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7 Easy Steps to Building a Healthy Immune System

By Lily Noon

Immune system.  Immune system.  Immune system.  We must sound like a broken record.  It seems every week we mention something about the immune system and the necessity of keeping it strong and healthy.  Here’s why we are so obsessed with this…and perhaps you should be too.

First let me say that everything written here applies to we humans as well as our pets.  Our immune system is an internal defense mechanism – a highly complex and effective system that fights disease.   If we keep it strong and healthy, it will protect us from a variety of common germs and even the more dreaded diseases like cancer.  If we ignore it and it becomes weakened and compromised, then adverse medical conditions could certainly result.

Here are 7 steps to building a healthy immune system for you and your pet:

    • Raw Foods are beneficial for humans and pets.  That’s why we created the healthy BARF Diet.  This natural raw meat diet contains fresher, higher quality nutrients that can be more readily absorbed into your pet’s system.

 

Basil is high in vitamin B-6 and iron-
it’s good for your dogs

 

    • There are seven special herbs that possess healing capabilities and individually are not harmful to you or to your pet unless there is an known allergy to them – garlic, ginger, mint, cilantro, tumeric, rosemary and basil.  If you can grow these yourself it is even more advantageous.  Believe it or not, there are more phytochemicals in some herbs than even in vegetables, thus they become an important addition to foods when building the immune system.
    • Eliminate highly processed foods that destroy life-giving enzymatic activity for both you and your pet. This means foods processed with high heat.   Enzymes are needed for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.  When food is fresh natural, raw and unprocessed it’s alive with the enzymes needed for proper digestion.  This maximizes the body’s natural ability to heal without depleting the body’s own enzyme reserves.
    • Eliminate poor quality and ingredients – don’t eat or feed a “junk food” diet.  These have a lower nutritional and will be less utilized.  Read the labels and stay away from anything chemical sounding or that you cannot pronounce or do not understand.  It would be foolish to accept and believe an ingredient is “OK” just because a big famous company name is on the label.
    • Fasting is good for both you and your pet.  Of course it all depends on your own physical condition but generally fasting is a good way to give your hard-working organs a rest as well as detox the body.  It will not harm your dog or you to fast once a week. What it will take is a little self-discipline.  When dogs are fed kibble or we eat food that contains preservatives, chemicals, unhealthy fats then toxic build up will occur from ingesting these impurities.  Fasting is a good way to help cleanse your body and your pet’s body naturally. Try it!

Keep yourself & your dog well-hydrated.

  • Stay hydrated!  Proper hydration of the cells is critical in animals and humans alike, aiding in the prevention and restoration of tissue destruction (caused by dehydration).  Often we do not realize when we are dehydrated ourselves or that our pets may be suffering too.  Hydration from natural food sources such as the BARF diet for your pet, or serving your family lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is an effective and helpful way to prevent dehydration.  We often refer to the BARF diet as the “water-rich” diet for pets!
  • Supplement with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and probiotics as needed.  Animals with special needs during particular life stages or those suffering from acute health issues may need additional supplements over and above those found in the BARF diet.  As we grow older ourselves, we find that our doctors may recommend additional supplements like probiotics and vitamins.  For pets we recommend E-BARF PLUS, especially if your pet suffers from a weakened immune system, sensitive digestive system or a degenerative disease.

 

ggggAfter leaving her dog at a progressive kennel in Washington for 6 weeks, where they fed her dog only a raw food diet, Lily was stunned to come back to a beautiful, healthy, allergy-free dog. Knowing that there were others like her that needed to discover the amazing power of raw for their own pets, she searched for more knowledge about raw diets. She eventually found and partnered with Dr. Ian Billinghurst and Robert Mueller to create BARF World – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere.

 
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Enough Is Enough! When Is It Time Switch Your Dog To Raw Food?

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

One would think that it would be an easy decision to switch your dog to another type of food… but many find it difficult to do.  Several different reasons dictate the need for a change. Here are just a few of them:

      1. Your dog refuses to eat the existing formula.
      2. A recent change in health requires a diet change.
      3.  Your dog is getting older and needs less caloric dense food.
      4.  Dental problems prevent eating hard kibble diets.
      5.  Obesity has created joint and structural problems.
      6.  Allergies have developed from a food intolerance.
      7.  Cost is a factor for the guardian.
      8.  Digestive issues have developed resulting in diarrhea and vomiting issues.
      9.  Cancer has taken over.
      10.  Immune system function has been challenged.

