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Natural Diet and Supplement Aids


Some people may feel they need to resort to drugs when they are at their wit’s end from dealing with a dog that acts out by becoming aggressive around people or outright destructive when no one is home. These are behaviors sometimes seen when an animal is re- ceiving inadequate nutrition or essential brain nutrients.


In the holistic realm, the founda- tion to treating any animal problem, physical or mental, begins with a good diet. A home-prepared diet is best (how-to books are available), but a high-quality, natural commercial food may also help. Behavior problems can lessen or go away with a simple change in nutrition. Adequate essential fatty acids, including omega 3, are necessary supplements for dogs, even if they are fed a commercial diet. They help the nervous system function more smoothly and help improve skin and coat condition. Some animals may need extra help from herbs to get through a par- ticularly stressful time. One miniature schnauzer benefited from ingesting a formula made for dogs that con- tained valerian, skullcap, oat flower and passionflower before his owners would leave the house. Max became calmer and stopped tearing apart the furniture after just a few weeks of us- ing the herbs.


Other animals become anxious in the vicinity of loud noises, whether or not the caregiver is at home. Many caregivers have found a melatonin supplement helpful in these instances. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to leave a companion behind when you know they suffer in your absence. With a bit of knowledge and care, you can help make the periods of separation much easier.


Mary Wulff is a veterinary herbalist consultant and co-author with Gregory Tilford of Herbs for Pets. She special- izes in home-prepared diets, herbs and homeopathy for companion animals from her office in Hamilton, MT. Con- nect at CedarOrion@yahoo.com.


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