I came across a natural dog health magazine called Dogs Naturally with a variety of articles including the topics of vaccines, diseases, natural prevention and healing, and raw diet.
I was so impressed, I got a subscription and then meekly asked for an interview from the editor, Dana Scott. (Sometime I feel a bit insecure.)
While I love my readers to spend time here at Three Little Pitties, I want you to be exposed to other places and see the holistic trend for our pups is gaining momentum and share additional resources for information.
I think the trend for natural dog health is a permanent shift due to the following factors.
Let’s get started with the interview about real natural dog health with Dana Scott:
I have several questions for you about natural dog health. I recently subscribed to Dogs Naturally magazine and I’ve only seen one issue so far. I’d like to know in what areas we agree or disagree about natural dog health and I’d like my readers to be exposed to another opinion.
Question: Why do you think many people believe they can achieve natural dog health with the notion can dog food and dry kibble is scientifically formulated instead of overcooked, overprocessed leftovers with little or no nutritional value?
I believe marketing and fancy bags lure a lot of pet owners in.
Technically, kibble is scientifically formulated and that is where I have a problem with it. Science is not advanced enough to be able to break foods down into phytonutrients and understand complex metabolic reactions between nutrients.
Processing and high heat destroy the ‘life’ in food and it has be added back in as a premix containing synthetic vitamins and minerals which are now being found to cause health issues in pets and in humans (not to mention that all of these premixes are manufactured in China and India).
Science is not yet adept at understanding the ten thousand individual nutrients in a simple piece of meat, so it is unsafe IMO to destroy these nutrients and try to add them back in to somehow manufacture a ‘complete’ food.
Question: Do you think people tend to overlook the importance of quality water for their dogs? What is your favorite water source?
Absolutely. Osteosarcoma is on the rise in dogs and one reason is very likely the fluoridation of water. I am on a well and my dogs get either well water or spring water, depending on the season.
(And let's not forget the water dish can be toxic too.)
Question: If you had to choose, what is the order of importance to begin improving dog health?
In my opinion, the number one issue is not on your list: avoiding toxins and vaccinations.
There is no food that can reverse the damage from drugs and vaccinations.
Question: A good friend of mine had a dog that ate only human grade food (both cooked and raw) and received minimal vaccines. The dog lived 22 years. I see this as a sign of natural dog health. Do dogs live longer when fed a raw diet than commercial food?
When I was growing up we had a dog live 20 years on KenLRation moist burgers! As a breeder, I’ve learned that genetic baggage or miasm plays a very large role in the health of a dog.
I think it is more about quality of life than quantity, however we all do whatever we can to give our dogs the best fighting chance against chronic disease and early death.
I have a 15 year old here who is raw fed but I also just lost a 6 year old boy to cancer this month. Life holds no guarantees and we can only do our best in terms of quality food and avoiding toxins and then just cross our fingers I’m afraid.
Question: I love fresh organic garlic for natural dog health (and human too). What do you think about garlic for dogs? Why do you suppose it gets so much bad press?
Garlic can cause anemia in dogs, so it does get some bad press. However, a clove or two a day would certainly not hurt. I don’t use many supplements and simply don’t need them because if I avoid vaccines, toxins and chemicals and feed my dogs right, then I don’t find myself putting out fires with supplements.
Interesting story: a couple of years ago I attended a dog show with a friend who vaccinates and feeds kibble and we traveled in my van. When we returned, she called me and said her dogs were loaded with fleas from the sand ring – my dogs did not have one single flea on them.
Healthy dogs are not good hosts for parasites, so I focus more on providing good health in my dogs through good diet and homeopathy and by doing so, I find myself relying less on supplements.
Question: Are grains a part of natural dog health? I know some have allergies to grains, but are they bad for all dogs or do you believe it should be determined on an individual basis?
I strongly believe that grains are not an appropriate food source for dogs (or humans). Dogs have a limited supply of pancreatic amylase and this leads me to believe that they should eat some fruit, very few vegetables and no grains. Grains are not fully digested and not only increase the risk of bacterial illness in our dogs, but create toxic byproducts because they are not fully digested and metabolized.
