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3. Minerals for Your Dog

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

M

inerals are inorganic elements that are essential for the growth and maintenance of a healthy body. Amazingly, these elements that are vital to life comprise only 4 percent of your dogs total body weight. Minerals are found in food, soil, and water. Plants absorb minerals through their roots from the soil and water, and animals get their minerals from eating plants, other animals, and drinking water, just as your dog will. The best nutritional sources of minerals are fresh organic fruits and vegetables, free-range organic meat and fresh spring water. If organic free-range food is not available, or not affordable, you will need to supplement your dogs diet with minerals.

With the exception of organic farming, food is depleted of minerals, or even worse, it contains the wrong balance of minerals. Dirt in its purest form is loaded with minerals, but todays soil is so overused and loaded with toxins that it has been depleted of most of its nutrients. Since most farmers plant crop after crop in the same soil without replenishing the minerals, any plants grown in this mineral-deficient soil will be unhealthy, which causes the farmers to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides that further deplete the soil of any nutrients. If, instead, farmers were to till in lots of organic compost and let it sit for a year, they would have a rich soil packed with minerals.

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4. Special Nutritional Needs

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

D

ogs, like people, have changing nutritional needs in the varying stages of their lives.Younger dogs have a lot of energy and require foods that promote their growth, pregnant dogs need proper nutrition to create new life, and older dogs are sedentary and need easily absorbed nutrients. If your dog becomes ill, her body will need the proper nutrients to heal. In this chapter you will learn how to make adjustments to your dogs diet to meet her special nutritional needs.

PUPPIES

Puppies are irresistible to even the grumpiest of people.They make the sick forget their pain and the elderly feel young. These fun-loving balls of fur need a puppyhood filled with the same pure joy and happiness that they give us. A key to your puppys happiness, health, and longevity is to build a strong body and a strong immune system with high-quality food and a stress-free environment. (You will learn more about the immune system in Chapter 5, The Importance of a Strong Immune System.)

Your puppys immune system will get its foundation for health from its mother in the first twenty-four hours after birth. Just as with humans, these critical hours are the only time the mother produces a special milk called colostrum. Colostrum gets the immune system off to a strong start by providing antibodies and other immune-supporting nutrients that will guard against disease as the immune system matures.

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9: Trade in Wildlife and Exotic Species

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Wildlife and Exotic

Species

9

9.1  Introduction

Wildlife animals have been traded for millennia, probably even before the

­domestication of animal species for the production of food and clothing. Yet despite the development of a small number of domesticated species to provide for most of our needs, we have continued to harvest and trade in wildlife and exotic species. Exotic species are those that are not indigenous to the region, which usually precludes the domestic livestock species. These are kept by zoos, for the entertainment of the public and increasingly for conservation and for scientific purposes. Their use for entertainment in circuses is diminishing as public recognition of associated cruel practices in training and transport between venues has increased, creating public pressure for legislative control. They are also kept by a growing number of members of the public for display and a variety of other reasons that will be outlined later. Wildlife animals are harvested for food as well and may be traded with other regions because their exotic and novel nature encourages people to try eating them. The biggest harvest of wild animals, indeed the biggest of any food animals, is that of fish from the oceans. However, many other animals are harvested from the oceans and our scant knowledge of populations in the past has led to many manmade catastrophes, with populations decimated because of high demand for the products and mechanized harvesting of ever ­increasing efficiency.

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2. Vitamins for Your Dog

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

J

ust like humans, dogs need vitamins for the growth and maintenance of a healthy body. It would be ideal if your dog could get vitamins from her food, but even the highest quality non-organic dog food, home-cooked or bought, will not provide enough vitamins to maintain optimal health.You need to use supplements, and heres why. Most produce is grown in soil depleted of nutrients and sprayed with pesticides. And meat, unless its organic, comes from animals given estrogenlike hormones to fatten them up, and antibiotics to prevent the diseases caused by overcrowding and stress. Excess estrogen can cause cancer, and overexposure to antibiotics can create resistant bacteria that no antibiotic can stop. Whether you live in the country or the city, your dog experiences a daily bombardment of physical stressors from pollutants and toxins, such as car exhaust and pesticides.And when your dog is further stressed by environmental or emotional factors, her need for vitamins is that much higher.

Unless you are treating your dog for a specific health problem or a stressful environment, the best way to provide daily vitamins is with a multivitamin supplement. Give half the daily dose with the morning meal and half with the evening meal.

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5. The Importance of a Strong Immune System

R.Ph., Ph.D, Earl L.. Mindell Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

S

upport of the immune system is one of the most important roles that proper nutrition plays in your dogs health. The immune system protects your dog from illness and supports the repair of her body when it is injured. Our environment is always teeming with microscopic organisms that have the potential to infect your dog with any number of minor to life-threatening diseases. How your dogs immune system responds to these organisms determines her health.

Have you noticed that when a cold or flu is going around, some people always get it and others never get sick? Those who stay well have an active, healthy immune system to protect them. Those who get sick from infectious diseases have an immune system that is in less than optimal condition.

The immune system is a complex network within the body that produces millions of cells each day. Each cells mission is to seek out and destroy foreign invaders called antigens. An antigen, which is short for antibody generating, is a foreign invader in the body, such as a bacteria, fungus, parasite, pollen, or virus. Elimination of antigens is accomplished primarily by white blood cells that use the lymphatic and blood vessels to move through the body. One drop of blood contains 5,000 to 10,000 white blood cells, and two-thirds of them are part of the immune system.

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