Get Your Dog Healthy In 3 Simple Steps
Let’s get real: In this day and age, we’re used to dogs with all sorts of health issues: bad teeth, itchy skin, voluminous (and smelly!) poop, behavior issues (aggression and reactivity, for example), impacted anal glands, obesity, “doggy odor” (yep, that’s a health issue), runny eyes, and autoimmune diseases.
Indeed, these are so prevalent in our dogs that when you read this list, you might have thought some of them weren’t actually health issues. In fact, most of us think of these issues as “normal.” In reality, though, while these issues are common, they certainly aren’t normal. No matter what anyone tells you, dogs, even those of advancing age, shouldn’t have these issues. When they do, it’s a sign something is wrong. Luckily, with just a few simple steps, you can overcome these issues and get your dog healthy.
Lots of Smelly Poop is a Problem
Take something as seemingly ordinary as feces; we’re used to seeing large amounts of smelly poop from our pets. Often, it’s also soft, which of course makes it harder to clean up.
Contrast this with the feces of a raw-fed animal. Their fecal matter is much smaller, both in size of individual stools and the overall quantity of stool. It has much less of an odor, it’s harder, and it decomposes more quickly. This is because raw diets have way more bioavailable nutrients than processed pet food, so your dog can use more of their food.
Processed pet food has a lot of filler and junk that your pet can’t use; this filler gets shed out in the feces, which leads to the vast amount of poop we see from dogs fed a conventional, processed-pet-food diet.
Raw Diets to the Rescue
When your dog eats a raw diet, he gets the appropriate amount of calcium and phosphorous in his diet. His stool tends to be much harder (because of the calcium), which means he must strain a little bit to push it out. This straining keeps the anal glands clean, clear, and in good working order.
So many dogs regularly need to get their anal glands cleaned out by the vet or a groomer—in fact, this is so common most groomers include this as a standard part of their grooming! However, when dogs are fed a species-appropriate raw diet, they typically don’t have anal gland issues.
Just Say No to That “Doggy” Smell
Another common issue many dog owners report is a “doggy” smell. But, this issue isn’t normal either. When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense a carnivore and predator would have a distinct and strong odor. Having a strong odor would make it much more difficult to sneak up on their highly sensitive prey. Wild wolves and other wild canines don’t have a doggy odor, and dogs fed a raw diet don’t have a strong odor either.
Dogs fed a processed food diet tend to smell, which most owners address by giving them baths, but once those same dogs are switched to a raw diet, the odor disappears. Again, while doggy odor has become very common, it’s not normal. In fact, it’s an indicator the body isn’t functioning at an optimal level.
Fix the Root Cause of the Problem
In general, when dogs experience these issues, conventional veterinarians provide “treatment” that suppresses symptoms without getting at the root cause. Because the root cause isn’t addressed, the issues keep coming back, often worse than before. Other times, dog parents ignore the issues, thinking they’re due to an animal’s age, or breed, or just bad luck.
I’m a naturopath, not a veterinarian, so I come at this from a different perspective. Far from believing these issues are normal, I view them as signs the immune system is out of balance.
Get Your Dog Healthy, Step by Step
The good news about that is it means that, in many cases, you don’t have to stand by and watch your pet suffer or even die before their time. While every case is different, there are three general steps you can take to get your dog healthy.
- Switch your pet to a species-appropriate raw diet
- Eliminate internal and external toxins as much as possible (that means the toxins found in cleaners, pesticides, flea/tick medication, conventional heartworm pills, and so on). Check out our cleaning recipes for safe, toxin-free cleaning products.
- Supplement your pet if necessary
Taking those three steps will have a profound impact on your pet’s overall health. If you need more specific help, seek out a holistic veterinarian or certified animal naturopath to help you.
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