I lost my best friend, Miles, a goldendoodle, to dis-ease October 25, 2016 at the young age of 7.

In such a short time, this dog taught me so much. It was in great part because of him, I deepened my truth about health. Real health. And why we get sick. And most importantly, how we best prevent and give the body space and the necessary nourishment, remedies and therapies to heal.

Someday soon, I will write Miles’ story out in its entirety. Because it’s a story that deserves to be told. But for today, I’ll leave you with the highlights…

Miles came to us at 16 weeks old demineralized, fully vaxxed and sick. With my blinders on, I trusted the vet knew best. Antibiotics led to allergies, allergies led to” special” food, “special” food further contributed to a weakened immunity, an acidic body, inflammation, constant ear infections, more antibiotics, more vaccines (keeping up with the aggressive schedule like a “good” mom) which brought on head tremors, liver congestion, an enlarged spleen and eventually tumors the size of golf balls as the body attempted purge toxins through the skin. His body became the perfect host for parasites. And in the end, they won by further robbing the body of minerals and eventually allowing the word cancer to be the center of our conversations.

It took me about 4 years of this ‘mainstream mentality’ with Miles (and thousands of dollars worth of vet bills) to start to wake up. And it was one of those harsh wake-up calls… At that time, I did what I knew. I researched and learned… And it all felt so overwhelming. I didn’t have all the tools I have now, but I began to wise up and avoid antibiotics and vaccines. We worked to heal his gut and replenish the friendly bacteria, incorporate real food and a few basic whole-food supplements like spirulina and turmeric… Looking back, it just wasn’t enough for so many reasons. Honestly, it wasn’t until the last few months of his life that I finally felt like I had a handle on the truth of what happened and what needed to be done. But, at that point, we had run out of time.

I was never meant to save Miles…  His gift to me, this world, was to teach me the many hard lessons that have since contributed to me facilitating deep healing with so many of my doggy clients. So many diets changed to put nourishment in the forefront, livers loved on, parasites kills, vaccine truths shared – all helping to bless these pets with long healthy lives.

And it’s because of him, that I feel so much empowerment with raising out newest addition, Monty, and knowing that things will be drastically different this time when it comes to this pup’s health.

Inspired by Miles – Here’s 8 Tips For Raising Your Dog Naturally

1. Food. What you choose to feed your pet is the FOUNDATION of their health. And, let’s face it, much of the pet food we find on shelves today is filled with chemicals. Processed pet kibble taxes the liver and increases general toxin levels. Processed wheat and corn are NOT healing foods. Not for humans. Not for dogs. They irritate the GI tract, cause a sudden increase in blood glucose (raising the glycemic index, affecting inflammation in the body), are carbohydrates that continue to obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and inflammation, and are GENETICALLY MODIFIED. And here’s more truth to consider, dry kibble can sit in a dog’s digestive tract like a cement block, sucking up all the body’s moisture just to move through. This can cause kidney disease and overall weakness because ultimately this process is creating dehydration and stripping the dog’s minerals. Think about it, without minerals the body can’t make or use incoming vitamins. It’s a big problem!

I recommend feeding your dog a raw food diet which includes meaty bones, muscle meat, organ meat and fruits and veggies. If feeding kibble, opt for a grain-free (read the label) and soak with a little bone broth.

2. Water. Just like humans, pets need clean filtered water. If using RSO, please remineralize the water just as you would for yourself! Add in cell salts, a pinch of real salt or liquid chlorophyll. Also, limit your pet’s exposure to plastic (think: xenoestrogens). Opt for glass (or quality stainless steal) instead. Take it a step further and infuse the water with HEALING POWER.

3. Treats. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on toxic treats, opt for true nourishment instead. I recommend organ meats (in moderation because too much will cause loose stool), bite size pieces of fruit, veggies, coconut oil, fermented foods, bone broth, freeze-dried meats and meaty raw bones!

4. Table Scraps. With Monty, I’m on table scrap patrol! I use to think it was so great that Miles would clean our plates and floor. BUT, this was only contributing to acidity and inflammation in his body. While we don’t eat much grains these days anyway, I still want to be sure that we don’t create a habit of letting him have a chip here or there. Here’s the deal: Carbs INCREASE inflammation. Our leftovers are a big part of the problem! Many ingredients in commercial pet food AND human food leftovers is sugars, grains, white potatoes, wheat, corn, syrup, breads… These bad boys create mega inflammation in our pets (and of course in people, too). Inflammation is implicated in many disease states including autoimmune conditions, degenerative disease, allergies,  vaccine reactions, seizures, arthritis, cancers, obesity, malabsorption, weight issues, behavior mental condition, depression, poor immune response, and the list goes on. Just be smart with feeding scraps. If it’s a healing food, give it. If it’s a hurter, save it for the trash.

5. Collar. The truth about collars was something I learned in the weeks AFTER Miles’ passing and I was blown away… Here’s the deal: When dogs pull on their leash when wearing a traditional collar, it can cause a lot of damage. The neck and cervical spine are one of the most important “energy channels” in the dog’s body.  If the flow of energy in the neck is interrupted or restricted, a whole array of problems may arise including lameness, skin issues, allergies, lung and heart problems, digestive issues, ear and eye conditions, thyroid gland dysfunctions, and more. ALSO, those pets who have a severe energy flow congestion in the neck area may be prone to higher cancer rates. {Source: Peter Dobias} Essentially, any damage here, will have a ripple effect. Instead of a collar, opt for a harness. It’s a simple swap that will make a tremendous different. (Do you know how many times Miles PULLLLLEDDD hard on his leash when out for adventures? Oh, only every time a squirrel crossed our path! I never gave it a thought that it could actually be damaging his tyroid (the body’s battery) and negatively impacting his nervous system).

>>>On a related but separate note, I’m also a HUGE advocate for chiropractic care for your furry four legged friends… Visiting the chiro was the first stop we made after picking Monty up.

6. Supplements.  It today’s toxic world and soil depletion, dogs need supplements to help fill in the nutritional gaps, too. And while every dog is a little different, here’s some of the foundational supplements to consider: trace minerals, liquid chlorophyll, omegas, selenium, vitamin d, iodine, spirulina and pet probiotics.

7. Routine Cleansing. It just needs to be done – the natural way of course. Liver love in the spring. Parasite cleansing in the fall. Every. Single. Year.

8. Protect the Gut. Healthy gut means a healthy immune system! Let’s just say, I do not see routine vet visits in our future. Prescription antibiotics will only be used in a life or death situation. Exposure to toxins will be limited to only those things we can’t control (which is still a lot – hence the need for real food, clean water, supplements and routine cleansing. 🙂 )

This may feel SUPER overwhelming to you, but trust as with all things, baby steps are the best place to start. Add a little bone broth to your dog’s food, start incorporating raw scraps and meaty raw bones when you can. STOP feeding your dog carbs of all kinds (yes, even when they give you those puppy eyes)… Use real food treats instead. If your dog has serious health issues, don’t fall victim to suppressing the issues deeper in the tissues. Instead, work with a Naturopath, or someone in a similar field, to get to the root issue.

Just like with humans, the root cause of all dis-ease is toxicity and nutritional deficiency. And the more we build up the body with minerals, the more the body will naturally push out the toxins.

to fiercely protecting your pup’s health,

Tonya

Source: If you’re a dog lover like me, I highly recommend subscribing to Dogs Naturally Magazine. It is in great part thanks to their work that I was able to connect so many dots with understanding how to nurture a pup in a way that’s completely aligned with my naturopathic background and beliefs.