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

Is the Food you Feed Helping or Hurting Your Pets?

Is the Food you Feed Helping or Hurting Your Pets?

Food has been used as a safe and effective medicine for thousands of years.

Living food is vital and gives our pets the nutrients and energy they need to survive, thrive, and heal. The freshest foods promote wellness and speed this healing. fresh and vital foods help healingProcessed pet foods have most of their vitality removed.

The high heat and pressure used during manufacturing destroys most of their living parts and healing properties. These de-vitalized foods then need these essential nutrients added back to them.

Dry and wet dead foods can predispose your pets to nutritional, allergic and autoimmune dis- eases. Even fatal poisoning from toxins in the ingredients.

Most of our pets love food and live to eat. They have to eat whatever we give them and rely on us to feed them well and deserve better than this.

Fresh, living (vital) food is ideal and what their bodies crave. If you feed kibble or canned foods try mixing in some fresh food with their next meal and see what gets eaten first.

Real food is known to help resolve diabetes and obesity, mouth and dental dis-eases, skin and ear problems, inflammatory bowel and heart dis-eases etc.

The freshness of the food we feed our companion animals directly influences length and quality of their lives.

Help your pets today. Feed Fresh Food.

Here is the food vitality scale. Where does your pet food fall on it?

Click on the image to download the food vitality scale.


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Can Nutritional Supplements Hurt Your Pets?

Can Nutritional Supplements Hurt Your Pets?

We live in a fast-paced society. We want quick results. Especially when our beloved pets develop scary symptoms.

Drugs are designed to eliminate these symptoms. And in many cases, they do this quite effectively.

At the same time, many of us have become more holistically-oriented. We prefer to avoid artificial drugs when possible. Especially since we know that many of them can have harmful side effects, including death.

That’s where supplements come in. A healthier and more natural alternative.

To Supplement Or Not To Supplement?

Extensive research shows that some of these natural drugs are very effective. Healing mechanisms of the body can be supported by nutritional supplements. That’s a good thing.

But is it all good?


Two reasons.

The most common is that supplements can be used to hide important symptom clues. Covering them up, like drugs often do, can actually slow down the deep healing process that leads to happier and longer lives for our pets.

Even food can be used to do the same thing. One example is the pup that “needs” to eat a special diet or else he gets diarrhea, or itchy skin (or some other symptom).

The diet is being used to cover up symptoms.

The real problem in this case is that the allergic threshold is too low. The food is being used to cover up symptoms that are important and helpful to monitor and treat directly.

In this case, an underlying immune hypersensitivity causes the low allergy threshold. But the symptom clues are being covered up. So the real problem can’t be treated directly.

Don’t Cover The Symptoms

Why should we avoid covering up these symptoms? Because the result of internal treatment is that fewer foods trigger an allergic reaction. Sometimes even resolution of otherwise “incurable” allergies.

Seeing and treating the underlying dis-ease (imbalance) is important to resolving the symptoms that caused the use of drugs or supplements in the first place.

The second, but much less common problem with supplement use is that they can increase the work of important organs like the liver and kidneys. Again, slowing down, and even worsening health.

So mindful use of supplements can help. But overuse can hurt.

This may seem confusing and contradictory, but it’s really not.

If you have any questions about how nutritional supplementation can be helpful, or harmful, feel free to post them in the private Holistic Actions! Facebook group.

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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Can My Pets Eat Tofu?

Can My Pets Eat Tofu?

Amy (my wife) asked about giving her uneaten Tofu to Vanya (our pup).

My short answer? “Absolutely!”

The less satisfying and longer answer is “it depends”.

Ideally you want to consider these factors:

  1. Feed tofu ONLY if the soy is certified organic or not from genetically modified (GM) soy.
  2. Minimize or avoid tofu as a nutritional source in some cases (based on context). For example, if the mild synthetic estrogenic effect of the tofu is contraindicated (ask your vet if you’re unsure).
  3. Tofu and soy are actually beneficial for managing incontinence. Because of the effect mentioned above. Tofu will help tighten up the urinary passage and reduce, and even stop, urine leakage. Especially In female dogs that were spayed when immature.

Bottom line?

Tofu is usually fine to feed. Just not large amounts. As part of feeding variety.

Variety. Moderation. Fresh. That’s almost always the answer.

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