We’re all guilty of it from time to time – slipping an unwanted potato under the table into a welcoming set of jowly chops, but years of consuming a poor diet, feeding too many treats or simply choosing an unsuitable dog food, can leave your dog’s system in need of a detox. Dogs are hardy, resilient creatures, but to be in the best health to get the most out of life, they need a healthy balanced diet.
Thankfully, the modern dog owner is pretty well informed about nutrition and diet, but every now and then, over indulging our dogs seems to take its toll which led Liam Fox to wonder - have you ever noticed your dog’s coat lacking lustre and wondered if it directly related to a poor eating spell?
What many people don’t realise is, although dogs can survive on a limited diet, they cannot thrive on one. So it is important to acknowledge that feeding the odd bit of left over Sunday roast, not only deprives the dog of his more balanced and formulated food, it can deplete certain vital functions of the digestive system. Which is where fasting can become very beneficial. Going for a day without food will not harm your dog in any way, provided he is in good health. If you have any doubts, consult a vet, but in the vast majority of cases, fasting can accelerate convalescence and give the whole body a much needed jump start.
When you feed your pet too much secondhand, poor quality protein such as cheap burgers, sausages, table scraps, semi moist sugar-preserved dog foods - or any meats full of DES, nitrates, nitrites, aldehydes, and other assorted harmful additives - the particular pancreatic enzymes that are needed to digest the proteins in your dog's system become depleted sooner than necessary.
Additionally, these meats have been so thoroughly cooked that they no longer have live enzymes of their own. Without enough pancreatic enzymes to digest the protein, the food begins to putrefy and can lead to digestive problems. We can give more food but it is not being utilized. If the body can't use the nutrients, this is tantamount to not having them.
The body begins to feed upon itself in order to sustain life, and the animal loses weight and muscle tone in spite of the quantity of food provided. If you suspect ill health in your pet, don't stuff him with food, hoping that he will regain strength. You will actually be further depleting his impaired vitality.
Withholding food for a day or so will cause a revitalization of the body, because the body will have a chance to fight the impairment without the continuing added burden of processing food. This applies whether the food is wholesome or second-rate, but even more strongly when it is of poor quality. Then the digestive organs are not working in the processing of food, they have an opportunity to apply themselves to the digestion of debris in the body.
Fasting is nature's most perfect medicine, since the body works to rid itself of the debris, or harmful toxic matter, first, thereby effecting a most marvellous housecleaning of cells. Cells drowning in toxic waste have no room to absorb nutrients. They must first rid themselves of this obstructing waste.
The process by which the body feeds upon and digests the debris is called autolysis. Some types of tumours or cysts can be tackled in this way. If you have an older dog, the chances are that through years of dietary indiscretions, his enzymes have become somewhat depleted.
Whatever sturdy stock remains can be reinforced by adding pancreatic enzymes to the diet. This will serve to bolster the forces of protein, fat, and carbohydrate digestion, and you will be augmenting the metabolization of your animal's food. Pancreatic enzymes can help turn the tide of sluggish digestion, enabling the digestive process to perform with much increased efficiency.
This will provide a most harmonious relationship within the digestive tract. The surplus enzymes can now effect a cleansing process by breaking up the toxic debris stored throughout the body.