also make sure he gets bones at least 2-3 times per week. Some of the bones I choose are harder dental bones (but NOT marrow bones).
Here are some free resources to help you take the guesswork out of creating a healthy, balanced diet for your dog:
2. Supplements & Detox
I give Pax the Fab4 supplements:
- SoulFood - certified organic fermented multivitamin and kidney and liver support with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer herbs and superfoods
GreenMin - natural plant-based minerals and amino acid rich green superfoods
FeelGood Omega - sustainable, mercury-free Omega-3 squid oil
- GutSense - advanced canine probiotic and digestive support with prebiotics
Once every six months, I take Pax through a month long liver cleanse with LiverTune as living in today’s world makes exposure to toxins and heavy metals inevitable. Regular body detox is essential in maintaining optimal health for our canine best friends.
3. Exercise routine
Pax gets at least 2 hours of walks each day as part of his wellness routine, yet that may increase to a multiple day long hiking trip when possible. Dogs love it.
Sometimes we walk through the city, with a lot of off-leash time in parks and on trails. Pax loves to walk in water, swim, and fish. He chases critters, when it’s okay, and enjoys just being a dog.
Pax is definitely a social butterfly. He loves being with other people, kids especially, and being petted and cuddled. As many dogs do, he gets super excited about meeting new people, or people he doesn’t get to see very often.
At one point, I thought he was taking me for granted, because he was a little lukewarm when he would greet me. But when he refused to leave me or go for a walk without me, even with close friends or family members, the question of whether he loved me was answered once and for all. I'm definitely his person.
Sometimes we go and hang out in a coffee shop when we are in Czech Republic, my home country. Dogs are allowed inside and as you can see from the picture, these places are fun, funky, and great canine social hubs.
5. Vaccination protocol
I've been writing on this topic for many years, yet over-vaccination in dogs is still very common. Click here to see my recommendations and current dog immunity protocol that hasn't failed in more than 25 years.
6. Tick and flea prevention
I don't recommend any conventional dog flea and tick control because there have been numerous severe adverse reactions, such as seizures, organ toxicity, and sadly fatalities caused by pretty much all the major flea and tick brands.
I use FleaHex on Pax only if I see fleas but that is very, very rare. It works really well in breaking the flea cycle.
If I'm walking Pax in an area with ticks, I use TickHex. I apply it before the first walk and check for ticks after we get home. If the tick infestation is heavy, I apply it more often during the day.
7. Injuries and physical therapy
As a crazy boy who likes to run super fast, Pax pulled his iliopsoas muscle — the one that goes along the back and attaches over the pelvis to the femur.
Now, I have to be careful not to overextend him going full speed. He loves to chase squirrels, marmots and pikas and it has been a little bit of a struggle to prevent him from re-injuring himself.
I'm sharing this so you don’t think that I don’t have my own challenges with Pax. Life finds its ways to teach us lessons.
My partner is a physical therapist so Pax gets regular IMS (acupuncture treatments), chiro adjustments, massage, and we do a whole bunch of exercises as part of his preventive care.
8. Walking essentials
My rule of thumb is to never attach a leash to Pax's collar to protect his neck, thyroid gland, and nerves.
The vagus nerve that originates from the cervical spine governs the function of the heart, lungs, digestive tract, kidneys and vascular function. When injured by a collar, many things go wrong. Sadly, the connection between the collar, neck, vagus nerve and organ health is often missed in conventional medicine.
It took me years to find the right set up for dog walking, but I've definitely settled on the Gentle Leash, a light, shock absorbing wool leash that feels fantastic, and the Perfect Fit Harness, a comfortable and secure dog harness made in the UK that we've been carrying in our store for years now.
There's only one more thing you'll want to check out before you go. We've recently refreshed the Healthy Dog Tool, our free educational tool that helps you become a more knowledgeable and confident dog parent.
Use the Healthy Dog Tool to
Choose the right supplements for your dog’s health needs and get a custom weekly plan with dosage instructions.
- Find natural dog health and nutrition articles based on your interests or concerns you may have about your dog.
What’s coming next?
- What I do to stay fit and healthy into my 60’s
- Exciting news on my new canine mobility and joint formula — coming soon!
Have a fantastic day and give your dog a hug for me!