Good Canine Health
What does it mean for your dog to be healthy?
Most of us would say that their health simply means not being sick. Our dogs are considered to be healthy if they don’t show any obvious signs of disease.
Health is much more than the mere absence of disease. Health is a state of complete balance of our pet’s physiological, emotional well being (temperament), energy and flexibility. In a Health/Disease Model (either healthy or sick), health and disease form two ends of a continuum. As the body drifts out of balance, your dog’s general resistance is impaired, and she will start to move toward the middle of the Health/Disease continuum, experiencing minor ailments such as allergies, skin, ear, digestive problems, changes in behavior, joint problems, etc. Diagnosable illness results from increasing imbalances on the ‘‘micro-level’ of physiological functioning. These are most often caused by the poor quality of commercial food, even the so-called ‘premium’ brands (dead and lifeless). Over time, these subtle imbalances gradually lead to a breakdown of the ‘‘macro-level’ physiological processes and the emergence of what we call disease. In other words, long before diagnosable symptoms appear in your dog, there exist detectable preconditions for disease.
I would like to present another model for you to consider. In this model the disease process passes through six stages of development.
1. Accumulation – the first stage is the accumulation of imbalances in the physiology – in this stage you are feeding bagged food and your dog ‘looks’ healthy – but on the micro-level the over processed ‘food’, toxins and metabolic wastes have begun to clog up the system.
2. Aggravation – this is stage two when the imbalances have accumulated to the point where they are predisposed to spread. If the imbalances are not corrected at this point then the third stage begins. (“She did really well on this food for years!”)
3. Dissemination – this is the actual spreading of imbalances through tissues and organs. (“He doesn’t act like he used to…”)
4. Localization – with their localization in certain tissues or organs, imbalances will begin to cause sub clinical impairment. This impairment reaches the point where you begin to notice that something is not quite right;
5. Manifestation – when actual symptoms occur. (“She never used to shake her head and scratch all the time, maybe we should bring her to the vet…”)
6. Disruption – this is the sixth and final stage of the disease process which, if not checked, will progress to the point of impairment, disability or death. (“Your telling me my dog has diabetes??”)
As long as the health and disease are viewed as a dichotomy in which the dog is considered either healthy or sick, then certainly the bulk of health care efforts must focus on neutralizing (suppressing) or removing factors that cause the slide toward the Disease end of the continuum.
The answer is a balanced, home-prepared diet made of fresh, wholesome, chemical-free, real food. Raw, cooked, and combination cooked/raw diets will provide the benefits of a healthy, vibrant, disease-free life!