Since I first became a practicing veterinarian more than 25 years ago I have been passionate about improving pet health and longevity through the use of natural diets, treats and supplements. I suppose you could say it’s my mission in life!
My Vets All Natural clinic in Castlemaine focuses very heavily on natural holistic solutions to increasing pet lifespan, managing and controlling skin allergies and joint problems, tackling obesity, promoting dental health improving digestion, stamina and fertility and reducing the number of visits my clients have to make to see us – their vets!
There is a veritable feast of natural ingredients you can use to supplement your dog's choice of food to promote their health and wellbeing, many of which I have combined to create our Vets All Natural range of health boosters, chews and supplements.
My experience, gained over 25 years in practice, has shown me that more than 50 percent of allergic pets can be maintained on a drug free regime by following my allergy-targeting Skin Protocol.
This protocol involves feeding a preservative-free unique protein such as kangaroo meat, supplemented with multi-strain probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts), Omega 3 fatty acids, dietary zinc, and natural antioxidants like milk thistle, Quercetin, green tea, beta carotene and vitamin C which provide essential micronutrients required to remove oxygen free radicals that are produced in everyday metabolic processes.
Immune modulating ingredients such as Astragalus and Perilla seeds (antioxidant-rich Chinese herbs that support the immune system) and colostrum (a potent source of immunoglobulins (antibodies) and immune system stimulators) have a direct impact on the T Helper cells of the immune system and correct imbalances that result in pro-inflammatory states.
As well as aiding skin health, probiotics stimulate and regulate or modulate the immune system at both a local level - at the gut surface, and systemically. Normal contact between probiotic bacteria and gut epithelial cells creates a homeostatic effect, and regulates normal healthy gut function but if imbalance or depletion of probiotics occurs the absence of these routine signals at the gut surface (called intestinal dysbiosis) can lead to a breakdown in regulatory immune mechanisms and promote aggressive and uncontrolled inflammatory responses such as Irritable or Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Chia seeds, packed with B Vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids, protein and fibre are also beneficial to gut health, while green lentils are an excellent source of fibre rich in folate, Vitamin B, Iron, Phosphorous and Manganese.
Key supplements to repair the gut include glutamine and aloe vera, along with a potent, multi-strain probiotic (eg. Entralive).
Joint and muscle health
Having treated literally thousands of animals suffering from arthritis over the years I have developed a system that caters for all types of animals, and all types of arthritis.
In the case of mature-age arthritis, diet and weight loss are important first steps to tackling painful symptoms. Then pet owners should consider a supplement, such as Vets All Natural Joint Support Powder or Chews, which contains glucosamine chondroitin sulphate (for normal joint function and the stimulation of cartilage repair), Vitamin C, Flax Seed and fish oil (for Omega 3), Ginger (for its anti inflammatory and pain suppressant properties), Dolomite (a calcium and magnesium supplement), Copper and Sulphur (mineral supplements), and Boron (mineralisation of bone). Combined, these natural ingredients aid joint repair and correct the nutritional deficiencies (micro malnutrition) that cause accelerated joint degeneration.
I have found joint support supplements equally beneficial for pets with growth disorders such as hip dysplasia and elbow OCD, and early onset arthritis as well.
The natural ingredients above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to boosting your pet’s health. For example, Kelp is a rich source of iodine vital for normal thyroid and metabolic function. It contains more than 60 mineral and trace elements, 21 amino acids, simple and complex carbohydrates and several essential plant growth hormones. Or how about the humble carrot? They’re an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients thought to help protect the heart and reduce the risk of cancer. Adding other anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric and rose hip can create a fantastic synergistic effect with the Joint Formula powder.
If you have a question about natural pet nutrition or other healthy things to add to your dog’s food, please don’t hesitate to post on my Facebook page (below) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Bruce Syme BVSc (Hons) is a qualified veterinarian and the founder of Vets All Natural. He has developed this range of foods and supplements purely from his desire to heal more, and a wider range of animals than those seen in his clinic everyday.