We are told from a young age to trust the experts and do whatever they tell us to do. Experts include doctors, lawyers, the government, teachers, scientists, and veterinarians, among others. But should we blindly trust them? Does your vet have your pet’s best interest at heart or are they looking at their bottom line?
If your vet recommends anything on the list below you might want to consider finding a new vet. Or just take that vet’s advice with a grain of salt. It will be hard to find a vet that doesn’t recommend the items on this list, but your dog will be much healthier without having these things in his life. There are natural alternatives to the items below that have little to no negative side effects. In fact, most natural alternatives have only positive side effects!
#9 Dental Chews
Vets are quick to tell you that “80% of dogs over age three have dental disease.” They will further tell you that dental disease can lead to all sorts of other health issues like heart disease. Vets will then recommend kibble (more on that later) and commercial “dental chews.” Dental chews include things like Greenies, Nylabones, Natural Balance Dental Chews, and more. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and flavors that look appealing to humans.
Okay so why are they bad? First of all, it's the chewing action that is supposed to help clean teeth. But consider, how long does it take your dog to actually consume a dental chew? Ten minutes at an absolute maximum. Is that enough to clean your dog’s teeth? Second, the majority of dental chews are very high in carbohydrates, artificial colors and dye, chemicals, and synthetic ingredients. Carbohydrates are notorious for sticking to a dog’s teeth and cultivating bacteria that turns into plaque. This just makes dental disease worse!
It is true that dental disease can lead to all sorts of health issues including heart disease. However, dental chews are not the way to go. They do nothing but add extra calories and toxins to a dog’s life.
#8 Prescription Diets
Vet offices are often full of a variety of expensive, prescription diets. Diets for weight loss, heart issues, stomach issues, kidney disease, liver disease, allergies, and more. But surprise, they don’t help. At. All. In fact, a lot of prescription diets make the disease worse, which makes your dog sicker, faster. Leading to more expensive treatments and a faster death from the disease.
Why is this? Because prescription diets are super high in carbohydrates and carbohydrates are not even required in the canine diet! Dogs only require protein and fat, no carbs. These added carbs are nothing but empty calories for your dog. Not only that, but you can only feed so much to your dog a day. If that food is high in carbs it will be low in other nutrients, like protein, that is actually required for your dog to thrive. This makes your pet fat and sick. Prescription diets are also filled with chemicals, preservatives, synthetic ingredients, poor quality ingredients, and other unnecessary additives.
Look at a prescription diet and a non-prescription diet of the same brand and flavor. Check out the ingredient labels. You’ll likely find that they are essentially the same. The difference? One is way more expensive than the other. So, why pay more for something that is not good for your pet?
#7 Prescription Drugs
If something is wrong with your dog you will typically go to the vet, get things checked out, and then your vet will prescribe a pill or medication. The main issue comes when your vet prescribed a medication for your dog to be on long term. The majority of medications are made of synthetic ingredients, chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors, added carbs, fillers, and to top it off they come with a host of negative side effects that most vets won’t even mention to you. In addition, these medications simply cover up symptoms without treating the root cause. Let’s look at two of the most popular.
NSAIDs are often prescribed to dogs with joint pain or arthritis. But they simply cover up the pain. NSAIDs do more, they also damage joints, which makes the pain worse, which makes it necessary to increase the NSAID dose, which increases the damage. It’s a vicious and unnecessary cycle.
Next, let’s consider drugs that are often prescribed to dogs with allergies. Antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-yeast, and steroids are often prescribed. These mask the symptoms but never address the root cause. Dogs with allergies that are put on these drugs will seem to improve at first. Then the prescription runs out and the symptoms quickly return, only this time they are worse! Stronger drugs are prescribed, but the symptoms return, time after time, because the root cause is not being addressed. A side effect of most of these drugs is damage to your dog’s immune system.
