In the last 50 years or so, the health of domestic dogs has declined dramatically. Dogs are getting serious diseases at younger ages and are living shorter lives.
Clearly something is profoundly wrong with the current model of canine health care. What has happened in these years to so change the health of dogs?
There have been two major changes in this time; diet and veterinary care.
Diet is at the heart of most dog disease
Dogs are omnivorous scavengers at the carnivore end of the spectrum. They evolved to eat whatever was available in times of plenty or in scarcer times. They can cope with a wide variety of food. In the good times, dogs hunt in packs. They bring down large animals and eat most of the carcass.
In leaner times, dogs can live on a diet which is exclusively vegetarian, although maybe not happily. They can survive on earth worms. They are able to process rotting meat and decaying carcasses. They are highly successful opportunists. Their digestive system can cope with these foods, unlike a true carnivore such as a cat.
In the not too distant past, dogs were fed table scraps (from food that was much healthier than today’s typical diet). This suited dogs quite well. There was meat and vegetables of generally good quality.
As the commercial pet food industry developed, tactics were used to shame people into thinking they were doing the wrong thing. But the quality of the commercial dog food was not human grade. It was the dregs from the lucrative human market. And it has continued to deteriorate over the intervening years, with food coming from the cheapest sources, which have little nutritional content.
People are becoming increasingly aware that food is at the heart of health. If you eat poor quality food, deficient in nutrition, it is impossible to remain healthy. Every condition, every disease under the sun can rear its ugly head when there is not enough quality nutrition in the diet. This is true for humans and dogs alike.
All that is needed, in the majority of cases, is a change of diet to include the nutrients necessary for your dog to live in a healthy way.
At the heart of commercial dog food is a desire to make a profit. Commercial dog food manufacturers are mostly corporations. Advertising and psychological persuasion are of far greater importance than the quality of the food. The quality of the packet your dog food comes in is normally more researched and of better quality than is the contents.
Although dogs are opportunistic omnivores, they still need to eat quality food. Rotting meat is still natural, with all the essential nutrients, whereas processed dog food is of questionable origins and denatured by extreme pressures and temperatures. A decaying carcass still contains all the necessary nutrients for a dog to survive well. It isn’t loaded with various chemicals in an attempt to address the shortfall or to prolong the shelf life.
The veterinary approach to dogs diseases
Veterinary colleges do not provide training in nutrition. They leave this incredibly important topic to the commercial pet food industry that financially support them. This suits the industry very well, as they can get the students ‘on side.’ This is evident today. Walk into any veterinary clinic and there is a floor to ceiling display of commercial pet food.
Neither are vets taught to look for the cause of an illness. Instead, just as with medical students, vets are taught to match drug X to condition Y.
They are also taught how to maximize profit, rather than how to best treat the animal. Matthew Watkinson, a vet in the UK, left the profession altogether after eight years of practice, as he was so disgusted with this approach.
Veterinary associations don’t support freedom of choice. Andrew Jones, a Canadian vet, has been removed from his professional association for the single and simple reason that he provides information for safer alternatives to veterinary medication.
In stark contrast, homeopaths are taught to search diligently for the cause of every health problem. You will find that every true holistic vet (and there are plenty masquerading under that name to lure you in) or therapist will start the treatment off by changing the diet. They know how important that is for a healthy dog.
Often, in partnership with a quality, natural diet, a treatment specific to the dog’s particular symptoms and causative factor, will be prescribed. This double approach can cure your dog of even the most advanced and serious disease.
But this approach keeps your dog healthy. It’s not good for business.
The Resulting Effect For Your Dog
The combination of low nutrition and a high chemical load from your dog’s diet and medication, has the effect of causing liver (in particular, but other organs are not unaffected) toxicity and a low immunity. The effect of a compromised liver can lead to anger and aggression, as well as digestive problems and cancer.
The effect of a compromised immune system means your dog is far more likely to contract other health related problems and is easy prey to passing epidemics.
Simply changing the diet can start to unload the toxins in your dog and improve his/her immune system. The best food for your dog is to make it yourself from quality, human grade ingredients.