Dr. Elliott: Drugs, Drugs, Drugs!

How can you switch to a more natural way of caring for your dog?

Nearly every dog in America is on some type of drug. How many drugs can a body handle? How much damage is done by multiple drug use? Most importantly, how can you switch to a more natural way of caring for your dog? A simple question with very complex answers.

Let’s look at some common canine drug use and see if we can alleviate the problem with natural substances or make the condition less severe. Starting with parasite prevention, dogs are given drugs for flea and tick control and heart worm prevention. Depending on where you live in this country, you cannot avoid using some preventative protocols. If your dog is on an organic, natural diet then you are keeping the immune system functioning at optimum levels. A healthy dog with a good immune system is less likely to be of interest to a flea or a tick. Using products like nematodes, neem and diatomaceous earth on your property and in your home, will take care of most external parasites. Using products with natural borates, cedar oil, lavender, neem. tea tree oil, and rosemary (such as “Tombstone” organic flea spray) will repel many of these parasites that may hop a ride on your dog. Always check for ticks after walking in areas where ticks are common and then use a tick removal tool to get them off.

The use of heart worm preventatives may be necessary in areas where these parasites are a major year-round problem. With a healthy immune system, you can use a single protect preventative and stretch it out longer than monthly. Use milk thistle to support the liver which is the organ that detoxifies drugs from the body. Using multiple drug combinations found in many spot-ons is creating a chemical cocktail that can severely injure your dog’s health. Products such as Enzymes Pro plus contain essential nutrients to enhance the immune system.

Drugs used for arthritis like Rimadyl, Previcox, Deramaxx, etc. are gastrointestinal irritants that can cause severe intestinal problems and liver damage. There are effective alternatives that treat joint pain and inflammation. Boswellia is an Indian herb used for centuries to treat inflammation. Perna, from the green-lipped mussel of New Zealand is another excellent anti-inflammatory. Celadrin and Chuchuhuasi are also effective and products like Arthro-Aid contain herbs to help eliminate pain and inflammation, build synovial fluid to lubricate joints, strengthen ligaments and tendons, and has multiple antioxidant, calming properties. If you must use one of the NSAIDS, keep your dog on milk thistle for liver support and prebiotic/probiotics (Enzymes Pro plus) to maintain the gastrointestinal tract.

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Prevention is the key to avoiding the overuse of drugs. By maintaining your dog on a natural diet loaded with antioxidants, you are getting off to the right start. Some excellent foods are Great Life Pet Products which features organic and natural ingredients in their pet foods. Another fine diet is KrunCheros a complete freeze dried raw food diet with antioxidant support. Add to that, foods like Sprouted Chia Plus, a rich source of natural omega oils with added benefits of dietary fiber, amino acids, B-vitamins, micro-minerals and active enzymes to maintain healthy skin and coat. A new berry called Sacred Berry has been found to contain natural Omega Oils with various antioxidants.This berry has a pleasant peanut butter taste.

On the rare occasions when you may need to use an antibiotic, you can counter the harmful effects of using these drugs by providing a constant supply of probiotics. Antibiotics kill off all bacteria, including the very important good microbes that live in the intestinal tract. Without these microbes, the immune system breaks down and opens the way for parasites like candida and fungus. Replenish and replace the good bacteria through the use of probiotics.

Have questions? Contact Dr. Elliott via e-mail at pethealer@gmail.com

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