In addition, because prescription drugs only treat symptoms, and never the root cause, the root of the problem still exists. When symptoms are repeatedly covered up with medication the underlying disease will go deeper. Often affecting deeper layers of the body. For instance, moving from a skin irritation to kidney disease. Or an ear infection to liver disease. This is why you never want to cover up a symptom, use the symptom to find the root cause and then treat the root cause.
Antibiotics get their own place on this list. These drugs can save lives, however, they are prescribed way too often. Indeed, it is the overuse of antibiotics has created superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics.
A round of antibiotics can leave your pet open to new infections. This is because antibiotics kill bacteria indiscriminately. They kill good bacteria along with bad bacteria. The good bacteria in and on your dog represent a huge portion of your dog’s immune system, as much as 70-80%! This is why antibiotics damage your pup’s immune system. Plus, if the good guys are killed that leaves more open spaces for bad bacteria to take over and make your dog very sick.
Good bacteria in your dog’s gut also help him digest his food. If the good bacteria are killed by an antibiotic it can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your dog. These deficiencies lead to their own set of health issues that affect the whole body. If these deficiencies are not addressed that could lead to premature death.
#5 Early Spay/Neuter
Many vets will tell you that you must neuter your pup, the earlier the better. If you don’t you are being irresponsible and encouraging pet overpopulation and you are an awful human being! In addition, vets will tell you that neutering your pup will reduce unwanted behaviors. Behaviors like aggression, humping, marking, and more. But this is not the case. In fact, intact animals are less likely to have these behavioral issues when compared to sterilized pets.
Oh, but there is a host of health problems that can arise from sterilizing your dog, especially if you have it done at a young age. For males that are neutered, long-term health problems can include: increased risk of bone cancer, heart issues, prostate cancer, urinary tract cancer, obesity, cognitive issues, hypothyroidism, premature death, and more. Spayed females have a higher risk of urinary tract tumors, vaginal issues, heart issues, hypothyroidism, incontinence, bone cancer, obesity, urinary tract infection, premature death, among others.
Additionally, early spay/neuter is associated with an increased risk of joint disease and joint pain later in life. Plus, early sterilization doubles the risk of hip dysplasia! Sterilization is also associated with an increased risk of ligament tears. In addition, if you spay/neuter too soon your pup may develop abnormal bone growth, with all his legs being of significantly different lengths. This can contribute to joint and spine issues later in life.
Let’s not forget that spay/neuter is a major surgery requiring anesthesia. There is always a risk that the dog will have a reaction to the anesthesia or the anesthesia is administered improperly, and your pet will never wake up. Not only that, but surgery, is always risky and carries with it the possibility of permanent injury or death.
#4 Flea & Tick Preventatives
Vets will recommend flea and tick preventatives like sprays, spot-ons, chewables, and collars. All of these are filled with chemicals that can harm your pup. Indeed, just like the overuse of antibiotics is creating superbugs, tick and flea preventatives are also creating super ticks and super fleas. These super fleas and ticks require stronger chemicals that are even more harmful to your precious pup.
These preventatives are typically neurotoxins, attacking the bug’s nervous system. This causes the flea or tick to die. Do you really want to put a neurotoxin in or on your dog? Here are a few “side effects” that the main ingredients in these preventatives can cause: low blood pressure, skin irritation, decreases body temperature, high blood sugar, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, slow heart rate, thyroid lesions, liver toxicity, kidney disease, liver disease, brain disease, heart disease, lung disease, spleen disease, difficulty breathing, death, and more! There are some natural ways to repel flea and ticks.
#3 Heartworm Preventative
Here is another preventive medication that vets recommend. Most of them will even recommend that you keep your dog on heartworm prevention year-round. Even in the winter when mosquitoes are dormant. Heartworms are spread by female mosquitoes that have sucked the blood of a dog with heartworms. When that mosquito bites another dog, that dog will receive heartworms from the mosquito. So, your dog shouldn’t need preventatives when the weather is too cold for mosquitoes.
