Weight Loss Tips And Recipe For Your Dogs And Cats

Weight Loss Tips And Recipe For Your Dogs And Cats

A Common (But Serious) Problem

Susie was out on a hike with her family. It was a glorious mid-spring afternoon. The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Susie waited all week for this. It was her very favorite activity!

When Susie wasn’t sniffing the ground during her hikes she was chasing chipmunks and squirrels. She seemed happy as can be! But she started panting heavily after only 20 minutes even though it was only 68 degrees.

After half an hour she seemed exhausted, was panting loudly, and was lagging behind on the walk. She showed no further interest in sniffing out or chasing critters. By 45 minutes she laid down and wouldn’t go any further. Sometimes she even had to be carried back to the car.

Unlike Susie, Otis didn’t get out much.  He had actually only been outside on his own a few times in his life. His hunting was confined to moving from one windowsill to another watching the birds at the feeder.

obesity, fat cat, dry cat food
“I’m not really overweight…”

Most of his trips out were in a carrier and not very pleasant. They usually involved going to the groomer to get his mats shaved or going to the vet for an enema. When the cat box came out of its hiding place, Otis disappeared. He was nowhere to be found.

Susie and Otis both have the same problem. It limits and shortens their lives. They’re not as happy as they deserve to be. Susie’s beloved walks are getting shorter and shorter, and Otis can barely groom himself or push hard enough to pass his stools.

Susie and Otis are overweight. Borderline obese in fact. Unfortunately, their guardians don’t appreciate the import of the problem. They think their companion animals are just “big-boned”.

The Preventable Epidemic of Dogs, Cats (and people)

But this is no laughing matter. The percent of companion animals that are overweight is rapidly growing. At an alarming rate. It’s now even gotten to the point where many people don’t even know what optimal weight looks like.

Weight loss and remaining lean is critical for a well-balanced (and dis-ease free) life and longevity.

old holistic dog and pig
“I may be old, but I’m no pig”

Losing weight is simple but not always so easy. It is frequently related to eating the wrong diet. Most commonly a low quality carbohydrate and filler-laden dry food diet. This is is especially true for cats.

The healthiest diet and fastest way to lose weight in my experience is raw meat-based.

However this is not the only healthful way to lose weight.

The metabolic processes supported by the calories supplied by this (and the prior) slow-cooked fresh food diet recipes are critical to proper physiologic functioning and weight loss. The high quality carbohydrates in it promote the process. They aid increased activity and caloric expenditure.

It is also important to restrict high carbohydrate content treats. Fresh green beans, broccoli and cauliflower make wonderful and healthful low calorie treats that many dogs love. Cats not so much (though some cats do love veggies).

Small pieces of freeze-dried meat treats like Dream Treats from Wysong and Whiska Smackers from Dr. Harvey work great for most kitties.

Why Is Losing Weight So Hard for Some Dogs and Cats?

obesity in dogs, cats and people is an epidemic

However, in some patients even tiny quantities of fresh food (even raw meat) and hours of activity per day isn’t sufficient. Sometimes you try everything and seemingly do everything right, but they just can not lose weight.

These animals often have an internal metabolic defect. The term “metabolic syndrome” is used for some people who just can’t lose weight and is now also recognized in animals.

In my experience, careful and persistent homeopathic prescribing can help most of these patients.

Hailey is a great example of a yellow lab who just could not lose weight. She ate only a few ounces of a varied raw meat diet and had hours of daily activity. With continued homeopathic internal treatment however the pounds melted away and stayed off!

Under active thyroid function is another common cause for stubborn obesity. Thyroid hormone is the chief determinant of metabolism. Insufficient quantity of it or improper conversion to the active form are common causes for weight gain and seemingly impossible weight loss.

Whole thyroid gland extracts combined with good food, exercise and homeopathic treatment can help boost metabolism and promote weight loss.

Start your companion animal’s weight loss by feeding a fresh food diet. These simple and easy Crock-Pot recipes can help.

fresh food recipe, natural, holistic dog and cat slow cooking crock pot
Simple, fresh and organic ingredients you can trust!

A Low Calorie Fresh Food Recipe for Your Dogs and Cats

Here’s this week’s low calorie recipe:

10 ounces organic chopped kale

4 cups of cubed organic zucchini and/or summer quash (we used one of each)

3 organic chicken breasts

1 cup of organic amaranth

5 cups of water

This week’s stew cooked quickly. The more you chop the kale, the faster. 4-6 hours on high should do it.

