The Peeing Post
Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature
Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen
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Dear Dog Friend,
The heat is certainly gone here... Did anybody enjoy it? You are supposed to! Remember all the complaints during winter? Well, I never complained about the cold, so I have a right to complain about the heat... Maybe I should move farther North...?
We have got one camp course yet to go - as far as the optimistic plans tell. The week September 7-14 was cancelled, but September 14-21 might still have a chance of becoming reality, as may the following week September 21-28. It will be open for everybody, former students or not, and it will run with a maximum of 6. We had a great time last week - the cooler weather fits the dogs very well, and Wells Gray park is simply gorgeous at this time. Check the web site at http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/campcourses.html for details and to sign up. (Remember, you will get your deposit back immediately if it doesn't run as planned. However, with no deposits paid, it will for sure not run!)
Also, please let me know if there is any point in me planning a winter course with avalanche work and search in snow.
I was given notice from Anita that this newsletter really isn't e-mail - it is p-mail... (just a warning to prepare you for some gross stuff in this issue...)
Anal glands are not always delicate...
Actually, I wonder if they ever are... hmmm. Brad asked the question. His male obviously have some problems, this one being one of them.
I need to say this when I answer questions that really should be directed to a veterinarian: I am not a veterinarian and I have no license to practise veterinarian medicine anywhere in the world. This means that, if I try to diagnose your dog, I am putting myself in legal trouble. So I will not do that. Neither will I tell you what you are supposed to do with a sick dog - other than this: get it to the vet! I will not use this newsletter to compete with your veterinarian for business. Having said that, I also want to add that I certainly don't mind discussing general health issues, as long as they are not related to specific diseases that need medical treatment. What I can and will add to the debate will exclusively be common sense observations and experience relating to how you keep your dog healthy. I might also kick in what I have learned from other people, including those vets I have worked very closely with in the past, but please do not ask me to diagnose your dog for some ailments you really should see the vet for...
I need to say this when I answer questions that really should be directed to a veterinarian: I am not a veterinarian and I have no license to practise veterinarian medicine anywhere in the world. This means that, if I try to diagnose your dog, I am putting myself in legal trouble. So I will not do that. Neither will I tell you what you are supposed to do with a sick dog - other than this: get it to the vet! I will not use this newsletter to compete with your veterinarian for business.
Having said that, I also want to add that I certainly don't mind discussing general health issues, as long as they are not related to specific diseases that need medical treatment. What I can and will add to the debate will exclusively be common sense observations and experience relating to how you keep your dog healthy. I might also kick in what I have learned from other people, including those vets I have worked very closely with in the past, but please do not ask me to diagnose your dog for some ailments you really should see the vet for...
Back to Brad's anal glands - sorry: his dog's anal glands... :-)
Dogs fed on kibble often have problems with those glands. I know Brad feeds a raw natural diet, so that is not the problem here. Those glands unfortunately often get constipated and infected for other reasons too, and right of a sudden, they puncture like a swollen abcess, and it stinks so horrible that you won't see any skunks around. This is not too bad - after all, the dog got relief. Far worse it is when the constipation continues - because that leaves the dog in severe discomfort. And you don't need the skunks around anyway.
You can, if you dare, give the dog some help emptying out those those glands. You stick one finger up the rectum and the rest of the hand outside. Keep your face away, though - or hold a towel over, so you don't get it in your eyes! You can feel the swollen gland. If not, get your finger out again! Teenagers with zits know exactly how to do this. As long as you respect the dog's pain threshold, you will be OK. I strongly suggest, though, that you have your vet show you first time. You might also simply let your vet do it... :-)
You will generally see that there is something wrong with the anal glands when the dog starts to pull its own hindquarters as a sled behind the front legs, trying to scratch the bum on the ground (also known as scooting).
You have a good way of preventing it: Feeding lots of bones, at least once every second week. I mean: LOTS of bones, a full meal, almost exclusively consisting of bones! (Raw bones, of course - don't you dare to do this with cooked bones....)
