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 Holistic Dog
How to Have a Healthy Dog

Our goal for this Web page is to empower you, the pet owner, to make good decisions regarding your dog's health. We are morally bound to make informed choices concerning the lives of our dogs. They don't have a choice, but have our directives imposed on them so you, the pet owner, are your animal's guide to optimal health. Please check back often as this page will grow as we add more information.

Feed your dog a healthy diet
  • Raw diet most closely matches the dog's dietary requirements. You can find a wealth of information on the internet and we'll give you some good links as well.
  • Home cooked food is better than commercial
  • Shop at smaller pet food suppliers
    • Staff more knowledgeable of good foods
    • Less likely to sell "bad" dog food
    • Often hold workshops on raw vs. commercial foods
  • Read the labels and choose wisely. If you must use a commercial dog food, learning to read labels will help you to choose the best brand for your dog.
  • Commercial dog food is cooked at high temperatures, destroying nutritional value and it contains many ingredients that are not healthy for your dog:
  • Avoid a corn-based diet
    • Causes allergies and immune disorders
    • Adds bulk to the bag, but quantity is not quality
    • Makes your pet obese (corn is used to fatten cattle and will do the same for your dog)
  • Avoid Meat-by-products and Meat Meal as they contain:
    • Whatever is unfit for human consumption
    • Downed cows and cancerous meat
    • Rendered pets, road kill
Dogs do best on raw meat.

Remove Plaque from Your Dog's Teeth.

Can't afford to have your dog's teeth cleaned? Or maybe you dog has a heart condition and you don't want to risk the anesthesia? Try this product:

We've heard it works great.

Use Supplements to Boost Your Dog's Immune System

Most of us realize that the soil is depleted of the adequate minerals and nutrients that we need. It's no different for our pets, especially if your dog is on a commercial pet food diet.

At Save A Dog we started using vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract and noticed a remarkable improvement in our rescued dog's ability to fight off upper respiratory infections. Kennel cough and upper respiratory infections are common ailment for dogs who are in or just coming out of the shelter environment. We can proudly say we have not had a problem with kennel cough since we started using the supplements.

For adult dogs (40 lbs or over) we give 1 tablet of Grapefruit Seed Extract once a day. It looks like kibble, so you can put it in the dog's food bowl and they won't even notice. You can buy a small bottle at the Vitamin Shoppe for under $5.

For small dogs and puppies, we use a powdered Vitamin C in a buffered form (so it's easy on their stomach). Usually just a pinch for the puppies in the morning and 1/8 to tsp for small dogs 10-15 lbs. We give this once a day. Buffered Vitamin C in powdered form is available at most health food stores as well as Whole Foods.

In addition to grapefruit seed extract and vitamin C, your dog would greatly benefit from Vitamins B, D, E, and A, which you can usually find in a multi-vitamin format at your pet supply store. (more links soon)

Probiotics. Probiotics, that contain healthy bacteria will help your dog develop and maintain strong intestinal health. We use RxBiotics and Nutrigest. You can purchase these products at Save A Dog, Inc. 604 Boston Post Road, Sudbury, MA. Call 978-443-7282 for hours and directions.

Do not over-vaccinate your dog

Studies show that dogs six months or older do not benefit from the repeat distemper/parvo vaccination. In fact, repeat vaccinations are linked to auto-immune diseases and other health problems. Please refer to Dr. Jean Dodd's vaccination protocol for the most up to date and safest vaccination protocol. If your vet pushes the repeat vaccines on your dog, you can always opt for a titres test.

  • In July 2000 the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents (COBTA) announced
    • When an annual booster vaccination with a modified live virus vaccine is given to a previously vaccinated adult animal, no added protection is provided.
    • Antibodies titres are not boosted significantly.
    • There is no scientific data to support re-administration of modified live vaccines annually.
    • Vaccines are not harmless. Unnecessary side effects and adverse events can be minimized by avoiding unnecessary vaccines.
Dee Blanco, D.V.M - "You take healthy animals and often very quickly after you vaccinate, you can see simple things like itching of the skin or excessive licking of the paws, sometimes even with no eruptions. We see a lot of epilepsy, often after a rabies vaccination. Or dogs or cats can become aggressive for several days. Frequently, you'll see urinary tract infections in cats, often within three months after their [annual] vaccination. If you step back, open your mind and heart, you'll start to see patterns of illness post-vaccination."

For more information on the effects of vaccinations, see and

Avoid or Minimize Chemical-based Products

Don't Use Lawn Pesticides

  • The herbicide 2, 4-D is used by homeowners and lawn care companies and has been linked to canine malignant lymphoma. This herbicide is found in one-third of all pesticides and is a component of Agent Orange.
  • Pets walk barefoot and lick paws, hence no protection.
  • False advertising by Lawn chemical companies causes Attorney General to take action.
  • and

Beware of Flea/tick products

Dr. Jean Dodd's Vaccine Protocol

"Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet (ie: canine distemper, parvo,feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced. "Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia."There is no scientific documentation to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines "Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8-14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, delay the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart suppress rather than stimulate the immune system.

A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8 weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at 1 year 4 mo) will provide lifetime immunity.

Early Spay and Neutering your Pet, Pros and Cons

Pediatric spaying and neutering has become a popular shelter protocol, but is this the healthiest approach for your pet, long term? Here are a few articles to give you a well-rounded perspective on whether you should rush before your puppy matures.

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