Kibble may become unappealing
for a combination of reasons…

Each and every one of these scenarios creates a hardship – not only for the dog but also for you as the guardian of your pet.  But when should the change in diet take place?  You simply have to know when enough is enough. The clients we cater to, place a high priority on establishing better health for their animals. The family dog is just as described – a prominent member of the family and like every family member good health is important.

1) Your dog refuses to eat the existing formula

We see this all the time. Consumers are encouraged to buy dry, processed kibble, which is actually biologically unsuitable for a dog. Most dry foods are very bland, grain based diets that need flavor enhancements to encourage the dog to eat the formula. There are hundreds of different brands to choose from, and all are a little different regarding the combination of grains such as corn, soybean, and wheat. The omnivore nature of the dog allows it to eat and be sustained on this food but over time this type of feeding may cause the development of various nutritional deficiencies.

To encourage the dog to eat, consumers may try different brands of dry food- but routinely find that they are all basically made the same way and the dog loses interest in eating.  Switching brands to other dry kibble diets does not resolve the problems. Some of the more high-end kibble made without grains do provide some benefit but are still heat processed, which is not the best solution. When the dog refuses to eat what you are serving, you know that enough is enough.

2) A recent change in health requires a diet change

You were just at the vet’s office and have been told that your dog has diabetes. Do you suppose that a dry diet that contains a minimum of 40% carbohydrates has something to do with this health issue? In this case an immediate diet change is required and we encourage switching to a natural raw meat diet which will reduce the carbohydrate levels instantly. Allergies are the number one problem facing the vet community and the reason can be tracked to corn, wheat, and soybean as triggers for allergic reactions. Switching to a natural meat based diet is a simple solution.

3) Your dog is getting older and needs less caloric dense food

A lot of marketing dollars are spend trying to convince the public that there are different nutritional requirements and therefore different menus for various life stages. This causes confusion and it is hard to know when it is appropriate to make a diet change that is appropriate for an aging pet. The natural raw diet users have a much easier time making the transition to the different stages of life.

We do not recommend changing the diet itself, but merely reducing the amount that is fed. As your pet gets older, the caloric requirement will be less and when you reduce the amount of food at feeding time you will adjust to the new life stage easily. Conversely, when you are feeding a puppy, we recommend increasing the amount fed to adjust for the growing caloric requirements. Sometimes “enough” means a little bit more or a little bit less!

4) Dental problems prevent eating hard kibble diets

The dental problems that exist in today’s sugar coated world are of epidemic proportion. Just ask the majority of kibble fed dog owners whether their pet has bad teeth, bad gums, and resultant bad breath?  You will find the numbers are staggering. It is to the point that most owners believe that smelly doggy breath is an acceptable condition. They don’t realize that dental issues and bad breath are curable situations. Talk to any natural raw meat diet fed dog owner to gain their perspective on this problem.  Enough bad breath is phew – really enough!

5) Obesity has created joint and structural problems

Recent statistics indicate that over 50% of our nations pets are obese. It’s not surprising, since the majority of dogs are fed carbohydrate laden kibble diets that contain about 40% carbohydrates. A dog is just not capable of utilizing this level of carbs and when there is excess it turns to fat – damaging the joints and skeletal structure. You’ll know as your pet’s weight and problems increase, that enough is enough and it’s time to switch to a natural raw meat diet with less than 5% carbohydrates.

I hope you are starting to see the real advantages of switching to a raw meat diet because of the massive nutritional benefits it provides for all these conditions.

6) Allergies have developed from a food intolerance

This is our number one customer concern. After trying several different brands of dry food they are ready to try anything to relieve the itching and scratching that is driving their dog crazy. Enough is enough and they now need to try different protein choices to see if it is a food allergy that is causing the problem. We usually begin with an elimination diet approach to find out the real allergy trigger. Unfortunately, many pets come to us that are already on antibiotics and steroids prescribed by their vets to control the inflammation and possible secondary infections. This knocks down the immune system (the body’s best natural defense mechanism) and the cycle continues.  Enough is enough… a healthy raw food diet will do the trick.

7) Cost is a factor for the guardian

When cost is a major consideration, the quality of the diet usually takes a hit. A really inexpensive dog food diet is formulated with the least utilizable ingredients. The result is a larger volume of feces in the back yard. This is your “utilization” monitor to gauge the quality of ingredients used in the manufacture of the food. As the quality of ingredients goes up the cost naturally goes up but the amount of poop goes way down. It is a good practice to source a diet that contains the highest level of fresh meat ingredients. Note, I said fresh meat and not fresh MEAL – there is a big difference. You can make a raw food diet yourself but this is often time consuming and a bit tricky.  Stick to professionally made raw diets for your pet.

