If you've ever cleaned up your dog's diarrhea in the middle of the night and felt no resentment, that is true love!
When my dog Skai was a puppy, I had many opportunities to demonstrate my unconditional love with a midnight carpet cleaning.
This was because he suffered from bouts of chronic diarrhea, possibly with the intention to become my best teacher. The following article is a result of all I have learned from him, and other dogs, over the course of more than 30 years of clinical practice.
Tens of thousands of years of evolution as nature's hunters and scavengers has allowed dogs to become masters in cleansing and digestive tract recovery. In other words, it is normal for your dog to have the occasional bout of diarrhea.
The origin of the word diarrhea comes from the Greek words dia (through) and rhein (flow) with the meaning of flowing through.
The conventional view of diarrhea is that it has to be stopped at any cost, because it may be harmful to the body which is not always true. Most conventional treatment protocols focus on diagnosing localized causes, such as bacteria, parasites, pancreatitis, inflammation, allergies, diet intolerances, enzyme deficiencies or hormonal problems.
Ironically, diarrhea is one of the body's defence and cleansing processes which is rarely mentioned. Veterinary textbooks also fail to address the relationship between spinal health and diarrhea, which is the reason for many failed treatments.
The integrative medicine point of view suggests that a brief episode of infrequent diarrhea can be the most effective way to restore health, as it rids the body of potentially harmful toxic substances or infectious agents. All we need to do is to ensure that your dog is cared for and supported during its course.
Dogs like to scavenge and have evolved to expel bacteria by means of diarrhea. Raise your hand if your dog has not eaten something disgusting at least once!?
Some of the common pathogens you may have heard of are Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium or pathogenic strains of E.coli. However, healthy dogs are usually very resilient when it comes to bacteria, unless they are in less than optimal health nutritionally and otherwise. See more info on bacteria and health.
Acute diarrhea is a normal, healthy response when toxins enter the body and can potentially cause metabolic disturbance.
There are 37 trillion cells in the human body and 37 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 (37 thousand billion billion) chemical reactions that take place in it every second!
This staggering number gives us a good perspective on how much can go wrong if a foreign, unnatural, substance enters the body.
Some toxins, such as heavy metals, have similar electric charges to the healthy minerals, and these heavy metals will fill the empty "receptor seats" when good minerals are missing. Deficiencies of minerals are one of the most common causes of health problems.
Modern agriculture and food production has been at the core of nutritional deficiencies, and it would be hard to find a dog that doesn't get supplements and is not nutrient deficient. Food is being transported long distances, and nutrients are not returned back into the soil. It is generally not feasible for farmers to collect compost and transport it back to the origin of the produce or meat, nor is it financially sustainable to add natural fertilizers containing all of the necessary micronutrients.
This is the piece of the puzzle at the core of many health issues and disease, and remains largely unaddressed by conventional medicine.
We live in times where the whole food chain, including plants, animals, our dogs, and our own diet, has been depleted. This is one of the reasons why we have seen such life-transforming changes in many dogs who are given natural fermented supplements, the FAB4.
The chart below illustrates the ideal natural cycle of nutrients, and the current broken and depleted nutrient cycle and will be described in more detail later in this article.
For example, if the body lacks calcium, it is more likely to absorb toxic lead or radioactive strontium, because they have the same electric charge and the calcium receptors are empty. Supplementing calcium and other trace minerals will increase the body's ability to push these harmful elements out of the body. Providing the essential minerals is one method of cleansing.Here are more examples:
Here is an example of mineral and toxin measurements and their ratios.
Give your dog a mineral and amino-acid supplement to protect them against toxins and diet deficiencies.
Perform a semi-annual liver cleanse that will help eliminate toxins and increase the chances of a healthy digestive tract.
Measure your dog's heavy metals by using the HairQ Test.
NOTE: You do not need to stop providing your dog with the essential supplements during a liver cleanse as it is important to "replace" the toxic elements with the healthy ones during the cleanse. This is why it is, in fact, desirable to continue providing the essentials during the cleanse.
Allergic reactions are commonly seen as a cause of diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and leaky gut. Ironically, true dietary allergies are relatively rare in dogs, and many allergy diagnoses are given when the practitioner does not know what the true cause of diarrhea is. In other words, dietary allergies are grossly over-diagnosed and the industry of special diet manufacturing has been built around the idea of dogs being allergic.
