January is upon us and it’s a time of renewal and rejuvenation.
For me (and my wife Jane), January is a time for clearing our minds and bodies and making space for the good things to come in this new year.
One thing we like to do every so often, is cleanse our bodies by fasting.
I am currently on my 5th day of my cleanse. I have 5 more days to go! Jane and I are drinking liquids with powders mixed into “shakes” with herbs and ingredients that “clean” out the GI tract.
I feel weak sometimes, and then get surges of energy like I when I was younger! I have to admit though, that while on my cleanse, it’s hard to see patients and talk to clients, take care of the garden, and manage my busy practice! (So if/when you do your cleanse, be sure it’s during a time where you don’t have too many obligations or demands on your time and brain power).
I figured that since I’m always harping on people to feed their pets healthy food, and thus most of my clients are home cooking…then what’s next!?
The next level is…Fasting and Cleansing!
Why Should You “Fast” Your Dog?
Well, as with myself, although we eat very well, and have an organic vegetable garden, my wife and I are aging (who would’ve thought)?!
Also, with all the guests we’ve been having over to Kauai from the mainland, we’ve been “splurging” at restaurants. At our age, we can’t afford to eat like we did when we were in our 20’s, or even 40’s. Rich foods like desserts and good things made with butter can clog up arteries, the liver, and stress the heart. Also, we are constantly exposed to pollution of one kind or another…even in Hawaii!
So along those lines, many dogs stand to benefit from a short fast or cleanse too!
If you have a dog or cat with one of these problems, perhaps you would consider a one day a week cleanse for six weeks?
- Smelly dogs that smell even after a bath
- Chronic liver or kidney disease
- Overweight dogs
- Lipomas and fatty “lumps”
- Excessive discharge from the eyes, nose, or ears
- Dogs that receive regular doses of chemical products such as flea/tick preventatives or heartworm preventatives
Try it Out: A “Fasting” Appropriate Recipe
Use this recipe to create a healthful broth that will provide your dog with everything he/she needs during the fast. Administer with a syringe, or see if your dog will just lap it out of his/her dish.
- Soup bone (beef or pork)
- ½ cup of dried shiitake mushrooms (soak these overnight in 1 cup of water)
- ½ cup of chopped beet greens
- ½ cup of chopped kale
- ½ teaspoon of Sea Salt
- 3 cups of purified or filtered water
Bring the pot of water to a boil with the bone and sea salt. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes covered. Add the mushrooms with the water, beet greens, and kale. Bring to a boil, and simmer for another 30 minutes. Let sit until room temperature. Separate the solids from the liquid and save the liquid in a glass jar with a lid (keep this in the fridge when not using).
Give your pets 5 cc (1 teaspoon) per 5 lbs of body weight 6 times a day for one day each week. For example, a 50 lb dog would take 10 X 5 cc = 50 cc = 10 teaspoons 6 times a day.
Do this once a week for 6 weeks, and let me know how it went!
- Provide plenty of fresh water.
- Always have water in ceramic or glass bowls for your pets.
- If your dog is medium sized or bigger, I recommend using dishes that are at least 12-15 inches off the ground, especially for older dogs.
- Never use plastic bowls.
- Stainless steel dishes may not be the best (watch out for products made in China), although they are the easiest to clean.
Photo via Tambako the Jaguar