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.

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.