10 Ways to Detox Your Dog
You know that mercury is bad for people. John Moore, a prominent 20th-century mercury and dental health researcher, regarded mercury as a ubiquitous contaminant of everything from plastics to concrete and medicine. But what about your dog? Pets also routinely encounter mercury and other toxic metals like aluminum and lead.
For humans, eating whole, organic and even biodynamic food has become imperative to avoid heavy metals. That’s also true for canines. A species-appropriate raw diet including veggies is often recommended. And any raw meaty bones should be the joints and not the long bones unless purchased from a company that tests for heavy metals.
Here are some preventive and remedial steps.
1Heal leaky gut first. Like humans, pets with leaky gut will have food allergies. Remove causes like vaccines and processed foods; support the liver; rebalance with prebiotics, probiotics and digestive enzymes; replenish with a healthy whole foods diet, along with aloe, slippery elm and marshmallow root; and restore with homeopathic remedies. Follow up with fermented veggies as part of the diet. Consult a naturopathic veterinarian for treatment.
2Provide clean, filtered water. Mountain spring water is ideal.
3Boost nutrients. Nutrient deficiencies that can arise in conjunction with mercury poisoning include antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and vitamin D, plus the complex of B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and selenium. These also help treat potential post-vaccination immunity issues.
Good nutrient sources to add to doggie meals include:
Vitamin A: liver, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, eggs
Vitamin C: berries, citrus, red bell peppers (or berry powder supplements; one-half teaspoon per 25 pounds of weight)
Vitamin E: grains, seeds and their oils, wheat germ oil
Vitamin D: liver, eggs, oily fish like sardines, mackerel, salmon
B vitamins: liver, venison (or moringa leaf powder supplement, one-half teaspoon per 25 pounds)
Zinc: red meat, poultry
Magnesium: dark leafy greens, seeds, fish
Selenium: oily fish, grass-fed beef and beef liver, free-range chicken, egg
Turmeric: a powerful supplement to help treat and prevent gene damage caused by heavy metals and glyphosate (one-eighth to one-quarter teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight per day, combined with a healthy fat like coconut oil and some freshly ground black pepper for better absorption).
4Prevent and treat candida. Avoid aggravating candida as it can release 60-plus toxic substances, including ethanols and the heavy metals it eats. Eliminate all carbs, sugar and grains from the dog’s diet.
5Greens, minerals and herbs. The use of juvenile grasses is detoxifying and provides necessary magnesium during a detox. Sea vegetables can supply calcium, iodine and trace minerals. Herbs like curcumin, ginger and cayenne are potent antioxidants; ginger and turmeric help with DNA repair. Nutrients from green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli can enter cells and reduce inflammation; broccoli sprouts also apply, with the most effective delivery method via a concentrated powder.
Blend or lightly steam veggies to enhance digestion, then add one tablespoon for smaller dogs, or three to four for larger dogs.
6No fake food or vitamins. Be wary of synthetic vitamins. Whole foods may be properly supplemented with gentle chelators like open cell wall chlorella and super foods like spirulina.
7Probiotics plus. Probiotics help restore healthy gut bacteria, repair genes, synthesize nutrients and help remove mercury from the body. Cultivating a gut garden of beneficial bugs boosts health. Add a teaspoon or two of kefir or fermented veggies to the dinner of small dogs, up to a tablespoon or two for larger animals. A high-quality refrigerated probiotic supplement is an option; if it’s made for animals, follow the package directions; for human products, assume the dose is for a 150-pound person and adjust for the dog’s weight.
Amino acids, the primary building blocks of proteins, are integral to detoxification; feeding a dog a variety of meats, along with fish and eggs, will provide these. Digestive enzymes also support health; a supplement should include many kinds. Cellulase, a plant enzyme that helps digest plant material, also extracts mercury, which destroys naturally occurring enzymes.
8Plan meals with prebiotics. Prebiotics occur naturally in common high-fiber foods including cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach. Carrots, beets and spirulina also benefit the gut. Establishing a healthy gut restores the body’s natural detoxification function, plus its ability to assimilate critical nutrients. Add a teaspoon or two for small dogs; one to three tablespoons for larger dogs.
9Raw food for detox. Discard commercially processed foods and chemical synthetic vitamins. Go for raw and whole foods, add fermented foods and supplement intelligently with whole food-based supplements. Organic sources, grass-fed animals and even biodynamic food sources are ideal.
10Organ meats. A dog should have organ meats from clean animals at least once a week or as 10 percent of its diet.
As the body detoxifies, symptoms and discharges may occur. These are less common for dogs with raw, species-appropriate diets and minimal vaccinations. Visible results include old dogs displaying more energy and sharper cognitive function and awareness. Eyes are clearer. Fatty tissues shrink down, coats fill out and become shinier and skin becomes healthier. As the largest organ, skin reflects the state of the immune system as a whole.
A concentrated detox to overturn health issues relies on doctor protocols and individualized treatment. An everyday gentle detox generally keeps pets healthier.
Patricia Jordan is a naturopathic veterinarian in Cape Carteret, NC.