What Does It Mean To Have a “Healthy Pet”

If you were to ask the average pet caregiver how they judge whether their pet is healthy they might answer that they would know by making sure he or she was active, mobile, ate well, had normal stools and in general was free of any signs or symptoms that might suggest illness. Unfortunately, a state of good health is not synonymus with the absence of symptoms. The pet’s caretaker might respond by asking how can this be true. The answer is that often symptoms only appear when significant damage has already been done to an organ system.   Previous to the onset of symptoms , disease was present but at a sub-clincal level. Unfortunately if we wait for the appearance of symptoms before taking steps to treat or protect our pets we will always be swimming up stream . So the point is that it takes time for organs to be damaged to the point where symptoms become apparent. Each organ has a critical threshold of damage when symptoms will become noticeable. How then can we detect , treat or better yet prevent early organ damage when no symptoms are apparent?

We need to accept unfortunate truth that we and our pets live in a toxic world that is constantly trying to steal a little bit of our health . The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the psychologically stressful nature of our lives continually threatens our health and that of our pet. Consequently, none of us are healthy as we might believe. We are all carrying a toxic load in the form of both chemicals and psychological stress. On top of this, as a result of poor farming practices, and food processing techniques, the food that we and our pets eat is almost always deficient in essential nutrients like trace minerals, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, these deficient nutrients are essential in helping our pet’s body mount an attack to remove these toxins and cleanse our bodies. The point is that we are all toxic to some degree and probably becoming more toxic every day. The problems is insidious and each day little by little our health is being stolen from us. Since it is impossible to totally avoid toxins in our day to day life, what we can do is slow down the toxic degeneration of our bodies by minimizing exposure and following a program of detoxification. In the following paragraph I will briefy mention the important steps a pet caregiver can take to help their pet live a longer and healthier life. I apologize for not having the space to go in to much detail but If you are interested in a greater depth of understanding you may visit my website Doc4pets and then click on my blog.

Maximizing nutrition and minimizing toxins in your pet’s food can be accomplish best by feeding your dog or cat a homemade, meat based diet either raw/rare or lightly cooks . Of course organic ingredients and grass fed meat are best for your pet if you can afford them. Whether homemade of commercial, diets should contain at least 40% meat by dry weight. Avoid grains and feed colorful steamed (not raw) veggies which contain lots of antioxidants. Grains tend to be hard for carnivores to digest and promote the development of a “Leaky Gut Syndrome” which allows intestinal toxins to leak into blood stream and overwhelm the livers ability to cleanse the blood. Soaking food ingredients in hydrogen peroxide or grapefruit seed extract will help reduce external toxins that might be present in the food. Adding digestive enzymes supplements to the pet food will maximize availability of the nutrients while at the same time minimize the likelihood of food allergies.

Next in importance is minimizing house hold and yard toxins that your pet could be exposed to . Because our pets are closer to the ground than we are they are more exposed to toxic chemicals. Non toxic home cleaning supplies are now easy to obtain.. If pesticides are used in the house or yard make sure they are non toxic to your pet. Check you garage and basement for chemicals your pet can ingest. Have your basement tested for Radon. If you have a bird don’t cook with non stick utensils as these items can be toxic to them. Don’t smoke inside your house and don’t jog with your pet by busy streets where car fumes are more likely to be inhaled.

Routine dental care is extremely important in reducing your pets toxic exposure. Dental tartar is a great breeding ground for bacteria and bacterial toxins which are easily absorbed into the general circulation and which then damage the liver, kidney, heart and lungs. The importance of home dental care and a yearly professional dental exam, cleaning and polishing is next, only to good nutrition in its importance to your pet’s good health.

Finally, see your veterinarian at least once yearly. Senior pets should be seen twice yearly. He or she can advise you on how to prevent contagious viral and bacterial toxins. Early detection of intestinal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and tapeworm can minimize damage done by these parasites. They can also detect blood parasites such a heartworm disease and recommend ways to prevent these intestinal and blood parasites. Blood and urine testing can help detect disease before and symptoms become apparent. At Woodside we are now carrying a homeotoxicologic “Detox Kit” which contains remedies to be placed in the pets drinking water and is used for one month twice yearly.

Take the time , ideally once weekly, to give your pet a health evaluation which includes a home physical exam and careful observation of the animals breathing, urinating, and defecating. When you look at your pet check for a bright energetic personality, a good weight for the breed, a shiny hair coat, an absence of odor, a good appetite, a firm daily stool, effortless breathing, defecating, and urinating.

In conclusion don’t assume your dog or cat is perfectly healthy just because your pet is not displaying obvious symptoms. Toxins are constantly undermining your pet’s health and damage may develop slowly and unnoticed until enough injury occurs to cause organ failure. Therefore, be vigilant, proactive and never take your pets good health for granite.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both traditional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford,  Allen Park, Romulus, Trenton, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

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