Heartworm preventative is leading to a rise in super mosquitoes and super heartworms that aren’t deterred by the current heartworm preventatives. This is why some dogs that are on heartworm preventatives year-round are still becoming infected. Heartworm preventatives are typically in a monthly chew form, but some are injectable (hint: they are even worse!).
In general, heartworm medications will have side effects that include: vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, hypersalivation, convulsions, diarrhea, skin issues, collapse, difficulty breathing, and death. Imagine combining that with flea and tick preventatives too! So, it might prevent heartworms (not super heartworms) but these preventatives are still killing your dog.
Here is one that we are all familiar with, vaccinations. Vets always recommend them, actually, the rabies vaccination is required by law in some places around the world. In addition to the rabies vaccination vets often recommend parvo, distemper, leptospirosis, bordetella, hepatitis, parainfluenza, kennel cough, and Lyme disease vaccinations. Most training, grooming, boarding, and other dog-friendly facilities also require certain vaccines. Dogs are typically then given booster shots of the vaccines every year.
Most vets will tell you that if your dog doesn’t have a reaction to the vaccination within an hour or two he won’t have one. However, this is not true! Most vaccine reactions happen days, weeks, or even months after the vaccine is administered. Here is a shortlist of a few possible vaccine reactions: lethargy, hair loss, fever, soreness, hives, weight loss, abscesses, respiratory disease, sarcoma at the injection site, thyroiditis, autoimmune disease, the disease that the vaccine was meant to prevent, mental/behavioral changes, seizures, death, and more.
What’s wrong with vaccines? Well, first of all, vaccines come with a label that tells the vet not to vaccinate any dog that is sick or overstressed. A sick dog or a stressed dog already has a compromised immune system so it will be much more difficult for him to fight the disease in the vaccine. Did you read that - sick or STRESSED. How many dogs that go to the vet aren’t stressed? Not to mention, how many dogs that go into the vet aren’t already sick? Vets give vaccines to dogs with ongoing diseases all the time! If your dog has cancer, dental disease, parasites, diabetes, a heart issue, a skin issues, even allergies, your dog is sick and should not be vaccinated. Your dog actually counts as sick after receiving a single vaccination, but most vets give your poor pup all the vaccinations in the same visit!
Let’s ask another important question: what is in a vaccine anyway? Well, glad you asked but you don’t really want to know. There is a growth medium, to grow the virus particles in. This is foreign animal tissue. Often bovine serum, human fetal lung tissue, insect proteins, pork tissues, chicken embryos, etc. Other ingredients can be sugar, aluminum salts, thimerosal, mercury, antibiotics, formaldehyde, borax, glyphosate, and then, of course, the actual virus. All of these ingredients are questionable and potentially toxic, especially with repeated exposure.
Another important thing to think about is how a dog’s immune system is set up. They have defenses lined up in their mucus membranes, their skin, and all along their digestive tract. These are the natural points of entry that a bacteria or virus would enter. However, with a vaccine, the virus is injected straight into the blood. This is not natural and doesn’t offer the immune system a proper chance to defend the body or create the best antibodies.
Veterinarians typically want to give your dog booster vaccines every year. But clinical trials have proven that vaccines last 7-15 years… 7-15 YEARS! This means that after your pups first shots he is likely protected for life and shouldn’t need to get another vaccination, ever. So, why expose your dog to all those awful ingredients and side effects every year?
Believe it or not, at the end of the day, vaccines are not well tested. There are no tests that show that vaccines are necessary, effective, or safe. There aren’t even any studies that compare the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. Nor are there studies testing vaccinated dogs vs dogs given a placebo.
The majority of vets also recommend that you feed your dog kibble. Your vet will tell you that kibble is easy, convenient, cleans your dog’s teeth, is “complete and balanced,” and you aren’t smart enough to know how to feed your dog. Some kibbles are even “scientifically” formulated. But let’s be real for a minute, are there any foods that are easy and convenient that are actually healthy, complete, or balanced?
