As a holistic practitioner, I treat the whole pet. Animals often come to me because they have a specific problem. The Western medicine way of dealing with such difficulties is to only focus on the issue at hand. In veterinary school we really learn more about disease care than we do about health care. The holistic approach is to focus on the patient. If we make the patient well then by definition the disease has gone away.

To this point, every time a pet comes to me I consider diet. I have found that if an animal is not getting proper nutrition (balanced, raw diet) it is not likely to become truly healthy no matter what I do. Some pet caregivers are put off by my seeming lack of concern over the disease they came in for. Most come to understand my approach once I explain it.

Meet Lucy. She is a 4-year-old yorkie mix. She came to me for her first holistic exam on 12/2/15. Her problem was that she was lame on her right rear leg on and off for the past month. Her owner wanted to try a holistic approach.

When I examined Lucy I found that she was very sensitive to my manipulation of her right knee. I could also feel a subtle grinding when I flexed her knee. She seemed to have a strain or sprain of her right knee.

As always, I discussed vaccines and vaccine titers with Lucy’s caregiver. I talked about holistic health and diet. I also prescribed 8 weekly therapeutic laser treatments for Lucy’s right knee. (I never ignore the problem at hand).

I saw Lucy back on 2/16/16 and her lameness had completely resolved. After the exam, as her caregiver was leaving the room, she asked me about the food. She had taken my recommendation seriously and had switched Lucy from her “high quality” kibble to a balanced raw diet.

Lucy’s caregiver asked me about a strange side effect she noticed from the diet. Lucy was listening to her better than she ever had. Apparently, Lucy had a tendency toward ADHA that her caregiver thought was normal behavior. She didn’t realize there was a problem until the diet fixed it.

I commonly see positive side effects from getting pets off processed food and onto a balanced raw diet. I love my job!

17 replies
  1. Debora caponi
    Debora caponi says:

    Can you tell me if Answers Raw Petfood ships to Indianapolis? Are you affiliated with this food? Currently, I’m feeding Darwins Naturals raw food, but am looking to diversify. Do you have any opinions on Darwins?

    Also, can you explain the benefits of the goat’s milk? Should it be organic? How much/how often would I give it to my 10 lb ( 3 yrs old) and 8 lb Pomeranians (11 years old)? I’m not sure where to buy fermented goats milk.

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Doug
      Dr. Doug says:

      I recommend Answers food but your questions are best posed to the Answers people directly.

      Fermented goat’s milk is an Answers product. I don’t think there is a big benefit of goat’s milk that is not fermented. The Answers web site will answer many of your questions.

      • Debbie caponi
        Debbie caponi says:

        I found out that Answers food and fermented goat’s milk are carried near me (at Pet People on 146 th St, for those interested.). I’m going to give both a try!! Thank you, Dr. Doug!

  2. Lisa Q
    Lisa Q says:

    I recently switched my dog to the Answers Straight Raw. I went through the 3 week transition period and he’s only been on a completely raw diet for 2 weeks, but I can definitely see the benefits. The tiny bumps under his armpits are gone and the yeast in his groin area is slowly fading.

    I wondered what your thoughts were on the Answers fermented fish stock and also their new product, the cow’s milk kefir?

  3. karen perret
    karen perret says:

    I have been feeding answers detailed beef for a few months dog doing great. Wondering if I should change protein but he doesn’t tolerate the chicken it gave him loose stool. All that’s left is the pork to rotate with. Was wondering if I should stay with just answers pet food or if I could rotate with nature’s variety instinct raw as well. Going from Answers to Instinct and back or is that not a good idea?

  4. Mary Anne Sherwin
    Mary Anne Sherwin says:

    DR. Doug,

    I have a 12 yr. old Boxer who has a cancerous tumor in his mouth. It was removed but grew back. I have been reading about turmeric and cancers in dogs and would like to try this however there are no holistic vets in Erie and I need some guidance as to the correct dosage for a 65 lb. dog. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

    Thank you in advance.

  5. Cherilyn Diller
    Cherilyn Diller says:

    At what age do you recommend starting a raw diet? I have a 10 month old Golden Retriever but I’ve read that a raw diet is not good for a puppy? Thank you.

    • Dr. Doug
      Dr. Doug says:

      I started my dog when I got her at 3 mos of age. I don’t know what the problem would be with starting a puppy on real food instead of fake food.


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