When Gracie turned 10 years old last Fall, I received an email from my vet reminding me of a wellness check-up for Gracie. They want to see her twice a year now that she's "old". I understand. We had to visit the vet often for our previous dog, Ginger (pictured here), but it made more sense back then. Ginger was diabetic and insulin dependent. We gave her our best as we continued to monitor her health as much as she needed. You can read more about Ginger to learn what we did to help her be a winner against cancer and diabetes. One of the most amazing results we had in helping Ginger heal was that when she passed away at age nearly 14, she had NO cancer, a greatly reduced need for insulin, and NO arthritis in her spine. What were we doing RIGHT back then, and how can you replicate a wellness protocol that you can use for your dog?
What is a Wellness Protocol?
It's interesting that what we do (here in our home) for wellness has very little difference to what we do - or would do - for a health crisis. Prevention for arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and other health challenges are all about bringing the body into balance, supporting the immune system, giving the "right" nutrients in the form of food and supplements, and offering an environment that initiates and supports healing. You may want to consider implementing a wellness protocol that includes:
- detoxification. Every day, our Gracie has a few drops of a mineral detox. In fact we start her day immediately with detoxification. This process is so important and so vital, it can stand alone as a fundamental necessity for optimal health - no matter the situation.
- food. I learned the hard way that even the best bagged or canned food doesn't support health and healing as much as you'd like. Many of these processed foods contain inferior proteins, fillers, sugars, and salts, as well as artificial ingredients that taste great, but offer less-than-optimal ingredients for healing. The right nutrition in conjunction with detoxification can be a magic formula that begins to work immediately. (Your dog will let you know.)
- supplements. Choices and medical claims across the internet feel overwhelming. What you've heard about a few basic arthritis supplements like glucosamine may attract your attention. However, some of these standard nutritional supplements aren't right for your dog. Will your dog be able to absorb these nutrients? Is it enough to work? Supplements that are a part of a wellness protocol work to reduce inflammation, support a healthy gut, have a good antioxidant profile, and be more like food than medicine. In fact, feeding the body what it needs can be the best medicine.
- essential oils. I wish I knew about essential oils many years ago. Though information was scant even 20 years ago, ancient knowledge about essential oils is being re-birthed into modern holistic practices. Certain high-quality essential oils act as food and medicine when applied or taken internally (CAUTION- do your research, or call me). In addition, essential oils work on all aspects of wellness and healing - physical, emotional, and spiritual. Arthritis, cancer, and many other health challenges have emotional components that are more often than not overlooked.
- environment. Free of chemicals and low in stress are great goals for everyone. Logistically, you'll want to also support your aging dog with stairs to get into the car (or into bed) to avoid injuries from jumping. The proper bedding also helps. Look for softer bedding (natural latex is my favorite). Though memory foam might be a good choice, there can be issues around off-gassing of harmful chemicals, and compaction of the foam (becoming hard under your sensitive older dog.)
Recently, our Gracie at 10 1/2 years old has shown a little stiffness in her shoulders. She takes several supplements to support mobility and anti-aging. In fact, many of the supplements I take, she also gets. I have a shredded latex dog bed on order for her. I have a special mix of essential oils on hand that give her instant relief. Tuning forks, Reiki, and love complete the picture for our girl.
I'll still bring Gracie in for her check-up. She'll have blood work done and her teeth will have an expert cleaning beyond what I do at home (so important for the cracked tooth in the back). Otherwise, there are no lumps and bumps, no warning signs of disease, and - because I asked her - nothing to worry about. Her wellness protocol works WELL to support her healthy aging without arthritis, cancer, or many of the other challenges common to older pets.
What you can do now
Healing and recovery mode look very much like a wellness protocol . . . only more aggressive, and more frequent dosing. Please don't wait for something to change - maybe for the worse. Time can be a friend if you begin to work immediately. Call Rosemary for a free consultation. We can talk about your dog's protocol for arthritis (or other health challenge). It will feel right because it focuses on wellness - giving the body what it needs - rather than treating with potentially harmful drugs.