While the saying “man’s best friend” might be more of a cliché than the truth, there is no denying how attached we can get to
our furry friends. They are a source of companionship that we just can’t live without. Your dog doesn’t care whether you have met all
of your deadlines at the office today, or if you were able to swing that big deal with the potential client. At the end of every day, lovable
ol’ Rover is always there to be the first one to greet you home.
Along with making great pets, dogs also give a sense of security to a home. If you are home alone for an evening, or perhaps you’re away and
leaving a loved one alone, owning a dog is an excellent source of protection. And naturally a barking dog is a great deterrent for a vacant home.
Sadly, dogs have a much shorter lifespan than people do. From your infant days through to your elder years, you may own 5 or more dogs in your
lifetime. So it is only right that we do as much as possible to be sure they reach their maximum age, and in good health too!
It may surprise you to know that dogs are suffering many of the same health problems these days that people do. Obesity, cancer and other
illnesses can contribute to a shorter and poorer quality of life for your pet. Lack of exercise and a poor diet (sound familiar?) are certainly
two of the biggest contributors. And both of these problems are avoidable.
Dr. Susan Nelson, a veterinarian and assistant professor of clinical sciences, said dogs, like people, reap many benefits from exercise. She
claims there are physical and mental health advantages for the dog owner and the dog when they exercise together. “Obesity is a big problem in
pets, just as it is with people, and exercising helps keep the dog's weight down,” Nelson said. “Dogs also need an outlet to relieve their
energy or else they may develop destructive behavior. Your dog is going to be happier and more content if it receives adequate exercise.
Exercising with your pet also promotes the human-animal bond. People like dogs because of their unconditional love, and dogs are going
to be very pleased to have their owners do something with them.”
Of course not all breeds of dogs enjoy the same types of recreation. Playing fetch, swimming, going for a walk/jog, etc. are just some forms
of exercise that can benefit both you and your dog together.
There are just about as many varieties of foods and ingredients for your dog as there are for people. Knowing what to look for can help
eliminate making bad choices in the pet store.
Whenever possible, dog owners should select from more natural alternatives to commercial dog food. Stores are now offering organic and/or
all-natural pet foods. It is even possible to prepare your own pet foods from real, whole ingredients.
The dog food you buy should contain a whole food protein source as its main ingredient (ex: beef, turkey, lamb, chicken, etc.). Try to avoid
any product with non-specific descriptions, such as animal, meat or poultry.
Most commercial pet foods also contain meat meal, which is fine as a secondary ingredient. Meal consists of meat with moisture removed, with
or without bones and contains the correct calcium/phosphorus balance. Just like the primary whole food protein source, meat meal should be
from a named, specific meat.
Your dog food should be grain-free/gluten free. Dogs do not have a requirement for grains, and in many cases when they are included in the
diet, are found to aggravate food sensitivity.
Avoid the ingredient meat by-products. In general, these are the leftover parts of dead animals; the throw-away items. According
to Henry Pasternak in Healing Animals with Nature's Cures, “chicken by-products include head, feet, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain,
liver, stomach, bones, blood, intestines, and any other part of the carcass not fit for human consumption."
And just as with our foods, avoid artificial colours, sugars and sweeteners.
Another contributing factor to obesity in dogs is over-feeding. Keep in mind that fat doesn't just sit on your pet's body harmlessly.
It produces inflammation that can lead to cancerous tumours, along with a host of other health problems.
Eliminate all of the unnecessary vaccines your dog is subjected to. Many vaccines intended to protect pets against diseases actually create
conditions with features of the disease the vaccine was supposed to prevent. Vaccines contain a number of toxic substances, including viruses,
mutated bacteria, immune irritants, foreign proteins and chemical preservatives. All of these toxins are delivered by injection directly into
the blood and lymph, bypassing the usual first line of defenses, including the skin, mucous membranes, saliva, etc. So not only is the virus
in the vaccine unnatural, the way it enters a pet's body is also very unnatural.
We have been brainwashed into thinking that vaccines are safe, and can be given as frequently as once or twice a year. Tragically these
injections can cause tremendous amounts of unnecessary suffering for our beloved little friends.