Originally published in the NITE LIGHT Natural Health Quarterly, 16th Edition, Summer 2018.

Is your dog trying to tell you something is off? Are you listening?

Just 50 years ago, one in 100 dogs got cancer. Since then, the number has increased to one in 1.65 dogs. Cancer is currently the leading cause of death in dogs (excluding euthanasia by humans for various reasons). Skin disease is the leading reason for elected euthanasia and it’s why people often surrender dogs to shelters. These dogs are literally living with debilitating chronic dis-ease their entire lives and, much worse, living in the torment of their own skin.

As with humans, chronic dis-ease for dogs is really a state of imbalance. And it begins with symptoms… UTIs, diarrhea, itchiness, ear infections, yeast overgrowth and anal gland issues are all an effort to say, “Hey, I’m out of balance!” When we simply “treat” or suppress the symptoms using drugs, the issues don’t go away. In fact, this only pushes them deeper down in the tissues and creates a much bigger problem for the dog in the future.

Except in the case of a true emergency, when your dog communicates with you by showing a symptom, always seek ways to help your dog heal using natural modalities. The pet health crisis is real. Our pets can’t protect themselves — so it’s up to us to help them achieve balance in a toxic world. And it’s time for us to include our four-legged loved ones on our quest to living a more nourished life.

Let’s look at four ways to get your dog started on the journey to real preventative care and root cause healing.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

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 contribute 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 their body’s moisture just to move through. This can cause kidney disease and overall weakness. Ultimately, this process is creating dehydration and stripping the dog’s minerals. Without minerals, the body can’t make or use incoming vitamins. It’s a big problem!

Watch out for the table scraps like sugars, grains, white potatoes, wheat, corn, syrup and bread, as these are most likely only contributing to acidity and inflammation in your dog’s body. Carbs increase inflammation! Chronic, hidden inflammation is a silent killer. It’s the root of nearly all disease. If it’s a healing food, give it. If it’s a hurtful food, put it in the compost or the trash! I recommend feeding your dog a balanced, raw food diet that includes meaty bones, muscle meat, organ meat, and fruits and veggies. If feeding kibble, opt for a grain-free version and soak with a little bone broth or raw milk. (Note: is a phenomenal resource for recommendations on raw feeding.)

Your Dog’s Source of Water Matters

Just like humans, pets need clean, filtered water. Consider supercharging their water by adding in cell salts. Healthy cells are essential for a healthy body, and cell salts can be used to restore balance in the body’s cells. This is one of the most simple, affordable and effective remedies to begin adding into your dog’s diet immediately. BioPlasma is a combination of all 12 cell salts and is a great place to start. Simply add the pellets to your pup’s water, and you’ll likely notice some positive changes in overall vitality.

Fill in the Nutritional Gaps

In today’s toxic world with soil depletion, dogs need whole food supplements to help fill in the nutritional gaps, too. Here are a few of my favorites:

Herbal Trace Minerals is a combination of kelp, alfalfa and dandelion. Rich in minerals, this blend was originally designed as a supplement for pets. It prevents fleas and improves skin and coat health. Just dip the tablet in coconut oil and give to your dog.

Liquid Chlorophyll is nature’s blood cleanser for animals. It helps red blood cells take up oxygen and supports the immune system. It aids in digestion and deodorizes the body. Chlorophyll, with its pH of about 11, will help to create an alkaline body as well as dump toxins out of the cells. Simply add a splash to fresh water.

Turmeric is an amazing herb. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing and anticancer activities. Turmeric by itself can be hard for your dog to absorb, so be sure to combine it with a healthy oil like coconut. While turmeric works and is safe, it’s a “warming” spice, so if your dog is always hot and seeking out cool floors, turmeric may not be for them.

Pau d’arco kills yeast (especially candida overgrowth) and viruses, expels parasites, relieves inflammation (and therefore pain), enhances immune system function and fights free radicals. It really shines to heal serious internal or external fungal infections.

Hemp-Derived CBD Oil gives the healing of cannabis without the high, as it only has trace amounts of THC. It’s incredibly calming to the body and supports both chronic and acute dis-ease. Studies show that CBD oil reduces anxiety, fights cancer, treats seizures and epilepsy, relieves pain, reduces chronic inflammation and autoimmune dis-ease, promotes cardiovascular health, aids digestion and so much more. Holistic vets are also finding CBD oil to be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains, strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness. CBD is a proactive preventative (or even lifesaving) herb for many of the issues pets develop. Be sure to choose a quality CBD oil that has lab test results from accredited third-party testing facilities.

Living Pet Probiotic™ contributes to the health and balance of the intestinal tract by supplying the necessary “friendly” bacteria for proper digestion and bowel health. The digestive system is the first line of defense for the immune system. Just add to water and you will see, within days, your animal will be livelier and their energy levels will increase significantly.

Embrace Routine Cleansing

It just needs to be done — the natural way, of course. Pets, like humans, can’t escape toxins. Because the liver works so hard at filtering and eliminating all of these toxic substances, it’s highly susceptible to serious damage. Milk thistle is a beautiful restorative herb that not only prevents damage to the liver but also helps to repair it. Consider adding milk thistle into your dog’s protocol routinely with the seasons, such as every spring and fall.

Trust that as with all things, baby steps are the best place to start. Add a little bone broth to your dog’s food, and 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) and 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 someone who practices traditional naturopathy to get to the root issue. Just like with humans, the root cause of all pet 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.

Click here to book an appointment with me for your pet! We can work together virtually or in person. If you have questions about my offerings, please book a 15-minute phone consult with me. My office is located at Luminosity in Cascade, Michigan.

To fiercely nourishing your four-legged love,