Chinese Medicine has known for centuries that we can eat our way out of disease…
And in the Raw Food and Nutrition for Dogs seminar last weekend, held by veterinary doctor Nick Thompson and canine nutritionist Conor Brady, the message was clear. Feed your dog with the food that matches the ailment. Prevention being the ultimate cure…
What is fascinating, being a Canine Self-Selection of Natural Remedies advocate myself, is that the science is looking back to nature for answers. Nature being the exact place our dogs’ ancestors would have sought out and selected the remedy to their troubles. And nature gives us very obvious clues to what we could be eating to help prevent and heal disease. Creating food and plants in the visual shape of what we are focused on. For example, feeding the brain with brain shaped foods, actual brain, being the most obvious food to feed. But also brain shaped foods like walnuts (two hemispheres and a wrinkly brain-like look). Feeding heart disease with heart, stomach upsets with tripe, and skeletal and joint problems with, you guessed it, bones and joints. It sounds absurdly simple perhaps? Like playing that game of matching the pairs in cards. I loved that game as a child.
Take-aways from the Raw Feeding and Nutrition Seminar:
Bone broth was a big take-away from the conference.
The recommendation was to feed your dog bone broth with every meal. Apart from their one fast day a week. Although, the way my dog looks at me with those big eyes, I am questioning my willpower to fast us both. It will have to be both of us of course! Can you imagine eating in front of your fasting dog…
Here are two resources for bone broth recipe:
So, what’s the deal about bone broth? We’ve probably all heard about bone broth for ill or elderly dogs. But the latest is to feed your “healthy” dog bone broth with every meal. And this is because it’s hard for our dogs to get all the nutrients they need from our modern way of eating, where we separate muscle meats and organs from the carcass, from the skin and the eyeballs and the feathers. They are simply not getting the self-selection or variety that they would in the wild.
Also, as Dr Nick Thompson made clear at the seminar, our dogs are skeletal beings with big impact lives on bones and joints and so feeding skeletal carcass at every meal is a good idea. We can also pop a fish head in there to cover feeding brain for brains.
Feeding your dog organ for organ:
This was another big take-away from the day. As a parent of a pure breed Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Epigenetics and heart disease were the topics of great interest to me. The switching on and off of genes in dogs with a predisposition to certain disease and illness. “Feed heart every day to a dog with a genetic predisposition to heart disease” from Dr Nick Thompson and vary the species of the heart. Also, from Dr Conor Brady “there is no dosage limit, feed them as much as they want to eat of heart”. Cratageus (hawthorne) and Cactus were the tinctures most recommended and Co-enzyme Q10.
Feeding your dog’s gut:
Have you heard that our gut influences pretty much everything in our bodies? Sending chemical messages that influence hormones, what we want to eat, our emotions and how we feel. So the way to a happy dog is to actually feed the gut and the microbiome of the gut. And this is where the word GLUTAMINE becomes important. A word that was used several times in the seminar on Sunday. Glutamine feeds good bacteria and it is something that leaks out into broth from bones in abundance. Gut health is also emotional health and well-being. And as a Holistic Dog Behaviourist this really speaks to me and I’ll be speaking about it to my clients.
For more on the benefits of bone broth have a read of this article
Some of the benefits of bone broth for your dog:
-recovering from illness
-supports the liver and other organs
-boosts the immune system
Support your dog’s Elimination Organs…
We’ve talked about whats going into our dog’s bodies. But not how it is coming out… It is just as important to support your dog’s elimination system so that their body can optimise the good nutrients and rid itself of what it doesn’t need. If you are using chemical flea treatments, wormers and over-vaccinating your dog, then the liver, skin and kidneys are going to need to some extra help coping. If your dog has chronic diarrhoea, itchy skin, vomiting, urinary crystals then bone broth is going to help them here too.
And… you can throw in some herbs at the end of cooking your broth to further support your dog’s elimination organs, a few recommendations from Dr Nick Thompson:
Personally, I would allow my dog to self-select medicinal herbs. Otherwise we are taking away their ability to self-medicate and self-dose. If you would like to book an appointment with me to find out more about Self-Selection of Plant Remedies pop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, lets talk weight… The majority of our dogs are overweight. Take a look at this Body Condition chart to help you assess your dog’s current situation.
Bone broth helps dogs with weight issues but you’ve also got to consider the food they are eating. Moving your dog off a high carbohydrate diet (dogs need ZERO carbs in their diet) onto fresh raw or lightly cooked food is going to have the biggest impact on their weight and longevity. Most processed dry food contains 30-50% carbs and only 18% protein. In the wild, your dogs’ ancestors were eating zero percent carbs and about 14% natural sugars and starch from eating pre-digested vegetable contents of their prey and foraging for wild berries.
I hope this article on bone broth helps you and your dog (bone broth is great for humans and cats too!)
Any questions or suggestions, please do get in touch on my facebook page or email me.
I’m going to leave you with two quotes from the seminar:
About your author…
Nicky Crowe, is a Dog Behaviourist and Animal Holistic Therapist.
Oxford educated, with 9 years experience helping both animals and their humans, Nicky embraces science-based holistic methods looking at the body-mind link to your dogs' behaviour. Treating the body first and the training last. A consultation will first search into the underlying reason for your animal’s behaviour rather than label your dog with the expression and not the cause of the emotional imbalance. She treats humans as much as their animals, offering personal retreats at her home on the south coast of England and online video consultations worldwide ❤️🐶