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       The Anti-Arthritis Diet For Dogs

                This is the second article in a monthly series relating to pet care.

The Anti-Arthritis Diet
from The Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs by Martian Zucker

  2 cups brown rice 1 cup lentils
  1 cup celery 2 cups spinach
  2 cups pearled barley 2 cups carrots
  1/2 cup parsley 2 garlic cloves
  2 cups lamb or beef hearts 8 to 12 cups pure water

Combine all of the above in a large pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 and 1/4 hours. Keep pot covered, stir every 10 to 15 minutes. Feed daily for a month or until significant improvement.

I believe this diet has helped both of our dogs and we continue to feed it and make changes each time I mix this up with these general guidelines.

I rotate between or with a combination of whole grains i.e.; oatmeal, brown rice, barley etc. No processed foods such as white rice. Vegetables - use only fresh, maybe frozen, never canned. I like carrots, yams, squash, zucchini, peas, celery, with smaller quantities of just about any others. I will also add some fruits, such as apples, peaches, and plums - again only fresh, even the overripe. For meats I use skinless turkey or chicken, or 85% lean beef and sometimes add about half the amount of turkey liver or some other organ meats. One caution as to changing the ingredients - some dogs are very sensitive to new foods; for them it may be best to find the ones that work best and make any changes slowly. I am somewhat leery of organ meats and fish. As a rule they are high in nutriments but because of the increased blood flow they also have a downside. The liver and heart for example can contain a high level of toxins, growth hormones or antibiotics from the donor animal. I always add fresh garlic; yes, cook it. Several books (a couple say never feed to a pet) tout it's benefits.

As to the above prep instructions there are a couple changes that I have made. First, dogs have a real problem digesting raw vegetables because of the cellulose they contain. This is due to their teeth, no molars, hence no chewing and a shorter digestive system. Yes, if you cook as per the above instructions that is a remedy, but by cooking you have just destroyed the bulk of the nutrients. What I prefer to do is dice all the vegetables using a hand chopper and adding them after I turn off the heat. The second thing I like to do is use a crock pot. The higher the temperature and the longer the time anything is cooked, the more of the best just went up in steam. This is the very reason that commercial pet foods add vitamin and nutrient packages to what was often very inferior ingredients to begin with. I do believe there are some commercial foods that are considerably better than others and in fact we add some to the wet recipe daily.

The Disclaimer--I am neither trained nor particularly educated in the above. In other words; take the above for what you think it's worth. All information was either taken directly from the "experts" or tweaked to where I believe it to work for us. I do believe as is written in many books--YOU know your pet best. You know if your pet is overweight, you know if your pet's behavior patterns (eating, drinking, shedding, activity) have changed. There is a lot of information out there (some contradictory) but ultimately a pet is a responsibility who is dependent upon you for proper care. You are welcome to email me at to tell me where I'm correct, wrong, or with something to share.


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