Diarrhea and vomiting aren’t fun
for the pet or the guardian.

8) Digestive issues have resulted in diarrhea and vomiting

Guardians that have to deal with vomiting and diarrhea issues are really eager to make a diet change. The success we have had in this area is truly amazing. When dogs are converted to a natural raw meat diet we see about a 25 to 30 % reduction in stool volume, along with a reduction in stool odor. This is because of the total utilization of the ingredients, which leaves just ash and fiber to form the stool. Stools are easy to pick up and vomiting and diarrhea issues are drastically reduced. Having the meal completely digestible from mouth to tail is a definite advantage when feeding raw. Believe me, if you are fighting this problem you know when enough is enough.

9) Cancer has taken over and a diet change is required

If you have been diagnosed with cancer yourself, you know that one of the first things usually suggested is a diet change. Your dog is no different and will be required to change eating habits as well. The first suggestion I have is to change your pet’s diet to one that has a reduced sugar level because cancer cells thrive on sugar to expand. It is also important to improve the nutritional content of the diet to gain the maximum advantage of strengthening the immune system. A natural raw meat diet is the optimum choice for this condition.

10) The immune system has been challenged

Last but not least is the importance of a healthy immune system. In fact, this point is probably the most critical of all. The immune system is the “policeman” of your pet’s body that defends against attack by foreign invaders. Once this mechanism, the immune system, is compromised, the ability to defend against disease is diminished. The very best way rebuild it is to feed a very nourishing, ingredient based raw food diet, supplemented with vitamins, minerals and additional omega fatty acid supplements.

Isn’t enough, enough?  It’s not difficult to make a diet change for the better.  The secret to giving better health to your animals is simply to switch to a natural raw meat diet.

 
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Whew! What You Can Do Right Now To Stop Doggy Breath Once & For All!

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

Gum Disease is very common in small breeds

Periodontal disease, an oral disease, is the source of the greatest amount of intractable pain and discomfort that can be experienced by our companion animals.  I think we can all relate to tooth pain.

It is estimated that over 80% of all pet animals have significant oral pathology. When I read this statistic for the first time, it really threw me. The key word here is “significant”.  Can you imagine your pet suffering the pain of a toothache, yet he is not able to tell you he is in pain? It could go on for a lifetime if undetected. A lifetime of chronic pain is bad enough, but even worse, it may lead to serious conditions such as endocarditis, iliac thrombosis, nephritis and several other preventable conditions.

Gum disease is by far the most common oral problem in small animals, and we see it mostly in older dogs. Small breed dogs, such as Poodles, Pomeranians and Maltese, generally have shorter maxillae and mandibles with relatively larger teeth in relation to their jaw size than do most large breed dogs. This leads to crowding, rotation and malocclusions that predispose small breed dogs to periodontal disease. However, one large breed dog that is especially prone to early and severe periodontal disease is the Greyhound. Other large breed dogs such as Great Danes, Collies, Dalmatians, and Boxers are susceptible to gingival overgrowth.

Not All Dogs Have “Doggy Breath” – It’s NOT A Normal Condition!

If you feed your dog a grain based, processed pet food, you probably consider oral disease and “doggy breath” a normal condition. Processed food may seem like a convenient way to feed a dog, but such diets are likely to cause your pet considerable ill health and suffering.  Unfortunately, over time, periodontal disease can disrupt bodily functions and cause undo harm and painful episodes.

Most dental issues and doggy breath can be taken care of with a diet change. You see, the chemicals in an artificial diet, like kibble, are likely to encourage the accumulation of plaque. Sticky sugars provide the perfect media for bacteria, which provides the needed medium for plaque buildup. The dry diet allows food to be packed between the teeth much like popcorn. Without a way to remove the packed food between the teeth, it builds up tartar and possible infections are the result.

Need A Natural Toothbrush?  Try Raw Meaty Bones

However, raw meaty bones and diets created using raw meaty bones such as the BARF Diet have good physical characteristics to promote excellent oral health.  When they are combined with other food items, they provide a complete and balanced source of nutrition and when raw bones are fed they act like a natural toothbrush for your dog.

Raw Bones –Nature’s Toothbrush For Your Dog

It’s unfortunate that so many people regard “doggy breath” as an acceptable condition for dogs. Bad breath or “doggy breath” is an indicator of potential dental health problems. It isn’t “normal”. Ask any raw fed dog owner about doggy breath.   You will be shocked to learn that natural raw fed dogs don’t have this problem.