A relatively small number of dogs have an allergic response where the body creates antibodies against food proteins. From my own experience of suffering from hay fever when I was a teenager, the body stops mounting an allergic response to allergens when it is healthier, and you include healthy toxin-free food in the diet.
It is generally accepted that 80% of immune system function resides in the gut. Heavily processed food, poor quality ingredients, vaccines, drugs, as well as toxic substances and preservatives in food, can cause the immune system to overreact.
Of course, genetic predisposition can play a role, however gene expression is usually switched on by outside triggers such as foreign substances or species-inappropriate food.
Most people perceive vaccination as an important part of preventive care and I do not deny the need for your dog to be protected and immune. However, the goal should be reducing the number of foreign substances entering the body, while maintaining protective levels of antibodies, and vaccines are no exception.
Excessive vaccination is unnecessary, and multiple combination vaccines make the immune system overreact, because in nature, multiple pathogens would rarely attack the body all at once.
Vaccines are also administered by bypassing the normal gates of entry, such as the mouth or nose, which could be compared to someone entering your home through a window and not through the door after ringing the bell.
Vaccines also contain mercury and formaldehyde compounds such as Thimerosal that are recognized as toxic, cancer-causing substances.
While there is a risk of acute allergic reactions to vaccines, they can also cause symptoms of the disease they are inoculating against, such as diarrhea.
For more info about a safer vaccination protocol, click here.
Parasites may be a cause of diarrhea in some cases, and approximately 30% of dogs younger than 6 months (and 6% of dogs older than 6 months) are parasite infested.
If your dog has been diagnosed positive for any worms, I recommend that you use a deworming medication with the lowest possible side-effects, and specific to the parasites present.
Giardia deserves extra attention when it comes to parasites. Here are some important points:
Metronidazole should be used with caution as it causes the following side-effects:
NOTE: If your dog has been diagnosed with Giardia and has no symptoms, treatment and use of Metronidazole is unnecessary.
The function of the digestive system is to process and digest food in order to extract nutrients needed to sustain the body. When the digestive system, the organs and glands themselves are malnourished and weak, diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms.
In other words, the body needs building blocks, the essential nutrients, to digest properly.
The organs also suffer when the spinal segments supplying them with nerve, energy, and blood flow are injured or congested.
The last thoracic and first lumbar vertebrae are closely connected to the stomach and pancreas. When injured or tight, these organs will display varying degrees of weakness and insufficiency that may result in digestive issues, and in some cases pancreas insufficiency or weakness.
Lack of pancreatic enzymes commonly presents as diarrhea. To diagnose pancreatic insufficiency, there is a test called TLI - or trypsin like immuno-reactivity - that determines the levels of trypsin (a protein digestive enzyme produced in the pancreas). Trypsin levels are helpful when we suspect pancreas insufficiency. Trypsin is a protein digesting enzyme formed from a pancreatic pro-enzyme, trypsinogen. If levels are low, this signifies that pancreas function is also low. It is then important to correct the issue at its core by nourishing the body with essential supplements and a species-appropriate diet, as well as addressing any spinal and muscle injuries with chiro, physio, massage or acupuncture.
The primary goal should be to improve natural enzyme production, however, supplementing with digestive enzymes will be beneficial particularly in older or compromised dogs suffering from digestive insufficiency and diarrhea.
Addison's disease is a condition where the adrenal glands lose their ability to produce the natural corticosteroid and electrolyte regulating hormones (mineralocorticoids). Such dysfunction leads to severe disruption of potassium and sodium regulation that can lead to a plethora of symptoms, including diarrhea. If untreated, Addison's disease can be a very serious, life-threatening condition. Click here for more details.
I mentioned at the beginning that my first dog Skai was my greatest teacher, and it is twice as true when it comes to developing a natural protocol for treating diarrhea. When I got him in 2001, I had no idea, how damaging persistent ball throwing can be.
Border collies are infamous for their ball and frisbee obsession, and I didn't know any better than getting Skai a ball chucker, letting Leon throw a ball for Skai for hours on end.
