Individualized Nutrition For Your Dogs

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Help Your Dog's Skin and Coat


Liver-Friendly Diet

The following diet is based on the original one by Dr. Jean Dodd's and I'm pleased that Dr. Dodds has approved it for long term use. Please note that the amounts of food have changed from the original diet and supplementation differs greatly. This diet meets the newest NRC recommended allowances for vitamins and minerals.

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Newsletter-May 2016

Home-Feeding Primer

This NEW e-BOOKLET is the one everyone's wanted for a long time now. I've provided the NRC numbers, a step-by-step guide to formulating a diet, how to start, and what to know before and after getting started feeding a home-made diet. This is the skinny on formulating a diet for a healthy dog, and of course there's more to nutrition (see the K9Kitchen book for a much deeper discussion), but this certainly has it's place and will help a lot of people. Whether you're considering a home prepared raw, or cooked diet for your dog, or you've just started feeding one, this booklet will walk you through the steps of achieving a balanced feeding plan.

Foods For Spring: Dandelion

Herbalists and foodies, put your egos aside because the reality of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is that it's appreciated differently based on cultural differences. For instance, many people of European origin add dandelion greens to salad for no other reason than taste preference. One of the norms right here in Toronto is "California Mix" greens that include young dandelion leaves, and this again is simply a taste preference. Other cultures use dandelion "tea" as a way of calming a bloated feeling in people, and of course it has many uses as an herb as well.

One of the strategies that I employ for healthy dogs is a food rotation when spring arrives and right through autumn (depending on where you live) based on what's freshest and grown locally. Some of the foods can be called bitters because that's how they taste, and they're relevant to both Traditional Chinese Medicine, basic herbalism, and more modern thinking...but also my Romanian roots. I'll explain.

I was born in Romania and grew up here, but my grandparents and my own parents continued the food and herbal practices they grew up with. It was a proven approach to health because they were in Romania at a time when medicines weren't as readily available, so certain foods and herbs were used instead. My grandmother suffered from liver disease, so many of what some would call detox foods and herbs were a natural extension of that. Dandelion was high on the list and is something I like to add with consideration to

a) prerequisite: The dandelions have never been sprayed with an herbicide.

b) The basic health of the dog i.e. medications that may interact

Dandelion can be used as a food by cooking the leaves and pulverizing them within a veggie mixture. They can be fed raw (my own dog's favorite!) by being pulverized, or chopped very finely before being added to food. And then there are dogs like our Hudson who prefer to chew it like gum and swallow greedily afterward. Dandelion is recognized as being very safe, so feeding this way is fine, but doesn't let you put a laser focus on the amount given. Depending on the reason for feeding it, that may, or may not be very important. For instance, I'm not heavily focused on the amount for Hudson because I'm not using it to address one thing in particular, but his personal constellation of issues make dandelion a great addition, and as for any dog, I'm even more anxious to feed it when it's something he seeks out.There are many ways to feed it, but really, most people aren't going to spend more time fiddling with herbs when they're already fiddling with diet. I keep it as simple as possible, and use this as a food with the bonus of having certain properties. So, you can prepare as it as above, or simply dry the leaves and crumble them into food. Roughly 1 tsp. of dried leaves per 25 pounds of body weight can be helpful as a general guide, but always start with less to test tolerance.

The leaves act as a liver stimulant and rather powerful diuretic (I use it in some cases of arthritis as well), and the root (my grandmother used to say " always consider the root when you want to get to the root of the problem" - smart lady) stimulates bile production, so is often used to stimulate the gallbladder and liver.

The flower and/or leaves/roots can be made into a tea by boiling hot water on them. Most common is a tea from the flowers. You let them soak in that freshly boiled water until the tea looks golden. The deeper the color, the more potent the brew. I prefer to use the leaves for tea because there can be contraindications to the flower portion, but most dogs refuse the tea itself. You can sometimes get away with adding it to a meat broth to tempt the dog. I, personally, prefer feeding the leaves and roots.


"A dog is like a person—he needs a job and a family to be what he's meant to be.” Andrew Vachss

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Raw and Cooked Diets for Toy Dogs (Booklet Preview)

Toy dogs sleep on couches, on our beds, and if yours is like one of mine — on our heads. Other than their cute factor, toy dogs can be different in other ways. They have unique dietary needs due to a high metabolism, and some can be picky eaters. They bring challenges to the table that most owners of larger dogs don’t encounter. The raw and cooked diets in this booklet are suited to healthy adult dogs. Most of the recipes provide a great deal of variety because many toy dogs are picky eaters. By including different foods, we are better able to rotate between them, thus maintaining the dog’s interest.

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Raw Food Recipes (Booklet Preview)

You’ve started feeding a raw diet and want to provide all the nutrients your healthy dog needs. Should you provide as much variety of foods as possible or would your dog be better off with limited ingredients? How should you supplement the diet? Most of my clients had these questions and more. Here are the answers. How Do I Know What My Dog Needs? There are two basic ways to go about this. The first is to feed a variety of foods and hope for the best. This approach can work for some dogs but I have a problem with it. Dogs are very adaptable animals and chances are good that your dog will do well eating a great variety of foods over time – but what happens if s/he suddenly starts to look less than wonderful or becomes ill? How would you know if the problem is diet related? Everything works until it doesn’t. I prefer a different approach.

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Dietary Fuelling of Performance Dogs (Booklet Preview)

Canine athletes need to be in top-notch shape in order to compete well during events. This means that they also need to be in fine form before performances because these animals are exercised quite heavily during practices prior to the events themselves. Energy expenditure is higher than the average dog, and maintaining that kind of energy can come with a price. Feeding the canine athlete should be done with an understanding of how certain nutrients can benefit both performance and the health of the dog. Although show dogs may or may not also be athletes, they, too, must be in solid physical shape before being able to impress judges. Structure, energy level, and alertness are considerations. Some show dogs are under more stress than others. While one dog might take travel and other dogs in stride, another may become more anxious and stressed. Their energy expenditure may not be on the same level as that of a canine athlete, but these dogs are working in their

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Power of Food Seminar (transcript sample of audio download)

Typically, people feed their dogs whichever diet (home-prepared raw, cooked diets, or commercial foods) that they think is best. It’s only after a dog is diagnosed with a specific disease or displays a problem of some sort that owners change the dog’s diet. At that point they’re addressing an issue whereas I’m hoping to persuade dog owners to focus on prevention. And to do this, I want to demonstrate the power of foods and nutrients by presenting some facts today. 

As some of you know, my belief in proactive nutrition has turned into a passion, if not an obsession. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that I’ve seen some pretty amazing things with diets for specific cancers. For example, a 13 year old Boxer who lives with a client of mine is cancer-free despite having lost her sire, dam and siblings to cancer years ago. Now, it’s possible that this dog was fortunate enough to draw good genetic cards when she was conceived, but if that’s the case, she was the only one to do so. Her family has cancer victims in it at every turn. So, did diet play a positive role for this cancer-free dog? It can’t be proven, but obviously, her diet didn’t harm. 


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