This won’t be a long post but it does bear sharing as so many have this mindset on the pet carnivore – NOT the wild carnivore mind you. People seem to understand the needs of the wild one but totally dissociate our carnivore pets from that for some very odd reason. For the record, I’m not open to debate on this topic as I have taken the full journey from kibble, to omnivore diet to carnivore through both research AND application. I stand by the carnivore diet. So this post is food for thought.
So anyway, I’ve been in dialogue with an online friend/associate over helping a dog suffering from major long-term digestive issues which repeated vet visits could not resolve. My friend wanted to provide the person who has the dog with an Ayurvedic solution to help the gut flora recover. Additionally she also felt that the dog ought to be taken off of several types of food including MEAT so the gut could “recover”. Often in the veterinary community this is their response as well.
Sidenote: A veterinarian friend of mine (who has been deceased now since 2011 sadly) said it is due to the indoctrination training they receive that declares that dogs are “omnivore-biased carnivores“. LOL that doesn’t make a bit of sense but anyway I’ll leave my sarcasm for another blog post. He wasn’t of that mindset AFTER he learned the truth. He became an advocate for raw feeding in fact.
So I responded with the truth (yes PLENTY of proof) that dogs are carnivores so the only thing in their diet ought to be raw meat/bones/organs. I know some get berries. I have friends who let their dogs eat the berries they grow which is perfectly normal in the wild for carnivores to do as well. Vegetables are an entirely other topic. I suggested the following instead – I’m sharing not to have to be “right” but to stand in the gap for what is right, as well as in the hopes it can help someone else. I’m also going to link to the full post I did on my former dog Schatzie that I use as my example here.
I suggested that an element we’ve completely ignored is water fasting. I know, the horrors right? But science is truly proving out that fasting can reset our immune system in three days. Guess what? It works for the carnivore too. I know it works for other animals but I’m focused here on the carnivore so I’ll stick to that since it is normal for carnivores to fast regularly – they aren’t always guaranteed they’ll catch prey so their bodies are designed to be able to fast and conserve energy.
Humans are also designed to be able to fast. I do that whenever I’m sick as the immune system can reset itself much easier and build back up if it doesn’t have to digest food. Food digestion uses a LOT of energy which diverts the body from healing itself as it was designed. Rest is one of the laws of health we tend to ignore, especially in the western world. Rest doesn’t just mean good sleep, but to rest from digestion as well.
So I suggested that a water fast might be a start for this dog and even maybe use water that has electrolytes in it. I did that for my former dog when she was sick. She wanted to eat but was vomiting everything up – she was diagnosed with liver disease (read the article below to get the full story to learn that just because a diagnosis is presented as a fact does not make it the truth). So I fasted her for a week but gave her the “powered up” water and even some unflavored Pedialyte. When I reintroduced food to her it was very small amounts of grind which I did for a few days. Then within a total of about two weeks after that she was eating her regular carnivore diet again. Also I used essential oils on her multiple times per day as well – those super helped her energetically as well as gave her relief from her extreme discomfort. Here is the link to the full story: Schatzie Girl Is Teaching Me
I went on to say to my friend that “the gut flora of a carnivore is quite different from the omnivore or herbivore. It definitely is a needed focus but we’ve left off water fasting that resets the entire body. I’ve even seen a wild lion that was bit by a mamba recover after two weeks of water fasting and sleep. Rest in other words! The consensus in the carnivore community (those modeling prey model raw) is fasting is needed. Human health is also moving in that direction a lot. We always need to stay with what is natural to the species first. Changing the diet contrary to the species won’t build the needed gut biome. I’ve seen too many suggest omnivore/herbivore diets thinking it will be easier on them when the exact opposite is true.” FYI: the lion I mention here I watched a documentary.
When I shared this with my friend who was seeing things from the “meat is too hard to digest so something much easier on the gut should be fed until the gut biome is built back up” perspective was able to see what I was saying and simply responded with “Brilliant!” The truth is, the easiest thing for a carnivore to digest isn’t cooked foods, herbivorous foods, or even omnivorous foods. Rather, the raw meat/bones/organs they are designed to digest is what is needed even if we need to grind it all up, and add in some probiotics/enzymes until they are able to get their full “carnivore” back on. Fasting helps not only speed up the process because the body is able to focus solely on healing itself, but when they do start eating again they can eat the ground up stuff (grind) like we feed when weaning a puppy so it’s easier all the way around.
Those are my views and thoughts on this subject. I just wanted to share in case anyone has gone through similar and could not get a resolution. The thing is, I’ve seen these dogs end up being euthanized simply because we missed these steps in addressing them. Western thinking is always to prescribe MORE – drugs, remedies, etc. Rather than REST. And rest is critical for any type of healing which includes resting the digestion as well.
We are too conditioned in our society that we HAVE to eat so therefore so do our animals HAVE to eat even if they are very sick. Look back into history and you’ll discover fasting was far more utilized than nowadays but that is changing thankfully. I’ll be honest and say I don’t enjoy fasting UNLESS I’m sick lol. I do, however, do intermittent fasting daily and have since 2018. Longer fasting when I’m well is purely for spiritual reasons which by the way also helps us upgrade our physical lives!
Nowadays, people are even going back to growing and raising our own food as well as learning that fasting isn’t a deprivation but a rest for better health – spiritually, soulfully (mind/will/emotions) and physically. Just for the record, rest (fasting, good sleep, et al) is a law of health!
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11: 28-30, NKJV
Until next time…
Have a PAWSitively, tail waggin’, NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!
Kim Bloomer, V.N.D., N.D. is an animal naturopath as well as being certified in small animal nutrition, with years of experience in animal wellness. Dr. Kim is a published author, writer, blogger, host of the DOGgone Truth podcast. Copyright ©2005-2023 Aspenbloom Pet Care, Dr. Kim Bloomer, All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author/Publisher. This article is intended to be educational. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a qualified animal health professional. Dr. Kim Bloomer and Aspenbloom Pet Care, do not assume any legal responsibility for misuse of the products discussed in this article. The only essential oils referenced on this website are Young Living.