Please remember that the recipe is designed to be healthful, flexible, easy, and inexpensive. It is not meant for continuous feeding. It can however be part of a fresh and varied diet (with everything fed in moderation).

Other fresh food feeding suggestions are in fresh food cooking for pets video.

Bone appetit!

Dr. Jeff

How To Improve Your Dog’s Performance in Agility

How To Improve Your Dog’s Performance in Agility


agility dogs,vitality,hmdm,balanceAny pet may suffer an injury or develop a problematic symptom. Especially those canine athletes who do activities like agility, flyball, herding, etc.

This article applies the Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM) protocol to two common scenarios in agility. In both, HMDM was used.

HMDM is a proven method for making sound, scientific and safe decisions for your health-challenged pets. And it works no matter what method you use to treat your pet. Even if you decide to use medications or surgery which can quickly stop symptoms.

However, the goal of your treatment is probably enhancing your pet’s happiness, quality of life and athletic performance. Not just quickly stopping symptoms like lameness or anxiety with drugs.

Clinical experience and hundreds of cases prove that individualizing your pet’s treatment with HMDM is a highly effective method. Rather than just doing the same thing for all pets with similar symptoms.

In brief, the protocol has these 3 simple steps:

  1. Your Goal: such as a faster time through the weave poles
  2. Your Research: investigating available treatments, their effectiveness and risks : benefits
  3. Your Implementation: consult a vet homeopath, chiropractor, do massage, etc. Then evaluate the response to the treatment.

Vitality and Balance Using HMDM in Agility

Two common challenges for dogs that run agility are:

  1. Subtle gait abnormalities and weakness,
  2. Behaviors like timidity affecting performance.

These can both be reversed by individualizing with the tools of HMDM: by putting symptoms into context and interpreting them holistically.

CASE STUDY: Hitch In The Gait

CASE STUDY: Let’s say that your pup has a slight hitch in her gait and is running the agility course much slower than usual.

  • Your HMDM Step 1 – Goal: To improve her speed by resolving the subtle lameness or weakness.
  • Your HMDM Step 2 – Research: You remember that many of your friends in your classes use a great chiropractor and have seen how much chiropractic adjustments can help.
  • Your Step 3 – Implementation: Start seeing the chiropractor.

Your pup seems much better after each appointment. But even frequent adjustments don’t hold and your pup’s hitch comes back.

Now you repeat the HMDM process.

  • Step 1 – Goal: To permanently resolve the lameness.
  • Step 2 – Research: You ask for tips from friends or instructors in agility and you learn about potentially useful exercises.
  • Step 3 – Implementation: You buy a TotoFit Orbit to start core conditioning or you book an appointment with a physical therapistcore conditioning, agility, homeopathy

Even after strengthening your dog’s core for a few weeks, the lameness keeps returning. Your HMDM goal is still full recovery and you remember that during your research, you learned that homeopathy is another way to help even more.

The energetic imbalance that caused the lameness, to begin with, can be resolved with homeopathy. Homeopathic “fine-tuning” is the ultimate way of individualizing and working with your pet’s body.

You schedule an appointment with a professional homeopath. Your pup runs better on some days, not as great on others, but her BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite and Mood) continues to improve.

Now comes the hardest part of working with your pet’s body. That is using patience and perseverance while your pup heals. It may be a few months before your pup is ready to race through an agility course. But the wait and work are worth it because then your pup wins races like never before and just keeps getting better and better.

CASE STUDY: Confidence Building and Ending Fears

CASE STUDY: One day in class, your friend’s 7-month-old puppy refuses to do the teeter. Every time it bangs down, she jumps, starts shaking and tries to hide. On top of that, she has started peeing submissively when she sees some people and is barking aggressively (fearfully?) at other dogs. Turns out that she had a rabies shot a few weeks earlier. Your friend knows that these are signs of the rabies miasm and asks what you would do. You recommend that she use the HMDM protocol.

HMDM Step 1 – Goal: Resolve the imbalance from the rabies vaccine.

HMDM Step 2 – Research: Your friend is already increasing vitality and healing ability by raw feeding, avoiding toxins and most vaccines and providing lots of physical and mental stimulation in agility.

But that has not been enough. Her pup’s vitality is high, but it is imbalanced. Fortunately, she just saw the great results you had with homeopathy. You tell your friend that homeopathic treatment is a great way to reverse these symptoms. You describe how homeopathy will work with her pup’s natural vitality to help optimize her balance.

HMDM Step 3 – Implementation: She starts working with a veterinary homeopath.

Symptom clues lead to an individualized homeopathic medicine.  After just one dose, your friend’s dog is no longer jumping when she hears the teeter hit the ground!