After a few weeks of chasing the ball, Skai started having very intense bouts of diarrhea that didn't respond to natural or conventional treatments. All tests were inconclusive, and any treatments I used worked only for a short time before diarrhea started again.
After a few severe episodes, Skai started losing weight and I was very worried. At one point, the diarrhea got so severe that I had to put him on IV fluids to prevent further dehydration.
From a conventional point of view, Skai's diagnosis would be IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), diet intolerance, or allergies, but my gut was telling me that wasn't true.
I tried to recall when these bouts of diarrhea first started, and it was around the time he started chasing the ball! Could that be it? I carefully examined his body and discovered that his lumbar muscles were very tight and painful to the touch from all the overexertion, and also from occasional slipping and sliding. There were indisputable signs of an injury.
This was a true DIARRHEA AHA MOMENT! I treated his back, took him to an animal chiropractor, added massage, and acupuncture, stopped throwing a ball, and TA-DA the bouts of diarrhea were over!
I was relieved but also surprised that no textbooks, professors, or internal medicine specialists, acknowledged that lumbar spine strain and injuries could cause diarrhea.
Since 2001, I have gained much experience and understanding about how the lumbar spine supplies the energy, nerve, and blood flow to the intestines, and how muscle tightness or inflammation leads to diarrhea. I am now happy to be able to share a step by step plan for treating diarrhea in the chapters below.
If you are intrigued by the title of this chapter, let me explain. The body can be compared to a garden where the organs are the garden patches, and the spine can be compared to the watering system.
Each spinal segment provides the nerves, blood vessels, and energy meridians to an organ that is related to a particular spinal segment, and the intestinal tract is related to the lumbar spine.
When the muscles along the lumbar spine are tight or injured, this leads to a decrease in nerve, energy, and blood flow to the small and large intestine, which leads to compromise, dysfunction, and a variety of digestive symptoms including diarrhea.
This was the reason for Skai's diarrhea and the cause of diarrhea in many dogs.
If you see your dog has a bout of diarrhea, follow this 7-step diarrhea plan:
After you complete the initial "diarrhea diet protocol" you can create healthy recipes by using the RECIPE MAKER (it is free to use).
NOTE: If your dog's diarrhea lasts for only one to two days, and your dog does not appear to be ill otherwise, you can see it as a form of body cleansing.
CAUTION! Do not use anti-diarrheal drugs to block the body's cleansing process. Suppressing the body's natural effort to cleanse and rebalance usually ends up causing deeper, more serious problems down the line. Antidiarrheal drugs go against what the body and nature are trying to do, which is cleanse and reset.
From time to time, people ask about using antacids in cases of diarrhea. This is generally contraindicated as antacids decrease gastric juice production, which will have a negative impact on the digestion process.
As I mentioned before, most dogs have the odd diarrhea episode when they eat food that does not fit, or is not fresh. Applying the steps mentioned above usually works, however, if your dog's problem continues, further steps need to be taken.
I have always been a big advocate of diagnostic testing for my patients and my own dogs. Without tests, we cannot rule out serious conditions such as pancreatitis, parasite infestation, a pathogenic bacteria, a foreign body ingestion, or a tumour. However, in conventional medicine, too much emphasis is often placed on diagnostics and not enough on finely tuning the treatment.
If your dog's diarrhea doesn't stop within 24 - 48 hours, or your dog is lethargic, diagnostics should be done and can be divided into 2 groups:
I. Tests that should be done for every dog with chronic diarrhea
II. Tests that should be considered if your dog is not getting better
NOTE: Most cases of dogs with diarrhea will resolve without restricting species appropriate dietary components. Dietary restrictions may lead to further dietary deficiencies and increased diet hypersensitivity if the core cause of the allergies, such as toxicity, kibble-based deficient diet, vaccine side-effects and stress, isn't addressed.
In most cases of prolonged diarrhea, veterinary protocols suggest antibiotics and rehydration therapy, either in the form of fluid under the skin (subcutaneous therapy) or intravenously.
Based on my practical experience, it is much better not to prescribe antibiotics while we are waiting for test results. I would rather reach for some alternatives that I have seen work very well in a large number of dogs.
Antibiotics are usually not necessary unless the diarrhea is longer lasting and the pathogen has been identified.
Try the drug-free treatment outlined below before reaching for antibiotics. In most cases, this plan is sufficient in resolving symptoms.
