The Naturally Healthy Dog Series

This is a blog for dog guardians who would like to learn or share more about the natural feeding and treatment of their dogs. We will discuss the species appropriate Raw Diet and Alternative Health Treatments.

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

Currently working on the first book in "The Naturally Healthy Dog Series." The first book will concentrate on diet and nutrition for our dog companions. I currently have three Papillons, and also do daycare and boarding of other Papillons. I have had Papillons for 30 years and have shown them in dog shows to their Championships. I am also a member of the National Center for Homeopathy and a Professional Member of The Animal Wellness Association.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Neighbor’s Dog Has Severe Skin Reaction!

A few days ago, I walked over to my neighbor’s to meet her new dog Lily. She is a white Bull Dog who weighs 50 pounds. Lily was friendly and came right to me to say “Hello.” I noticed that she was rubbing herself on the grass and was getting more and more frantic.

My neighbor picked her up and her entire stomach and chest area was covered with red bumps. She told me that she had given Lily a bath with her own human shampoo the day before and I told her that might be the cause. The dog was getting more and more frantic.

I ask if they had sprayed anything on the grass, fertilizer, anything, and she said they had not. I suggested that we give her another bath right away with a shampoo that I had that is made for puppies, is tearless and is made with Chamomile, Aloe Vera and Vitamin B5. The important thing was to wash off any residue that might have been left from the human shampoo the day before, and the Chamomile and Aloe Vera would sooth the skin.

I came back to the house and got a container of Aloe Vera Juice (which I feed to my dogs) and took it to her. She had already bathed Lily again and she was a good bit calmer. I told her to put some Aloe Juice in a cup, dip cotton pads in it and dab it all over Lily and to keep doing it from time to time. She asked me if she should take Lily to the Vet, and since she does not use a Homeopathic Vet, I told her “No,” that a regular Vet would just give her prednisone or cortisone, and that would just suppress what the body was trying to do. The dog had come in contact with something that she was having a severe reaction to, and it was trying to eliminate it though the organ of the skin. We wanted to give it a chance to come out and the body to heal itself, and not suppress it and drive it deeper into the body.

She came over the next day to report on Lily. She was doing fine and they were continuing to put the Aloe Juice on her to sooth her.

We started to look for what may have caused this event. They had not sprayed the house or the yard for any reason. They were feeding her what she was accustomed to; she had not washed her bedding in a new detergent. She had not washed her food or water bowl in anything different. We kept going back to the food issue, since so many allergies are food related. Suddenly she remembered that she had bought some “no name” dog biscuits at one of the “super stores” and had given her two the night before and two the morning of the outbreak. Without having the bag for us to see the ingredients, she did remember that the first three ingredients where some form of wheat, and we know that all regular dry food has preservatives. Many people and dogs are allergic to wheat, wheat products, and we know that preservatives are bad for our dogs and can cause skin allergies.

So, we will probably never really know what caused the reaction that Lily had, but we can be pretty sure that it was something in the dog biscuits and/or the human shampoo. My neighbor threw the dog biscuits away and is buying a brand name gentle shampoo made for dogs. She is also seriously thinking about changing Lily’s diet over to more natural foods, now that she can see one of the consequences of feeding a low quality commercial processed dog food.

This is just one of many conditions that can be avoided by feeding the natural, raw whole foods diet. I will continue to work with my neighbor to educate her even more to the benefits for the Naturally Healthy Dog.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

How to Help Build and Maintain a Healthy Immune System in Your Dog – Part 2

An easy way to help boost the immune system is to use a good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement daily.

Antioxidants are important because they help the immune function, by preventing oxidation of chemicals, and may help decrease the risk of infection and possibly cancer. They destroy free radicals which are reactive molecules that damage cells. Damaged cells leave the body susceptible to cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. The most common antioxidants are Vitamins A, C and E and they are found in food.

Vitamin A is found in the liver and other tissues. It is most abundant in the fish liver oils. Carotene is found in plant material and dogs can convert carotene to vitamin A with an enzyme that is found in the intestinal walls. Vitamin A makes white blood cells which destroy viruses and harmful bacteria which help regulate the immune system. Vitamin A helps the skin, mucous membranes, and urinary tract.

Vitamin C is manufactured in the liver and kidneys of dogs and is the most abundant water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Fresh fruits provide Vitamin C.

Vitamin E is in vegetable oils, cereal grains, greens, liver and eggs. It is the most abundant fat-soluble antioxidant in the body. It is very helpful in protecting against oxidation in fatty tissues.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

How to Help Build and Maintain a Healthy Immune System in Your Dog – Part 1

The immune system is a network of specialized tissues, organs, cells, and hormones. There are two main types of immunity. Innate immunity is a system built into the body to resist disease. Acquired immunity is the immune system’s ability to adapt as the body is exposed to pathogens through exposure, illness or vaccines. (More about vaccines later).