She still doesn’t want to get on the teeter, but it’s a step in the right direction. Over time and continued treatment, your friend’s dog is finally willing to get on it. The instructor advises your friend to keep the teeter height low at first, but in a few months, it’s back up to the full height.

And the happiness in your friend’s dog’s face when she runs the full course (including the teeter) is wonderful to see! Oh, and the submissive peeing and “greeting dis-order” (barking aggressively at other dogs she sees) also improve.

These are other great effects from optimizing her balance with homeopathy to stop the rabies miasm symptoms. In six months her confidence is restored and she is back to living her life to its fullest.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Quality of life and happiness for our beloved companion animals.

Conventional Research

Conventional Research

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How to Help Balance Your Pet’s Hormones

How to Help Balance Your Pet’s Hormones

Diabetes, Cushing’s, Addison’s, hypo and hyper-thyroidism sound scary.

It helps to know that these names and diagnoses are merely descriptions of the symptoms. They are not problems to be overcome. A diagnosis does not dictate what you do.

You probably do not treat your friend “Susan” based solely on her name.

Like relationships, maintaining and optimizing hormones is a balancing act. They’re both delicate interactions that require constant feedback.

The glands of the endocrine system are sensitive in this way. Hormones produced by them fluctuate throughout the day.

Specific external and internal chemical factors provide constant feedback to glands. These can predispose to dis-eases.

You have 100% control over these factors.

For example, you can help improve hormone dis-eases by:

  • avoiding highly processed carbohydrate-laden foods
  • minimizing environmental exposure to toxins and hormone disruptors like glyphosate
  • working with your pet’s symptoms and not quickly stopping them

What you do every day has a profound impact on the delicate balance of hormones.

Click here to learn more to help your pets!

Holistically Monitoring Kidney Dis-eases at Home

Holistically Monitoring Kidney Dis-eases at Home

Problem = possible decreased kidney function.

Holistic Action! = monitor for early warning signs and kidney function at home while promoting healing by your pet’s body.

Meet Henry

Henry is a 6 year old Golden. His mom has been watching him drink much more than usual. Everything else about him is normal.

Nothing has changed with his BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) or other symptoms and his blood tests are all normal.

What can his concerned guardian do?

Wait and watch and reactively treat when problems arise? Or proactively prevent a problem before it starts?

Diane is holistically-minded and has heard about how dis-ease progresses. She knows that internal imbalance moves from the functional “nothing is wrong” except an external symptom level to the structural level where the kidney tests are abnormal.

She chose to be proactive so is watching Henry like a hawk and closely monitoring for any changes. She wants to know right away if something is wrong and nip any problems in the bud.

The Four Methods

There are four simple things Diane can do at home that reflect directly on kidney function.

These same four methods can be used to monitor any stage of kidney failure. Whether your pet seems fine, or has a named dis-ease like “Lyme nephritis” or “CKD” (chronic kidney disease).

  1. Measure the amount of water he is drinking.
  2. Keep a close eye on quantity of urination for Henry and size of urine clumps in cats.
  3. Use a sensitive dipstick test at home to keep track of protein loss in the urine.
  4. Monitor the concentration of the first morning urine with an inexpensive and easy to use device called a refractometer.

Along with these simple home tests, your veterinarian can pickup early kidney dis-eases at home by comparing any bloodwork that has recently been run to previous results.

Even when tests are “normal”, trends of the results can be very important.

For example, creatinine is one blood test that is run on most screening panels. There is a phenomenon called “creatinine creep” which can be a great internal symptom early warning sign that kidney function is decreasing.

Using these simple holistic methods of monitoring internal and external symptoms, you can help your pets live happier and healthier lives.

Join us at Holistic Actions! Academy to have our faculty help you to help your pets.

Stay well.

Dr. Jeff

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Holistic Help for Dogs and Cats With Cystitis Symptoms

Holistic Help for Dogs and Cats With Cystitis Symptoms

The problem? Cystitis (Urinary Tract “Infection” or UTI).

Solution and take home? An easy process to resolve and prevent it.


You come home to a puddle of urine on the kitchen floor or outside the litter box. Or maybe your previously well housebroken 5 month old puppy wakes you up overnight with a urgent request to go outside to pee.

“Inappropriate” (to you, but not your pet) urination, frequent, urgent, painful and otherwise abnormal urinations are common clues that your pet may have cystitis (UTI). What does that really mean?

