By Russ Lawson, Certified Herbalist
First, make sure your pet does not get any artificial sweeteners in their food or treats. It has been proven many times over that these do tremendous damage to your body.
Second, Make sure there is no sugar added to their food or treats, (cancer thrives on sugar), and many food products contain “high fructose corn syrup” which is especially bad, no matter what the commercials on television say.
Third, Become very conscious of reading labels and avoiding products with additives in them, especially processed foods of any kind. Note: Most will have some chemical added as a food preservative and you want to stay away from them.
What Herbs and Supplements would I recommend?
(Note: I’m not selling products and have no connection with the companies mentioned, just want to help folks and their pets)
Liquid Minerals from American Youngevity. They have changed the name to “Ultra Body Toddy”, but it can be ordered from www.supralife.com or phone (800) 982-3189. Why: Most of us don’t get the proper vitamins and minerals in our systems through our food. You may take vitamin/mineral supplements, but most of the time they are in the form of hard compacted tablets which don’t dissolve in your system and pass straight through your digestive system. The liquid minerals insure that you get what you need into your system to build your system and help fight cancer or any other disease. Vitamin D is especially necessary for healing cancer. Getting your pet to take this product may be a challenge as it has a rather strong orange taste that is not altogether pleasant. If you can’t, then any powdered or chewable form of vitamin and supplements are better than none.
Stabilized Rice Bran. This product is widely available through the Internet or Health Food Stores. It is nutrient rich and contains over 100 anti-oxidants. You need to build your pets immune system and this is an excellent way to do this. It is a power and easily added to pet foods. Actually it doesn’t taste bad at all and they may eat it by itself as a treat.
WHAT ELSE WOULD I DO
First, find yourself a Holistic or Naturapathaic Vet. Here are some resources:
There is a website run by a Holistic Vet that I like called: http://vitalanimal.com/.
The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy, a national organization to educate post-graduate veterinarians in the science and art of classical homeopathy. Successful completion of training and exams leads to certification. A list of veterinarians by state of practice is here. Some are members only, some are Certified Veterinary Homeopaths. http://theavh.org
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, a national organization whose purpose is to function as a forum for the exploration of alternative and complementary areas of health care in veterinary medicine. Members could practice a wide variety of natural modalities, with or without homeopathy. http://ahvma.org
American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, a national group of both veterinarians and chiropractors who practice animal chiropractic. Includes a certification training program. http://www.AnimalChir
AltVetMed, an information site for complementary and alternative veterinary medicine. Includes many links to other organizations, articles, a discussion forum, news, etc. http://www.altvetmed.org
Second, make sure you pet is eating healthy, just like humans, if they don’t eat healthy food they are going to get diseases. I don’t care ifIams and Purena have big advertising campaigns telling you what a good job they do, check out the labels, read them for yourself.
There is a great book out (which I have read and have in my library I picked up a copy for a couple of dollars used off of Amazon.com. Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food by Ann N. Martin and Shawn Messonier (Jul 23, 2008) It is scary what they put into pet food. (NOTE: You might find this in your local library, if you don’t then ask about it.)
- Start by checking the label and making sure it is manufactured in the U.S.A. There are no pet food regulators, but the U.S. does a better job of regulating themselves (to a certain degree).
- When you read the label they always list the ingredients in the order of the amounts they put in the product. Most will start the list with “Corn” which means your pet is mostly eating cornmeal.
- One of our dear friends (and many others across the World) refused to feed their pets “mass produced food,” they prepare food for them, themselves. I saw an interview with a Vet from the U.K. a while back who said that pets in England generally are healthier and live twice as long as in the U.S. because (at that time) they didn’t have the prepared pet foods and fed their pets mainly off of the table. In other words the pets were eating the same things their master’s were or they prepared them meat and vegetable dishes. Our friend boils a whole chicken once a week and also cooks rice and feeds her dog’s rice and chicken along with vitamins and minerals.
- So, just like for humans, if you want your pet to stay health and overcome disease, then feed them so that their body can fight for itself.
There have been great strides in prepared food manufacturing, but if you just go in your local grocery and buy the cheapest you are hurting your pets health.
Rules for finding Pet Food:
- Find a food that does not have corn or wheat in it if you can. (You probably can’t find this in your local grocery, Meijers or Walmart – I didn’t), to go to a pet store to find this
- Find a food that has “meat” of some kind listed as the first item or first several items and avoid foods with corn and wheat listed as ingredients. Note that when a food lists “Biproducts” it means internal organs, beaks, feet, hooves, or anything else they can get away with putting in as filler. One of the things the book “Food pets die for” points out is that quite a few of the pet food companies buy the animals which have been euthanized by the local shelters, etc. and put them into the food. They are full of poison and often disease.
- Find a food that has minerals and vitamins added. Some have herbs added in the products now also,
- Until recently we were feeding our dog EVO dog food, it meets all of the requirements, but in the past year had a couple of voluntary recalls because of issues with it’s food. The pet stores in our area have stopped carrying that brand, (first, because it is fairly expensive $40 for a 18 lb bag and second, because they were afraid of lawsuits if something happened to your dog). If you would get it we probably would still buy it, they seem like an ethical company.
- Another we just started buying for our dog is Canidae Platinum, Canidae has a number of flavors, age specific, etc. (http://canidae.com). We try and avoid lamb when possible as it tends to give dogs gas, but this doesn’t seem to bother her, perhaps because of the Acidophilus it contains. The ingredients read like this (in part): “Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, cracked oatmeal, turkey meal, lamb meal, checking fat, fish meal, Psyllium (to keep their bowels working well), Acidophilus(3 kings to keep their stomach digesting the food well) along with lots of minerals and vitamins as well asGlucosomine and Chrondroitin. It has 4 kinds of meat, Enzymes, Omegs 6 & # acids, amino acid chelated minerals (easy to absorb).
There probably are other pet foods that are good, but this is what you look for in a prepared food.
If you can’t find an Holistic vet, maybe this will help a little. I have very little training in this area of herbalism other than what I have “self taught” and studied to find out about, but do have some reference material I can check on.