Question: I see a lot of raw dog food recipes on the internet with ground beef as the only meat source. Do you have a beef with that? (I should probably take out my little pun) Is the fat content too high in hamburger?
There are no issues with fat in humans and animals. More recent research is showing that soluble carbohydrates and triglycerides are the cause of heart disease in humans, not fat. Furthermore, pancreatitis is the bane of the kibble fed/vaccinated dog, not raw fed dogs, so I don’t pay too much attention to the amount of fat I feed my dogs.
Personally, I had an embarrassing head-slapping moment when I realized my dogs needed real food just like my family. I was feeding my kids meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and then pouring what I thought was good dry food in a bowl. Turns out it was a far cry from natural dog health.
Even though the dogs had quality table scraps and veggies in their diet, it wasn’t enough. They had little energy (compared to now) and we ended up with a brutal flea infestation.
Once I connected the dots and put them on a raw dog diet, I was amazed at the improvements. It wasn’t difficult to keep fleas in check and the gray on my seven year old dog’s muzzle nearly disappeared. My biggest challenge at the time was how to feed five big dogs meat without breaking the bank.
Question: What do you think is the most affordable way to feed a raw food diet for dogs?
I have six Labradors at the moment and I feed them for about $300 per month. If I had one dog, I would buy a premade, organic food but I buy my food directly from the abattoir (slaughterhouse) because of my numbers.
I have three large freezers in my garage so I can stock up on bargains or during deer season and this helps. Just last week I stumbled across some beautiful turkey backs and stuffed an entire freezer with them. But you have to get out there and make some phone calls and contacts to find the best deals.
Another subject that gets me in an emotional uproar is over-vaccination. I love how your magazine has some truly great articles on the subject. Here are a few personal questions for you.
Question: What dog vaccine schedule, if any, do you follow?
My puppies and dogs are not vaccinated. If I had to choose between diet and vaccines, I would gladly feed my dogs Dog Chow if it meant that I could refrain from vaccinating.
Of course, I don’t have to make a choice, so my dogs are both raw fed and unvaccinated. But vaccines, IMO, cause far more damage than commercial diets.
Question: Do veterinarians (unholistic) promote an abundance of vaccinations because they are highly income producing or simply because they don’t know better?
I believe large clinics like Banfield recognize yearly vaccination for the cash cow it is, but most vets are sorely misinformed when it comes to vaccines.
They are very good at vaccinology but understand very little about immunology. The same goes for many holistic vets too.
The issue is the fox is watching the hen house. Vaccine manufacturers state clearly on their labels that the vet is the ultimate authority in making vaccine decisions and that if a vet sees a need to give a vaccine labeled for three years annually, then that is his right.
On the other hand, the veterinary associations make ‘recommendations’ of revaccinating every three years or more, but leave the decision up the individual vets and they are free to vaccinate yearly or triennially.
The vaccination guidelines have no teeth to enforce any type of vaccine schedule, so the vet, whose income relies on vaccination, is left to decide how often and how many vaccines go into your dog.
Veterinary malpractice is a fallacy, so any vet who chooses to ignore the guidelines of the AVMA or vaccine manufacturer can do so without any recourse and that’s a sobering thought. It is a very real problem and the result is our pets are being over-serviced by the veterinary profession.
(Remember to ask your veterinarian questions so you know where he stands. And remember you should be working together for dog health.)
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview.
If there is anything you’d like to share with my readers about Dogs Naturally magazine, here’s your chance. When I found you, my first thought was, “It’s about time natural dog health is promoted in a magazine. Good for them!” I hope you keep growing.
Dogs Naturally is designed to bring the best vets in the field to our readers. This will give them the tools to start questioning current veterinary practices and will show them that there are a lot of vets who support their decisions, even if their own vet does not.
Dogs Naturally is more than just a magazine about natural dog health, we are a movement and through reader education, we will change the way vets treat our animals, one dog at a time. Thanks for your time.
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Here is a good book on Naturally Healthy Dogs
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I hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did. By the way my dogs only receive vaccines required by law. That means rabies. And never ever let a sick dog be vaccinated!