Oral Health Assessments

Most of the oral conditions can be diagnosed and treated during a COHAT (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment).  A COHAT exam includes full-mouth dental x-rays, periodontal probing, cleaning and polishing, diagnosis and treatment. It is recommended that the pet owner should schedule this treatment before their pet is 18 months old because to wait longer may lead to chronic dental trauma. Many care givers object to having their pet undergo this treatment because it is necessary to put the dog under sedation.

An Easier Resolution

Conventional advice is to have regular teeth cleaning performed, by a professional or yourself.  An easier resolution for prevention is to switch to a natural raw meat diet. Preventing the formation of dental plaque is the key to oral health.

 
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It’s All About Choices

By Robert Mueller, B. Pharm.

The dangers of obesity are not
exclusive to humans

Here in America, we are very fortunate to be able to choose what we want to eat, enjoy it when we are ready, and have it cooked (or not cooked) exactly to our liking. This is called freedom of choice. Our pet population however, does not have this luxury and is subject to what, when and how we elect to feed them. We are, in a sense, the masters of their fate.

Now this story can either have a good or bad ending. The good ending comes when we elect to feed a biologically appropriate raw diet that meets all of our pets’ nutritional needs – we can expect and will see great health benefits. We have chosen the right path, albeit a long hard journey, to eliminate what I call “junk food for dogs”.  The bad ending happens when people continue to feed kibble and other dry diets… often coated with flavor enhancers and heavy on the carbs to their pets.

As humans we are also faced with dietary choices, bombarded by the media and living very fast-paced lifestyles these days.  More often than not we may give in to our fast food cravings –filling ourselves with unhealthy, carbohydrate-laden foods – even though we know better.  Which is why in America today the human and pet populations are 40 percent overweight and that is really a very bad ending.

But it doesn’t have to end this way.  Remember – we are fortunate to live in a country of free choice! Once you see the damaging effects
of joint discomfort, energy decline, and other serious health issues in your pet you can correct the problem by taking the appropriate steps. And the best part is that you will benefit too.

You see, many of the preventive and causative factors of obesity are the same for humans and animals. Lowering the intake of fat and increasing the amount of exercise will produce immediate results. So if you’re a few pounds overweight – why not reduce fat in the diet and have your pet take you for a walk? I know your dog would like nothing better!

It is speculated that health problems in humans begin to increase when a person’s weight is 15% or more above their ideal weight. It is no different for our pets. Many problems start to materialize with weight gain – like hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, diabetes, pulmonary and cardiovascular disease, and orthopedic or structural problems. Along with all these possible disease states we see a higher surgical risk, and an increase in morbidity and mortality.

The cause of obesity can be explained by simple math – more energy is taken in than is expended. Excess energy that is created is stored primarily as fat, resulting in weight gain and a change in body composition. There are several other factors that are part of this equation but in most cases the simple math is a fair enough explanation.

A technique that most commercial pet food manufacturers use as a weight reduction method for sedentary pets is to decrease the level of fat in the diet.  This may be a good technique except for the fact that some manufacturers replace the fats with digestible carbohydrates such as corn and rice, and some use indigestible fiber, which results in increased fecal volume and defecation frequency.

The reduction of fats in a dog’s diet is effective for weight loss because it increases both the caloric density and the palatability of pet foods. On a weight basis, fat provides more than twice the calories of carbohydrates or protein. Therefore, decreasing the fat content decreases caloric density and may slightly decrease palatability. This is exactly why commercial dry pet food producers add fat sprays to the kibble. It is used to increase the palatability of a very bland grain based diet.

If you are trying to use a “reduced calorie” diet to drop some weight off your dog, then I suggest you use a strict portion-controlled feeding program. The trick is you must be able to provide a diet that is nutritionally balanced while lowering the amount of calories being consumed. Fasting or starvation is a type of calorie reduction but can produce immediate and long-term negative consequences thus it is a poor choice to use.  A better solution is to feed a biologically appropriate raw food diet.

The whole study of obesity is a complicated subject. There are a multitude of studies to support each of the factors affecting weight gain and reduction. No one answer is correct – there is no “perfect” solution. However simple math does offer a valid common sense approach – which is a controlled feeding program resulting in a gradual rather than rapid weight loss.

We must consider the feeding choices and make healthy decisions for our pets – after all we are the guardians of their health.  Let’s make sure we do everything possible to give the story a happy ending!

 
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