The effect will be that your dog will poop "concrete". That's at least what it looks like the next day. The feces will be almost like small rocks, but they decompose to a powder when you squish them - that's how you know that your dog did not eat rocks...
The trick is that those small hard chunks of "concrete" poop will constitute a great stimulation for the anal glands - and keep them free from constipation in more than 90% of all cases.
The last 10% needs your vet's attention. You could be dealing with an infection you need to have treated, or you might have a chronic problem that needs surgery. Removing those anal glands is no big deal for the dog - except that it gets stripped of its true personality. You know, dogs are supposed to leave their business card on every single dump and that special fluid from the anal glands is the most important ingredient. But it will not bother your own dog as much as it will make other dogs wonder who the heck left this weird poop here... (Now, although it lost its personal relationship to your dog, it does not take you off the responsibility hook - so please pick it up regardless if it is not on your own property.)
Another less than delicate issue...
Brad's male also had some problem with discharge of infected fluid from the penis. Gross... sure - but also quite common for many males. You need to know that this is almost always caused by some kind of infection. You need to discuss with your vet what a responsible course of action would be. It might take some samples to establish what exactly the cause of the infection is, so you can fight it with some medication that actually works. Please don't resort to some standard attempts without having a proper diagnosis. You dog's body is not a chemical laboratory you can experiment with.
But there is a prevention chapter also to this. Once you got the problem under control, you want to make sure it does not fight back. And if it does, you want to make sure that the dog's immune system is strong enough to fight it effectively!
This brings me to one of my pet issues: RAW FOOD!
If you are not already feeding a natural raw diet, it is time you shift. Feeding kibble to a dog is worse than smoking tobacco for a human. Australian scientific studies show that dogs fed a natural diet live 30% longer than dogs fed even the best of brands of kibble! The leading manufacturers of "quality kibble" admit themselves in their advertisements that "their product is the best you can get, second only to a natural diet"!!!! Voila! ("Quality kibble" is a horribly contradictory expression - it is like talking about "quality alcohol" when you discuss fuel to your car. Sure, your car can run a few miles on alcohol if you don't expect any great performance - but not without your paying a heavy mechanic bill later...)
The immune system and raw food
There are several things wrong with even the best of kibble:
The main component of a natural diet (water) is missing, almost completely.
If water matters? You bet it does! When it constitutes some 75-80% of the diet, then you understand that missing it must totally change the mechanics of the digestion process. Kibble contains less than 5%, generally - which means it is concentrated food that takes up less than 1/3 of the volume it is supposed to. For business, this is smart and profitable. But your dog's stomach is not a business.
Also, from a chemical standpoint this little example: When you get a blood stain on your shirt, the blood will dry. When it dries, the red color changes to brown. Color is fundamentally related to chemical structure. You cannot have the same chemical structure when the color changes. You get proof when you apply water to that dry blood stain - and you do not get the liquid, red blood back... So, you cause irreversible chemical changes in the food by drying it out!
Grains. Oh yeah, they are cheap energy! Much cheaper than meat protein. The problem is that the dog doesn't need grain at all! How do you think you would thrive if your diet was 75-80% fat? Your body doesn't need that much fat - it needs the carbohydrates! But, for the dog, it is almost opposite! Dogs are not mini-monkeys - as far as their gastrointestinal system goes...
The heat processing does more chemical damage than drying. All natural proteins completely change their structure - irreversibly - when heated. Just look at what happens to an egg you boil. It does not resume its original structure when being cooled down again...
At this time, it is known that dogs need the 30-40 specific proteins that exist in raw meat, just as we need vitamins. Those proteins are all destroyed when heated.... They are called "missing links" because they are in fact the missing link between processed food and good health!
Finally, the chemical preservatives. I have heard all the objections about those preservatives being OK and "approved". It's BS. They are poisonous. Period. If they weren't, they would not work! The food would perish. The only good thing about them is that they don't kill your dog right away - but over time, they do! The Australian study shows the evidence clearly enough, so please don't take it lightly. (This is an area where I most definitely know what I am talking about - I spent 9 years in university earning my Ph.D. level degree in chemistry...)
