Bruce was just recently diagnosed with diabetes and was soon prescribed insulin shots by his doctor. In addition to the diagnosis of diabetes another major problem developed and one that was quite cumbersome. Bruce was leaking urine. You can imagine how uncomfortable that problem can be! Now this was quite extraordinary since Bruce is not that old. Obviously something had to be done for poor Bruce and fast. His doctor wanted to prescribe another medication for the incontinence, but I thought there might be a simpler solution for all of Bruce’s ailments. As with all of our clients the first thing I wanted to know about Bruce was his diet. After sitting down and figuring out what Bruce was eating on a daily basis I immediately saw the problem. I was not surprised to find out that Bruce had been eating dog food. That’s right. I am sure that you will all be pleased to hear that the VWell diet and lifestyle works just as well for our furry little friends. Yes, Bruce is a dog. A wonderful companion to one of our dear friends at ShopRite. Let it not be said that VWell doesn’t care just as much about our furry friends as it does about the less furry upright ones. Believe it or not many of us have pets that are in need of some good reliable health coaching as well.
The first thing I advised Bruce’s pal to do for him was to get rid of the dog food and start him on a healthy foods diet. This diet consisted of brown rice boiled in chicken stock sprinkled with turmeric and cinnamon as well as making sure to give him filtered or bottled water. His doctor was skeptical, but after trying the new diet his glucose levels tested at normal and the incontinence stopped! Of course this shocked the vet who immediately jumped on board with the new approach. Now Bruce is eating a rotating diet of sweet potatoes, barley, brown rice all boiled in chicken stock and individually combined with chicken sprinkled still, of course, with cinnamon and turmeric. Bruce is now healthy and happy. We were ecstatic to hear the news of a quick recovery for Bruce and the relief felt by Bruce’s good pal.
At Vwell our goal is to provide nutrition information and health coaching to your family. Your whole family. Please remember that we are here for all of you. We encourage and invite your questions about your health, your kids’ health and yes, even your dogs’!
Since we are trying so hard to keep ourselves healthy, let us not forget about man’s best friend. I simply love dogs. In fact I have always had a dog as part of our family for most of my life. We currently have a black lab and boxer mix that we rescued from Virginia. Her name is Maggie and we are all convinced that she is so incredible and so appreciative and she probably knows that she was rescued.
It occurred to me that I should write a blog about keeping our pets healthy, since we might not consider how certain foods and chemicals might affect them. Our Maggie is only fed organic food and organic treats. In addition to this organic food however, I do sometimes feed her bananas and apples and I do, on a daily basis give her raw walnuts (every dog needs omega-3s, ya know?). Sometimes I add extra virgin olive oil and once in a while raw eggs to her food. Well, I must tell you I decided I should research and ensure that even the healthy treats I was feeding our Maggie were actually healthy for her.
As a result of my research I found out I should not be feeding our Maggie raw eggs, ever. So let me share with all of you the list of foods you should never feed your dogs. They may surprise you, some of them certainly surprised me.
- Avocados: while they are excellent for us, they contain a chemical (persin) that can be toxic to dogs. Keep your dog away from all parts of the avocado plant (leaves, bark and seeds).
- Alcohol: it has the same effect on a dog’s brain and liver as ours, but it takes much less alcohol to do any damage.
- Onions and garlic: can destroy a dog’s blood cells. Raw, cooked, dehydrated or powdered, the effect is the same.
- Caffeine: in all forms (coffee, tea, soft drinks) can be fatal in large amounts. Don’t let your pet near any form of caffeine.
- Grapes and raisins: can cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Dairy products: milk and other dairy can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal distress. Dairy can also be a precursor to allergies which cause a great deal of itchiness in dogs.
- Macadamia nuts: are so toxic to dogs that as few as six can cause illness. Eating the nuts in chocolate will make matters even worse for a dog.
- Xylitol: an artificial sweetener found in candy and gum increases a dog’s insulin level which causes a dangerous drop in blood sugar which leads to liver failure.
- Chocolate: theobromine is the agent that causes difficulties for dogs. Even small amounts of chocolate can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and excessive thirst.
- Table scraps: the meat, fat and bones that we don’t eat can be dangerous to dogs (cooked or raw). The fat can cause pancreatitis and the bones can splinter and cause obstructions in the intestine.
- Persimmons, peaches and plums: the seeds or pits from these fruits is what causes the problems for dogs. Eating them can cause obstructions and the pits of peaches and plums contain cyanide.
- Raw eggs: your dog could be infected by salmonella or E. coli or an enzyme in raw eggs which blocks the absorption of vitamin B which causes skin and coat problems.
- Raw meat and fish: may contain bacteria that cause food poisoning and raw fish like salmon or trout may contain a parasite that causes fish disease or salmon poisoning; left untreated your dog could die in two weeks time.
- Salt: too much salt can lead to sodium ion poisoning. Too much salt may cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever and eventually death.
- Sugary foods and drinks: will lead to obesity and dental problems as well as the possible onset of diabetes.
- Dough: it rises in the dog’s gut and can cause swelling and pain in the abdomen. When the yeast ferments it produces alcohol and could lead to alcohol poisoning in the dog.
- Human medicine: treat your medications the way you would for children. Just keep your kids and dogs away from human medications.
- The pantry: keep your dog out. There are many other items that can cause harm to your pet. Baking powder and baking soda as well as nutmeg and other spices are very toxic to dogs.
There you have it my friends. Some of these suprised me but I am happy to report that the raw walnuts I give our Maggie every day are A-OK!