|Paula Smith and Kylee|
"You are what you eat."
A phrase often used by grandma, that rings true for all of us, especially our pets.
Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian and an animal advocate. I admire her very much.
In a interview I recently watched she explains why nutrition is so important for our pets, stating, "Dog and cats are naked, they don't wear shoes or socks. Their environmental burden is much heavier." Toxins are absorbed into their system through the feet and unclothed skin.
Dr. Karen states, "As long as a pet is cellularly well nourished detoxification mechanisms kick in and they are able to kick out some of those toxins out." When a pet is not given the proper nutrition that is when toxins build up and cause disease. Sadly what we may think is good food for our pets may not be. Most dry pet food is processed in a manner that depletes it of the nutrients our pets need and even sadder creates known carcinogens.
How can we keep our pets properly nourished? Educate yourself, on how to incorporate fresh foods and clean unprocessed whole foods in the proper balance. When my 7 year old dog Cheyenne was diagnosed with pancreatitis I started an independent study on nutrition, which thankfully allowed her to live to 15 years old.
My good friend Paula Smith is also studying nutrition, and I am thankful that she is sharing her experiences and knowledge with us.
Reluctant Journey into Canine Nutrition
by Paula Smith
|Paula with Kylee Pepper and Eli bottom right|
This spring my life with dogs changed again. It started when I noticed a lump on Kylee’s belly that looked and felt like just another fatty tumor. This summer when my vet aspirated that new lump and said she didn’t like what she saw in the cells. So while shedding a few tears, I scheduled Kylee to have that lump (and two others) removed.
A week later, my vet called to tell me that the new lump was a Mast Cell Tumor. A what? This was cancer. The good news is that they were able to get it all. Nothing else could be done except to be diligent and watch for new lumps.
I began to learn everything I could about Mast Cell Tumors.
We lead a crazy life style, so (like many) I was perfectly happy to be able to scoop little pellets out of a bag that can be on the shelf for over a year into my three beloved companions’ food dishes twice a day. (…and I ran through a fast food drive through for myself!) It was good quality and expensive kibble, so I thought it must be good for them. But once I started researching how to help a body fight off cancer I quickly learned that the kibble had to go. By its nature it is very processed, dry, and full of carbohydrates that the body turns into sugar. (Sugar is apparently cancer food and helps the tumors grow.)
Once I was over the shock of the cancer diagnosis and able to talk about it, I reached out to friends that studied the affects of food on their dogs’ bodies. The biggest thing I learned is that good, quality foods, helps dogs maintain optimum health. To prevent and fight cancer, we can boost the immune system through food and natural supplements.
With the help of many friends that I have made through dog sports and rescue work, they helped me channel my feeling of helplessness into a feeling that we can fight this cancer!
This journey has just started for me, but I hope it not only makes me a better dog guardian, but helps be take better care of my own body and those I love…human and canine. I am not a doctor, just a dog lover who wanted to share what I recently learned with as many people as I can. Each day we can only do what we can afford in time and money to do for ourselves and best friends. If you would like to learn more about canine nutrition, I suggest reading Canine Nutrigenomics by W. Jean Dodds, DVM and Diana R. Laverdure