Any “itis” is an irritation. That’s it. Not infection. A healthy and natural response by the body. Cystitis (bladder irritation), or enteritis (intestinal irritation), dermatitis (skin irritation) are clues that there is an internal imbalance causing an irritation and inflammatory response.

Inflammation is the body’s natural healing mechanism. Cystitis does not mean the there is an infection. The symptoms that you see are clues to what is going on internally.

Your working with the body to help these symptom clues has two effects:

  1. Gradually resolve symptoms by treating the underlying imbalance (better known as “dis-ease”).
  2. Improve overall health which reduces the chances for relapse.

Bacterial infections do not usually cause cystitis. Most commonly, the bacteria are only secondary invaders. Like a one-two punch. Inflammation causes the tissue irritation which sets the stage for bacterial overgrowth.

Healthy bladders (and other parts of the body) have built-in very strong protection against infection. These include physical barriers, natural anti-biotic properties of urine, and a powerful immune system.

Understanding the physiologic changes that occur in cystitis can help you decide how to help your pet. In cats (and some dogs) the most common causes are related to the environmental-emotional-physical connection. They trigger the inflammatory response and cystitis symptoms. Not an infection.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Evaluate the environment and litter box hygiene. Any change can trigger these symptoms. Especially in cats. If there are no obvious trigger that you can modify (like feeding dry food, a dirty litter box, new litter, a new pet) then go to step two.

2. Bring a urine sample (or your pet) to your veterinarian. The vet’s diagnosis and treatment recommendations add reliable information to your Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM Step 2). You can use of this information both for treatment decisions as well as for monitoring.

  • Try not to let any urinalysis findings (like crystals, white cells, blood, etc.) scare you into treating any way that you’re not comfortable. These abnormalities can resolve as the underlying dis-ease is treated.
  • What you do now will have a direct effect on persistence, recurrence and progression of the dis-ease.

3. Increase fluid intake and fresh food feeding. Stop any dry food. This is critical. Especially for cats. Adding organic chicken broth to the food is one great way to increase fluid intake. Make the food as soupy as your pet will accept.

4. Monitor both the urinary as well as the BEAM (Behavior, Energy, Appetite, Mood) symptoms. These will help you decide if your pet is improving overall. In addition to just urinary symptom improvement. Record them in your journal to decide your next step.

5. Re-evaluate the treatment. Is it holistic? Does it take all of the different factors, like environment and stress, into consideration? If there is no improvement or if only the urinary symptoms improve while overall health is declining (maybe your pet’s urinary symptoms are better but now s/he is lethargic, getting pickier, having diarrhea or vomiting, etc.) then move to step 6.

6. Discuss treating the underlying internal imbalance with your vet. If she says to just continue the anti-biotic, or rolls her eyes, then consider consulting with a truly holistic vet. Even if your vet calls herself “holistic”. You can find one on theavh.org

7. Now’s also a great time to increase holistic support to promote natural healing. Homeopathic medicines, flower essences (especially those that help reduce fear and anxiety), Reiki, loving, soothing massages and T-Touch, play and other forms of environmental enrichment will help.

8. Congratulations! You did a great job. Your patience and perseverance with working through your pet’s symptoms has paid off with a happier cat who will have fewer problems in the future.

Holistic Actions! will always improve your pet’s quality of life and overall happiness.

Join us as at Holistic Actions! Academy to have our faculty help you to help your pets.

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5 Easy Holistic Actions! That Stop Cats From Urinating Outside the Litterbox

5 Easy Holistic Actions! That Stop Cats From Urinating Outside the Litterbox

Your kitty has started urinating (or pooping) on the living room rug.

What can you do?

You went to the veterinarian. Examination and diagnostic testing was all normal. But clearly something is wrong.

What could it be?

Now’s a great time to look at the symptoms in detail. Put them into the context of the whole environment. And interpret them holistically.

Take A Look At Symptoms

The urine tests were clear, so there’s no indication of urinary infection (which is a rare cause for this symptom in cats anyway). Nothing that you’re aware of has recently changed. But your kitty disagrees.

You know that cats can be fierce hunters. But did you also know that they can be exquisitely sensitive?

In fact, the majority of “inappropriate elimination” (this is vet speak for the syndrome even though your kitty probably thinks that peeing on your good rug is totally appropriate) are due to some slight environmental change that your cat doesn’t like.

