Resolving Allergies with Species-Appropriate Foods

Allergies constitute a common health issue in both animals and people.  During the 12 years that I worked in the animal wellness field, I heard about allergies in both dogs and cats every single day – it was the most common topic.  Often, the people I spoke with had been trying for months or even years to resolve the issue without success.

When something is so common and troubling, I look for answers.  I read every holistic veterinary book I could get my hands on, including those by Dr. Pitcairn, Dr. Belfield, Dr. Goldstein, Martin Zucker, Dr. Khalsa, and many others.  Within these books I  found a common theme.  The following quote from  The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care sums it up best:

“Most allergies in pets are caused by poor nutrition. Well-nourished animals don’t get allergies and animals that have them often get rid of them if they eat a well-balanced, natural, raw diet. This is not to say that the cure works quickly, for just as diet-related allergies are slow to develop, they are slow to reverse. … Cortisone and other drugs may mask or suppress allergic symptoms, but they don’t reverse them, and, over time, the condition of drug-treated animals usually deteriorates.”

“Even if your pet’s allergies seem unrelated to food, they are probably connected. Hot spots, skin eruptions, inflamed toes, anal itching, inflamed ears, lick granulomas, most digestive problems and several immune system disorders have their roots in diet. Because nutrition is such an important factor in treating allergies of all types, changing to a raw, natural diet is the single most important step you can take to improve your pet’s health. Once your pet is eating whole, natural foods, taking nutritional supplements and herbs that improve digestion and the activity of beneficial intestinal bacteria, drinking pure, uncontaminated water, dining from glass, ceramic or stainless steel dishes, getting the right kind of exercise, spending several hours per day exposed to natural light and enjoying a life of reduced stress, his or her allergic conditions should improve and gradually disappear. The other strategy most recommended by holistic veterinarians is the elimination of annual revaccinations.”

The most telling tale is that I witnessed, over and over again, dogs and cats recovering very quickly from allergies (as well as many other imbalances), by simply switching to a whole-food, species appropriate diet.  Other things happened, too.  Dogs and cats achieved their ideal body weight – not by restricting calories or feeding “diet” dog food, but by simply feeding a whole food diet consisting of high quality protein, greens, and vegetables.

After witnessing the miracle of a whole food diet and nutritive herbs for animals, I went back to school and became a Clinical Herbalist and Nutritional Consultant, and guess what I found out?  The same principles apply to people!  Our bodies want to be healthy and vibrant – we simply need to supply the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed for achieving health and well-being!  Same for our animals.  We need to think about what human beings and animals would eat “in the wild” – in their natural state.  What were we designed to eat?  What kinds of food really “work” for us?

During my herbal and nutrition training, fellow students who eliminated “problem foods” changed dramatically and quickly.  Skin cleared, weight was lost, and emotions smoothed out.  Menstrual cramps disappeared, digestive disorders resolved, including constipation, indigestion and other chronic health issues.  Chronic inflammation lessened dramatically or resolved altogether.  Was it really that simple?  I experienced many dramatic changes myself, including losing weight that had been impossible to lose before.  Other personal changes of note:  better digestion (no more bloating), resolution of long-standing skin issues, major reduction of chronic inflammation, better posture, more energy, improved attitude, and a greater sense of peace.  Not bad for someone who’s heading for 60!

Now my focus is on achieving the highest level of health and well being – for myself, my family, and my clients – be they people, dogs or cats.  I encourage people to focus on foods that really work for them, while gradually and steadily eliminating those foods that do not contribute to their well-being.

It’s important, while moving toward that perfect way of eating, to make sure the body is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that it needs to achieve a vital state of being.  Our bodies need protein to rebuild, so make sure you and your animal companions have some high quality protein every day.  Vitamins, bioflavonoids, enzymes and minerals are most plentiful and available to our digestive systems from sources such as greens and vegetables.

Which brings me to why I became such a fanatic about GREENS!  During my years as a canine/feline nutritional consultant, I saw firsthand the amazing, energizing, healing benefits of green supplements and nutritive herbs.  The results were so compelling, that my motto became “Greens with Every Meal” – for dogs and cats, and now for people, too.

It’s not always easy to eat a lot of greens and vegetables in our society today.  Many people have an aversion to vegetables, or don’t know how to prepare them deliciously.  An e-book is coming soon to remedy that!   In the meantime, though, incorporating a green supplement into your everyday food intake is a fabulous way to begin to create health for yourself!  Add to soups, sprinkle on salads, make a smoothie with powdered greens.  Make sure your animal companions are getting their greens, too.

In a later blog, I will discuss which greens are the most nutritious, and how to incorporate them into your everyday intake.

 Bibliography/Recommended Reading

Belfield, Wendell O., and Martin Zucker. How to Have a Healthier Dog: The Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals for Your Dog’s Life Cycles. New York: New American Library, 1981. Print.

Brozyna, Kelly V. The Spunky Coconut Cookbook. Longmont, CO: Apidae, 2011. Print.

Fallon, Sally, Mary G. Enig, Kim Murray, and Marion Dearth. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Washington, DC: NewTrends Pub., 2001. Print.

Gedgaudas, Nora T. Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts, 2011. Print.

Goldstein, Martin. The Nature of Animal Healing. New York: Random House International, 2001. Print.

Kidd, Randy. Dr. Kidd’s Guide to Herbal Dog Care. Pownal: Storey, 2000. Print.

Lipman, Frank, and Mollie Doyle. Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again. New York, NY: Fireside, 2010. Print.

Lipman, Frank, and Stephanie Gunning. Total Renewal: 7 Key Steps to Resilience, Vitality, and Long-term Health. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2003. Print.

Martin, Ann N. Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts about Pet Food. Troutdale, Or.: NewSagePress, 2008. Print.

Mayfield, Julie, and Charles Mayfield. Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-free Kitchen. Las Vegas: Victory Belt, 2011. Print.

Pedersen, Mark. Nutritional Herbology: Including the Nutritional Profiles of 106 Commonly Used Herbs and Foods. Bountiful, Utah (P.O. Box 761, Bountiful 84010): Pedersen Pub., 1987. Print.

Pitcairn, Richard, and Susan Pitcairn. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. [S.l.]: Rodale P., U.S., 83:. Print.

Puotinen, C. J. The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care. Los Angeles: Keats Pub., 2000. Print.

Sutherland, Caroline M. The Body “knows”: How to Tune in to Your Body and Improve Your Health. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2001. Print.

Zucker, Martin. The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs: Safe and Effective Alternative Treatments and Healing Techniques from the Nation’s Top Holistic Veterinarians. New York: Three Rivers, 1999. Print.

About Sarah Wadleigh

I am a Clinical Herbalist, Organic Gardener and Nutritional Consultant for people and companion animals. I live in Madrid, New Mexico with my wonderful husband, two little dogs and a big cat. My practice revolves around helping people create health through whole-food nutrition, nutritive herbs, lifestyle and self-awareness. With more than 20 years of experience as an animal nutritional counselor, I offer consultations to improve the health and well-being of our four-legged friends, as well as their humans. We can work together via Skype, in person,or over the phone. Let's create health for ourselves and our animal companions! Contact:
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4 Responses to Resolving Allergies with Species-Appropriate Foods

  1. hey what is your fb page

  2. Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was searching for!

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