I often see people panic when their dog has blood in their stool, but it isn't always a serious problem. If your dog has fresh blood in his/her stool, this may be a sign of hemorrhagic colitis, which usually responds well to the treatment mentioned in Phase 1 and Phase 2.
In most cases, there is no need to panic, however, if you have a puppy or a young dog and diarrhea is followed by signs of severe lethargy and loss of appetite, this may be a sign of parvovirus infection and you must see your veterinarian.
The main difference between a dog with parvovirus and a dog with simple colitis, is that the latter dog is usually bright and alert, with a good appetite.
If your dog has had diarrhea on a recurrent basis, or if it takes a long time to stop no matter what you do, they most likely suffer from chronic diarrhea, IBS or leaky gut.
Start with PHASE 1 and PHASE 2 mentioned above, and then there are additional steps to take.
Some veterinarians may argue that in some instances, using an antibiotic without knowing the pathogen is necessary, and though I sometimes agree, these situations are very rare.
Antibiotics may be needed to address a pathogenic bacteria detected by a fecal culture. However, often a pathogen can be eliminated by using the treatment protocol described in Phase 1 and Phase 2.
In general, antibiotics should not be prescribed without a good understanding of what pathogenic bacteria is present in your dog's gastrointestinal tract. Using antibiotics, without a good understanding of what pathogen is present, may lead to further disturbances of the digestive tract, damage to the healthy intestinal flora and an increased risk of superbug proliferation.
As I said above, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, Metronidazole, can cause serious side-effects.
Maintaining good hydration when your dog has diarrhea is the top priority
Usually, fluid and electrolyte therapy is not needed if your dog has had diarrhea for less than 48 hours, unless he/she is not eating, drinking, or is vomiting profusely.There are two types of fluid therapy:
There is one homeopathic that works well for exercise-induced diarrhea and that is Phosphoric Acid 30C or 200C (or CH on some packaging). Give 2 doses daily for five days if you get 30C potency, or 1 dose daily for 5 days if you have 200C.
Similar to addressing acute diarrhea, the treatment of chronic diarrhea begins with the same steps described in PHASE 1.
Here is a simple answer. Nature has never intended canines to eat dehydrated and processed food that sits on the shelves for months and sometimes years before being fed. When you look at the ingredients list, it includes things like grains, by-products, rendered ingredients, and chemicals that only add to the problem.
Initially, my intention was not to publish or mention any veterinary diets here, but then I changed my mind. It does not take a veterinary degree to see that all of these ingredients are far from dog food as nature intended:
Purina HA Vegetarian, Dry
Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, coconut oil, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, powdered cellulose, tricalcium phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, corn oil, potassium chloride, guar gum, salt, choline chloride, magnesium oxide, DL-Methionine, taurine, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin (Vitamin B-3), copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 supplement, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin (Vitamin B-7), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), sodium selenite. B-2626
Purina HA Chicken Flavor, Dry
Corn starch, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated canola oil preserved with TBHQ, coconut oil, powdered cellulose, tricalcium phosphate, corn oil, dicalcium phosphate, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed chicken, potassium chloride, guar gum, salt, choline chloride, magnesium oxide, DL-Methionine, taurine, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, niacin (Vitamin B-3), copper sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 supplement, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin (Vitamin B-7), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), sodium selenite. B-2627
Purina HA Chicken Flavor, Canned
Water sufficient for processing, pea starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, hydrolyzed soy protein isolate, powdered cellulose, coconut oil, tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, potassium chloride, carrageenan, soybean oil, choline chloride, magnesium sulfate, salt, fish oil, taurine, LThreonine, xanthan gum, DL-Methionine, L-Cysteine, Vitamin E supplement, glycine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium carbonate, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), copper sulfate, Vitamin B-12 supplement, manganese sulfate, riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K), Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin (Vitamin B-7), sodium selenite. A458918
Hill's Prescription Diet z/d - Canine dry
Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Glyceryl Monostearate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene.
Hill's Prescription Diet z/d Canine canned
Water, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Corn Starch, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, DLMethionine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid), Potassium Citrate, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Magnesium Oxide, L-Tryptophan, Taurine, Beta-Carotene.
Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein Moderate Calorie Dry Dog Food
Brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, dried plain beet pulp, natural flavors, vegetable oil, sodium silico aluminate, fish oil, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, taurine, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A acetate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid], DL-methionine, choline chloride, trace minerals [zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate, calcium iodate], marigold extract (Tagetes erecta L.), magnesium oxide, rosemary extract, preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid.
I find it fascinating that there are still so many professionals who do not question why the following ingredients are included:
NONE OF THESE FOODS have real meat in them as if the scientists completely forgot that dogs are a part of the genus Carnivora! It does not take a genius to see that there is something terribly wrong with this picture!
Please do not subject your beloved dog to processed food especially if they have diarrhea. Starchy and fatty foods are completely wrong for digestive problems. In fact they are one of the primary causes of pancreatitis.
I do not know of a single human doctor who would claim that processed food is better than a wholesome diet, yet the veterinary industry (and pet food companies) continue to claim that real food is dangerous for our dogs. All you need to do is follow the money to see exactly why this is so.
Perhaps you may be interested in watching the video of my dog Pax below. Since I got him at eight weeks old, he has never been on anything other than a raw and occasionally cooked species-appropriate diet, and natural fermented essential supplements.
I have been recommending fresh food diet recipes for more than 20 years and I have seen dogs who eat non-processed fresh food be healthier, happier and live longer.
After you complete the initial "diarrhea diet protocol" you can create healthy recipes by using the RECIPE MAKER below.
One more tip before you dive into using the RECIPE MAKER:
If your dog has a tendency to be chilly, feed mostly heating and neutral meats. If your dog has a tendency to overheat, feed cooling meats. Each meat protein has a label on the Recipe Maker.
As was the case with Skai's diarrhea, which I mentioned above, many dogs suffer from ongoing debilitating bouts of diarrhea because they have injured their spine. These injuries lead to decreased blood, nerve, and energy flow to the intestinal tract, which leads to digestive problems such as diarrhea.
Sadly, many dogs end up on a vicious cycle of antibiotics, steroids, and kibble diets, when the solution lies in reducing the injurious activity and treating the back.Please keep this in mind and share it with others:
A large number of dogs with chronic diarrhea, IBD, and leaky gut syndrome have back injuries!
In order to treat the lumbar spine, you will need to see a chiropractor, physiotherapist, or an osteopath or veterinarian with the above skills. This is an essential part of treatment for chronic diarrhea.
There is one homeopathic that works well for exercise induced diarrhea and that is Phosphoric Acid 30C or 200C (or CH on some packaging). Give 2 doses daily for five days if you get 30C potency, or 1 dose daily for 5 days if you have 200C.
There were many times throughout the course of my veterinary career when I asked the question of whether or not supplements are needed and ironically, veterinary textbooks rarely mentioned these in detail.
It seemed that the veterinary colleges left the recommendations, suggestions, and veterinary student education, up to the self-serving pet food company giants and the results are very concerning.
As time progressed and I continued reading and self-studying the topic of healthy nutrition, it became more clear that food was no longer what it used to be.
There are three main reasons for the degradation of the human and animal food supply:
Intensive chemical agriculture is nothing more than "soil rape", forcing it to produce more while ignoring the natural principles of soil biology. And while adding pesticides and chemical fertilizers may have increased the food crops for some time, we now see that this kind of practice is no different than human drug addiction.
The soil becomes more and more deficient requiring more "fixes" to produce results, until it becomes empty and dead.
True story - A not so romantic walk in the pineapple fields
Some time ago, when my dog Skai was still alive, I took him for a walk in the Maui pineapple fields. Many people may think of a nice and relaxing walk in the tropical Hawaiian breeze, but this day brought me a different experience.
As we walked through the fields, I noticed that the whole field was covered with a black plastic. This wasn't just an acre or two, it was hundreds of acres of plastic used to prevent weeds from growing. There were other sections where the pineapples had already been harvested and the plastic had been worked into the soil as they plowed the fields.
As if this was not enough to spoil the idea of a tropical breezy walk, I started to smell something that resembled a very strong paint thinner. Shortly after, we came across a sign that said: PESTICIDE TREATMENT IN PROGRESS, NO ENTRY! POISON!