Try these 5 easy fixes

  1. Scoop the box after every elimination. Cats are fastidious creatures and many prefer not to use a soiled box. One clue is that these cats sometimes only dig in litter that’s been freshly added to the box.
  2. Change the type of litter you use. Litter preference (and aversion) is commonly seen so if you use a claylitter, try a sand type (clumping one). Choose an unscented litter and avoid litter deodorizers (Use Zero Odor spray to eliminate litter area or other odors).cats love boxes and urinate in clean boxes so you can reduce inappropriate urination by using a clean box
  3. Wash the litter box thoroughly. Even better, get a new, bigger one. With no odor. Some cats will not use a box if they detect that the box has even a slight smell. In fact, some cats would prefer to urinate on the clean brown packing paper in the new cardboard box you just got from Amazon!
  4. Add a piece of carpet that sticks out from under the box. Cats can develop a surface preference. They seem to like the feel of specific textures under their feet when they urinate. These cats will pee in the box while having their front feet outside the box on the carpet.
  5. Move the box to a quiet, protected area. Your cat may be one of those with a location preference. Move the box to her preferred location to prompt her to use it again. Once she is doing so for a few days, you can slowly start moving it to a more convenient (for you) spot.

smelly litter box and litter aversion is a common cause for inappropriate elimination

Making these simple changes can eliminate the problem by addressing the environmental trigger.

Even better is to address the underlying internal change that may have suddenly made you cat over-sensitive to her environment.

Join us as a Holistic Actions! Academy member to have our faculty help you help your pets.

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What You Can Do For Your Dog or Cat Having Seizures

What You Can Do For Your Dog or Cat Having Seizures

Homeopathic treatment can help any named dis-ease. As long as sufficient vitality exists.

Animals have convulsions for various reasons. What can you do if your pet has a seizure? And is already being treated with homeopathy.

Homeopathic Remedies

In my homeopathic practice, here’s what we do. Often the decision about what to give (homeopathically) is between Aconite (Acon.) and Belladonna (Bell.)

How do you decide which to use?

Based on the clues which the body generates secondary to physiologic changes which cause diagnostic test abnormalities. In turn, these symptom changes are secondary to internal energetic imbalances.

What clues? Symptoms. For any seizing patient whose symptoms correspond to the homeopathic medicine “picture”. For any named dis-ease.

For example:

  • Restless —> Acon.
  • Lying in one spot not wanting to move —> Bell.
  • Fear —> Acon.
  • Dilated pupils —> Bell.
  • Thirsty —> Acon.

1-3 pellets added to 8 oz.  water. Give 1 tsp. Succuss 10x and give 1 tsp. whenever needed. Dosing can be every few minutes to every few hours, days, or only once. Regardless, if the doses are not helping, you probably need to switch to the other homeopathic medicine (which you did not choose). Or perhaps to another based on the symptoms and your observations.

I hope you never have to use this.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

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Flower Essences for Lame and Arthritic Pets

Flower Essences for Lame and Arthritic Pets

Flower Essences (FE) can help your pets with both physical and emotional health challenges. They are great for lame, stiff and arthritic pets.

Unlike supplements that act like natural drugs, FE are 100% safe. They are made by putting specially chosen flowers in water and exposing to sunlight.

Most of them focus on emotional states like fears, grief and shock. However what affects the mind also affects the body. The latest mind-body research shows that problem emotions can cause physical symptoms. They work best when you can match the emotional state of your pet with the physical health challenge.

Your lame, stiff and arthritic pets will feel better and be happier from FE. 

Don’t give up just because one specific essence isn’t helping your pet. You can try one for a month but if it is not helping, just switch to another. There are hundreds of individual essences. Every one has different properties and improves different symptoms. You have two major options to select FE:

  • Single essences that you may combine yourself
  • Combinations labeled for your pet’s problem

Combinations specifically for lameness problems in animals are sold by several companies. Each also has single essences you could explore. Senior combinations may be used for any aged animal who is showing signs associated with aging.

There are also specific combinations for emergency and painful situations. Each is made from different essences, so one company’s formula may resonate more with your dog or cat. All are 100% safe, so try one after the other until you find the best for each person and animal in your home. All are equally good for you as well.

Administering Flower Essences

Flower Essences are very easy to use! They can be given by mouth, added to food or water, applied topically (especially to sore joints), or sprayed in a problem area (like the car they are nervous about riding in).

FE work best when they are given very frequently. The more problematic the symptom, the more frequent the administration.

Your arthritic pet who just wiped out on the floor and is panting and anxious may need a dose every few minutes!  Administering them in different ways (oral, sprayed, rubbed in, etc.) up to six times or a day often works best.

The standard recommendation from the Bach FE company (makers of the highly effective Rescue Remedy) is to put four drops of Rescue is put into a mixture. That then can be sprayed or massaged on the animal or misted in the air.

