Many people in the fresh food word, myself included use the word “Longevity” a lot but what does it mean? In simple terms it means how how long? So when we use this word and refer it to dogs, we simply mean their life span! How long will they live?
Now the oldest dog on record for an Australian Cattle dog called Bluey, which was put to sleep in 1939 at the grand age of 29 years and 5 months! There was a Beagle named Butch who came in at a close second at the age of 28 and then in 3rd place was a Border Collie named Bramble who lived until 27, now Bramble is even more unique as he was allegedly fed a Vegan diet for the majority of his life , the diet consisted of lentils, textured vegetable protein, and brown rice, with some extras thrown in occasionally, He was also intermittent fasted (Fed once a day).
Other than these 3 exceptions dogs , dogs typically die allot younger, on average they are now living until 11.5 years depending on their breed, but in the 1970s dogs were reaching an average of 17. So it’s clear to see from then until now their longevity has significantly reduce and there is many contributing factors.
For anyone that follows me, knows i follow a natural approach and advocate certain avenues first weather that’s Holistic Methods or Homeopathic methods so you can imagine i don’t typically “Gel” with the average dog owner who is victim of the “White Coat Effect” (Not In Reference to High Blood Pressure) , I’ve ran Canine Nutrition Workshops and I’ve had the following comment before “I’ve fed my dog (X Branded dry food) all their life, they’re fully Vaccinated/Boostered and we flead and wormed them monthly too as per veterinary guidance and they lived until they was 13. To which i’m very proud they did 100% by their dog with the knowledge they had. I then bring out this to explain my point:
You’ll see here that from birth until the age of 10, i’ve labelled as the “Safe Zone” this is because currently the protocols in place when it comes to raising and feeding dogs, is already ensuring that, however you’ll also notice i’ve marked the other end with the age of the oldest dog in the world on record (Rounded up).
This why i do what i do, i help people see the bigger picture to hopefully help increase the longevity of their dogs, especially breeders it’s a breeders responsibility to endeavour to improve this figure and hopefully we will see the average longevity rise once more.
There are many factors that effect dogs on an individual basis and this is called “Epiginetics” which is a science that understands gene expression and how it’s linked with our everyday being.
Please see this image and it will give you a BASIC understanding of Epigentics, however you’ll see how they are all interlinked.
You’ll see here your dog splits off into 5 factors, Nutrition, Emotion, Chemical Treatments , Environmental Factors and Disease Exposure. Each factor having a sub-factor and each of those have sub-factors that all effect gene expression in your dogs as all of these Factors and Sub-Factors can have negative or a positive reflection on your gene expression which then controls the mental and physiological condition of your dog including their longevity (These principals apply to us too)
So part of Holistic Therapy (Something i’m working towards) is about building a bigger picture. When your dog isn’t too well, it’s handy to know these little factors and note down any recent changes that could be effecting them this will then help your Vet gain an understanding as to whats going on behind the scenes and increase the chance of a diagnosis over a prognosis. Remember depending on your Vet they take different approaches , i’d always recommend a Homeopathic/Holistic Vet. If your in the UK you can find one here: https://www.bahvs.com/menu-items-parent/find-a-vet-2/ If your just after a Vet that’s supportive of feeding fresh foods then you can do so here: https://rfvs.info/find-a-vet/
More and More pet owners are switching to fresh food diets and Holistic Vets, conventional Veterinary practice which seems to of lost its way, especially those large chain Vets. The benefit of going with Holistic Vets is that they take the time to understand their patients and view the bigger picture, they will also recommend Pharmaceutical prescription drugs if necessary.
Elements to think about and research as much as can:
- What’s the best diet for your dog to promote their optimum health?
- Are Vaccines/Boosters necessary?
- Do your training methods have a positive response from your dog?
- Did you socialise your dog correctly?
- Is there anything in your home which could cause harm? (Electric plug in air freshener for example)
If you cant answer these simple questions, then your in the right place just reach out to me and i’ll explain further.
I first started thinking about this after watching a Youtube video i found online while searching for fresh food ideas for dogs, this video is something i recommend ALL dog owners watch, It’s by the great Rodney Habib of Planet Paws and his TedX talks “Why don’t dogs live forever” and “How to Build the Forever Dog” now these video’s kick me right in the feel’s Rodney has such a genuine heart felt tone, he really gets through to you! I won’t spoil it, please watch them 🙂
If you know anyone who’s contemplating on feeding fresh foods but are currently on the fence, show them those videos and this blog piece and tell them to get in touch or simply join the Raw Feeders Of Great Britain on facebook.
Michael K A Bennett-BCCSDip.HthNut
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The next blog will be on Nutrigenomics!! If you know what this is, please comment on the blog! 🙂