I tried to turn around but realized that they were already spraying where we came from. Skai and I were trapped in a field full of plastic and air full of dangerous chemicals. I was shocked, scared, and tried to figure out how to get out of there.
I picked up 50-pound Skai and carried him for two miles before we reached the road. This was the moment when I realized that our agriculture and food supply was in trouble.
When we came back home, I washed Skai, my clothes, and took a shower, but the experience was etched into my mind forever. I do not eat pineapples, but know that many other crops undergo RoundUp spraying "to finish them" and other pesticides are used extensively across the board.
But this is not the only problem affecting our food.
It may surprise you, but food transportation seriously affects the quality of our food and it is not due to loss of nutrients in transport.
All original natural systems have evolved on the basis of zero waste and complete recycling of nutrients.
There are only a few ecosystems on the planet that remain this way, and the African savannah is one of them.
The soil's nutrients are absorbed by plants, which are eaten by herbivores, that are eaten by carnivores, and when a carnivore dies, the whole body goes back into the soil (in addition to the bodies of all life forms, plus the manure from all the animals).
The cycle is closed, the animals roam at large distances and their diet is varied, there is no need for supplements.
See chart below:
As trade around the world developed and evolved, industrialized and chemical agriculture has provided new business opportunities that lead to serious nutrient depletion of soils and food.
Produce grown in California or Mexico is usually transported to other locations such as Washington State or Canada, but these nutrients never find their way back to the soil where they came from. They end up either in a landfill or best case scenario in a compost or soil in Washington State or Canada.
In the mean time, it is too costly and logistically impossible to replenish all the nutrients lost in the soil of origin. After many decades of depleting nutrients and agriculture that is way too intensive, food is far from what it used to be. This is the reason why tomatoes no longer taste like tomatoes and strawberries have lost their flavour.
The idea that garden soil has to contain a balanced spectrum of nutrients is pretty easy to understand. Depleted garden soil produces sickly, small produce if any.
However, many people still make the mistake of not supplementing their and their dogs' diet. Not that long ago, I had two conversations with two friends, one in their 50's and one in their 60's. Both of them complained about health problems, yet neither of them took any essential nutrients which cannot be produced by the body and have to come from either food or supplements.
20 years ago, I was in the same boat. I falsely believed that healthy organic food was all I needed. I was wrong. Nutrient deficiencies are one of the primary causes of poor health and the solution is super simple.
There are four basic categories of nutrients that the body cannot make and they are essential for your and your dog's good health:
Each of these nutrients are essential, yet they all have a different function in the body and can't replace each other. No organ, and no single cell can perform at its optimal level without essential nutrients and your dog is no exception.
That is why every dog needs essential supplements.
NOTE: there are 37 thousand billion billion (37 with 21! zeros) chemical reactions happening in the body every second. The reactions can't take place without the essential nutrients and they are no longer in the food you bought, but in a compost or a dump far away from where the produce was grown or the farm animals raised.
Still not convinced?
Many people assume supplements are supplements and the only difference is the brand and the price.
Based on the research compiled by Dr. Michael Greger, MD, a large majority of nutritional supplements do not contain what the label claims and sometimes contain ingredients harmful to health. This is why you need to carefully choose who you buy your supplements from and where they are manufactured.
Many vitamin and mineral supplements are synthetic made from crude oil and coal. These chemicals mimic the true natural nutrients, but they are not the same. They often create excesses and imbalances, and this is why synthetic vitamins can make animals and people nauseous.
Whole food-based or fermented supplements are the answer to these problems, and the process of fermentation increases their nutritional, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567126/
It is no secret that our civilization is drowning in plastic, and only a few brands are packaged in glass. Plastic is more popular because it is cheaper, but besides the environmental impact, it also has a negative effect on the products in the bottle. Phytoestrogens (estrogen-like substances) can alter your dog's metabolism and have a negative effect on their health.
Make them! Actually, this may sound like a joke, but this is exactly why I started my own supplement line. I wanted to make sure my patients and my own dog were getting the best.
Your dog's supplements should be:
Microbiology was one of my most challenging and difficult subjects when I was in vet school. I remember spending countless hours memorizing the differences between the various species of bacteria. It was tedious, abstract and not very interesting.
But as time progressed, I found the world of bacteria and probiotics to be fascinating.
