Whose Fault Is It When Our Pets Health Fails?
Is Your Pet at the 6 Year Crisis Point?
Are you a healthy senior citizen like me? Are you tired of picking up the phone or getting an email with news of yet another old friend dying or being gravely ill? If so, you’ve probably noticed that there appears to be a relationship between age and certain illnesses. If you’re still young and healthy, then read up! You still have time to change your mind and make the right choices – for both you and your pet!
So many of my good friends that are now retired are being treated for conditions such as prostate surgery, diabetes, heart illness and other degenerative diseases. Sound familiar? Do you believe that just because we’re getting a bit older (that sounds better than “aging”) that our bodies should be riddled with disease? Of course not! You see, the conditions I see in my friends and their pets are a result of a lifetime of misuse and abuse of the body coupled with nutritional deficiencies. Let me say it more plainly: Thousands of people today have spent a lifetime making the wrong choices for what they eat and how they live and the long term results are devastating.
Here’s what I want to make clear – as humans we are given the power to reason and think and choose how to live our lives but our pets are not so lucky! They rely on us as their guardians and as such it is our responsibility to ensure they eat properly and by doing so live a vibrant, long and healthy life. They are just like our own children!
Is your pet at the 6 year crisis point? As I have reported earlier, we begin to see the health of many dogs seriously deteriorate at the 6 year point. What’s amazing to me is that this is exactly what I am seeing at age 65 in the human population. As a human being, if you are overweight and unhealthy as you read this you have no excuse (well maybe you do) for your current condition because you have chosen what to eat and how you live, but why should your pet suffer as well? Don’t get me wrong here – kudos to you out there that are exercising, eating properly and in great shape. Here’s my point – it is a whole lot easier for a dog that has been given the right choices for food, exercise and lifestyle to lead a healthy “retirement life after 6 years” than it is for humans. Dogs aren’t distracted like we are by the television ads, the internet ads and the constant barrage of marketing gimmicks urging us to buy buy buy!
All you have to do today is take responsibility as the guardian of your pet and decide to make the right choices for them – feed them properly and in doing so you will improve the quality and longevity of their lives.
For 32 years, I have advocated the advantages of feeding a natural, wholesome, raw meat diet to our companion animals. Give them the most appropriate diet for their physiological makeup and watch what happens when you do this. We call it the “miracle of living enzymes!” You can extend the 6 year crisis point and give our pets added years of good health. If your pet is a puppy or just a few years old then you have no excuse! Educate yourself, read and learn everything you can about raw food. Remember – you are the one that controls your pet’s health and life. So, whose fault is it when our pets’ health fails? I’m sure you know what to do.
Arthritis Can Be a Real Pain
Many times dogs are affected by canine arthritis (osteoarthritis) which is caused by the degradation of the cartilage within a joint. The cartilage functions as a buffer between the bones – once the cartilage breaks down, it reduces the function of the joint and creates pain and/or stiffness. While minimal breakdown of the cartilage can produce an uncomfortable condition, severe arthritis – which can progress to bone on bone contact – can become a debilitating and extremely painful disease.
All dogs will inevitably exhibit some signs of arthritis in their senior years, normally between the ages of 10 to 15 years old, but canine arthritis is not only limited to older dogs. Inactive and overweight dogs are the most likely candidates for canine arthritis though it can appear in younger dogs as well – sometimes due to an accident or injury. Hip dysplasia for instance, is a condition characterized as the malformation of the hip socket and is one disease that may leave a young dog crippled by arthritis.
There are several different types of arthritis – the most common variation being osteoarthritis. There are several symptoms that can be used to diagnose this condition. Some of the most common ones are:
Stiffness of the joints after exercise
- Difficulty sitting, standing, or jumping
- Hesitancy to jump
- Reduced activity level
- Trouble getting up in the morning
- Lagging behind on walks
- Yelping in pain when touched
- Personality change resisting touch
- Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain
- Unusual urinating in the house
- Depression or withdrawn behavior
Minor relief from arthritis conditions can be gained by adding a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement to your pet’s daily food regimen, but be aware that it takes time to gain the benefits from these supplements. Using omega essential fatty acids – like those found in Alaska Natural oil – have also been successful to control inflammation. This is a much safer approach than the use of harmful steroids which only provide temporary relief.
Diet plays an important role in arthritis treatment especially in controlling the dog’s weight. Excess weight causes more stress on the joints and exacerbates existing arthritis pain. For puppies, it is important to prevent too rapid weight gain which can be caused by kibble diets that contain high levels of carbohydrates.
Arthritis and stiff joints can also be a telltale sign of a nutrient deficiency. A subclinical deficiency means that the body’s nutrient stores of vitamins, minerals and trace elements have been drained, resulting in a loss of optimal health and impairment of body processes leading to a variety of degenerative diseases. (1)
The destruction of many of the vital and essential nutrients in processed canned or kibble diets have led to a subclinical deficiency in many of our higher performance dogs. Obviously, the more stress that is put on the joints, the higher demand for greater nutrient levels to maintain the animal’s mobility. The fact that most of today’s commercial pet food choices are deficient in these essential nutrients compounds the problem. Thus our veterinary offices are now filled with cases of arthritis, obesity and allergy issues.
Canned and kibble diets – which are heat-processed – do not provide a 100% balanced diet for our dogs and cats. Once the vital nutrients are altered or destroyed by extreme heat, you cannot substitute synthetic vitamins and minerals back in and have them be anywhere as effective and utilized in the body compared to the way nature has provided them. So it is best to feed your pet fresh, raw foods like the BARF Diet, and eliminate as many processed pet foods as possible. This will provide the best possible defense against a subclinical nutrient deficiency.
(1) Bergner, P., The Healing Power of Minerals, Special Nutrients and Trace Elements (Prima, 1997)