Nutrition and Supplements
For our Summer 2011 Newsletter, we asked Mary Anne Schadler, DVM to comment on the importance of good nutrition and supplements. Space did not permit us to publish her entire answer, so we have included it here on our website instead:
“By far the most important factor in the health of your pet, from youth through old age, is the nutrition you provide for them. We are all aware of the huge health impact poor nutrition is having on humans in our culture and the same is true for animals. Nutrition can actually prevent, treat, and manage many diseases.
“Providing a homemade “stew” made with fresh, wholesome ingredients such as ‘Salvador’s Stew’ fed to senior dogs at Kindred Spirits (see recipe below) as one-third of your pet’s diet along with a HIGH QUALITY commercial diet will provide huge health benefits. I challenge everyone to try this for one to two months and observe the positive changes in your animals. Senior animals in particular benefit from improved nutrition because their ability to digest, absorb, and utilize nutrients decreases while their health challenges increase.
“As for supplements, you CANNOT make up for poor nutrition with supplements, and may actually create health problems. I recommend essential fatty acids (from fish oil, flax oil, borage oil, or evening primrose oil), probiotics or a probiotic/digestive enzyme combination, and Standard Process Whole Body Support for all animals. Other supplements should be based on health challenges in each individual animal and implemented only with consideration of the entire nutritional and medical treatment picture for that individual. Be observant of your animal, change one thing at a time and if it is not helping after a few weeks or if the situation changes—reevaluate!
“I recommend Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health Care for Dogs and Cats, Homeopathic Care for Cats & Dogs by Don Hamilton, DVM, and The Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier for a new, healthier perspective on feeding and caring for our pets.”
As Dr. Mary Anne details above, senior dogs have special nutritional needs. At KSAS, we feed seniors high quality commercial dog food such as California Natural and Wellness. Additionally, we add at least 1/3 to 1/2 ‘Salvador’s Stew’. Always ask your veterinarian for advice about the best food for your dog and gradually make any changes in diet. Here’s the recipe for the stew that we’ve named after our beloved Salvador, who not only loved it but thrived on it.
Recipe for Salvador’s Homemade Stew
Please use organic ingredients.
Start off with 6 – 8 cups of cold clean water (avoid chlorine or water softeners) in a crock pot.
Add about two handfuls of brown rice. Cut up the following and add:
1 pound of chicken breasts or ground chicken
1 large bunch leafy greens (spinach, kale, arugula, chard, parsley, dandelion)
4 – 6 eggs
4 good squirts of Braggs Amino Acids
2 – 3 handfuls of rolled oats
Cook on low approximately 8 – 10 hours or overnight; stir occasionally.
Keeping Pets Safe from Chemicals
Senior dogs have sensitive immune systems. Help keep your dog healthy by choosing earth-friendly, non-toxic cleaning, lawn and yard products. Be especially careful about products used to clean floors, carpet and upholstery, since your dog probably spends most of his or her time on the floor or furniture. Products used in your yard such as weed and bug killers, fertilizers and certain types of mulch may be poisonous to pets. Read labels carefully before you buy, and choose products without toxic or caustic ingredients. For cleaning, try non-toxic enzyme-based products or good old-fashioned white vinegar and baking soda. You can prevent many health problems by avoiding products that may harm your furry (and non-furry) family members, as well as our earth.
Helping Lost Pets Find Their Way Home
Most people have heard of holiday hazards to your pet like poisonous poinsettia and chocolate. But one danger you don’t hear as much about is the very real risk of your pet slipping out the door when holiday visitors arrive or packages are delivered. The best holiday gift you can give your animal companion is a collar and ID tag with your pet’s name, address and phone number.
Any time of year, it’s important that your pet wear a collar and ID tag with your
current address and phone number in case he or she becomes lost. In addition to an ID tag, micro-chipping is a permanent way to identify lost pets and help them find their way home, even if they lose their collar and ID tag. During this simple, inexpensive procedure, a tiny microchip with identifying information is implanted just under your pet’s skin. Most shelters and many veterinary clinics scan for microchips, so your pet can be returned to you if he or she is lost and taken to a shelter or vet clinic.