Optimum Pet Health

It is Memorial Day weekend and my family, Mr. Yule and I are taking a vacation on our pontoon boat sailing up the Manatee River and camping. It is going to be a beautiful weekend and my Mom thought this would be fun. As a result, poor old Gram is going to have to do this article all by herself. Please be kind and give her good marks for her efforts.

As pet owners we are always striving for ways to keep our pets healthy.

We are concerned about the effects of the environment on ourselves, but we seldom think of the effects this same environment has on our pets.

Believe it or not the same chemical pollution that is in the air and water, the toxic wastes, smoking, dangers of certain foods and just the stress of living has an effect on our pets.

Dogs in general are more affected, as they seem to relate more to their humans than cats.

Cats as a general rule have the ability to remove themselves from most stress simply by finding a nice quiet place to take a nap.

Our pets seem to be coming down with many of the same illnesses that we have, heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, kidney problems, liver problems and many more.

Why? You wonder!

Could it be we are subjecting them to an “unnatural way” to live?

We feed them food filled with artificial ingredients, we have taken away their ability to play and hunt in natural surroundings and we have bred them in ways that some have become unhealthy genetic misfits.

We expect them in many ways to behave as little people.

They are subjected to the same medical treatment we are. If our pets are sick instead of a veterinarian taking the time to find the cause and prescribe a cure, they offer a pill instead. The pill causes the problem to subside for a while; and when the pill taking stops, the problem generally rears its ugly head once again and sometimes creates more problems.

Pills and antibiotics have saved many lives both in our pet world and naturally in our human world. The problem is antibiotics not only kill the “bad guys” they kill the friendly bacteria that are the “good guys.”

We keep hearing about preventative medicine and yes, we are all in agreement with it, but are we willing to put forth the effort to provide it for our pets?

Hippocrates, 2,500 years ago was said to have told his students, “Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.”

It seems that nutrition is of the primary importance here.

As humans we have a faint idea of what proper nutrition is for us, but do we ever really give any thought to proper nutrition for our pets?

What is proper nutrition?

It is said to be a combination of things that provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, fatty acids, amino acids, friendly bacteria, and digestive juices to our bodies.

Do you find this in our commercially prepared pet food?

Truthfully no!

The pet food companies promise us incredible health benefits if we feed our pets their food.

No matter how much they say their food is “100% complete and balanced” it is not. Do you know what the most profitable aisle in the grocery store is? The pet food aisle!

The pet food industry is an over 5 billion dollar market. Yes, that is a “B” for billion.

Do you also realize that over 40% of the ailments treated by veterinarians is in some way related to food?

What can you do as a pet owner?

First of all read labels on pet food products, become aware of what is not good.

Go to the Internet and read about pet nutrition.

Talk to a holistic pet caregiver and learn what is good in the way of supplements for your pet.

Talk to your veterinarian.

Learn what herbs are good for your pet.

When our pets lived in the wild, they knew instinctively what they should eat if they were not feeling well.

Feeding the right herbs and plants to your pet is far cheaper than a drug.

For example Echinacea and garlic (kyolic) are great for fighting infection.

Blue/green algae is nutritionally great as it contains a great number of vitamins, minerals and 19 amino acids. Spirulina (a form of algae) better than animal protein as it has 85% more digestibility than beef protein. Algae helps protect the immune system against free radicals, promotes tissue repair, reducing inflammation in such diseases as arthritis, stimulates the metabolism, and aids in cell repair,

Using herbs to treat illnesses is what nature intended.

Take the time to learn more, talk to a pet health care professional they will be happy to give you advice and direction.

Do not attempt to self diagnose your pet or yourself for that matter, talk to people who know herbs and plants.

If your pet is on medication be careful as some herbs do not mix well.

Remove some of the stress from your pet’ life.

What causes stress? Poor diet, fleas, worms, over confinement and not enough attention from you, the pet parent.

Exercise is also an important part of your dog’s life. Animals need to move, run and play. Inactivity leads to poor muscle tone, obesity, heat ailment, emotional and behavioral problems and some bone disorders.

Preventive medicine need not be medicine at all, just knowing how to properly care for your pet and giving it the love and attention it deserves can be medicine enough.