Why do dogs seem so unhealthy!? - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Dogs seem to be plagued by so many more health conditions - more than ever before. Canine cancers are on the rise, diet and metabolic related illness, skin conditions and arthritis, along with ear, kidney and urinary tract infections. The vet bills can add up!

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We see all of these concerns, and more, with clients and their pets everyday. 

Bad diet

Diet is the first and simplest issue to address. In the wild, dogs evolved eating the meat ,bones and offal of kill or dead animals. Part of this was eating the stomach contents and faeces of herbivores. Wild dogs eat nearly all of their prey - bones, skin, glands and offal.

Both cats and dogs have evolved over thousands of year to consume raw meat. Their bodies are adapted to process raw, living foods with lots of a variety. Dogs have adapted to thrive on meat and non-meat scraps along with roughage. Remember to feed a variety of raw meats. Feeding raw chunks of the muscle of one type of animal isn't going to cover the basic nutritional needs! Just like us, our animals want and need some diversity. 

Not enough exercise, movement or stimulation

Just like people, dogs need to move regularly. Owning a dog is a great reason to get out, walk, explore new areas and get fresh air. Dogs need both physical and mental stimulation everyday. The amount of exercise will depend on your dog's breed, age and health but a dog should get one to two hours of exercise a day. The stimulation of walking outside their yard/house is also a bonus. 

If you are just starting to exercise your dog, make sure to start slowly and build up fitness. Watch out for panting and slowing or stopping to lie down during activities. Avoid outdoor activities on very hot days, and be sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times.

Genetic issues

Some dogs, due to their genetics are healthier than others in and some breeds that are predisposed to medical problems. Many diseases in the domestic dog are genetic in origin. 

Hip dysplasia, bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease, Degenerative myelopathy (DM), Brachycephalic Syndrome ('short headed'), 


We have a growing concern about the over usage of anti-parasitic treatments in our pets. The shelves in every veterinary practice are filled with a variety of anti-parasitic treatments; as are the shelves at pet shops. Business is booming with anti-parasitic treatment sales. You find adverts on TV, the radio and magazines that warn you how harmful fleas and worms can be for your pet. Yet, no one mentions that a monthly treatment with these 'tasty chews' filled with potent chemical substances might be harmful for your dog long term. 

I would like to make you aware of the toxic load for your pets that comes from a well intentioned anti-parasitic treatment. Yes, parasites can harm our pets but there is a lot what we can do before we need the help of chemical weapons.


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Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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