The microscopic world of bacteria is not unlike our "macro" world. Bacteria forms colonies - the equivalent of our villages and cities. There is a relatively small proportion of pathogenic bacteria, the villains, the disease-causing agents and a large number of helpful and beneficial bacteria that are essential to life and food production.
Scientists have confirmed that besides the "traditional" positive effect on digestion and the immune system, probiotic bacteria has the capacity to alter our behaviour and mood!
Probiotics are capable of neutralizing kidney toxins and eliminate other unwanted substances from the body.
MEET MR. LACTOBACILLUS
The Lactobacillus species has been an ally to humans and dogs for tens of thousands of years and there are about 200 species of this bacteria.
It has been scientifically proven that Lactobacillus can significantly reduce the duration of diarrhea and it has been shown to be effective in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and leaky gut syndrome.
This is why I have included Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus in GutSense, advanced pre & probiotics for dogs.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms of dermatitis and it is also useful in dogs undergoing chemotherapy and antibiotic treatment.
Lactobacillus reuteri his Rhamnosus' close cousin because it has the same effects!
Lactobacilllus plantarum has shown to be helpful in dogs with Clostridium-related diarrhea. Clostridium is a pathogen readily present in soil and stagnant water. Clostridium causes fresh bloody diarrhea and they are opportunistic pathogens that like to wreak havoc when the digestive tract is out of balance. For example when a dog eats a kibble-based diet.
As you can see, the world of probiotic bacteria is in fact very interesting. There are some "villains" in the bacterial world, but similar to the 'macro world' and people, most bacteria is beneficial for you and your dog.
For more information on certified organic probiotics for dogs - click here.
People often ask if they should give enzyme supplements and the answer is yes, in some situations. Think of digestive enzymes as a crutch for times when the body is not producing enough digestive enzymes on its own or for older individuals that have lost the ability to.
Personally, I do not give digestive enzymes to healthy puppies and adult dogs, but fully embrace them in cases of maldigestion and for senior dogs.
Digestive enzymes may also be beneficial in the case of pancreas insufficiency and flatulence. Generally, I like to use natural digestive enzymes containing papain and bromelain. 1/4 - 1 capsule with each meal depending on your dog's size.
How can you spend more time with your best friend? Learn one principle that can give your dog more healthy years and its right under your nose.Read
There is a secret in your dog's hair that could make his or her life longer. Improve your dog's health by finding out what is missing and how to get rid of some nasty toxins.Read
There is a way to prevent disease and kick out toxins. I hope learning how will add years to your dog's life!Read
This time I've taken on the topic of drugs and how to decide which ones are ok to use if needed and which ones are too dangerous to use.Read
A long and healthy life can be so simple. It only takes one step to make a dramatic change.Read
You won't believe what most multivitamins are made from. Learn which vitamins work the best and which ones to avoid.Read
You can avoid many harmful and unnecessary treatments for your dog with one simple principle. Learn how to check your dog’s spinal alignment and find out what ailments muscle injuries, pinched nerves and blocked energy flow can cause by reading this article.Read
Learn how to examine your dog’s spine and what might be hiding in plain view. See the commonly missed causes of disease and how to determine if your dog has back pain and discomfort.Read
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.Read
There is one part of the body that affects many vital organs. The neck is the gateway for nerve, energy and blood flow to the rest of your dog’s body. I know you want to protect your dog and keeping their neck healthy is a very important principle to achieve that. Read this article to find out how to keep your dog’s neck out of harm’s way.Read
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.Read
What could be causing your dog’s cough? There are many lung diseases out there, but many people are still not aware about this one important cause. Read how this unique approach can improve your dog's lung health.Read
Pancreatitis is a very common, sometimes life threatening disease that can be successfully treated or prevented by drug free natural holistic methods.Read
5 steps to protect your dog from this serious, life-threatening condition and what you need to know about diet, exercise and your dog’s spine to prevent it.Read
I find that diarrhea is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems in veterinary medicine. The paradox is that the answer is sometimes very simple, but not what one expects.Read
A COMPLETE GUIDE - holistic and natural approach to anal gland problems in dogs - abscess, inflammation, infection and "fishy smell". What is normal, what you need to know to prevent irreversible mistakes.Read