Symptoms of a weak immune system are shown as skin infections, recurring parasitic infections, and mild infections or illnesses that develop into more serious health issues. This occurs because the body’s immune system is not strong enough to defend itself.

As I will always stress, diet is the starting point. It is the foundation of good health and the first line of defense against disease. Fresh food is the first step. A varied diet of fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables may require a little more time to prepare, but is well worth the effort in the long run.

It is important that your dog have a healthy gastrointestinal tract in order to get the most benefit from the raw diet. If your dog’s intestinal tract is weakened by allergies or digestive disorders, the nutrients even in a raw diet well be harder to process and absorb. Digestive enzymes, probiotics and essential fatty acids all contribute to your dog having a healthy digestive tract and proper digestion.

Two other contributors to a strong immune system is exercise and weight control. Exercise helps to build and maintain a strong immune system. Weight control is important because overweight dogs are more susceptible to chronic and acute infections and diseases.

We will discuss Nutritional Supplements that boost the immune system next time.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Why I Became Interested In Alternative Treatments and The Raw Diet

I'm sure that for all of us, the well-being of our dogs is very important. I know that for me, they are my furry, four-legged children. I have three Papillons at the present and previous to that, I had two Papillons over a span of 26 years. My first one, Button, died at a young age of 9 years and I was determined to have the second one, Phoenix, for 20 years.

That is when I started looking at other alternative treatments and diet. Phoenix was treated homeopathically from the beginning, and I don't think she had antibiotics more than five times in her life. She was a beautiful tri-colored Papillon that I showed to her Championship. The Vet I was using at that time was just beginning to study homeopathy and traveling to England in order to do so. At that time, not many breeders were using a raw diet, but were preparing their own cooked diets for their dogs. I did the same and as a result, my precious Champion Phoenix was active and alert for 17 years.

When I received Digit four years ago, her breeder had been feeding the raw diet for over 15 years, and I have embraced the raw diet and plan to have my "girls," Digit, Pip and Squeeze, for many years. I am very close to my dogs, and because they are a toy breed, they are with me all the time. This gives me the opportunity to watch them closely, be able to have fun with them and at the same time observe their health.

I feel compelled as a dog "guardian" to introduce other dog lovers to information about the Raw Diet and Homeopathy and other Alternative Treatments. That is the main reason for this Blog and I welcome your questions and input on these subjects.

When we fall in love with our dogs, we know that there are only a limited number of years that we will have them. This Blog, and the book series that I am working on, is for all of us who want to increase the quality of those years, and along the way, have the happiest, healthiest dogs possible. We are their guardians and it is our duty and privilege to make their lives the best possible while we are blessed to have them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Bit of Fun For Dog Guardians

I think any dog guardian can identify with the following, but especially Papillon guardians. This has happened to all of us, and is "a day in the life of a dog lover."


‘Twas the afternoon after some play in the pen
I opened the door to let Papillons in

The first four came in with no problem at all
Then the fifth ran up with mud caked on each paw

I closed the door quickly to prepare for the bath
Then opened it slowly to block off her path

Then what to my horrified eyes did appear
But a ten inch long brier wrapped ‘round not one but both ears!

As I worked on the tangle, so tight and so thick
My stomach turned over and I just felt sick

What if I have to cut all of this hair
And my poor Papillon has ears that are bare?

I struggled and brushed and cut thorns and cut sticks
And yes, I had to cut hair! I was sick!

But finally I managed to brush out the mess
And washed and dried feet. I really felt blessed

‘Cause this beautiful creation of God, my ward,
Lives in my house and plays in my yard.

Sandra G. Bailey

Sunday, January 08, 2006


It was a statement by Don Hamilton, DVM, that moved me to action. The statement was: "I don't believe we really know what a healthy dog or cat looks like these days. We can only speculate." Are things really that bad for our pets? If a Vet makes a statement like that, then what do we as pet guardians know? Or better yet, what can we do?

The action that I have taken is that I am in the process of writing a book regarding "The Naturally Healthy Dog" and what that entails. I have started this blog as a way to contact dog guardians who are also interested in what they can do in order to keep their dogs healthy and contribute to their quality of life. I plan to discuss the raw diet and alternative care and welcome all questions and input that you may have.

There will be some information in my book that I feel is currently missing in the books that are out there. My plan is to have the book finished and available to you by the end of February 2006. So, if you are interested in contributing to it, or receiving a copy of it, contact me so that I can let you know when it is finished.

In the meantime, I will be discussing issues at this location and welcome your questions and comments. The final result of this will be the betterment of our dog companions' lives. And what could be better than that!