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Don’t Let Your Dog Become A Canary!

By Nadine M. Rosin For The Dog Files

From Wikipedia: “Well into the 20th century, coal miners brought canaries into coal mines as an “early warning signal” for deadly, toxic gases. The birds, being more sensitive, would become sick before the miners, who would then have a chance to escape or put on protective respirators.”

Is it any wonder that with the “pre green” proliferation of chemical laden household products, building supplies, and monthly flea poison treatments, that our pets are developing cancer at such an alarming rate? In addition to protecting one’s animal from constant exposure to a myriad of possible household carcinogens, just negotiating the constant recalls and dangers of an unregulated, processed pet food industry can be an overwhelming and depressing nightmare.

But there’s also a deeper issue: when it comes to these everyday toxins that we have become so unconscious about and accepting of, have our cherished, innocent pets become our modern day canaries?

There are MANY things we can do to help prevent our beloved companion animals from ever getting cancer. When my 8-year old dog, aka: my adopted daughter, Buttons, was diagnosed with a virulent carcinoma and given 6 weeks to live, I launched a massive personal research campaign deep into the world of holistic medicine.

I soon came to learn that “holistic” didn’t mean symptom treating with natural remedies or herbs in lieu of pharmaceutical drugs. It wasn’t about squelching the symptoms or waging war against cancer with something other than surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Instead, it meant addressing the causes: food, treats, cleaning supplies, flea treatments, plastic toys, foreign produced rawhide chews, and the emotional environment we were living in, to name a few.

It meant clearing my home of all possible toxins, cleansing Buttons’ entire system, and then giving her the proper nutritional support so that Buttons’ body could do what an unburdened body does best: HEAL ITSELF.

It’s important to remember that our pets metabolize everything much faster than we do. Whereas our bodies can endure a certain amount of toxic abuse for 40 or 50 years before retaliating, a pet’s body can begin showing disease as early as 4-7 years.

I believe a holistic approach today starts with our being more conscious consumers. Just because something is sold off a grocery store (or even a health food store) shelf, does not mean it’s necessarily safe in the long run. We all know that money, not well-being, is the bottom line in our consumer market. Manufactured food and other products are not tested for a person’s, or even a pet’s life span, before being approved, advertised and sold. Think about Teflon, DDT, aluminum pans, Red Dye #2, lead paint. Now take a moment to google “dryer sheets toxic” or “parabens cancer” and then go read the labels on your skin care products, make-up, and laundry products. Please don’t wait for a devastating cancer diagnosis of someone you love to be your wake up call.

The next step in Buttons’ and my healing process was clearing her body of all residual toxins. To do this, I used a number of different homeopathic remedies, herbs, and tinctures. Buttons’ diagnosis came in 1992 when holistic vets were scarce. Today, that’s not the case. I would encourage you to find a holistic vet that adheres to a true holistic regimen of clear/cleanse/build, rather than just symptom treating with natural remedies.

Because a holistic approach means addressing one’s life as a “whole”, as part of our healing process, I had to also consider Buttons’ emotional environment. Not surprisingly, her cancer developed during one of the most painful times of my life. It was two days after I joyously accepted his marriage proposal that my fiancé abruptly ended our relationship with no explanation, and refused to continue any communication whatsoever. I was torn apart, hemorrhaging emotionally, and on a good day, horribly depressed. Although I continued to care for Buttons as devotedly as ever, I was doing it all with a shattered heart.

I have heard it said that our animals often shunt energy for us, and no doubt, Buttons was feeling my pain in every cell of her own body. When I refer to “our” healing process that is exactly what I mean. She’s the one who got the remedies squirted down her throat, and I’m the one who had to go deep into my heart, and for the sake of my beloved canine companion, do some hard, healing work.

The final third of our holistic protocol involved nutritionally fortifying Buttons’ own immune system. Remember, the body’s natural state is one of radiant health. When supported properly, that is where it will gravitate. I threw out the prescription dog food from the vet. I began home cooking pure, simple, organic ingredients for her meals and treats. I supplemented with a few natural superfoods. Within 4 months, not only was Buttons alive and cancer-free, she was a thriving, energetic, 9-year old puppy!

There are numerous web sites today where one can quickly educate oneself on the horrible, disguised ingredients in most commercial pet food including several brands that are advertised as “all natural” and “organic”. Spend an hour reading- it could translate into many additional years with your own beloved animal.

My sweet girl, Buttons, went on to thrive for another 11 years. Exactly 1 week before her 19th birthday, she died peacefully of old age, at home in my arms. My own toxic-free lifestyle and good health are only a small part of her profound and loving legacy.

Nadine M. Rosin, Holistic Pets/Toxic-free Living Consultant, Pet Bereavement Facilitator, author & speaker.

Available for phone consultations, your next function or fundraiser

The Healing Art Of Pet Parenthood
A book about the human-animal bond, healing cancer holistically, and a new take on pet loss.

Pet Parenthood Blog
A blog with answers & information about natural healing, grief, and parenting our beloved pets.

Follow me on Twitter.

The Mission Behind the Book :

Helping pet parents realize we may be unconsciously contributing to the skyrocketing increase of cancer in our pets by unknowingly creating highly toxic environments in our homes.

Providing comfort, camaraderie, and validation for pet parents experiencing the devastating loss of a beloved pet.

Helping to remove the words, “It’s just a dog/cat” from the lips of non pet parents everywhere.