Digestion

Determining Your Dog’s Health Through His Feces

You can learn a lot about your dogs’ health from their poop. Its color, consistency, contents, odor, amount, and frequency can give you valuable, up-to-date information about their health. For example, it can provide early warning that your dog’s diet may be unsuitable, or that she may be grappling with parasites, viruses, unfriendly bacteria, bad water, emotional upset, food allergies, or serious illness.

Probiotics Boost Canine Overall Health

Who hasn't heard of friendly" or "beneficial" bacteria? Even acidophilus

Wobenzym: A Digestive Enzyme Supplement for Dogs

Even when their formulas don't change, there's always something new to discover about old, familiar products. This month we're updating information on the safety and uses of Wobenzym, a supplement that became a favorite of many WDJ readers after our article on the product (Banking on Enzymes") appeared in January 2001. Charles Green is America's largest Wobenzym distributor. When his Las Vegas supplement store was listed as a resource in the article

A Low-Protein “kidney diet” Is Not Always the Answer

Every day, thousands of dogs are diagnosed with kidney disease. The first suggestion most conventional veterinarians make is to switch from whatever the dog has been eating to a low-protein “kidney diet” food. Clients are sent home with bags or cans of “prescription” food and warned not to feed high-protein foods or treats of any kind.

The Anatomy of the Canine Kidney

Bone health is reliant upon healthy kidneys in at least two ways. First, vitamin D is necessary for the utilization of calcium, and the activated form of vitamin D is produced in the kidney. Second, normal kidneys excrete phosphorous; chronic renal failure may lead to excessive retention of phosphorous, which in turn causes an imbalance between calcium and phosphorous.

Does Your Dog Have Gas?

It is normal for dogs to have an occasional bout of gas. But it is not normal for flatulence to occur all the time. Flatulence can be relieved quickly in dogs by use of simethicone, the same anti-foaming drug that is marketed for humans in a variety of over-the-counter preparations. Simethicone is generally accepted as safe for dogs, even in human-sized doses. However, there may be some drawbacks to the use of Gaviscon, Gas-X, or any other simethicone product in your dog.

Gluten-Free Dog Diets

Does your dog suffer from allergies, joint pain, epilepsy, recurrent ear infections, or other chronic health problems? Have you tried lots of treatments – alternative and conventional – but you just can't seem to help your dog get well and stay that way? You might want to look a little closer at the diet recommendations of John Symes, DVM.

The Canine Digestion Process

Digestion involves the balanced interaction of several biodynamic systems. A healthy animal ingests raw materials (food), changes these raw materials into usable nutrients, extracts from these nutrients the essentials for life and vitality, and excretes (in the form of feces) those substances that have not been digested or that weren’t utilized.

Acupressure Improves Your Dog’s Digestion

If not for their dinner bowls, dogs would still be wolves. In many ways our devoted, domesticated dogs are still wolves, especially when it comes to their digestion. In the past 10 years, holistically oriented guardians and healthcare practitioners have become proponents of fresh food diets plus supplements for dogs. There are many authoritative books, journals, and magazines that are doing their best to raise the consciousness of the general public about the health issues associated with manufactured dog foods.

Herbal Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Conventional approaches to inflammatory bowel disease often involve a controlled diet of highly digestible foods that are rich in supplemental dietary fiber. Often, cortico-steroid drugs (such as Prednisone) and other immunosuppressive drugs are prescribed to rapidly reduce pain and inflammation. These drugs may bring fast, temporary relief from painful symptoms, but they can be risky, especially if employed long-term.

Colitis: An Urgent Problem

Conventional medical practitioners use the word colitis to indicate inflammation of the colon (the large intestine), as opposed to inflammation of the small intestine or the stomach. One of the large intestine’s most important roles is to absorb water. If the colon is not functioning properly, a lot of water is left in the stool; that’s diarrhea. There are many different types of diarrhea, and, unpleasant as it may be to contemplate, the characteristics of the diarrhea help us identify which part of the dog’s digestive system is not working properly.

Boost Your Dog’s Digestive System

Ask the average dog owner about fasting her dog and you may see her blanche at the very idea of making Skippy miss a meal. In a culture that is obsessed with food, it is easy to understand a conscientious dog owner’s reluctance to deliberately withhold sustenance. Yet many dog owners routinely do just that. We interviewed a number of dog owners who utilize fasting protocols in their feeding regimens. Some had more than 10 years of experience with periodic fasts, and some had started recently fasting their dogs only recently. Often, the fasting was used in conjunction with a natural diet.

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