How I Care for my Dog - Food, Fleas and More
If you know me at all you know I am a HUGE dog lover. My dog Gidget goes just about everywhere with me. I simply could not do the tour if she were not by my side. I also would not be the miracle I am if not for dogs. Prior to Gidget I had my girl Rita for almost 12 years who stood by me in the hardest of times.
Dogs are my most important healthcare in my ‘Bag of Tricks.”
For years studies have shown how many health benefits animals offer that are psychological. However most recently we are learning the dogs play a huge role in the gut micro-biome and so much more.
I was Paleo for a few years before I ever considered feeding my dog consciously. Sad, but true.
FOOD & TREATS -
Rita has suffered from severe allergies that started after we moved to California. She could not walk on grass, sand or anything but concrete or she would break out in a rash. Literally I was spending hundreds of dollars on allergy shots, prescription dog food, steroid creams and the list goes on. One day when I was putting her dry, disgusting prescribed food in her bowl I decided to read the ingredients:
Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Soybean Mill Run, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Egg Product, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Lactic Acid, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, Dried Chicken Cartilage, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, L-Carnitine, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.
Even with a Vets prescription the food I was giving my dog was straight up poison to her body. Soybean oli is unhealthy period. The grains hard for dogs to digest and I was paying top dollar for crap.
I started giving Rita organic carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin, home made bone broth, coconut oil, roasted chicken with a weekly raw bone marrow. Just like her mommy Rita responded well when we finally got conscious about what I was feeding my dog. I eventually started giving Rita raw duck mixed with organ meat and healthy veggies.
My sweet dog literally acted like she died and went to heaven with each meal and her body completely healed after many years of sickness and high vet bills.
After Rita passed she sent me Gidget who I rescued 3 years ago at the age of 2. Immediately I started Gidget on a 100% Paleo lifestyle. She eats Stella and Chewy’s Surf & Turf patties and also bone broth, marrow bones, carrots, pureed sweet potato and pumpkin. Her favorite crunchy snacks are Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips and carrots and her favorite fat is coconut fat. (There are many dog friendly fruits and veggies, but Gidget only likes what I listed.)
The moral of the story is that Gidget eats whole, organic foods, healthy fats & collagen rich bone broth just like her momma!
Today Gidget is an optimal weight and has the softest skin you can ever imagine. The coconut oil helps her gums and she is full of life. This is her eating schedule:
early morning - organic pumpkin puree or sweet potato
7:30am - 1.5 patties of Stella and Chewy’s
Snack - organic whole carrots cut up
11am - 1 patty of Stella and Chewy’s
Snack - Jackson’s Honest
3pm - 1.5 patties of Stella and Chewy’s
Snack - organic whole carrots cut up
I am humbled to share that my good friends from Nutpods have been paying for Gidget’s food since we started touring. Literally my heart swells every time I am reminded of their generosity.
FLEA & TICK -
In Southern California there seem to always be fleas all year long. I was crazy and started giving the flea and tick pill the vet pushes. OMG it literally made Gidget lifeless. She became almost a zombie and once again I woke up.
I started doing research and you can easily make your own essential oil blends for this. I have chosen to use a collar that is made from essential oils for Gidget. This lasts for us about 3-5 months and worked well all summer touring. We only ever had a problem once with sand fleas. Otherwise it worked perfectly.
Here is an essential oil recipe that you can also try:
8 drops sweet orange essential oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
8 drops lemongrass essential oil
12 drops geranium essential oil
20 drops patchouli essential oil
20 drops cedarwood essential oil
Add this to a small spray bottle with water. Spray on your dog when heading outside paying extra attention to their underbelly and legs/feet. Give them a quick brush after spraying and/or massage and you are set. Here is a set of organic therapeutic grade oils to use.
I also make sure to thoroughly check for ticks on Gidget whenever we are any where of concern which quite honestly means after almost all walks in nature outside of the beach. It seems ticks are everywhere and no matter what I check with my hands and eyes to make sure my little angel is tick free.
I am not going to lie this does not happen often. I find her skin would get too dry. About 4 times a year Gidget goes in for a trim and holistic bath/spa day. The Spa only uses clean shampoos and non-toxic ingredients.
Outside of her spa day when I have to bath her I use Dr. Bronner’s which is what I use on myself. They say it works to kill fleas and great once they are infested. You can also add essential oils to this for extra BAM.
I brush Gidget often using a brush to reduce shedding. The neat freak in me loves how this one works and Gidget adores being brushed too. During the dryer months I rub coconut oil on her coat. It helps to stop dry, flaky skin. Gidget’s coat is the softest ever and many people comment on just how soft it is.
Hemp oil for me is a huge BAM in my life. My lead sponsor of the tour Elixinol grow the finest CBD oil around with independent testing to prove it. They also have a dog line of treats. I personally just give dogs the oil straight up. I like to open the capsule and put it on the morning pumpkin purees or sweet potato.
My daughters dog Riley has had a MIRACLE outcome using Elixinol CBD. Our little girl Riley is 5 years young and was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. She had been taking steroids everyday and started to not be able to use her hind legs and breaking out with scabs on her body. Long story short doctor after doctor and drug after drug the poor baby was suffering and no one knew what to do.
This gal started adding 15mg Elixinol hemp oil using the X-Pen to her food and my kid added a natural liver booster and Glutamine. After a few weeks we increased the CBD dose to twice a day. Her labs had been horrific showing anemia and much more. Today her labs are better than before her Addison’s diagnosis.
For Gidget CBD oil showed great results with anxiety. When we are touring for long periods of time Gidget gets a little stressed. CBD given in the early morning worked all day long. For Gidget I open a capsule and add it to her morning puree.
I have no words to express how much I believe in the power of CBD. Last year touring in the BAM van which is wrapped in hemp leaves showed me that CBD is changing so many lives. Day after day, person after person shared with me just how much this plant has restored hope and health. I am here to share it works for our 4-legged friends too.
VET VISITS & VACCINES-
Beside what is noted above Gidget goes to a yearly wellness visit at the vet and is in great health.
I go to a traditional vet who is quite old. His practice is very nurturing and he listens to me. I do test for heart-worm and give her Heart Guard. Only because of our touring schedule. If we simply lived in Southern California I would not and did not prior to touring.
Gidget is a rescue and had all of her vaccines prior to me owing her. Today she is vaccinated for rabies.
My 4-legged friends are beyond companions. They are medicine for my soul and have provided more loving support than anyone or anything. Rita stood by me many days in bed and very sick. She also gave me purpose and forced me to get outside when I didn’t think I could get out of bed.
I support my dogs as consciously as I do myself. Together we are bio-hacking to offer Gidget optimal living naturally and without drugs and fake shit.
Today seems like a good day to join one of the most badass tribes ever!