First, it must be mentioned that the protein in kibble mostly comes from plants. Remember your dog is a carnivore and he is made to be able to eat, digest, and thrive on meat, organs, and bone. Plant proteins do not have the same amino acids as meats, which means that they are a poor choice for optimal nutrition for your dog.
Another thing that must be addressed is “complete and balanced.” The guidelines for kibble to be labeled “complete and balanced” are typically based on the minimum nutrients that must be in the kibble for a dog to survive. We know that “minimum” does not translate into “optimum.” But many kibble manufacturers only add the minimum necessary for a dog to survive.
Kibble is cooked for long periods of time at high heat. This high heat destroys the majority of the naturally occurring nutrients in the ingredients. This means that manufacturers have to add synthetic vitamins and minerals to make up for the loss. These synthetic ingredients are much less effective and less healthy for your dog. Whole foods come with co-factors that make all the nutrients of the food more usable, synthetic nutrients do not.
In addition to the synthetic nutrients, we have to consider all the ingredients that are added to preserve the food and add flavor. These ingredients cause a whole host of health issues. Some are hormone disruptors, others are carcinogens. Added food colorings can cause additional health issues.
One marketing scheme that kibble producers are using more and more is that they are adding fish or flax oils, and probiotics. Now, probiotics and fish oils are great for your pet, if they are fresh. However, with the intense cooking process of kibble, the probiotics are killed and the essential omega-3 fatty acids from the fish or flax oil are destroyed. Actually, the fish or flax oil once cooked can cause increased free-radical damage in your dog. This causes increased inflammation, faster aging, and cancer.
Kibble is also very high in carbohydrates. One thing that we need to make clear is that dogs have ZERO nutritional need for carbs. Dogs are carnivores and only need protein and fat to live. So, why do kibbles average 60% carbs? Because carbs are inexpensive.
So, these carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body. That triggers the body to send out insulin. The insulin instructs the body’s cells to open up and store the excess carbs as fat. Now, if a dog has no need for carbs, that means pretty much all the carbs your dog consumes get stored as fat. Yet vets will typically recommend a lower-fat, high-carb diet for dogs that need to lose weight…
We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth, right? So, why do vets say that kibble is good for a dog’s teeth? We have already established that kibble is a very high carb food and the carbs turn to sugar in the body. The sugar then sticks to the dog’s teeth and causes bacteria to grow. I know what you're thinking “but it's the chewing on the hard kibble that cleans the teeth! Is it?” Watch your dog eat that big bowl of kibble. Is he chewing it or just gulping it down? Most dogs gulp, no cleaning action there! Even if your dog is chewing it, that just gets the sugar stuck to his teeth more. Imagine your dentist telling you that granola is great for cleaning your teeth because it is hard…
While there is a lot to say about carbohydrates and why they should not be in a dog’s diet, let’s take a look at one major issue with carbs. Carbohydrates break down into sugar, but guess what loves to eat sugar… Bad bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and cancer. Does your dog have constant ear infections? It could be from the huge amount of carbs your vet is recommending that you feed your dog, in the form of kibble. Have a dog with recurring or continuously growing cancer? If your dog is eating kibble, you are feeding his cancer more than you are nourishing your dog.
Something to consider with cooking and carbs in kibble: the effect of cooking is that it chemically changes ingredients that could have been healthy into carcinogens. Yep, cancer-causing materials. Now combine that with the high sugar content of kibble and what do you get? Ready-made carcinogens in the kibble, a wonderful fuel source for cancer in the carbs of the kibble and you get… That’s right, a dog with cancer.
Combine all these things: dental chews, prescription diets, prescription drugs, antibiotics, spay/neuter, tick & flea preventatives, heartworm preventatives, vaccinations, and a heaping helping of kibble daily… No wonder our precious dogs are living shorter, more diseased lives despite so-called “advances” in veterinary medicine.