Now, back to the immune system. One of the most important things you need to understand about the immune system is that if it does not get the fuel it needs, it won't work. Malnourishment will quickly sabotage its effectiveness, but even a small deviation from a good natural balance in the food will kick it out of balance - and it will lose its supreme capability to deal effectively with infections!
This is the way vitamins and their importance to us was discovered. They are more or less characterized by the diseases they cause when absent in our food... When we miss any one of the vitamins, we get sick very easily. Wounds heal slowly or not at all. Our energy goes down. We die younger.
Dogs are no different, in principle. The only difference is that they have a different metabolism, so what they need is different from what we need and from what a horse needs. And we need to understand that. But if we kick those chemical balances around and try to be smarter than Nature, we are in for trouble - and the dog pays the price with a less-than-optimal health. One of the most important lessons I learned when going to university was that Nature is so complex that no scientist, not even the combination of all knowledge possessed by all scientists together, will come even close to an understanding of a fraction of Nature's complexity. A chemist that declares that any artificial concoction of a replication of a natural substance is "well balanced" and a fully valuable substitute to Nature's solution in all aspects is not worth his/her scientific title. I am serious.
New e-book with specific guidelines for feeding a raw diet
I made it. I mean, I wrote that book. Finally. It has been in the works for a long time, starting with feeding guidelines for adult dogs. Then one for puppies. Then instructions on how to convert safely. Then an explanation of all the very strong reasons for a natural diet being the only diligent choice you really have... why you cannot trust the pet food manufacturers or the government, and sometimes not even your vet... Answers to all the questions I used to be getting from the students in my "food seminars"! Including one of my favorites: a chapter of stool inspection! Dogs learn a lot from checking stool - and so can you, if you know what to look for. (I thought I could mention this now - you are probably already grossed out by reading this issue...)
I gave it the title "Canine Choice - by Nature".
Not being involved anymore in any business ventures that are making money on selling dog food, I feel stronger about putting this together in an honest and direct way, since I really have no financial interest in how you are going to use this information. My hope is simply that you will find the best way for you to get the ingredients you need, whether you buy frozen packages from a reputable dog food manufacturer or you make your own, based on your grocery shopping.
I know that there are many sources of raw food now available. If you know what you should be looking for, you can also make some good choices. My e-book will be a good help for you to determine what your dog needs. If it leaves you with questions unanswered, then send me an e-mail, and I shall find an answer!
Believe me, it is not that difficult to feed natural. And it is not more expensive than feeding kibble, unless you shop carelessly. I know, there are some expensive brands out there that "include everything your dog needs". Such a statement is ALWAYS BS! You are better off finding your own way, maybe by buying, for instance, tripe from a raw food supplier and then do the rest yourself. With this e-book, that is easy. And if the pages get greasy in the kitchen, you can always print out some new ones...
There is more information about the e-book "Canine Choice - by Nature" at http://k9joy.com/education/caninechoicespecial.html. Subscribers to THE PEEING POST can download it instantly for just $9.95 by using this link, at least for now. Non-subscribers will be paying $12.95 from the main web page, and I don't know how long the special offer will stay - if you get an error message using this link, you came too late.... As usual, this e-book too comes with a full money-back guarantee from DogSmart Education.
Cheers and woof,
If you have any comments or questions pertaining to this issue or in general pertaining to dogs, please respond - if I can find an answer for you, I will!
If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of The Peeing Post, I will be happy to know about them. (Please no anonymous contacts, though...)
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If you prefer a more "live" presentation on how you "go natural", you should get a copy of my video "Feeding Your Dog - the Natural Way". It contains everything you need to know to stay on the healthy side - without making it complicated. It is, of course, far more illustrative than the e-book, but focusses entirely on how you feed an adult dog. You still get all the details in the pamphlet it comes with about that, but all the "extra issues" from the e-book would make the video 4 hours long.... The video is selling at $25 (including shipping) from
I am currently working on a page that will provide information on booking me for live in-person seminars. I will let you know when the page is up and running.