Let Your Dog Take Flight

Let Your Dog Take Flight
My Thika

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chinese Crested Dog-Working for Clear Skin

Hardly a month goes by that I do not receive an email asking for advise on Chinese Crested skin care.  I thoroughly understand.  When I got my first Chinese Crested, I literally cried with frustration fighting blackheads, whiteheads, and, of course the inflammation that comes along with them.  Unfortunately, although I found many treatments listed on the web from other breeders there was no scientific information easily available concerning this issue.  I decided to tackle the problem.  A number of years later this is what I have discovered...Chinese Crested are  not hairless.  Unlike American Hairless Terriers who are and who have lovely skin, Crested have a rudimentary hair within the follicle.  This is one of the reasons they have blackheads and whiteheads.  The fact they have a lower level of histamine in their system means they cannot fight off skin infections as easily as other breeds.  So what do we do?  My advise is avoid antibiotics and steroids.  They simply suppress the problem and as soon as you stop using them, the problem resurfaces.
Keep their skin clean.  Rub glycerin into their skin.  You can pick this up from the health food store.  By day two black head and even white heads will literally roll out when you run your fingernail lightly over the skin.  This is not an overnight fix.  It takes time, but it is so encouraging to see the blackheads finally coming out.  If there is inflammation, add a drop of tea tree oil to the glycerin and apply this to inflamed areas.  (Please do a little research on tea tree oil and use precautions.)  Don't squeeze blackheads or whiteheads.  Whiteheads will not come out and if blackheads are not ready to come out, you will damage the surrounding skin and cause inflammation.  Blackheads are ready to come out when they appear shiny, no long opaque.
Over time, this regime works but most Chinese Crested will always have some type of skin issue, but blackheads are simply unsightly.  It is the inflammation that is the real problem.
Next blog... Vitamins and Minerals: Do They Assist the Healing Process?

Finally, a moment to get this blog going

I am so busy, which is a good thing, but really cuts into my time for things like blogs. However, I do want to start posting every week. What I am sharing today is just a little about myself and my goals in creating this blog. I am a Doctor of Animal Naturopathy. What does this mean? I treat my own canines and counsel others on holistic alternatives for their pets. After 13 years of feeding a species appropriate diet to a multitude breeds, I discovered some interesting facts, one of which is each dog and breed must be treated individually. There is no one right way to successfully feed your dog. I firmly believe the basis for good health is a species appropriate diet, with dogs and cats, this is a carnivore diet, meat and bones. However, I have also discovered because of our practice of closing stud books and cycling inward with our breeding practices that different breeds, and individuals within those breeds, will need supplementation. For those interested in a good basic supplement for their animals, I recommend Dr. Pitcairn's book, which you can get at reasonable price from Half.com.
If you are interested in learning about Naturopathy or even getting a degree then I suggest you visit the Kingdom College of Natural Health website. They offer excellent educational opportunities at reasonable prices. They have also just added an outstanding degree in animal behavior. I am not studying for a degree in homeopathy (which I use and recommend).
I hope to present some interesting ideas in this blog which will I hope make you think outside the box. Let's see how it goes. Debra

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Ideal Canine Diet, Just look to Nature

What do wild dogs eat? "A Comparative Analysis of Wolf Diet in Three Different Italian Ecosystems" found that wild grass fed animals made up from 85 to 95% of wolf diet, with other food items making up less than 5% of the diet anually. Arctic Wolves eat hares, Caribou, lemmings, and musk oxen. In Estona wolves eat moose, roe deer, and wild boar. Wolves eat meat and bone with 1% of diet being grass and berries. Why is meat and bone so important for carnivores? Carnivores have the simplest digestive systems of all mammals. Their stomach's are designed to take in large amounts of meat and bone at one setting. The stomach is also very acidic allowing it to consume bacteria which would make a humal quite ill. Their pancreas is also much smaller than ours, therefore, they do not produce as many enzymes making it essensial that they eat foods which are easily digested. There are no enzymes in a wolf's mouth. Juices in the mouth help the wolf to swallow but do not aid in digestion. The intestine of wolves is also much shorter than our own allowing for quick absorption of the nutriental and fluid content of foods.

If we compare this digestive tract to that of herbivores such as moose, cattle, and deer, we find that they chew their food, swallow it, bring it back up and chew it some more. This is called rumination. In fact ruminates have three compartments the materials pass through before it ever reaches the stomach. Of these four stomachs, the second is really a fermentation center where the cellulose in plants is broken down. The third stomach is designed to grind and helps in absorption of fluids from the plant material. It is only when the content reaches the fourth stomach that digestion as we think of it begins.

Obviously the digestion of carnivores and herbivores is totally different. Since dogs are decended from wolves and have now been reclassifed as a subspecies of the wolf, what logically may we assume that our canine companion should be eating? Feed you dog a carrot, wait 24 hours and observe its scat. You will find large chunks of undigested carrot. The dog's digestive tract is not set up to properly utilized plant materials. Feed the same dog a raw meaty bone and at the end of the 24 hours both the meat and the bone will have been digested. The photos above are of wolf scat, showing the undigested hair of its prey and moose scat. Notice any difference?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breeding, Nature's Way

Welcome to Dog Breeding Naturally.

We well endeavor in this blog to provide information for those contemplating beginning a natural breeding program and also for those who are looking for a puppy from an all natural breeder. First we need to realize that Nature has her own way of breeding dogs. She has an ideal dog and the pattern whether wolf, coyote, wild dog, or jackal does not change. We as breeders have taken the wolf and modified this ideal to suit our desires and needs. What is the ideal dog?

Dogs, in nature, always have prick ears, long legs in relationship to body, perfect angulation, scissors bites, and sickle tails. They are fit and trim with coat dependent upon environment. If domestic dogs are left to breed on their own they will return to this ideal. To the left is a red wolf and to the right an Australian feral dog. This is the type that can best survive in the wild.

We as breeders chose to modifiy the design. We have created dogs with short legs, flat faces, too much hair, no hair, blue eyes, undershot mouths, all for our own pleasure. We have compromised the overall health of our companions with these changes, especially among pure bred dogs, by limiting the gene pool. To optimize the well being of these genetically altered canines we can and should look to nature to provide the answers to such questions as what diet will best suit a carnivore, how does nature keep her canines healthy, and what should I avoid to promote the health and wellbeing of my companion?
This blog is dedicated to providing those answers. Keep checking back often as new thoughts and links will be added regularly. And please, share this blog with your friends. The dogs are depending on us! Debra (www.bullterrierworld.com)