Youth Is Where Pet Life Extension & Anti-aging Begin

Most pet lovers do not become interested in the idea of anti aging until they first notice their dear puppy or kitten has grown old. Unfortunately, by that time the greatest opportunities for extending their pets life has been missed. So caregivers should begin thinking about life extension when their pet is very young and all organs are strong and healthy. Keep in mind that from birth pets are exposed to food and environmental toxins that slowly  steal their health and shorten their life. If you wait until your pet becomes a senior citizens before becoming concerned with the concept of anti aging then irreparable damage has already been done and then all that you can do is protect what ever organ cell still exist.

From the beginning of life free radicals in the form of airborne, food and water toxins begin to destroy healthy your pet’s cells and tissues. Providing healthy air, food and water may require extra work but will greatly reduce toxin and free radical damage that would other wise slowly steal the health of  your pup or kitten. The most healthy diets are relatively free of toxins, provide nutrients that support liver function, encourage detoxification, and avoid nutrients that lead to a “leaky gut syndrome”.  The ideal diet for  dogs and cats is a homemade  rare or raw meat, no grain diet. Ideally, the meat should be organic and from grass fed livestock, while veggies should be organic, colorful and steamed or grated. If homemade diets are not an option for you then feed a high quality commercial diet that is over 40% meat by dry weight and contains a minimum of grain. It is impossible, even for a veterinarian, to determine the percent meat in a commercial diet by simply looking at the bag. You must call the company and ask the nutritionist this question, “On a dry matter basis, what percent of the food is meat protein”. Understand that grains and veggies also have protein so the percent protein on the bag does not tell you how much is meat protein. Finally, adding supplemental digestive enzymes, probiotics, trace minerals and omega fatty acids to either a commercial or homemade diet will plug many of the nutritional holes resulting from poor farming practices and commercial processing of food. Regretfully, because of space limitations,  we can not go into all of the other factors that must be considered when choosing the optimal commercial diet. Therefore, you may want to go to my website Doc4pets.com and click on the nutrition heading for a much more comprehensive write up on pet diets.

Next to good nutrition regular dental hygiene is the most important thing pet care takers  can provide their pets in order to insure them a longer healthier life. Because tartar is a breeding ground for bacteria, by keeping tartar to a minimum fewer bacterial toxins will get into the blood stream and damage the pets liver and kidneys. Daily home dental care combined with a yearly professional dental prophylaxis will make a hug difference in the health of your pet during his or her senior years.

We all live in a toxic world and as hard as we may try we can’t eliminate them all. However, any effort we make to minimize our pet’s exposure to environmental toxins will pay off big time in terms of extending their life. Environmental toxins involve such hazards as household cleaning products, lawn pesticides, radon, cigarette smoke, paint fumes, fumes from no stick cooking utensils, automobile fumes, poisonous plants, rat poisons and spilled antifreeze. Keep in mind that pets are much closer to the ground than we are and therefore more exposed to many environmental toxins. Bird owners should know that their feathered friend is much more sensitive to airborne toxins and therefore every effort should be made to keep them away from fumes resulting from paint, no stick cook ware, tobacco smoke, house hold deodorizers and even fireplace fumes. If you must apply weed and insect killer to your lawn try to use organic products keeping in mind that if you apply non organic chemicals then pets that get outside will walk through the grass and then lick the residual chemicals off their feet or ingest these toxin when they nibble on the grass. There are now a number of companies that manufacture non toxic home cleaning products that can replace those toxic products you may now be using. Once again space restraints limit this discussion on environmental toxins so if you have further interest to learn more please visit my website and go to my blog and look through the archive of articles till you find the ones involving environmental toxins and detoxification.

Avoiding toxins is one thing but getting rid of them once already in the body is a whole different issue. Toxins accumulate in our pet’s body slowly and without producing symptoms until the concentration of toxins destroys enough tissue to produce outward disease. Of course the idea is to be proactive and get rid of these toxins before symptoms become obvious. The process of detoxification can be accomplished in several ways, ie. homeopathy, herbal supplements, and nutritiona ls. I recommend all my patient go through a homeopathic detox twice yearly. Most toxins are  “free radicals”  that steel electrons and damage vital tissue. Adding a number of antioxidants to the daily diet will help neutralize these free radicals, prevent cellular damage and provide additional years of normal function for important organ systems. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Resveratrol are examples of nutritional antioxidants. Milk Thistle and Burdock root are examples of  herbal anti oxidants.

The process of detoxification is enhanced by supporting those organs which are most instrumental in removing toxins from the body. Of those organs the liver is the most important. Dimethylglycine, SAM-E, MSM, Detox Kit and liver glandular are a few examples of nutraceutical which support the liver.

Constant emotional stress can steal healthy years from your pet.  Excessive emotional stress is truly a toxin in that stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which inturn causes inflammation and free radical damage. Early obedience training will go along way in reducing emotional stress because a well behaved dog is a contribution family whereas a dog that misbehaves, bitesl, barks excessivel or destroys family property will result in repeated reprimands and in family upsets and discontentment. If behavioral training fails their are holistic supplements than can help calm and control your pet.

Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining good health because it not only helps to main a slim muscular appearance it also relieves boredom and allows your pet to get rid of pent up energy that otherwise might be vented through destructive behavior such as chewing on shoes, furniture or lamp cords. Walking or jogging with your dog is great for both of you. Playing fetch the ball or Frisbee are other fun activities. Agility training, hunting and visits to the dog park are additional approaches to getting rid of energy and reducing unwanted behavior. Exercising with your pet is a great way to strengthen the human animal bond

Chiropractic care is something most pet owners never consider until their pet is lame or injured. However semi annual, proactive spinal adjustments are important not only in maintaining a healthy neuromuscular skeletal system but is also very effective in keeping internal organs functioning properly.

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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, South Lyon, 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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