Two drops of each chosen flower remedy in a 1 oz bottle of spring (or filtered) water.

FE specially formulated for lame, stiff and arthritic animals:

Bach Essences: 

  • Beech: intolerant animals who have trouble relaxing emotionally that develop stiff joints/arthritis.  
  • Rock Water: Stubborn animals who seem rigid and hate change. Physically and emotionally inflexible animals. Use it when you see even a little lessening of flexibility in spine or legs (remember aging does not cause loss of flexibility). 
  • Willow: resentful animals with arthritis.
  • Agrimony: Stoic, hide their problems, hide when people argue. Often skin or GI tract problems occur along with the joint problems.

Jackson Galaxy Essential FE (originally Spirit Essences):

  • Creak Away: Rigid thoughts and behavior patterns can ultimately create stiffness in the body and can make an animal grouchy and unhappy. This combination helps disperse this blocked energy and restore free flow throughout the system.
  • Graceful Aging: This combination addresses being stuck in certain habits, being grumpy or impatient.  
  • Intensive Care – Relieve pain, calm panic, ground the emotional and physical systems. May be needed for weeks after surgery or an accident.

Green Hope Essences:

  • Run And Play: Addresses health and wellbeing of bones, joints and muscles. Is also good after joint or bone surgeries.
  • Animal emergency care: Fear, trauma, shock can challenge the electrical system, hindering the ability to respond to any healing treatments. This combination stabilizes the system thus calming him.
  • Senior citizen: Helps reverse the declines to whatever degree is possible in areas such as flexibility, energy level, hearing, and more.


  • Recovery Remedy: Helps after both physical and emotional trauma. Speed regeneration of nerves after an accident.
  • Senior: Eases arthritis pain as well as strengthen kidney and bladder function.
  • Many single remedies that Sharon (the owner) can help you select.

Pet Essences:

  • Arthritis and Achy Pain: Stiff, sore, achy joints and muscles. Arthritis-type symptoms experienced when jumping or walking, especially in older animals.
  • Elder Comfort: A gentle blend of FE that help an older animal feel more secure and comfortable.
  • Fracture Repair: Helps the body repair and deal with broken or cracked bones.
  • Graceful alignment: Learning to walk in a balanced way after an accident, surgery, fight or even illness.
  • Skeletal support: Balances the emotional attitudes that may affect the skeletal system.

New Millennium Essences

  • Animal Arthritis: Blend of flower essences to help animals to deal with arthritis in the joints, at both the emotional and physical level.

All of these choices may seem overwhelming at first. But you don’t need to let them be. All you need to do is choose the one which seems to match your pet’s health challenges best. Since they’re so safe, it’s no problem to try a different one to see if it helps more.

Holistic Actions! community can help you decide which to use. HA! members can post questions in the Facebook Group. Fall of 2017, full supporting members will also have access to a private discussion forum on this site.

It’s also not too late to join us for the live webinar. You’ll learn many other ways to help your lame, stiff and arthritic pets.

Be well.

Drs. Christina and Jeff

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Should You Use Supplements for Your Lame and Arthritic Pets?

Should You Use Supplements for Your Lame and Arthritic Pets?

The Problem: Increasing lameness, stiffness and arthritic problems in our pets.

The Solution: Individualized treatment while supporting your pet’s body while it heals. By optimizing lifestyle and using nutritional supplements (if needed).

 We all love our animal companions and we don’t want them to suffer. Fortunately there’s lots of ways to help them.

Ideal Scenario

Lifestyle improvements are really important, but sometimes are not enough.

Optimizing the internal underlying imbalance is critical, but not always practical.

That’s where nutritional supplementation is most useful. There are many, many ways to internally support your pets and help them have better lives.

How Do Supplements Work?

Unlike homeopathy and acupuncture, supplementation works on the physical body. Not the vital force (or chi, prana, etc.).

Nutritional supplements are like natural drugs.

They help the genes work better. The proteins produced from the genes support life and health.

Supplements are (usually) supportive and not curative.

Dr. Hahnemann coined the phrase “allopathic” for the medical practice based on the use of dis-similar substances. Whether using a natural herb, an artificial drug, or a supplement.

Allo- (or different) vs. homeo- (the same) and pathic (from dis-ease or suffering).

The rare exception is when a supplement fits the totality of the symptoms of the individual so well that it works “homeopathically”.

Supportive and Curative Treatments at the Same Time?

Homeopathy arose as a method of optimizing internal balance. Not covering up symptoms (as supplements can do). However, even the founder of homeopathy (Dr. Hahnemann) describes many ways to support the body during treatment of the underlying dis-ease (imbalance).

Herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes, were routinely used in the “olden” days. Naturopathic methods were integrated into conventional medical treatments.

That changed with the advent of the AMA and modern “scientific” medicine.

However, that has shifted again. By the 1970s, natural and holistic nutritional supplements were coming back! Nowadays, almost every veterinary practice has multiple supplements on their pharmacy shelves.There are new ones coming on the scene almost every day. Just like drugs.

Crippling Arthritis Be Gone!

One of my first experiences with nutritional supplements took place almost thirty years ago. A client of mine with a stiff older dog named Sasha asked me about omega-3 supplementation. Because it had been recommended by her own amazing informed and open-minded rheumatologist.

The pup’s guardian had started taking them. Within a few weeks, her gnarled, painful fingers and other joints improved! More than with any anti-inflammatory that she had taken. And without the side-effects of the medications.

This intrigued me so I started doing some research on the use of omega-3s for arthritis. Unlike there is now, at that time there was not much data on their effectiveness in animals (or people). Despite this, the woman requested that we try some for her crippled German Shepherd.

The next time I saw Sasha, she was like a new dog! Happier, more energetic and clearly feeling better. Her mobility was markedly improved and my practice was changed forever.

Specific Supplements I Use for Arthritis

I’d therefore like to share a few thoughts about the 10 most commonly prescribed nutritional supplements in my clinical practice for lame and arthritic dogs and cats:

1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Many, many beneficial efects both in arthritic dis-ease as well as heart, skin, brain, etc. challenges. The best sources are usually from anchovies and sardines. It’s best to stay away from salmon oil (which is highly contaminated with heavy metals). The triglyceride form is most natural, best absorbed and utilized.

2. Superoxide dismutase: Has a very short life in the body. It is often used in combination with other antioxidants. These reduce the harmful “free radicals” that worsen many dis-eases and promote aging and cancer. Nu-Pet antioxidant wafers are among my favorite sources.

3. Hyaluronic acid: A chief component of joint fluid and lubricant to many connective tissues. Previously only absorbed and used as injections such as Adequan. But now with Trixsyn and other oral well-absorbed HA supplements it is invaluable for the stiff pet.

4. Glucosamine sulfate: Another component of the joints and musculoskeletal tissues and one of the first supplements thought of in lame animals and arthritis. Other forms that don’t contain sulfer, don’t work as well. They need to be combined with chondroitin sulfate.

5. DimethylGlycine (DMG): A methyl donor which improves many metabolic functions. Often used in combination with other supplements. For arthritis I advise the chewable Glycoflex 1 + DMG.

6. Coenzyme Q-10: A critical part of any arthritis support program. Helps mitochondrial function, energy production and arthritis symptoms. But it is not very well absorbed. Ideally use a non-powdered and non-crystalline form. Xymogen’s Co-Q Max is my favorite one to date (but is also only available through your doctor).

7. Resveratrol and grape seed extract: Not whole grapes. Those can be toxic. But extracts are awesome antioxidants. They have many, many benefits. Resveratrol has even been shown to prolong life (in people).

8. Boswellia: An herb used for thousands of years that naturally works on same part of the inflammatory pathway as aspirin. It can quickly and effectively decrease arthritic pain when used judiciously.

9. Curcumin + black pepper: Turmeric root has also been used for millennia as a natural anti-inflammatory. It works wonderfully for arthritis. Its’ effect is increased by combining it with black pepper. As found in the popular “Golden Paste” mix.

10. Bromelain usually along with other enzymes: Also natural anti-inflammatories. Great for helping many uncomfortable dis-orders. Wobenzyme makes the most popular human enzyme of this type. But also talk to your veterinarian about Vetriscience’s Devcor + Mobility Pro. An awesome combination of enzymes and herbs that has helped many pets.


MSM is the one nutritional supplement that I rarely advise. Why? Because it’s very effective at covering up the symptom clues that help monitor and treat the internal dis-ease. Especially at higher doses like 100-500mg.

Does it work? Yes. But unlike with many other supplements it has a better chance of manipulating and harmfully altering the underlying problem.

Any supplement can have the same effect. MSM especially can mask the symptom clues. This defeats the purpose of restoring wellness.

Natural Nutrition is Best

If you’ve read this far, you probably really care about helping your pet. I therefore want to impress upon you the far superiority of optimizing your pet’s body naturally. Not with artificial supplements. You can harness the power of nature with nutritional items like the blueberry-kale slurry, bone broth and eggshell membranes.

