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Using Food as Medicine…Part 2

Hungry dog puppy sitting near his dish and waiting for food

Essentially, kibble is fast food for our pets. It is not smart to make it your dog’s lifetime, day in, day out meal. We live in a fast food nation of overfed and undernourished people, commercial kibble only guarantees the minimum daily requirements of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Just like the fast food industry for us. Will kibble — fed occasionally — do harm to your dog? No. Just like running through the drive thru occasionally won’t do irreparable harm to your child. The key word here is occasionally.

I know the ideal way to feed a pet is to use wholesome, whole foods prepared to meet my dog’s specific nutritional needs. In my work, I see the damage done from our dogs being undernourished and I see the healing take place when a dog is finally fed with a nutritionally specific and lovingly prepared menu of whole foods. Still, there are times when I feed dry kibble, times when life gets in the way, I’m busier than normal, and I’ve just not taken the time to prepare their menu properly. So, as you read this blog, give yourself permission to be imperfect. All pet owners are. Use this blog as a guide to properly feeding your pet, and aim for progress not perfection, and — if just starting out — start small.

In other words, if you’ve only fed your dog kibble his entire life, don’t commit today to feeding nothing but a variety of ideally prepared, whole foods forever, without fail. Instead, see if you can commit to supplementing your dog’s current diet with one properly prepared meal per day… or even, one amazing meal per week. This is better than nothing. It’s a great start and excellent beginning. (Plus, your dog will love it!!) And if you’ve fallen “off the wholesome bandwagon” yourself –as I have many times — don’t give up. Just start again. This blog will show you how.

I just can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve “cured,” how many issues and illnesses and conditions I’ve resolved simply by addressing nutritional changes, including — but not limited to– simply getting them off of kibble. Take Buddy, for instance, a dog who was regurgitating his kibble regularly due to a genetical anatomical defect that resulted in an esophagus that had lost its tone.

Now, with western medicine alone, Buddy’s parents would be told to raise the height of his food dish, liquify his diet, and they’d be told that this regurgitating would likely be part of Buddy’s life forever. However, with an integrated approach we were able to take these suggestions and also add a whole food diet. To be fair, I wanted to put Buddy on some herbal therapies, but in the beginning, he couldn’t tolerate them so a diet change is what we were left with as a solid option.

Ask Buddy’s mom what made the biggest difference in Buddy’s life and they’ll tell you switching to a whole food diet made all the difference. The same could be said by many of my clients. Here is an incomplete list of conditions that have been completely resolved, not with blood testing, surgery, medications or herbal remedies, but simply with a generic switch from kibble to whole food:

“It matters not whether medicine is old or new, so long as it brings about a cure. It matters not whether theories are Eastern or Western, so long as they prove to be true” 

Please stay tuned for next weeks blog Using Food as Medicine…Part 3…Ideal Food for Fido

Michel Selmer, DVM, MS, CTCVMP – “The Caring Vet”


Michel Selmer

Dr. Michel Selmer is an Integrative Veterinarian and one of a handful of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Practitioners in the world that holds a Masters Degree. Dr. Michel Selmer attended Long Island University and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Read More...