If you view my website you'll note that I have several articles about allergies in pets. When I see a good article I want to be sure to share the ideas to help other owners; but mostly because the ideas worked for me.
I had always tried to purchase the best kibble for my dogs. Like most people I was raised thinking that “dog food” was kibble and I believed in it. When my own dogs developed food and environmental allergies at age 4 and 8, my vet suggested antibiotics. Then told me it would take months of testing to eliminate "possible" food causes without a guarantee that a cure could be found. The environmental allergies were there to stay unless I could keep my dog indoors and off the trails that we ran almost daily. Are you kidding me?!? My Miniature Pinscher was put on antibiotics on and off again for months. When the antibiotics were gone we used Benadryl to stop the itch. It made her lethargic and I felt horrible for giving it to her but without something she was a mess. Skin rashes, bumps that itched, goopy eyes and itchy paws. My Manchester’s sleek body was riddled with flaky bumps that when scratched would take the hair right off his back. Ear infections that came and went. Something was just not right. And why had this problem just surfaced? It seemed like from one year to the next these problems just appeared and then got worse. “Why not eliminate the root cause of the itch? I thought.... so I eliminated kibble altogether and began feeding home cooked meals. I slowly eliminated foods like chicken and rice and all sorts of potatoes. I began incorporating low carb veggies like green beans, squash, pumpkin, broccoli and cauliflower. I continued researching and learned about the GI tract and gut floura. I even learned to make milk Kefir to help get a better hold of my pups overall internal health.
I managed to resolve the itchy bumps with the food changes. But when I noticed my dogs had a distinct yeast smell I researched again and found remedies that worked - simple and inexpensive over the counter products like white vinegar and an enzymatic / anti-fungal rinse. After about three weeks of this I finally got rid of the smell and the itch! My Manchester's ear infections? Gone.....with witch hazel! Holistic and homeopathic remedies quickly became my source for information. I was becoming more and more convinced that holistic animal care was the answer I had been searching for. We added Dr. Harvey's multi-vitamin powder, coconut oil, organic tumeric and bone meal to their diets. Ultimately, we resolved both the food and environmental allergies that had plagued my pups for so long. My dogs were thriving and their coats were gleeming!
I decided I wanted to be a part of all of this new generation of integrated animal nutrition only after speaking to my nephew Daniel about becoming a canine massage therapist. I thought massage therapy would be a great addition to my credentials. While Daniel visited me at home I spoke to him excitedly as I prepared the dogs evening meal. Cooked ground turkey meat, steamed organic green beans and Quinoa, fresh ground eggshells and coconut oil. He watched in disbelief at what I was giving them and told me "they're eating better than me!" His statement caught me off-guard. Then he said "You should go into nutrition for dogs....package up what you're feeding into single servings and sell it to the neighborhood! You've always been into nutrition!" He was right.
This comment eventually pushed me toward researching how to become certified in the field of canine nutrition. Not veterinary nutrition - I had long given up on the idea of kibble being a food source for my pups. As I researched I was able to find an online course that offered canine acupressure, massage and naturopathy. This was it. I researched as much as possible to be sure this was what I was truly looking for. I read about Naturopathy, holistic nutrition, carnivore nutrition etc. it all seemed so familiar to me since I had made it my goal as a young adult to be lean and athletic; to obtain optimum nutrition. I followed the Zone diet and had at one point, reached a fat percentage of 12% weighing in at 114 pounds. I understood the concept of eicosanoids and hormones, controlling how my body functioned and how it processed food. It seemed that canine naturopathy and holistic medicine would be about learning the same concept just on a totally different level. But this was it.
So where did it all begin? The more I read the more I realized – food. Food had long been the lesson I learned when I started the Zone diet. To gain optimal carnivore nutrition also started with food. Raw foods. That’s when everything kind of slowed down. I had heard about feeding raw foods and never looked twice. “I could never do it…” I thought. The dangers were far too many in my mind. How could I support this concept? I researched, I spoke to fellow LinkedIn group members and mentors. I dug in deep to find answers. Had I not had a clear understanding of how the human body functions I may have given up with all the technical terms and data. The number of people against raw foods far outweighed the individuals who promoted it. But the results of those that followed it were undeniable and I wanted in. The selling point for me? Although I have a great respect for doctors in the veterinary field I have long known that the education they receive promotes kibble as a staple in a dog’s life. Ask your vet what they think of a raw diet – the answer may surprise you. But when I learned that veterinary doctors are aware of how to “identify “cell markers” allowing them to provide nutritional intervention and return a pet to cellular health, avoiding genetically predisposed disease…..” I thought “why wouldn’t they?” This is powerful information!! Sure veterinary doctors can eliminate the symptoms but why not eliminate the cause of the symptom? This was my research in full circle. I’m in.