What’s most important? The treatment goal of eliminating imbalance by monitoring the symptom changes of your pet’s body.

Be well.

Dr. Jeff

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What Molecular Biology, the MTHFR Gene and Your Pet’s Brain Have in Common

What Molecular Biology, the MTHFR Gene and Your Pet’s Brain Have in Common

Our companion animals give us unconditional love and support. They deserve the best that we can give them. Unfortunately many of them are living shorter lives. They’re also suffering from more serious and stubborn dis-eases. Things that just keep coming back and getting worse over time.

Dogs and cats are able to have long and healthy lives because of their ability to interact in a life-sustaining way with their environments. Their responses to external stressors keep them healthy or make them sick. The genes are only partially responsible for these reactions.

What you do matters even more! Behavior problems, seizures, and even brain tumors can be prevented and helped by the choices that you make every day.

For example, a dog can be playing with his friends and get a little wound which bleeds a bit but then clots and heals. Why? Because his complex clotting mechanism is working properly. However if the same pup has the genetic variation that causes Von Willebrand’s disease (VWD), the bleeding may not stop. The fun play is over and you have to rush to the veterinary hospital to get help. Some dogs have even bled to death due to this and other bleeding defects. Similar to hemophilia.

However, most animals with VWD are able to have normal lives. Why? Because just like a light switch, genes and the proteins they code for can be turned on or off. This is what are called epi-genetic influences. Many environmental factors effect genetic expression.

Things you do every day like vaccinating, medication use, feeding, and symptom suppression can modify the genes

“Nutrigenomics” is the scientific term for this. Everyone can learn more about it from Dr. Dodds’ great 2015 book “Canine Nutrigenomics: The New Science of Feeding Your Dog of Optimum Health”. Guardians of cats, horses, and any living being can also benefit. This is not just about dogs.

In human animals, one of these genes causes an enzyme to be made that adds a very important little piece onto other chemicals in the body. This is called methylation. Abnormalities of methylation can cause symptoms of serious brain and behavioral imbalance ranging from obsessive compulsive disorders to schizophrenia and even brain tumors.

The thing is, that even if the gene is abnormal, the methylation process can be normal. That’s because, like VWD and many other genetic abnormalities, the disease it can cause can be prevented. Even once a dis-ease is active it can be helped. This is known as the gene’s “penetrance”. The result, or penetration of any gene can be modified through epigenetic and nutrigenomic influences.

You can make a huge difference in your pet’s quality and length of life. Every Holistic Action! that you take will help.

Many behavior and brain problems can easily be helped. Take advantage of epigenetics and start today. Feed fresh food, increase environmental stimulation, exercise and socialization.

Even though MTHFR abnormalities have not yet been documented in companion animals, adding methyl donors will also help. These can be found in dark green leafy vegetables and supplements like betaine and dimethylglycine. This simple action alone can reduce (and stop) seizures. You’ll also be helping the whole body function better.

Be well,

Dr. Jeff

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How Your Pet’s Behavior is Related to Brain Dis-eases Like Seizures

How Your Pet’s Behavior is Related to Brain Dis-eases Like Seizures

Some of you have asked, how behavior problems and brain dis-eases (“dis-ease” is another way of saying imbalance) are connected.

That’s an easy one!

All parts of your pet’s body work together as a system. Not like a car made up of separate parts. A car may function normally with a broken tail light or window. You may not even know that there is a problem. This is not true of a computer or an animal.

The living being is a unified whole (as in “holistic”). Sensitive feedback mechanisms connect every part of the body.  For example, it is the brain that sees and hears. The bacteria that live in the guts effect the immune system and emotions! All parts of the body work together.

separation anxiety in a dog with brain disease curable with Holistic ActionsMeet Daphne

Daphne is a great example. She’s a six year young rescue Border Collie. Four years ago she started developing some fearful behavior. As the years went on, her odd behavior and fears worsened. She became over-sensitive to many noises and other environmental stimuli.

Then she started having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Her seizures were directly related to her odd behaviors, anxieties and fears.

At first her fears and seizures were rare, but over time they became more and more frequent. As her health worsened, her previously joyful life got smaller and smaller. She had to stop participating in her favorite agility classes, hikes, etc.

However, now that her seizures are under better control she is starting to get her life back. And her behavior is better. Why? Because the seizures, like other brain dis-eases, are directly related to her behavior.

And there are very specific Holistic Actions! that you can take today which can help. You can learn more about how to help your pets with behavior problems and brain dis-eases by joining Holistic Actions! Academy.

Be well,

Dr. Jeff

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