Paleo Dog Holidays!

Paleo Dog Holidays By Celeste Yarnall, PhD
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The temptations will be all around us once again this year, with turkey,  cranberry sauce,  mashed potatoes,  pies and cookies! Chocolate, which is toxic for both dogs and cats.  We have to be especially careful to honor our Paleo Dogs nature. First off overeating can be  a problem during the holidays because everyone will want to offer your dog(s) a little treat or taste of something they are eating and it is difficult to be everywhere at once, especially when children are around who may not be aware of your dogs Paleo nature and lifestyle. And besides that, everything is so tempting to share with the family dogs. The dogs are of course attracted to all the amazing aromas in the house from everything such as a spill on the floor to that exquisite platter you have just placed on the coffee table. It’s up to you to make sure they don’t get to help themselves, or there won’t be any holiday dinner left for you, and the evening could be spent at the vet emergency hospital!
Overeating isn’t just a holiday concern. It’s a behavior that has to be kept in check all year long. Easy-to-open cabinets, garbage cans, and food left on counter and table tops are temptations for our family dogs. Many people unacustomed to the Paleo lifestyle for dogs have been leeaving kibble out for free-feeding since their dogs first joined their family and therefore that to your dog is like leaving the dinner bell on constant ring mode, too! Pale Dogs shouldn’t be free-feeding. They are not grazing animals like cows!  Dogs are carnivores! Overeating can cause your dog to display symptoms such as; excessive drooling, dry heaving, or vomiting or even the life threatening condition known as bloat. Their stomach can become distended, hard, and uncomfortable to the touch. The symptoms of bloat are serious which your vet will refer to as  Gastric Dilatation Volvulus and this occurs when the stomach becomes overstretched by excessive gas content. It is also commonly referred to as ‘torsion’ and/or ‘gastric torsion,’ which occurs when the stomach is also twisted.
The word bloat is used as a general term to cover gas distension of the stomach with or without twisting. The majority of ingested food , such as kibble is usually very dry in the stomach, so fluids from other parts of the body are often absorbed into the stomach, potentially causing your pet to become dehydrated quickly.  Dry foods and commercial pet foods in both bags and cans are not biologically appropriate foods for the Paleo Dog. You can learn more about that in this article at Natural News by Celeste Yarnall
Overeating of non Paleo Dog foods can also lead to serious weight gain. We see pictures all the time of fat dogs that are meant to be funny.  They are not funny because they are not healthy animals. Obesity in animals, just like in humans, also takes its toll on bones, joints, ligaments, and organs in a cascade of suffering and misery. There are other reasons that animals become over eaters besides indulging in what’s left out for them to be able to get. Being bored, anxious, or depressed can cause them to overeat. It’s important for  our companion animals to have regular stimulation, playtime, exercise and feel important to the family, ie have a job to do. Growth spurts, just like with children, can cause our dogs to eat a little more. Exercising more can also make them hungrier than usual, as can changes in the weather. If it’s cold, and your Paleo Dog lives primarily outdoors, he might eat more to bulk up a bit for insulation and energy.Dogs in multi-animal homes might also tend to overeat because they’re territorial and want to keep others from getting their food. This is also like animals living in the wild and their Paleo Dog ancestors. They’ll eat everything they can because they don’t want anyone else to get it, and they don’t know when they’ll be eating again.Internal parasites and some health conditions can also be exhibited with the symptom of overeating, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, pancreatitis (this inflammatory condition can also be demonstrated by refusing to eat), pituitary gland tumors, or the inability to digest or absorb food due to a poorly functioning digestive system. Another example, is Cushing’s Disease…the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, causing cravings to eat more because the excess cortisol breaks down muscle and tissue draining the body of necessary protein, and these pets eat more in order to replace what has been lost. Some medications and drugs (like steroids) can also cause overeating. It’s always best to reach for natural anti-inflammatory help sooner than later.

The primary cause in this author’s opinion, is simply not being fed a proper diet in the first place.  Paleo Dogs are designed to eat RAW MEAT AND RAW BONES. They are designed to get their macro/micro nutrients recycled through their prey animal, and they’re designed to get their calcium requirement (which is also needed to balance the phosphorous in their meat rations) and dental needs taken care of from gnawing on and bone crushing raw bones. When are Paleo Dogs are not getting the nutrients they’re supposed to, they will eat more of what they ARE getting in an effort to make up for the lack thereof. Animals getting what they need will be satisfied and eat less. At Celestial Pets, we see this over and over again when helping our clients transition their animals to the Paleo Dog and Paleo Cat  diet we teach people to feed.

The bottom line? Feed a properly balanced, species-specific raw diet to your Paleo Dogs and Paleo Cats (not table scraps or cooked foods whether it is a holiday or not). Give them instead, lots of love, care, and exercise. Provide a safe environment by pet-proofing your home. Be observant of their behavior and habits…no one knows them better than you do, so only you will be able to detect any changes from the norm that they might exhibit that might warrant a trip to the vet.

It’s a privilege to share our homes with loving animals who are indeed part of our families and experience everything that goes with having them in our lives, and it’s all worth it! May you continue to enjoy the miracles that sharing your life with companion animals can bring.. along with the miracles of the Season. Happy Healthy Holidays!

Find out what and how to feed biologically appropriate food for cats and dogs here at the Celestial Musings Blog and also at  our company website, Celestial Pets.

You can pre-order Paleo Dog by Jean Hofve, DVM and Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D from Rodale Press for your Kindle or in Paper back at Amazon.com  Where you will learn that even the tiniest teacup poodle to the most massive Great Dane,   have digestive systems that are pure wolf. Your own dogs ancestors, were Paleo Dogs and they enjoyed a diet that was 45 to 50 percent protein, 40 to 50 percent fat, and less than 10 percent carbohydrates. When you walk down any pet food aisle, however, and you’ll find that typical commercial kibble is made mainly of starchy ingredients like peas, potatoes, corn, wheat, rice, and oats—nothing a prehistoric pup would dream of eating. This “healthy” mix is proving anything but: About 85 percent of dogs eat commercial dog food, and at least half of them are overweight or obese, with cancer killing 42 percent of all dogs and half of dogs over the age of 10.

So how do you feed a wolf disguised as a pug? Paleo Dog guides readers through an assessment of their dogs’ diets and helps them find the right balance of healthy ingredients. In addition to recipes and nutrition info, the book offers advice on what treats are safe, training tips, the benefits of exercise, massage, and other alternative therapies, and how to ensure that dogs receive the love and attention they need. Paleo Dog is the ultimate manual for any pet owner who wants to give her pet the longest and best quality of life.

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