Toxins are everywhere and our dogs are just as susceptible to their damage as we are. No matter what type of foods we feed them, water we give them, or how well we care for them, it is virtually impossible for our pets to avoid toxins. In addition to environmental toxins, foods, flea and tick medicines, vaccinations, and even pet grooming products expose our dogs to even more chemicals. We can eliminate many of the toxins by making better choices about the products we buy for our pets. However, for those that are unavoidable, detoxification may be the best choice.
Why Detoxifying your Dog Might Be Necessary
Much the same way our bodies work, your dog’s liver and kidneys are responsible for filtering out toxic substances that enter the body. The problem is that your dog’s organs are much smaller than a human’s, so their toxic load is often much higher. This puts a heavy load on your pet’s organs and over time they begin to wear out. Eventually, they are no longer able to keep up with the heavy load. Conditions such as itchy skin, runny eyes, and digestive disturbances are often signs that toxins are building up or not properly eliminated. Over time, this problem can result in serious illnesses.
How Detox Works
Detox can be a complicated process that normally includes several different herbs and homeopathic remedies. Detoxes are custom tailored to the individual dog and their symptoms. Detoxification can also be hard on your pet’s organs depending on how many toxins have built up in their body. For this reason, it is best to speak to a holistic veterinarian for guidance and possibly even to supervise your dog’s detox. If the vet thinks it is safe for you to handle the process at home, he can suggest the herbs that would be the most beneficial to your dog.
Gentle Ways to Detoxify Your Dog
Fasting is one of the simplest ways to help your dog detox. Fasting is a normal part of life for wild dogs. Food is not always available, so wild dogs may skip one or even two days eating before a meal comes around. Offer your dog plenty of water, some meat broth, and skip feeding them for the day. Holistic vets recommend this practice for the dogs in their practice and claim that these dogs are among the healthiest in their clinic.
Detoxing is going to look different depending on the organs you are focusing on. There are four main systems or organs that might need detoxification.
The liver is a filter; its job is to detox chemicals and toxins from the body. B vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, trace minerals, bioflavonoids, milk thistle, garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables can be combined to support liver function.
One function of the gastrointestinal system is to remove wastes from the body. Probiotics are the best detox, they keep bad toxin-causing bacteria in check.
The skin spans a large amount of space so it not only takes in a lot of toxins but it can also release a lot of toxins. This makes the skin a toxic soup of dead skin, bacteria, toxins and more. Bathing and brushing is the best way to keep this under control.
Your dog’s kidneys filter blood, water, and other fluids, keeping the important things while eliminating the toxins. The best way to detox kidneys gently is simply to make sure your dog gets lots of fluids. Encourage your pet to drink more by putting broth in their water.
When Your Dog Needs a More Thorough Detox
Gentle methods of detoxing are great to practice on a regular basis, but if your dog is experiencing symptoms, a deeper detox is probably needed. Again, it is important to consult a holistic vet on this process. They can do an examination to ensure that detoxing is the appropriate treatment and ensure your dog gets the right herbs and homeopathic remedies to treat their symptoms.
Some Herbs Your Vet Might Prescribe
- Milk Thistle: Supports liver function and stimulates regeneration of liver cells
- Red Clover and Cleavers: Supports the lymphatic system
- Garlic, Echinacea, and Astragalus: These herbs are among the best for immune support
- Chlorella: Used as a detoxifier
- Parsley Tea: Diuretic, purifier, and good for liver cleansing
A World Full of Toxins Does Not Mean Your Dog Can’t Be Healthy
Being aware of the toxins your pet encounters can go a long way to ensuring your dog stays healthy. Making good dietary choices and ensuring they have plenty of clean filtered water are also important preventatives for good health. Avoid allowing toxins into their surroundings and opt for natural ways of dealing with pests. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure if your dog gets sick that you seek appropriate medical care before choosing to do a detox. Done properly, detoxifications can ensure that your dog enjoys good health in a less than optimal environment.